Sunday, February 24

DON'T COUNT HER OUT YET


Cokie Roberts interviewed tennis legend and feminist Billie Jean King this week and quoted her as saying, "I feel like everything I've worked for all my life is going out the window."

I can second that emotion. But not as I think Billie Jean meant, that of the first really viable female candidate for president being rejected for the nomination.

I feel as if we're in real danger of losing the presidency, once again, to a war-happy Republican who believes lobbyists and CEOs should dictate legislation, that if we take care of the wealthy that will suffice to fix the economy. We have an opportunity to elect a person who understands and has a lifelong record of working for women's and children's issues, a person who's battle-hardened in the political arena and has demonstrated the ability to work across the aisles, to gain the trust of the military, to win the admiration and affections of the whole world outside the United States. I don't care what the national polls say, Hillary could beat John McCain. I'm highly suspicious of an Obama win against McCain. The primary season is more of a popularity contest within the political parties, something like voting for sorority president. But the general election is another thing entirely. It's the time when Americans are faced with a momentous decision: Whose hand do they most prefer at the wheel of the ship of state (and on the nuclear button)? I fear they will want an experienced hand, and when push comes to shove they simply will choose the man they (think they) know rather than the man who has yet to define himself.

But it's not over yet. Nobody ever went wrong in refusing to count Hillary Clinton out when she's simply down.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Bucks said...

Agree with you, ML. Never underestimate a Clinton. If there is one thing they know, it's how to win elections.

And I mean that as a compliment.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Buckles said...

I'll confess, ML, that I don't get the "I feel like everything I've worked for all my life is going out the window" sentiment.

For the first time, we have a viable woman running for president. The same with someone who isn't white. She may not get the nomination and/or win the presidency, but this is historic.

Maybe it's a glass half empty/half full sort of thing. But as I talk to many of my friends who are Hillary supporters (both women and men) there is an anger and a feeling of despair that I don't understand.

I was an Edwards supporter, because I agreed with him on many issues surrounding poverty and wealth and health care. I'm sorry that his message didn't resonate and that he is no longer a viable candidate. But I don't think that "my life's work is going out the window."

I'm missing something here.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Motherlode said...

I think what's at stake here isn't simply the idea that we're missing the opportunity to elect a female as POTUS. What's discouraging so many women (including me) is that a gender bias that we thought had largely faded from the scene has reared its head in such despicable ways during the course of this campaign.

By "my life's work," I think Ms. King was referring to her lifetime of promoting gender equality, and she has good reason to feel discouraged about that -- the Chris Matthews and Maureen Dowds of the world have exposed ugly anti-female sentiments that clearly still hold sway over a great portion of the populace.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Buckles said...

Ponit taken, ML. We've seen sexism and racism rear their twin ugly heads, and we are going to see much, much more of that crap. Both subtle and overt.

Sexism isn't dead by any stretch, certainly not among a certain knuckle-dragging portion of the population. I often wonder about the Matthews and Dowds and others of their ilk. Are they ultimately sexists? Or are they just deeply partisan and using everything they have at their disposal to discredit Hillary? I really have no idea.

Luckily, these people are (too slowly for my tatste) on the way out. One of the things that has so encouraged me this election cycle is that younger voters by and large have no problem voting for a woman or a black man. Maybe as this next generation begins to get involved, we can start to move beyond that.

I do think that Hillary has done well and whether she wins or not, the cause of feminism has made huge strides forward. The next woman will have a much easier time in that the novelty will be gone and hopefully people can focus more on policies and ideas and less on sex (and race).

And who are the back bench women out there who are moving up the field and who will be able to mount the next presidential bid?

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I do see some sexism coming at Mrs Clinton, but I think it is over simplistic for anyone to claim she is losing because of sexist attitudes in the electorate.

If Obama were behind, undoubtedly someone would be making the same comments about racism in America.

Perhaps Clinton just isn't the best candidate. After all, politics is about resonating with the public, not about who has mastered all the facts and been in the right place at the right time. Nixon was more 'experienced' than Kennedy, and Lincoln was an upstart for sure. So why should women expect the rules to be different now?

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My god, I can't believe someone could even say that sexism has little to do with Hillary's problems in this race!

Chris Matthews was frothing at the mouth, stating on his show that he "hated" Hillary and everything she stood for! Women protested to MSNBC to demand that he stop (I thought he should have been fired) because it was so over the top! Then there's Joe Scarborough and his female sidekick, Mika Brezinski, who, BTW, is Zbigniew Brezinski's daughter, who is Obama's senior foreign policy advisor. Also, Mika's brothers work in Obama's campaign!

Obama is riding on a wave of misogyinism by not speaking out against the sexist remarks being made against Hillary by the media on a daily basis. If he's all for fairness, justice and equality, as he says he is, then why has he kept silent?

Republicans are crossing party lines and registering as independents in order to take Hillary out of the race and pit Obama against McCain because they feel strongly that they can beat him. Just wait and see when they unleash all the venom being stored up by the republican slime machine against his total lack of qualifications and experience for the most powerful position in the world, plust his not having accomplished anything of substance since he's been in the Senate. Nor has he ever spoken out against the war in Iraq, and has voated everytime to fund the war!

I'd say you should ask yourselves, imagine what kind of response there would be if a black woman with the exact same credentials, oratory skills and charisma Obama has to believe after only a year in the Senate that "she" was ready to be president!

Let's also not forget his questionable relationship with Tony Rezko, which the press has basically given a free pass to so far -- at least until the republicans can help Obama win the nomination. Then you'll see an entirely different press coverage the Obama!

We should be so fortunate to have such an extraordinaryly qualified and intelligent woman, as Hillary, to be our president. Obviously, sexism has greater sway over common sense and has not been able to override what certainly appears to be outright hatred of women!

The media, the pundits and the politicians have not given her a level playing field, because they know if they did, she would win hands down.

I've never felt more disgust with this country than I do now because of the way Hillary has been treated. These attacks against Hillary, are in essense, attacks against all women.

11:54 AM  

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