Had Bernie been Bernadette
March 12, 2016 6:58 PM   Subscribe

The heartbreaking truth about American patriarchy: I never spoke about the Democratic candidates because it was so hard for me to reconcile not that I preferred Bernie but that my heart was broken for this woman I do not yearn to vote for. My heart was broken because even if we play by all the rules the boys set up, the boys demonize us for playing by the rules. Even if we fight for decades to have a spot, ultimately everybody decides, “Nah, thanks anyway, we’re going with the old white guy again.”
posted by suddenly, and without warning, (376 comments total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
 
My wife and I have talked about this exact difficulty, that it does ultimately come down to the old white man offering the far more appealing policies, and the deep frustration that Hillary's platform seems, on many levels, to be built on a campaign consisting, essentially, of "it's finally my turn to be president."
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:10 PM on March 12, 2016 [123 favorites]


A companion piece: "America loves women like Hillary Clinton–as long as they’re not asking for a promotion." "[T]he predictable swings of public opinion [about Clinton] reveal Americans’ continued prejudice against women caught in the act of asking for power."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:14 PM on March 12, 2016 [35 favorites]


I didn't like Bill, I didn't like George, I didn't like Al, I didn't like John, I didn't like John, I didn't like Obama, I didn't like Mitt. I don't like Hillary. I do like Bernie. And I look forward to seeing what Tulsi will do in the next eight to twenty years.
posted by GregorWill at 7:23 PM on March 12, 2016 [34 favorites]


A great thought experiment.

Gedankenexperiment, ( German: “thought experiment”) term used by German-born physicist Albert Einstein to describe his unique approach of using conceptual rather than actual experiments in creating the theory of relativity.

And a very depressing one, ultimately. Her argument is hard to dispute, and this is coming from a white feminist old guy who has a millennial daughter who is a hard-core feminist and a hard-core Bernie supporter.
posted by kozad at 7:24 PM on March 12, 2016 [12 favorites]


This primary keeps making me deeply uncomfortable.
I'm stuck voting between:
- the guy I see as the underdog because his platform is so far from the bullshit we're usually given
or
- the woman I see as the underdog because of a 24-year campaign of sexism and bullshit aimed squarely at her (and oh look it's still going)

No matter what, I'm going to reward someone's bad behavior -- and yes, I think BOTH of these candidates have shown some bad behavior, and so have their supporters. What really drives me nuts is that I want an intellectually honest discussion and debate, and I don't see that happening when I talk to Democrat-leaning voters. Better than the Republican race, sure, but that's like saying it's better than drinking battery acid.

Anytime I talk to a Sanders supporter, I see them dismiss his flaws. Anytime I talk to a Clinton supporter, it's basically the same thing. Nobody wants to own up to the bad moves, and they certainly don't want to admit that some of those bad moves were made by both of them. It's only a bad move when the other one did it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:24 PM on March 12, 2016 [58 favorites]


And you know the worst part?

If Hillery had been as radical or if she had been talking about social equality and revolution, she would have never been able to get to this place.

She would have been called harpy and angry bitch and dismissed from consciousness long before reaching this level.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 7:25 PM on March 12, 2016 [200 favorites]


I'm not sure which matters more: the policies candidates espouse before they are elected, or their people skills and ability to understand many perspectives on many different issues.
posted by amtho at 7:26 PM on March 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


if only Warren would run
posted by edeezy at 7:28 PM on March 12, 2016 [30 favorites]


I like this Eli Warren guy I've heard so much about.
posted by Artw at 7:28 PM on March 12, 2016 [26 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren would be coasting to this nomination right now if she had run for it.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:28 PM on March 12, 2016 [75 favorites]


Woo, triple jinx.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:29 PM on March 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


Also: People keep holding up Liz Warren as the counterpoint to Hillary, saying, "See? You can be a woman and have integrity and be admired!"

As if Liz Warren was put under the same scrutiny and that same 24-year campaign of bullshit I mentioned above. As if her record in government is as long, and therefore as rife with the necessary compromises and mistakes of a long career in government.

I love Liz Warren. I'd vote for her in a heartbeat if she was running. Not even a question. But don't tell me she's a genuine equivalent to Hillary. They don't have nearly the same baggage, and while it's fair to say that if all things were equal Liz would still come out on top, I can't see it under that mountain of baggage that other people created for Hillary.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:29 PM on March 12, 2016 [138 favorites]


She would have been called harpy and angry bitch and dismissed from consciousness long before reaching this level.

So how do you explain Elizabeth Warren's popularity?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:29 PM on March 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


I know Elizabeth Warren is not seeking the presidency because I do not have an enormous Elizabeth Warren back tattoo.
posted by The Gaffer at 7:29 PM on March 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


I can't really have that much sympathy for Clinton since she's basically being handed the nomination and is still fucking it up. And you know what? If she fucks up the general against Trump she can go jump into the sun, no excuses.
posted by Artw at 7:31 PM on March 12, 2016 [81 favorites]


I would be genuinely curious to see how an Elizabeth Warren candidacy would play out, but while I think she would be popular, I think she would also be a bigger target than Sanders has been so far. Not that I'd want the support of Bernie bros, but I can't see a lot of the people who can't decide between Sanders and Trump deciding to vote for Warren instead.
posted by chrominance at 7:31 PM on March 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I can't see a lot of the people who can't decide between Sanders and Trump deciding to vote for Warren instead.

Good thing that's practically a non-existent demographic.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:33 PM on March 12, 2016 [22 favorites]


While the length of Hilary's career does make her more of a target than Warren, there are also significant differences in how they align themselves politically. HRC, it seems to me, has always been in the position of working with the system, as evidenced by her Wall Street speeches and income (and her semi-carpetbagging NY senatorial run).

Warren, though she is now part of "the system," has maintained her focus on who she's working for, i.e., the people, not corporate interests with deep pockets.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:35 PM on March 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


I would be genuinely curious to see how an Elizabeth Warren candidacy would play out, but while I think she would be popular, I think she would also be a bigger target than Sanders has been so far.

It would be Cheroghazi on Fox News 24 hours a day. WHY WON'T ELIZABETH WARREN BE TRUTHFUL ABOUT HER HERITAGE? WHAT IS SHE HIDING?
posted by Talez at 7:37 PM on March 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


Has it occurred to anyone that Elizabeth Warren didn't run because she was aware of the brutal misogyny to which she would have been subjected? Because I wouldn't be surprised if that were part of why she didn't. I also don't think that she would have gotten as far as Bernie, because misogyny is actually a thing. It's not just something that Clinton supporters are making up!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:37 PM on March 12, 2016 [139 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren would be getting all the "what an economic moron" criticism that Sanders gets along with all the misogynist shit Hillary is getting. My assumption is that she's not running because it would be a fucking nightmare for her and most likely also for her friends, family, former colleagues, kindergarten teacher's best friend's uncle's neighbours, etc. I imagine it would be something like being Zoe Quinn, although at least she'd have the Secret Service to help.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:38 PM on March 12, 2016 [47 favorites]


I've been incredibly frustrated with the conversations people have been having about this (in person and in print), because everyone seems to have an explanation for why people other people don't agree with them. We're all generalizing too much about why "we," or worse, "they" feel one way or another, and it's agonizing.

I appreciated this article because the author is clear that she's speaking of her own internal conflict, of her preference for Sanders' politics but her frustration that it pits her against some of her own goals. At this point I think we have to have more articles like this, that are open and honest without trying to explain away other people's support for one candidate or another. There's a ton of projection, and when I say it's on both sides I don't mean that in the Fox News "balanced" way, but in the sense that everyone seems to want to make an argument for why other people don't agree with them. Enough of that, it's driving us crazy. I feel like this was one of the most honest pieces I've seen this year, and I'm grateful for that.
posted by teponaztli at 7:39 PM on March 12, 2016 [33 favorites]


And no, I didn't preview :p
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:39 PM on March 12, 2016


Really nothing bums me out more than the sheer number of people, left and right, who basically feel like they have carte blanche to be relentlessly, gleefully dismissive of Clinton and treat her like a walking punch line because she's so terrible that she deserves it.
posted by prize bull octorok at 7:44 PM on March 12, 2016 [58 favorites]


If Hillery had been as radical or if she had been talking about social equality and revolution, she would have never been able to get to this place.

She would have been called harpy and angry bitch and dismissed from consciousness long before reaching this level.


every time i see stuff like this i am tempted to remind people that elizabeth warren exists
posted by p3on at 7:45 PM on March 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I like Warren but she has been in politics for only 4 years (Before 2012, she was a policy wonk, a financial expert who was not a threat to any political party or ideology), didn't have to live through 90s and 00s politics and still isn't very well known among non-progressive circles.

I would love it if she can become a prominent leader without experiencing similar misogyny to Hillary. It would indicate that the society has changed a lot since 90s.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 7:45 PM on March 12, 2016 [29 favorites]


Really nothing bums me out more than the sheer number of people, left and right, who basically feel like they have carte blanche to be relentlessly, gleefully dismissive of Clinton and treat her like a walking punch line because she's so terrible that she deserves it.

I'm more bummed out by the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis from the war she voted for, personally.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:45 PM on March 12, 2016 [83 favorites]


ah, i see the thread already got around to that
posted by p3on at 7:46 PM on March 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


yes, of all the votes cast for the AUMF, Clinton's surely killed the most innocents
posted by prize bull octorok at 7:48 PM on March 12, 2016 [48 favorites]


I wish Eleanor Roosevelt had been elected president.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:49 PM on March 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Huh. Apparently Warren was registered Republican until 1996. That's a pretty big ideological shift!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:49 PM on March 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm sure if Warren ever does decide to run, people who come up with some Very Legitimate Reasons not to vote for her will appoint some other woman politician who isn't running the better choice who they would totes vote for if they could
posted by prize bull octorok at 7:52 PM on March 12, 2016 [64 favorites]


I’m not saying Hillary would be the renegade choice if she were a man. I’m saying Hillary would be the next president if she were a man. No contest.

Absolutely agree with this. I came in here specifically to post the article that MonkeyToes posted above and I hope people read it. I wish the author of this article would have addressed the Elizabeth Warren issue and how, whenever someone wants to talk about the role sexism is playing in this race, people always point to Elizabeth Warren as an example of how it's not women, it's just this woman (HRC) they have a problem with. And I love Elizabeth Warren as much as anyone but I fully disagree that she wouldn't be getting a lot of the same shit that Hillary is getting. The article goes into the kind of small-time bullshit she had to deal with when she was running for Senate and still relatively unknown. Fast-forward 20 years and imagine Elizabeth Warren as one of the most highly scrutinized women in America, if not the world, and you think the GOP, the media, everyone wouldn't be able to find things to smear her with? You think they wouldn't have any problem castigating her for every single thing she did - justified or not - that would somehow be excused or handwaved away if she were a man? Not a chance. Not one chance.

This issue is not specific to Clinton. As Slate writer Jamelle Bouie has pointed out on Twitter, even progressive demigod Elizabeth Warren was seen as “unlikable” when she ran for the Massachusetts senate seat. Local outlets published op-eds about how women were being “turned off” by Warren’s “know-it-all style”—a framing that’s indistinguishable from 2016 Clinton coverage. “I’m asking her to be more authentic,” a Democratic analyst for Boston radio station WBUR said of Warren. “I want her to just sound like a human being, not read the script that makes her sound like some angry, hectoring school marm.”

Once Warren made it to the Senate, she was lionized—right down to a Clinton-esque moment in which supporters begged her to run for President. Yet seeing Warren engaged in the actual act of running seems to freak people out.

Campaigning is not succeeding. It’s asking for success, and for power. To campaign is to publicly claim that you are better than the others (usually white men) who want the same job, and that a whole lot of people should work to place you in a more powerful position. In other words, campaigning is a transgressive act for women.


And yes, this is really depressing to me on a personal level. I think, that as much as we like to tell ourselves otherwise, America is just not ready for a woman president. And, to me, that speaks volumes as to what America thinks of me, as a woman.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:54 PM on March 12, 2016 [129 favorites]


I'm voting Ghost of Paul Wellstone. The only ideologically immaculate choice.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:57 PM on March 12, 2016 [31 favorites]


It's embarrassing that America hasn't had a female president yet. I can understand the UK beating us to it (substitute other words for "president" as appropriate here)...Germany, okay...But Pakistan? The Philippines? I don't want to put those countries down, but surely we could have gotten there first.
I do hope, though, that we can find a way to acknowledge that Hillary or any other woman is going to face a huge amount of ugly misogyny in a race for president without blaming all opposition to Hillary or support of Bernie (or whoever) on that alone.

[As for Warren, while I love her to bits, contributed to her and voted for her, she's run *one* campaign, and frankly, while (in my opinion) she improved over time, she's just not that good a campaigner yet, and I don't know how she'd fare on a national stage. I feel (and I suspect she does too) that she's better off in the Senate for now.]
posted by uosuaq at 7:57 PM on March 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


So how do you explain Elizabeth Warren's popularity?

Elizabeth Warren is not really that popular. Sanders has substantially higher favorables.
posted by escabeche at 7:58 PM on March 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't want to put those countries down, but surely we could have gotten there first.

This comment sort of harkens back to that scene in The Newsroom. America isn't the greatest country in the world. We eff up a lot. We do it wrong a lot.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:59 PM on March 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Local outlets published op-eds about how women were being “turned off” by Warren’s “know-it-all style”—a framing that’s indistinguishable from 2016 Clinton coverage. “I’m asking her to be more authentic,” a Democratic analyst for Boston radio station WBUR said of Warren. “I want her to just sound like a human being, not read the script that makes her sound like some angry, hectoring school marm.”

Are the people who said that about Warren when she was running the same people wishing she would run today?

I'm sure if Warren ever does decide to run, people who come up with some Very Legitimate Reasons not to vote for her will appoint some other woman politician who isn't running the better choice who they would totes vote for if they could

One of the questions of this FPP was how to reconcile your preference for the old white man while recognizing all the structural sexism that has been consistently working against Clinton. I just don't know how we're supposed to be able to prove our bona fides. What if a lot of people have put a lot of thought into the sexist double standards against Clinton, but still don't prefer her politics? If supporting Clinton is the only way you prove your concern for institutional sexism, some of us are going to be stuck if we genuinely prefer Sanders' politics over hers. I mean, what are Sanders supporters supposed to do to prove that we're not voting this way because of ignorance or being part of the problem?
posted by teponaztli at 8:03 PM on March 12, 2016 [40 favorites]


I'm voting Ghost of Paul Wellstone. The only ideologically immaculate choice.

I have to wonder if the downing of his flight was done by some sort of malicious time traveler in a cruel reverse of 11-22-63, bringing us to this timeline we inhabit.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:04 PM on March 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Anytime I talk to a Sanders supporter, I see them dismiss his flaws. Anytime I talk to a Clinton supporter, it's basically the same thing."

I see flaws in Bernie's platform, but not in his character. I think he means well and that perhaps we as a nation can find a path to achieving some of the things he wants to achieve, even if perhaps he doesn't have all the details worked out right now.

Whereas the flaws in Hillary are not just tactical, but in her very character. She is a liar, a war monger, facile, tremendously insincere, and up for the highest bidder. Huge difference, to me.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 8:04 PM on March 12, 2016 [58 favorites]


The article agonizes about the same question as you, teponaztli.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 8:05 PM on March 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's nice to see someone grappling with these problems so honestly. Patriarchy isn't just any old system that happens to have a man sitting on the throne and only men in the halls of power: Great Britain was no less a patriarchy for having had queens as monarchs and British society was no less patriarchal under Margaret Thatcher's rule (and by many measures, it probably became even more patriarchal under her leadership). Patriarchy is a complex of deeply-entrenched systems of social and political control that rely on the projection of power through violence and on various uses of social, psychological, and physical aggression as mechanisms of control, to the benefit primarily of men, but also sometimes to the benefit of individual women who learn how to operate within those entrenched systems of power without raising any significant challenges to their foundations (like for example Thatcher). So to someone sincerely invested in challenging patriarchy, the gender of your candidate alone isn't the most important thing to consider, as the author and anyone who's felt ambivalent about this election cycle understands. (For that matter, age might not be a useful consideration either; I love how casually we all throw around ageist slurs these days, itself arguably another manifestation of patriarchy's fetishism of youthful vitality and energy).

I don't get to vote in the primaries this year because I messed up and didn't change my party affiliation to one of the majors in time, so I'm only watching from the sidelines until the general, but I've felt conflicted myself, for a lot of the same reasons as the author. I opposed Clinton when she was running against Obama, but that was mainly because Obama seemed to be riding a really powerful wave of popular support, public sentiment against Clinton was still relatively hot after all those years of think tanks and fake press outlets stirring up paranoia against her, and it just seemed likeliest he could win at a crucial time in US history (though I'll admit, I also hoped he'd turn out to be a more transformative figure than he managed to be).
posted by saulgoodman at 8:05 PM on March 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


I can't really have that much sympathy for Clinton since she's basically being handed the nomination and is still fucking it up.

Yes, she's fucking it up because she made the dumb move of being Secretary of State when Benghazi happened, and even though numerous other attacks on foreign diplomatic posts happened under her boss' predecessor, this was the one that the opposing party decided to do several congressional investigations on. She's fucking it up because she used a private email account for official business, even though, again, her predecessors were never criticized for doing the exact same thing. She's fucking it up because she has been accused of various forms of malfeasance, including murdering a friend and covering it up as a suicide, when she was First Lady, thus becoming the most scrutinized First Spouse in American history, including the ones that were actually running the executive branch on behalf of their indisposed husbands.

And, of course, she's fucking it up because she's running against an opponent who is not only being given a staggering amount of credence by various party members, despite his not even belonging to the party until last year, but also being more or less ignored by the GOP. Why is that? Is it because they just don't expect him to get the nomination, because they think that they can just yell "SOCIALIST SOCIALIST SOCIALIST" until November if he does, or that they've got something else on him? Regardless, it takes a staggering amount of denial to insist that the main thing working against Clinton is not whatever the minor missteps she has made during the campaign are, but being one of the primary foci of a right-wing hate machine of unprecedented wealth and power, the likes of which have only barely grazed Bernie Sanders thus far.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:06 PM on March 12, 2016 [162 favorites]


The Democratic nominee could eat a living human baby on national television and I would still vote for them over the GOP nominee.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:06 PM on March 12, 2016 [70 favorites]


I'm sure if Warren ever does decide to run, people who come up with some Very Legitimate Reasons not to vote for her will appoint some other woman politician who isn't running the better choice who they would totes vote for if they could

Or she will do what Obama did in the face of institutional biases at least just as strong...run an excellent, disciplined, hopeful, winning political campaign despite the roadblocks in front of him. Nobody on Metafilter is going to deny women face substantial roadblocks in politics, but we do have to grapple with the fact that Hillary has a very mixed record on some very important issues and her campaigns often seem to go off the rails with undisciplined weirdness. Just what exactly was that AIDS quote the other day supposed to be about? I'm sorry, but I just don't expect Elizabeth Warren would make that mistake.

The Democratic Party is ready to nominate a woman. I know this because they are about to choose Hillary Clinton as the best available option despite the flaws, and most people see at least some valid ones.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:08 PM on March 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


I really don't mind people voting for Sanders because they like his platform better, it's the people who find grave and severe deficiencies in Clinton's character for acting like a politician in the ways we've come to expect politicians to act over the last century or so, and letting us know at every opportunity how uniquely awful they judge her to be, that bug me.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:09 PM on March 12, 2016 [88 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren is a remarkably effective legislator for one of such short tenure and clearly gifted in that manner. It doesn't follow that those gifts would serve her well in the Presidency. She hasn't been in public life terribly long so we don't have a lot by which to judge her, but she shows a real flair for the details of legislation ... but not really for the management and executive aspects required in the Presidency. Nor has she been a notable coalition-builder. (She may have these skills, in spades, and we just haven't seen them yet.)

But the other thing is, guys, the truth-telling and bomb-throwing and hypertechnical issue dissection that makes you all fall in love with her is the provenance of a strong legislator ... not a president. Presidents are necessarily co-opted by the power structure. They don't have a choice. They have too many responsibilities to too many constituencies to do what Warren does. They have to try to roll the slow-moving hampster wheel of state from the inside.

Warren in the Presidency would be Obama 2.0 with just as many enraged and betrayed liberals who are furious that now that she's the president, she's acting like a president instead of a legislator with a special gift for eviscerating bullshit. Stop trying to promote people out of jobs they're good at! Congress is pretty important. We need people who are good at Congressing to be in Congress.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:11 PM on March 12, 2016 [146 favorites]


The Democratic nominee could eat a living human baby on national television and I would still vote for them over the GOP nominee.

This is a frame of mind I simply can't fathom.
If this year's situation were reversed -- if we had a sane Republican field vs a bunch of batshit loons & empty-shirted idealogue morons among the Democrats -- I would not hesitate to vote Republican. Not even a question for me.
I don't know which of the current GOP field's sins is the worst of them all, but the fact that so many of them even now are openly putting their party before their country is absolutely appalling.

I mean granted, you might be talking specifically about this year's field of nominees, but even so, there's a point where you really do just go out into the streets and demonstrate for "None of the Above."
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:13 PM on March 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


The Democratic nominee could eat a living human baby on national television and I would still vote for them over the GOP nominee.

This is a frame of mind I simply can't fathom.


Aren't you agreeing?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:16 PM on March 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Leftists are so captive to diversity quotas that they can't bring themselves to support Sanders despite his 50 years of steadfast politics and despite Clinton inventing triangulation along with her husband and being two bad polls away from nominating Mitt Romney as her VP in anti-Trump unity campaign.
posted by MattD at 8:16 PM on March 12, 2016 [15 favorites]


I give her a pass on the AUMF vote, since there weren't enough anti-war Democrats to block it in the Senate to begin with. The NYT's

"There is ample evidence that Iraq has produced highly toxic VX nerve gas and anthrax and has the capacity to produce a lot more. It has concealed these materials, lied about them, and more recently failed to account for them to the current inspectors. The Security Council doesn't need to sit through more months of inconclusive reports. It needs full and immediate Iraqi disarmament. It needs to say so, backed by the threat of military force."

