Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's Official - Hillary Clinton, CHEAT

Today, Barack Obama counseled his supporters to be respectful toward Hillary Clinton. After all, he said, she has, among other things, broken through this amazing glass ceiling.

Then, Clinton appeared on my television and compared the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegates to women's suffrage and Seneca Falls, the emancipation of the slaves, and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Oh, really, Hillary, dear???

Let's see. Florida and Michigan were told what the rules of the Democratic Party were - no one was allowed to move their primaries before those of Iowa and New Hampshire (hey, look, I don't understand the "Iowa and New Hampshire always get to go first" thing either, but for the time being, it's the rule). If those states violated the rules, their delegates would not be seated.

They DID violate those rules.

All of the Democratic candidates except for Hillary Clinton removed their names from the Michigan ballot, just as they were supposed to. Now, Hillary claims she "won" there. Right - because she was the only person on the ballot. Everyone else followed the rules.

None of her opponents ever campaigned in Florida, just as the Democratic Party had requested. Now, Hillary claims she "won" there. Right - because only she made appearances there.

Hillary Clinton, you are a CHEAT. There is no polite way to say this, sista' - YOU ARE A DAMN CHEAT. Changing the rules partway through a game just to suit YOU is CHEATING.

So, what is this glass ceiling of which Barack Obama speaks?

Is it the one in which a woman proves she can be as much of an ass as the men in charge ever have been? That she can cheat? That she can seek power at all costs? That she can be as militaristic as the men, voting to send other mothers' children to die in a pointless war and never apologizing for that vote as the mistake it clearly was?


When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a doctor. A teacher of mine told me I could aspire to be a nurse, but not a doctor. My mother, appalled, mentioned this to Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, who got to her knees, took my face in her hands, and promised me I could be anything I wanted to be. Back then, Boggs had gotten her seat in Congress the way most women there had - by having a husband in Congress die and then running for his seat (basically winning with a "widow's sympathy vote").

So I've always dreamed of having women in all sorts of places, all sorts of jobs, getting paid what men get paid and being judged on our abilities - you know, our real assets rather than our asses.

Still, I had hoped that as women we might also bring a new ethic, a different one, to those places and jobs. I hoped women doctors would be gentler, wouldn't make absurd understatements like "the insertion of the IUD may cause mild cramping" and "yes, a ruptured cyst on the ovary does cause some discomfort." I had hoped women lawyers might help single moms get the financial support to which they are entitled, that women judges and prosecutors might take domestic violence seriously. I wished for women police officers who would treat rape victims with respect, who would never think to ask, "Well, what were you wearing?" or "Why were you drinking without using the buddy system?" or "What were you doing out alone / after dark / in that part of town?" And I had hoped that women with political power would positively rock this world. I thought of women like Patricia Schroeder of Colorado and Barbara Jordan of Texas, women who cared about making the right policy decisions TODAY - for women and kids and working people and the poor and the elderly and the disenfranchised - far more than they cared about whether they would win their next bid for reelection, and I longed for dozens and eventually hundreds of them in D.C. I campaigned for some women along the way too - and some men of conscience as well.

Now, Hillary Clinton claims credit for shattering a glass ceiling - the one in which the path to the highest levels of political power involves cheating the electoral process, voting for the war on Iraq, saber rattling when it comes to Iran, chastising Obama for his willingness to meet with foreign leaders currently hostile to the United States (um - hello - isn't talking things through something in which most of us women are trained and pretty skilled? why NOT meet with those leaders, Hillary?). And she has the gall to invoke the abolitionists and the suffragettes and the civil rights agitators as she makes her case for cheating her way to this nomination.

Honest to God, Hillary, you shame me.

You shame all of us.

This isn't the feminist sisterhood of my dreams. You aren't my sister. I can't be sisters with a cheat.

I know the life stories of women like Alice Paul and Elizabeth Caty Stanton. Women like Alice Paul and Elizabeth Caty Stanton are feminist heroes of mine. And, Hillary, you are no feminist hero.

end of crabby rant


Tami said...

Amen, CJ!

And you know what else chaps my hide? This infantilizing of Hillary Clinton and her supporters. It is a sexism that some of Clinton's proclaimed feminist supporters are overlooking and endorsing.

What do I mean? The idea that Clinton and some of her supporters (Geraldine Ferraro, I'm so looking at you.)can say and do vile things, but Obama supporters must treat them gently, carry the unity banner, don't fight back.

Despite the sexism of this race, I have never seen a politician more coddled than Clinton. Post Indiana/North Carolina, there was all this talk of "giving Hillary space" and letting her come to terms with her situation. I heard a pundit on CNN yesterday suggest that Obama needed to offer the veep spot to Hillary as a sign of respect to let him know that he thinks she is an equal. What the fresh hell? How is this not offensive. I have never in my 20 years of voting heard male politicians discussed in this way.

I think Clinton is being absolved of her worst behavior BECAUSE she is a woman. If this fight were, say, John Edwards against Joe Biden, the Democratic Party would have shut down the trailing candidate a long time ago.

I was talking to my stepson's mom yesterday, who is a Clinton supporter. I said that I did not respect the way Clinton is running this capaign, but she felt that Clinton's tactics were merely evidence that the candidate is a "fighter." Really? Cause when Karl Rove does it we call him an "asshole."

Okay, just ranting at this point...I feel a post on this topic coming on.

NOLA radfem said...

Great points.

If the delegate counts had been reversed these many months, people would have been demanding that Obama get out. It's not unusual for the person who is in second place to be nudged out by party elders, public opinion, the media, and tradition. I remember when Paul Tsongas kept running against Bill Clinton and that "when is he going to quit because it's the right thing to do" moment happened. I remember when it happened with John Edwards against John Kerry in 2004.

I really fear that the claims that Hillary hasn't gotten a fair shake will harm Obama's candidacy. She got a fair shake. She came in second. That's just the truth. By trying to delegitimize the process now, they are risking unity for a Democrat in the fall.

They now claim she has won a majority of the popular vote!! They figure that by counting only PRIMARY results but not CAUCUS results! CRAZY! So, when Hillary says she's winning, if you live in a caucus state, she isn't even counting YOU - but, hey, when it came to Michigan and Florida, every state was important, right?

Did you watch the rules committee meeting Saturday? Did you see the white woman ranting about how the party was going to nominate an "unqualified black man?" OH .... MY .... GOD

Amen about the "fighter" comments. So far, she doesn't make me think "fighter." She makes me think of the biblical story of King Solomon and the two mothers fighting over the baby and eventually the real mother gives in rather than see it cut in half. I fear that Hillary would cut the party in half before giving up on what she wants. Yep, asshole when Karl Rove does it, call it Machiavellian, yes, yes, yes.

I think tomorrow night is her chance to show she's not going to go on and cut the baby in half.

Tami said...

Did you see Clinton's speech last night? So much for not cutting the baby in half.

NOLA radfem said...

Yes, I couldn't believe it. At first I thought she was going to exit gracefully, and then I realized what she was doing and was yelling at the t.v., "You've gotta be kidding me!!!"