Saturday, November 03, 2007

"Showing Some Cod"

Liberal bloggers are answering the "Hillary plays the gender card" meme by replying that men have been playing the gender card for more than 200 years.
Playing the gender card? Yeah, it's been done, for every single President in history. I'm going to enjoy watching the male spasms of cowardice unleashed if Clinton wins, as she's sworn in and represents the more than half the population that is interrupted on a regular basis by men. It's probably the only part of the Clinton Presidency that I'll like, but it's not a small deal.
Digby has a pungent account of post-1980 gender politics as well.
So true. And now I will be eagerly looking forward to [Chris Matthews] and the rest of the commentators calling out the entire Republican field for also playing the "gender" card as they've been doing for the past few decades. Indeed, the entire Republican campaign strategy can be said to be one big gender card --- the only people they believe matter in this country are delicate, insecure creatures who are so sensitive that they have to be pampered and pandered to like a bunch of overfed princes who like to play cowboy and don't want to share their favorite binky.

Every presidential candidate, and most other politicians, since 1980, have been bowing and scraping before this constituency. But for some reason, the hunting trips and codpieces and brush clearing and all that metaphorical crotch measuring isn't considered playing "the gender card." It's just considered the normal political pander to an aggrieved minority vote: the poor white males who've been treated terribly by all those powerful women and minorities and gays. What could be wrong with that?
It's worthwhile to go a little deeper into the the whole idea of "codpiece" politics. It should be remembered that cod-pieces are not penises. To the contrary, a cod-piece is a clothing device that represents a man's penis as being larger than it would be otherwise. It's a fashion version of "male enhancement." Macho politics functions in the same way as a codpiece. What Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, George Bush, Rudy Giuliani, and countless other politicians have done is advertise their attitudes, accomplishments, or life in general as an enhanced maleness, or extremely large cod-piece. Instead of thinking of politics in terms of penis-size, it might be useful to think of politics in terms of inflatable codpieces or cods. The male candidate who can credibly inflate his own codpiece the most is the most manly man. That's why political campaigns are so much about all the candidates seeking to inflate their codpiece selves while deflating the cods of their opponents through negative advertising, rumor mongering, push polls, and other tactics.

Because it's so oriented toward symbolic display, contemporary macho politics is more about "showing some cod" than "metaphorical crotch measuring" as Digby suggests.

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