Wednesday, June 4

Hillary and Geraldine: A Response

This morning I had two more comments on my post from yesterday. As I started typing reponses I realized that they were getting pretty long so I decided to give Slag and CEO their own post. I would like to thank everyone who has commented (whether they agreed with me or not) for their thoughts and, frankly, for giving a damn when so many in this world and in this country don't. With that said - here you go:
slag said...
Sorry, G. I can't go with you on the "most protected class" thing. When we, as a country, really start taking rape, human trafficking, and domestic violence seriously, and reproductive rights are a gimme, and sexism and misogyny are no longer apart of our national pass-times, and, and, and...I'll be there with you.But as far as this goes: "Actually I’d like to show them all my ass, but I thought I should be gracious in victory." And as far as all the rest of it goes, actually, I'm totally on board!
June 03, 2008

Slag – We will have to agree to disagree. Obviously discounting white men as the rule makers – I believe that my statement stands. Of course there are atrocities that affect women in this world, which must be addressed. But your chances to avoid the ones you listed and a host of others rise significantly if you are born white. My point is that Hillary, and many of the feminist leaders who support her, seem to ignore this. This is a problem that feminism has had for a long time and has been largely unwilling to address in a movement-wide way. Until we realize that the isms are all interconnected and must be fought in a collective way I really don’t see us making much headway. I will not stop working for my rights as an American woman or for safety and freedom for women around the world. Neither will I continue to let base and blatant racism have a pass just because it stemmed from the campaign of a woman.

The CEO said...
I have a question. There are rumors all over town that Hilary will not step down nor release her delegates tomorrow regardless. She intends to be a part of shaping the platform at the convention. Meanwhile, Hilary has made it clear to NY law makers that she is 'open' to the other spot on the ticket. Meanwhile, Obama has called for a meeting with Hillary 'at her convenience, at a place of her choosing' after the dust settles. Whatever happens, Obama needs to reunify the Party for his run for office. It has been a brutal campaign. The Republicans will be even more formidable than he has faced before.If Obama is to win, he will need everyone, black, white, yellow, red, advantaged, disadvantaged, healthy, crippled, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, woman and man.Can you please help pull us all together to win in November, and then we can all show 'em our ass. I believe you might say, keep your eyes on the prize.Sorry to be contrary, you're just too damn important to this effort. Thank you.

CEO - Putting Hillary on the ticket would be a huge mistake for many reasons, but the one I think will decide it is that they have fundamentally different approaches to politics. The Obama campaign has had a committee together for a couple weeks now vetting potential nominees. The only one pushing this is Hillary…and Bill. I would say that they are too smart to carry this further, but I have thought that before.
I think we have a moment here when we can actually be honest with each other. A dark underbelly of the Democratic Party has been exposed and I don’t think we should just all roll over and hold hands. That won’t fix the problem. Giving her a pass and pretending that everything is ok won’t fix the problem. I will not stop working for the Obama campaign (My new motto is Bring It On, John) but I don’t think that we truly win by sweeping the mess up under the rug. I don’t know how to fix the race and/or sex problems in America, but I think that honest dialogue can’t hurt, so I will say what I think and invite others to do the same.
The prize for me is a more equitable, more free, more just nation; a stronger, cleaner, more truthful nation that honors its Constitution and its People. I don’t think we become any of those things by ignoring our own fatal flaws in the name of Party Unity.


The CEO said...

First G, let me thank you for making me a part of an entire post. Second, let me apologize for not having the time or writing skills.

What I wrote about was the very real possibility that Obama might select Clinton as his running mate. Robert Johnson, who I assume you probably won't like but who is a major contributor both to Obama and the Democratic Party, was on TV this morning arguing the very reasons why she would be perfect as the VP candidate in beating the Republicans in the Fall. That is the prize in the short term.

I grew up in the 60's and yearned and worked for a World that would be equal. The best I can say is that the World is a lot better. I can't say that it's equal. Change comes painstakingly slowly at a high cost.

John Kennedy proposed the Civil Rights Act, and most people credited him with it. It took Lyndon Johnson to get it through Congress and made an Amendment. Not what most people realize. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

I am not asking you to put aside your feelings. The feminists of the 70's were also anti-male, and many are still anti-male today. Hardly equal. Make the World equal, G. Let's get Obama elected first.

WNG said...

