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"Of course you’d say that…you have the brainpan of a stagecoach tilter!"

[ 25 ] March 2, 2008 |

As Matt and spackerman note, this collection of bizarre anecdotes and phrenology from Charlotte Allen has to be the dumbest thing published in an American newspaper in many moons. So I guess I can see why she would want to blame it on her gender as a whole, but alas that won’t fly. The heart of the article consists of selective assertions (call me crazy, but it strikes me that the Oprah is conducted at a higher intellectual level than, say, the WWE, Elizabeth Gilbert has to be better written than Mitch Abloom Albom the guy who writes the treacle about meeting your high school volleyball coach in heaven, etc.), assumptions that intelligence consists largely of sharing Allen’s trivial aesthetic preferences and bourgeois romantic sensibilities, and so on.

Trying to make this about the Clinton campaign takes the silliness to a whole other level. Her assertion that “[a]s far as I’m concerned, she has proved that she can’t debate” runs into the obvious problem that debating is the one area where she’s clearly a better candidate than Obama, and even if she wasn’t her unquestionably greater extemporaneous command of policy details creates significant problems for the thesis that any alleged deficiencies in debating result from less intelligence. Then there’s this:

Then there’s Clinton’s nearly all-female staff, chosen for loyalty rather than, say, brains or political savvy. Clinton finally fired her daytime-soap-watching, self-styled “Latina queena” campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, known for burning through campaign money and for her open contempt for the “white boys” in the Clinton camp. But stupidly, she did it just in time to alienate the Hispanic voters she now desperately needs to win in Texas or Ohio to have any shot at the Democratic nomination.

Yes, if only Hillary Clinton had paid millions of dollars for the sage advice of a good smart male union-buster, all of her problems would be over! Only a hysterical woman could believe otherwise!

Comments (25)

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  1. Matt Weiner says:

    This is Charlotte “because of feminism flight attendants aren’t pretty anymore!” Allen. She’s a ridiculous person.
    The question is why the Post gives space to someone so ridiculous.

  2. calipygian says:

    Katherine Jean Lopez is the saddest excuse for a person I have ever read. “Charlotte Allen evicerates women. I love it.”
    Yes, that is a direct quote.
    Self-hatred in public is a terrible thing to watch.

  3. Mudge says:

    It’s a grossly stupid argument because in almost every particular it can be refuted. The problem is choosing the proper staring particular (e.g. girls do better than boys in school).
    The undercurrent, of course, is the general topic of genetically based intelligence which always leads to the Bell Curve. Any publishing of the legimacy of sexual or racially based intelligence biases should be scrutinized by the editors. It is a serious issue with substantial consequences. The Post editors did not do their jobs.

  4. Gundamhead says:

    These anti-feminist women really creep me out. It’s sad, but I’d guess this Allen character is just jealous of women who are smarter, prettier and more successful than her.

  5. Bill Burns says:

    It’s also fair to point out the the gloriously successful Giuliani campaign was also the most male-dominated.

  6. flounder says:

    I myself wish we could simply discuss which presidential candidate we would like to have a beer with, or which one looks best in camo or a cowboy hat.

  7. Law Prof says:

    Thanks for providing some of the outrage and ridicule that column deserves. She ignores that most men who have noticably suceeded (and aren’t spending most of their days with the WWF) are the outliers of their sex — unusually smart, savvy, etc. (Exception: the legacies — e.g., W.)
    Moreover, she claims to have “coasted through life… on the basis of…superior verbal skills,” yet irreconcilably predicts that few women will become Sup. Ct. justices. The belittling of the (few) skills she does possess strikes me as such deep self-loathing that I ALMOST have pity for her. But I mostly have contempt, mixed with fear that someone out there will take her seriously.

  8. the Oprah is conducted at a higher intellectual level
    I’ve never liked the Oprah: all that caterwauling and then the heroine jumps off the ramparts of a castle or something.

  9. Sarah J says:

    Seriously, women who spout this shit do more harm than any thousand men who do.
    More proof that even the best newspapers are full of reactionary bullshit.
    Gag.

  10. elm says:

    I’m trying to figure out what the hidden insult in “Mitch Abloom” is. I’m sure this was intentional and not a typo, right?
    Slightly more seriously, the great thing about Charlotte Allen is that any criticism of how stupid her argument only proves her point. Rather brilliant of her to construct such a bullet-proof logical construct…which undermines her point.
    I’m dizzy now.

  11. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    More proof that even the best newspapers are full of reactionary bullshit.
    What does the WaPo have to do with the “best newspapers”?

  12. strategichamlet says:

    Mudge, I think it is even worse than that because even if you accept (with no evidence) that there are population wide biases in intelligence that still gives you zero ability to predict a presidential candidate’s intelligence based on their race or sex since they are an extremely tiny, biased sample. That and it seems transparently obvious to me that despite her many faults Hillary Clinton is nonetheless one of the most intelligent people to run for president in a long time.

  13. Mike says:

    Your link is bad (missing the “.html” at the end.) Or were you simply trying to save us from finding this farrago?
    My “favorite” bit:
    women clocked 5.7 auto accidents per million miles driven, in contrast to men’s 5.1, even though men drive about 74 percent more miles a year than women.
    More proof that women who think that women suck at math suck at math.

  14. elm says:

    Scott,
    You just ruined my entire day. I was trying to decide whether you were insinuating that Mitch was “a bloom”ing idiot. Or if the bloom was off the Albom rose. I was sure this was aking to Spanky and Pasta Diving, and I just couldn’t figure out the reference. Now that it’s been revealed to be a typo, I have to figure out what else to do with my afternoon.
    (I could grade midterms, but that’s wholly unappealing.)

  15. sara says:

    Are we supposed to detect Sarah Silverman-like humor, as some right-wing supporters of Allen are claiming?
    If so, it doesn’t work.

  16. Kevin Hayden says:

    the dumbest thing published in an American newspaper
    I’ve known some of the judges of this competition. Vacant eyes, uncontrolled sobbing, night sweats, till the thorazine takes hold. Poor bastards.
    And Charlotte Allen would see them on skid row and knit them a doily.

  17. Cricket says:

    Shorter Allen: Why can’t a woman be more like Allen’s idea of a man.
    uh, no thanks!

  18. SP says:

    in many moons
    Sexist.

  19. Ken Houghton says:

    Hey. Mitch Albumen is the co-author, iirc, of “Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)”!
    (Of course, that may explain why the song seems to find “a Czech at the blue line/looking for a fight,” which is an absurdity even a Ranger fan wouldn’t accept.)

  20. There will be no dissing of The Hockey Song!

  21. Twisted_Colour says:

    but it strikes me that the Oprah is conducted at a higher intellectual level than, say, the WWE,…
    At times….

  22. bemused says:

    Perhaps this column is part of the Post’s crafty plan to bring back the “young mothers with kids” demographic that Deborah Howell was trying to take a survey of not so long ago.

  23. Warren Terra says:

    I’m a huge fan of Dahlia Lithwick, but I really cannot figure out what the unifying theme of the posts with the tag “Free Dahlia Lithwick” is meant to be. Is it just a reference to defects of the Washington Post, which owns the website that employs Lithwick?

  24. Matt Weiner says:

    I think it’s roughly “op-ed space wasted by idiots when it could’ve been given to Dahlia Lithwick.”

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