Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You ..."

Yay, another post where I'll lose some friends.

I am, by nature and vocation, ungracious. I need to get this out of the way .

If ever there was a nation that needed "It Is Not All About You" tattooed on the inside of their fucking eyelids, it is the citizenry of United States of America.

First off, it is worth noting that the Crazification Factor is relativistic. 27% of Obama supporters will be -- not seem, be, that's the tricky bit of relativity, you know -- crazy as seen by Cinton supporters. 27% of Clinton supporters will be -- not seem, be -- crazy as seen by Obama supporters. And, apparently, 150% of those people are the ones commenting on blogs.

I've been surveying the various blogs, particularly the comments, as the Democratic Nomination process wound down. I've avoided commentary here primarily because an awful lot of the conflict has occurred in the very urgent, relevant contexts of racism and feminism -- and as a winner in the lucky sperm lottery, I try not to engage in issues which I can address at best in a limited, empathy-at-a-distance manner. There was this moment over at MYDD when a younger female commenter suggested that Senator Clinton would be a great Senate Majority Leader and an older female commenter tore into her, accusing her of betraying decades of feminist achievement by urging Senator Clinton to "settle" ...

Senate Majority Leader is settling?

... and I realized that the tempest had gotten hyperweird.

As I've mentioned before, I'm voting for anyone who's Not-McCain in November. The Senator's foreign policies are abysmal, his domestic financial policies are muddled, and his social policies have tacked hard right in his pursuit of the Republican nomination. If a three-legged dog were to somehow be nominated for the Democratic candidacy and chose as his running mate a gopher with a penchant for monocles and Victoriana, I would wear my "Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins '08" button with pride and pull the lever with cheerful alacrity. Secure in such a position I happily tuned out the primaries, focusing on my work.

But as the race went on, I found myself disagreeing with Digby, of all people. And now tonight, one of the blogs I love dearest, one of the first to link to me and I them, Shakespeare's Sister, has a post up by Melissa that is masterfully constructed, heartfelt, and moving.

And has ... bugged me.

I would never disagree with Melissa's argument that misogyny against one woman hurts all women, just as racism against one person hurts us all, as a society and individuals. We are always poorer because of it. But there's something I do want to explore here.

Melissa writes:

I'm sad because there are women at this blog, in my personal life, across this nation, and—if my inbox is any indication—across the globe, women of all races and sexualities and socio-economic classes, many of whom weren't even Hillary Clinton supporters, many of whom voted for Obama in the primary, who have watched with horror the seething hatred directed at Hillary Clinton just because she is a woman.

...

And these women have witnessed this despicable but spectacular marriage of aggressive misogyny and their long-presumed allies' casual indifference to it, and wondered what fucking planet they were on that dehumanizing eliminationist rhetoric, to which lefty bloggers used to object once upon a time, was now considered a legitimate campaign strategy, as long as it was aimed at a candidate those lefty bloggers didn't like.

And these women felt, quite rightly, like feminist principles were being thrown to the wolves in a fit of political expedience.

And these women felt personally abandoned. By people they had considered allies.

And while they struggled to understand just what was happening, while they were losing their way along well-traveled paths that no longer felt familiar or welcoming, they were admonished like children to stop taking things personally. They were sneered at for playing identity politics. They were demeaned as ridiculous, overwrought, hysterics. They were called bitches and cunts. They were bullied off blogs they'd called home for years.


Let's set aside for a second the kind of generalization that the misogyny of the current culture, particularly that of the MSM, was mainstreamed as a "legitimate strategy" by the Obama campaign. Although some people may disagree, I think it's disengenuous to mix the misogyny of the mainstream news/political structure and the behavior one way or another of the Obama campaign. They're separate issues.

But back to the point. The link above leads to Father Michael Pfleger's guest sermon at Obama's church. And Senator Obama's disavowal of a sermon he never attended. That's a far cry from waves of liberal bloggers saying "ROCK ON FATHER PFLEGER" and cutting up YouTube videos which put these comments in a spiffy Obama '08 campaign video. Can you find some? Sure. 27%, as I mentioned. Just like this lady is one of Senator Clinton's 27%.

Melissa mentions farther on in that quote that she was dissatisfied that Obama simply disavowed the statements of the priest, but didn't explicitly address the misogyny of the comments. And you know, I absolutely agree there's a helluvan argument to be made here that Senatar Obama should address misogyny in the same way, to the same degree, with which he so magnificently addressed race.

Many people would argue that he should have already done that during the primaries.

My question is, exactly when should he have done that?

When Senator Clinton was claiming, in her official campaign, common cause with Senator McCain over the "Commander-in-Chief" threshold? When she was touting her support among "among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans" in her official campaign? When she played the elitism card, hammered him on "bitter-gate" and in her official campaign ran ads for Pennsylvania voters claiming the Senator looked down them? When her actual campaign supporters, humans who she sent out to talk for her, lectured us that "He's got to stop with all the arguments for the Volvo drivin', NPR totebag totin' liberals, he needs to talk to middle class working people," and "We can't win with eggheads and African-Americans." When Geraldine Ferraro -- who I'm pretty sure wasn't off the reservation in Senator Clinton's campaign -- spewed her particular brand of idiocy (and then wrote a seriously dumb op-ed to boot)? When Senator Clinton's proxies staked her campaign on continually trying to change the rules of the Democratic nomination process, accusing Senator Obama of trying to "disenfranchise" contests she herself said would never count. And then, in her official campaign, argued that her struggle to suddenly count these primaries was akin to the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe? When the Senator was busy as part of her campaign lying to people about having the popular vote count majority, which at the very LEAST undermines the legitimacy of the winning candidate?

At what point was Senator Obama supposed to take his eye off Senator Clinton and Senator McCain and attack the mainstream press and elements of the political culture all while Senator Clinton was attempting to kneecap him?

Was I one of those "indifferent" to the spectacular misogyny evinced by both the MSM and some political operatives (sadly, btw, I think this level of misogyny is so commonplace in America as to be pretty unspectacular) and "eliminationist rhetoric" that cropped up in this campaign, directed at Senator Clinton? Certainly not. But whatever outrage I had at such elements was completely, apocalyptically, fire-hosed out of my eyeline by the sight of Senator Clinton suddenly running like a Republican in the middle of our Democratic primary.

And let's make this clear -- I'm not trading "racist Clinton" for "misogynist Obama." This is about her tactics and her tone, separate from any racial aspects.

If I may quote both Digby:

... I think the thing that has most exacerbated the fervent Clinton supporters' frustration, and frankly astonished me a bit, has been this endless drumbeat since February for her to drop out even though she was still winning primaries ...

... I should point out that Obama hasn't quite clinched and nobody should expect Clinton to concede until he crosses the finish line. I could be wrong, and she'll decide to take it to the convention like Jackson did in 88, Kennedy did in 80 and Reagan did in 76. But I doubt it.

and Melissa:

And now, at long last, even now, when Clinton cannot win, she is being pushed out, carelessly, rudely, with little regard for the implicit message in hustling a historic candidate off the stage and demanding her graciousness in defeat, despite offering her no graciousness in victory. Right to the end, there is a lack of respect that hurts to watch.


I am pretty sure that Jackson and Kennedy didn't come into the conventions attacking the presumptive nominee from the right and spewing Republican talking points. Not to mention, I should be so lucky as to be "hustled" off the national stage after 54 goddam primaries and caucuses. Many, many, many of us who wanted Senator Clinton "hustled" off the stage wanted her gone not because a hotly contested primary race was the issue, but because of the way she ran it.

I didn't want a female senator out of the race. I didn't want a universal health-care advocate out of the race. I wanted the weirdly Republican-lite, crazy rules-changing, stereotype-reinforcing panderer that had somehow burrowed into Hillary Clinton's skull out of the race. Hell, the Republicans are actually using her "Commander-in-Chief threshold" argument in one of their ads against Senator Obama.

In short, Senator Clinton had my respect, based on her accomplishments and independent of her gender -- then she spent it, tossed it away in fistfuls, in trade for dirty borrowed blades with which to cut her way to the nomination. She Liebermaned on us. And what is particularly galling to me, positively enraging, is that if she were not indeed a woman, with all that entails to feminist politics in America, Melissa and Digby would be the first in the trenches calling out those tactics for the bullshit they are. Although they, and many like-minded bloggers, did indeed call fouls on such behavior, Senator Clinton would be dead to them in any other context. If there is a "lack of respect" for Senator Clinton, I assure you that for many of us, she came by it honestly.

To the same degree Melissa and her fellow travellers are shocked and disappointed at our apparent indifference to Senator Clinton's treatment by a certain percentage of the population, people like me are shocked and disappointed at their apparent indifference to Senator Clinton's reprehensible campaign tactics and rhetoric.

But there's the goddam trap. All I see on every damn blog is "What can Obama do to win over Clinton supporters?" and "Why won't Clinton supporters snap out of it?" and we're both waiting for the other side to "validate" us. I swear, if I see the word "validation" in context to this race one more time, I will go on a neck-punching tour of America.

It is time to stop taking this stuff so personally -- and I'm not admonishing you (us) "like children" but exactly opposite. I'm saying it to adults. Adults who are able to separate their own personal pain, their own trials and tribulations, their own struggles, from those of the nice person who they will never meet, who have their own shit going on, and who occasionally convince you that their shit is really your shit, too, honest.

If we want our lives changed, if we want the world changed, we have to let go of that infantile need to assign such potent symbolic powers to our leaders. The bizarre hero-Daddy Bush worship that morphed into proxy-machismo for a lot of insecure Americans is what drove us down the off-ramp to a grand national K-hole in the first place. The struggle of Hillary Clinton is neither the struggle of feminism in America nor inextricably tied to your own personal journey -- it is her own, as an individual. In the same way, Senator Obama winning or losing the Presidency (independent of resultant policies, natch) will not in any significant material way change the lives of the majority of African-Americans, or those of his Millenial followers. We only derive from their struggles what value in our lives that we assign them. Senators Clinton and Obama are powerful symbols in addition to being generally admirable humans. But that can only go so far.

The saddest thing I read today was one of the comments on Melissa's blog:

I had hoped that women would be taken seriously in my lifetime. It doesn't appear that will happen. To the younger generation, I charge you with the duty to make sure it will happen.


The idea that just because one single individual woman got within inches of being elected to the Presidency of the United States but couldn't close the deal, that this somehow means women as a whole aren't taken seriously, that this casts entire generations of women's relentless work in doubt is ... tragic. It is a fucked up way to look at the world.

Melissa has every right to her pain, and her sadness, and it's patently unfair of me to single out this post. But every discussion concerning this election about validation, and about whether the bad people on my used-to-be-favorite-web-site hurt my feelings, is another nail in the coffin of our emotional maturity as a society. (This is also tied into some age-oriented issues, but that's another post. This election's a bloody Gordian knot of transference)

As the Boomer-fetish president John F. Kennedy once said: "... ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. " That call to sacrifice has led generations of Americans to fight and die for their country, to abandon comfortable lives and dedicate themselves to service or to the eternal struggle for justice and human rights. I would suggest that the least we can do, for our country, is to stop being so goddam precious. What we can sacrifice right now is our need for validation, our narcissm, our cultural addiction to weaving ourselves and our emotional journeys into some grand historical high-drama (and I mean that in the narrative sense, not in the perjorative sense) epic.

