Political Animals
The Woman Problem

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Future Starts Slow

Elaine: "I need you to wrangle your father."
Doug: "Me and what army of psychologists?"

"Just keep him on script," she said. "He's not out to sabotage me," she said. "Douglas," she said, "You're the only one I can trust." The words he loved most.

ELAINE IS PRESENTING

The Council of Women's Lifetime Achievement Award to Justice Diane Nash, for whose appointment to the Supreme Court (by Bud, it's worth noting) she stumped and for whom she would die if given the chance. Justice Nash was a teacher of hers -- of hers and of Bud's -- in law school, and has been a mentor ever since: "She gave me some of the lowest grades I ever received... though Bud's were worse!"

This is the best part of the speech:

"As the first openly gay person nominated to the highest court of the land, the world expected her confirmation to be brutal. It was. What they didn't expect was that Judge Nash would respond with such grace, wit and intelligence that her hearings turned public opinion her way, and made her confirmation inevitable."

And this is the worst:

"Diane would be the first to tell you that a gulf still remains between the promise of equality for women and the reality for women around the globe. It's 2012."

What they want is a War Between Women. The Mommy Wars, microeconomics expert Ann Romney's working-woman bona fides, retrograde attacks on hard-won reproductive rights, the unbelievably tricky spot conservatism puts its women in -- even on the Left, this angry confusion about whether gay men are "gay" or "men," when it comes to feminism -- it all works to keep the fight away from the actual field of play. The other side of the Bechdel Test is a catfight, it's pornography. Imagine making a single decision without having to account for -- or supplicate -- patriarchy and straight male privilege. You could puke for fucking days.

THE NAME

"Justice Diane Nash" is relevant -- just as "Mrs. Hammond" is not "Secretary Of State Elaine Barrish" or even "Governor Elaine Barrish" or even "Vote Elaine" -- but that's so cumbersome. With respect, I'm going to call her Diane. First names are a sign of affection. Intimacy is a kind of respect; one that these men will never understand.

Diane: "Why do you still give Bud all the credit? It was you who forced my nomination down his throat. You strong-armed him, like you strong-armed Garcetti into sending Bud to Iran a few weeks ago."

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Political Animals

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