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All the Democrats Need Is…Testosterone?

March 10, 2010

Amidst a conversation about President Obama's attempt to pass health care reform on this morning's episode of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," commentator Donny Deutsch offered insight about why the process has taken so long: hormones. "Say what you want about George Bush," he went on, "There was testosterone, and that exudes everything you do. You could use the word 'leadership.'" When asked if he meant that Obama is lacking in the hormone, Deutsch said, "I don't think he projects that." Aside from the fact that women – who, whichever way you slice it, offer less testosterone than our male counterparts – have proven effective leaders worldwide (as seen in our recent post on Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf), and despite the fact that Deutsch couched his remark somewhat bewilderingly: "I don't even mean that in the male sense of the word," his assertion that hormone levels make or break leaders and policies was made even more disconcerting by the reluctance of the "Morning Joe" hosts to counter it beyond asking whether he meant that Al Gore and John Kerry were "ladies." No political analysis should be left unquestioned, and especially not the kind that rests on the hypothetical biological chemistry of national leaders. It's all well and good to note the power of immeasurable qualities like charisma, eloquence, and leadership, but to boil it down to a specific hormone is just plain insulting – not just to those of us possessing less of it, but to the intelligence of the MSNBC-watching public.