You have the time and the skills, CEO, never fear.
We won't get into my feelings on Robert Jonson, I don't have the kind of time.
Most people credit Kennedy with the Civil Rights act because they don't want to look past a good story to the truth, CEO. For all his faults, Johnson pushed through a remarkable legislative agenda.
I realize that change comes slowly and many times with compromise. I hate it - but I realize it. BUT, I don't think that she helps him win the White House, I think she galvanizes the right while disillusioning many of his supporters. I think putting her on the ticket is politics as usual and will seriously dampen the fire of enthusiasm he has going now. I also think that she and Bill would be terrifically hard to work with in the White House. What is the point of winning the prize if he is stymied in making changes because of his own team?
I honestly don't think that it's going to happen, CEO.
Also - women in the 70's who may or may not have hated men (which I seriously doubt, and you may want to think about that statement)aside - my beef with the feminist movement runs way farther back than that and continues to this day.
And maybe I'm horribly naive, but I don't think that working for Obama and working for a less racist and sexist world are mutually exclusive. What she has said and done numerous times in this campaign is more damaging to the Democratic Party, race relations and this Nation than the fact that I won't ignore it. Maybe if we all stopped ignoring these things, if we all stepped up to them in our daily lives we wouldn't have them in our politics. I think I can do both. At least I'm going to try to do both.

Doc said...

Yeesh... Hillary being treated sexist by the Obama campaign? Puleeze... ANY and I mean ANY other candidate would have been laughed out of the race after losing 11 contests in a row after Super Tuesday. Obama showed a lot of restraint in dealing with her... so if that is sexist then so be it.

BTW - Obama doesn't "owe" Hillary a damn thing... especially not a VP role which will involve him having to look over his shoulder every day for the next 8 years.

WNG said...

Ok Doc, I don't think that the Obama campaign was sexist in the systemic way that the Clinton campaign was racist BUT you cannot deny that Hillary had to put up with a lot of sexist bullshit from the media in general.

I totally agree that he doesn't owe her anything, speaking of which: could someone please explain to me where this notion came from that he should be bailing her out of debt??? There were times when I had to make serious budgetary decisions to be able to donate to his campaign and I'd really rather my money not be used to bail her out of debt.

NoRegrets said...

I'm just glad he's the one that's going to be running. Whew is all I say.

Doc said...

Hell no he doesn't need to bail out her campaign debt... She was the one dumb enough to lend herself 16 million bucks... and as far as sexism goes the only two really sexist things I heard during the campaign came from her camp including the governor of NC saying that she had the "cajones" to run and Hill herself saying 'I'm your "girl"' during a debate. (It might have been the same debate she kept flip flopping on Spitzer's drivers license plan for illegals)

WNG said...

NoR - I got nervous a few times myself, but never really truly scared. I still have more faith than fear.

Doc - this is going to be a whole other post and you're going to make me be nice to Hillary and then I will be REALLY annoyed at you. Trust me when I say that there were PLENTY of sexist episodes in this campaign (and yes, I realize that she started and/or spun some of them).
OK, sexism post by friday.

Doc said...

Sorry... don't get on me for that. I am just saying that I don't listen to Limbaugh or watch Fox news so maybe I missed all the sexist coverage.

Now on to somethign else... Does anyone else think that "The Fossil" (John McCain) is teh worst public speaker in politics? Did ya'll hear that speech last night? It sounded like he was trying to convince himself that Obama didn't have "change we could believe in?" Yeesh the audience didn't even catch on when they were supposed to applaud his delivery was so terrible.

The CEO said...

One way to look at the problem is to ask, what will happen in the states that Obama lost to Clinton, such as PA., etc. when he comes up against McCain in November. You try to pick a running mate who will help here. That's why people look to Clinton. It's the negatives that she carries that tell the tale. This is true of both candidates.

Obama carried quite a few Southern states against Clinton. The fear will be that he might lose those same states to McCain in the General election. Pick a running mate to help shore up the South. Both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton proved that you need the South to win the Presidency.

Some people call this electoral math. It's actually the game you see the news agencys playing in trying to predict a winner in elections. This is what is going on behind closed doors in Obama's campaign headquarters. It's how elections are won and lost today.

JFK and LBJ hated each other with a passion rarely seen. JFK didn't include Johnson in on anything in his government. There was no way that Johnson was going to help him either. The biggest spending bill in JFK's Administration was the Peace Corp. Johnson controlled the Senate, as he had done for years. But JFK needed LBJ to get elected, and LBJ saw the opportunity to become President in 1968. Events conspired to make him President in 1963. He refused to run again in 1968. Viet Nam, which JFK has started with advisors, had eaten him alive. But that's another story.

To summarize, as far as I am concerned, the only issue is to pick the best possible running mate for Obama to win in November. Without that.......there's just so many things that need doing.

WNG said...

Doc - The post is coming anyway - you can't stop me once I'm on a roll :)
I almost forgot! You're Turtle now since you're still using that pic!!!
And yes, Johnnie Boy is a crap speaker, which is just ONE of the many reasons my new motto is, "Bring it on John!"

