Dr. Madeleine Albright’s Warning Sign

Well, so much for aging with grace and dignity.

In an appeal for donations of $3 or more, seventy-four-year-old former secretary of state Madeleine Albright described those opposed to the legalized killing of human fetuses and those who oppose socialized contraception with such respectful language as “extremists“, “attackers on women’s rights” and purveyors of “vicious misogyny”.

A genteel and above-the-fray elder stateswoman she is not.

Another term she used was “radical Republicans”. Why thank you Dr. Albright. Little do you realize it but that’s actually a compliment. Those up on their history know that the famous Radical Republicans were the ones who pushed for unconditional abolition of slavery before and during the Civil War, and civil rights for former slaves after the war.

Madeleine Albright being in the news again brings to mind an amusing incident described in Walter Isaacson’s recent biography of Steve Jobs. Former Apple CEO Gil Amelio, who presided over the company when it was hemorrhaging massive amounts of cash, is described in an unflattering light. “He was just such a buffoon, and he took himself so seriously,” recalled Jobs. “He insisted that everyone call him Dr. Amelio. That’s always a warning sign.”

(Note: Jobs was notorious for his insults and intolerance for folks who don’t think like him, so I’m sure Dr. Amelio didn’t deserve such harsh language from Jobs.)

Yes, insisting that everyone call you doctor-so-and-so just because you spent an additional two or three years studying at a university, can be a warning sign. I remember reading a news article back when Dr. Albright was secretary of state, describing an incident where she insisted that everyone call her “Dr. Albright”, especially since people addressed one of her predecessors as Dr. Kissinger.

Yep, that was a warning sign all right.



Update: a few months later. I listen to a C-Span radio interview with Dr. Albright on a recent book of hers about her family’s experiences in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi and Soviet eras, and she was wonderful to listen to. Elder-stateswomanly-like. Too bad she has to go and sign her name to some crass political mailing which someone else probably wrote.