Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Lady Killers

I delayed a few days in writing this as I didn't want to rain on Paul Krugman's Nobel parade, an award he richly deserves, but even he says it's time to move on from that.

I was disgusted by Krugman's blog post on October 10, Not about the Financial Crisis, but not for the reasons most people had. Most writers focused on the comments about the right-wing hatred towards Obama and how afraid Krugman felt seeing this hatred. Part of me is just tired of the "They're all out to kill me!" story line Obama has been pushing since last year. News flash, Precious: Anyone who runs for or occupies the office of President becomes a potential assassination target. Ask George Wallace. Ask Gerry Ford. Why was Krugman so shocked, shocked, at the sight of angry right-wingers chanting violent threats? Political violence in this country is overwhelmingly from the Right, with a few notorious examples on the Left. It is often mixed with racism and always linked to authoritarian personalities who believe that they have some cause or mission that justifies their use of violence to achieve their ends. This is what ties William Ayers to Timothy McVeigh, and why ethical people shun Ayers to this day. He ordered the murder of people for ideological reasons and has never repented of his acts. It is to the credit of the Left that we don't have many like this. But what bothered me most about Krugman's post was not what he said, but what he left out.

He said:

We've seen this before. One thing that has been sort of written out of the mainstream history of politics is the sheer insanity of the attacks on the Clintons - they were drug smugglers, they murdered Vince Foster (and lots of other people), they were in league with foreign powers. And this stuff didn't just show up in fringe publications - it was discussed in Congress, given props by the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and so on.

What it came down to was that a significant fraction of the American population, backed by a lot of money and political influence, simply does not consider government by liberals (even very moderate liberals) legitimate. Ronald Reagan was supposed to have settled that once and for all.

The problem, Paul, is that the Left has been doing the exact same thing to the Clintons and Clinton Democrats for the last eight years. The Incomparable Bob Somerby gently takes Krugman to task, as he does all self-styled progressives who avert their eyes to the sins of the SCLM (my emphasis):

THE DECLINE OF THE REST: Paul Krugman has long been our favorite top-level columnist-the one who almost always says something accurate and/or relevant. And of course, Krugman is the only high-end columnist who would have typed what follows. As we noted yesterday, this material appeared last Friday, on his New York Times blog: [quoting same paragraph as I did above]

There are shortcomings to that paragraph-which appeared as part of a short post on a larger subject. In our view, it's always a mistake when liberals fail to mention an obvious fact-the fact that the insanity of the attacks on the Clintons was quickly transformed, in March 1999, into the insanity of the attacks on Candidate Gore. And that twenty-month Group Insanity "didn't just show up in" conservative editorial pages, like that of the Wall Street Journal; it was heavily driven by famous "liberals" on the op-ed page Krugman shares. We especially think of Frank Rich and Bob Herbert, who were still driving the most inane critiques of Gore even after his first debate with Bush. But the sheer insanity of the 1990s was widely purchased, all around. Even "liberals" signed up for the Clinton-hatred, then agreed to extend it to Gore.

None of these giants has ever explained why this insanity happened.

As Krugman put it, this history-changing episode has been "written out of the mainstream history of politics." Most career liberals still won't discuss it. For that reason, most voters have never heard that it even occurred.

Among top-end pundits, only Krugman will ever discuss this insanity.

Somerby's point, expressed mildly towards Krugman in recognition of the work Krugman has done to call out the idiocy, is that it is not just the Right that launched broadsides against some of the most talented and capable leaders we currently have, but the Left was fully involved in it, too. This election season, all of the worst attacks on the Clintons have been from the Left, right down to repeating the lies about murdering a personal friend, about their aberrant sexuality, about their criminal business dealings, about their insatiable lust for power. Cover the names and you couldn't tell Scaife from Josh Marshall.

What the two best critical voices on the Left have also left out in these criticisms, particularly glaring in Krugman's post given his focus on violence and assassination, is that this election season has not been marked by racism, but by misogyny of a very violent kind, and that this violence has come overwhelmingly from the Left. I don't think this is because the Left is inherently more misogynistic than the Right, but see it as a sign that expressing hatred of and desires to inflict violence upon women is as acceptable across the political spectrum as racism was in the first half of the 20th Century. While Krugman was consistently critical of Obama and the more general lies his campaign promoted about Hillary Clinton throughout the primaries, he has a single blog post after the primaries were over scolding a general audience (Sexism? Who, us? )about the presence of "raw sexism" as one of a number of factors that made for a bad primary, but immediately walked back his criticism by saying "So this is no time for a protest vote."

