Monday, April 21, 2014

In defence of David Brooks

David Brooks: Obama Has A 'Manhood Problem' In Middle East screams the headline on Talking Points Memo. Hilarity ensues, at least in the comment section. But what was actually said? --

DAVID BROOKS: And, let's face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a (I'll say it crudely) but a manhood problem in the Middle East: Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair. But certainly in the Middle East, there's an assumption he's not tough-- (OVERTALK) 

CHUCK TODD: By the way, internally, they fear this. You know, it's not just Bob Corker saying it, okay, questioning whether the president is being alpha male. That's essentially what he's saying: He's not alpha dog enough. His rhetoric isn't tough enough. They agree with the policy decisions that they're making. Nobody is saying-- but it is sort of the rhetoric. Internally this is a question.

TPM only quoted the exchange up to the point of overtalk, knowing that they had their link bait right there. But the Chuck Todd quotes explain that the White House is using that same thought process -- who's got the manhood, the alpha male talk -- internally. And he further qualifies that it's mainly about the rhetoric.

It's when the White House starts talking about being the strong horse we should be worried.