Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Couric+Clinton= Palin Corrective

Katie Couric and Hillary Clinton remind us that intellect (and proper grammar) are alive and well U.S. politics. See for yourself in this post-debate exchange (which I bet has been allowed on youtube by CBS because they put the commercial IN the interview, but that’s another story).

P.S.– I’d take a nutcracker over an action figure of myself any day.

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Hillary Sent Me

If you want to make sure that women are voting in their own best interest this year, and that no one’s staying home to protest how Hillary Clinton was treated during the primary, consider supporting Hillary Sent Me. It’s a new initiative of HilPac to get democratic voters energized and out at the polls in the November.

I don’t have much money to give away, but when I do have some extra change, I give to causes like this. I figure it will eventually get to people in need in the form of public services if all goes well, which is better than watching my tax dollars go corporate welfare and other programs I’d never chose to support in gazillion years.

And if you know anyone who’s reluctant to vote Obama, share this nicely populist discussion between Biden and Clinton about how Obama will address issues affecting women. Biden and Clinton talk about economic issues too, key to wooing the women voters so essential to this election.

Lastly, in case you missed this in your millions of weekly emails from the Obama campaign: They’ve started an online drive for voter registration and to get people the materials they need to vote, like early and absentee ballots. They suggest adding it to your email signature line; not a bad idea, if you work in a profession where you can do that: http://www.VoteForChange.com.

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Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, to Media: Grow a Pair

For me friends across the pond, and anyone else who missed this, Fey tops bitch is the new black.

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How do you spell ‘future’?

I wrote the following as part of a letter to the editor recently (it was cut, even though the letter was published):

In joining those who imply that feminism’s work is done, this writer forecloses investigation of some of the most significant and damaging ideas that arising from responses to the Clinton bid for presidency: that Clinton failed to represent change to voters not only because she was a Washington insider married to a former president but more importantly because feminism itself is too old a story, a played-out narrative which has accomplished its goals and which, as a result, can no longer serve as a vehicle for voters’ utopian hopes. If it is true that feminism no longer signals transformation to voters despite its status as a largely unfinished project, we should be asking ourselves how to make its goals once again seem intrinsic to the programme of Left politics, rather than insisting that it has had and fulfilled its brief moment of promise.

I was responding to one of those self-congratulatory pieces written by Obama supporters at the end of the primary season designed to explain why we need have no regret about Clinton’s loss. What struck me about the piece was how neatly it encapsulated what seemed to be a prevailing view: having a woman in the White House doesn’t look like change, because we’ve already got gender equality. Whereas, to borrow the sort of rhetoric often found in such articles, having a black man in office suggested an America unimaginable thirty years ago.

Of course, it can and should mean something; of course I’m not suggested the US has achieved racial equality–far from it. But the Left’s failure to embrace feminism as a symbol of change only seems to have allowed the Right to pick up the slack. Palin might be making her career out of attacking everything feminism stands for, but when the Republicans pick a woman, they still send out a signal of change, just by doing the thing usually associated with the other team. For them, even the slightest bit of gender equality reads like a big step forward, whereas for the Democrats it read like a step taken way too long ago to be worth anything.

In effect, in writing feminism off as a symbol of national progress, the Left has allowed the Right to put its own horrific, ‘hockey-mom’ version of women’s rights on centre stage; the Right seems to have become be the sole owner of the feeling of openness and possibility once associated with changes in gender roles on the Left.

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A Giant Step Back

Watching the coverage of PUMAs at the Democratic National Convention is painful, particularly as I read well-reasoned and thoughtful analysis like Susan Faludi’s New York Times op-ed, knowing full well that she won’t get much of a mention on prime time news or CNN.

I’m not a PUMA—I don’t have that much passion about anyone I don’t know—but I empathize with their helpless expression of rage. I understand why they threaten to vote for John McCain, even though he is the devil’s spawn as far as women’s rights are concerned, failing on several very public occasions to treat his wife with even feigned respect.

I voted for Hillary Clinton. Every single man that I know, all of whom I thought of as progressive, both voted for Barack Obama and expressed a significant contempt for Clinton. Some men I know called my house and tried to bully me into voting for Obama, which was apparently not an anomaly. I read Salon with a grain of reluctance after they published an article by one of their editors who was voting for Obama because he is a progressive black man. Indeed, over the course of the election I came to understand the sentiment that Obama is progressive as expressed by my male counterparts as actually meaning Obama is not a woman.

All of this is shorthand for saying that I feel like the world is topsy-turvy. I felt a particular unity with progressives during these painful Bush years, and that evaporated in the Democratic primary.

Like I said, I was never all worked up about Hillary Clinton, but having settled on her early in the campaign, I saw no particular reason to switch my alliance to Obama. John Edwards’ stance on LGBTs sucked, and Dennis Kucinich was pro-life until relatively recently. Obama was no more progressive than Clinton was, and he was relatively untested, while Clinton was publicly burnished during her years as first lady. I didn’t buy the change rhetoric, any more than Obama supporters bought the experience rhetoric from Clinton.

I made my best pick from a flawed bunch of people. Isn’t that what we do every four years around here?

Ah, but no. All of the sudden, with a woman in the lead, an angel burst onto the scene of American politics.

Faludi suggests that the primary was not just an indication of how much work remains for women’s rights. The primary, she says, was a devastating setback for women’s equality, and equally disappointing because younger women—my peers and younger—joined forces with men and decided that gender was no longer a problem.

I felt ill watching Michelle Obama’s tribute to motherhood and wifehood, the public disowning of her own success, the tacit reassurance that in sending another independent woman, one not solely defined by her role as wife, to the White House, the country would not be inviting another presidential run by a former first lady.

Is this what I am expected to welcome, four years of this as the best case scenario? Am I to welcome a choice between a man who calls his wife a cunt, and another who sacrifices the person he married on the pyre of America’s archaic gender expectations?

Call me a nutso dried-up sexless pantsuit wearer if you’d like, but I’m not happy about this at all.

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