And why not?

While he has a public freak out over some typical wing-nuts yelling violent threats, Krugman did not say a single word at the time (nor anything since) about Keith Olbermann's very public exhortation on national TV for some Democratic delegate to kill Hillary because she was politically inconvenient. As I said then:

...However, certainly within the liberal blogosphere and the MSM (I do not venture into the wingnut fever swamps), there is no drumbeat for violence against Obama.

This is not the case with Hillary. I have myself read comments advocating rape and murder. I have read main posts saying she was inciting violent acts against her, or saying they could "understand" the position of those who wished violent harm to befall her, her husband and her daughter. The descriptions of what Obama should do to Hillary verge on the pornographic. Not a day goes by that some prominent voice on the left or in the MSM does not demand her submission, subordination and public humiliation.

And now a major MSM celebrity and talking head, not some anonymous commenter on some obscure blog, has openly and unapologetically advocated that Hillary Clinton be marched into a dark room and murdered.

Think that is too far? A real stretch? Just a tad bit hysterical? Replace Hillary Clinton with Barack Obama in that formulation and you tell me what that means. If someone said this about Barack Obama, it would mean that this man be lynched to remove him from a path to power. Period. Full stop. No equivocations. It would be understood as nothing less than a call for the man's murder, and there would be an outcry from EVERY Democrat, even those of us who do not much care for Obama as a candidate, condemning those words, because that is what we are called upon to do when confronted with evil.

And, when those kinds of threats were made towards Obama, they were instantly and vehemently denounced and not just by Democrats. It was called for what it was, on the spot, and McCain was rightly held responsible for tacitly condoning the threats. The Right needs to be called out and condemned for its reliance on threats and acts of violence to advance its political goals. It is the party of Timothy McVeigh, of clinic bombers, of Abu Ghraib.

But the Democrats and the self-proclaimed progressive blogosphere have shown themselves to be more than willing parties to misogyny and violence against women. Along with Olbermann's homicidal fury, there were the widespread comments after the Kentucky Derby that the euthanized filly was a good example for what should be done to Hillary. The language and imagery I mentioned when writing about Olbermann resurfaces every time there is a breath of a rumor that somehow Hillary isn't campaigning hard enough for Obama. How she is going to pay if he loses, because... well, because she is there and women are the usual targets of violence when men feel disempowered, disrespected, disappointed that they didn't get what was owed to them. The deep irony of the Obama campaign's self indulgent "She wants us dead!" yowling over the RFK reference is that the parallel was between Hillary and RFK - trailing in the delegate count but persisting to the end despite threats and danger. She was the person in RFK's shoes and the one at risk of murder, not Obama, especially given the constant agitation against her at every level of the media.

I started to write up a post about misogyny and this election cycle and found I have been writing about it since November 4, 2007, almost an entire year. I doubt I will be finished after November 5th, 2008. This campaign has been defined by false claims of racism and the brutal enactment of misogyny. The assaults on women as women show us that using misogyny to intimidate and eradicate female participants (voters as well as candidates) is excusable in a way that racist assaults are not. Racist attacks have to be dog whistled because they cannot be made openly without immediate backlash and condemnation by people in power and major opinion makers. Allan's "macaca" moment is an example of this, and I think the McCain campaign rally tapes will be another. Public imagery of Obama that has any racist overtones (such as the New Yorker cover, which I do believe was intended as satire) is greeted with anger and derision. There are words you just can't say in connection with Obama without having hot coals heaped on your head.

This is a good thing.

It is how our society should respond to attacks upon anyone for what they are. It is how any true progressive will respond, regardless of how the larger society behaves. But this outrage does not extend to women. Language and imagery denigrating women as women (bitch, shrew, whore, cunt, slut) are available on most of the well-trafficked locations of Left Blogistan, in the spring referring to Hillary, this fall referring to Sarah Palin. Cannonfire presents a few ugly examples of just how unfiltered the hatred has become, and is probably not safe for most workplaces.

