Over the past few weeks, in conversations with various people in person, on the phone, and online, I’ve noticed something…strange. So strange, in fact, that I’ve kept it to myself because I was just so surprised by it. I think it’s actually part of the reason why I reacted so vehemently towards the Tina Fey bit on Saturday Night Live last week.
It seems that any criticism leveled against Hillary Clinton boils down to the fact that she’s a woman.
I’m as stunned by that as you are, but in the last few weeks I have been on the receiving end of endless deflections based solely on Hillary Clinton’s gender. It’s fairly nuanced, too. If the criticism seems small, then I’m the offensive party, as I’m only making that criticism because she’s a woman. If the criticism is larger, her actions are condoned because she has to act that way to get ahead because (all together now) she’s a woman.
I have — multiple times now — freely admitted that Hillary Clinton has had to behave in certain ways because she’s a woman fighting for equality and a tradionally male playing field. But I am baffled by this idea that she’s no responsible for her own actions because of this, or that people aren’t allowed to dislike her because of who she is.
It’s a bulletproof argument, too, which makes it all the more frustrating. How do you argue with “you just think that because she’s a woman.” The natural response is “no, I don’t” or “that’s not true” but how do you prove it? You really can’t.
By the same token, it’s impossible to argue that the our society doesn’t put women down. It’s a idiotic argument to even try to make given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For that matter, Hillary is treading in unknown territory, so we have nothing to compare her campaign with. People can claim she’s being treated a certain way because she’s a woman, but there’s no way to make a comparison otherwise. The only support we have is the way women have been treated in this country since its inception.
I mean, I have female friends (and relatives) that dislike Hillary Clinton and even THEIR criticisms are being dismissed as gender based.
This morning the Clinton campaign said that they were considering legal action against the state of Texas for their rather strange election process (a primary during the day for a certain number of delegates followed by a caucus that night for the rest, which ostensibly allows certain people to vote twice). This process has been in place for years. The primaries have been going on for months. No one said a word about it until now. Coincidentally, the most recent polls in Texas have Obama up by as many as six points.
Combine this new threat with Clinton’s desire to count the votes in Michigan and Florida (which were both negated before the primaries and which she never mentioned at the start) and the mathematical fact that Clinton can’t win the nomination through any means other than superdelegate vote and you have a litany of actions that point to Hillary’s desire to be the nominee no matter what the cost. You have a list of moves that take advantage of the system and, with the superdelegate vote, a disregard to the will of the American people.
These are not the actions of someone who would change the political process in Washington, but the actions of someone who thrives on the system as it is.
It’s understandable, then, that people would dislike her on this point.
I’ve listed three factual incidents that underscore what many see as Hillary Clinton’s disregard for anything other than her own advancement. These are three factual incidents that point to a disregard for unity in the Democratic party, not to mention a disregard for the will of the people.
And yet it’s nearly impossible to suggest that those are legitimate concerns because someone somewhere will say that she has to do these things because she’s a woman. And that’s that.
I’m beginning to wonder if it’s really the Obama people who are drinking the Kool-Aid…
Applicable side thoughts:
The media absolutely positively has a bias in favor of Obama. Anyone who says any differently is just not paying attention.
And why wouldn’t they? Our media deals in stories and Obama is clearly the better story. He came out of practically no where, has no connections to any established politicians, and has a crazy name. Obama winning the nomination to face McCain is a much better story than Hillary winning. For that matter, Obama becoming president is a much better story than anyone else. So of course the media has a bias towards him; they want him to win.
That, however, is the name of the game, and the idea that this was shocking to anyone, let alone the Clinton campaign, is another example of how near sighted certain people have been. Then again, I suppose if you assumed the race would be over by February 5th, it makes perfect sense that you’d be so surprised.