Skip to comments.'Snooty Hootie' hasn't mastered changing times (Cynthia Tucker Alert)
Posted on 04/12/2003 2:12:02 AM PDT by kcordell
America's newest hero is the petite Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was rescued from behind enemy lines on April 2. Lynch, who may have engaged Iraqi troops in a deadly firefight before being captured, is one of the valiant women warriors helping to erode the strictures against allowing women in combat.
But Lynch's heroics mean nothing to the imperious William "Hootie" Johnson, who runs his own little tyranny in the conservative east Georgia city of Augusta. His exclusive golf club, Augusta National, will not abide incursions by women members -- no matter their courage, honor, stature or wealth. While the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines have given up the antiquated notion that placing women alongside men would erode discipline and hurt morale, the snooty Hootie has not.
Johnson runs the club as his predecessors did -- with an iron fist, brooking no dissent, rarely admitting error. (Johnson did, however, reverse an earlier edict that would have stripped former Masters champions of a lifetime right to play in the tournament. But that reversal may have arisen from Johnson's natural sympathy toward his AARP contemporaries.)
Just last month, Johnson lambasted Gov. Sonny Perdue for suggesting that it would be logical to include women -- even though the governor also went out of his way to express a modicum of sympathy for Johnson's defiance.
"From what I'm hearing, they want to do the right thing," Perdue told an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter. "They just feel a little trapped. I think there can be some argument made for not doing it at the point of some . . . figurative bayonet.
"I think everyone at some point would like to see [the club admit women]," Perdue added, innocuously enough.
The governor, by the way, hardly has a reputation as a crusading progressive. He also knows something about feeling trapped. After all, he is still mired in a foolish campaign pledge to allow Georgians to vote on the return of a recently retired state flag, which prominently features the Confederate battle emblem, a divisive symbol that especially galls black Georgians.
But even Perdue has recognized the tides of cultural change -- women bomber pilots, Title IX, the 19th Amendment. But for Johnson, those tides stop at the gates of his clubhouse.
Johnson insists that his club, as a private group, has every legal right to exclude women. As a strictly legal matter, he is probably right. But it is a curious policy nevertheless, especially at a time when at least one other female soldier, Army Spc. Sohshana Johnson, is officially still being held as a prisoner of war, when Condoleezza Rice advises President Bush on national security, and when 14 women serve in the United States Senate, allegedly the most exclusive club in the nation.
But, Johnson's defenders insist, the members of Augusta National are entitled to their privacy, one of the most important privileges of a free society. OK, I'll buy that. But it still seems an odd view of privacy -- narrow and eccentric. What could the boys be up to that they must hide from the likes of the handful of women who would be eligible to join -- Supreme Court justices, chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, U.S. senators?
Does Johnson think women would recoil from cigar smoke or agitate for facials and manicures? That they'll try to change the color of that garish green jacket?
Johnson and his supporters point to polls, which they claim show that most Americans support their implicit policy of gender segregation. Actually, they're wrong. A poll that Johnson commissioned supports his view, but independent polls commissioned by news organizations show that Americans are evenly divided over Augusta's exclusionary practice, with women more likely than men to support change.
Besides, Johnson ought to know better than to rely on polls for moral clarity. As a man who enjoyed a reputation as a progressive on racial matters earlier in his career, Johnson knows perfectly well that public sentiment is no guide for a man trying to do the right thing.
No matter what polls may show, Augusta National is wrong to exclude women from its membership. It's as simple as that.
We never heard from them about hellish human rights atrocities in Iraq (something the Left was supposed to be famous for), and I'll surely not pay attention to the mad frothings of an idiot about a freaking golf game!.
Well, that would be 13 and Hillary!. I reserve judgement in that case.
Besides, the Senate is not an exclusive club. The Senate is the hired help. The attitude that the Senate is an exclusive club is one of the more noxious fictions of the FedGov.
If they could get away with a single female member, I think the club would admit Pfc. Jessica Lynch, with a lifetime stipend to cover costs, in a heartbeat.
That's nice. Cynthia. Now take off those shoes, go back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich. Thanks, toots!
Smart females help keep golf shirts up to date, favorite box of balls available, plenty of extra tees and enjoy the freedom golf allows her. She can catch up on her paperwork while he is gone. She can prepare her work for the week. She can even mow the lawn. She golfs on weekdays after 2pm because it is cheaper. She spends far less on golf because she manages to keep the same clubs over time. She has no need to buy a $350. driver every season. She usually does not play for money each hole. Martha Burke is nuts. Golfing women always allow their golfing spouse bonding time on the course with guys. Her spouse always appreciates vacations that includes T times. He actually smiles when she beats his butt. :>)
What is it about the left that they can deliver an entire screed, admit halfway through for one sentence that they are completely wrong, and go on as if that sentence meant nothing?
It's a private club, they make their own rules, and they don't give a shit what you think, Cynthia. Get over it.