We are small, our time is limited, people are shitty, death claims us all. The only lasting marks we leave in this world are the results of our actions, not our internal monologues.

119 comments:

D. R. McLeod said...

I've been coming here for a long while, and I've never posted a comment before. But this just moved me, and since at the time there aren't any other comments, I have to come forth and say "Well done."

I'm a Canadian by birth, but I moved to the US when I was 10. Combined with my Asperger's syndrome, I feel like I can look at the system with a fair amount of detachment. But still, when I see some of the tactics Hillary's pulled out...

One of my friends compared Hillary's Bobby Kennedy remarks to a Mafia shakedown: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California," works out close to "Yeah, that's a nice candidate you've got there. Sure would be a shame if anything happened to him..." I said that it probably wouldn't be long until her new campaign slogan is "If you don't vote for me, I'll kill this dog."

She's acting like the villain in a "based on a true story" movie about Senator Obama. Or McCain, whatever happens. Maybe in the universe ours is based on, she was a damn worth candidate, but here she's just been handed a villain ball by the guys who won. That's the only explanation I can see...

Ivy said...

You know, I voted for Obama in the CA primary and he seems okay. I don't really have strong feelings about him. I know, I know, that's appalling. Obama! You're supposed to get his head tattooed on the back of your neck and stuff.

But I have to say that the way people are responding to the OBAMA TOTALLY SWEPT THE NATION AND WON ALL KINDS OF SHIT and HILLARY=MARK OF THE BEAST AND TOTAL LOSER thing today is sort of... I don't know. It's not making me like Obama supporters much. And I'm an Obama supporter!

I guess I'm Obama's demographic, being young and liberal, and even so, I resent the sort of sweeping dumbness of it all, the way young Obama fans are acting like their team just won the Superbowl. It sort of reminds of how Bush kept insisting that he had a mandate because he had slightly more than half of the vote. Same deal here. Obama didn't sweep the nation, he just did slightly better. Slightly better among primary voters isn't going to win us the White House. And that's what I'm looking for here: someone who won't take us to war against Iran in two years. I'm pretty easy.

I don't actually think that anything one may think about Ms. Clinton being a nutjob or what have you sweeps away the fact that she was treated absolutely viciously for being a girl. As a girl, I found this a really disheartening aspect of this election. I expected SO much better of people, and I was absolutely horrified to see how she was crucified for daring to be a powerful woman in the public eye. So it's really dismaying, I guess, when someone tells me about how it's not really that awful, what happened to Ms. Clinton. Because it WAS that awful, and I don't buy the rhetoric that it wouldn't have happened if she had been more right-thinking/less faux-Republican/nicer.

And even though I wasn't and am not a Clinton supporter, I understand why people who backed her are devastated by the course of events, and I think that Obama fans in general need to grow the hell up and stop acting like they won the World Series and it's fun to rub the other team's nose in it.

If only because, again, he didn't Sweep The Nation, guys. He needs those Clinton votes or it's TEHRAN IN 2010.

Anonymous said...

Damn fine writing, John. Thanks for sharing it for free.



Mark Wise
"Now is now. Dead is dead. No afraid." --- M. Saotome

Anonymous said...

Ivy, to repeat this post's entire point Clinton was not crucified by your average non-27% Clintonite Democrat for being a "powerful woman" in public. That's the standard narrative of the narcissists Mr. John Rogers just finished eviscerating. Like it or not a truly "powerful woman" wouldn't have stooped to Republican-lite tactics.

nick said...

:clap:
:clap:
:clap:
:clap:

sbarrt said...

Another post that will become a classic like "Lions Led by Donkeys"! I've already mailed it out.
I too would have happily voted the "Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins '08" ticket, but this is what we got and it ain't bad at all. I'm a 50 something woman, so by some lights I'm supposed to be foaming at the mouth about how "Hillary wuz robbed", but like you John, she lost me a while ago by her own actions. Maybe elections were always about our psyches, I didn't think so before. And the inanity of our media doesn't help at all. History was going to be made either way, but in the end, the best PERSON won, on the merits; and that's what feminism, and humanism are all about.

Mithras said...

John-
I agree with you, which moves me to try to raise reasonable objections. You say this:

I think it's disengenuous to mix the misogyny of the mainstream news/political structure and the behavior one way or another of the Obama campaign. They're separate issues.

And I agree. But even if we assume that the Obama campaign didn't stoke the misogyny, then at least they slipstreamed in behind it. Hillary's supporters would claim that without that misogyny, she would have won. (I don't know how you prove or disprove that; the claim is what it is.) So in their minds but for misogyny, Clinton wins, so it's a short step from there to saying Obama's win is illegitimate. If Obama had lost to a white man who was - in the eyes of Obama supporters, as you would expect - an inferior contender, and racism had played a significant factor in the media coverage, I can bet you we would be jumping up and down and screaming about it.

I guess we can reply that you campaign for President with the societal prejudices you have, not the ones you wish you had. And that - as you say - what exactly could and should Obama have done? It's not his job to support his opponent's campaign. And he can hardly now say that media sexism was a key factor, because he'd implicitly be admitting his win was tainted. As you say, there's the goddamn trap.

life-on-queen said...

Except, Sbarrt, not everyone agrees that the best person did win nor that he won on the merits and therein lies at least half the problem.

Telling people to wake up and smell the coffee, act like grown-ups and realize that the Democratic primary isn't actually about your personal validation is good and necessary but that doesn't mean that Senator Clinton's supporters aren't as sincere in their belief that Mrs. Clinton is the best candidate for the party and the presidency as Senator Obama's supporters in their belief that he is the better candidate.

If Senator Obama and his supporters (political and otherwise) fail to win over Senator Clinton's supporters on that level, the question of whether or not the low ends of the Bell Curve believe Senator Clinton was done in 'cause she was a woman is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, well done. I'm emailing a link to this post to everyone I know who'll find it interesting. You are an amazing writer.

John said...

I find myself getting told a lot that I am a misogynist because I don't support Hilary Clinton.

The Clinton people I meet can't seem to understand - or more likely choose not to understand - that I don't think Hilary Clinton is a douchebag because she's a woman, I think she's a douchbag because she KEEPS ACTING LIKE A FUCKING DOUCHEBAG. I could care less that she's a woman. My US Representative is a woman. I have voted for her twice now. She's great.

I have no problem with women. I have a problem with douchebags. But when I call Hilary a douchebag for, say, claiming that she won't campaign in FL or MI and then demanding that she gets those delegates after the race goes badly, I get called a misogynist.

As Rogers said, if a man pulled this shit we'd be all over his ass, but we're supposed to treat Hilary with kid gloves because she's a woman? How is that fair or equal?

Greg said...

preach it.
some of my freinds have gone apoplectic with how badly i 'treat' hillory and have written pages about how she is the one true last best hope for women everwhere evar.

and now i has words to show people and can say "i want to say something. i suck at writing. here. read this instead"

MG said...

"If a three-legged dog were to somehow be nominated for the Democratic candidacy and chose as his running mate a gopher with a penchant for monocles and Victoriana, I would wear my "Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins '08" button with pride and pull the lever with cheerful alacrity."

Full of win! I had to link it.

Coren said...

I am incredibly inclined to vote Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins 08 as well.

Anonymous said...

A friend linked this to me to read today. I am not a "faithful" reader or anything, however I really liked this post.

Any woman that would want Hillary Clinton to represent women as a whole is foolish at best and completely misguided. She is just as bad if not worse than the current administration. She plays the same spin games as the best of them. At least Bush just blatently does whatever he wants, although maybe he's more accountable because he can't say millions of words a day.

If Hillary was a man I would be just as disgusted with her. I have yet to see the misogyny some claim to be. Not there that is none but the racism is much worse and even condoned in some places.

Nothing like being proud that your biggest supporters are racist white people with no edumacation. That's exactly the kind of people I want to run the country.

I will note I am a white male married to a black women but I don't like Obama because he's black. The fact that he is a lawyer is a big strike against him. It's no surprise he's a slick talker. My only choice is the lesser of three evils and at this point all the lying and backstabbing from Hillary makes her worse than MCcain and even Bush. I still think Bush is just the front man for Cheney and his wicked ways. It's easier to write off an idiot for "poor choices".

David Hunt said...

“Telling people to wake up and smell the coffee, act like grown-ups and realize that the Democratic primary isn't actually about your personal validation is good and necessary but that doesn't mean that Senator Clinton's supporters aren't as sincere in their belief that Mrs. Clinton is the best candidate for the party and the presidency as Senator Obama's supporters in their belief that he is the better candidate”

There’s an interesting argument in there, but I don’t agree with it. It’s based on the assumption that the best candidate has a snowball’s chance in hell.

You see, IMO, Governor Richardson looked like the best candidate on paper when this thing started. Once he did poorly in the first debates, he lost whatever chance he might have had, but I really liked his resume in government. I had to let him go, when I realized that he didn’t seem to have the necessary charisma/gravitas wrangle a Congress with a sizable minority of Republican acting like two-year-olds.

After that, I shifted my preference to Senator Dodd, based solely on his position on telecom amnesty. I admit that this sort of one-issue thinking is generally poor strategy for picking candidates, but he stood up for an important issue and even left the campaign in Iowa to work against the passage of telecom amnesty in Washington. I’m sure the measure would have passed without his opposition to it. Displays of that sort of integrity impress me. They impress me even more after seven years of the Bush Maladministration. I might have been falling into the same trap that GWB’s supporters did back in 2000 with the belief that if you elect a moral man*, everything else will work itself out, but he impressed me. I knew he didn’t have a chance of winning, but I had hoped he could stay in the race long enough to influence the debate.

When Dodd dropped out after Iowa, I was left looking at the Big Three and was leaning toward Edward because I liked his stances concerning poverty. Now that he’s gone, Senator Obama is my fourth choice for President, but he won. It could be much worse. He appears to be a fine prospect for President and I’d also pull the lever for Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins, but he’s wasn’t even my third choice. But he won and I have to suck it up, because even Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins is better than McCain.

So I say this without any malice and do not mean this to sound at all snarky or smug as I’m sure it will come across on the page. Obama won. Suck it up and keep McCain out the Whitehouse.

*Yes, I know it’s ironic, at best, to consider the idea of voting for Bush because of his morals, but that was the thinking of many people back in 2000.

Hawise Gadarn said...

I respect your feelings about how this went down just understand that while you were working, many of us were following these campaigns pretty closely.

We were told to go to the websites and we did. We looked at both their records, voting habits, and past speeches. We compared two pretty similar plans and weighed our preferences. And we made the mistake of wading into the comment threads of some of our favorite sites and slowly got pushed out of places that we had thought were safe for progressive discussion. We had done our homework and have pretty much learned the stump speeches by heart and yet were repeatedly told that WE were the ignorant, over-emotional, irrational, uneducated because we had gone behind the right-wing spin that is the pundit-class and did our own research. We studied the rules, state, party and national. We accepted correction when we were wrong and we watched the PARTY violate its own rules in support of a candidate. Be clear WE know the difference between a ruling that can be contested and a rule that must be abided by. Neither candidate broke a rule, the Party did, in favor of a single candidate.