The people at McCain's rally were indefensible, and we did not see any mainstream, reputable new reporter of public figure saying that he could "understand" why people would want to murder Obama, or even something less than that level of violence. We saw and heard exactly that kind of excuse summoned to dismiss threats and smears against Hillary and we are in a rerun of even worse with Gov. Palin. Violence and maltreatment of women has as long and, yes, as violent a history in this country as racism. Neither women nor minorities have been treated all that well, and both have placed their hopes in the Democratic Party to right past wrongs and prevent more in the future. This election cycle, whether the mainstream media will acknowledge it or not, whether the A-List blogs will cop to their gleeful gang bang of women they love to hate, has been a very public repudiation of one groups' hopes.

That female identification with Hillary and later Palin has been dismissed as either irrational (vagina voting) or actually a sign of secret racism exposes the ease with which misogyny is mobilized to try to belittle, badger, and dominate. Its very ubiquity makes it unremarkable and difficult to problematize. Our arguments and explanations on how we perceive our interests to be best served are trivialized as the whines of "bitter knitters" instead of serious challenges by engaged citizens. Insisting that we be heard garners a mix of aggressive bluster and wide-eyed faux-innocence.

Misogyny deniers try to focus on just a few figures, and explain away broad actions as being reasonable responses to these despicable, polarizing broads. No, no, it's not that we are kicking women down; it's that Hillary's a cold bitch! We'd like someone else. But not Ferraro, that racist, shriveled up old hag. And Chelsea is really just letting herself get pimped out. Then we defend teenage sexuality, except for that wanton slut, Bristol Palin, and her bigger slut, the mother I'd like to fuck (MILF), Sarah. But then how to explain the fury expressed at women who do not support Obama? It's any woman who does not toe the line, not just the politicians.

Too many doing this, male and female alike, will not accept that the modes of attack "work" because they rely on a background of bigotry and denigration that attaches itself to all female bodies. They can laugh at images of a fist smashing into Palin's face until her bones are broken and her teeth are knocked out because that is an excusable, if not precisely acceptable, way to treat women in this culture. I think of the photos of the faces of battered women in Annie Liebovitz's photo essay book, Women, and wonder what they would think of that imagery. The shirt "Bros before Hos" with Obama and Hillary's faces on it was a giggle fest for most of the left wing blogs ( at worst a "tsk, tsk, that's childish" objection) but "works" because women are whores and we brothers have to stick together against those greedy bitches. We all know women are just out to bleed you dry, just like your ex-wife did. The current pop hit "Whatever You Like" is little more than a sugar-coated version of a man asking to buy access to a woman's body, but the bro/ho relationship is clear.

Would there have been similar amusement on the Left if McCain supporters promoted shirts with a racial slur, such as "Homeland before Homeboys," or "Stop the buck here"? When someone proposed a PAC called "C.U.N.T" with an image of a star-spangled female crotch, it was seen as tacky at worst and usually as uproariously funny. What if there had been a PAC called "No Indulgence, Genuine Gains, Equal Rewards," with an image of a blackface minstrel in an Uncle Sam costume, or other patriotic emblems on a disembodied rapper (capped teeth, baggy pants, set of heavy chains and medallions, etc.), wouldn't that have been some good natured ribbing? You know, don't take it so seriously or personally. What about PACs called S.P.I.C., W.O.P., K.I.K.E., B.E.A.N.E.R, etc.? All in tacky fun, hey?

Calling Hillary a cunt or Sarah Plain a slut only work because of the misogynistic backdrop in which we understand that these are qualities of being female, and where they are used to shame, humiliate, intimidate and justify violence against the women so named, exactly as racial epithets are used to do the same on reviled minorities. These kinds of racial epithets and imagery were acceptable, even respectable, in popular culture. Alex Guinness' great movie, Kind Hearts and Coronets, released in 1950, shocked me when I saw it in the 70s. Watch the movie trailer for the particular scene. Some versions have been dubbed to remove the offending word. I remember eating at "Sambo's" restaurants as a child, a chain marketed through racist imagery. It is now gone. Conversely, there are two "Hooters" restaurants within 10 miles of my house, where women's breasts are the central marketing tool for second rate fried food. It's promoted as a "family" restaurant, by the way.