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/15/opinion/disarming-iraq.html was the central mood of the country post 9/11.

Kerry had made that same empty anti-war protest vote in the 1990 AUMF, and all he got was egg on face.

Anyhoo, call me sexist or whatever, but I think HRC is such a big star in the Democratic/"left" political space due to her being FLOTUS 1992-2000, same thing with Michelle Obama now.

Both seem intelligent and this able to capitalize on this advantage, and in isolation I'd vote for either for any political office.

HRC seems to be a centrist technocrat of the Al Gore / Barack Obama mold, and I'm OK with that. We just can't parachute a Sanders or Warren into 1600 Pennsylvania and expect and policy progress to be made.

This is a generational effort; and this nation had to lose Kennedy in '63 before an LBJ could push the New Deal reforms forward, over the usual conservative reactionary obstructionism.

Hopefully California is going to decide the primary for the Dems, and I'll have to think long and hard about my vote.

I certainly trust Bernie a lot more to not sell me out to the conservatives, I'll tell you that.

Until liberals can recapture the House & Senate, this is going to be a total shitshow, whoever wins the D) primary and Jove-willing the general.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:17 PM on March 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


it's the people who find grave and severe deficiencies in Clinton's character for acting like a politician in the ways we've come to expect politicians to act over the last century or so, and letting us know at every opportunity how uniquely awful they judge her to be, that bug me.

I think part of it is that people on all sides are so fed up with the 'expected' actions of politicians over the past few decades that a lot of them DO now think it's a character flaw, because these people keep acting in their own self interests over and over and over. Clinton has the extra bad luck of running in a year where the public's patience is basically worn away to nothing for such politicking.
posted by Windigo at 8:17 PM on March 12, 2016 [45 favorites]


yeah, "bad luck"
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:21 PM on March 12, 2016 [17 favorites]


Bad luck for her, certainly.
posted by Windigo at 8:21 PM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


shucks, I was really hoping that was going to be a clip from The Newsroom, the brilliant dark comedy that predated (and prefigured) the Office (UK or US).
posted by jb at 8:21 PM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


it's the people who find grave and severe deficiencies in Clinton's character for acting like a politician in the ways we've come to expect politicians to act over the last century or so[...]

Well that's just it - I don't like the way we've come to expect politicians to act over the last century or so. I totally agree that she'd be doing better (in fact likely have it sewn up without effort) if she were a man, but I certainly wouldn't like her any more. I don't single her out. I lump her in with all the other career politicians in bed with big corporations that I dislike.

I am sympathetic to her regarding the level of sexist bullshit she's had to put up with and the sacrifices she's had to make. I have taken these things into consideration, and I will vote for her if she's the nominee - she's certainly better than anything the GOP has put forward! And Sanders is pushing her to the left, which gives me a lot of overall hope. But given who her donors are now and have historically been, I cannot trust her on economic inequality, nor on social issues, and those two things make up most of what I care about.

In fact, if the GOP hadn't gone so insane in the last decade or so and yanked the Overton Window so far to the right I could easily see her running as a republican. It would make a lot more sense and be much more consistent with her past messages.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 8:22 PM on March 12, 2016 [48 favorites]


if she were a man

wasn't she against gay marriage tho, making this counter-factual actually hypocritical if not impossible?
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:24 PM on March 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


A year ago, we all thought her election was assured, inevitable. This year we see huge disruptions to the political climate, great challenges ahead. Isn't this a good thing? That the victory will be better earned through grit and struggle right until the very end?
posted by Apocryphon at 8:24 PM on March 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's rather been a bit of a-joking-on-the-square commentary in some of my circles, that Clinton is a perfectly lovely moderate republican.
posted by Windigo at 8:24 PM on March 12, 2016 [26 favorites]


Leftists are so captive to diversity quotas that they can't bring themselves to support Sanders

This seems like a very weird thing to say. The leftists I know all do support Sanders. But most Democrats aren't leftists; they're liberals, which is what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are.
posted by escabeche at 8:24 PM on March 12, 2016 [28 favorites]


Whereas the flaws in Hillary are not just tactical, but in her very character. She is a liar, a war monger, facile, tremendously insincere, and up for the highest bidder. Huge difference, to me.

When I hear statements like that I think about the studies that show women receive far higher levels of feedback in performance reviews that criticize their very personalities:
There’s a common perception that women in technology endure personality feedback that their male peers just don’t receive. Words like bossy, abrasive, strident, and aggressive are used to describe women’s behaviors when they lead; words like emotional and irrational describe their behaviors when they object. All of these words show up at least twice in the women’s review text I reviewed, some much more often.

I really don't think it's a coincidence that Hillary's flaws are seen as character flaws rather than flaws with her platform. This article from Pajiba really captures what I'm feeling right now:

For me, the backlash against Hillary Clinton feels very, very personal.
Can you imagine how absolutely infuriating it must be for Hillary to have to work so hard to be likable, but strong? Hip, but above the need to be seen as cool? For everything she says to be perfect because she'd be crucified otherwise, meanwhile Bernie Sanders could say pretty much anything he wants and it would be seen as the goddamn revolution? I'm so infuriated on her behalf. Because what you like about Bernie, what they like about Trump, she doesn't get to do that. She doesn't get to be all wild hair and yelling. Do I wish different? Of course. And the first female president would go a long way toward making that difference possible.

posted by peacheater at 8:27 PM on March 12, 2016 [86 favorites]


I do think there's some sexism involved in the idea that Hillary has a uniquely bad character, worse than anyone else in the world other than possibly Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I'm also a little weirded out by the dynasty thing coming from people who didn't seem overly concerned that Al Gore inherited his senate seat from his father. And I mean, I don't personally feel like I'm in a position to look into people's hearts and judge their character. I also think that anyone who wants to be president is probably a bit of a narcissist, and I wouldn't really bank on any of them being saints. And people don't actually know that much about Bernie. I don't particularly like that he has a reputation for treating his staff badly, for instance, which would be a big honking deal if that were the rap on Hillary.
This is a frame of mind I simply can't fathom.
I wouldn't say that in general. I voted Republican once (George Ryan for governor over Glenn Poshard, and I don't think I regret it, even though Ryan did turn out to be a crook), and I've voted third party several times when I lived in safe states. But this year, I would vote for either Clinton or Sanders over anyone in the race on the Republican side.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:29 PM on March 12, 2016 [21 favorites]


(Wait, wasn't DirtyOldTown's comment upthread an ironic joke? Now I'm confused about what exactly my like is endorsing...)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:29 PM on March 12, 2016


Sadly, slinging around terms like "diversity quotas" when you're talking about electing a highly qualified woman to the presidency isn't weird at all.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:29 PM on March 12, 2016 [32 favorites]


Maybe the US Democrats should regret backing Wall Street's preferred candidate rather than the more left-leaning Hillary in 2008. The US would have finally had a female president and now it would be Bernie's turn.
posted by grounded at 8:31 PM on March 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


I was looking forward to voting for Clinton since Obama's second term started. I have no problem with her and I imagine I'll be voting for her in the general. But I really like Sanders. If nothing else, I like that someone on the national stage is resisting the inexorable creep rightwards that has been going on in this country for decades. I have no illusions that he has a real shot at the nomination, but he is drawing a lot of attention to things that need to be addressed in a way that reaches an audience that still gets their news from television and the papers. I hope he'll give Clinton clearance to get more progressive work done during her administration.
posted by pattern juggler at 8:39 PM on March 12, 2016 [13 favorites]


Maybe the US Democrats should regret backing Wall Street's preferred candidate rather than the more left-leaning Hillary in 2008. The US would have finally had a female president and now it would be Bernie's turn.


Not quite that simple, Hillary started out as their preferred candidate. Obama only took the lead once he was already winning the race.

For now, though, Sen. Clinton of New York is leading the way, bringing in at least $6.29 million from the securities and investment industry, compared with $6.03 million for Sen. Obama of Illinois and $2.59 million for McCain, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Those figures include donations from the investment companies' employees and political action committees.

But yes, there should probably be some serious soul searching about why the Democratic party in some ways seems to have closer ties to Wall St. than the Republicans.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:41 PM on March 12, 2016 [11 favorites]


Take the issues and records and campaigns away. See these two candidates as archetypes for a moment. A woman of the institution — blonde, blue-eyed, Methodist, Ivy League-educated lawyer, mother, grandmother, Democrat, former Secretary of State and New York Senator who has worked in the White House and is known for her suits. A man of activism — grey haired, bespectacled, Jewish, father, grandfather, third-party affiliated, Socialist, former mayor of a progressive college town and current Vermont Senator, who is known for wild hand gestures and a thick Brooklyn accent.

Now switch the genders. Who wins?
I just... I dunno. Maybe I don't want to touch this live wire. But I don't think the implied answer here is true. I don't think the male-Hillary is a shoe-in over the woman-Bernie. I'm sympathetic to the author's dilemma, but the problems I have with HRC are just not gendered problems. Maybe I'm missing my own implicit sexism, but I don't think so. I've voted for women over men (for example, Zephyr Teachout over Cuomo), and the reason was policy, not gender. The woman-Bernie would be even more exciting for me, because I want a woman in power. Hillary is not that woman.

I understand why it's important that a woman be president. But, at the same time, Margaret Thatcher was PM, and arguably the most powerful one since Churchill, and it didn't do shit to the patriarchy. Now, HRC isn't Thatcher, but she's a little too close for comfort.

And I think this is part of what the author is struggling with. HRC is a woman, and yet, in spite of that, she's also the patriarchy and its perpetuation. Her election wouldn't do shit to the patriarchy either. Bernie might be the patriarchy too, but I also think he'd prefer not to be, and would work not to be. Hillary, on the other hand, won't mention the patriarchy, because according to elite consensus, there is no patriarchy.

Or maybe I'm wrong about Sanders, and maybe we're damned either way. I dunno. But I'm tired of feeling like a sexist because I'm against imperialism and neo-liberal economic policies that ensure that a globally mobile elite have access to infinite resources while those trapped within the borders of a nation lose their safety net, health and economic security. Just because that globally mobile elite is open to all genders and races now doesn't make it any less of a disaster for the rest of us.
posted by dis_integration at 8:42 PM on March 12, 2016 [105 favorites]


As a Jewish woman, this election has all sorts of identity politics going on.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:42 PM on March 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


should regret backing Wall Street's preferred candidate

this is unfair to Obama. This graph shows the consumer debt excursion (fueled by the housing boom/bubble) the Bush Admin allowed if not fostered 2001 - 2006.

Households borrowed $6 TRILLION dollars during this time, by all rights we should still be in the G.D. II ten years after the peak, just as the entire 1930s generally sucked for many.

Positive action like somehow going after the Wall Street malefactors in his first term would have not served any criminal justice purpose, economic purpose, and it would have painted a large target on Obama's back for the GOP to demagogue him as an "anti-capitalist" liberal destroying our economy from DC.

I do note that Obama's DOJ has gone through and picked some low-hanging fruit before the SOLs arrive.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 8:53 PM on March 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


I mean, what are Sanders supporters supposed to do to prove that we're not voting this way because of ignorance or being part of the problem?

I think this is a really good question and I don't know how to answer it. I do hope that, as a culture, we can really honestly look at how deep-rooted and often invisible our sexism is and what this means when we're looking at people like Hillary. Keeping in mind that, 1) the sexism in society is extremely subtle, but can have a powerful effect on how we form our opinions:

The moderators spent several minutes questioning the candidates about the 1994 crime bill. Both candidates have been criticized for supporting the bill. And both were asked about it, but not in the same way. Clinton, who was First Lady at the time, supported the bill but did not vote for it. Sanders, who was a congressman at the time, did.

Question for Clinton: Given [her] support for the 1994 crime bill, why should black people trust her to end the "era of mass incarceration?"

Question for Sanders: Was [his] vote for the 1994 crime bill a mistake?

As you can see in the captions above, both of these questions are what we could call a leading question: the type of question you aren’t supposed to ask as a journalist.

Clinton, whose level of trustworthiness has been a topic of much contention throughout her campaign, got a question that forced her to begin from a defensive position. Sanders was given a pass with a question framework that sets him up to acknowledge that his vote was a simple error of judgment. All he has to do now is answer the question in the affirmative; the audience has already been primed with the idea that he didn’t mean to vote for the crime bill. These questions assume that Clinton is the enemy, while Sanders is a well-intentioned grandpa.


and, 2) believing we are aware of and accounting for our own biases often means that we may be more biased than the average person.

I like Bernie too. I have no problem with people liking him. I just really hope we, as a society, can start to gain a little more understanding in what informs our views on women and what we can do to fight our deeply-ingrained biases.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:58 PM on March 12, 2016 [61 favorites]


This would be the Clinton that threw Chicago under a bus after Chicago told an actual Fascist to go the hell away? And he ran like the coward he is?

Yeah. There's a reason I'm not voting for Clinton. It's because she's against a city that fights Facists. There's also yet another reason I am against Rhan Fucking Emanuel. It's because he's endorsed Clinton.
posted by eriko at 8:58 PM on March 12, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm sure if Warren ever does decide to run, people who come up with some Very Legitimate Reasons not to vote for her will appoint some other woman politician who isn't running the better choice who they would totes vote for if they could

Boy, it sure is fun to imagine future evidence for one's current opinion.
posted by Behemoth at 9:00 PM on March 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


Halloween Jack: "And, of course, she's fucking it up because she's running against an opponent who is not only being given a staggering amount of credence by various party members, despite his not even belonging to the party until last year, but also being more or less ignored by the GOP. Why is that? Is it because they just don't expect him to get the nomination, because they think that they can just yell "SOCIALIST SOCIALIST SOCIALIST" until November if he does, or that they've got something else on him? Regardless, it takes a staggering amount of denial to insist that the main thing working against Clinton is not whatever the minor missteps she has made during the campaign are, but being one of the primary foci of a right-wing hate machine of unprecedented wealth and power, the likes of which have only barely grazed Bernie Sanders thus far."

Honestly, one of the biggest factors working against her is the bad timing of being a highly-credentialed and well-connected establishment juggernaut in the midst of the historic wave of anti-establishment sentiment currently sweeping both parties. I mean, just look at what happened to Jeb Bush and Scott Walker in the face of Trumpmania. I suspect that Andrew Cuomo or Rahm Emmanuel would be having just as much trouble if they were running in Clinton's place in this environment -- just look at the close run outsider Chuy Garcia gave the latter in the Chicago mayoral race last year, for example.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:05 PM on March 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


One of the ironies about Clinton, is that the very thing that makes her annoying to lefties, and I include myself here, her association with the rich and powerful, is that very thing would probably make her a fairly effective president.

I have no doubt that she could muster forces to get her legislation passed that Sanders could not. The frustrating thing is, it would be pro-business, centrist legislation, which is not, in my opinion, what we need.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:06 PM on March 12, 2016 [24 favorites]


I have no doubt that she could muster forces to get her legislation passed that Sanders could not. The frustrating thing is, it would be pro-business, centrist legislation, which is not, in my opinion, what we need.

Yep, give me the shouty guy who gets nothing done for 2-4 years while refusing to back down until voters give him the Congress he needs. We've already lasted that long without anything getting done.
posted by uosuaq at 9:09 PM on March 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Except that after 2-4 years of getting nothing done, people will turn on shouty guy and not show up at the midterms.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:15 PM on March 12, 2016 [25 favorites]


I've stopped believing in predictions, sorry.
posted by uosuaq at 9:20 PM on March 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


Not predictions as much as recent history. But I should add that I hope we can unify behind whoever the dem pick is and work to regain the Senate now. I think there may be that chance.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:24 PM on March 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


Six senators and a movie president!
posted by uosuaq at 9:27 PM on March 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Recent history was Obama coming into office with a (at least near) supermajority in the Senate and control of the House. I don't know why we should predict the same sense of betrayal (that was so severe it didn't even cost him another term) will impact Bernie or Hillary in these conditions. Getting nothing done is good now, because the alternative is getting things done that Paul Ryan and the tea party caucus are willing to vote for.

If you want stuff done, vote for who you think can persuade people to vote in the midterms. You can make a reasonable case for either candidate there I think.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:29 PM on March 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


First off, I am still 100% convinced that Hillary Clinton will be our next President. Which is not a personal endorsement or statement of support. As a politics nerd and election junkie, I just see it breaking that way.

reading thigs like this...

Just because that globally mobile elite is open to all genders and races now doesn't make it any less of a disaster for the rest of us.

That type of statement burns me right up. Maybe if we had been electing minorities and women all along we wouldn't be in this position. And I don't care about Margaret Thatcher or Black presidents in Black countries. In this country we've been living under a white supremacist patriarchy for a very long time. In every aspect of our society we've thrown out the potential contributions of generation after generation of talent because they lacked white skin and a penis. The idea that women and people of color have to be damn near perfect to break those barriers, meanwhile the door is wide open to such appalling levels of White male mediocrity is a steaming pile of bullshit.

Not to mention the idea that we're in such a bad place that we can't be concerned about those things is a load of crap too. However bad it may seem, we are in a better place as a country than we were 8 years ago. And our current president has a lot to do with that, both directly and indirectly. I'm sorry some folks didn't get the instant utopia they were hoping for, but some of us have been chipping away at this mountain of shit for over 400 years, and have an entirely different definition of "hopeless disaster"
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:37 PM on March 12, 2016 [60 favorites]


As a gay person and a progressive, I suspect that Hillary Clinton's AIDS comments will probably end up being one of the last straws, for me. I am finding I have a real problem with her tone-deaf and dismissive attitude problem about issues of concern to non-straight and non-wealthy Americans.

But let's not kid ourselves. Misogyny or no, the fix is in for her, and she's going to be handed the nomination. So if she loses to someone like Trump in the general, and given every single time that progressives have indicated our support for someone like Elizabeth Warren, she and her friends in the DNC will be the only ones to blame.

There will be no Bernie or Bernie-bros or whatever invention to blame. It will be the Democrat machine and the candidate to blame. And if I hear one breath exhaled in the direction of blaming anyone but the DNC and Hillary Clinton for losing, when there were better people to pick without gaming the system, this election will probably be the last time I ever vote Democrat.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:38 PM on March 12, 2016 [41 favorites]


Dear Americans,

We in the rest of the world no longer give a shit whether you elect the centre-left social democrat grandfather or the centre-right elite-class shill woman. But if you fuck up you will instead elect an actual honest-to-god proto-Nazi, and we will all die in flames.

Please don't fuck up.

Love,

The Rest Of The World.

PS If you ask us, not that you would, which is fair enough, go for the grandfather. It's time you shifted the Overton window back to the left a bit. When you start routinely using the word 'liberal' to mean left-wing, it means you really don't have a left wing any more. Elsewhere in the English speaking world, as indeed in your country, 'liberal' actually means centre-right. But you also gave us the song 'Joe Hill' so don't do that thing of pretending not to understand. You understand perfectly. And now you have the first chance in decades to do something about it. If you like. We're not holding our breath and we don't think you will.

Just for fuck's sake don't elect the Nazi.
posted by motty at 9:39 PM on March 12, 2016 [108 favorites]


But let's not kid ourselves. Misogyny or no, the fix is in for her, and she's going to be handed the nomination.

By all means, despite the fact she's being vigorously contested in the primary, let's promulgate the idea that if she wins it, it was unearned.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:54 PM on March 12, 2016 [102 favorites]


Good thing that's practically a non-existent demographic.

I mean, I thought so too, but man is there a lot of ink spilled about this supposedly non-existent demographic.
posted by chrominance at 9:56 PM on March 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


There was a lot of ink spilled about how PUMAs were going to cost Obama the election too. None of that ink made any sense either.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:59 PM on March 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


No offense (and no real disagreement except about this one thing), billyfleetwood, but "the idea we're in such a bad place we can't be concerned about those things" sounds a bit like some of the reasons us Bernie supporters aren't supposed to be supporting Bernie right now. Certainly, if current Bernie supporters won't vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination, they'll be making a big mistake. But I also don't think that right now, in the Democratic primaries, we shouldn't be voting for someone with white skin, a penis, and a lifelong dedication to principles we believe in.
posted by uosuaq at 9:59 PM on March 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's embarrassing that America hasn't had a female president yet. I can understand the UK beating us to it (substitute other words for "president" as appropriate here)...Germany, okay...But Pakistan? The Philippines? I don't want to put those countries down, but surely we could have gotten there first.

Turns out it's a hell of a lot easier to have a woman as head of state in a parliamentary system than in a direct election. Thatcher and Merkel were both elevated by their parties, after their parties were elected to control their respective governments; it's more like a professional society choosing a valued member than a nation-wide popularity contest. Pakistan is also on a parliamentary system, and the Philippines are genuinely more civilized than us.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:02 PM on March 12, 2016 [16 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Let's try to redirect to the topic and not just repeat all the same stuff from the many, many, many, many other threads where we've said all the same stuff? If you don't want to talk about the idea of sexism in this election cycle, that's fine, but maybe just pass this one by.]
posted by taz at 10:23 PM on March 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Certainly, if current Bernie supporters won't vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination, they'll be making a big mistake. But I also don't think that right now, in the Democratic primaries, we shouldn't be voting for someone with white skin, a penis, and a lifelong dedication to principles we believe in.

I didn't mean that as a dig against Sanders at all. By all means, vote for whoever aligns most with your principles. My only beef is with those who dismiss breaking that barrier as also being a valid vote-worthy principle. And to be totally fair, electing a Jewish President is a pretty big deal in it's own right. In that regard, I see the Democratic side of the field as a win-win at this point.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:23 PM on March 12, 2016 [10 favorites]


Apparently Warren was registered Republican until 1996. That's a pretty big ideological shift.

It might feel that way, but there have been a lot of years between the nineties and now when the distance between those things hasn't always seemed so great.
posted by rokusan at 10:33 PM on March 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


My plan before election coverage started was to vote for HRC. And I will vote for her in the general election if it comes to it.

I do really like Sanders, and I like him for reasons that are about his character, not nessisarily a dislike of HRC's. I want the most liberal candidate, because everything has shifted so far right into crazy town.

