...as James Taranto points out:
You can understand the appeal of this approach. Identity politics has enormous cultural influence. If you belong to a group that acquires accredited victim status, influential people will tie themselves into knots to satisfy whatever demands you make. The reductio ad absurdum is the kerfuffle over what pronouns to use in reference to Bradley Manning, who following his sentencing on espionage charges declared that he is now a "woman" named "Chelsea."
Smaller lefty organs like Slate and The New Republic are demanding that everybody immediately commence using feminine pronouns to refer to the former private. As we noted yesterday, the New York Times NYT -0.42% is struggling to come to terms with the news, although its public editor is on board with "Ms. Manning." Most hilarious of all is a blog post by Andrew Rosenthal, the Times's editorial page editor, about a letter Manning wrote to President Obama:
Private Manning told Mr. Obama that he (I'm using the male pronoun to follow our newsroom's style even though he also announced today that he is a woman, and would like to be called Chelsea) entered the Army and went to Iraq believing that since the 9/11 attacks, "we've had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life."
To be sure, that wonderfully entertaining parenthetical is by far the best part of Rosenthal's post. But can anyone imagine Abe Rosenthal twisting himself into knots to be solicitous, especially of a man convicted of espionage against America? A lot changed in one generation, thanks to identity politics.