“The First Woman To Do It, The 438th Person To Do It.”

Man and woman are not enemies.

Live-Blogging The New York Times And The Hillary Clinton

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Gender Issue Lives On as Clinton’s Hopes Dim
By JODI KANTOR

With each passing day, it seems a little less likely that the next president of the United States will wear a skirt — or a cheerful, no-nonsense pantsuit.

(Passivity.  The presidency HAPPENS to her, perhaps as a reward for the great outfits.)

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is now in what most agree are the waning days of her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. To use her own phrase, she has been running “to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling” in American life, and now the presidency — even a nomination that once seemed to be hers to claim — seems out of reach.

(Maybe she failed because she was focused on an external glass ceiling while ignoring the internal glass ceiling.  And also making this majestic run in a political fashion, and doing it for ‘all women,’ and taking on more than she could take on.  Trying to change the world has a high failure rate, it’s a poorly conceived concept and a bit epic. Try a cuckoo idea, and then blame others when it predictably fails.)

Along with the usual post-mortems about strategy, message and money, Mrs. Clinton’s all-but-certain defeat brings with it a reckoning about what her run represents for women: a historic if incomplete triumph or a depressing reminder of why few pursue high office in the first place.

(Somehow the ladies get to have an ‘incomplete triumph’ when for men that would be an oxymoron and unacceptable.  But being the 438th person to attempt something still gets press somehow.  Somehow Dennis Kucinich’s run doesn’t get such a post-mortem.  And ‘a depressing reminder of why few pursue…” sound victimized, sounds whiny, sounds entitled and guess what?  Being a presidential candidate is hard.  Want equality?  Men play rough.)

The answers have immediate political implications. If many of Mrs. Clinton’s legions of female supporters believe she was undone even in part by gender discrimination, how eagerly will they embrace Senator Barack Obama, the man who beat her?

(Man, somebody’s a sore loser.  Somebody’s taking their ball and bat and going home.  Yet again “discrimination” happened to Hill-Hill.  Non sequiter, out-of-nowhere discrimination.  She sets up the dominoes of nonsense, shrillness and line-cutting and the voters react.  Somehow though it’s seen as an act, within a vacuum.  The voters were just randomly picking on her, yep-oh.)

“Women felt this was their time, and this has been stolen from them,” said Marilu Sochor, 48, a real estate agent in Columbus, Ohio, and a Clinton supporter. “Sexism has played a really big role in the race.”

(“Women felt…”  That’s all the jurisdiction they need to get upset.  They felt it, so it is so.  If they feel like they didn’t mean to crash their car into the fire hydrant then it didn’t happen either.  “Women felt…” is the wildcard that justifies everything.  It justifies all the rage and the emotional decisions and the revenge.  Oh, and through in the external “sexism” to explain away all agency and personal responsibility in the matter.  “All I know is I’m upset!” is a phrase I’ve heard before.  That “…all I know…” takes away all complexity, all serious discussion, all counterpoint.)

Not everyone agrees. “When people look at the arc of the campaign, it will be seen that being a woman, in the end, was not a detriment and if anything it was a help to her,” the presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said in an interview. Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is faltering, she added, because of “strategic, tactical things that have nothing to do with her being a woman.”

(This is thrown in as a token, a straw-man (sorry, straw woman) they will take down in the next paragraph or so.  Even though it’s a good point, the novelty of her sex rocketed her further along than if she had gone without.)

As a former first lady whose political career evolved from her husband’s, Mrs. Clinton was always an imperfect test case for female achievement — “somebody’s wife,” as Elaine Kamarck, a professor of government at Harvard and a Clinton supporter, described her.

(Hey, “somebody’s wife” is a pretty good place to begin.  It kind of reaffirms the “if you want to be with a general you have to marry a private.”  It’s a similar process.)

Still, many credit Mrs. Clinton with laying down a new marker for what a woman can accomplish in a campaign — raising over $170 million, frequently winning more favorable reviews on debate performances than her male rivals, rallying older women, and persuading white male voters who were never expected to support her.

(This is some combination of changing the goals of the game after the fact.  First you wanted to be president, now you get an award for trying anyway.  First you had to go 100 yards to the goal – now whatever achievement is waiting for you at the 75 yard line is equally awesome!  Combine the 75 Yard Award with some sour grapes thrown at the original goal line – either that award is stupid, not worth the price to get to, or silly boy stuff that’s stupid anyway.  The ladies love to hate on stuff that’s hard for them to get to.  Say the word “manliness” to yourself and think of the giggles it elicits.)