You may not accept the conclusions that some people have come to or the sorrow that laces the decisions that they feel that they are facing but NO candidate is given a vote free of charge. There is five months for the hurts to be mended and the 27% to be stilled. There is five months for the candidate to make his case to the public and to overcome the issues that were raised in the primaries. It is possible that he will find a new stump speech that will finally resonate with those that respond to the original. There is time but not if the fetid, stinking lies that are burbling on the left continue to be used against both of the strong finishers in the primaries.

PlusDistance said...

Saying that Hilary would have won if not for the misogyny is like saying Kerry would have won if not for all the Republican character assassination.

Hilary Clinton has been the target of more frequent, sustained and vicious mysogyny than any woman I can think of. Even coming from other Democrats, it shouldn't have come as a surprise to her or her handlers, and she should have been able to deal with it.

(And it's stupid to think that because someone votes Democratic, they don't harbor prejudices of all kinds. Ever read blog comments about Ann Coulter? She deserves all the scorn she gets, but names like cunt, witch, tranny, whore, etc. don't make anybody look good.)

Mysogyny, especially from the left, is indefensible. I've been ashamed by some of the things I've seen in a couple of my favorite lefty blogs. If Obama or his campaign somehow created or stoked this mysogyny, that'd be one thing. But I didn't see that happening.

But for Clinton and her people to simply point and scream "no fair" is, at this point in history, just as futile and self-defeating as the Democrats who point to the Swiftboaters, or Fox or any of that, and scream, "no fair."

Of course it's no fair. And you should scream it from the rooftops. But ultimately, the prize of the presidency requires that you find a way around or through it.

John Cole said...

I would just like to point out that I believe Melissa is not a Clinton supporter. She was an Edwards supporter, and unless I am mistaken, she is now an Obama supporter.

At least that is my take on things.

Melissa McEwan said...

Hiya, John. Just to make one correction re: "But back to the point. The link above leads to Father Michael Pfleger's guest sermon at Obama's church."

The link was not intended to refer to the content of that specific post as ultimate evidence of anything. It was referring to the post as the latest entry in my series "Hillary Sexism Watch." It was part 104.

It was the entire series to which I was linking (parts 1-103 are linked at its bottom), not just the Pfleger post.

Which, IMO, changes some of the inferences you drew from my linking to it. (And I understand why there was the misunderstanding; I could have been clearer w/ that link.)

My post was not about Obama. I did not mention him, nor his campaign, except with positive reference to his historic nomination.

And my post was not even about Clinton, not really. Only insomuch as her candidacy provided the target for misogynist attacks.

It was about what those misogynist attacks, way more than the 104 I documented, has meant to a lot of women, and what being driven off blogs they called homes just for calling out misogyny has meant to them, and what being called crazy and hysterics and bitches has meant to them.

Many of those women -- some of whose comments you can read in the thread -- are Obama supporters.

So, you'll forgive me if I disagree with you, with no animous.

My post is about them.

It's not about politics.

Rogers said...

Absolutely right, John. However, that conflation of two separate issues -- the misogyny inherent in Senator Clinton's treatment, and the perceived "respect issues" concerning her stay in the primaries -- are the crux of the mess we're currently in. The juxtaposition of the ideas in Melissa's post are just what kicked me off on the discussion.

The Minstrel Boy said...

brilliant rogers. fucking brilliant. last night we were in the heart of watts at a legendary bbq and blues joint.

watts is dancing and singing.

i was sitting in and we launched into "oh mary, don't you weep" and tore the fucking place up with it.

i agree with your assesment on many levels. hillary clinton, and her supporters lost an eyelash close race. they have a seat at the table and a voice in the process because they earned that shit.

bottom line is i haven't heard that kind of hope in watts since before martin was shot.

pharoh's army been drownded

indeed.

Rogers said...

Not at all, Melissa, and I actually got the #104 reference.

I also understood that the post was singularly about how some people were feeling, justifiably, about the misogyny put on display during this election.

Your post was not about Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. You quite graciously separated out your discussion from their candidacies.

To a great degree I'm addressing discussions and issues not present on your blog or in your post, but inspired by thinking about your post. I used the post as a springboard, perhaps unfairly, because your combination in the post of what are to me two separate ideas -- the misogyny and the issue of Senator Clinton being "hustled off" the national stage -- echo what I think is a serious issue in this campaign. And, similarly with no animous and my usual respect, the fact that a writer as sharp as you are conflated the issues only highlights the problem.

I would also point out that the fact you and I and John Cole are all on the same train shows the world has gotten genuinely weird.

John said...

Setting aside the seriousness for the moment, "the grand national K-hole" is one of the great turns of phrase I've heard in recent memory. I do believe I shall steal it, sir.

John said...

Not for nothing, but with the race now essentially over, barring a VP selection which we won't know about until the convention, SHOULDN'T Hilary Clinton be hustled off the stage? Obama is the nominee. At this point isn't her insistence on a continuing presence in the process just... I dunno... spiteful?

Also, there is no "o" in the word "animus." A minor quibble, however.

Doctor Jay said...

I totally agree with your remarks about the 27-percenters. I was thinking of them when I watched the video of that Clinton supporter outside the rules committee meeting.

As for the "attack from the right" you called attention to. I seem to have a different take on that from most people.

First, Obama served up several "attacks from the right" during the early stages of the campaign. In fact, he seemed to be attracting independents because of a few political shifts to the right, which I did not appreciate.

First there were the "Harry and Louise" pamphlets about Social Security. Fear-mongering, and aping of Republican talking points.

Then there was the lack of mandates in his universal health care plan. I think this was an important part of his appeal to young people and independents. I also think it's an unworkable approach to universal health care.

Then there was his praise of Ronald Reagan, and how he called the Republicans the "party of ideas for the last 14-15 years". Both a move to the right AND a slap to the Clintons. I really didn't appreciate that.

So, I see The Threshold Ad as payback. Hillary said something out loud that everybody knew. Obama has never been really tested politically. He has a very accomplished life, that's for sure, fast track all the way. But how does he deal with opposition, how does he stand up for himself, or does he run from a fight. He hasn't paid much attention to military affairs while a Senator.

I don't think he has to be the sort of guy who punches people in the nose when the get in his face. That's John McCain. I don't like that. But he can't be the sort of guy who rolls over when John McCain , or Hillary, gets in his face.

I don't know if he is or isn't. His performance in debates didn't help him with me on this score. The complete fluster that The Threshold Ad created in his campaign didn't help his case, either.

I think that may have been one of it's purposes. And it's one reason why it angered his supporters so much.

Another reason for the ad may have been to drive coverage. One of the things a president must be able to do is to put his or her narrative into a (potentially or actively) unfriendly media.

The ad did that in spades, too. She completely took over that week's coverage. When she was behind, and her campaign nearly dead.

As to the ad running it in recap now, I think that's being done to sow dissent among Democrats, not to mobilize votes for McCain.

All that said, I'm prepared to vote for Obama in the general. Since I live in a safe state, CA, he might be able to convince me to vote Green in protest, but McCain is well past his due date.

1031 said...

Well said, John. I tip my hat to you.

At the beginning of this campaign season, Hillary Clinton was not my first choice for president, not because she's a woman, but because she's Hillary Clinton, and comes with all the baggage and built-in animosity that entails. But I would have been just fine, at the beginning of the campaign season, if she were the nominee.

But the way she ran her campaign was disingenuous and disgusting, and I vowed that she would never get my vote. Again, not because she's a woman, but because she's Hillary Clinton.

I welcome the day America elects a woman president, just as I welcome the day a black man is elected president (only six more months to go). For many of us, it has never been about race or gender. It's been about Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama. And I daresay the best person won.

chopper said...

But even if we assume that the Obama campaign didn't stoke the misogyny, then at least they slipstreamed in behind it.

i saw far more 'stoking the fires of racism' out of clinton's camp than i saw re: misogyny out of obama's.

yes, obama never delivered a great speech on misogyny like he did racism. then again, i never saw clinton deliver any speech about racism or misgyny, so what's the point?

billjac said...

I haven't been paying close attention so maybe I'm completely wrong here, but I'm not sure hatred of Hillary is due to misogyny at all. We've all have had plenty of opportunity to get to know her as a person. She's not a woman running for president; she's Hillary running for president. Or maybe a Clinton running for president.

The dislike for her is due to her actions and neither generalized nor generalizable to women. At least mine isn't.

Joshua James said...

great post, Rogers

Anonymous said...

"One of my friends compared Hillary's Bobby Kennedy remarks to a Mafia shakedown: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California," works out close to "Yeah, that's a nice candidate you've got there. Sure would be a shame if anything happened to him..." I said that it probably wouldn't be long until her new campaign slogan is "If you don't vote for me, I'll kill this dog.""

Now hold on a second. Hillary is comparing herself to Bobby Kennedy, so that's somehow a threat against Obama? Talk about reading your own preferred meaning into it (and yes, I know you're not at all alone on that score). If there's an assassination threat in Hillary's comments, it means she's doing the "One false move and the negro gets it" scene from "Blazing Saddles".

Now if Hillary had said "Hubert Humphrey campaigned well into June in 1968", you'd have a point -- that would be an indication that she's hoping someone will shoot Obama. But given what she actually said, she would have to be hoping someone would assassinate her, and that's just crazy.

I say this while agreeing that Hillary's campaign was a disheartening Republican-lite mess, and I feel she broke faith with traditional Democratic voters. That doesn't mean people weren't absolutely desperate to read the wrong meaning into a fairly clear and linear statement about campaign schedules -- of course, Hillary should have seen it coming, all things considered. She was so eager to compare herself to a Kennedy, she completely failed to notice the obvious line of attack she was exposing. "Ready on day one" indeed.

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing people throw around the term misogyny with respect to Hillary, but I've seen no one define how the treatment of Hillary is at all different from the crap EVERY candidate for President has to deal with?

How is it different than the obession with the color of Al Gore's suits in 2000?

How is it different than the "wimp factor" that George H. W. Bush had to deal with?

People in politics and the media (and now online) say mean and belittling things about political figures all the damn time. The style of shit heaped on Hillary may have been different because she was the first women with a real chance to be President, but I've yet to understand how the gargabe thrown at Hillary is substantively different than the garbage every candidate (especially every losing candidate) has to deal with.

Mike

Buck said...

"Two thumbs up" on this post. :-)

Winterman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hillary = Tracy Flick
Obama = Magical Negro
McCain = Cult leader from Poltergeist

Anonymous said...

I'm still shaking my head at how carelessly and thoughtlessly people are using the word misogyny, which connotes a degree of malovence, in the place of good old sexism, which, while a bad thing, simply does not rise to the level of true misogyny. It's like equating manslaughter to premeditated murder. I realize misogyny is the word of the day, and it makes it easier to act mortally wounded at whatever offense one complains about, but when I hear the M word being thrown around like beads at Mardi Gras, it makes me think the person leveling the charge frankly doesn't have a clue.

digby said...