The CEO said...

And you can call me Monty, I use CEO because of the artheritis in my hand. It's fewer letters to type.

WNG said...

I like using CEO...I'm lazy like that:)
Just kidding, I think I've used both, but we'll have to see what my fingers type...I'm not always in control here.
How about CMontyEO?

Doc said...

I for one am not sold on the fact that Obama has to have Hillary to be competitive in those states. Like Tom Brokaw said last night that no one goes into the booth other than the VPs family and votes for the 2nd place on the ticket. However a VP choice can get out the other party's base if they are a bad pick. Get someone who is a good campaigner but not a lightning rod... I am not convinced that 'the fossil' is even liked by his own party.

Doc said...

...and I am NOT Turtle. I never even watched that s**t not even once.

WNG said...

Doc - my answer to all of that would be...yup. I have a $100 bet riding on it with Papa G (who can turn even democracy into a gamble)and I'm pretty sure of it. He doesn't need her and the only way he would take her is if he DID need her.

Oh, and yes you ARE Turtle. So Says G!!!

slag said...

wng: I agree with everything you said. It appears we were having a semantic debate since I generally reserve "most protected class" for white heterosexual men (or wealthy white heterosexual men, if you want to get more specific).

And I couldn't agree more with this statement: "Until we realize that the isms are all interconnected and must be fought in a collective way I really don’t see us making much headway."

As for Hillary on the ticket, I agree with all your reasons for your position (which I take as well). Yet, somehow, we're going to have to get this party back together to put Obama in office. I don't want to paper over the real issues in order to do it, but hopefully, we won't need to. Obama's speech last night was a good start in helping make it happen because it honored the good and tacitly acknowledged a bit of the bad. So, it seems that diplomacy is going to be the order of the day. I, for one, am working to summon my inner angels as we speak.

WNG said...

Slag - I should have been more precise in my first post, no worries. I think that as long as Hillary doesn't try to undermine the unificatio process it won't be as bad as the media would like us to believe. The contrast between McSnooze and Obama is so stark that I think we'll all be able to get on board.
And Slag, have I completely lost it or are there some serious West Wing parallels here? (Maybe I should change the name to WW obsessed fan...hmm...)

slag said...

I'm an early West Wing series lover, so for me, the most obvious parallel would be the episode when they were trying to get their gun bill passed and couldn't get other liberals on their side (for varying reasons). That was a good one!

WNG said...

Ok, so go get season 6 on DVD and watch the run through the primaries. It's like they started writing real life. Party in chaos, nomination fight between a 'party powerhouse' and an 'ethnic upstart'.
Someone bought a ouija board...

Gye Greene said...


I'm reading this stuff in reverse chronological order, but re: Slag's comment (above) and your response -- I'm reminded of something you wrote in the last few days (in Big Man's "comments" section?) about how it's not "black vote" vs. "women's vote" -- as there ARE **black women** out there as well.

In the same way: Don't forget social class. Yes, being Caucasian (as a women) buffers ON AVERAGE many of the things that Slag wrote of. But there are TONS of lower-class and impoverished Caucasian women.

Numerically, there are more Caucasian women in poverty in the U.S. than African-American women. This is because, of course, numerically there are more Caucasians than AfrAms. Proportionately, of course, AfrAm women are over-represented -- but numerically there are more Caucasian women.

This is even more true for things like domestic violence: being Caucasian versus some other racial categories lowers your risk -- but it's **still** a big deal for Caucasian women, whether rich, poor, or middle-class/working-class.

My main point, I suppose: similar to your point about overlooking AfrAm women in the "gender vs. race" debate -- be careful not to assume that "Caucasian woman" equals "educated and middle-class". :)

'Cause many, many, are not.


WNG said...

I do realize that, Gye, and my point is that proportionally all women of color have worse odds than white women - but when you say that out loud you're considered to be a 'bad feminist' or betraying the sisterhood by many.
I was born into the middle class myself and have had advantages that my poorer cousins have not. But -if you look at women of the same class you still see racial breakdowns.
As a race in general we have more poverty, crime and less health and success proportionally - and yet many feminists can not understand why women of color may have a different perspective or different issues.

slag said...

GG: Good points on class. We often forget that, when we're talking about boundaries in this country, class is a huge one. One of the things I liked about Obama's race speech was that he called out class specifically. That said, no doubt when class and race collide, there's a significant compounding effect (I forget the technical word for that effect).

Aside: Look at this discussion that WNG inspired. We need a full on blogger's summit to discuss race, gender, and class issues! Is there such a thing?

WNG said...

I don't think so - but there should be. So, when are you starting it?