I do think voting a religious minority into the presidency is something that is also valuable to our culture.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:37 PM on March 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


It might feel that way, but there have been a lot of years between the nineties and now when the distance between those things hasn't always seemed so great.

Well, I do believe this is the same kind of courtesy many voters are extending to Clinton, when they are sick of hearing round three thousand of "Hillary wasn't a starwoman mindreader from space in the 90s, so she must be an evil conniving snake in the grass." Or "sure, Bernie VOTED for that bill, but Hillary wore a headband in its vicinity."

I'm trying to imagine this level of bullshit leveled at Joe Biden, had he ran. Yes, people would critique him and compare him unfavorably with Sanders, but you know. Uncle Joe! Gotta love that guy.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:43 PM on March 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


And to be totally fair, electing a Jewish President is a pretty big deal in it's own right.

So, once America elected a Catholic president... But that was the only non-Protestant president the US has ever elected. Right now the (establishment) Republicans are busy trying to ensure that Trump doesn't get the ticket, but you can be assured that if Bernie gets the nomination that a significant percentage of the attacks against him (largely by PAC's that can deny any coordination with the Republican candidate) will be against his faith.

More than just being Jewish, Bernie is an Atheist (or 'secular Jew' according to him). Polls have shown Americans are more comfortable electing a follower of Islam than an Atheist.

His lack of faith will lose him more votes than being an avowed socialist. And, in my opinion makes him unelectable.

And I say all this as a staunch Bernie supporter, an Atheist, and someone who is highly critical of Hillary (but will vote for her regardless).
posted by el io at 10:45 PM on March 12, 2016 [18 favorites]


HRC is caught between a rock and a hard place. She has absolutely been subject to misogynistic attacks, however, that doesn't mean that some of her positions are not legitimately questionable. Look, I'll say the most unpopular thing here short of claiming she declaws her cats. To me, she's like Israel. I support the idea of her, as the first viable female candidate for POTUS, but I do not support her policies. And just like many critiques of Israel are handwaved away because of anti-Semitism (some of which are totally valid), many critiques of HRC are handwaved away because of misogyny (some of which are totally valid). We literally can't have a reasonable discussion of her flaws because she's been subject to so much abuse. There is so much baggage to unpack. As a Dem, I assume my candidates support women's reproductive rights, so my single-issue is peace. I've already laid out my credentials on that (not voting for Kerry, worked on the Chaffee gubernatorial race here in RI) so I think it's fair to say, as a woman, I have a legitimate reason to not support HRC in the primary. That has fuck all to do with her gender. I think she is a very smart, very capable woman. But that doesn't earn her my automatic support.
posted by Ruki at 10:53 PM on March 12, 2016 [32 favorites]


His lack of faith will lose him more votes than being an avowed socialist. And, in my opinion makes him unelectable.

I'm really hoping Obama softened the country up some in that regard, considering the astounding number of Americans who think he's a Muslim.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:53 PM on March 12, 2016 [7 favorites]


TheLittlePrince: She would have been called harpy and angry bitch and dismissed from consciousness long before reaching this level.

She WOULD have been?

What has she been called, ad nauseam, for the past 25 years? Hillary Clinton is and almost always has been the apotheosis of "angry bitch" to generations of haters, from Richard Mellon Scaife to Maureen Dowd, and everything she's accomplished has been defiantly in spite of that hatred. Even in this thread, shrill misogynistic epithets like "the elite-class shill woman" -- which is so close to resembling "that repugnant bitch" it's not funny, because I have a hard time imagining anyone using the epithet "elite-class shill MAN" in almost any context -- are tossed around like confetti.

I find Hillary Clinton at best mediocre as a candidate and at worst hopelessly corrupt and compromised. But I will hold my nose and vote for her because I have enough years of voting my ideals behind me to know that standing on principle is a very good way to get someone in office who will not only fail to fulfill my expectations but will actively and unhesitatingly do everything in his power to set back the causes I believe in by years if not decades.

Lauren Besser quotes Audre Lorde: "The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house." But Audre Lorde also said this, in the same remarks: "Survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish." My hope is that, despite all her compromises and corruption, that Hillary herself, who has surely read Lorde many times over, will find a way to do something similar in her campaign for POTUS -- using her revilement and loathing as a source of strength to get things done that need getting done. I've heard her use those very words, "we all can flourish," in several settings along the way this year already.

It's probably a false and even dangerously naive hope, in part because both of the Clintons are chummy enough now with the Scaifes and other "elite-class shills" that Bill happily eulogized old arch-nemesis Dick at his funeral with Hillary's blessing. But I'm holding onto the hope anyway.
posted by blucevalo at 10:54 PM on March 12, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine this level of bullshit leveled at Joe Biden, had he ran. Yes, people would critique him and compare him unfavorably with Sanders, but you know. Uncle Joe! Gotta love that guy.

He's run twice before and came nowhere even remotely close to doing as well as Hillary has in either run. The bullshit that ran him out included stuff like a plagiarism scandal (because he didn't site the source of a quote that he had cited multiple times in previous speeches) and an accusation that he exaggerated how well he did in law school. "Biden thus fell into what The Washington Post writer Paul Taylor described as that year's trend, a "trial by media ordeal"

Every candidate faces the media trying to destroy them with bullshit. Hillary gets it in a sexist package, Obama got it in a racist package, and these make things harder...but no Joe Biden would not coast to the White House on people loving Uncle Joe.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:00 PM on March 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes, duh. I'm not saying he would coast to the White House. I'm saying that he would not be putting up with sexism and racism, which translates to vicious personal attacks that become major scandals out of thin air. A plagiarism scandal is not Benghazi or "show us your birth certificate."
posted by stoneandstar at 11:08 PM on March 12, 2016 [8 favorites]


Well yeah, you just get a different flavor of bullshit personalized to the candidate. John Kerry didn't deal with sexism and racism, he dealt with an attack that accused him, a war hero, of being a lying coward during his military service. They will find some unfair bullshit about anybody and issues like racism can be a part of them even when the candidate is white. Think of McCain and his "illegitimate black baby" or Dukakis and Willie Horton. Running for President will test every single one of your real and imagined flaws, no matter who you are. Every single word and action will be analyzed to see if it can destroy you. I have to respect the courage of anybody who signs up for that.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:19 PM on March 12, 2016 [5 favorites]


Hillary is a woman. So are millions of people who are not Hillary. I am psyched for a woman president. Let's do this. But can't we pick a different one?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:23 PM on March 12, 2016 [14 favorites]


By all means, despite the fact she's being vigorously contested in the primary, let's promulgate the idea that if she wins it, it was unearned.

Exactly. The very idea that Clinton is not going to win the nomination (probably) because she fought tooth and nail for it after absorbing the lessons of 2008 is, in and of itself, misogynistic. She isn't going to win because it's fixed, she's going to win because she is getting the votes she needs and Sanders is not.

When lungful of dragons says she will only be the nominee because she is being handed the nomination it is crap. She is earning it with sweat and work. Maybe some people don't like that. And it does not imply that Sanders isn't working his ass off to try to win.

But she is being handed jack shit.
posted by Justinian at 11:30 PM on March 12, 2016 [35 favorites]


I think we're in the midst of a turn in the Democratic primary. One of the central attacks on Clinton is against her trustworthiness, and she's issued several incredibly misleading attacks on Sanders - on the auto bailout, immigration, and health care. Meanwhile, she's managed to alienate significant fractions of the electorate with her comments this weekend on Nancy Reagan and the Chicago Trump protest. On both of these issues, eventually she came around to the right position, but it took some time and I think that will resonate with voters as untrustworthy, playing into an existing narrative about her. Additionally, I think Sanders did really well in the last two debates, and has a massive volunteer GOTV effort.

Whether that turn (if I'm right about this) will be enough to nominate Bernie is still not clear.

I don't mean to say that everything is fixed now, but where the sexism comes in is that there wasn't room for a similar female politician at the time Bernie Sanders was starting his political career.
posted by sanedragon at 12:05 AM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Exactly. The very idea that Clinton is not going to win the nomination (probably) because she fought tooth and nail for it after absorbing the lessons of 2008 is, in and of itself, misogynistic. She isn't going to win because it's fixed, she's going to win because she is getting the votes she needs and Sanders is not.

When lungful of dragons says she will only be the nominee because she is being handed the nomination it is crap. She is earning it with sweat and work. Maybe some people don't like that. And it does not imply that Sanders isn't working his ass off to try to win.

But she is being handed jack shit.


Depends how you mean "handed", I guess. I don't know of anyone who would say that Clinton hasn't worked hard to get the nomination. But I know I, and a lot of people I know, would say that work has been to curry favor with financial, media, and party elites, to the point where she's been being reported as the presumptive nominee for more than a year, she was hundreds of votes in the lead before the first primary was even close, the status of the race especially regarding superdelegates is constantly misreported, she's pulling insane money into her Super PAC from large corporate donors and using it to straight-up buy media favorability ... basically, that she's been busting her ass to make candidate selection as removed from the actual primary process as possible. Saying she's gonna win because it's fixed isn't denying the time she's spent setting that fix up, it's acknowledging the very real fact that there is a fix in.
posted by kafziel at 12:10 AM on March 13, 2016 [60 favorites]


The simple fact is that if Sanders has the support of the voters he will win the nomination. He probably won't because he probably doesn't. Saying that Clinton is being handed the nomination when the voters are selecting her is insulting and part of a pattern of misogyny.

Yes, she has the institutional support of the establishment. She also had that in 2008. How'd that work out for her?

She's going to win (probably) because more people will vote for her. Everything else is noise and would mean nothing if Sanders got the votes.
posted by Justinian at 12:14 AM on March 13, 2016 [41 favorites]


Funny how I don't remember all this complaining about how "the fix was in" for Gore to get the nomination in 2000.
posted by dersins at 12:27 AM on March 13, 2016 [28 favorites]


Jesus.

shrill misogynistic epithets like "the elite-class shill woman" -- which is so close to resembling "that repugnant bitch" it's not funny

No.

HRC is an elite-class shill. And she is a woman. I did not say 'bitch'. She is not. It would be hateful and wrong to say so. I did not say 'repugnant'. I do not think that. That is a vile epithet which I use extremely sparingly. I thought long and hard about my wording and if it came across as misogynistic then I fucked up because that was the complete opposite of my intent. Do not put hateful words into my mouth.

But a woman who is an elite-class shill is still an elite-class shill. I call her that because what else do you call a person who charges a minimum of $225,000 per speech and then gives 14 speeches paid at that rate or more to Wall Street firms? And who subsequently takes a Wall Street approved line on every given policy.

Christ I wish she wasn't an elite-class shill though. And I also wish Bernie was a woman. But we you have the hand you are dealt.
posted by motty at 12:31 AM on March 13, 2016 [61 favorites]


Funny how I don't remember all this complaining about how "the fix was in" for Gore to get the nomination in 2000.

Or Kerry, who was the establishment candidate in 2004 with Dean the insurgent.

For whatever reason it's just when a woman Hillary Clinton is the establishment candidate that it's fixed.
posted by Justinian at 12:37 AM on March 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Once again, the post topic is about sexism/patriarchy as it applies to Hillary Clinton, which you might choose to discuss, or if not, you might choose to go to one of the 10+ currently open election-related threads to make your general talking points again. It's okay if you don't want to hear it, don't think it matters, think people should be talking about Bernie Sanders instead, or just want to point out again how much you think Clinton totally sucks – you can do all that in one of the other threads and skip this one.]
posted by taz at 1:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [24 favorites]


Hillary’s candidacy is allowed and designed by the patriarchy, and by design it leads to rejection. Because by the time we, as a people, are ready for a woman as our president, we are ready for so much more. Because by the time she made it to the upper ranks of the boy’s club, she’s just one of the boys.

I don't agree with many parts of this article, but this is a profound insight.

I've had a lot of very frustrating conversations with Hillary supporters who kind of dance around this. It feels like a lot of people are sincerely trying to reconcile their core beliefs with the opportunity to make history. It is probably very difficult.
posted by lattiboy at 3:11 AM on March 13, 2016 [18 favorites]


I look forward to seeing what Tulsi will do in the next eight to twenty years.

Hate to burst your bubble, but Tulsi has some really weird and objectionable politics.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 4:08 AM on March 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


Now switch the genders. Who wins?
Well that got my attention. But I think this ignores the fact that the presidential race is a popularity contest.
In the MonkeyToes link, I see this:
Her public approval plummets whenever she applies for a new position. Then it soars when she gets the job.
HRC is extremely capable. She would to a great job as president, but she is a cringe-worthy speech giver, while Bernie is inspiring. (Trump, too, unfortunately)

Bob Woodward complains that “there is something unrelaxed about the way she is communicating.”
When we switch genders, do we switch the charisma, too?
posted by MtDewd at 5:02 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Depends how you mean "handed", I guess. I don't know of anyone who would say that Clinton hasn't worked hard to get the nomination. But I know I, and a lot of people I know, would say that work has been to curry favor with financial, media, and party elites, to the point where she's been being reported as the presumptive nominee for more than a year, she was hundreds of votes in the lead before the first primary was even close, the status of the race especially regarding superdelegates is constantly misreported, she's pulling insane money into her Super PAC from large corporate donors and using it to straight-up buy media favorability ... basically, that she's been busting her ass to make candidate selection as removed from the actual primary process as possible. Saying she's gonna win because it's fixed isn't denying the time she's spent setting that fix up, it's acknowledging the very real fact that there is a fix in.

Translation: she networked, built consensus, proactively sought funding and support that would give her a strong base in her presidency, and is using all of that to push forward her team. With HRC you get a real sense that it's an actual team, and that is what we seriously fucking need.

Team player, strong networking, proactive, consensus-building... these are bad things now? Note: I'm not saying HRC is a saint, I'm saying she gets shit done, shit is still shit.

As for the comment upthread from a European telling us (Americans) how to vote, dude, please don't, we (Europeans - I'm both, sorry for the confusion) need to deal with our own proto-Nazis in Europe. Here in France we've got Trump in female form twice over - Marine and Marion Maréchal Le Pen. We may not have as many nuclear bombs as the States, but racist attitudes here are worse than they were ten years ago, and this affects the world too. See also: Syrian refugees.
posted by fraula at 5:24 AM on March 13, 2016 [32 favorites]


Hillary’s candidacy is allowed and designed by the patriarchy, and by design it leads to rejection. Because by the time we, as a people, are ready for a woman as our president, we are ready for so much more. Because by the time she made it to the upper ranks of the boy’s club, she’s just one of the boys.

You can't be part of the Team unless you're a Team Player.
posted by mikelieman at 5:25 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Saying that Clinton is being handed the nomination when the voters are selecting her is insulting and part of a pattern of misogyny.
Well, then, let's be more accurate. Hillary is buying the nomination. The "voters" aren't selecting her, the monied are selecting her. There is a stark difference.

Team player, strong networking, proactive, consensus-building... these are bad things now?
When the "team" is the top 1% of Americans, who control 35% of the wealth in this country, or the top 20% who have 85% of the wealth - yeah, to me these are "bad things."
posted by sockermom at 5:45 AM on March 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


The "voters" aren't selecting her, the monied are selecting her.

So far, about 4.9 million "monied elites" have selected Clinton, while 3.3 million "principled voters" have selected Saunders.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:04 AM on March 13, 2016 [42 favorites]


When we switch genders, do we switch the charisma, too?
I mean, possibly? The central fact for women of Hillary and Liz Warren's generation is that they had to fight like hell for respect, which meant constantly policing their self-presentation. Everyone they encountered started from the assumption that they were incompetent, vapid, ornamental, taking a man's job, etc.. They had to modulate their voices, or people would dismiss them as sounding like a perky cheerleader. You aren't going to let a perky cheerleader talk at a meeting with clients, are you? They had to wear somber clothes, based on the styles that men wore, or people would dismiss them as frivolous. No joking with male co-workers, or people will think you're flirting, and then they will decide it's your fault if your boss gropes your tit, and they will start rumors that you slept your way into your job rather than earning it. It is really hard to be charismatic when you are constantly examining every thing you are about to say and do to make sure that it's not going to disqualify you from even being in the room. It's a lot easier to be charismatic when you don't have to worry about it because everyone assumes you have a right to be there.

People like to compare Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sanders, but Liz Warren's life history could not be more different from Sanders's. She succeeded by relentlessly playing by the rules until she was radicalized as a middle-aged person. Women with Bernie Sanders's life stories do not end up in positions of authority. Just as a thought experiment, do you think that Sanders would be where he is now if he were Bernadette Sanders, a woman who had a child while unmarried in 1969, instead of Bernard Sanders, the man who fathered that child? Do you think that voters would care about a single word on her resume other than "slut"? Do you think she'd even have had time to run for public office between caring for a child and trying to make ends meet?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:17 AM on March 13, 2016 [72 favorites]


A friend shared this with me recently: My Gen-X Hilary Problem: I Know Why We Don't 'Like' Clinton

The author shares a lot of her own experiences with structural sexism, and how she came to see Clinton in a different light, ultimately switching to the Clinton side of things. I appreciated the perspective, but it also burned me up because of this passage:
I suspect that the millennial women who are supporting Bernie may simply not have gotten to a place in life where they’ve experienced this kind of chronic, internalized, institutional sexism. In order for someone to ignore you at a senior level, you need be old enough to have reached that level, and most millenials aren’t quite there yet. They’re still where I was in my early 30s, hopeful that we’ve come through the other side to a post-sexist world. Because nothing says “sexism is dead” like a woman voting for Bernie.
I just... ugh. We absolutely need to be having conversations about the sexism and double standards Clinton has faced, but is this the conclusion we get to? Sexism has shaped Clinton's public image, and it's been a part of her career since it began. And yet, when we look at the election solely through the lens of sexism, is that all the information we need to understand Bernie's support, or is there something more? Is the passage above really how we want to be looking at this situation?

I don't want to paint with a broad brush and imply that everyone sees things this way, or that this author is a horrible person. But it's not exactly giving much credit to the women who support Bernie, is it? One of the most frustrating things about the Bernie Bros narrative has been that we've effectively coded support for Bernie as an extension of white male privilege. The image of the core Bernie supporter seems to be a young, passionate, college-age white guy. So there's been a lot of commentary that seems to portray women's support of Bernie as against their own self-interest in some way, and is that the direction we want to be going with this?

Yes, there is undeniable sexism against Clinton, and yes it would be so, so wonderful to have a woman finally in this position of leadership. Everything Obama has done for young African Americans just by his very presence in the Oval Office, Clinton could do for young women as well. I want my generation's kids growing up in a world where, even if sexism is far from "over," they can at least have that a president who - and I'm forgetting who said this about Obama, but they could at least have a president who looks like them.

But I feel like we run the risk of dismissing the women and other people who don't want it to happen this way. I mean, look, obviously I support Sanders - I've given a lot of thought to this, and at some point I just can't feel guilty about my own vote. But I'm also worried that we're making Clinton into a feminist icon because she's all there is, and for some people it's awful that this is the choice it comes down to. This country is so long overdue to have a woman in office, but are we asking people who don't see eye-to-eye with Clinton and the DNC to give something up in order to make it happen? And are we prepared to take them seriously if they say no?
posted by teponaztli at 6:18 AM on March 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


(And I should clarify - I don't mean to sound dismissive of her when I say I'm worried we're making Clinton into a feminist icon, and I should have used different language. What I mean is that I'm worried we're making her into the icon, the way forward for all women, when not everyone sees her that way. I still don't think that's adequate phrasing, but hopefully it sounds less dismissive of everything she's already accomplished.)
posted by teponaztli at 6:43 AM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


The onslaught of venom directed toward a woman who played the any-means-necessary game of politics was a real trigger — where have all these player-haters been for the centuries this game has dominated our nation? Men have made Hillary’s choices, and far worse, on repeat, for all of our history, to little fanfare.

It is not a coincidence that this is the year a mass of people are suddenly warming to the revolution.
posted by sallybrown at 7:00 AM on March 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


there should probably be some serious soul searching about why the Democratic party in some ways seems to have closer ties to Wall St. than the Republicans.

The economy does better under Democrats, Democrats are reality-based on economics, and Wall Streeters are generally pretty liberal on social issues.
posted by jpe at 7:02 AM on March 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


Wall Streeters are generally pretty liberal on social issues

Yeah! I know this is almost heresy at this point, but there are a lot of actual human beings working on Wall Street and for Wall Street-related companies, and they are actually allowed to donate money to candidates for the same reasons other people do - passion and interest - not just for reasons that are eeeeeeevil.
posted by sallybrown at 7:06 AM on March 13, 2016 [19 favorites]


It is not a coincidence that this is the year a mass of people are suddenly warming to the revolution.


bernie's no more revolutionary than clinton. He believes in social democracy, in capitalism with a human face and maybe a banker scapegoat or two in jail. As a jewish socialist woman, i wish i had a real democratic socialist candidate to support, someone who genuinely supports workers owning the means of production, and a real pro-woman candidate, someone who doesn't hold their nose and vote for american military imperialism which hurts women in the Middle East more often than not, someone who doesn't see sees policy around borders which tear families apart as something to be mildy reformed rather than abolished.
posted by thug unicorn at 7:10 AM on March 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


Bernie gets a pass on objectionable parts of his past. Warren gets a pass on being an actual Republican party member until 1996.
posted by humanfont at 7:11 AM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also if Hillary had been a Jew, there's no way she would have been able to survive the political environment of Arkansas and the political center. I'd like to see one thinkpiece that implies if you don't support Sanders that's antisemitic for every one that implies if you don't support Clinton that's somehow sexist.
posted by thug unicorn at 7:14 AM on March 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


So far, about 4.9 million "monied elites" have selected Clinton, while 3.3 million "principled voters" have selected Saunders.

