Many readers are pushing back against our implied defense of Chait's defense of Romney:
"Binders full of women" was not an awkward phrasing the way "You didn't build that" was really just an awkward phrasing. It was the sentiment behind the whole exchange that is offensive: In response to a question about pay equity (which he never answered), Romney talks about how, in 2002(!), after many years in private equity, he or his senior staff didn't know a single qualified woman who could have held a senior position, and had to conduct an extensive search for one? And then implied that women need to go home by 5pm to get back in the kitchen for their kids? What if women OR men need to go home at 5pm for some other reason? Workplace flexibility isn't a "women" specific issue, and the entire awkward answer had nothing to do with the question he was asked, which was about pay equity.
Romney was in Boston, possibly Ground Zero for the entire country and maybe even the world for highly-educated and highly-accomplished professional women. You can’t go anywhere around here without bumping into a female PhD, MD, JD, or MBA. The idea that neither he nor his staff knew ANYONE who was female and qualified in Massachusetts is just mind-boggling.
I don’t think he would have done it maliciously or with a conscious intent to discriminate. I do think that his worldview, influenced by a very conservative religion when it comes to gender roles as well as his conservative politics, creates enormous blind spots.
But I have to believe you are aware of the story behind those binders – you posted it on the Dish yesterday, didn't you? You posted about how Romney only had those "binders of women" because MassGAP pressed them on him. He was not actively seeking qualified women to be part of his administration, this had not been a concern of his at Bain, odds are the thought never would have occurred to him independently.
So I am confused by the Yglesias nominee. It is out of sync with everything else you have posted.
An Yglesias Award is for writing something that might not be on message for your particular cause or candidate. So Chait qualifies. And what he was saying is that the phrase "binders full of women" was a gaffe that is not worth the attention that other subjects deserve. The issue of Romney's views of women and policy with particular interest to women is a separate matter. And I agree with my readers on that. I just felt the meme was a little strained after a day of fun.