When did women become so pessimistic?

Cool article on Slate this morning that laments the bullshit cries that there will not be another viable female candidate for the Presidency for a generation or more, that somehow Hilary Clinton is the only real hope for a female president now, and that mostly because she was lucky enough to be married to a president. And this article was written by — wait for it — that’s right, a woman. What is most lamentable is that this opinion is being pushed mostly by other women. What the fuck? Can they see nothing positive in Hilary’s presidential run, even if she does not ultimately win the nomination?

Well, the author of the piece, Dahlia Lithwick, apparently can:

We all know these double standards exist for females in public life—voters demand toughness but not bitchiness, confidence but not shrillness, authenticity but also glamour. If the Clinton candidacy has taught us anything, however, it’s that a woman can straddle all those irreconcilable demands and still win. She can win more than 16 million votes in the primaries and around 1,779 delegates. Clinton has shown that a woman can win huge at the ballot box and bring in huge money, and even if Obama ultimately secures the nomination, those facts will not change. Faced with all that evidence of success, how do the naysayers prove it can never be repeated?

In fact, the naysayers can not prove that “it can never be repeated” because you can’t prove a negative, but apparently this hasn’t stopped some from trying, and in the process are undercutting the accomplishments of their candidate:

They argue that Clinton had a legitimate shot at the presidency only because she represented a once-in-a-lifetime lightening strike of marriage, fame, and experience that is not only unique to her but that will die with her failed nomination. Silva quotes commentators who have argued that “only Clinton, a former first lady in an administration that presided over eight prosperous years and a second-term senator who has established her own credentials, could have achieved the successes she has this year.” Zernike’s experts echo this: “Mrs. Clinton had such an unusual combination of experience and name recognition that she might actually raise the bar for women.” Under this theory, Clinton was never really a strong woman candidate; she was just the lucky one who’d married a future president.

There was at least much calculation as luck involved in Senator Clinton’s bid for the presidency. Anyone who says otherwise is either fucking blind or stupid. You don’t have to be a political junkie to see that. But what if it wasn’t calculated? What’s the possibility of a woman candidate throwing her hat in the ring, just to see how she’d fair, only to suddenly find a ground swell of support that lifts her to forefront of the pack and finally as the nominee? You know, sort of like what happened to, oh, say, Obama. Well, according to Dee Dee Meyers… “[n]o woman with Obama’s résumé could run.” Way to believe there Dee Dee.

One of the main naysayer claims is that the overt and overwhelming sexism that played out in this campaign will discourage another female from running for president. First of all, I agree with Lithwick. Why would this be so? Lithwick points to the sexism against Elizabeth Dole’s 2000 bid for the Republican nomination yet somehow that did not dissuade Clinton from running.

Of coures, there was plenty of sexist mudslinging in this campaign, but there was plenty of racial bullshit as well, and by  no less thatn Mr. Clinton himself. The dude race-bated in South Carolina. He didn’t miss-speak. He wasn’t misunderstood. It was clear. Anyone who claims otherwise is crazy as the Cajun rat man, James Carville. And then, on a radio show, Clinton claimed that race card had been played against him. What the fuck?  But if sexism is such an issue in this race then how is it that Clinton is getting so much support from working class white guys? It sure as shit isn’t because they’re wives are telling them how fucking vote for.

No. Utlimately Hilary’s problems less from sexism than from Clintonism. Enough people are sick of the Clintons. And her inability to take this fact more seriously has hurt her. That and her overwhelming sense of self-entilement. She should have cast herself as the underdog years ago, and acted accordingly. But she did not do that. She, and her staff, assumed this thing would be done come Super Tuesday at the latest. So they did not plan past that day. They were not prepared. They underestimated Barack Obama and his supporters. She and her supporters should take a closer look at that fact and see how the next they can keep from allowing it to happen again. And if Hilary and her legion refuse to, then might one suggest that the other qualified female candidates do.



Boomer Spin machine kicks into action

Pardon my French (why is cursing always associated with the French language in America?) but Mark Leibovich’s front-page-hogging piece in today’s Sunday NY Times Week in Review section is such fucking bullshit. The patronizing Boomer-centric tone of it is so annoying that it makes one want to seek out anyone who even looks like they might have attended Woodstock (the original one not the pathetic 90s rehashes or whatever) and give them a good, swift kick in the groin. Of course, I would never do such a thing. Not in the light of day without a disguise (say a rubber Nixon mask) and a getaway car at the ready, anyway.

I have no fucking clue if Mr. Leibovich is a Boomer but his article certainly drips with fatuous Boomer solipsism. Basically this long-winded opinion piece portrays Hilary as some kind of flawed tough but fair parent-creature to Obama. It asserts that her sleazy campaign tactics have served to toughen up an otherwise soft Obama, preparing him for an even tougher general election against the Republican nominee John McCain and the Republican slander machine by using the exact same tactics these opponents will use to defeat Mr. Obama.

Yeah, right. Whatever.

Of course, it is typical of the Boomers to spin this Democratic Primary race to try and put Hilary in the spot light while nudging Mr. Obama to the margins, putting forth what is no doubt the first of many such arguments to asssert that somehow Hilary made Mr. Obama. What bullshit!

Don’t misunderstand. I do not disagree with the points put forth in this piece. In fact, I find all of them to be right on the money. What I take exceptional exception with is giving so much undeserved credit to Hilary and the lack of credence given to Mr. Obama for his political skills, his ability to appeal to a broad and every-growing spectrum of people despite the savage attacks leveled at him every step of the way and of course his fortitude, which simply can not be doubted at this point.

A point to keep in mind, as the articles states: “….Mrs. Clinton, rather than being a spoiler, has in fact been and unwitting mentor to Mr. Obama.” The key word her being “unwitting.” It was never her intention to be any kind of mentor to Obama. She wants to drag him down. But she will fail. She knows it too. Her only chance now is to somehow fuck it up for Obama in the general election so that she can make another run in 2012. Anyone who believes her plan is otherwise is either naive or purposely obtuse or just a liar. Or perhaps a ranting, bald Cajun that bares a strong resemblance to a fucking rodent. Yeah, I’m looking at you Carville.

A QUICK SIDE RANT:Being from the Detroit area and a life-long Detroit Pistons fan, I also took exception with the basketball analogy in this piece that Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan were made champions in the 1990s through competing against Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. This is not entirely accurate. Of course, competing with Bird and Magic did help make champions out of Isiah and the Pistons. But for Jordan and the Bulls it was more competing with Isiah and the Pistons, who routinely handed them their asses in the playoffs not to mention much of the regular season. It was the Detroit Pistons Bad Boys who broke down and softened up Bird and the Celtics and Magic and the Lakers for Jordan and the Bulls to get their championships.

Anyhoo…back to the Presidential thing.

But in the end, I very much agree particularly with the point in this piece that says that this competitive Democratic Primary has not been and will not be bad for the Democratic Party. It has energized the party and the American people if anything. It has increased voter registration. It has really ramped up youth (i.e. Millennial) involvement, which is may be the biggest plus of all, while reawakening the political involvement of previously apathetic GenXers. I will not use any term even close to revolutionary to describe what is happening. It is certainly exciting and unprecedented. But more than that, it is all too the good. And for a cynicism-prone, too often apathy-indulging GenXer like myself to make such a statement is very encouraging indeed, I think. Don’t you?