I'd personally like to see a US where such large swaths of minority voters were monied elites.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:19 AM on March 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


Radio Ireland's Documentary on One: Sandbags not Handbags? following two women candidates in the recent election, the first Irish general election in which there was a gender quota threatening to halve the state funding of any party that did not field at least 30% male and 30% female candidates. The highest percentage ever of candidates elected to the Dáil Éireann, the lower house of parliament, were women this year at 22%.
posted by XMLicious at 7:25 AM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's sad that folks are spending so much time defending their own personal feminist cred when they like Bernie better than Hillary, but this is not worth our time, I shouldn't think.

It says something about the country and culture as a whole, right? That a woman who is a career politician is getting gender-coded flak that male career politicians don't get.

Of course many of us would vote in the primary against the career politician, friend of Wall Street, etc., whatever their gender; this doesn't make us raving misogynists.

But don't pretend that the national discussion about HRC isn't deeply infected by misogyny. Whatever happens in the election, let's work on changing that.
posted by allthinky at 7:26 AM on March 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'll happily vote for Clinton, to the extent that I'm ever happy about this kind of thing. However, I would probably prefer Sanders in theory. Such are Presidential races.

The idea that I would feel in any way guilty for preferring Sanders over Clinton is just...so utterly alien and laughable to me. It feels like a position invented by either a) a conservative strategist seeking to minimize and confuse voters or b) a clever Clinton strategist who knows how to play the game. "This one particular person, who is a woman, ought to become the President" is not some necessary, immovable, sacrosanct concept within feminism. It seems well beyond obvious that there are billions upon billions of ways in which to support feminist goals, or even to support ambitious women.

As always, national elections in America are often overripe with presumed importance. Work locally, work at the state level. Neither Clinton nor Sanders could function as we would like without broad support in other levels of government. Give me an army of Senator Elizabeth Warrens, figuratively speaking.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:44 AM on March 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


While there's something to the article I think that it would have been better written eight years ago, when the biggest difference policy-wise between Hillary and Obama was that she was more openly a hawk.

Also about the article, she notes that women have only been voting for 96 years, but does not note that it's white women who have been voting for that long. Black women didn't get to vote until the 1960s. I'm sure Hillary would make this same error.

Also as a queer woman and a leftist (not liberal) feminist I'm sick to death of being told that the reason I don't like Hillary is because she's a woman. People said the same thing to me about Sarah Palin, and gender is not the reason I dislike either of them. I've spent my life watching democrats and republicans alike talk about limiting reproductive choice, demonizing LGBT people while pretending they like us, and starting wars. I don't care who says these things: I'm not voting for them.

I'd be even more excited about Bernie if he were a woman, and I'm worried that people are going to refuse to vote for him because he's Jewish.

I think the reason Elizabeth Warren isn't running is because she likes where she is and can do what she cares about more effectively on the Senate Banking Committee than she could in the White House.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:46 AM on March 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


It is not sexism when you choose to not vote for a woman who perpetuates patriarchy.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


Black women didn't get to vote until the 1960s. I'm sure Hillary would make this same error.

I'm sorry, what? This is not true. Jim Crow laws and poll tests and taxes severely disadvantaged Black men and women until, well, until now, still, but that statement is false.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I know this is almost heresy at this point, but there are a lot of actual human beings working on Wall Street and for Wall Street-related companies, and they are actually allowed to donate money to candidates for the same reasons other people do - passion and interest - not just for reasons that are eeeeeeevil.

Whether they are good people or not, even many conservative economists agree, the relationship between Wall Street and Washington is structurally very damaging to the real American economy. Even being the nicest, most socially liberal people in the world doesn't mean Wall Street and the financial services industry play a net positive role in the American political process or economy. It's not personal. It's structural.

Also, no I don't think people would only be talking about what a slut Bernadette Sanders was, if such a candidate existed and were running. Sexism in our culture is awful and inescapable, but in practice, it takes more subtle and sinister forms--usually encouraged by corporate interests, like the chain restaurant one father complained about here on MeFi that required his daughter to wear a t-shirt that read "Eat my Taco" even though it made her uncomfortable.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:53 AM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen, are you saying that the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act did not remedy a real issue where black Americans were prevented from voting? I'm saying that the 19th Amendment was functionally useless for many black women and it's problematic not to acknowledge it.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:56 AM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


bile and syntax, no I am not saying that. I am saying that there is no truth to the statement that Black women did not have the right to vote in 1960, or 1930 for that matter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:58 AM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


The idea that I would feel in any way guilty for preferring Sanders over Clinton is just...so utterly alien and laughable to me.

The guilt I have is not about "I might choose to vote against putting Hillary Clinton in the Presidency" but "This is the first time we have had a viable chance of electing a woman President, and I may choose to vote not to do that even though the lack of a woman President deeply bothers me." I totally understand people (not just women) who feel that way. It's not a made-up thing.
posted by sallybrown at 7:59 AM on March 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


And I'm saying that the right to vote under the constitution is worthless if you are actually prevented from voting at the polls.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:00 AM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Some black women could vote, but I think it's fair to say that black women didn't have the right to vote until they won it through struggle during the Civil Rights era. (And make no mistake: black women won it. Bernie did not win it for them.) And that right is still imperiled and must constantly be preserved through struggle.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what the point of all that is, especially given that black women are among Hillary's most reliable supporters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:03 AM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Are people arguing that Hillary would actually have some support from the GOP in passing legislation that's spent two decades making her out to be the devil? Obama put forward things that were straight out of the 90's Republican economic playbook and got shot down hard for the six years he spent bothering to work with them.

If they keep the Congressional majorities, a Democrat in the White House needs to come out of the gates shouting and hollering about bullshit while pushing the limits of executive actions on economic policy.

And on what roomthreeseventeen said: I don't think Bernie would get anything either from them. If they don't get their candidate in the White House it'll be another four to eight year public shit fit temper tantrum.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:09 AM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


NSFW alert: Hillary Clinton Appears Before Rally Completely Nude In Bid For Authenticity

I wish we could discuss this dispassionately instead of in terms of me me me. I know we can't. I certainly can't myself because all my life experiences inform how I view this. But at least this: couldn't we even try to discuss Hillary without the defensive crouch of "not me, I'm not sexist."

Case in point: When people talk about bad Bernie supporters, they are probably not talking about you.
I'm pretty convinced that much of the Bernie Bro phenomena is Rove inspired. In fact the only reason I might even ever use an odious term like "BernieBro" would be to separate the bad apples out from y'all, who I regard as allies. But to deny there is not a disturbing level of sexism among some Bernie supporters seem like denying reality. There are sucky supporters who use below-the-belt tactics on all sides -- but far too many of the tactics used against Hillary are personal and deeply sexist.

When people talk about sexism and the patriarchy they are probably not talking about you. Your decision may be 100% pure and principled. Neither I or anyone else can judge that.

But apart from you, my mefi friend, I have been pained -- truly pained -- by the overt sexism in evidence in this election, and while less of it is in evidence here on mefi, it's here too. We can surely use this as a moment to reflect on our own inadvertent complicity as we do on so many other hurtful issues, right?

I wish I had a dollar for every TV pundit, print journalist, blogger, tweeter who had used terms like smirk, grimace, yell, scream, interrupt about Clinton, while giving Bernie a complete pass. Bernie! His pointing and gesticulating are regarded as an amusing personality thing. What if she did that? His unkempt grandpa thing is regarded as authenticity. What if she did that? Being ambitious, assertive and successful are high negatives for women. I am at least grateful for this: Bernie sort of neutralizes the age thing or we'd be getting that about her too.

I don't fault anyone for not supporting Hillary, male or female, young or old. I get the conflict. I genuinely love Bernie and I am for him on alternate days of the week. I just think that he and Warren are better in the Senate where the sausage is made, I feel we desperately need them there. I think a lot of the qualities that people love to hate about Hillary are what would make her a better executive. I understand that many may not agree or may see her negatives as too high. But the scorched earth approach to Hillary? Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but I don't recall that with Kerry or Gore, and I can't help but feel some of it as the different rules coming in to play.

I'd like to suggest this too. Everyone points to Clinton's involvement with Wall Street as evidence of her being bought -- and fine, I get that -- I would love to see money removed from elections, I think they should be publicly funded. But I see another perspective to the Wall St. thing too: her as extending the presence and legitimacy of women in the highly sexist business arena, where power women are few and far between. I've spent much of my life in some pretty sexist industries - it is still incredibly hard for women to get in the boardrooms. When I hear the dizzying rates she gets for speeches, I feel conflicted: a huge feeling of disappointment, but I would be a liar if I didn't say I have one little voice saying "Damn, you go girl!" All the talk is about how they and their money influence her, not how she might be influencing them. Crazy thought, I know!

Separate from the Hillary discussion, this personal observation.
My parents spent their whole lives waiting for the Red Sox to win. My Dad died in his 80s, never achieving that life goal. When they finally won, my Mom was still alive but not in a mental place where she could fully get it. As I age, I fear that a woman presidency might be my Boston Red Sox holy grail.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:10 AM on March 13, 2016 [55 favorites]


I wish I had a dollar for every TV pundit, print journalist, blogger, tweeter who had used terms like smirk, grimace, yell, scream, interrupt about Clinton,

I mean, I get what you're saying, but Clinton interrupts Sanders a lot.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:14 AM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is the first time we have had a viable chance of electing a woman President, and I may choose to vote not to do that even though the lack of a woman President deeply bothers me."

Not completely true. Elizabeth Dole also had a viable shot at the presidency once.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:15 AM on March 13, 2016


I disagree. Dole's campaign did not have the kind of traction and support that Hillary's does. Not to diminish her accomplishment, which was a big deal.
posted by sallybrown at 8:16 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


But at least this: couldn't we even try to discuss Hillary without the defensive crouch of "not me, I'm not sexist."

It's funny. I think most of us would agree that we live in a deeply sexist culture. But there's real discomfort with the idea that that would influence us in ways that escape our conscious perception. I find that acknowledging my own sexism to myself helps me steer away from it better.
posted by sallybrown at 8:18 AM on March 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


where power women are few and far between.

The whole "power person" thing IS patriarchy though. Why cheer on the minting of new patriarchs with a non conforming gender if that's what you believe and oppose?
posted by saulgoodman at 8:18 AM on March 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


Are Clinton supporters going to pull the same shit in the general? They really need to cull their ranks of toxic puma weirdos if they're at all going to give her a chance.
posted by Artw at 8:19 AM on March 13, 2016


But at least this: couldn't we even try to discuss Hillary without the defensive crouch of "not me, I'm not sexist."

Couldn't we discuss her without throwing around accusations of sexism as a deflection from actual issues with her policy stances?
posted by bile and syntax at 8:20 AM on March 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


Couldn't we discuss her without throwing around accusations of sexism as a deflection from actual issues with her policy stances?

This discussion is specifically about Hillary Clinton and how sexism impacts her candidacy. There are a metric ton of other election threads not focused on sexism that would be great places to discuss her policy stances if you're not interested in discussing sexism.
posted by sallybrown at 8:23 AM on March 13, 2016 [33 favorites]


[Few comments deleted. This is a sexism thread, not a Hillary/Bernie thread. You have many other choices for that discussion.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:23 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


"couldn't we even try to discuss Hillary without the defensive crouch of "not me, I'm not sexist."

THIS. Thank you Madam jujujive. We all are sexist sometimes -- I've been a leftist feminist for 30+ years, and I STILL have sexist thoughts. I have ageist thoughts. I have racist thoughts. Et al.

I don't believe that anyone in the world anywhere can grow up and consume media and live in society without absorbing problematic attitudes and ideas.

What I do about this fact is what I think every person needs to do - examine what I think and say, question my "gut" reactions to things carefully, and accept the idea that many of my ways of looking and thinking about the world are flawed and try to adjust and compensate for them in the way in which I interact with the world.
posted by jfwlucy at 8:29 AM on March 13, 2016 [24 favorites]


[Few comments deleted. This is a sexism thread, not a Hillary/Bernie thread. You have many other choices for that discussion.]

/wonders if traffic should be directed the other way too.
posted by Artw at 8:34 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


[Prior mod note with link to many other threads. ]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:36 AM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dang it, the system ate my comment...
I agree that the system is biased against her, STRONGLY biased against her

I can't bring myself to vote for her
posted by MikeWarot at 8:37 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, while Clinton has obviously had to deal with a lot of BS for her entire career, neither that nor the fact that she was born and identifies as a woman is a reason to vote for her, specifically, especially if her policies are going to be detrimental to your own interest.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:39 AM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


I mean, while Clinton has obviously had to deal with a lot of BS for her entire career, neither that nor the fact that she was born and identifies as a woman is a reason to vote for her, specifically, especially if her policies are going to be detrimental to your own interest.
I absolutely agree with that, for what it's worth. But I think you can decide not to support her while realizing there's a shit-ton of sexism and double-standards being directed at her. And I think that you can interrogate whether some of the vitriol against her is motivated by misogyny without feeling obligated to vote for her because she's a woman.

I mean, I would never in a million years vote for Sarah Palin for anything, but I also recognize that she's subject to a ton of sexism and classism. So when I talk about her, I try really hard to do so in ways that aren't sexist and classist, because that shit hurts everyone in the targeted categories, not just the person it directly targets.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:45 AM on March 13, 2016 [36 favorites]


So...

I just wanted to say thanks for people's participation in the thread. I debated pretty long and hard on whether I should post it because yeah, I knew some of it would probably end up steering towards a general "Hillary vs. Bernie" thing, but at the same time the article put into words a few things that had really been bothering me for the past few weeks as everything ramps up, and turned the perspective a little bit to allow me to see more clearly some of the underlying things that were making me uncomfortable.

I'd already noted the misogyny and vitriol but it was this part that was really important to me:
Hillary’s candidacy is allowed and designed by the patriarchy, and by design it leads to rejection. Because by the time we, as a people, are ready for a woman as our president, we are ready for so much more. Because by the time she made it to the upper ranks of the boy’s club, she’s just one of the boys.

I'm going to (early!) vote in a couple of hours, and it's gonna be for Bernie Sanders. But I think it's good and important to think long and hard on this lens of things, and I'll be sending it to family and friends who are also pretty hardcore Bernie supporters, not in an attempt to change their minds, but just hoping that we can recognize the role sexism and misogyny play, and how much difficulty we as women have toward being revolutionaries of this scale--successful ones--in the larger political sphere.

also thanks mods for doing a really good job of keeping this more or less on track, and sorry for giving you yet another election thread (and improperly tagging it!)
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 8:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [28 favorites]


I mean, while Clinton has obviously had to deal with a lot of BS for her entire career, neither that nor the fact that she was born and identifies as a woman is a reason to vote for her, specifically, especially if her policies are going to be detrimental to your own interest.
This reminds me, however, of Sonia Sotomayor's saying that her very experience as a "wise Latina" was one of the reasons that she was a valuable addition to the Supreme Court. I do think that life experiences brings different lenses through which we see things and that that is an important part of valuing diversity. Pure objectivity and neutrality are myths.
posted by jfwlucy at 9:05 AM on March 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


I do think that life experiences brings different lenses through which we see things and that that is an important part of valuing diversity.

For sure. However, Secretary Clinton is campaigning on actual issues and an actual platform. If those things don't align with things you want the president to do, you shouldn't vote for her.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:08 AM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


For sure. However, Secretary Clinton is campaigning on actual issues and an actual platform. If those things don't align with things you want the president to do, you shouldn't vote for her.

I do sometimes wonder about that approach, though. Should we vote for the candidate with whom we are most closely ideologically aligned, or for the candidate we think will do best at the actual, really fucking hard job of being President?

This is neither a rhetorical nor a hypothetical question. It is one with which I am genuinely struggling this primary season.
posted by dersins at 9:14 AM on March 13, 2016 [35 favorites]


Hillary’s candidacy is allowed and designed by the patriarchy, and by design it leads to rejection. Because by the time we, as a people, are ready for a woman as our president, we are ready for so much more. Because by the time she made it to the upper ranks of the boy’s club, she’s just one of the boys.

This resonates so loudly. The idea that, for many voters, the things she had to do to get a seat at the table now disqualify her from the table.
posted by bardophile at 9:41 AM on March 13, 2016 [36 favorites]


The idea that, for many voters, the things she had to do to get a seat at the table now disqualify her from the table.

If you seriously envision an Elizabeth Warren presidency--or really any other woman in that office--and you don't acknowledge Hillary Clinton's immense role in making that a real possibility, you're not willfully ignoring reality.

Pioneers from marginalized groups always suffer for their audacity. If Hillary Clinton isn't our first woman as president, then whichever woman first comes into office will owe her a huge debt.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:46 AM on March 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


["There's totally some sexism at play, now that that's out of the way, let me give you my general opinions on the various candidates" is still derailing. Please take those comments to another thread, such as this one. A lot of these comments are really great and interesting, just not on the narrow topic here.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:50 AM on March 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


My wife and I have talked about this exact difficulty, that it does ultimately come down to the old white man offering the far more appealing policies, and the deep frustration that Hillary's platform seems, on many levels, to be built on a campaign consisting, essentially, of "it's finally my turn to be president."

Because Patriarchy is all about sounding authoritative. You don't have to be right, good, or even sane, you just have to sound and look in charge. Bernie is a Champagne Socialist who whispers sweet nothings and people are silly enough to believe him.

As for Hillary, the only reason she can get that far in the game is that she is the wife of a former president. If she were a working class woman who had to crawl and was distracted by state sanctioned misogyny, everyone would either ignore her or dismiss her.

Yes, where are the woman visionaries, eccentrics, innovators, and explorers? This is a society that willfully holds women back, sabotaging their every step, and then just as she makes a breakthrough, some sheltered and wealthy white establishment male can co-opt her message and then we can hold discussions about this very topic.

We have those women, but people seem afraid of them and what it all means...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [9 favorites]



If you seriously envision an Elizabeth Warren presidency--or really any other woman in that office--and you don't acknowledge Hillary Clinton's immense role in making that a real possibility, you're not willfully ignoring reality.


I think you mean "you are ignoring". And I agree completely.
posted by bardophile at 9:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


On the strength of policy alone I am excited about Bernie and I'll probably vote for him in the primaries, but the way that Hillary is talked about half the time kind of turns my stomach and dampens my Sanders enthusiasm.
posted by geegollygosh at 9:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think you mean "you are ignoring". And I agree completely.

Argh! Stupid Trying-To-Type-Coherent-Thoughts-Despite-Daylight-Savings-Time-Shift-Mind-Fog-Bullshit-Argh
(Mods please feel free to edit as above if willing)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:56 AM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't seriously envision an Elizabeth Warren presidency, for a whole lot of reasons. If it's not Hillary, I think the first woman president will very likely be someone like Nikki Haley: a young, conservative Republican who can come across as reasonable if you're not paying too much attention.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:00 AM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


And Hillary Clinton will have paved the way for her, too, which is depressing as all fuck.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:01 AM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Also, no I don't think people would only be talking about what a slut Bernadette Sanders was, if such a candidate existed and were running. Sexism in our culture is awful and inescapable, but in practice, it takes more subtle and sinister forms

Well, we also need to consider whether Bernadette Sanders would have made it to the running for president. We need to be imagining an unmarried woman with an 11 year old child being elected as mayor in 1980 to put her on the same path as Bernie.

The story here is not just what sexism looks like today but what it looked like 20, 30, 40 years ago and how that has shaped what candidates we're looking at now and what their political paths have looked like over their lifetime.
posted by geegollygosh at 10:03 AM on March 13, 2016 [51 favorites]


I feel frustrated when people attack Clinton for things like being inauthentic or not having passion. I remember in 2008, when a voter in NH asked how she did it and Clinton got choked up answering, and how the media responded that she was clearly faking, calculating, shrewd, but also desperate and over-emotional. Literally no matter what she does, someone will say it's because she's manipulative while someone will say it demonstrates that she's too emotional to be president. If she sneezes, she obviously did it for attention and is not healthy enough to serve. She's too human and not human enough. Meanwhile, male candidates can literally scream and yell and they're so passionate and that's apparently a good thing.

It's hard for me to comment on the election because it feels very personal for me. I see myself in Hillary. I see someone who is brilliant and has worked hard her entire life to get where she is. I see someone who has been in the periphery in my life for almost 25 years and who has changed consistently over that time, like the world around us, like me.

More and more relevant to me, I think about how I'm expecting a girl in June. I think about how proud I would feel if she worked hard and dedicated her life to public service. And then I think, if Hillary can't overcome all of the bullshit, what hope do I have? Or Kat Jr.?

That's what this conversation is about for me. That's why I could not care less about whatever Hillary outrage of the day. Because I've been dreaming about taking Kat Jr. to see the first woman president get sworn in this January.
posted by kat518 at 10:19 AM on March 13, 2016 [51 favorites]


I do think that life experiences brings different lenses through which we see things and that that is an important part of valuing diversity.

For sure. However, Secretary Clinton is campaigning on actual issues and an actual platform
.

How women are treated in our society is an actual issue.

The whole "voting for her because she's a woman" has really bothered me for a long time. It's a really subtle and nasty insult for two reasons.

1. On a broader level, it's incredibly dismissive of women who support Hillary, in suggesting that they haven't (or don't have the capacity?) to actually think through the issues and understand the nuances on their own. that they're purely basing their vote on gender without any regard to anything else.

2. But also, why shouldn't the fact that Hillary is a woman figure into a person's decision? To say it shouldn't reminds me of the "all lives matter" garbage. Just being a woman in the world today has a profound impact on the life you lead and to say that woman shouldn't consider that as a major issue for them (if they so choose) is denying the very real issues that women face today just by virtue of being a woman.

I say this being in total agreement with what someone said above about some Hillary supporters saying that some younger female Bernie supporters haven't experienced as much sexism as older women have. While it has been true for me that I have become more radicalized w/r/t women's issues as I've grown older and the experiences have piled up and started to weigh on me, I am absolutely clear that this is my experience and I won't make assumptions about what the experience of other women has been or presume to know what drives their decisions. I cringe when I see Hillary supporters do that just as much as I get furious when I hear anyone suggesting that I'm voting with my vagina, as if my real-life lived experiences as a woman don't or shouldn't matter.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:21 AM on March 13, 2016 [34 favorites]


On a broader level, it's incredibly dismissive of women who support Hillary, in suggesting that they haven't (or don't have the capacity?) to actually think through the issues and understand the nuances on their own. that they're purely basing their vote on gender without any regard to anything else.

