A Pony? For Real?

I don’t always agree with Jane Hamsher, obviously, but I usually feel she makes strong arguments whether I agree with them or not. But her latest argument against appointing Caroline Kennedy to Hillary Clinton’s vacated Senate seat isn’t just weak, it’s downright offensive. She starts:

It seems Caroline Kennedy has decided she’d rather have a  US Senate seat than a pony for Christmas[…]

And it really doesn’t get much better from there on. Jeff Fecke responds:

A pony? “Getting her nails done?” Really, Jane?

If this were Jim Kennedy, would you suggest he was getting a manicure, asking for a pony? Of course not. You might pick out other symbols of idleness, but those quintessentially feminine grace notes would be left out. It’s not enough to suggest Kennedy isn’t a good pick for the seat — she has to be derided as idle and, most damningly, an idle woman.

That’s ridiculous. To Kennedy’s credit, she hasn’t been idle. She’s been active. I don’t know if that activity is enough to merit her a seat in the U.S. Senate (though if Tom Coburn can function there, she’s probably smart enough to handle it), but it’s not as if Kennedy has been living in a secluded mansion since 1963.

To wit, Caroline Kennedy has been a director for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, raised over $65 million for the NYC public school system, and is the vice-chair for the Fund for Public Schools, among various other (less impressive) boards and foundations. If Jane Hamsher or Ross Douthat don’t find those to be compelling qualifications for the office of unior Senator from New York, they ought to say so and make the argument. If they think they’re fine qualifications, but think Kennedy a bad pick anyway, or feel someone else to be more qualified, then they should say so and make the argument. But couching their opposition in such sexist and dismissive tones indicates that they’re either unaware of Caroline Kennedy’s resume, or simply don’t have better arguments to make.

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