‘I can’t stop thinking about this picture’

So says former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers:

An incredibly talented young aide, to an impossibly idealistic new president, gets caught doing something indefensibly stupid and undeniably sexist. Everyone is uncomfortable. But should anyone be held accountable? Apparently not.
The incident I’m talking about, of course, is the photo of Jon Favreau, Barack Obama’s 27-year-old wunderkind speechwriter, with his hand on a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton’s chest. . . .
I can’t stop thinking about this picture, and I confess I find it really upsetting. And, no, it’s not because I don’t have a sense of humor.

The fact that Myers feels the need to insist that she’s not humorless should clue you into the fact that what follows is . . . well, humorless:

What’s bugging me is his intention. He isn’t putting his hand on her “chest,” as most of the articles and conversations about the picture have euphemistically referred to it. Rather, his hand — cupped just so — is clearly intended to signal that he’s groping her breast. And why? Surely, not to signal he finds her attractive. Au contraire. It’s an act of deliberate humiliation. Of disempowerment. Of denigration.
And it disgusts me.

Oh, puh-leeze. Look, to start with, no one named “Dee Dee” is allowed to take themselves so seriously. Second, groping a cardboard cutout’s boob doesn’t “signal” anything, except maybe that the person doing it is drunk. Third, I greatly admire Andrew Breitbart and enjoyed his Monday column about this, but he was trying to make a point about double standards: What would have happened if the offending staffer were a Republican?

The question was asked as a hypothetical, to make a point. I’m not sure that Breitbart was advocating that Jon Favreau actually suffer that fate. And certainly, I don’t.

I cannot be accused of sympathy toward Obama, but I’m tired of seeing careers in Washington destroyed by one ginned-up “incident.” Fifty or sixty years from now, when Favreau dies, his Washington Post obituary will include a paragraph about the cardboard-cutout groping incident, and I’m sure he can live with that. But to try to get him fired over that? No. And not just no, but hell, no.

As a conservative, I am grateful to Jonathan Favreau for (unintentionally) exposing the partisan double standards of media outrage about “sexism” — the scare-quotes signifying that I don’t think Favreau is any more “sexist” than anyone else. And if someone out there has a Facebook photo of a Hillary Clinton staffer acting disrespectfully toward a cardboard cutout of Obama, please publish it, so that we can discuss “racism” in the same context.

This all goes back, as Breitbart said in his column, to when “righteous feminists . . . tried to destroy Clarence Thomas – for nothing.” The worst that was alleged against Thomas was that he had made a couple of off-color jokes at the office, which somehow became transmogrified by feminist witch-hunters into sexual harassment of the “hostile environment” variety. It was insane and unjust and I hope that Jonathan Favreau, at least, can now understand why it was insane and unjust.

As for you, Ms. Myers: Spare us your phony belated outrage. You were a joke as White House press secretary, and the only reason anyone pretends to take you seriously now is because your husband is an editor at Vanity Fair.

UPDATE: Linked at Hot Air. Thanks! Over at Q&O, McQ coughs up a lung laughing at the irony of a former staffer for Bill Clinton being offended by sexual harassment. I’m sure Kathleen Willey is laughing, too.

UPDATE II: James Joyner:

If Obama wants to fire this guy for being a dumbass and embarrassing himself and his boss, that’s fine by me. If he doesn’t, though, it’s not a signal that he’s indifferent to sexism but rather that he doesn’t think groping a cardboard cutout is a hanging offense.

Unless the cardboard cutout files a lawsuit, or unless Favreau is caught on an FBI wiretap declaring that a Senate seat is a “f—ing valuable thing,” I’m pretty sure Favreau will keep his job, on the “No Drama Obama” principle. On the other hand, it’s nice to note how the Obama administration is already delivering juicy scandals more than a month before he’s even inaugurated. As I told a friend last night at my son Jefferson’s birthday party: “This is gonna be a good four years for me.”

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