I didn't say that. I'm saying that for me, as a woman, I'm basing my vote on issues that affect me, which leads me to Sanders.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:34 AM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


A lot of people do suggest that, however ... I have had it said to me.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:41 AM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


A friend shared this with me recently: My Gen-X Hilary Problem: I Know Why We Don't 'Like' Clinton

When I first read that sometime last week, I wanted to share it around. The thing that stopped me was the fact that many of my younger-than-Gen-X friends would probably skip right past the content and move into feeling like this was yet another older person talking down to them. And that's frustrating, 'cause that's a legitimate gripe and it surely happens a lot...but that doesn't change the fact that yes, different generations have different experiences.

I find it incredibly galling when older people mock and deride Millennials as being entitled or selfish or whiny, because that ignores the demonstrable fact that their predecessors have screwed them. Obviously, that's a huge motivator for a lot of younger voters this year. I totally sympathize. And yet it's frustrating because that legitimate anger works to undercut the voice of experience, which is also an important thing.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:49 AM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've had it said to me too, often without people knowing or asking which of them I'm planning to vote for, sometimes followed by rebuttals of arguments I haven't made and positions I don't hold. It's infuriating.
posted by Akhu at 10:50 AM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do sometimes wonder about that approach, though. Should we vote for the candidate with whom we are most closely ideologically aligned, or for the candidate we think will do best at the actual, really fucking hard job of being President?

I've discussed here why I choose to support Hillary, even though I also really like Bernie (and would happily vote for either one as candidate). It basically comes down to a few things:

1. Hillary is liberal. Based on her congressional voting record, public statements and fundraising. I know of lot of people who dislike her will find a reason to discredit all of the above, but I've always held the position that candidates are best judged on their voting record, and she's voted with Bernie a majority of the time. That doesn't mean that the notable areas where they've diverged aren't issues. They absolutely are. Which brings me to my next point...

2. I don't think that any person can govern as president without moving to the middle. Including Bernie. We live in a moderate to conservative country. I wish this wasn't the case, and I have seen data showing that we're slowing trending to more liberal over time, but we are still more conservative than I would like to be. Any president would have to move to the center. Obama did this same exact thing.

3. Given these two things, I think the benefits that a Bernie presidency would have over a Hillary presidency would be small, if any. However, the benefits of representation alone by having a woman in the white house would be huge. This is how much representation matters:

Just the simple image of a woman in power has been proven to have a profound effect. A Swiss study in 2013 found that female students spoke for longer – a sign of dominance – when asked to give a speech in a room with a poster of Hillary Clinton or Angela Merkel on the wall, compared with students who had a poster of Bill Clinton or none at all. And in another study from India, parents living in areas with long-serving female leaders were 25% more likely to report having ambitious educational goals for their daughters. “Seeing women in charge persuaded parents and teens that women can run things, and increased their ambitions,” said economist Esther Duflo, who led the research.
...
This problem isn’t limited to politics. Role models matter in every area of life. In a poll conducted by BA last year, while many boys said they dreamed of being a pilot, nearly two thirds of girls cited it as a ‘career only for men’. The number of female pilots with BA? 242 compared to 3,764 male pilots (the highest in any UK airline by the way).

And in a huge survey by The Prince’s Trust and YouGov in 2010, it was discovered that 67% of young people with no role model of the same gender are more likely to be unemployed than their counterparts. Even once we’re in business, 75% of UK working women aged 18-60 claim they had few or no female role models in their organisation – hardly surprising when less than a quarter of FTSE 100 board members are female, and they are mostly in ‘non-executive’ – less powerful – roles. The effect on the aspirations of young women climbing the ladder is well documented, but what about the impact on the old guard of men hiring those young women? After all, the benefits of positive role models reach beyond those hoping to emulate them. In her 2010 TED talk, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg tells the story of pitching for a business in a private equity firm, and needing to use the loo. The men had no idea where the ladies’ room was in their office – in the year they had been there, no one had ever needed to use it. How many male CEOs are missing out on brilliant female talent because they haven’t had first-hand experience of – surprise, surprise – what women can do in the workplace? It’s depressing – but perhaps no coincidence – that CVs belonging to a “Howard” still get rated higher than a “Heidi”, even if their qualifications and experience are the same.


This is not to say that I couldn't change my mind to supporting a Bernie Sanders. But the benefits of doing so (or drawbacks of not doing so) would have to be bigger than the benefits to all women and girls of simple representation, and given that Hillary is actually fairly liberal (compared to the her political counterparts and the country as a whole, if not by Metafilter standards), I'm not seeing anything currently that any other candidate could do that would equal or surpass what having a woman in the White House would do.

This also doesn't mean that any woman would do. I wouldn't for example vote for Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina, because I think the negatives of their policy positions would outweigh the benefits of representation. This article breaks down the differences.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:52 AM on March 13, 2016 [41 favorites]


A lot of people do suggest that, however

It's pretty strongly implied every time someone publishes yet another condescending "think" piece on Medium or Vox or the Huffington Post or whereever saying something along the lines of "I'd love to see a woman be president too, just a [different / better / more progressive / whatever] woman."

Statements like that tell us (among other things) that the speaker believes there are people who support Clinton only (or primarily) because she's a woman.

Nobody uses the rhetoric of persuasion on an audience they believe does not exist unless they are deeply narcissistic or deeply stupid, and whatever else the authors of these pieces may or may not be, the vast majority of them do not appear to be either that narcissistic or that stupid.
posted by dersins at 10:57 AM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Statements like that tell us (among other things) that the speaker believes there are people who support Clinton only (or primarily) because she's a woman.

You can't have this both ways. If Hillary being a woman is supposed to be what sways people who would otherwise vote for Bernie, then at least some of her supporters must support her only (or primarily) because she's a woman. And why not? There seems to be a large segment of Hillary's supporters who believe people are choosing Bernie over Hillary only (or primarily) because he's a man.

ETA: On review, I'm not actually sure what the point was you were making and think we may be arguing the same thing? Time change, sorry.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:10 AM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


I do, in fact, believe that some people are voting for Bernie because he's a man, or rather that they are not voting for Hillary because she's a woman. I also think that there are structural things that make it possible for a man like Bernie to be a viable candidate, while a similar woman would be disqualified. I do not believe that the opposite is true, because I believe that men have structural advantages in our society. There are no equivalent advantages for women. You can see that, for instance, in the fact that, while women have been 50% of the country's population since its founding, we have been 0% of the presidents. I don't believe that's a wacky coincidence.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:16 AM on March 13, 2016 [29 favorites]


You can't have this both ways.

I'm not trying to have anything any particular number of ways. Literally all I am doing is providing supporting evidence for the idea that people in fact do sometimes tell women [either implicitly or explicitly] that they are only voting for Hillary because she is a woman.

I am not denying (or agreeing with) these other things you are saying, because their existence (or lack thereof) is not relevant to the existence of the phenomenon to which I am referring.

Although they do sometimes seem to serve as a pretty convenient bit of handwavery for those looking to distract.
posted by dersins at 11:19 AM on March 13, 2016


You can't have this both ways. If Hillary being a woman is supposed to be what sways people who would otherwise vote for Bernie, then at least some of her supporters must support her only (or primarily) because she's a woman. And why not? There seems to be a large segment of Hillary's supporters who believe people are choosing Bernie over Hillary only (or primarily) because he's a man.

But (to me anyway) it suggests that people have looked at her gender and nothing else, i.e. that they haven't given any kind of thoughtful consideration to her policy positions, voting record, etc. I've looked at that stuff, I've looked at the same things with Bernie, I've weighed up the pros and cons of each and I've come to the conclusion that her being a woman is something that matters quite a bit (to me). But I've done that after a lot of careful consideration of other things at play and not just as a knee-jerk WOMAN! reaction, which is what people seem to be suggesting when they say this. And which of course also implies that women who support Hillary are shallow/vapid/can't think for themselves.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:19 AM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Honestly, if you want to look at a woman presidential candidate this season with an inspiring backstory, look at Carly Fiorina. Here's someone who started as a secretary, became AT&T's first female senior VP, planned and directed one of the most successful IPOs in U.S. history, and became the first female CEO of HP. Her story is truly inspirational- it shows how a woman can get through the patriarchal morass that is corporate America and to shatter the glass ceiling.

Oh, so you have an issue with her political views, and her track record at HP? Well that's the thing. Just having an inspirational story of mobility isn't enough. Obviously, Clinton is a far less problematic figure than Fiorina. But the point is, as accomplished as she is, detractors of her are certainly justified in looking beyond her as an inspirational icon, and question both her current political stances and past history while being a pioneer. And while we must acknowledge that Clinton has received many, many sexist critiques and attacks, we can also still judge her lacking, as a candidate, without sexism.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:21 AM on March 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


I'm still trying to wrap my head around "you can't have it both ways," as if acknowledging the fact that we live in a hierarchical society is somehow special pleading. As if we have to be "fair" and deny the forms of oppression that structure our lives.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:35 AM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I dislike Hillary, not because she is a woman, but because I think she is a bad person.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 11:41 AM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


As a Hillary supporter, the hardest thing to deal with is The Hillary Unlikability Factor. You know, how you can debate policy with someone till the cows come home, but in the end, it boils down to them essentially saying "I just plain don't like her. There's just this ... thing about her. I don't like it." And it's fucked up. I think much of this is due to sexism, but I also think it goes way beyond sexism. In many cases, it's personal. Like, I've never heard people talk this way about someone they didn't know. I'd be hard-pressed to talk that way about someone who's legitimately wronged me. And yet, she's ultimately this boring, middle-of-the-road candidate. The seething hatred of her just seems so ... incongruous.

And I've tried to see it. I've watched her speeches and interviews and debate performances with a critical eye. I've looked for the things people say they don't like about her. I tried to see her as "robotic" or "shrill" (whatever that's supposed to mean). And I just don't see it. I don't see this ineffable quality that everybody else seems to pick up on. I honestly do not get what people hate so much about this woman. To me, she just seems so very ... ultra ... normal.

I mean, no, she doesn't comport herself in the same manner as women my age (mid-30s). And she's strongly identified with second-wave feminism, something men and women of my generation have a complicated relationship with. But Elizabeth Warren is about the same age and born of the same social movements, and people just love her. What gives?

So, this Hillary Unlikability thing is incredibly unfair, unfounded, and often sexist. And yet, as a Hillary supporter, it's something I've got to deal with. After all, what is a politician? A politician is someone who is liked. I mean, literally, that's how they get their jobs. People like them. They're the most popular kid at school. So how do you win people over to supporting a candidate with an Unlikability Factor? It's not fair, but you still have to deal with it. How do you drum up support for a candidate whom people seem to hate for no good reason?

And, you know, I realize it works both ways. Barack Obama won two terms, and I think he owes at least some of that to being a generally likable guy. So, with Obama, it worked in our favor. Bernie is likable if you're tuned into his wavelength. I'm not sure how well his personality plays outside the Bernie Bubble, but I guarantee he's not this sort of coalescing point for the America's free-floating hatred molecules.

I'll also add that it really troubles me to see the Bernie supporters dip into the Hillary hatred shit pile. I mean, I get that a lot of his supporters are new to the political process, but someone needs to tell them that it's not a good idea to be cultivating hatred in a frigging primary election. What's gonna happen if Bernie loses? What's gonna happen to all his supporters who've spent months calling her a shrill, lying robot? How are we gonna get them on-board? Please dear god, let's not be a bunch of self-destructive idiots like the GOP. We're better than that. Supposed to be, anyway.
posted by panama joe at 11:42 AM on March 13, 2016 [44 favorites]


What's gonna happen if Bernie loses? What's gonna happen to all his supporters who've spent months calling her a shrill, lying robot?

Anecdotally, a lot of Bernie supporters are not people are not people who would otherwise support Hillary Clinton, whom they consider to be an establishment candidate who isn't terribly concerned with improving the lives of disenfranchised people, or at least is only interested in such social issues to the degree that she is aware of them, which could be more aware. I think many of those people will not even bother to vote if Hillary is the democratic candidate. Personally, pragmatically, I think she and Bernie need to run on the same ticket -- and I don't care whose name is first -- to ensure every possible democratic voter gets out there. This is a crisis situation.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:54 AM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Come on now panama joe, she's likeable enough. (That video says so much about sexism on the campaign trail...)
posted by sallybrown at 12:02 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Smash The Matriarchy?
posted by fullerine at 12:07 PM on March 13, 2016


Anecdotally, a lot of Bernie supporters are not people are not people who would otherwise support Hillary Clinton, whom they consider to be an establishment candidate who isn't terribly concerned with improving the lives of disenfranchised people...

Indeed, anecdotally, not a few say they will vote Trump rather than vote for Clinton.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:31 PM on March 13, 2016


I clearly saw what the author is talking about well over a couple of months ago, when I started people saying things to the effect of, "All she wants to do is win," on social media. Well, she was pretty dedicated to health care reform, as far as I recall, and I was a working young adult when she started trying. But what's the point of running if you don't ever win anything? Getting a nonprofit, think tank, or decent academic job in the off-years, while you have a modicum of influence? How many men have we practically cheered on for wanting to win, for gaining "political capital." For better or for worse, you don't get any consolation prize for coming in second in American politics, not even a year's supply worth of Rice-a-Roni.

(And yeah, the urge to win at all costs can be problematic and point to troublesome personal issues in a candidate. See LBJ, who Hillary in the same ball league as, or so it would appear, in the corruption and epic personality flaws and unlikability dept. But for the benefits, also see LBJ. No one has left us with as many well-regarded domestic govt. programs and agencies that are still around. No other prez comes even close, outside of FDR.)
posted by raysmj at 12:34 PM on March 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


Lately, I've found myself in "Fuck it all" mode. But in the end, I'll do what the good little women for all time have always done, compromise and sacrifice, shut up and just do what I can to get SOMETHING done. (Hey, it'll be just like work, where I coddle more powerful, less capable bosses' whims, in order to just get something done.)

So this election cycle, if it comes to it, I'll abandon my hopes of finally seeing a woman president, of seeing this woman, who would be a good president, and I'll vote again for a white guy, the one who's at least the NotInsane one. All the time not being able to erase from my mind that if Hillary were the nominee, many of the Sons of Sanders might've just picked up their toys and gone home in a snit, refusing to play anymore. (Oh wait, at least that makes them better than the Trumpers who will "bring out the militia" if they don't win. Wow, what a country, eh.)
posted by NorthernLite at 12:55 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]




many of the Sons of Sanders might've just picked up their toys and gone home in a snit

In Portland, all of the men I know will gladly support Hillary. But I've heard many, many women claim they are Sanders or nothing. I understand there are inherent gender dynamics at play, but my constant experience is young women being the most ardent "Sons of Sanders".

Just last night I had a debate with two friends, where it was myself (straight man) and a gay man trying to convince the straight 45 year old woman of the need to support Hillary if she wins the nomination.

This morning I was listening to the radio, and a white woman was nearly yelling at a black man because she was so angry that he was supporting Hillary instead of Sanders.

Just some data points for consideration.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 1:34 PM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


well, the racial politics of Sanders v Hillary support is another axis. I've seen people on this site being really condescending about minority Hillary support.
posted by zutalors! at 1:36 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


(Meant that Hillary *isn't* in the same ball league in the epic personality flaws, unlikability, and corruption dept. as LBJ, although she clearly has issues and negative there, and obviously attracts scandals and scandal-mongering like few ever have. Maybe could have said that LBJ was more unpleasant too and lacking the charisma for large TV audiences, since it is said by admirers and foes alike that he could be quite charming on a personal level. Carry on.)
posted by raysmj at 1:36 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


she might have the opportunity to be a new LBJ

LBJ had 68 Dems in the Senate in 1965. Plus quite a few of those remaining Republicans were moderates, moderates he'd need to win support for further reforms in fact.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2016


my constant experience is young women being the most ardent "Sons of Sanders".

I wonder if some of these ardent Bernie-supporting women feel the same way about Hillary supporters that I do about some of my Bernie-supporting friends.

One thing I've been consistently annoyed by is the line of thinking that since I'm liberal, I should obviously support Bernie. And people will just take it as a given. So when they find out I'm supporting Hillary, they act like I've betrayed both myself and my friends.

Perhaps a lot of young Democratic women feel pressured to support Hillary. "Oh, you're a woman and a Democrat? Obviously, you're supporting Hillary." And then they act like she's some kind of gender traitor for not supporting Hillary. I have no idea if that's what's going on, but if I had to deal with that, it would certainly grind my gears. It may just strengthen my resolve to support Bernie.
posted by panama joe at 1:45 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


[General, non-sexism election chatter can go here.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:47 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Indeed, anecdotally, not a few say they will vote Trump rather than vote for Clinton.

Is there anything other than anecdote and unscientific newspaper polling to back this idea up?
posted by Drinky Die at 2:01 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


This morning I was listening to the radio, and a white woman was nearly yelling at a black man

This morning I was listening to the radio, and every single person was talking in a tone of voice that when used by a woman is described as "nearly yelling."
posted by escabeche at 2:04 PM on March 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


Indeed, anecdotally, not a few say they will vote Trump rather than vote for Clinton.

I think this population exists, but I also wouldn't be surprised to have a record low turnout this election, where most people just sit home.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:08 PM on March 13, 2016


sallybrown, that video was kind of heartbreaking.

These are the things she's been dealing with especially since she decided to try her hand at higher political office and the fact that she has to smile and demur and pander her way through it honestly feels to me even like a kick in the teeth.

I'd like to think showing people that 50 second clip might give a more... visceral? understanding of but, you know, if youtube comments are any indication...
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


The criticism of Clinton from the left has more to do with her decades-long time as a New Democrat pushing for the Third Way than anything else.

Secret speeches for Goldman Sachs, pushing for forever wars across the world, and defending the deportation of child refugees fleeing violence she played a role in perpetuating? Did Clinton do these things because of her gender?

After all, doesn't anyone remember how Jim Webb, a dude who is just as dudely as Bernie Sanders, was treated earlier this cycle?

"Jim who?"

Exactly.
posted by Ouverture at 2:28 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


To me the "Hillary is unlikeable" meme is so unfathomable and weird that I feel like I'm just looking at an entirely different person. I've never identified so hard with a person who had her level of access to the corridors of power in this country. I've actually had conversations where I'm like, yeah, I don't dig some of her policies or her personal history but I just want to have a beer with her and I guess that's what it comes down to? We've seen presidents elected for the same thing before. Not proud to find myself in this category of voter, but I'll admit that's where I am. I just think she seems like a passionate, genuine, honestly fun person who I'd like to succeed. I love her laugh.

I have always had a hard time making friends and connecting with people, so maybe it's just that I too am unlikeable and my "lack of charisma"-sense is pinging when I see her talk. But if this all doesn't work out for HRC I hope she retires to western WA and we can hang out all the time. Because Hillary, I like you a LOT.
posted by town of cats at 2:44 PM on March 13, 2016 [20 favorites]


The "likeable enough" video reminds me of something Hillary said recently. When asked about how Sanders was polling better than her among young people, she said, "they don't have to be for me, I'm going to be for them." That's leadership and that made me feel proud to support her campaign.
posted by kat518 at 2:56 PM on March 13, 2016 [20 favorites]


The Root: Black feminists don't owe Hillary Clinton their support: "If I were a middle-class white woman, I would probably love Hillary Clinton. ... Third-way politics, to which Clinton subscribes, is progressive on most social issues and to the right on most economic issues, reaffirming the capitalist structure that keeps people of color oppressed, while lulling some into believing that substantive progress is being made."
posted by dialetheia at 2:57 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I mean, part of her being 'unlikable" is certainly a gender thing, but a lot of it is things that she does or says that are hurtful, or that many non-billionaire Americans cannot identify with.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:57 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


In Portland, all of the men I know will gladly support Hillary. But I've heard many, many women claim they are Sanders or nothing. I understand there are inherent gender dynamics at play, but my constant experience is young women being the most ardent "Sons of Sanders".

If we are going by anecdata, I know many, many Sanders men who are horrifically vile towards Clinton and taking the "Sanders or nothing" approach.
posted by schroedinger at 2:58 PM on March 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


I've never understood the hate, hate, hate that some people have for Clinton that they don't seem to have for politicians with fairly similar politics and histories. I've always liked her as a person even when I've disagreed with her decisions. She's definitely more of a hawk than I'm happy about but so are Obama and Kerry and I voted for them.
posted by octothorpe at 2:58 PM on March 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


Thanks for posting this article, it's really great and touches on so many nuanced things that I've been feeling as well (as a feminist Bernie supporter). I can recognize all of the shitty misogyny that led, in part, to Clinton being who she is today and in the criticism that is often thrown in her direction. But, I also have very strong (feminist Marxist) views that don't really mesh with her policy positions, past and present, even while understanding that, as a woman who desired political power, she wouldn't have had the same opportunities had she held those views. There's a lot of internal conflict about voting against potentially the first woman president (I'm planning to vote for Jill Stein unless my state becomes relevant) vs. voting for someone who has many policies (particularly foreign policies) I strongly disagree with; I legitimately am not sure which I'd regret more in retrospect, voting against Clinton ("Mom, did you vote for the first woman president?") or for Clinton ("Wow, that [insert foreign country] debacle Clinton pursued really messed up the world"). And the erasure of leftist activist women in the dialogue of "whose supporters are #theworst" makes it even harder. That somehow I haven't experienced "enough" sexism to get why Clinton's candidacy is important or that I'm just looking for boyz or that I don't support women in general. But, if I supported Clinton, I'd be getting the same type of shit from the leftist/activist circles -- that I'm not smart enough to understand Bernie's policies or that I'm a sellout.

I had the same kind of internal struggle when I worked at a white shoe law firm. The older women partners emulated the behavior of the older male partners, but were often even more aggressive and cruel in their management techniques. And I totally get that the situation a currently-60-year-old female attorney must have gone through was horrendous (having had many conversations with these people about their experiences). But, I saw that, and I didn't think "wow, how inspiring, I want to be her when I grow up." Instead, I realized "wow, no, I do not want to turn into that, I don't care how much money or influence comes along with it." That if this is what it takes to be a female CEO/partner/president, then that's not a job I want. While also knowing that because of these women, I actually have the option to be a kinder gentler lawyer, an option that wasn't necessarily available to them.