“She’s raised this whole woman candidate thing to a whole different level than when I ran,” said Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter and the first woman to be the vice-presidential nominee of a major party, contrasting her own brief stint as a running mate in 1984 with Mrs. Clinton’s 17-month-and-counting slog.

(Be the 438th person to ever do something and you’re the Man all of a sudden.  But in celebrating a second place finish or in prefacing yourself a “woman candidate” you’re exhibiting qualities that do not make a good president.  Celebrating your asterisk is what begets your 2nd tier status.  Sorry, these are not my rules I just follow them.  Lots of people have run for president unsuccessfully.  Where’s Alan Keyes’ article in the NYT?)

Ms. Goodwin and others say Mrs. Clinton was able to convert the sexism she faced on the trail into votes and donations, extending the life of a candidacy that suffered a serious blow at the Iowa caucuses. Like so many women before, she was heckled (in New Hampshire, a few men told her to iron their shirts) and called nasty names (“How do we beat the bitch?” Senator John McCain was asked at one campaign event).

(Yeah!  Play the victim and gain empowerment from it!  And there you go again wearing the pair of spectacles named “sexism.”  Every action that occurs gets looks at through those spectacles, all legitimate concerns will be seen and remolded with those spectacles.  Oh and rumor is, those hecklers in NH were plants to gain HRC some favor in the night’s news cycle.  As if a man has never been heckled whilst onstage.  This campaign stuff is hard!  Oh did I just heckle?)

But the response may have been more powerful than the injury. In the days after Mrs. Clinton was criticized for misting up on the campaign trail, she won the New Hampshire primary and drew a wave of donations, many from women expressing indignation about how she had been treated.

(Exactly.  Mission accomplished.)

And Mrs. Clinton seemed to channel the lives of regular women, who often saw her as an avenging angel. Take Judith Henry, 67, for whom Mrs. Clinton’s primary losses stirred decades-old memories of working at a phone company where women were not allowed to hold management positions. “They always gave us the clerical jobs and told us we didn’t have families to support,” she said. At a rally last month in Bloomington, Ind., she sat with her daughter Susan Henry, 45, a warehouse worker, who complained that her male colleagues did less work and made more money than the women did.

(So being qualified isn’t A-Number-One for lady voters?  Stirring up old memories is?  That’s a more sexist statement than anything a man could put forward.  This whole paragraph is baiting.  The whole statement is misty.)

Decades after the dissolution of movement feminism, Mrs. Clinton’s events and donor lists filled with women who had experienced insult or isolation on the job. Moitri Chowdhury Savard, 36, a doctor in Queens, was once asked by a supervisor why she was not home cooking for her husband; Liz Kuoppala, 37, of Eveleth, Minn., worked as the only woman in her mining crew and is now the only woman on the City Council.

(So revenge is the foundation of Clinton’s support?  And why are women so obsessed with work and jobs?  Is feminism’s legacy to make people even more cog-like than they had been previously?  Great, thanks feminism!)

Ms. Kamarck, 57, the Harvard professor and a longtime adviser to Democratic candidates, said she was still incredulous about the time her colleagues on Walter F. Mondale’s presidential campaign, all men, left for lunch without inviting her — because, she later discovered, they were headed to a strip club.

(OK, this is the third paragraph in a row about complaints and more complaints.  This article is getting sidetracked into a clucking session, stop being the caricature you get accused of being.  If it’s any consolation, Mondale lost.  You’re probably glad he did too, I’ll bet.)

Janet Napolitano, the Democratic governor of Arizona, said the world was different now, especially the political world, thanks in part to Mrs. Clinton. “I never heard anybody say she can’t be elected because she’s a woman,” said Ms. Napolitano, who supports Mr. Obama and like many of his supporters saw less sexism in the race than Mrs. Clinton’s backers. “That’s a different deal than we’ve heard before in American politics.”

(“I never heard anybody say she can’t be elected because she’s a woman,” says Janet Napolitano.  But in her defense, I’ll bet she wouldn’t hear it even if it was said.  Since you aren’t allowed to criticize Teh Ladiez, all legitimate critique gets shouted down.  Just an observation.)

But as others watched a campaign that starred two possibly transformative figures, they felt a growing conviction that the contest was unfair. Mrs. Clinton’s supporters point to a nagging series of slights: the fixation on her clothes, even her cleavage; chronic criticism that her voice is shrill; calls for her to exit the race; and most of all, the male commentators in the news media who, they argue, were consistently tougher on her than on Mr. Obama.