I agree with much of your post so I'm not responding to argue with your thesis.

But I would point out that nowhere in the post I wrote was I ascribing those thoughts to me, but merely trying to explain why Clinton's supporters may have felt that they were being treated disrespectfully. I did not accuse the Obama campaign of misogyny (and I agree with commenter who says that, for the most part, sexism is the operative word and it's the word I have consistently used.) What I said was that the constant drumbeat for Clinton to drop out while she was still winning races and potentially able to persuade undeclared superdelegates to vote for her, was one likely explanation for why her supporters were so frustrated. (I wrote that post on Saturday, after the Michigan mess.)

I believe this was a media phenomenon and it started in Iowa when they embarrassed themselves with gloating and sexist commentary that led to Chris Matthews being forced to apologize. They never got past that, circled the wagons around their own and continued to comment on the race through that prism. Thus, she was always seen as prolonging the campaign for her own inexplicable reasons rather than slogging along like any candidate would do when they are in a close race.

I would argue that Clinton has more of a right to take her campaign to the convention than Jackson or Kennedy did, due to that closeness of the race. If the intent is to win at the convention, then her chances are far greater than theirs were, and their constant mucking around in the process, trying to get delegates to switch,keeping everyone guessing about whether they'd stage a walk out etc, could be seen as far greater examples of stubborn narcissism. That doesn't mean I think she should do it and I didn't argue for it. Indeed, I don't think she will.

It's just important that people take a longer view of history than five minutes ago and recognize that this is a common occurrence in nominating contests and she's wouldn't be doing anything shockingly unprecedented. (I won't get into the attacks from the right, since we could spend all day unpacking all the examples of the use of right wing talking points from both campaigns. And you wouldn't be right anyway. Ask Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern.)

The point is that this has been the closest race in Democratic party primary history. It has not been obvious that "the math" precluded a Clinton win since neither won with pledged delegates and the superdelegates who decided it (just last night) were never obligated to reveal their votes until the convention. To ask a presidential candidate who was still winning primaries, who had an ardent following, who could still raise money, to quit because everyone assumed that the other guy would eke out the win eventually was bizarre.

In my view it was, as I said, a reflection of the media 's inherent hostility toward Clinton (and sexism too) and the fact that they got egg all over their faces in Iowa and were determined not to be proven wrong again.

But my piece was simply trying to point out that many of the women who were the subject of so much chatter that day in Michigan may have seen it as another in a long line of powerful men telling a smart and qualified woman to sit down and shut up before she's finished talking. There are many cultural and sociological cross currents in this campaign, and that's one of them.

Anonymous said...

"To ask a presidential candidate who was still winning primaries, who had an ardent following, who could still raise money, to quit because everyone assumed that the other guy would eke out the win eventually was bizarre."

Digby, the problem with that is quite simple and obvious. You have zero evidence that the exact same thing or worse wouldn't have happened to someone other than Hillary. For pete's sake, this very campaign season provided the example of Mike Huckabee. There were people calling for him to drop out of the race long before McCain reached the magic delegate number. At every step along the way after Super Tuesday, it became more and more obvious to anyone paying attention to the math that Hillary had a very small and rapidly shrinking chance to be the nominee. The only practical difference between Huck and Hill is that Hillary is the closest thing we've seen to an incumbent President running for a third term since FDR.

Would Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein have been installed as instant 30 pt ahead front-runners if either had declared themselves Presidential candidates? What has Hillary every done, HERSELF, to elevate her so far above those two women?

LBJ abandoned his '68 re-election bid, even though he beat McCarthy in New Hampshire without even leaving the White House to campaign. Why did he do that? By Hillary's logic, LBJ should have stuck it out to the bitter end.

The dynamic at work has been...

A. Hillary has little or no chance to win.

B. She has enough institutional support in the party and with voters to keep from being blown out.

C. A long, drawn out fight for the nomination would divide the party and increase the alienation on the losing side.

What's so hard to understand about any of that?

Mike

Anonymous said...

"A long, drawn out fight for the nomination would divide the party and increase the alienation on the losing side."

Depends upon how graceful the winner and loser are with each other. In the meantime, Obama has been getting lots of press lately while McCain has been getting little, and overall I'm pretty happy with that.

autoegocrat said...

Just found your blog today, and I can't help but wonder if you work as a letter carrier for your day job because this thread DELIVERS.

A++++, would read again.

Winterman said...

It's crap on a stick to describe Hillary Clinton as a victim of misogyny. Her entire adult career and life has been one of extreme achievement, of dancing on the upside of the supposed glass ceiling.

As a black man (Damn, I hate starting sentences that way) I am often confronted with other black men who, when they don't get something they want, behave as if the ONLY reason for the failure was racism.

It's an easy thing to run home to. There's lots and lots of racism all over the place. It's like the gravy on a plate of Biscuits and -.

But it's too easy by half in a lot of cases to invoke that kneejerk response. Sometimes, when in competition, you just get spanked and there's nothing dastardly or underhanded about it. Sometime you lose.

Here's what happened to Hillary:

She made a false and egocentric assumption at the outset, namely that the primaries were a simple formality on her way to the White House. The media concurred, feeding that puffed up sense of entitlement.

When it became clear that Obama was enjoying not only a massive swell of modern-style grassroots support (as opposed to the old non-web variety) but was, surprise surprise, an engaging and inspiring speaker (something she has never been), she and rest of the old guard realized they were in trouble.

Matters have been made worse by Obama's refusal to wallow in either the mud of obvious ethnic discrimination (just ask his phone bank people and canvassers what kind of response they got when talking to likely democratic voters) or that of a divisive backbiting campaign style. He's running the first High Ground campaign I've seen in my life and he's been damned successful with it.

He's playing it straight. Totally straight. 100% of injections of race and gender divisiveness into this campaign have come either form the media (who love a good shit slinging dogfight more than they love democracy) or from the Clinton campaign.

They aggressively employed the so-called Southern Strategy while Obama has positioned himself as a generic American. And, genetically, he certainly is that.

They have stoked the very legit feelings of the female underclass (you can't call half+ of the population a minority) in a totally illegit way in order to create the sort of fervor we have seen from their fans.

The Clintons are Old School and Obama is not. The Clintons are dirty fighters. Obama is not. The Clintons, like the Republicans, play into peoples' fears while Obama is appealing to their hopes. Etc. Etc. et bloody cetera.

Now, even in defeat, Hillary is topping from below. She is attempting to leverage herself into the VP slot when the means she is employing to get there makes her a less and less desirable candidate with each usage.

Let's say she gets the second chair. If Obama doesn't treat her like a CO-President, something the VP job was never meant to be, he will face criticism and pickets for being a misogynist. At least that.

He will also have to contend with a media, again more interested in the fight than the nation, that will continue to press the wedges between them in hopes of a scandalous blow up. And then there's Bill. God help us.

That's not counting the various shit storms Bush the Lesser has left for whoever's next to clean up. That's not counting the death threats that began in earnest as soon as he announced. That's not counting the secret service, charged with protecting him, that is rife with racist agents. etc. etc. etc.

Hillary's loss is due to the same things that nearly killed her husband's presidency: Hubris and Avarice.

She might make a good President. I'd certainly have voted for her over McCain. But, as a VP, she's a lousy choice. She's crap at being the second chair. She can't do it. Even now she can't.

And here's a big PS about the whole first female Pres thing.

MANY western nations have beat us to that particular punch and not a few eastern and so-called third world nations as well.

Nations FAR more misogynistic than the US will ever be managed to elect female leaders more than once. Us doing it too is not historic. Navel gaze much, folks?

NO western nation, with the exception of South Africa (does that count as West?), by contrast, has elevated a formerly oppressed minority to the status of national leader.

I'm not a rabid Obama fan or rabidly anti-Clinton (though I'm sick of political dynasties. Enough is enough. Reagan-Bush. Bush. Clinton, Clinton. Bush Bush and now, according to them, Clinton again? No. Sorry. No.) On that point the Clinton camp can stick it.

This ethnic and gender wedge they've drawn and exploited is not only false but pretty cheap as tactics go.

You get what you pay for, kids. And you dance with who brung ya.

(reposted with fewer typos)

Andrew said...

Wonderful post. The key thing to remember about all this is that campaigns, as Ezra Klein noted, are complicated machinery. Singling out any one element as being responsible for a result, or for being the motive behind a behavior, produces a too-simplistic analysis.

Mike said...

Digby, this is the problem with your post:

"It has not been obvious that "the math" precluded a Clinton win since neither won with pledged delegates and the superdelegates who decided it (just last night) were never obligated to reveal their votes until the convention. To ask a presidential candidate who was still winning primaries, who had an ardent following, who could still raise money, to quit because everyone assumed that the other guy would eke out the win eventually was bizarre. "

This simply mischaracterizes the argument and every single Clinton supporter does it to the endless frustration of everyone else. Reread John's post and you'll you're doing it to him as well.

Nobody was arguing she couldn't win. They were arguing she couldn't win without destroying the Democrats' chances in November. Yes, it was within the rules for the Superdelegates to overturn the will of the electorate as expressed in pledged delegates but it wouldn't have been viewed as legitimate. Why bother to have contests, then?

No one cared if she wanted to stay on an vindicate her issues (and it is insulting to everyone's intelligence to proclaim people were telling her to "sit down and shut up") it was the WAY she chose to run the rest of the race. Continuously trying to delegitimize a process that she had no problem at all with when it looked like she could win it was extremely damaging. What is simply too much to take is the way she has now whipped up her supporters so that they somehow believe they were robbed because the DNC didn't change the rules to accommodate her or that the Superdelegates were unpersuaded by her call to commit collective electoral suicide.

Obama can't fix this sense of aggrievement among her supporters that she has fostered, only she can. So far, she has seemed disinclined to do anything about it and that is what so many of us find unforgivable.

Ivy said...

Thank you for schooling me, anonymous.

These comments are an endless repeat of what bothers me about this election cycle.

Maybe if someone says to you, an Obama supporter, "I was really troubled by how much misogyny was heaped on Clinton, in the media especially", the helpful response, especially if you are a dude is not to say "What? MISOGYNY? What are you, retarded? There was no such thing! I didn't notice any! And I would have! So there!"

Maybe, if you're looking for a sweeping Democratic win in the general, a good response is something less kneejerk defensive, less obsessed with being "right".

I'm not calling anyone a sexist or a racist and dammit, I wish people would cool it with the flinging about of the terms. All I'm saying is, I'm a girl, I hated how Clinton was treated, and it is really, really disheartening to me to see the common response to one suggesting that she got kicked for being a woman is some variant of "Oh, you're wrong. That never happened."

Brother, I just got done telling you that it did. I watched it happen. And here you are, doing it again.

Ivy said...

PS: again, I'm an Obama supporter, and I'm bothered by the Clinton-is-the-devil victory dance his supporters are throwing. I can't really imagine how troubling it is for Clinton supporters, and how little it makes them want to sit next to you and stuff envelopes in the coming months.