The patriarchy just fucking sucks. I understand why many women feel that if a woman was at the top, things would change. And I get the whole don't hate the player hate the game thing. But, I also have strong feelings about how one confronts a fucked up system, that are hard to describe. That it is the men who have played the game in the past in this manner who have perpetuated the oppressive structures, and I don't know that a woman who plays by those same rules will not also perpetuate those oppressive structures. That I'm skeptical of the quest for power whether it comes from a man or from a woman - that Machiavellianism is not made better or worse by virtue of the person's gender. I think a lot of the Sanders vs. Clinton divide comes down to how much inherent distrust you have for authority. And you see this illustrated in the AIDS comment and the Trump rally reaction statement - it seems as though Clinton does not see the value of protest and agitation, and that is really really frightening to me (a person for whom protest has been one of the few available political tools).

This was a random string of thoughts and is not meant as an attack on Clinton or Clinton supporters or coherent statement on anything other than I get what the author is struggling with.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:58 PM on March 13, 2016 [37 favorites]


But Pakistan? The Philippines? I don’t want to put those countries down, but surely we could have gotten there first... Turns out it’s a hell of a lot easier to have a woman as head of state in a parliamentary system than in a direct election.

Benazir Bhutto really became prime minister of Pakistan because of public outrage after her father, who had been prime minister, was executed following a coup. In India, the nation’s only female prime minister, Indira Gandhi, was the only child of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In the Philippines, it was not literally the result of patriarchy, but Cory Aquino – who had never held any elected office before becoming president of the country – was put in office because her husband, a senator and leader of the opposition party to the dictator Marcos, had been assassinated.

I’m saying Hillary would be the next president if she were a man. No contest.

It seems more likely to me – in our world of political patriarchy – that if she was a man she still would be quite accomplished, but she wouldn’t be benefitting so much from having married the once most powerful man in her political party.
posted by LeLiLo at 3:34 PM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


In the US, isn't there a tradition of governors' wives succeeding their husbands?
posted by Apocryphon at 3:37 PM on March 13, 2016


In the US, isn't there a tradition of governors' wives succeeding their husbands?

The first 3 (in WY, TX, and AL, starting in 1925) did, but it hasn't really happened after that. Ella Grasso in CT (1975) was the first woman elected a U.S. governor in her own right.
posted by LeLiLo at 3:43 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Widow's succession was a thing in a lot of places, not just the US. It's not nearly as common as it was in the early 20th century, but I know Doris Matsui is still in Congress, and she took over her husband's seat when he died. Mary Bono was another one, but she's not in office anymore. I don't know if there's anyone else.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:51 PM on March 13, 2016


The amount of passive voice and strawmanning in this thread is maddening.

As a gay person and a progressive, I suspect that Hillary Clinton's AIDS comments will probably end up being one of the last straws, for me. I am finding I have a real problem with her tone-deaf and dismissive attitude problem about issues of concern to non-straight and non-wealthy Americans.

This seems to be an (emerging?) identifiable trait: has Hillary ever made a "Nancy Reagan's AIDS advocacy" mistake/gaffe that didn't point at the less-privileged? Is her platform airtight only when talking about going to war? Did she ever praise FDR during a speech to bankers? Jerry Rubin at a defense contractor?

Campaigns are also about what isn't said.
posted by rhizome at 4:06 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Didn't Jean Carnahan (MO) take her husband's seat after he died?
posted by triggerfinger at 4:12 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was a senate seat. I know, because I (and the rest of Missouri) voted for her deceased husband over John Ashcroft.

Nobody likes John Ashcroft.
posted by panama joe at 4:18 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. I have no illusions that this is going to be solved by a one-off mod comment, but I am straight up tired of the mutual uncharitable "this is why you're an idiot/shitty/etc for wanting to vote for Bernie/Hillary" stuff in conversation here and would fucking love it if people could act a little more like this wasn't every other comment section on the internet. It's gonna be a long bunch of months and we're all, god help us, in this together.]
posted by cortex at 4:38 PM on March 13, 2016 [53 favorites]


Remember in 1992 when Hillary had to compete in a bake off with Barbara Bush because Hillary had dared to have an actual job while her husband was busy being Governor?
posted by humanfont at 5:07 PM on March 13, 2016 [22 favorites]


Remember in 1992 when Hillary had to compete in a bake off with Barbara Bush because Hillary had dared to have an actual job while her husband was busy being Governor?

It's really no wonder she triangulates compulsively after putting up with shit like this.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:13 PM on March 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm trying to say this carefully, because I definitely do not want to offend younger women or their experience, but I genuinely do think there is a difference between how I experienced this charisma/sexism connection when I was young and how I experience it now. I am *deeply* sympathetic to HRC and get crazy angry at the "I just don't like her" thing and I really do believe much of it does come down to deeply rooted sexism.

When I was young and starting off in business, I used to look at the power women in my organisation and wonder why they needed to be so unpleasant. I saw them as prefeminist relics who had to learn to act like men (worse than men!) to survive and I was not going to be like that. Ha.

Things I didn't realise then and do now-- 1) the senior men in the organisation were nicer to me than the senior women because I was young and attractive, not because they recognised my talent. 2) The unattractive older woman in the bad suit (Pat B.-- I owe you an apology! I'm so sorry!) who kept asking me to coffee was genuinely trying to mentor me and gave me more great advice than I knew how to process. I was petulant and annoyed because she held me to a much higher standard than the senior men. 3) The older I got, the more the wise male mentors fell away. It isn't like Hollywood-- the moment I started standing on my own feet and stopped feeding their ego, they were gone. 4) The older I got, the more the men in the company started asking why I was so shrill and bitter. 5) The older I got the better I needed to be at negotiation/compromise because if I behaved as did most of the men, I would have been moved sideways into HR.

Most of my female age cohort friends from the business world strongly, joyfully support Clinton. We don't do so because we're women voting for women, but because we recognise how much of the criticism (not all!) levelled at her is rooted in sexism, and would not be directed at a man in the same way. To me, when you take the gender nastiness out of the equation, you find that there are more similarities than differences between the two candidates. Some key differences for sure-- pros and cons on both sides. I could easily vote for either. And I will vote for either in a general election because they are both miles better than the crazyparty candidates.

(PS-- do not want HRC because I am in business and therefore evil. I work for a European retailer, not wall street.)
posted by frumiousb at 5:16 PM on March 13, 2016 [62 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel Talks to Kids about a Woman President If you haven't seen this, it's well worth watching. Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel for this great segment.
posted by effluvia at 5:23 PM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Holy carp I hadn't heard of the cookies thing.

How did this contest begin?
Blame Hillary Clinton's infamous remark during her husband's 1992 presidential campaign, says Jonathan Chait at New York, that she "could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas" instead of working at a high-powered law firm. Subsequently, Hillary "worked feverishly to rebuild her shrewish image." As part of her domestic rehabilitation, she agreed to take part in this "drearily demeaning ritual," and people ate it up. Now candidates' wives have to participate "on pain of being declared Out of Touch With Middle America."

One more reason to hope for Clinton's nomination would be the ironic end of this ridiculous contest.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:27 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, then, let's be more accurate. Hillary is buying the nomination. The "voters" aren't selecting her, the monied are selecting her. There is a stark difference.

1) Why is Clinton getting this thrown at her so much harder than Obama, Kerry, or Gore? All of whom took big money from, well, everyone.
2) How do you think the 80% of black voters who voted for Clinton would feel when you accuse them of being part of the monied elite?
3) Clinton has received something like 50% more votes than Sanders. The idea that it is moneyed elite electing her is ludicrous. They are supporting her, yes, but so are far more non-elites than are supporting Sanders, at least thus far.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on March 13, 2016 [20 favorites]


In all earnestness, can someone help me square the idea that Clinton is receiving far more votes than Sanders from every demographic except the very young with the idea that she is being "selected" by the moneyed elite rather than elected? I just don't get it.
posted by Justinian at 5:33 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I also think younger (millennial) women are, on average, more aware of the background radiation misogyny stuff than their predecessors. I lived my teenage years during the Lewinsky scandal with the 90s sitcom "harpy" mom and irresponsible "fun" dad -- basically women could be sluts or bitches, but not much else. Young women today are growing up with Tumblr and Twitter, and Amy Schumer and Broad City and so many other mainstream sources that are tackling these complex micro and macro aggressions. It's so much easier today to see that the issue is the patriarchy/rape culture/the system and not oneself. That is, I think many millennial women (regardless of who they support) have a much more nuanced and in depth understanding of feminism than many non-millennial women did when they were the same age. Which is not to say this in any way correlated with millennial lack of support for Clinton, but I think it's an important component to keep in mind when discussing the millennial vs. others divide.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:35 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I too am a menopausal woman who worked my way up the corporate ladder until I hit a ceiling beyond which I was not going to go. I have also experienced all the sexism and more, because I chose to spend time in the front lines of the abortion fight, when shit was really violent and scary, and because I tried to break into an all boys club in the corporate universe.

I remember a time when I couldn't open a bank account without putting my husband on it, when being asked to get coffee was a test of alpha placement, when a woman taking computer classes was an oddity, a mascot to the real punchcard jockeys.

I have fought the good fight for feminism since I was a kid and the ERA was a thing. And I resent the fuck out of being told by people like Ms. Albright that my feminism isn't good enough if I don't vote for their preferred candidate.

My vote has to be earned, it is not a thing which can be demanded. My choice to vote for Bernie in the primary had nought all to do with sexism. I didn't vote for Bernie because he has a penis and Hillary doesn't. I voted for him because he resonates with my beliefs. I believe that class warfare is the root off American problems, and I love that someone, anyone, is speaking up for the voiceless.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:36 PM on March 13, 2016 [35 favorites]


One more reason to hope for Clinton's nomination would be the ironic end of this ridiculous contest.

No. I want Bill to bake some fucking cookies.
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:39 PM on March 13, 2016 [39 favorites]


To be clear, as I've said in other threads, I like Sanders a lot. I'll vote for him so hard if he's the nominee. But Clinton is being elected by the voters, not selected and it's kind of insulting to state otherwise.
posted by Justinian at 5:43 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Bill Clinton and Melania Trump in a cookie bake-off?
posted by octothorpe at 5:43 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


In all earnestness, can someone help me square the idea that Clinton is receiving far more votes than Sanders from every demographic except the very young with the idea that she is being "selected" by the moneyed elite rather than elected? I just don't get it.

Not expressing an opinion on underlying issue, but I think it's partially how the media's coverage links to voter turnout. That many outlets were, at least initially, not being transparent in coverage of superdelegates and are, still, really interested in reporting who "won" a state without really explaining the whole proportional allocation thing. That plus stuff from the DNC like not wanting to schedule more debates or scheduling the debates at less favorable times (whether to prevent people from seeing Bernie or to protect Clinton from criticism or for some other reason).

It feels like there's been a lack of transparency. Whether that is accurate or just perception, I'm not sure.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:43 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Bill Clinton and Melania Trump in a cookie bake-off?

PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN. LORD, I BEG OF YOU
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:46 PM on March 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


"It feels like there's been a lack of transparency. Whether that is accurate or just perception, I'm not sure."

I believe there is a lack of transparency, which is unfortunate. The debate over (necessary) superdelegate reforem obscures the actual popular vote.
posted by frumiousb at 5:52 PM on March 13, 2016


I can't argue with impressions, obviously, but from what I see at least CNN and MSNBC are constantly talking about proportional-vs-winner take all delegate allocation. So that's my experience.
posted by Justinian at 5:54 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it not also sexist to imply that dislike of Clinton is due to sexism?

I mean, I've basically all but stopped trying to explain my problems with her as a candidate because - here and elsewhere on the net - someone invariably implies that I'm just affected by deep-seated sexism and/or have been manipulated by right-wing propaganda.

Clinton has been the victim of a lot of sexism and political smear. Still, suggesting that those liberals/leftists who criticize her politics, integrity or experience must be motivated by sexism seems like an ad hominem argument intended to shut down discussion and stigmatize those who don't support her.

I also don't buy for a second the argument that, if she were male, she'd be a lock for the Presidency. Because, frankly, there have been men with significantly more experience than her, and at least as much charisma, that never got elected (Bill Richardson is the first to come to mind, but there are many).

And I have to observe that just up thread, there is a comment that states explicitly support for Clinton because she is a woman, followed immediately by a comment from someone expressing indignation at the idea that anyone's support for her might be promulgated on the fact that she's a woman.

The sexist attacks on Clinton are very ugly and frustrating, but so is the occasional use of the sexism issue to insulate her from legitimate criticism and rally people to her banner because of her victimhood.
posted by darkstar at 5:57 PM on March 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I can't argue with impressions, obviously, but from what I see at least CNN and MSNBC are constantly talking about proportional-vs-winner take all delegate allocation. So that's my experience.

Yeah, I don't have cable so it's mostly NPR, Twitter, online newspapers, and streaming the debates/town halls. Now that I think about it, this could explain many differences in how each candidates supporters view the race. Are Clinton supporters more likely to watch cable news than Bernie supporters? I don't know.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:01 PM on March 13, 2016


Given the age differences in Bernie-vs-Sanders supporters I think it's a lock that Clinton supporters are more likely to watch cable news and Bernie supporters get a lot of online stuff.
posted by Justinian at 6:03 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


That is true about cable news melissaurus. There was a poll (?) That found that a majority of Bernie supporters do not watch cable news.
posted by futz at 6:05 PM on March 13, 2016


1) Why is Clinton getting this thrown at her so much harder than Obama, Kerry, or Gore?

Economic conditions have gotten a hell of a lot worse in a lot of practical ways since those contests. Is it so hard to believe there are still lots of voters who are genuinely very bitter and economically disenfranchised? I barely ever earned more than what used to be considered a decent middle class income, yet I've frequently encountered economic resentment from social peers who are a lot less secure and struggling to work things out in this emerging "gig economy" everybody from the bigger markets seems to see as a new panacea. The data backs it up: the average American is a lot further removed from the circles of economic power the Clintons, Gores, and even Kerrys of the world usually move in now.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:07 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Are Clinton supporters more likely to watch cable news than Bernie supporters? I don't know.

Yup - Sanders supporters are the least likely to watch cable news. 85% of Sanders supporters watch cable in general but only 32% watch any of the cable news networks. Rubio supporters are most likely to watch cable news (59%). I can't find numbers for Clinton supporters anywhere, though - looks like they just released a one-page infographic from their study and it doesn't include those numbers.
posted by dialetheia at 6:12 PM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is it not also sexist to imply that dislike of Clinton is due to sexism?

It's a problem with political discourse in this country, and how that discourse is read...and also our media always wanting to shove everything into simple, binary conflicts, and the more conflict-y, the better.

Some of the dislike for Clinton is clearly, plainly motivated by sexism. To what degree that dislike (or hatred) is sexism vs. what is a more rational read of her actions, statements, policies, etc. is open to debate. But words like "some" tend to get glossed over or edited out, either because they're not motivating enough or because they sound like a cheap caveat, even when clearly necessary.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:14 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


To me the "Hillary is unlikeable" meme is so unfathomable and weird

I find her worse than unlikeable, personally, and it's all down to the manner in which she conducted her campaign against Obama in 2008 and now against Sanders in 2016: "Hi, rather than give you positive reasons why you should vote for me I'm going to tell easily refuted lies about my opponent and distort their record!" Her whole desire for the presidency seems to be less about what she intends to do with the office than it is about becoming president as an end in itself. Ambition can be a terrible and character-destroying thing.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:16 PM on March 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


I really agree with the idea that people seem to hate her when she's running for things but approve when she's doing the thing.

I remember all the memes about her texting in sunglasses in 2008 and enduring hours of testimony with Benghazi and it felt like people generally supported her as a badass woman in charge. Also that picture of her in the situation room during the Bin Laden killing was pretty powerful.

What really gets me is how people seem to think she won't be able to handle someone like Trump in the general election, just because Trump says he "hasn't started on her" yet. I'm sure she's really scared. I do think sexism is bound up in that, because she's always seemed capable to me.
posted by zutalors! at 6:24 PM on March 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think one can support Sanders over Clinton without being sexist. It's just difficult to believe because their policy positions are virtually identical. If they have identical policy positions and someone strongly dislikes one of them, that makes me think something else is at play.
posted by kat518 at 6:46 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's just difficult to believe because their policy positions are virtually identical.

This is just fundamentally untrue. Their policy positions are actually very distinct, not to mention their records.
posted by dialetheia at 6:51 PM on March 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


Hillary *isn't* in the same ball league in the epic personality flaws, unlikability, and corruption dept. as LBJ

They say that "character is what you do when no-one is watching"; re LBJ, one of the things in Robert Caro's biography that struck me was the description of LBJ as a young schoolteacher, showing up early and staying late to teach the school's Mexican-born janitor to read and write. Was LBJ boorish, venal, and demonstrably corrupt? Sure. But then I imagine him sitting in the schoolhouse steps with a book on his knee patiently teaching that janitor to read. And somehow I'm having a very hard time imagining Hillary doing something like that.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:52 PM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


The best part of living in not-a-swing-state is that I'll never have to cast a vote for someone I don't believe in. The worst part is that my vote doesn't matter in the least.

Which is to say, where can I order my "don't blame me, I voted for Jill Stein (again)" t-shirt?
posted by elr at 6:55 PM on March 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


I disagree thoroughly with the premise that their policy positions are virtually identical. Profoundly, even.

And in some of the key areas where they overlap now, it's been because of a fairly late-in-the game conversion on Clinton's part, that smells of rank political expediency.

Honestly, the idea that they are "virtually identical" WRT policy is so inconceivable that I don't even think it's even possible to have a rational discussion about their relative merits.
posted by darkstar at 6:55 PM on March 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


a rational discussion about their relative merits.

this isn't that thread.
posted by zutalors! at 7:00 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's just difficult to believe because their policy positions are virtually identical

Five or ten percent difference is quite a lot, actually! By those standards you're "virtually identical" with a chimpanzee. And the substantiative areas of difference include things like foreign/military policy...one wants more wars, the other doesn't; health care...one wants single payer, the other doesn't; and trade...one wants trade deals that serve the interests of workers, the other wants trade deals that serve the interests of corporations. That may only amount to a few points of difference in what is otherwise broad agreement, but it's silly to say they're "virtually identical".
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 7:07 PM on March 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


Pseudonymous Cognomen, if that is your real name, I have to disagree. We don't know what Clinton does behind closed doors, and the little bits of rumor I've heard about her suggest she might come across much better when working in private than when campaigning, a task which must be excruciating if you would prefer to be an administrator.

The discrepancy reminds me of her answer in an early debate this year where she alluded to her foreign policy expertise and then went to platitudes. This was a time when she could have gone into specific detail, which would be unassailable and unique among any of the candidates. I don't know why she made that choice or if it was a good tactical move, but I think there's something about her public persons which appears to limit Clinton in communicating her skills and virtues.
posted by The Gaffer at 7:08 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


And somehow I'm having a very hard time imagining Hillary doing something like that.

I think this is what women are talking about when they talk about sexism and "likeability". I strongly doubt you know Clinton personally, and yet you have some very strong negative gut feelings about her personality and who she is.

Study after study indicates that women in power are seen as less nurturing, more craven, more mean, more power-hungry than men in power. So when people make statements like yours, statements that, despite not knowing Clinton, indicate feelings about her that mirror what study after study say people feel about women in power . . . Well. It's extremely infuriating to hear the insistence that those feelings could not possibly be driven by sexism.
posted by schroedinger at 7:11 PM on March 13, 2016 [65 favorites]


I agree with that. Someone people "just know" Clinton must be some kind of monster in person. Because reasons.
posted by Justinian at 7:17 PM on March 13, 2016 [19 favorites]


Clinton and Sanders agree on the issues ~ 90% of the time. In the general election, they won't be running against each other. I want Hillary to win the nomination. I want a Democrat to win in November.
posted by kat518 at 7:20 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Was LBJ boorish, venal, and demonstrably corrupt? Sure. But then I imagine him sitting in the schoolhouse steps with a book on his knee patiently teaching that janitor to read. And somehow I'm having a very hard time imagining Hillary doing something like that.

I don't think that's a fair criticism. When she was a teenager she did things like volunteering to babysit the children of migrant workers. This was before doing that sort of thing was something rich kids did just to pad their resume for college. She is a good caring person.

The reasons not to vote for her should not include the idea that she isn't a person willing to personally work hard to help others.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:28 PM on March 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


It's quite the considerable contrast between the "oh what's responsible for Trump's success? Racism! Patriarchy! Why is America literally the worst?! Racism! Patriarchy! Sexism! Why do we prefer the old white guy to the accomplished lady? Uh well support for a candidate can hinge on a variety of factors, heh heh..."

Women don't get to be Mavericks and truth tellers. Look at Sarah Palin, who tried that and got skewered for it. And yes, while she may not have been the brightest of bulbs, there was a considerable amount of vitriol behind the fact that she wasn't playing nicely in the established way. There's a huge, yawning gap in their policies but both Hillary and Palon get accused of being shrieking harpies. And that's sexism, full stop.

You can be a feminist and still be sexist. Such is the power of patriarchy. Hillary had to play inside baseball to survive as long as she has. I'm sure she believes in something but she can't afford to buck the system because she's riding the tiger. Imagine the vitriol an outsider like Trump or Sanders inspires with an additional heavy dose of sexism. Of course she couldn't just come storming out as a "full communism now!" Socialist. Such are the luxuries of being white and male. It's okay to acknowledge that even while not liking her policies, but some of the contortions in this thread are astonishing.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:30 PM on March 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


And somehow I'm having a very hard time imagining Hillary doing something like that.

I know people who have worked closely with her in the past, and they think she's a great person. That's why I've been saying over and over again, all election season, that I really don't think she's at all a bad person. The public perception of her appears to be very out of step with what I've heard about what she's like on a personal level.