What the campaign season has demonstrated is misogyny is as acceptable a weapon of social and political dominance as race demagoguery was through George Wallace's presidential campaigns. By Reagan, it was dog whistle time. I've written before why the fauxgressive Left is happy to profit from misogyny as a social condition in Just Like Grad School and Weeding out the Competition,

The reaction can be guilt rather than anger because there is really no chance that this class of people will ever get ahead as a class such that there would be competition. It may not be PC to say this, but there is a very rational basis for working class white racism that has nothing to do with believing minorities are lesser beings and everything to do with keeping that structural advantage in place. That's why the cynical claims of the Obama campaign about Archie Bunkers - when the target is actually the guilty upper middle class - doesn't ring true. Obama himself is no threat. He codes "white". The threat he offers is not raising up minorities but turning his back on all the working class and failing to enact policies and programs that will help those who are struggling. The real way to undermine racism is by increasing economic stability and prosperity, not by trying to shame people living on the edge as some kind of moral reprobates.

Change the makeup of that class and suddenly the privileged white boyz start getting nasty. The structural disadvantage that kept women from competing directly for previously male-only positions, structures both legal and cultural, have disappeared with enormous speed in the last forty years, especially the last twenty, and while entry of women into the workplace in professional and skilled labor ranks (they have always worked their asses off in retail, agriculture and service industries) has increased household income, it has also curbed a rise in male wages while offering increased competition for positions. Women's economic success has directly harmed individual male economic success and the concomitant social privilege. ...

The success Hillary is enjoying is flushing the fauxgressives out of the woodwork. Hillary hatred has permutations beyond simple misogyny, but the very real competition that women as a class offer these guys is what we see bubbling up in anti-feminist broadsides and pathetic attempts to reduce women's choices and aspirations to acts of vagina voting or bitchy resentment. What we are seeing in this election, from right and left, is the rage of white males who see their privilege under real threat and they don't like it one bit.

It's not the entire explanation, but I think it explains a large part of why Left Blogistan fell all over itself to see who could piss on women, candidates and voters alike.

There is no "answer" for it as long as it is a contest where the privileged have no intention of letting the dominated get a leg up, and where authoritative critical voices fall silent when wrongs are committed. Paul Krugman, I'm sorry to tell you that your willingness to push aside all the unpleasantness for the sake of winning the election, lecturing Hillary voters, us bitter knitters, to not go away mad just because we've been threatened with rape, murder, beatings and torture if we don't ditch that bitch and vote for The Precious has materially harmed women. You should have been screaming every day about how Obama had better put Hillary on the ticket or else watch half the party walk off, encouraging people to be angry over being treated with contempt instead of meekly getting the scraps from the table. Maybe if someone of your stature took seriously that treating women badly to their faces means treating them badly in social policy - the kinds of policies I have reason to believe you support - we'd have a hope of moving Obama out of his neo-Reaganite position and slightly towards something that moves the country towards the left.

Changing the subject doesn't change the situation.

For me, my political calculus has changed. There's never been a chance I would vote for Obama, nor that I would vote for any Republican, and for much the same reason - illiberal, misogynist, classist, and lacking a vision for the construction of progressive state. I also will not be forced out of my party and the institutional power it can command. However, my money will not go to general party funds or to PACs where it might be used to support candidates and party officials who refuse to fight back against misogyny. My votes will only go to women from now on. Male Democrats are going to have earn back my support by performing public, material acts to counter misogyny, such as promoting the ERA again, defending women's reproductive choices, passing UHC, which is of greatest importance to women with dependent children and no employer-based insurance, raising the minimum wage which affects women's job categories the most, defending Social Security, and supporting GLBT rights.

The lady killers are no more and no less than the racists of the Left, and should be treated as such.


Note - A few edits throughout to correct formatting problems and correct grammar. Reference to Annie Liebovitz's book added.


R. S. Martin said...

As much as I admire Krugman, he has a weakness that is very typical of academics and other intellectually-inclined people: he tends to see things in abstract terms rather than practical ones. He's more sophisticated in his thinking than a lot of people of that bent, and he was never for a moment terribly impressed with Obama, but his discussions of the Presidential candidates focus exclusively on policy proposals rather than history of conduct. He technically can't endorse a candidate because of his column, but it was clear he initially supported Edwards, who was just as much from the all-flash-no-substance fast-track mold as Obama, and who had no significant public-policy accomplishments, either. Krugman favored Hillary over Obama because her policy proposals were far less accomodating to GOP positions than his.

As far as Krugman not speaking up during the primary season once Hillary hatred came to a boil, my recollection was that his attitude was: wake me when it's over. He felt either Clinton or Obama were perfectly acceptable candidates, although Clinton was preferable, and he didn't want to get involved in that fight. Policy-wise, he didn't feel there was that significant a difference, and that was all that mattered to him.

