Mike: Cynthia, was Target missing the mark differentiating between boys’ and girls’ toys? Or do hurried shoppers like having aisles sorted by age and sex?
Cynthia: Hurried shoppers in Target are usually mothers who feel old and don’t have time for sex. Toys are either fun or not fun, but signs about the ratio of cost to utility would be helpful. “Expensive useless toys for parents to show-off” and “cheesy toys guaranteed to occupy little buggers for at least 20 minutes.”
What do you think, Mike? Are there “building sets” and “girls’ building sets?”
Mike: All building sets should be just “building sets” for signage purposes, especially when they are in the same aisle. Target made a boneheaded mistake and angered the Internet.
But the idea that marketing toys for boys or girls is “regressive and harmful” is a stretch. There are significant differences between the brains of male and female children, impacting how they learn. If you believe playing is an extension of learning, then it makes sense to differentiate toys between them.
Cynthia: At the risk of angering the Internet, I submit that the Republicans’ marketing for women’s votes lately has been regressive and harmful. If you believe there are significant differences between the brains of male and female voters, you might want to send that memo to the GOP field of presidential candidates.
What you guys need is an Apology Trump action figure, with a little button on his back that when pushed says, “I’m sorry I say ignorant and hurtful things about women and minorities.”
You’re a business guy, Mike. Would you market this doll to girls or boys?
Mike: I wouldn’t market it to anyone — even among his supporters, I don’t see a large outcry for more Donald Trump in people’s lives. But no one wants a Secret Server Hillary Clinton doll, either. Couldn’t we make it to Labor Day before these campaigns begin in earnest?
As for the GOP and women’s votes, a lot of people have an interest in Carly Fiorina after the first debate and most candidates called Trump out for going too far attacking Megyn Kelly. You can’t paint us all with the same Donald-colored brush — or does Joe Biden’s shoulder rubbing habit hurt Hillary among “anti-creepy old guy” voters?
Cynthia: Hear hear! “No more Donald Trump in our lives,” he said and she said, as Trump‘s face appears on every newspaper and television network.
Here’s a non-campaign topic, Mike. Will Sen. Susan Collins support the Iran deal?
Mike: My guess is she will not, joining right-wingers like Chuck Schumer. Oh, wait, he is one of the top Democrats in the Senate and had a reasoned, thoughtful approach, which led him to his decision. Will the president accuse him of making common cause with the Iranians, as he did with Republicans? Or will the president walk back his accusations once it becomes clear that Republicans and Democrats alike oppose the deal on policy — not partisan — grounds?
Cynthia: The politics of supporting or not supporting the deal are complicated. On one hand, George Mitchell and Angus King are mounting a full-court press for the deal, the president of a respected bipartisan advocacy group has resigned because he supports the deal and can no longer work with a group that opposes it, and a cavalry of retired generals and admirals support it.
On the other hand, Donald Trump opposes the deal.
See? We can’t get away from him. Trump’s latest stunt — threatening to beat up black protesters if they dare crash one of his events — adds an edgy dimension to his bombast.
The Dealmaker Donald Doll definitely will have an aisle of its own at Target. Or else!
Mike: You’re onto something. We can send Donald to teach John Kerry the “Art of the Deal” and send the secretary of state back into the breach once more. It will be like the old days seen in ’80s movies, when Democrats and Republicans — really, all Americans — were united on foreign policy. Of course, I was born in ‘84, so my perspective is skewed by Rocky Balboa, diplomat.
But with all the debate over Iran heating up and the Trans-Pacific Partnership still at issue, is 2016 shaping up to be a foreign policy election? Maybe we can have signs reading “Diplomacy” and “Democrats’ Diplomacy.”
Cynthia: And “Secret Servers” and “Republican Secret Servers,” since Jeb Bush’s use of private emails wasn’t just about foreign affairs, but national security, too.
Forty seven Republican senators (including several running for president) signed and delivered a sophomoric letter to Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — the enemy — in the middle of tense nuclear negotiations that included France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.
How’s that for a sign of statesmanship and diplomacy?
Mike: That letter may have been signed and sealed, but it was never delivered — only posted on the internet. But if it is on the Internet, it has to be true.