Friday, May 26, 2006

Soap Bubbles...

Blogging topics are like that: iridescent soap bubbles leaving a pipe and floating uncertainly upwards until they !pop!. And then they are done. This is the sad aspect of blogging, its ephemerality, and also its good aspect, because the old mistakes are buried in no time at all. But right now I'm more annoyed by the fact that my vacation coincided with some events I wanted to write about, and now it's too late to do so.

For example, the fascinating question about the religious dress code in Iran and what it means to have this particular topic pop up in the Western media right around the time when George Bush wants more ammunition, and how the initial story appears to be false and how that means...what? That we can all sigh in relief because it's just the Iranian women who must follow a strict dress code? Because that specific dress code is an internal matter for the Iranian state, but one which would single out Jews or Christians would not be? Because women are "owned" in some sense? You get the point, and I wanted to make it when the topic was beautifully iridescent and still floating around. Now that it's just a wet patch on some journalist's face my point is lost.

Then there is the story about the Clintons and their marriage, so important that it had to be put on the front page of the New York Times, so important that it had to be commented on extensively by David Broder in the Washington Post who said this about Hillary Clinton:

The two sides of Hillary Rodham Clinton -- the opposites that make her potential presidential candidacy such a gamble -- came into sharp focus Tuesday morning at the National Press Club.

For the better part of an hour, the senator from New York held forth in a disquisition on energy policy that was as overwhelming in its detail as it was ambitious in its reach.

But the buzz in the room was not about her speech -- or her striking appearance in a lemon-yellow pantsuit -- but about the lengthy analysis of the state of her marriage to Bill Clinton that was on the front page of that morning's New York Times.

I'm confused. Are the two sides of Hillary Rodham Clinton her great knowledge base and her lemon-yellow pantsuit or are they her great knowledge base and the question how often she and Bill have sex? Or does she have three opposite sides: intelligence, pantsuits and Bill's penis needs? All of these seem to frighten Broder. It would probably be better to have a female candidate who is not smart or knowledgeable, who wears pinstripes and who has no husband at all. But then these journalists would write about her hidden lesbianism. Oh wait, they already do that with Hillary...

Broder is wading into some no-no areas here, unless he's willing to do a similar analysis of the marriages of male candidates for the job of the president of the United States. And yes, I know that the Clintons' marriage has been fair game for over ten years now, but it's still wrong to respect the privacy of other political marriages while attacking one of them.

Perhaps this isn't a soap bubble, after all. It smells a little different to me, like something from Karl Rove's little arsenal of smears.