Monday, March 3, 2008

Steinem's outrage

Let's talk about the outrage, the unmitigated outrage people should be feeling toward comments made by feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

Speaking at a rally in support of Hillary Clinton in Austin, Texas, last night, Steinem denigrated the military service of presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, who was held as a POW and tortured for more than five years during the Vietnam War.

Among her unbelievable comments were these:

Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.

... Referring to (McCain's) time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, “I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don’t think so.”

This is simply incredible in the most organic sense of the word, as in "unable-to-be-believed" incredible.

Clinton trotted communications director Howard Wolfson out to say that Clinton "has repeatedly praised Senator McCain's courage and service to our country. These comments certainly do not represent her thinking in any way. Senator Clinton intends to have a respectful debate with Senator McCain on the issues."

Blah, blah, blah. How about Clinton herself coming out and forcefully denouncing Steinem's comments? How about Clinton putting her money where her mouth is as far as respect for the military and the work that servicemen and women do?

Let me just say, in response to Clinton's recent ad question about who I want answering the phone at 3 a.m. when there's something going on in the world, I certainly don't want anyone anywhere near that phone, let alone answering it, who identifies in any way with someone who can speak this way about the torture and captivity of American soldiers anywhere in the world.

And Barack Obama doesn't get a pass. Let's hear from him, too, on Steinem's comments and what he thinks of them.

She cannot even conceive of the horrors McCain and other American POWs have bravely faced in the name of freedom. Steinem owes an apology to John McCain -- and every other American serviceman or woman who has ever worn the uniform of the United States military.

One more note: An editor's note at the end of the Observer's story about Steinem's comments says, "Due to high traffic, comments have been disabled for this article."

I bet!