(The press let her stay in the race way longer than she should have been given the spotlight.  That was the press’s doing to keep ratings high.  Sorry.  And while it’s a fact that her supporters do say these things, are the things they say also factual?  It’s a fact that Bush says the war is going well, but the idea that the war is going well is the antithesis of fact.  This is a damn long article, I’m regretting this…)

Some even accuse Mr. Obama of chauvinism, pointing to the time he called Mrs. Clinton “likeable enough” as evidence of dismissiveness. Nancy Wait, 55, a social worker in Columbia City, Ind., said Mr. Obama was far less qualified than Mrs. Clinton and described as condescending his recent assurances that Mrs. Clinton should stay in the race as long as she liked. Ms. Wait said she would “absolutely, positively not” vote for him come fall.

(Hurt feelings are no way to choose how you’re gonna vote in an election.  I’m not trying to pick on lady-voters here but this article keeps showcasing their darker side.  I’m trying the defend the fellas from the knee-jerk hatred omnipresent in the tone of all modern media, but this constant potrayal of women voters who won’t vote for the candidate that reminds them of their 7th grade boyriend makes me think the media hates women too?)

Ms. Ferraro, who clashed with the Obama campaign about whether she made a racially offensive remark, said she might not either. “I think Obama was terribly sexist,” she said.

(…and nothing anybody says to the contrary will enter into my decision making.  This thing called ‘sexism’ is everywhere, it trumps all other troubles, and once convicted you are guilty forever. That “I think…” part of the quote is there to actually heighten her argument if you can believe it. Feminists believe that adds gravity to their statement, as a warning and a kind of stick with which to club you with.  “I think, therefore stay the Eff out of my line of fire” said Socrates once.)

Cynthia Ruccia, 55, a sales director for Mary Kay cosmetics in Columbus, Ohio, is organizing a group, Clinton Supporters Count Too, of mostly women in swing states who plan to campaign against Mr. Obama in November. “We, the most loyal constituency, are being told to sit down, shut up and get to the back of the bus,” she said.

(Not for nothing, but be prepared for a lifetime more of this; of articles written this archly, of victims feeling victimized, of hyperbole of said victimhood, of cognitive dissonance.  And don’t you dare say anything contrarian.)

Whatever barriers Mrs. Clinton may have smashed, she left some intact for future contenders to try themselves against. She seemed uncertain how to reconcile her sex with her political persona. Though she projected an aura of authority, said Robert Shrum, a Democratic consultant unaffiliated with any candidate, she variously cast herself as a victim of male domination, a warm girlfriend type and, at the end, an indefatigable warrior. She even made contradictory statements about whether sex should be a factor in the race.

(Barriers are external, even as the internal ones they are blind to are so much more insurmountable and visible to everyone else.  But projection and externalization are the cornerstone of the same people who hate personal accountability and Agency.  Men give things to women, men take them from women, men are still the object of obsession for women.  Women blame men for everything the way Al Gore blames Ralph Nader for everything.  And way to pat yourself on the back for barrier smashing, you the man.)

Mrs. Clinton ran into trouble with some of the classic hurdles that women who are politicians face, historians and sociologists said. “It was the same conversations we’ve been having since the ’70s,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

(What’s lacking in feminism is a lack of fresh air.  If these hurdles are so classic, maybe they don’t really exist and they’re still around because they were never there.  How’s that for incongruity?  “Still Here Because It Was Never There.”  You want some new “hurdles” to tilt against?  How about “What if feminism has cause more harm that it was originally trying to fix?” or “why are feminists so selfish and only speak about how they can benefit instead of speaking about how they can best serve the society?”  Here’s a good hurdle to solve:  “How come any feminist that would actually take the time to read this would never actually listen to any of this and would instead block it all out, proving my point?”)

Take the need to project toughness and warmth simultaneously. The test is unfair, many say, because men are not subjected to it as harshly and because it is nearly impossible not to err on one side. Still, some say Mrs. Clinton went overboard on toughness.

(I admit even I may be getting shrill at this point.  This is a long article and I’m flogging dead horses now by paragraph 203.  That said, we’ve now gotten to the point in the article when it’s obvious Hillary and the Feminists want the presidency for themselves and not out of any mentality of service.  If running for president is so hard and people are so mean and the tests are so hoop-jumping why not let it go and let Obama do it?  Just let it go, unless you want it for yourself and for all the wrong reasons.  See I’m getting tired and shrill, saying Clinton shouldn’t run anymore because it’s difficult.  We should make the standards easier, so people can feel better about themselves.  Because it’s all about them.)

“The idea that you have to talk about eradicating Iran — that’s all, to me, the voices of people advising her,” said Patricia Schroeder, a former Colorado congresswoman and Clinton supporter who considered seeking the Democratic nomination in 1987.