Try for a little grace in victory.

Hawise Gadarn said...

Thank you Ivy.

Ignoring the sexism because it is so easy to ignore apparently, what bother me most is the sweet f*** all that Americans seem to know about their own electoral process. It has been beaten into me, mostly by self-righteous doodz, how ignorant the public is and how just getting your own way seems to be the desireable goal.
Really, take a moment to actually get involved, learn some history, read the rules and you will have a much better shot at actually winning in November.

Anonymous said...

"All I'm saying is, I'm a girl, I hated how Clinton was treated, and it is really, really disheartening to me to see the common response to one suggesting that she got kicked for being a woman is some variant of "Oh, you're wrong. That never happened."

Brother, I just got done telling you that it did. I watched it happen. And here you are, doing it again."


Uh, not to be insulting...but just because you think something happened, that doesn't mean it really did.

Just because you saw sexism or misogyny in the way Hillary was treated in this campaign, doesn't mean sexism or misogyny was actually at work.

I've seen some allegations of sexism and misogyny in this campaign backed up by reasonable arguments. I've also see a whole lot of allegations of sexism and misogyny thrown out just because some woman or man FEELS bad about how Hillary was treated. But feelings are not facts. Feelings are not evidence. Feelings are not logical, rational analysis.

Just because you don't like the way Hillary is being treatment does not automatically mean she's being treated unfairly. It could just mean that you're personlizing things in ways you haven't when male candidates were criticized, belittled and demeaned in the past.

Which, as I mentioned before, isn't to contend there's been no sexism or misogyny at work in this nomination fight. But it seems like some women believe they can just assert sexism or misogyny and that assertion is not subject to proof or examination, because that's the way they feel.

Mike

Quine said...

While these things change regularly, it seems worth mentioning that, as of this post, the CNN Poll 'Should Hillary Clinton have conceded Tuesday night?' has a 'No' vote of exactly 27%

Daniel said...

Ivy--

I think a lot of guys on the left can see that sex has played a role in how Senator Clinton has been treated. Just as race has played a role in how Senator Obama has been treated. Has gender played a larger role than race? I honestly don't know. I'm probably much more sensitive to one over the other so my take is biased at best.

That being said, though, the larger point that a lot of people here are trying to make is that sex is not the only reason that Obama supporters have opposed Senator Clinton. A lot of the celebrating that's going on has nothing to do with her gender. It's heartfelt celebration for their candidate, and a desire to see the party unify behind their candidate. Unfortunately in their zeal to see the party unify they're also irritating the die-hard Senator Clinton supporters.

One last point: it's interesting that someone corrected Melissa's one typo, but no one has mentioned John's. Could, of course, be lots of reasons for that, but that stood out to me.

PhoenixRising said...

Mike, all I know about you is that you're a guy. All I know about Ivy is that she describes herself as 'a girl'. With a lifetime of experience in this culture, I know enough to be certain that when she says that she's observing sexist mistreatment of another woman, and you say it's in her head, you're the one who's mistaken.

(Also, I notice that I get laid a lot more since I struck the phrase 'maybe you just see it as sexist' from my vocabulary, but maybe you don't swing that way, so perhaps it's working for you.)

You have zero evidence that the exact same thing or worse wouldn't have happened to someone other than Hillary.

Again, whether the same bizarre displays of sexism and outright misogyny to which this country has been treated through the medium of our media hating Hillary since November might have been avoided by her not running...seems irrelevant.

She did, and they did, and while it's entertaining to read Rogers' threats of a national neck-punching tour if we don't all grow up and stop feeling our way through politics, it's not a call-out for you to insult the perceptual ability of everyone you can identify as female because she saw something you didn't see.

I think that if men who think they're progressives would get more interested in winning this election with the support of the women who formed Hillary's base than in being right about sexism they didn't perceive, the hard part of this would be over.

Can my neck-punching tour visit the offices, homes and bars frequented by the smart, cool men who are so much more expert in identifying sexism than women that they correct every woman they hear from?

Old Dark Housekeeper said...

Nice piece.

All I have to add is that while I was disappointed when Clinton started campaigning like a Republican, I was dispirited when that's when she started winning primaries again.

Susie from Philly said...

You know what this post reminds me of? Professional wrestling, where the referee always has his back turned when the designated bad guy slams the good guy in the head with a chair. If the ref doesn't see it, why, it just didn't happen!

I not only worked on a multi-million dollar campaign, I actually worked with Obama's people while they were planning his strategy. I know a little something about this, and I notice you seem to have missed the fairly unthinkable tactic where they deliberately smeared the Clintons, of all people, as racists.

At that point, the gloves were off.

You work in Hollywood. That tells me you shouldn't be that naive and yet, you are.Since you are that naive, maybe you should stick to writing comic books and their movies. (You did a pretty good job on "Transformers.")

Maybe you should recognize your own limitations. While you may have a degree in physics, you definitely flunk communications psychology.

Anonymous said...

First off, I agree with sberrt that this rings like Lions Led by Donkeys. When you are passionate about your subject matter, your every word rings with truth.

I also find it telling that the final two candidates were left after the elimination of all the experienced white males, and then the young, wealthy, attractive Southern white male lawyer.

At the end of the day, we should all be proud that our Democratic nomination had to end in the first African-American or the first female presidential candidate!

Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill said...

I actually worked with Obama's people while they were planning his strategy. I know a little something about this, and I notice you seem to have missed the fairly unthinkable tactic where they deliberately smeared the Clintons, of all people, as racists.

Not that you have to prove anything to me.

But.

I'm curious how the Obama campaign pushed a story on Bob Johnston hinting that Obama sold crack to the media. Or Bill's comments on Jackson -- comments that made a Clinton supporter from day one, Rangal, publicly denounce the comments.

I am interested in evidence that the Obama campaign pushed these incidents into the media -- evidence that was lacking when the events occurred, it seems. 'Cause the Obama campaign kept a public face of VERY minimal commentary on both those incidents, as I very vividly recall.

I've checked your blog for "obama racism", and found nothing. Please let me know where I can see the evidence, and judge for myself your commentary.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Can my neck-punching tour visit the offices, homes and bars frequented by the smart, cool men who are so much more expert in identifying sexism than women that they correct every woman they hear from?

Can mine include all those locations that are frequented by the smarter, savvier people who are so much more expert in identifying bias and intent, regardless of evidence, that they correct every person they disagree with?

Ivy, I could care less who you support. Most people - Democratic or otherwise - will agree a year ago Hillary had the Democratic nomination to lose. Where was the rampant mysogyny/sexism then?
If you want me to admit and appreciate and sympathize that sexism/misogyny exists and it had an influence, however appreciable, on the last 12 months or so of Clinton's campaign, sure. You got it. But if you really expect me to believe her losing had mostly to do with gender, that deep down inside most Democratic people actually WANTED somebody who voted for the Iraq war and won't atone for it, who promises to maintain a too-similar footing on this disastous so-called war on terror, who promises to bring into the Whitehouse fellow Republican-lite losers and (for the smarter, cooler but still oh-so-sexist types) Brookings Institute flunkies for cabinet and adviser positions, who for all the lefty rhetoric promises just another right-wing administration, but we can't because of what is between her legs all I can say is you couldn't be more mistaken. But please for goodness sake, don't just take my ostensibly sexist word for it, look at every poll published in the last two to three years. John Kerry in a skirt is what the Clintonistas were asking the Democratic faithful to accept. He didn't win then, why on earth would he win now?

Sandman said...

Let me be the zillionth reader to say "Amen."

There are two things I hope we can take away from this:

1. I dearly hope that those partisans who are seriously considering voting for McCain because they can't vote for Clinton come to their senses sometime soon. Preferably before November.

2. I hope, with great naivete and against all prevailing reason, that this campaign season provides a final nail in the coffin of the professional campaign consultant caste.

Up front, let me say that I was initially an Edwards supporter who would have been able to live in a world where Hillary Clinton was president. Hell, I'd have even voted for her, and liked it. There were some policy differences between her and I, but for the most part there was nothing in her platform I could take issue with.

It was the people she surrounded herself with. Carpetbaggers and hangers-on from the previous Clinton administration, anxious for their second bite of the pie. Well-dressed consultants of every stripe whose core competencies seemed entirely to be their ability to secure huge retainers from their clients.

If there was ever a face made for the "If I Can't Provide a Solution, There's Good Money to be Made Prolonging the Problem" poster, it was Mark Penn's.

Between her and them, they ran the most wretched and insulting campaign I've ever seen. And for someone who lived through "Kerry 2004," at least on the wretchedness scale, that's saying something. From her entry into the ring, this junior senator and two-term First Lady, carrying the "Inevitability" banner, to her ungracious non-exit exit, her campaign has been a brutal, constant, two-fisted pummeling of tragedy and farce. Perhaps she could have salvaged something from that mess back in January and February and just fired all those idiots, but it's too late now.

Did the mainstream media, with their constant rifling through her panty drawer (I'm looking at YOU, Chris Matthews, you putz) do her any favors? Definitely not, but at least she got coverage.

Which is more than Edwards can say.

BadTux said...

These past two months have been Hillary Derangement Syndrome all over the place. When Obama wrapped up the race in early May (at that point it was mathematically impossible for Hillary to win as many elected delegates as Obama even *with* Michigan and Florida), I sat there and waited for this reality to sink into the heads of the Clintonistas suffering HDS and... err... all I heard from them was, "the superdelegates should select Hillary because America won't elect a nigger president!" or strident denials of reality like "Hillary could still win" (uhm, no, it was mathematically impossible short of the superdelegates overruling the will of the people).

BTW, Obama isn't black. He isn't white either. He's mixed -- 50% of each. The racist notion that the son of a white woman who was raised by his white grandparents is "African-American" would be seen as ludicrous in most of the world. In South America, Obama would be viewed as white. In South Africa, Obama would be viewed as mixed. But in the KKK-era South, if you had one drop of black blood in you then you were defined as "black", and apparently that racist "One Drop Rule" still applies. Sigh. What Obama really is, is American. No hyphen involved.

- Badtux the Multicolored Penguin

Sir William said...

I liked this post so much I quoted from and linked to it. The lack of emotional maturity displayed by the loopier elements of the democratic party has been aggravating, at least, and heartbreaking at worst. In the eternal [cough] words of Rodney King "Why can't wea all just get along?"

mockingbird said...

MANY western nations have beat us to that particular punch and not a few eastern and so-called third world nations as well.

Nations FAR more misogynistic than the US will ever be managed to elect female leaders more than once. Us doing it too is not historic. Navel gaze much, folks?


Winterman, I wish more people got this point. I'm old enough to remember Thatcher, or at least what my parents and British relatives thought of her. I don't remember her ever being brought up as an inspiration to young girls that we could do anything. I don't think we need a woman in the White House to fix women's rights in this country- it's been 18 years since Thatcher left office and the rate of rape prosecutions in the UK is half that of the US. I think it's odd that we haven't had a woman president, but then I think it's odd CA has a former action star known for groping women as a popular governor.

