The Nation magazine used to think that getting the Augusta National Golf Club (that atavistic private institution in Georgia that hosts the prestigious Masters tournament each year) to open its membership to women was at least a moderately big deal. In 2002, Eric Alterman in those pages ridiculed what he called were the club's "Cro-Magnon men-only admissions policies," the controversies over which were "aptly described by the Toronto Star's Antonia Zerbisias as 'a dust-up over how a rich white man's club won't let rich white women join, and how CBS still plans to showcase the course when it hosts the Masters, a tournament starring Tiger Woods who, as a black man, should know better than to play at a place which discriminates.'"
In 2004 column asking "Where Are the Jocks for Justice?", indefatigable L.A. lefties Peter Dreier and Kelly Candaele bemoaned that Tiger Woods "remained on the sidelines during the 2002 controversy." A 2007 piece by Zach Marks hailed Augusta-petitioner Martha Burk as one of several prominent "Women Leaders."
So how did the progressive mag react to the news that Augusta finally broke open its gender barrier by admitting former secretary of the state Condoleezza Rice, along with 8058-year-old "South Carolina financier and philanthropist" Darla Moore? By having sportswriter Dave Zirin declare that the occasion is "Nothing to Celebrate." Excerpt:
Rice and Moore are not twenty-first-century Jackie Robinsons, and their acceptance into this bastion of exclusion has nothing to do with women's liberation and is utterly disconnected from the reality of daily life for millions of American women.
Condi Rice as a symbol of female power? Only if by power, we mean the power to put thousands of Iraqi women in graves all in the name of a war based on lies that she actively promoted. [...]
In a sane world, Rice would be awaiting trial at the Hague. Instead, she gets to play golf at a club that, incidentally, didn't allow African-Americans until 1990.
As for Darla Moore, she is a banking billionaire who lives on a South Carolina plantation that's been in her family for seven generations. She is a longtime friend of the Bush family as well as of [former Augusta president] Hootie Johnson. [...]
I'm sure it's tempting to look at today as an advance for women in sports. But it's very difficult think that today's national celebration of a multi-billionaire and a war criminal has anything to do with women's liberation.
So glass ceilings only truly get broken by ladies who have the right kind of politics. Duly noted, white man!
In related news, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello last week attempted to revoke the Rage-fandom privilege of Republican vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on grounds that Ryan couldn't possibly understand such important lyrical messages as calling on "the people to seize the means of production."