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November 08, 2009

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SAJ

Wow. Normally I'm very excited to read such an intelligent and well-informed view on American politics. Your perspective is perfect for those of us trying to get above the marketing and media rhetoric that has a chokehold on how the average American receives and perceives news and politics. But then you had to write something that even bothers to include such a bigoted line as "Credit must go to Mrs Pelosi, who despite being a deeply unattractive figure is tremendously effective at getting things done (there's someone like her in every office)."

This totally patriarchal piece of otherwise completely irrelevant comparison (unfortunately) serves as stark evidence for how you actually think (and, because you are writing publicly, how you encourage others to think) about women in politics. It is clearly remarkable that an unattractive woman is getting work done. Right? Excellent job adding that element of sexist degradation, I think it really sank your point.

Dawn

I have to second the first comment above, but I'm hoping that you will clarify your original statement and restore my confidence in your judgment. You weren't actually commenting on the physical appearance of one of the most powerful political figures in the U.S. as if it should actually be relevant to anything going on here, were you?

For the time being I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt here, based only on the fact that my own mother hates Pelosi to pieces and would certainly consider her an "unattractive figure," but it has nothing to do with Pelosi's looks.

Marbury

My use of the phrase "a deeply unattractive figure" might equally have been applied to Pelosi's counterpart in the Senate, Harry Reid. I simply mean that as a politician and public figure, she's not very likeable. It's not a comment about sexual attractiveness.

Hal

Understood. But is Nancy Pelosi really less attractive as a person that prior Speakers of the House? (N. Gingrich, I'm looking at you.) If so, how?

Marbury

No comparison with previous speakers made or implied. But seeing as you ask, I'd say Newt edges her in the unattractive/unappealing stakes.

Michael

She and Reid are unappealing because they're the targets of every shock jock in the country, but dont have national PR machines trying to fight that image. They dont care; Pelosi needs to keep her corner of San Francisco happy, Reid is unpopular in Nevada but isnt facing strong opposition. They get things done and that's all that matters.

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