Deals You Make in Your Head–The Remix

“I can’t be accountable for deals that never really existed.”

I keep thinking of Abigail Adams, writing her husband, begging for our rights–“I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. “–while he basically told her not to worry, that not giving women full status as citizens wasn’t really a problem; the men would take care of them.

This weekend on Meet the Press, Reuel Marc Gerecht said “In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we’d all be thrilled. I mean, women’s social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy.”

This makes me so angry that I just can’t stand it, this idea that there can be democracy without the participation of women. But tons of bloggers, like Egalia, have already hashed over this part.

What I want to consider is the second utterly tone-deaf sentence: “If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we’d all be thrilled.” Because there’s more in that sentence than just “Oh, you know, it’s too much fucking trouble to keep the broads happy.”

America in the early 1900s was not some utopia of pleasantness, except for the bitchy women. It was a mess of shitty things. Chinese people couldn’t be citizens. Black people were being denied the right to vote in all kinds of clever, evil ways. Native Americans couldn’t be U.S. citizens. Asian people born in the U.S. found themselves unable to reenter the country. White U.S. women who married non-citizens (even the ones born in this country) were stripped of their citizenship.

Most of this shit didn’t get straightened out until the 1950s.

And this, this is what our government thinks is an okay version of democracy to export?

But I’ve been thinking about Dean Dad’s words, letting them rattle around in my head, and I have to say that, again, this is a pretty brilliant move on the part of the administration. To say that we’re going to export “democracy” to the Middle East and to let everyone–both supporters and opposers of this venture–assume they meant U.S. democracy as it’s currently practiced, when really, they just meant “some” democracy, even that threadbare, xenophobic, nasty shit we practiced back in the early 1900s.

It’s enough to make a girl throw back her head and howl with laughter and tears.

Deals You Make in Your Head

Dean Dad has a brilliant post–or at least I’m assuming it’s brilliant, because it’s about money and budgeting and I think we’re all clear on how little that shit makes sense to me. So, this post seems clear and smart, therefore I want to call it brilliant, but I feel I must warn y’all to consider the fact that it’s me who’s telling you that something about money is brilliant and to prepare yourself that it might, in fact, be very stupid and I am just not smart enough to know.


Dean Dad has this brilliant post about how professors often get upset with him because they feel, when he has to communicate unpleasant budgetary realities to them, like he’s violating some unspoken but understood agreement between the university and the faculty.

Now, obviously, I could give two shits about the problems of faculty, except for how it affects the dear Professor. But reading Dean Dad’s post got me thinking about how often I get pissed at the dog for not behaving or, worse yet, pissed at the Butcher for not living up to his end of our bargain, when, in fact, we have no bargain.

The other day the Butcher was bitching at me about the mail on the floor. I said, “I don’t bring the mail in.” And he said, “Yeah, I do and then you go through it and toss the junk in the trash and do something with the rest.”

Now, folks, there are literally four enormous piles of mail around our living room and one smallish one on the floor. Where he got the idea in his head that I was taking care of the mail, I just don’t know.

So, I said that very thing, “Where did you get the idea in your head that I was taking care of the mail?”

And he thought about it a second and said, “Well, that was the arrangement I made with you in my head.”

I had nothing to say to him in return, except to laugh, but I wish I’d had Dean Dad’s line: “I’m unimpressed; I can’t be accountable for deals that never really existed.”