The fact that Obama's political career has always been about his own self-aggrandizement, and never about any sense of public duty, is something that Krugman seems blind to.

As for Obama and assassination, well, Obama wants the glamour of being a martyr without actually having to get killed or injured. I always found it absolutely ridiculous that so many people identify him with RFK in 1968 (and they did so long before that stupid controversy over Hillary's June campaign comments). The people who supported Obama in the primary are the same sort of people who supported Eugene McCarthy in 1968. McCarthy, like Obama, was considered the pure one. RFK was seen as the compromised standard-bearer for his brother's administration, and his views on civil rights and Vietnam were considered by the McCarthy backers as corrupt, compromised, and highly suspect. They held his involvement with HUAC against him, too. He was a lot closer to Hillary than Obama, and once you remove African-American voters from the equation, their constituencies were identical.

As for Obama's safety, he has nothing to worry about. After Hinckley's attempt on Reagan (coming as it did on the heels of John Lennon's murder), the Secret Service thoroughly reevaluated their security protocols, and they've become so overbearing that during the Clinton and Dubya administrations it's started to cause diplomatic problems when the President goes on state visits. There hasn't been a serious attempt on a U.S. President in over 25 years now, and it's not by accident.

Bookhorde said...

Thank you for this post.
I am going with the "30% solution" working to elect more women across the board. That means if it' a woman vs. a man, the woman has my vote by default, regardless of party. Now it may be that the woman might lose my vote, and the man manage to earn it, but I will start out in favor of the woman.

I'm upset too at the local level, that I actually do NOT have a woman to vote for. There was a woman state rep who retired and wanted another woman to replace her, but a man got to run instead. I'm not voting for him. I want both parties to get the message that women vote for women.

Shainzona said...


In late January, Frank Rich wrote a column that left me in tears. I was blubbering (typical of a women, isn't it?) to everyone about "How could he say those things about HRC?" - who, BTW, I didn't even support at the time.

Your column today has reduced me to tears, again. The truth is painful and for someone of my age (62 - which is actually very young IMHO)it carries the realization that all of my hard work for women (in the workplace, at home, in our private lives, in education and in politics) has been worthless. I will never see a female POTUS.

And this, above all else in my life, is my biggest personal disappointment.

That said, I'm angry as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. Nobama. No McCain and not one thin dime to any candidate who wasn't born with a vagina, or now has the balls to stand with us.

Thank you for this post.

show me said...

I can't add to your great post or the comments made here about it. I just want to thank you for keeping a clear vision of what has been going on in this election cycle and articulating it so well for the rest of us.

Unknown said...

I found the sexism and racism of the primary (and general) campaigns troubling if not entirely surprising. I voted for Obama, but not because I cherish illusions about his being a "progressive." What I've never quite understood about posts like the above is the free and easy equation of the candidate at the top of the ticket with the (presumably) male asshole posting comments on a blog. What constantly seemed to happen (among both Obama and Clinton supporters) was the construction of a fantasy candidate based on the things net idiots said about them, and the search for coded phrases in the candidates' public statements which somehow proved they deep down believed the same things the net idiots said.

Falstaff said...

Yep. This was what utzed me to start blogging -- -- and it's the 800-lb. gorilla still: the misogyny of the Left.

To be sure, the financial tsunami has inundated everything else. But that gorilla isn't being drowned.

Bookhorde said...

It seems like at least one of the "violent threats" reported at a Palin rally didn't actually happen.

It is a relief to me that the Secret Service investigates alleged death threats.

Briar said...

I find it curious that Krugman should find it so easy to ignore the hostility to Hillary Clinton. I used to frequent DU (I can't abide the place now: nothing more clearly displays the immaturity, self-regarding vanity and indolence of mind of America's so-called left) and I remember that after Krugman endorsed Hillary's economic policies as superior, the boards swarmed with vicious little obots all turning to attack him in concert and in the vilest of school-yard language. Yet only months beforehand they had hailed him as a leading critic of Bush's policies. A candidate who rouses and encourages such rancorous fickleness of mind and emotion deeply unsettles me, and I am sorry Krugman can't see the dangers of demagoguery personified by Obama. Now is the perfect time for a protest vote!

Anna said...