I comment over on Jezebel, a site with mostly women readers and commenters, and I have been really thrown by how nasty the commenters have been to each other over there. Any girl saying she supports Obama has been slammed by vehement Hillary supporters as being naive or stupid, or that we just support him because that's what boys like. Bringing up policy points doesn't help, god forbid you bring up finding fault with how she's run her campaign because that's the fast track to being told to f*** off.

Maybe I'm just weird for a bitter, angry girl, but I don't see the sexism leveled at Hillary in this campaign as being that godawful. No one patted her on the ass, she didn't get called Little Lady, they talked about her cleavage rather than to it. Yes, there were juvenile comments about her pantsuits, and idiots yelling for her to "Iron my shirt!" There will always be juvenile idiots, and even the best among us will resort to childish comments to slag the other side. You pick the easy, obvious weak point and poke at it. Tease the fat kid about being slow, go for the smart kid's glasses, make jokes about McCain being older than Moses, go after Hillary for not being feminine enough. It's easier than making a real point, and it can hurt more.

I think true, harmful sexism and misogyny is when it is used to dismiss real consideration, or even recognition, of a woman or women in general. I didn't see that in this election, and I think that's a huge step forward for us all. I did see racism, even though it was veiled. All the questions about Obama's "electibility," whether he could win over the "core voters," even just mentioning "white working class voters" as if they're more important than just "working class voters." And the comments from voters in WV? Holy crap, talk about every way to skirt around saying "I won't vote for a black man." But even with that, Obama won, which makes me hope we're better than the MSM gives us credit for.

Yes, we have sexism and misogyny in our society, and it sucks ass. But it goes back thousands of years, back to the Greeks and Romans and their ilk, so we're not rooting it out this week. The MSM and the pundits, as well as the public at large, are talking about it for once, and we have the chance to make people think and maybe make some changes. I would rather not see that wasted on rehashing a failed campaign when it could be channeled into real change. For example, recognizing it is a fundamental human right to marry when and whom you want, and not something to be forced on a girl by her parents or religious leader.

pwtenny said...

"There was this moment over at MYDD when a younger female commenter suggested that Senator Clinton would be a great Senate Majority Leader and an older female commenter tore into her, accusing her of betraying decades of feminist achievement by urging Senator Clinton to "settle" ...

Senate Majority Leader is settling?"


I've seen the suggestion quite a lot, and what people don't realize (because they are in this for the popularity contest and don't really understand politics on any appreciable level) is that the Majority Leader position isn't available for a couple of reasons.

First being that Harry Reid has it, and he's not going to give it up without a fight. Nobody would. That's not something that comes easily, you've got to work long and hard for it and because of that, once you do get it, you don't give it up until either the party or voters toss you out, or you retire.

Second, Reid is extremely popular with the party (in all the ways that matter) and unseating him would be virtually impossible right now no matter who runs against him for the position. Believe me, this isn't something that hasn't been looked at for other reasons (failure to stop the war funding, complete support for telco amnesty) and if those two things aren't enough to even make Democrats in the senate so much as grumble, what are the chances he'll be voted out in favor of a sympathy replacement that has soured a good third to half of them?

Third, Clinton may have an unparalleled name brand with the public, but in the senate she's still just a junior senator -- absolutely zero seniority in an institution that lives and dies by it. Not only would she be at the very bottom of the list for Majority Leader, she's at the bottom of every list there is, including chairmanships.

It's arguably one of the reasons why she fought so hard for the nomination, because like Obama, whoever was going to lose was going to fade back into the senate with virtually no more power than their individual votes.

If there's something to be sad about this year, it's that so many supposed Democratic voters know so little about our system of government, and yet are so fervent about this contest.

the rev. paperboy said...

Obama/Rogers '08

Yes, John, you can!

Anonymous said...

Forget about neckpunching, it's time for the COCKPUNCHER--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sQQcrM7A8Q

Dave Shepherd said...

Leverage will no doubt kick arse, and I will be first in line to watch/stream/etc, but damn- I do like it when you turn your attention to the wider world.

I don't vote in your elections so it's not really my place to say much, however I will risk displeasure and make one humble request: "for gods sake, PLEEEEEASE not Bush III".


"I absolutely agree there's a helluvan argument to be made here that Senatar Obama should address misogyny in the same way, to the same degree, with which he so magnificently addressed race."

Having witnessed Obama's considerable oratory skill on a few occasions now, no doubt he could do so in an intelligent and eloquent fashion*, although with a healthy dose of the "empathy-at-a-distance" you mentioned. To take the question in a different direction, what impact would it have had on Hillary's campaign if she addressed her experience of sexism in a similarly incisive manner? Or to flip the original question: if Obama addressed sexism, where could Hillary be if she addressed the issues of race?

My apologies if in ignorance I am overlooking an instance where she has addressed it at length- in which case would it have been worth reaffirming her thoughts? No doubt it would have invited cynicism in certain quarters, but surely it would have proven more constructive/less damaging ("presidential " even?) than say resorting to trumped up claims of elitism and easily dismissable claims about Bosnian sniper fire?

Hillary had opportunities to transcend partisan politics, however momentarily but for whatever reason- poor judgement, bad advice- she instead chose the low road of slur, misinformation and manufactured scandal. She could have proven that while their approaches differed & ambitions clashed, she and Obama were still playing for the same team but unfortunately for her, she chose otherwise. Such is life.


*side note: bloody hell, Obama makes a refreshing change to the current "AWWSUM" presidential style

Danothebaldyheid said...

Susie,

See what bugs me about the idea that Obama's campaign labelled the Clintons racists is that it is disingenuous. Firstly, it was the media that took Bill's South Carolina comments and ran with them. Secondly, Obama's campaign did not suggest that the Clintons were racists, as you baldly state; they merely suggested that they did not take Barack seriously as a candidate, largely because he was black. That is not the same thing, no matter how many Clinton supporters try to claim that it is - to suggest that the Clintons did not think most voting Americans would be able to take a black candidate seriously was not a slur - many, if not most, commentators thought similarly.
So, your assertion that that was when the 'gloves came off' is not warranted - in fact the gloves didn't come off until shortly before Texas and Ohio - when Hillary felt she had to do something to prevent her dream slipping away....

Anonymous said...

"Mike, all I know about you is that you're a guy. All I know about Ivy is that she describes herself as 'a girl'. With a lifetime of experience in this culture, I know enough to be certain that when she says that she's observing sexist mistreatment of another woman, and you say it's in her head, you're the one who's mistaken."


You know, I don't really want to make a big deal out of this, but let's just get this straight.

A woman can allege sexism and misogyny and she doesn't have to present any evidence or even make an intelligent argument in support of that allegation, but she gets to be right just because she's a woman and any man who disagrees or questions that allegation is automatically wrong just because he's a man. That's what we're talking about here? So men aren't allowed to have opinions on any question of sexism, we're only allowed to parrot whatever women say?

As I wrote before, I've seen people say Hillary has been treated in a sexist manner and back that up with concrete examples and reasoned argument. I've also seen these sweeping, blanket allegations of sexism without anything but personal feelings to back it up.

Just because a woman thinks something is sexist doesn't mean it is. Just because a woman is treated unfairly, doesn't mean that unfair treatment is sexist. Hillary Clinton got treated poorly at times in this campaign, just like John Kerry was treated poorly in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 or Bob Dole in 1996 or George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Hillary Clinton was a 30 points ahead front runner who got beat, and because she refused to drop out, her defeat was stretched out over several months. Anyone in that situation is going to get a lot of crap dumped on them. Did sexism play some role in that crap? Sure. But knee jerk victimization that exaggerates the role sexism played isn't really going to benefit feminists, women or men.

Mike

fiercepika said...

The Mike-Susie/Ivy part of this thread is pretty revealing, and cuts to the heart of the problems of "sexism" as discourse and ideology.

I'm a white male, aged 30. I can empathize with Mike to a large degree: while I see sexism in much of the stuff directed at Hillary, I also see here (and in every day life) the discursive trap of discourses on sexism: the very real sexist slights that women experience/perceive often get conflated with a sense of entitled pronouncement: if they "feel" sexism happens, then it does. Nine times out of ten they are right, of course. But it's the discussion-ending trump card that is so frustrating: "At the end of the day, I'm a girl, you're a guy, and my subjectivity is therefore by default the correct version of events."

As others have noted, discourses on racism can work the same way, but it's a slightly different problem.

Anyway, there's also the problem of intent. There have been things I've said that are probably sexist, but were not at all intended that way. There are things I've said that can be INTERPRETED as sexist, but are not inherently so, even at an unconscious level. For instance, I got in sort of trouble one time for complimenting a female colleague on her shoes. Being (rightfully) sensitive to sexism in the work environment, she thought she was being somewhat objectified (I learned about this second hand of course, she didn't say so at the time). Of course she missed the time I complimented a male colleague on his pants. Arguably it may be inappropriate anyway to compliment colleagues on their appearance, but to say that this is "sexist" is incorrect: her perception did not in fact make her right. Ironically she was the sexist one in assuming a male colleague's remarks were coming from the dick rather than from watching too much "Queer Eye" and appreciating fashion—even as a heterosexual male.

However I don't hold it against her: everything she's experienced to this point would probably lead her to that conclusion.

Therefore, Mike, while I agree with you that the trump card identity politics is a bullshit argument, you're not going to get anywhere putting it out there as you have, because our manner of speaking, our socio-cultural cues, etc., are inherently patriarchal. To this extent, stuff that is not actually sexist can be easily interpreted this way, because the deck's stacked that way. For a woman to therefore be told it's all in her head (not that you said that) therefore positively enrages most women. It's a double-bind. Nobody wins. We just have to try to talk through it and check our emotions at the door, as best we can. (And ladies, since sexism is ideological and hegemonic, it can occur unconsciously and in unintended ways, so you need to treat that differently than something like, "Iron my shirt.")

All that said, I agree here with John Rogers 100%. I also think that while sexism was a major factor in the anti-Clinton meme, it was by no means the DEFINING factor, either in the character of that discourse or in the results of the primary. Clinton's campaign was the perfect storm of highlighting her personal foibles, following the bad advice of the "consultant caste," and (let's not forget) having dynastic name brand recognition and the Iraq War authorization vote under her belt, when both of those were tremendous liabilities this year.

On top of this, Obama's a great candidate and ran a great campaign. Things got nasty, but she was beaten fair and square. Now let's pull the lever for Tripod/Lord Whiskerkins and bring about a new tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Was there misogyny and sexism directed at Hillary?

Yes, there clearly has been a lot of misogyny and sexism directed at Hillary since pretty much the day she appeared on the national stage back in the early '90s.

For me, though, the reason not to vote for Hillary was simple: Iraq. On the most important question of recent times, Obama was right and Clinton was wrong.

Did she actually think the war was a good idea? Invading a country that hasn't, indeed can't, attack you is wrong. It just is. Not mistaken wrong, evil wrong. I don't want a leader who thinks that's ok.

Did she really think, as she now says, that the AUMF was just a stick to force Saddam to submit to inspections? Then she's too naive to be president, or run the office coffee fund, or guard a plate of cookies. The Bushies had clearly signaled their intent to invade, no matter what. The rumors were out there almost before the dust from the WTC settled.