(Politics is a full-contact game of soccer play by 22 men, and now that Feminists want to play we have to slow the game down, make it less rough, pass to the women more often and with special attention to them, and chase after the ball on their behalf when they get tired and don’t want to do it anymore.  And we should let them score the winning goal and have the goalie throw himself at the ball and make a big spectacle about it.)

And yet Mrs. Clinton may not have passed the commander in chief test. In New York Times/CBS News polls conducted this winter, voters rated Mr. Obama’s potential in that area more highly than they did Mrs. Clinton’s, though neither served in the military or has much experience directly handling international crises. Perhaps participants had many reasons for preferring Mr. Obama, but they followed the long-standing pattern of finding women less plausible military commanders than men.

(Ah, let’s wait until the very end, and after we’ve thrown a boatload of theories out, to explain why people don’t want to vote for Clinton.  Let’s leave it to the very end, because it isn’t what we want to hear and no amount of FACT is going to get in the way of our OPINION.  Our feelings are paramount  and we’re going to expound upong them for 103 paragraphs and then allude to other people’s stupid FACTS.)

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, many women say with regret, did not inspire a deep or nuanced conversation between men and women, only familiar gender-war battles consisting of male gibes and her supporters’ angry responses. Mr. Obama, who sought to minimize the role of race in his candidacy, led something of a national dialogue about it, but Mrs. Clinton, who made womanhood an explicit part of her run, seemed unwilling or unable to talk candidly about gender.

(Clinton didn’t want to have to lower herself and discuss anything of substance and greeted any opposition as a personal attack.  And the gender war that ensued was all men’s fault, like everything good or evil done on this planet is.  Feminism is as matter-of-fact and dogmatic a concept as the planet being round or the planet revolving around the sun.  Any nuanced conversation on gender would be so beneath the ladies, so Flat Earth Society to them.)

Mrs. Clinton, for example, declined a New York Times request earlier this year for an interview about the gender dynamics of the race; an aide said the topic would be impossible for her to address in a frank way

(Clinton would be unable to address it in a frank way or in a way that would guarantee a favorable outcome for her side.  If the win can’t be fixed ahead of time, then the battle won’t happen.)

The conversation Mrs. Clinton spurred among women, however, seemed newer and more surprising. Her candidacy split Democratic women, not to mention prominent feminists. (Last week, the abortion-rights group Naral Pro-Choice America endorsed Mr. Obama, setting off protest from other women’s groups.) The cleft was largely along generational lines, with older women who had waged their own battles showing more solidarity and younger ones arguing that voting for a male candidate over a female one was itself a sign of progress and confidence.

(This is an embarassing description of women voters, yet again.  No talk of the issues, or of where each candidate stood on them.  Maybe I’m thinking like a man, but aren’t the issues more important than he said-she said-she felt-she felt?)

“The most important contribution she has made is to show that women candidates are just like men candidates,” said Joan Scott, a historian at the Institute for Advanced Study. “You have to judge them not on the basis of their gender but their character.”

(This is false.  She has proven the opposite.  Women candidates SHOULD be just like men candidates, but aren’t.  And the second half of that quote is a straw man (!) as well.  Somebody’s trying to shove something past us here, trying to get by.)

Over the course of the campaign, Jennifer Rogers, a film producer in Los Angeles, came to agree. She voted for Mrs. Clinton, in part because she hoped to see a female president, but she recently lost enthusiasm over what she called a lack of truthfulness on the candidate’s part. “Her problems are about who she is and not her gender,” said Ms. Rogers, 28.

(I was taught by women that if you vote for somebody because of their skin color or because of their sex you are a racist and a mysoginist.  Were they speaking out in the name of objective Truth or were they playing Partisan politics and don’t care about anything objective?  Do they care about Truth or did they just try to prevent me from voting for who I wanted to vote for?)

Amy Rees, a 35-year-old stay-at-home mother in San Francisco, agrees — most of the time. She said she agonized between the two choices, finally voted for Mr. Obama and did not regret it. Mrs. Clinton lost on the merits, Ms. Rees said.

(Wait for it, wait for it…)

Still, every so often, she feels a flicker of worry about whether that is entirely so. Referring to Mr. Obama, Ms. Rees said, “He still looks more like every other president we’ve ever had than she does.”

(Of course, we couldn’t end the article without some unrelated non sequiter.  Along this line of logic, along this line of logic… along this line of, oh I can’t do it.  You work out the loggerhead of Truth here.)

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Written by Common Sense

May 19, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Bad News

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