I used to chalk that up to a weakness on her part, that she was bad at selling even good policies people agreed with. I no longer think that's the problem. There is a way we look at older women in power like her, and it's not fair to who she is and what she's actually accomplished. That doesn't mean you have to like her platform more, but if we want to fairly assess the two candidates we shouldn't just, you know, overlook all of this.
posted by teponaztli at 7:30 PM on March 13, 2016 [23 favorites]


1) Why is Clinton getting this thrown at her so much harder than Obama, Kerry, or Gore?

Obama, remember, was elected during the financial crisis. The culture only took a hard turn against Wall Street in the aftermath of the crisis. Kerry and Gore both lost after successful right wing smear campaigns challenging their authenticity and accusing them of being out of touch elites. People are still angry about Wall Street's role in the financial crisis and outsized political influence. That's the difference. Yes, sexism is definitely a major factor among her fiercest critics on the right and left, but don't ignore/deny the reality of the still widespread anti-Wall Street/anti-establishment popular sentiment. It's not just a rationalization for sexism, though it may sometimes be.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:35 PM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Honestly, one of the biggest factors working against her is the bad timing of being a highly-credentialed and well-connected establishment juggernaut in the midst of the historic wave of anti-establishment sentiment currently sweeping both parties. I mean, just look at what happened to Jeb Bush and Scott Walker in the face of Trumpmania.

Scott Walker is a tool. He has the appearance of a slick politician, but he's worthless outside of the insular politics of his home state. To most everyone else he looks like a weasel, or the son of a preacher man.

Jeb Bush might have had a snowball in hell's chance if it looked like he gave a crap about being president. His main campaign message seemed to be, "I hate my job." For all his many faults, at least GWB wanted the chance to be top dog once it was presented to him.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:41 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think this is what women are talking about when they talk about sexism and "likeability".

Yeah. Not to pile on to the original comment, because I *can* see Clinton as doing something exactly like that, and I have no more personal knowledge of her than anyone. I don't know, maybe my personality is disposed to like what I've seen of her, or maybe it's the statements I've read from people who talk about how warm and genuine she is in smaller groups. But she's definitely on my list of like-to-have-a-beer-with-some-day people, so something about her approach is working for me.

I've been thinking a lot about this, and how difficult it is to talk about sexism when it comes to things like expectations and "likeability", especially when some of the more obviously sexist stuff isn't out in the open anymore. I remember Ferraro's run for VP, and I remember serious discussion about whether women should really have access to things like nuclear launch codes when they, you know, got all crazy emotional once a month. That's the kind of thing you wouldn't hear as much of nowadays (and probably not at all in this particular election - there's be more "old lady" type nonsense instead). But that doesn't mean that we live in a glorious post-sexist world, any more than we live in a post-racial utopia.

I see these studies come out - now, not twenty years ago - showing that women are screwed when it comes to things like leadership positions and asking for raises, whether they push for them or wait to be given them. I see the studies showing how male university science students consistently judge their fellow men to be more knowledgeable and capable than the women students, even when the academic results show otherwise. I read things like the article talking about how we looooove women in power, but we hate seeing them try to fight for it, as if they have a right to it or something.

How *entitled*, right?

And I get it, because no one wants to think they're operating out of sexism or racism or any other bigoted behavior. But this is part of the air we breathe, and we're all subject to it. I've had to deal with my own internal misogyny that I didn't realize I've inherited. For me, it was the 2008 primary (and all of the ugliness that came with it) that was my own personal feminist awakening, even though I would have vaguely thought of myself as a feminist all along. And I got *angry*, and it was a wonderful thing. It's important to unpack this stuff and realize how these gut reactions (of things like "likeability") that we think of as so intrinsic and trustworthy and utterly personal can in fact be molded by all of the gendered expectations we're unable to escape.

Eight years later? I'm mostly just tired, and sad. And I wish I was better at articulating my thoughts, because my heart is sore and I just don't have the language. Once you've awakened to this stuff, it's impossible to go back to sleep and shut it out. But reading this thread, and hearing people talk about all of this openly has made things a bit better. I want everyone to vote their conscience for their particular candidate of choice, but whoever that is? We can all do better and be better about exploring where some of this stuff really comes from.
posted by Salieri at 7:44 PM on March 13, 2016 [26 favorites]


I strongly doubt you know Clinton personally, and yet you have some very strong negative gut feelings about her personality and who she is.

Which is largely informed by my knowledge of her history of things like support for welfare reform, support for invading Iraq, opposition to marriage equality, cynical triangulation...I've not seen any evidence that the Clintons, either of them, ever supported something because it was the right thing to do rather than because it was the most politically expedient. She may be a lovely person in private, but I wouldn't care to know on the basis of her public actions. (I'm sure that Donald Trump can probably be personable and charming in the right situation, as well, but I wouldn't invite him to dinner, either.)
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 7:46 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Such are the luxuries of being white and male.

My feel for the mood generally is that she'd have an easier time winning this thing if she didn't play it safe but showed herself to be committed to a more radically progressive platform. She's uniquely well-positioned to really champion those principles now, so I hope she considers it. I bet she's actually a wonderful person on a more personal level. She's also competent and capable. But she has to overcome those perceptions that she's bringing nothing but more politics as usual and exploiting social resentment over gender issues to court votes if she wants to convert and really fire up the skeptics. She's already got my vote in the generals if she gets there, but I honestly think focusing too much on sexism would have the same effect Obama's focusing on racial tensions would have: turning off and demotivating independents and others who aren't party loyal but may be sympathetic to progressives/energetic advocates and voters otherwise. But I'm just an old and busted white dude with nothing better to do than worry and hope for the best for his friends and family, so I'm no authority on much of anything.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:48 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Has anyone commented on Sanders' likeability? I've never heard or read anyone say that they just don't like him.
posted by FJT at 7:52 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I have acquaintances who work in the Senate who said he was a jerk and always late and disorganized.
posted by zutalors! at 7:54 PM on March 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


Is it because she's a woman, or is it because of travelgate, cattlegate, whitewater, DOMA, Iraq, Iran, Libya, surveillance, and the drug war. Or perhaps the lies about Gennifer Flowers, sniper fire, emails, all the shit she said about Obama, all the shit she's said about Sanders, or the dozens of others that politifact catalogs. Or maybe it's that she obviously bought and paid for by Wall Street and other big businesses. Seriously folks, if Hillary was a man, especially if she had an R by her name, MetaFilter would be falling all over themselves to rain hate on her. Her being a woman hasn't hurt her—it's the only reason she's still being tolerated by anyone.
posted by king walnut at 7:58 PM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have acquaintances who work in the Senate who said he was a jerk and always late and disorganized.

I'm very close with people who work with him on a daily basis. He's not friendly, but please don't suggest that he's anything but totally hardworking.
posted by teponaztli at 8:02 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm not suggesting anything, I'm literally saying what they said.
posted by zutalors! at 8:03 PM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


He has a reputation for being an asshole.

(Full disclosure: I dealt with him a couple of times when I was an administrative assistant about 20 years ago. He was enough of an asshole that 20 years later, I remember that he was an asshole. People told me not to worry about it, because he was like that with everyone.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:04 PM on March 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


The fact that everyone is talking about Clinton's likeablility but saying "why should it matter" when it comes to Bernie is totally a double standard, and it's insane, because the thing is, I don't even care about politician's likeability. It's not much of a secret that Bernie isn't a nice guy on a personal level. I don't particularly have any interest in chatting (or God forbid, working) with him. But for that matter, I don't even know or care if I'd want to sit down and chat with Hilary. This whole idea of judging politicians on whether or not we'd have a beer with them drives me crazy. A bunch of people said they voted for Bush because they could have a beer with him, and we were all going "why?" The fact that it's being trotted out with Hilary is just absurd and I wish it would go away.
posted by teponaztli at 8:06 PM on March 13, 2016 [20 favorites]


Yeah, the likability argument is stupid.
posted by zutalors! at 8:09 PM on March 13, 2016


That article contains quotes like this:
"I think he's got a ton of conviction," the same former Senate staffer says. "I just think he's kind of harsh to a fault. He's so focused on his issues that he doesn't have a softer side. I don't think he's a very nice man."
So basically, he's unlikeable. He's not a nice man. He's humorless. But that's cool, because it's just evidence of his conviction. He doesn't have to be likeable, because that's only a requirement for women.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:09 PM on March 13, 2016 [32 favorites]


Seriously folks, if Hillary was a man, especially if she had an R by her name, MetaFilter would be falling all over themselves to rain hate on her

If the male Republican version of Hillary was for gun control and for abortion, then in this day and age she definitely would be considered a fringe RINO in the party.

The closest Republican I can think of that could even remotely be like this would be Arnold Schwarzenegger.
posted by FJT at 8:11 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


bell hooks echoes this essay. 1:11 video.
posted by cashman at 8:15 PM on March 13, 2016


So basically, he's unlikeable. He's not a nice man. He's humorless. But that's cool, because it's just evidence of his conviction. He doesn't have to be likeable, because that's only a requirement for women.

And yet somehow he's managing to run an issues-based campaign without just making up outrageous lies about his opponent out of whole cloth, unlike a certain other person in the Democratic primary contest. (I don't particularly care if either of them is likeable on a personal level, honestly; I care much more about supporting a candidate whose positions on the issues align more or less with my own.)
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:16 PM on March 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


As I remember it Bill Clinton had to sign the welfare reform bill or lose to Dole in 1996. Republicans had passed two previous welfare reform bills and Clinton had vetoed them. Living to fight another day enabled them to push through S-CHIP which greatly expanded Medicaid for poor kids in 1997 -- which Hillary gets a lot of credit for championing.
posted by humanfont at 8:17 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sanders is being just as disingenuous and anti-nuance as any other politician running for office. I went from being undecided to being still undecided but loathing watching him in the debates.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:17 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Would we be as down on Hillary if she was seen as unlikeable for conviction? As opposed to unlikeable for being calculating?
posted by Apocryphon at 8:18 PM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think the idea is that the same behavior makes a man look passionate, but the woman looks calculating.
posted by teponaztli at 8:20 PM on March 13, 2016 [18 favorites]


I thought the whole idea is that the mannerisms that make each look unlikeable are different from one another. Hillary isn't known to act crotchety and disheveled and ornery like Sanders is.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:24 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


The whole likeability thing was bullshit when people said Gore wasn't as likeable as Bush and it's still bullshit now. (Who wants to have a beer with a pompous, out-of-touch elitist intellectual like Gore? Anybody here old enough to remember that being a huge thing during that election?)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:39 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, Elizabeth Warren has conviction, and while she was running people referred to her as harsh and schoolmarmish. So we would still be down on her, I'm sure.

Plus, the reason we think she's so "calculating" is because she was branded as an evil, hateful snake, mostly by the Republican party. Obama was just as calculating on gay marriage and many other issues while running, and I hear Dems call him out on many things, but usually not on being a "calculating" "liar." When I hear people talk about his very well-run and calculated campaign and public image, it's usually with admiration, not loathing.

But it's been established that we see women who are running for office as conniving, while we see men as having potential. The worst studies I've seen say that managers often see men as accomplished and hirable, but women as accomplished and unhireable. It's the very fact of their accomplishment that disqualifies them from being a "good fit."

I also don't think I'd be friends with either Clinton or Sanders, and I'm glad that the whole "who is more memeable??" thing jumped the shark and people seem vaguely embarrassed by it now. I know fucking 35-year-olds following "Bernie Sanders Dank Memes" on Facebook and I just can't listen to anyone talk about this election anymore.

The thing about Gore and Kerry and Biden was that people criticized them and found them wanting for sure, but there wasn't a sense that their very desire to run automatically made them constitutionally unreliable, unlikeable and impertinent. (A lot of people said/thought the same thing about Obama when he ran, also-- "how dare he!").

I understand why many people find Clinton too corporate-friendly and are angered by her Iraq vote. I think those are important critiques to make. I just find them applied to Clinton with much more bile and venom than they would be applied to Gore or Biden. I'm also sick of the idea that Sanders is a reincarnation of the Christ (I mean, I literally read an article this week that said he was the most Christian candidate running for public office?? offensive on several levels) and he doesn't have any flaws or errors in judgment, and that he's running a 100% honest campaign when it has a record of underhanded actions, making broad, unlikely promises, and going for rhetorical punch more often than actual engagement with any details or issues. I'm not going to get disproportionately angry about any of those things, but I find that a lot of the disgust for Clinton happens when she's being painfully honest about how things function on the practical level per her experience. It's offputting to see her perhaps inadvisable honesty branded as somehow being duplicitous or flipflopping when it appears to me to be rather genuine grappling with practical ethics and the challenge of building a common ground. It's obvious that she is admired by those who work alongside her because she is talented at doing that. And I think it's also likely that she's talented at doing that because that is the most obvious course for a woman in higher politics. Hilariously, it's the same "smoothing things over" emotional labor that women do constantly in families and in the workplace. (Speaking of, the reams of criticism on Hillary not doing exactly the right thing when Bill's scandal dropped... ) It is what makes social (and political) fabrics hold together; what makes communities and organizations function.

And the idea that she changes her mind to be "politically expedient" is such a strange critique to me. Surely if she wanted to be politically expedient, she wouldn't work/fight so hard for issues she finds important when in office? Obama acted squishy on gay rights because it was politically expedient, but the political gain wasn't the end in itself. Every president has priorities; Sanders will too. I don't see any evidence that things are different with Clinton. And as for political expediency, I see a lot of Sanders' record on guns as being virtually the same (hello Vermont), and e.g. his vote on the crime bill being another similar example, and yet we accept his excuses/reasons but not hers.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:41 PM on March 13, 2016 [30 favorites]


The whole likeability thing was bullshit when people said Gore wasn't as likeable as Bush and it's still bullshit now. (Who wants to have a beer with a pompous, out-of-touch elitist intellectual like Gore? Anybody here old enough to remember that being a huge thing during that election?)

It is definitely bullshit, and it's pretty obvious that a go-to critique of male Dems/liberals is that they're too "effete," i.e. intellectual and feminine. That hatred of the feminine, man. I guess it's in a way no surprise that angry yelling a la Sanders is so popular.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:42 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]




I think by the time I got to "likeability" as a criteria, I am already overlooking tons of stuff in order to find a reason to support.
posted by rhizome at 8:46 PM on March 13, 2016


It was the tone you reserve for that dumb chick in your meeting who probably doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Oh boy, true. I realized recently that I rarely bother to speak up around men in my industry anymore when I don't have to; it's because I'm getting burnt out on "oh, the woman is talking? hopefully she hurries up." No wonder women leave these industries in droves.

A lot of interesting stuff in that Slate article; and Nannygate and the reality that successful white women hiring undocumented nannies is a whole other ball of wax.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:51 PM on March 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


I just find them applied to Clinton with much more bile and venom than they would be applied to Gore or Biden.

As a counterpoint, check out Howard Dean's twitter mentions - he's been getting unbelievable blowback for selling out and becoming a health care lobbyist. I really do think there has been something of a sea change on corporate campaign finance issues and lobbying in the wake of the financial crisis. As for Biden, as fun as he might be as a Dem 'mascot,' I was super pissed off when Obama announced him as VP because I hated Biden's terrible credit card advocacy so much and I still hold him personally responsible for the RAVE act crack house laws - it's not like the left never holds male politicians accountable for this stuff.
posted by dialetheia at 9:06 PM on March 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


Re: Howard Dean, that's true, but I have a feeling a lot of the internet venom toward him is erupting because he's supporting Hillary.

I don't think the left is devoid of criticism of male politicians; I just don't think it becomes a viral hatemob from the left out of the blue.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:11 PM on March 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


And yet somehow he's managing to run an issues-based campaign without just making up outrageous lies about his opponent out of whole cloth, unlike a certain other person in the Democratic primary contest.

You are really fixated on what a liar Clinton is, and yet PolitiFact basically ranks her and Bernie the same. Actually, she is somewhat better than him. I'm only reading one wholly false statement from her that she said about Sanders.

The reason we keep harping on this sexism thing is because institutional sexism is exactly the sort of thing that leads to one hyperfocusing on something they believe a female candidate does (like lying in debates) while ignoring it in a male candidate.
posted by schroedinger at 9:18 PM on March 13, 2016 [26 favorites]


I have a feeling a lot of the internet venom toward him is erupting because he's supporting Hillary.

Nah, it's because he's an unprincipled shill who supported single-payer healthcare until he started getting paid $$$ to act as a lobbyist for for-profit healthcare companies. (His acting as a proxy for Clinton to attack Sanders' position on single-payer may be part of the blowback, but it's because of the hypocrisy and general lack of principle involved, coming from someone who said "single-payer is the most economically efficient system" as recently as 2009.)
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:19 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


You can say a lot of things about the Hillary hate mob, but out of the blue it is not. It's been a thing since at least a decade before "viral" was the word we used for this sort of thing. I'll be interested to see what a dude v. dude contested Democratic primary will look like down the line, because we haven't actually had one during the Twitter/Facebook era.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:21 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


A lot of interesting stuff in that Slate article; and Nannygate and the reality that successful white women hiring undocumented nannies is a whole other ball of wax.

I do love how the fathers of the children being nannied are totes blameless from "hiring undocumented nannies."
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 9:22 PM on March 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


For instance, here's one of the Tweets @ Dean: "dean is a Billary corporate puppet now. He's a lost cause. $ from Billary big pharma and DNC is his new idealism"

I also think the totally boneheaded blowback against Elizabeth Warren for not endorsing Sanders was a symptom of... something, I'm not even sure what. The degree to which women are Athena one minute and a hell witch the next? Mostly because they exhibit ambition and/or don't do what you want, when you want it.

Again, I know many people who make sensitive and wise (and often angry) critiques of mainstream Democrats, I just take for granted that the vast majority of the outright bile is trash.

The reason we keep harping on this sexism thing is because institutional sexism is exactly the sort of thing that leads to one hyperfocusing on something they believe a female candidate does (like lying in debates) while ignoring it in a male candidate.

Yep.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:22 PM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nah, it's because he's an unprincipled shill

You are ignoring what I'm saying, which is that I doubt 85% of the people on Twitter would give a shit about Dean right now if he weren't endorsing Hillary. I'm aware of the situation.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:22 PM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Personally, I wanted Elizabeth Warren to run, and I know that a lot of progressive activists who wanted her to run as well. She ultimately chose not to, which is her decision. If she had chosen run, though, would she have gotten misogynistic criticism? Probably, but don't act like everyone who isn't a big Secretary Clinton fan in the primary would be joining in. If people were just looking for a male alternative to Clinton, Martin O'Malley - a successful two term governor with a strong progressive record as that term has been defined - was available.

The way I see it, there was always going to be an "establishment candidate" and an "insurgent" in the Democratic primary. I say this because that is how many other primaries in both parties have gone during my lifetime: for the Republicans Buchanon vs Bush I, McCain vs Bush II; for the Democrats Hart vs Mondale, Bradley vs Gore, Dean vs Kerry .......... maybe Obama vs Clinton in 2008? The difference this time around is that the anti-establishment candidates in both parties are doing better than at any time since the 60's and 70's.

The problem for establishment candidates in this primary is that the electorate in losing faith in the establishments of both parties, and that loss of faith is not just confined to U.S. politics. Both center-right and center-left parties are weakening around the world. Not looking outside of the confines of the Democratic party to see what is happening around the world and asking why that phenomenon is happening is, to be blunt, myopic.

Frankly, I haven't heard much about "likability" this time around. The only time I've heard it is from clueless media figures trying to explain why establishment candidates like Bush III, Rubio, and Kaisch are going over like lead balloons. I have heard that people don't trust HRC, but that is a different reaction entirely than finding her "unlikable".

Sexism means that woman are underrepresented in positions of corperate and government power in our society. As a result, there was less of a likelihood that the anti-establishment candidate this time around would be a woman because there are less woman who are politicians. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that *someone* was always going to fill the roles that both Clinton and Sanders are filling in this primary.
posted by eagles123 at 9:23 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


You can say a lot of things about the Hillary hate mob, but out of the blue it is not. It's been a thing since at least a decade before "viral" was the word we used for this sort of thing.

... yes, I know. I was referring to the phenomenon around Dean.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:24 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gotcha, I misread.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:25 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have heard that people don't trust HRC, but that is a different reaction entirely than finding her "unlikable".

I don't think this is at all the case.

I otherwise think you're on to something, though. I don't think Hillary should be handed the nomination based on pure merit, I just think the sexism is aggravating and makes me want nothing to do with the Sanders campaign. Will I vote for him if he gets the nom, yes, of course, etc. But I'm over it.

Except this:

As a result, there was less of a likelihood that the anti-establishment candidate this time around would be a woman because there are less woman who are politicians

I really don't think it's because there are fewer female politicians. I think it's because female politicians generally have to comport themselves differently.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:26 PM on March 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have heard that people don't trust HRC, but that is a different reaction entirely than finding her "unlikable".

No, that is exactly the sort of thing we're talking about when we talk about likeability.
posted by schroedinger at 9:28 PM on March 13, 2016 [10 favorites]


>No, that is exactly the sort of thing we're talking about when we talk about likeability.

Maybe to you, but don't presume to speak for others.
posted by eagles123 at 9:30 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


As a result, there was less of a likelihood that the anti-establishment candidate this time around would be a woman because there are less woman who are politicians

The entire article that started this discussion is about how in order to succeed Clinton was required to play the game in a way that Bernie had the privilege of ignoring. It is quoted in the dang post.
posted by schroedinger at 9:30 PM on March 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


>The entire article that started this discussion is about how in order to succeed Clinton was >required to play the game in a way that Bernie had the privilege of ignoring. It is quoted in the >dang post.

I might be able to agree with that, but even so, there still is the example of Elizabeth Warren. I *personally* would have been happy to support her. Again, don't presume to speak for everyone.
posted by eagles123 at 9:32 PM on March 13, 2016


Maybe to you, but don't presume to speak for others.