Did she know it was all a load of crap but support it anyway because she felt it was the best move politically? I know some people think that. I don't want to believe it. The level of cynicism and selfishness involved in throwing away hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in the name of political expediency is sickening, literally. I'm actually a little nauseated right now just thinking about it.

Anyway, those were the possibilities as I saw them and each one of them meant I could not vote for Hillary Clinton. Her gender had nothing to do with my decision.

bc

Anonymous said...

On this my first visit to Kung Fu Monkey, I am an instant fan of both the main posts and the commenters.

Kudos to winterman and mockingbird for some clearheaded thinking here.

Kudos too for Mike and Ivy for keeping their discussion alive. The only thing I'd add to that is the understanding that while sometimes they may not be grounded in reality, feelings are real. Dismissing someone's feelings out of hand will not help them realize that they may be unfounded.

Winning quote: victimization that exaggerates the role sexism played isn't really going to benefit feminists, women or men.

This is why Obama has continued to succeed and to inspire people with his LEADERSHIP. Instead of bemoaning and attributing his defeats to racism (even when those defeats could be directly tied to racism), he continued to elevate the dialogue, even to the point of making a dramatic speech focused entirely on the issue of race. But he did not use that (or any) opportunity to play the victim. He instead chose to remind us of our collective, constant struggle to improve ourselves - himself included.

I empathize with Hillary supporters who are feeling badly now because their candidate has lost. For those who supported her most fiercely BECAUSE she is a woman, I hope they will soon pridefully recall her run as they begin the process of helping to elect Obama, a Democrat whose policies and passions are virtually identical to Clinton's. I hope they soon realize that suggesting that Hillary was "the last chance to see a woman POTUS" is a grievously sexist statement and should be rebutted at every instance.

Anonymous said...

"Therefore, Mike, while I agree with you that the trump card identity politics is a bullshit argument, you're not going to get anywhere putting it out there as you have, because our manner of speaking, our socio-cultural cues, etc., are inherently patriarchal."


Agreed, but I just can't help banging my head against that wall.

Mike

Winterman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Winterman said...

I submit that if she got her back up over a compliment on her shoes, she is the one with a problem. Of course I'd need to know the precise wording of the compliment and where it was given, etc. in order to properly assess. If it was a simple, "Hey, those shoes look great on you" and she got pissed, she needs to take the stick out of her ass and relax.

This is the problem with going to DEFCON 1 over EVERY perceived offense. NO, simply being female or a minority does not, in itself, mean you win all arguments when it comes to your ism of choice. Sorry. No. Evidence and rationality are still required.

More people should employ Occam's Razor.

Politics in the US, perhaps everywhere, I don't know, are governed by the actions of extremists.

As I said, you don't maximize funding for your causes by pointing out all the progress that has been made. You need people to continue to believe they live, if they're female, in a society that is just to the left of the Taliban or, if you're black, of Apartheid.

Here's a bulletin:

That shit is over. We don't do that here anymore. Yes, there is lots and lots and lots still left to do but, no, not every defeat, even if one guy is black and the other white or one guy is female and the other male is the result of or even has a component of racism or sexism. No. Sorry. Not.

Sure there are various lenses through which these sorts of situations can be viewed and even, to some degree, justified. But being able to justify something, while it is the standard in a legal proceeding, is not sufficient when discussing factual events.

Hillary was just one more Pol who thought she was was going to swan into the big chair and got hoist by her own hubris. Her gender wasn't a factor in her being able to make that a priori assumption and it wasn't a factor in her defeat. She and her most rabid followers want to be given equal treatment, equal treatment was precisely what she got.

Mrs. Clinton is half of a team of adepts in the political game. They are both savvy, hardball, vicious players. She doesn't merit this outpouring of protective sympathy.

She played. She lost. Get the hell over it.

I guarantee, if Obama had lost, there would be no hand wringing as to why or screaming for him to be offered the second slot. It would have been "good try old son" and back pats all around for how open and "color blind" our society has become.

This whole thing has put me in mind of one of the recent seasons of THE APPRENTICE in which, at the end, after winning the game fair and square and being considered by all his peers to be the superior player and a really nice guy, the black winner was asked by the wonderful Mr. Trump if he wouldn't mind "sharing" his win with the not-quite-as-stellar female runner up.

It was a shitty thing to ask him to do. It hadn't been asked before and it hasn't since.

To his credit, the winner informed Mr. Trump that his show was called THE APPRENTICE, not THE APPRENTICES and he would not be sharing his win.

Again, there is no way in hell, had the lady been in the top spot, that she would have been forced to make that choice.

This situation with Obama and Clinton is like that and, frankly, it makes me sick.

She played. She played by the old rules and, when those didn't work, she tried to bend them to suit. And that didn't work either. She got spanked. Now she does what Edwards and Bush and Nixon and all the others who got spanked had to do. She retools and makes another run.

Or not.

But she wasn't owed anything by virtue of her gender or due to her status as the wife of a former President. There's no crying in Rollerball.

Mike Cane said...

>>>As I've mentioned before, I'm voting for anyone who's Not-McCain in November.

Why settle?

Nader is both NOT-McCain and NOT-Obama.

To address what you posted:

I really don't understand where you find the time to do anything other than all the reading you mentioned in that blog post! The degree of detail you assembled I find startling.

It's also besides the frikkin point.

Checklists of debate points don't mean a thing. They win nothing, they accomplish nothing.

Hey, according to an allegedly ancient book, we were given Just Ten Things on a checklist.

What did that win anyone?

Anonymous said...

"Did she know it was all a load of crap but support it anyway because she felt it was the best move politically? I know some people think that. I don't want to believe it. The level of cynicism and selfishness involved in throwing away hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in the name of political expediency is sickening, literally. I'm actually a little nauseated right now just thinking about it."

I can forgive Hillary for that, for two reasons:

1) To be in a position to do any good in Washington, you have to keep your seat and not be seen as a troublesome outsider. I love Kucinich to death -- actually he's my Congressman and I consider it a privilege to vote for him -- but look at where he is, influence-wise. He was spot-on about the war, he voted against it and opposed it vociferously, and if anything he alienated himself by doing so. How odd that being absolutely right can turn people against you, but then that brings us to ...

2) The problem isn't that Hillary is evil for bending before evil political winds; the problem is that about half of America -- your coworkers and neighbors -- are evil enough to not care about how much needless destruction we may cause. Yes, some number of Americans were genuinely misled on the war, but even more chose not to care how much needless suffering they were backing. And a good number of them still don't care to this day: even among those who have changed their minds on the war, there's not much of a sense that they regret the devastation they supported. Bush and Cheney may have beat the drum for war, but it's the common man who made the war possible, and I can't really blame Hillary for being unable to stop it. If a storm's coming, do you try to shout it down, or do you seek shelter? A brave man may try to shout it down, but I can't blame anyone for seeking shelter.

I tell ya whut, though. Back before March 2003 I held out hope that most Republicans were decent folks who simply had different ideas on how to achieve ends that I would agree with. But talking with Republicans in the run-up to the war, I discovered that a good number of them simply don't care about wasting American soldiers' lives (much less Iraqi lives), and were just eager to send some troops out there to kick Muslim ass. That's absolutely monstrous and I still can't see any way to reconcile it with basic decency.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you clarify what you mean by Hillary's "shocking tactics"...

Chris said...

Everybody's a 27 percenter for somebody.

Anonymous said...

I tried to post on this yesterday, but it evidently didn't go through....

I don't disagree with you here, Rogers. It would be wonderful to wake up tomorrow to a country full of people who were less self-absorbed, better informed, more rational..., with ponies (as long as I don't have stable duty :-). Sometimes a good rant is required, even if it is (I think) unlikely to persuade anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

In this case, however, I'd like to harken back to an additional, earlier post here, Learn to say 'ain't' (and its follow-ups which are linked to at the end of that post). Those posts are, at least in part, about learning to deal with people as they are, not as you would have them be. I'd suggest them as an opposite bookend to this post. Yes, it would be good if the world turned into pony-land. But until we get there, understanding how to talk to folks who disagree with you (and those posts were very helpful to me when I first read them 3 years ago) -- that's more useful.

-Anonymous2

Anastasius said...

I don't know who started with the smear tactics, I just know the media won, we paid the price in braincells and not nearly often enough do we get some good snark out of it.
And to think this was only the warm up...

You should also stick to political blogging, John. This is obviously a bigger hit with the folk here than that TV thingy you also have going.

Tanya said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I'm forwarding and linking this hither and yon. You have worded what I was feeling succinctly and eloquently.

I'm also linking you in my wordpress if you don't mind.

Mike Cane said...

>>>I don't disagree with you here, Rogers. It would be wonderful to wake up tomorrow to a country full of people who were less self-absorbed, better informed, more rational...

You know, this is what *every* side says about the other side.

I mean, I say it about everyone who keeps giving me crap about my voting for Nader. To me, the rest of you lot are the deranged ones.

And to you, me.

Jon H said...

"So in their minds but for misogyny, Clinton wins, so it's a short step from there to saying Obama's win is illegitimate."

IMHO, if it was misogyny, she wouldn't have been seen as 'inevitable' in the media since, what, 2004? 2006?

If it was really misogyny, she wouldn't have outlasted all but one of the male candidates.

If she hadn't voted for the AUMF, or had admitted it was a mistake, Obama wouldn't have had space to run as the anti-war candidate, and she'd probably be the nominee.

spacekicker said...

You know it's funny that the title of the post is the exact opposite of what the Democratic party stands for. They want EVERYTHING done by the government, health care, education, child care, making sure everyone is "equal" - whatever that means. What happened to personal responsibility, people staying out of each others hair, and supply and demand.

McCain 08, because I'm not into socialism.

Jon H said...

"Nader is both NOT-McCain and NOT-Obama."

Only in some vapid Platonic sense. In practical terms, he's a vote for McCain.

Jon H said...

"McCain 08, because I'm not into socialism."

Except in Iraq.

spacekicker said...

thanks jon H, you just proved my point of not having a clue what you are talking about.

BadTux said...

Uhm, you're the idiot who accused Obama and Clinton of being socialists, "Spacekicker". You have not an iota of evidence to support that notion, but hey, evidence isn't necessary for your ilk. There's a saying, bullshit talks, real men walk. Given that John McCain voted 100% for the biggest increases in the size and scale of government since the days of FDR (government during the 6 years that Republicans controlled Congress expanded that much, yes, and McCain voted for this expansion *100% of the time*), obviously you're just an idiot when you claim McCain isn't "socialist". His voting record says otherwise.

-BT

MrBold said...

Thanks for this mighty fine blog entry.

I'll never understand why HRC supporters seem to dwell more on HRC's being a woman than her ideas and her campaign tactics.

HRC is my Senator and Catherine Maloney is my congress woman and my dislike of HRC is not about her gender, but about the character of her primary campaign.


I also agree that in this climate we could get Tripod/Lord Whiskerskins 08 elected. I think we got lucky with having a fine candidate like BHO as our nominee.

Mike said...