Obama tried to show his empathy by talking about two late fifties women he had met the day before who had been laid off and had no health insurance. After talking about them, Obama turned and faced sincerely into the camera and recited his health plan solution: lower cost, ability to buy with a pre-existing condition, and access to the same group plan he has.

I want to know how this is supposed to help those two women? What are they supposed to buy insurance with?

To me this is yet another emotional clunker from Obama: let them eat cake

Falstaff said...

As much as I agree with the substance of your post, I do think it's important to remember that Krugman did denounce the vitriol directed against Hillary, and the Obama campaign's complicity in same. For instance: and The fact that he didn't revisit that again in this recent post doesn't really seem like a serious offense to me.

Having said that, the broader point remains: Misogyny is alive and well, and in our (i.e., Dems') midst. That rough beast is still crawling toward Bethlehem. said...

"I can't add to your great post or the comments made here about it. I just want to thank you for keeping a clear vision of what has been going on in this election cycle and articulating it so well for the rest of us."

Yes. Thank you. From me, for my daughters. Your clarity and courage have been my beacon these past months.

Anglachel said...

Falstaff, I read those two columns over very carefully before I wrote this post. In fact, I blogged about those columns at the time.

In them, Krugman, rightly, points to the danger of the derogatory attitude of Obama supporters towards Hillary and her supporters, warning about political damage. He also tries to counter the false accusations of racism against the Clintons and their supporters. I commend Krugman for this; he and Somerby were two of the very few who stood up to that angle of the attacks.

But my concern here is with the absence of misogyny in the Krug's analysis. He talks specifically about the calumny on racism, but glosses over the far more pernicious use of misogyny.

My argument is that misogyny on the Left is rife and directly, materially harms women. Krugman (and I'm only picking on Paul because he's got all the other bases covered) needs to address misogyny with the same vehemence and outrage that he (again, rightly and commendably) brings to racism.


Anglachel said...


Reading comprehension - ur doin it rong.

I refuse to vote for Obama because of his *campaign's* false accusations of racism against the Clintons and its involvement in spreading the lie about the RFK - kill The Precious bullshit. Plus Obama is awful on social policy and fiscal policy. Thus, I won't lift a finger to legitimize his lust for power.

I have written this post to talk about the ubiquity of misogyny in our society and our politics, present as virulently and violently among our nominal allies on the Left as among the definite opponents of the Right. I'm trying to figure out how to oppose it in ways that are effective, which means ways that make the people in power worry about remaining in power if they continue to piss me off.

Not going to be easy for me so I have no intention of making it easy on anyone else.


Anonymous said...

This one is tough for me. As a male and a person who grow up to think that people( all sexes, races, religions, ethnicities, etc) are not only equal but also identical, misogyny is an insult and a travesty. As a male, however, it's an experience I cannot feel or fully comprehend. After all, we seek the company of women, their friendship and in some cases their love.

Therefore my comments are biased and narrow.

The misogyny as directed as Hillary originated from the hate, envy and jealousy directed at Bill Clinton. He was not supposed to be president, thus thought the Right for which any Democratic president is, by definition, an imposter and a criminal. Similarly, the media whose feeling of entitlement includes a litmus test that prevents presumed hicks from crashing the gates. The left with its elitist, upper middle class, latte drinking and gourmet sphere for which Bubba and Big Mac are totally unacceptable and therefore hated as a protection mechanism.

Krugman was right to point to the outrageousness of this bizarre coalition against Bill Clinton, and at least in the early 90's, by association against Hillary as well.

That was the original sin. When Hillary started to run against Obama, misogyny raised his ugly head. To me it is a terrible phenomenon. The left, at the very least, consists of, mainly, young middle class and well educated people. In the 21st century they are not supposed to hate anyone, including women.

The fascist nature of the Obama primary run, the need for crude hate that raises its ugly head time and time again brought out the most ugly behavior of the not-really-left left.

Another factor, I believe, was the inferiority of Obama as a candidate compared to Hillary the brighter, more articulate, more passionate and scarily successful candidacy.

clik212 said...

Wow, what an article. Thank you. I've been reading you and this is the first time I make a comment. I have wanted to thank you before, yet I didn't want to appear maudlin and superfluous.

You have brilliantly articulated what is the reality for women in this society. This election has opened my eyes so much that I "figuratively" can not shut them.

The most jarring and anger provoking aspect of this onslaught against women, comes from women themselves who in position of power or access to a public platform, either abet or participate in the trashing, bashing and verbal lynching of other women.

