Friday, March 04, 2016

Intellectual man cave

Pundits recoil in horror at the Rubio-Trump exchange regarding their manhoods. But as with much else about Trump in the campaign, he's simply found a lower brow version of a theme that was always there in modern conservative politics. Consider for example the mid-2000s furrowed brow discussions around Harvey Mansfield's book Manliness, exemplified in this exchange with Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review --

Lopez: Who’s the most manly politician today? 
Mansfield: George W. Bush. Bush is bold and determined, two manly qualities, and his critics consider him over-manly, not unmanly. But don’t forget that manliness is not all of virtue. 

There's actually a direct line to this idiocy from the Al Gore "earth tones" fun from the 2000 campaign and after all, there was time for such media frivolity because it's not like anything bad was going to happen in 2001.

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