Amen, man, amen. I am so tired of being accused of sexism for criticizing Hillary's actions on the campaign trail. "Senator Clinton had my respect, based on her accomplishments and independent of her gender -- then she spent it" describes my feelings exactly.

Anonymous said...

"McCain 08, because I'm not into socialism."

Good for you! So, who's going to pay the $1750 or so that is my portion of this idiot war? I'd (begrudgingly) pay an extra $1750 for some "socialist" plot like universal health care, but make no mistake: your team is well on its way to maxxing out the national credit card and isn't providing anything of value in return.

Remember when that "socialist" FDR threw the nation into debt? At least we got public works out of the deal: roads, bridges, and even the Tennessee Valley Authority. That all was a sound investment and we're the better for it.

The Iraq War, though, offers us nothing in return -- hell, they have to import oil into Iraq to meet our troops' needs -- and supporting McCain is supporting an endless cycle of throwing good money after bad. "Socialism" looks pretty darn good in comparison.

Jon H said...

mockingbird wrote: "Yes, there were juvenile comments about her pantsuits"

I honestly think that's just because 'pantsuit' is kind of a funny word, all on its own. Like 'lederhosen'.

Similarly, 'underpants' has somewhat more comedic value than 'underwear'.

The term seems redundant, anyway. Is the 'pant' part needed to distinguish them from men's suits which are lacking in pants? No.

Start calling them 'suits', and eventually after a number of years and 'pantsuit' will disappear from the lexicon. Any newsguy who mentions it will look like he just referred to a candidate's petticoats or bustle.

Jon H said...

Susie wrote: "I not only worked on a multi-million dollar campaign, I actually worked with Obama's people while they were planning his strategy. I know a little something about this, and I notice you seem to have missed the fairly unthinkable tactic where they deliberately smeared the Clintons, of all people, as racists."

Hey, neat trick. The way you wrote that, it almost makes it seem like the first part provides evidence for the second. But no evidence is actually provided for the supposed deliberate smearing.

We're just meant to believe that, since you were allegedly involved in some way, that you must have been party to such discussions.

Forgive me if I don't take your word as gospel.

spacekicker said...

Not an iota of evidence???? You are telling me he is not for Socialized medicine, that he is not for abortion on demand? All his policies are inherently socialist, there is a reason he is named the most liberal senator. Plus his lack of foreign policy experience that came to the forefront with his wonderful flip flop on “jerusalem” in just ONE DAY! Hahah…you guys are looking for a messiah in an empty suit. Obviously “anonymous” is at least honest about wanting a little socialism compared to this EVVVILLLL war. You know because we are spending billions of dollars fighting for the freedom of others, fighting radical islam (which I’m sure we should do what most of the left wants and just bury our heads in the sand). But you know that is somehow less moral then spending the billions over the years on funding for abortions yes, you guys and your wonderful moral high ground…see ya when you lose suckers!!

BadTux said...

Err, you prove my point. Obama's health care plan is not socialized medicine, socialized medicine is what the Scandinavian countries have, where all hospitals are owned by the government and all doctors work for the government. The fact that you are so ignorant as to believe that a health care plan which leaves doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies all private and working for themselves is
"socialized"... well, all I can do is point and laugh. BWHAHAHAH! MORON!

Oh sure, I could use some logic and reason, but really, freepers don't understand any of those, so it really doesn't matter. For those of you who are not freepers, my facts about Obama's health care proposals are available on Obama's web site and you are free to go verify them there. For those of you who *are* freepers, maybe you better get on back to your echo chamber where George W. Bush is, like, the bestest Preznit EVAH! and private insurance companies are "socialized medicine". Because all we'll do if you come over here with your stupidity is point and laugh, since we know you aren't convincable of anything via pointing out facts to you (facts? Freepers *laugh* at facts!).

-BT

Anonymous said...

"fighting radical islam"

There was no radical Islam in Iraq until we rolled through. We're not fighting for freedom over there, we're fighting for your team's insistence that you can't go wrong by sending troops. We created a problem that didn't even exist in Iraq, in exchange for stopping a nonexistent threat (the WMDs that, you know, even Condi admitted didn't exist) -- high fives all around!

Speaking of sending the troops, why the hell haven't you enlisted? The greatest shortage the army faces over there is manpower; there aren't enough troops on the ground to take charge of Iraq except for tiny pockets here and there. Make no mistake, o proud conservative eagle: you are the reason we can't seem to finish the job in Iraq.

For your homework, I assign a weekend viewing of "Rambo III"; thrill to John Rambo teaming up with the heroic Taliban!

MrBold said...

re: freepers, medicine and socialism-

everything conservatives don't like = socialism. If they really hate you, they call you what they aspire to be and that's fascist.

The actual meaning of words is inconsequential to a Conservative.

Wood said...

"Liebermaned." My god, I never thought that my feelings toward Hilary Clinton could be summed up in one word.

Bravo.

RasNesta said...

I didn't vote for Hillary for 2 reasons:

1. She didn't have the courage to vote against the national bloodlust for the fucking war when she knew it was based on a lie. (Simply listening to what Hans Blix said at the UN debunked the Admin's reasons.)

2. She skipped out on voting against the Fuck-the-little-guy Bankruptcy Bill in 2005 so as to not piss off the major financial companies she feeds off of. More political cowardice on her part. Obama voted no. This vote continues to chafe because it is worsening the mortgage crisis because people can't get out from under credit card debt to pay their mortgages. Who'd a thunk it?

All that said, I would have voted for her in a second in the general. I don't expect perfection in anything, including politicians. I understand why she pandered on those 2 important issues, so it would still be an easy vote.

Because in my mind, Hillary in second place is still light-years ahead of McCain in no-way-in-hell place. That's why I think the huge majority of "I supported Hillary, but now I'm going to vote for McCain" drivel you see all over are Republican ratfuckers. Someone truly drawn to Hillary's positions on the issues, would default to Obama who shares 99% of them.

MrBold said...

Yeah Resnesta sums up for me the spotty legislative record HRC has.

The Iraq War vote was pretty decisive for me too. She seemed to sell out the progressives who defended the Clinton's every day.

After that I knew she was gaming for the Presidency by trying to soften her negatives with the hawks.

Ink-Stained Wretch said...

Doubtless, misogyny and sexism played a part in the way things went down... There are ways in which women make easier targets than men -- on both sides of the political isle. In the wake of the 2006 Congressional shake-up, there's a reason Fox News and the Republicans went after Nancy Pelosi as the symbol of All That's Wrong With the Democrats -- not Harry Reid. (Her gender wasn't the only factor that made her a target, but it sure didn't hurt.) I've seen left-wing commentators who feel free to say mean, vicious things about the physical appearance or perceived masculinity of right wingers like Katherine Harris, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham... things that they would never say about their male counterparts. (I'm not saying these three women are not evil and wrong -- I'm suggesting that the attacks against them often aim low. Gender doesn't dictate why they're attacked -- it dictates how they're attacked.)

The misogyny and sexism towards Hillary is not unique... though she did walk into this election with unique negatives in the polls: hardly anyone didn't have an opinion about her and the positives and the negatives ran pretty well neck-and-neck. And those negative opinions weren't formed solely because of her gender. All of that much vaunted experience resulted in public appearances, votes, speeches and interviews that helped shape opinions.

To pretend that the sexism/misogyny is the only reason someone would vote against Clinton is just nonsense. Yet co-worker's wife asked me who I voted for in the primary; when I told her Obama, she sighed. "I think it's just hard for boys to vote for Hillary." Insert spit-take. My not voting for Hillary had F*-ALL to do with her gender. But I dared not tossed back the obvious smart-ass rejoinder (one I didn't honestly believed) -- that, as a white woman, she couldn't bring herself to vote for a black man.

To pretend that sexism has influenced this election and that race hasn't -- that's the height of absurdity. Some (like Geraldine Ferraro and Harriet Christian) seem to believe that racism was a factor only in the "reverse" capacity: this "inadequate black male" wouldn't have been in the position he's in if it were not for his race, and for the fact that his competition for "the job" was a white woman.

Racism, unlike sexism, must be coded in our national discussions. It was clear, to me at least, that the fear of Obama's "otherness" was channeled into the whole recurring "seekrit Muslim" meme.

I was actually kind of amazed at how often the subject of race was avoided -- until the Rev. Wright debacle brought it to the surface. Even then, race was the subtext of the panic about Wright's florid remarks: it was Obama's deft and masterful speech that put the controversy into its true context -- the myriad ways that race and racism infects our national discourse.

Does that discussion need to surface regarding sexism? Yes, but... the fascinating thing to me is that there's a completely different dynamic between how sexism and racism can be and are discussed publicly. Sexism can be more frankly expressed -- but it can also be more aggressively called out. Racism continues to be a simmering dirty secret... expressed directly only in post-election interviews in the diners of West Virginia.

Jon H said...

mrbold wrote: "After that I knew she was gaming for the Presidency by trying to soften her negatives with the hawks."

Yes, and that's the truly insidious way that sexism defeated Hillary, long before Obama even entered the Senate.

She voted for war in order to look tough, precisely to preempt later sexist claims that, as a woman, she'd be too pacifistic to be President.

Unfortunately for her, she wasn't voting for the brief and well-executed Gulf War I, she was voting for an ideologically driven, fraudulently justified, incompetently executed, military-straining, family-breaking, never-ending disaster.

MrBold said...

re Jon H,

Yeah it really is quite surprising how laughably tragically bad the Bush administration mucked up the post-war period of Iraq.

Brendan said...

So ... how does it feel to have become one of the 27%, all in the course of one blog post?

You expressed perfectly the way my feelings evolve every time I think about those other 27%.

Outstanding essay.

(signed)
A fellow 27%er.

Sherry Sea from Austin said...

I've almost stopped reading political blogs but I'm sure glad to have seen this one. Witty and fun, I almost thought it ended too soon.

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Obat Penyakit kutil Kelamin Wanita
Obat Penyakit kutil Kelamin Wanita
Obat Kutil Kelamin Ampuh
Obat Kutil Kelamin Ampuh
Obat Kutil Kelamin Tanpa Operasi
Jual Obat Kutil Kelamin Wanita
Obat Buat Kutil Kelamin
Obat Kutil Kelamin Ampuh
Obat Kutil Di Kelamin Tanpa Operasi
Cara Mengatasi Penyakit Kelamin
Tanda Tanda Penyakit Kelamin
Cara Menyembuhkan kutil kelamin tanpa operasi
jual obat untuk penyakit kutil kelamin
Cara Menghilangkan Kutil Kelamin
cara mengobati kutil kelamin di anus
Cara Menghilangkan Kutil Kelamin Alami
Cara Mengobati Kutil Kelamin Pada Wanita
Cara Menghilangkan Virus Kutil Kelamin
Salep Perontok Kutil Kelamin
Di Kemaluan Ada Kutil Kelamin ?
Cara Mengobati Kutil Di Kemaluan
Obat Kutil Di Kemaluan Atau Kutil Kelamin
Obat Kutil Di Sekitar Kelamin
Obat Kutil Kelamin
Obat Kencing Nanah Gonore