It is a sick and dangerous cannibalism that women, e.g., Maureen Dowd, Ariana Huffington, and the many women pundits in the MSM plus the PBS commentators that have cravenly participated in the eating frenzy of Hillary Clinton and now they have turned their snouts to Sara Palin. Coming from a working class background, I have always associated these privileged women as part of the problem that after so many years since the movement that educated young women today can tolerate this onslaught are actually supporting Obama. Their mothers who are of my generation do not understand that the fight for equality has never ended and we can see today that a less than mediocre black male has a better chance of becoming POTUS than a qualified, intelligent woman with a clear vision of our future.

Obviously these women did not learn and therefore could not teach their daughters that the struggle continues. Maybe they can succeed economically and professionally, but the insidiousness of the threat that they present is always the undercurrent of male hatred.

Esmense said...

Lakelobos --

The hatred direct toward Bill Clinton was based on disrepect for the constituencies who were perceived to most support him; the poor, and most important, women.

Remember, 1992 was the "year of the woman." Clinton's victory was attributed to women's votes and women's anger (the Clarence Thomas hearings) and to his willingness to "pander" to what today's pundits call "women with needs." For instance, he made health care an important issue in his campaign and thereby elevated an issue that the media had long dismissed as a "woman's issue." He also declared that his administration would "look like America" --including minorities AND WOMEN in unprecedented numbers, and he presented his wife as an equal who would, as she had done as First Lady in Arkansas, be involved in significant policy issues.

My point is this; the hostility toward Bill Clinton was based in sexism. (And, most important, the focus on his sex life was pay back to feminist who had embarassed powerful politicians in both parties with their accusations of "sexual harassment." In the years leading up to the '92 election such charges had ended the careers of Sen. Brock Adams (D) and Bob Packwood (R) and almost derailed the nomination of Thomas.)

When you say that Hillary inherited the resentment of Bill, you have to remember that the deepest resentment of Bill arose from sexism and the gender wars.

Unknown said...

anglachel --

I have been reading here a long time, but never commented before. Have wanted to comment many times regarding your wonderfully insightful and eloquent posts, but never felt articulate enough to express how much I love your writing. Still can't! But I just had to comment for this post, which is so exquisitely accurate and honest about what has been revealed about The Left's misogyny during this primary. What an eye-opener it has been. Sexism knows no boundaries - not class, not race, not ideology, not age, not anything. It is everywhere. I will never forget what I saw and heard from the left on MSM and the blogs.

You are the best blogger I've found.

Anonymous said...

More than that, esmense, Bill Clinton actually dared to show a few tears, and said "I feel your pain." And he said he believed Anita Hill rather than Clarence Thomas, something many in the Village (particularly those in the GOP press corps) could not forgive him for. The same people who detested Bill for being too wonkish, too sensitive, too liberal are the same ones who love Shrub, for just the opposite reasons--he's dumb, he doesn't care about anyone but himself and his small circle, he talks tough, and he's far more right wing.

Ironically, the detested "feminine" president has been far more popular than the macho Shrub. Just goes to show how far outside the mainstream the Village really is.

Anne said...

IMO, the Dem party is dead. It is the Obamacin party now. I mean, what is there to build on? Hillary offered them a way to a super majority and they spat on her. The Dem party's demise did not happen just during this election season.It's been years in the making.

The Dems sat on their hands though out Bill Clinton's 2 terms and watched without a peep as the GOP impeached him . And the Dems watched as the GOP dragged the Clintons though even phony scandal imaginable and said nothing....except to agree with the GOP about
about that awful Bill" Bubba" Clinton. the anti working class Dem position was already rearing its often did we hear Bill Clinton was trailer trash? Sure the GOP was in power for most of the Clinton years , but did any Dem ever defend him back then? Can someone point me to one? But the Dems have worked like ferrets in heat for Bush these last 8 years.

The same group who pushed Bush and the war down our throats, are now pushing Obama and in exactly the same manner.In this endeavor, the Dems are, yet again, doing all they can to help....up to and including destroying

Right now , there are no parties in the traditional way, we are in a hyper drive class war . There is the Upper Crust and Working Class. The Upper Crust of both parties want Barry very badly. the Working Class of both parties , not so much. At the moment, IMO, the split in the country is not left or right, as much as it is horizontal.

Teresa Welby said...
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