Monday, April 07, 2008

The sexist de-nominator

Hillary in Hillsboro -- Photo by Barbara Kinney

In defense against WWTSBQ--the battle cry of the Obamasphere--our sophia man Lambert at Corrente uncovers one of the most common sexist de-nominators against Hillary Clinton in this year's Democratic presidential race via The Reclusive Leftist.

The movement to get Hillary to drop out defies the history of the Democratic nominating process. Ah, but maybe something else is afoot. The Reclusive Leftist, um, nails it:

It is, in truth, an argument virtually without precedent in modern political history, at least at this stage of such a close race. And while it does have its origins in an effort to preserve party unity, it also has its roots in an odd and vitriolic crusade to purge the Clintons and hand the nomination to a candidate who has yet, after all, to win a single large state’s primary (other than his own), let alone the nomination.

The fact is that, until now, candidates have rarely, if ever, faced such a concerted movement (featuring prominent names, such as Bill Richardson, and a column in Slate titled “The Hillary Deathwatch”), urging them to drop out before their rival has clinched the nomination. To review the history:

• In 1988, Jesse Jackson took his hopeless campaign against winner Michael Dukakis all the way to the convention, often to great media praise.

• In 1980, Ted Kennedy carried his run against Jimmy Carter all the way to the convention, even though it was clear he had been routed.

• In 1976, Ronald Reagan contested the “inevitability” of Gerald Ford all the way to the convention. Few, then or since, have ever thought to criticize Reagan’s failure to step aside and let Ford assume the mantle.

• Also in 1976, three candidates — Mo Udall, Jerry Brown, and Frank Church — ran against Jimmy Carter all the way through the final primaries, even though Carter seemed more than likely to be the eventual nominee.

• Even in 1960, Lyndon Johnson and Adlai Stevenson fought the “certain” nomination of John F. Kennedy all the way to the convention floor.

In fact, until this year, it’s been an axiom of American politics that candidates are allowed to pursue their runs until they decide to drop out — which is usually, by the way, when they run out of money. Even Mike Huckabee kept running against John McCain in this campaign long after it was obvious he had no hope of winning the GOP nod.

Okay, class, who can tell me what all those candidates had in common? Starts with a p…..

That’s right! Penis! Yes, all candidates with penises have the right to compete.

Clearly the rules are different for penis-less lady candidates:

Yet in one of the tightest races in modern history — before the opponent has come close to clearly clinching the nomination, before a number of voters have been given the chance to have their voices heard, and when Clinton still has a chance, albeit a slim one, to win the prize, she is continually vilified for failing to see the light and bow out. What gives?

I know! I know! Pick me!

…Clinton is being held to a different standard than virtually any other candidate in history. That’s being driven by Clinton fatigue, but it’s also being driven by a concerted campaign that examines every action the Clintons take and somehow finds the basest, most self-serving motivation for its existence. Thus, in this case, when Clinton is simply doing what everyone else has always done, she’s constantly attacked as an obsessed and crazed egomaniac, bent on self-aggrandizement at the expense of her party. Is there a fair amount of sexism in the way she’s being asked to get out of the way so a man can have the job? You be the judge.

No, there’s not a fair amount of sexism. There’s a huge amount of sexism, both conscious and unconscious. All this talk of Clinton fatigue is bullshit — in 2004 the party was wishing they could re-nominate Big Dog after his speech at the convention. What’s going on now is that lay-deez aren’t supposed to reach for power, and those who do are evil unnatural witches who consort with demons, eat babies, and fuck ponies for fun.

Deserves repeating with emphasis: "Clearly the rules are different for penis-less lady candidates."