I'm not "presuming to speak for others", I'm saying that when analysts and sociologists are discussing "likeability" they are using that word as shorthand for a host of personal qualities that include trustworthiness. How you personally use the word "likeability" as you describe it is irrelevant in that respect.
posted by schroedinger at 9:33 PM on March 13, 2016 [9 favorites]


You are really fixated on what a liar Clinton is

Mostly because of things like this. (Dishonest negative campaigning is dishonest negative campaigning. If Hillary is perceived as generally untrustworthy and mendacious, there are reasons for that that go beyond her gender.)
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:35 PM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren has been a politician for four years. Clinton has been involved in politics since she was a teenager. There are galaxies of difference between the pressures they have been subjected to--and as it has already been pointed out Warren was still slammed for being a nagging, unlikeable schoolmarm during her campaign. Would Warren be the Warren she is today if she started her involvement in politics when Clinton did? We'll never know.

Mostly because of things like this. (Dishonest negative campaigning is dishonest negative campaigning. If Hillary is perceived as generally untrustworthy and mendacious, there are reasons for that that go beyond her gender.)

So that comment about Bernie outweighs the lies Bernie has told? Because as I pointed out--his record on Politifact is actually slightly worse than hers.

As the mods have said, this is not for a back-and-forth about the candidates so I'm going to stop this now. My overall point remains the same: Sanders supporters appear to be curiously fixated on Clinton as a singular liar against the evidence while finding an excuse for every lie and exaggeration Sanders has said.
posted by schroedinger at 9:38 PM on March 13, 2016 [16 favorites]


Really? We are going to get into a sematic argument over how sociologists and "analysts" - whoever they are - operationally define "likeability". Yes, trustworthiness is an aspect of likeability by *some* definitions in *some* contexts.

However, there are very specific reasons why many people don't trust politicians in general and Hillary Clinton in particular. The fact that Clinton has been in politics since she was a teenager is part of the problem.

It goes beyond the "have a beer with" factor. And no, I don't give a shit about the "lies Bernies told" or what polifact says. I'm still interested in reading about the courageous leadership the Reagans showed in the fight against Aids in the 80's.
posted by eagles123 at 9:41 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Frankly, I haven't heard much about "likability" this time around.

You're forgetting favorability ratings, which do overlap with likability. When Clinton and Sanders are compared, a lot times people do point to his higher favorablity compared to Hillary's high unfavorability.
posted by FJT at 9:42 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


The fact that Clinton has been in politics since she was a teenager is part of the problem. It goes beyond the "have a beer with" factor. And no, I don't give a shit about the "lies Bernies told" or what polifact says.

Um, wow, OK, you are reinforcing my point. This goes right back around to the point of the article: because of sexism, Clinton did not have the privilege to be the maverick Bernie is. And now, because of sexism, she is being judged extra harshly for it--including for doing the same thing Bernie does (i.e. lying).

And we are talking about how analysts and sociologists use the word "likeability", because our discussion is literally surrounding "likeability" as defined by them.
posted by schroedinger at 9:49 PM on March 13, 2016 [19 favorites]


So that comment about Bernie outweighs the lies Bernie has told? Because as I pointed out--his record on Politifact is actually slightly worse than hers.

This is what bothers me. Facts don't matter.
posted by Justinian at 9:51 PM on March 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


I thought this wasn't supposed to be a thread about Hillary vs Bernie .................

Look, I agree that sexism obviously plays some role in the current primary. All of the criticism of Hillary, and all of the support for "the other candidate", isn't just due to *that* factor, though.

The stuff I said in my first post in this thread is playing a *huge* part in what is going on. Read up on student debt. Read up on rising income inequality. Read up on pretty much any issue that people have been talking about over the past 20 years.
posted by eagles123 at 9:56 PM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


because of sexism, she is being judged extra harshly for it

Wow. I'm sorry, but, no. If Sanders were to come out and say something demonstrably and provably false and stupid (like "Nancy Reagan helped start a national conversation about AIDS", or "I've been campaigning for single-payer healthcare for over 20 years, I have no idea what my opponent was doing then") people would be raking him over the coals for it. I know I would; by the time Ronald Reagan actually even fucking mentioned AIDS in a speech, 21,000 Americans had died of it (including my great-uncle). It isn't just that she's saying things that aren't true, it's that some of the things she's saying that aren't true are also pretty offensive.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:57 PM on March 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Politifact is not a scientific measure of who lies more or more egregiously. They pick and choose what they rate and sometimes make bizarre judgements like picking something true as the lie of the year.

The lie from Clinton that stands out the most to me is her claims that Sanders wanting to go further on healthcare means he would allow Republicans to repeal Obamacare. I can't think of anything Sanders has said about her that compares to that. Saying that Sanders would allow people to lose their healthcare with an Obamacare repeal is on the tier of Palin's death panels as far as disgusting fear mongering lies go.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:58 PM on March 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


They say that "character is what you do when no-one is watching"; re LBJ, one of the things in Robert Caro's biography that struck me was the description of LBJ as a young schoolteacher, showing up early and staying late to teach the school's Mexican-born janitor to read and write. Was LBJ boorish, venal, and demonstrably corrupt? Sure. But then I imagine him sitting in the schoolhouse steps with a book on his knee patiently teaching that janitor to read. And somehow I'm having a very hard time imagining Hillary doing something like that.

I wish I could preserve this comment in amber. Hillary Clinton is a neglectful adult to imaginary children!!!! So much of what people dislike about her is obvious projection that it would be humorous if it weren't grossly sexist. And i'm not even a die-hard supporter of hers! I will probably vote Bernie in the primary. But...LOL.
posted by sallybrown at 9:59 PM on March 13, 2016 [34 favorites]


Also, I find it fairly comforting to know that Hillary, while not the absolute perfect child-loving saint that LBJ is, will almost certainly refrain from:
He early became fabled for a Rabelaisian earthiness, urinating in the parking lot of the House Office Building as the urge took him; if a colleague came into a Capitol bathroom as he was finishing at the urinal there, he would sometimes swing around still holding his member, which he liked to call “Jumbo,” hooting once, “Have you ever seen anything as big as this?,” and shaking it in almost a brandishing manner as he began discoursing about some pending legislation. At the same time, he would oblige aides to take dictation standing in the door of his office bathroom while he went about emptying his bowels, as if in some alpha-male ritual assertion of his primacy. Even on the floors of the House and Senate, he would extravagantly rummage away at his groin, sometimes reaching his hand through a pocket and leaning with half-lifted leg for more thorough access.
posted by sallybrown at 10:10 PM on March 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Read up on student debt. Read up on rising income inequality. Read up on pretty much any issue that people have been talking about over the past 20 years.

Right, yet most of the time I start reading comments or listening to people talk about the Democratic race it isn't about these issues, it's about Hillary Clinton's trust, character, and honesty. It's also intense scrutiny and criticism about what she should have done or not done. It's about how she's a liar, power mad, or calculating.

There's a lot of internet traffic devoted to this stuff, even sometimes here. A lot of times it feels like people are doing this almost by reflex.
posted by FJT at 10:10 PM on March 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


[Sorta feeling like I'm screaming into the void but maybe we can back up for the nth time from free-from Yeah Well, Bernie...Yeah, But Hillary...griping in here given that there's more than a couple open general election chatter threads going already. If folks don't want to talk specifically about the content of the link, it's okay to just give the whole thing a pass.]
posted by cortex at 10:26 PM on March 13, 2016 [14 favorites]


Getting back to the main topic of the thread, what makes this so hard to talk about is that patriarchy and misogyny are so deeply embedded in our society that you can't really say any aspect of the election has not been touched by it. And at the same time, we can't simply overlook all the different points of view, because what ends up happening is that we read people's positions as maybe a failure to engage with the material in the right way - failure to properly account for popular frustration with the Democratic party, or the scope of sexist double-standards, or any number of things that really do matter. That Alternet/Slate article that was posted above (by me and maybe a couple other people) hit a nerve because it was both enlightening to the point of view of a certain subset of women, and it felt dismissive of the point of view of another.

Even if you're undecided, it's impossible to have a neutral, God's-eye view of this election. All we can really do is try to acknowledge our own biases and try to be honest with ourselves about what motivates us. I appreciate that there have been a number of articles on the topic of sexism, because I've been having trouble reconciling things for myself. It's doubly hard because these issues of sexism and double standards don't affect me the same way they affect people who identify as women.

It's just tough when everything turns into a back and forth about the details. The point of the article that spawned this thread wasn't that the author was doing things wrong, or that she held certain opinions out of ignorance. I said it before, but I feel like it bears repeating: I'd like to hear more personal stories like this, because I don't think we're getting anywhere trying to argue over facts and figures, or supporters and campaign ads.
posted by teponaztli at 10:55 PM on March 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd like to hear more personal stories like this, because I don't think we're getting anywhere trying to argue over facts and figures, or supporters and campaign ads.

Same.

I hope this thread is ultimately a net positive, for all of the moderation it needs. I was really glad to see the article homonculus linked, and someone else brought to my attention this article: Your Gleeful Liberal Takedown of Hillary Clinton Is Affirming Institutional Sexism. Which is very short... but still worth looking at I think. And definitely resonates with me for the tone so many people are taking in their criticism of her.

The more I've been reading and thinking about it the more conflicted I am. But I think that might actually be a good thing.
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 12:21 AM on March 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Al Gore received more votes for President than any other candidate prior to his run. For someone so unlikable he sure got a lot of votes.
posted by humanfont at 5:36 AM on March 14, 2016


I 100% agree that Hillary is facing a lot of unfair attacks due to her gender. I 100% empathize with the struggle of being a woman fighting for a position of power, while being forced to somehow also maintain a 'feminine' and 'soft' disposition, lest ye be labeled a shrill, emotional harpy.

I desperately want a woman president.

But I do not support her politics.

It's extremely difficult to accept that by not supporting her, it means that I could be prolonging the negative effects of sexism on girls and young women. That I'm not 'lifting other women up.'

Like many, I will support her if she is the eventual Democratic nominee, but I wish she was someone whose back I had all along.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:30 AM on March 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


On the one hand, Clinton's alleged "unlikeability" has always obviously been, as a general trend, a product of institutional sexism. She is very nearly the paragon of the "bossy" woman, and bless her for it. I'll happily pull the lever for her.

That said, that "your gleeful takedown" article...ain't helping.

The Progressive Left’s blitzkreig against Hillary Clinton is unprecedented.

This is the Kristallnacht of opening-sentence Godwins.

She’s been branded a “neocon” — this, in spite of a senate voting record netting an 83.9% “liberal score”

Nobody tell the author about Christopher Hitchens, or what "neocon" even really means. For many people, support for the Iraq War, at any stage, marks a person as permanent filth.

She is singularly delineated as “bought by Wall Street” — even with former Democratic nominees Al Gore and John Kerry receiving millions in campaign contributions from the so-called “big banks” during their presidential runs, including hefty sums from both Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Right, because young Bernie supporters loooove Gore, and especially Kerry. Also, does anybody remember the thunderous meme in 1999-2000 about how Gore and Bush were two sides of the same coin? A certain guy named Ralph Nader was seen by certain people as a superior choice? It was quite a big deal, actually?

The Left’s enthusiastic embrace of these tropes and rhetoric props up the narrative

I am not being coy or facetious when I ask, where are the "2 fat thighs" memes are coming from on the Left, with "enthusiastic embrace"? Presumably some idiot has done this somewhere...can this get cancelled out by an equivalently moronic post from some Clinton supporter somewhere?

Or, is the author trying to deceptively claim that the presentation of Clinton's Wall Street connections is literally equivalent to calling her a "bitch", irrespective of the claim's truth-value? What would the author think would be the proper way to bring this up? Or, is the answer "never"? Or, is the answer vague hand-waving?
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:42 AM on March 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Put another way, just about any "gleeful" takedown of Clinton is surely plagued by sexism. And yet - that doesn't place Clinton above criticism, and at the end of the day, no candidate is ever entitled to jack shit. Sanders v. Clinton has many moving parts. Overall, I'm grateful for a race where I'd be thrilled for either of them to win, for overlapping and yet separate reasons.

Trivial FWIW: my friend was once in her security detail. He was never less than glowing about her as a person and as a professional.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:50 AM on March 14, 2016


Your Gleeful Liberal Takedown of Hillary Clinton Is Affirming Institutional Sexism.

the comments on this really say it all - a bunch of (not all) men saying the article is terrible and not well done, they would totally vote for Warren (which she is not), and all these people saying they're "tired of being called sexist" when the author of the article didn't use "sexist" once.

What really gets me is the commentary that Hillary "hurts women" and isn't a "real feminist."

I believe topics like family leave and women's health are extremely important to Clinton, and those are things that will actually affect me in the next 8 years, so I want to vote for her, not dream about Warren or wish for a Trump coup to "burn down the system" for some ideal republic far off in the future.

I think a comment like rachaelfaith's is great and really all that the author of this OP and the Takedown article are really going for, but it seems impossible for people to just consider that they might have some subconscious bias against a woman who has been in the public eye for over 25 years and has been hated for wanting power and influence throughout.
posted by zutalors! at 6:54 AM on March 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


The Many Ways the Media Asks Hillary Clinton, "Why Do People Hate You?"

"Actually, everybody else is going to ask her a version of that question—of whether she's friendly enough to win the presidency. To appreciate how frequently Clinton has fielded it, I’ve pulled a bunch from transcripts and LexisNexis. One thing you notice from the archives—and it’s very obvious once you think about it—is that the authenticity question disappears during her time as secretary of state. When Clinton talks about an “authentic” partnership with Pakistan or whatever, journalists don’t ask her if the foreign ministers of Europe or Asia feel like they know the real Secretary Clinton..."
posted by madamjujujive at 7:45 AM on March 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is the Kristallnacht of opening-sentence Godwins.

what
posted by zarq at 8:29 AM on March 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


what

My point exactly.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:45 AM on March 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Stitcherbeast, I posted that article because I do think the general point is entirely correct and is encapsulated by this paragraph:

Hillary Clinton is indeed, as her critics claim, part of the “the establishment.” Like all women of lofty ambition, she is keenly and woefully aware that in 2016, less than a century out from women’s suffrage, pioneering into a space formerly only occupied by men requires an acceptance that gender constrains one to work within the system, rather than from outside of it.

That's the author's main point and intent. The word 'gleeful' is the important part in the title. Criticism is fine, necessary, unobjectionable, but what many, many people are doing 1) isn't straight criticism of her policies and often is a criticism of some imagined, unknown, or irrelevant factor about her and/or 2) is levied at her with far greater force than it has been for other candidates, often for the same things.

I'm a Bernie supporter but this stuff is blatant to me, or maybe it's because I'm a Bernie supporter that I'm seeing some of the really gross, sex/gender-based b.s. based on the same tropes and rhetoric mentioned in the article that's getting flung around. I haven't seen anything that extreme, but the same ideas are there. This thread has actually done a really good job of making it more clear to me. [edit: it's made it more clear to me NOT because that behavior is present in this thread necessarily, but other people's contributions about what they have seen/heard has been illuminating. didn't mean to point fingers.]

Anyway, bowing out.
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 8:53 AM on March 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


I think one of the areas where the unwarranted hostility aimed at Clinton (that is never aimed at her male colleagues) is most evident is in how many people are obsessed with calling her “Shillary”. In this thread, even.

Every state has at least one major industry, maybe a few, that demand extra special representation from their congresspeople. It is gross. But it is also treated as a familiar and often hilarious DC-ism by most media outlets. “Oh, Senator X? He’s pushing another bill to win $Y Billion Dollars for N Industry.” It is treated as kind of cute, most of the time. More egregious cases get some weary scorn, but mostly it is viewed as normal, a way for a state’s advocates to make sure the state gets its fair share of government money. it rarely gets covered by most outlets anymore, because no one cares most of the time.

Clinton served as a senator for New York. One of New York state’s biggest financial powerhouses is Wall Street itself. In order to represent NY, she palled around with Wall Street.

Is that gross? Yes. Is it troubling for politicians to be so closely aligned with a fundamentally broken financial system? Yes. Is it all that different from what literally very other senator in the country is doing?

Seriously— is it different? The way that people talk about Clinton, the implication is that it is extremely different in HER case, that she has sold her soul rather than played a very boring and predictable game.

The idea that a man who does this is just doing business as usual while Clinton is A HUMAN NIGHTMARE is part of the problem. She’s evil! She’s “in bed” with Wall Street! She sold her soul to the 1%!!!!!!!!!

I have literally never heard this level of bile directed at male politicians who write appropriations bills for BILLIONS of dollars for their home state industries, who have their entire lifestyles bought and paid for by their favorite lobbyists, who shamelessly brag about how much X industry has done for their campaign. The FDA’s regulatory power has been repeatedly weakened because of this homestate nepotism, as has the EPA’s, OSHA, and on and on. We spent decades with a broken food pyramid because of concessions being made to huge agribusiness concerns. This is endemic to representational democracy as practiced in the US.

But when Clinton does it? Literally a monster. Unheard of perfidy. Basically treason.

I keep hearing that I’m supposed to be shocked about it. But mostly it just seems like the status quo. And the status quo sucks! But I just can’t get on board with the whole “but it is worse when she does it!!!!!!” meme. It is bad when anyone does it. I’m just not getting how all of her politician habits somehow become borderline terrorism with her, while, say, Al Franken does the same thing for Minnesota and no one implies that he needs to be STOPPED for the SAKE of DEMOCRACY.

(Relatedly, I’m still kind of baffled by all the RAAAAGE over Clinton’s Wall Street speeches. If Wall Street wanted to pay me obscene amounts of money to show up, eat a catered lunch, and tell them “good job, $$$-wranglers!”, I’m not sure I’d be all that averse to taking the money out of their hands and putting it somewhere better. The reports of what is on the transcripts so far seem utterly innocuous, the kind of blather you give to people who pay for paid speakers. And again, I would love an easily accessible spreadsheet of EVERY speaker’s fee paid to members of congress, nationwide, for the past five years. I bet it would be a long, LONG list, with a lot of money in it. I would also love to read all speeches ever given to cattle farmers, because they would probably be full of inside baseball talk about cow science and bull semen prices and that would be amazing.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:25 AM on March 14, 2016 [24 favorites]


Yeah, also we recentlyish had an OP about women underestimating their worth for speaking fees.
posted by zutalors! at 10:34 AM on March 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Seriously— is it different?

For those who want a quantitative answer to this, visit the non-partisan site OpenSecrets.org and look at the career-wide campaign contributions received by then-Senator Clinton and her opponents who are also career politicians.

Without naming any particular alternative, the research suggests the numbers are markedly different. The difference is not just in the many-fold scale of contributions, which is important, but in the relatively and notably short duration of career.

Money influences government. If it didn't, it wouldn't be exchanged in such large amounts. An informed public goes into the voting booths knowing how much influence was bought, and where the money came from.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:52 AM on March 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


Hillary Clinton forced to fight perceived dishonesty

On questions the candidates are asked at debates:

The folklore continued Tuesday night when 6 million viewers of the Democratic debate heard this question:

“Secretary Clinton, a Washington Post poll just yesterday found that only 37 percent of Americans consider you honest and trustworthy. Now, when you’ve been asked about this in the past, you have said that this is the result of many, many years of Republican attacks upon you. But Americans have also had 25 – more than that – years to get to know you for themselves.

“Is there anything in your own actions and the decisions that you yourself have made that would foster this kind of mistrust?”
...
Bernie Sanders wasn’t asked about his honesty or trustworthiness on Tuesday night. Instead, after that question to Clinton, he was asked, “Senator Sanders, you have demanded that Secretary Clinton release the transcripts of her paid Wall Street speeches. Why is this important? Do you have reason to believe that she says one thing in private and another in public?”

...
Not a single Republican candidate or Sanders has been asked about his honesty or trustworthiness in debates. Their support is measured by votes, endorsements and fundraising – things that can be measured.

So basically, they ask Hillary - why are you so untrustworthy? And then turn to Sanders and say - why is she so untrustworthy? I understand I have my own bias to contend with but this is everywhere in Hillary questioning and coverage and I don't understand how people can't see it. Media presentation has a profound influence on how we view things.

On media coverage:

Look what happened in Michigan. Clinton, the most reputable of pollsters told us, had a greater than 99 percent chance of winning. Those are good odds. So when Clinton lost by 1.5 percentage points, it was described as a “stunning victory” for Bernie Sanders.

When Sanders lost in Iowa by 0.3 percent, it was described as a “stunning result.” A “moral victory,” given the polls leading up to the race showed Clinton having almost a 70 percent chance of winning.


Hillary is thought of as "unlikeable", which is literally impossible to measure and therefore not rebuttable. Meanwhile, Trump, who I think we all here can agree is legitimately unlikeable, rarely (from what I've seen) gets the same term applied to him. I mean, we'll say he's racist, because he says objectively racist things; or sexist, because he says sexist things. But unlikeable is not something that's really used on him, which makes me wonder why we don't just see that term as the dogwhistle that it is.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:12 AM on March 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


Well, he is literally a nazi. Maybe that's a synonym for unlikable?

As for Iraq and the 2008 being not being a big deal, not being something Clinton is particularly associated and something nobody would raise with anyone else - sorry, not buying it in the slightest. It verges on the delusional to claim that those are only raised due to sexism in fact.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on March 14, 2016


It verges on the delusional to claim that those are only raised due to sexism in fact.

No one is saying the criticism in and of itself is evidence of sexism. But the fact that every discussion about her candidacy devolves into "SHE IS A WAR CRIMINAL" while Harry Reid, Joe Biden, John Kerry and Chuck Schumer get called on their identical votes approximately never is, let's say, reminiscent of women being held to higher standards than their male colleagues.

It isn't sexist to say that Clinton has made bad decisions. But to insist that they are the WORST decisions and they make her UNFIT FOR OFFICE while making jokey Joe Biden memes highlights that something is...off.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:30 AM on March 14, 2016 [18 favorites]


Okay, I am talking about when people call her unlikeable and other similarly vague things (which happens all the time, including in this thread) I've stated multiple times in these threads that I don't think she's above reproach. Time and time again, people group what may be considered reasonable complaints about her in with generalized insults that are particularly damning when used on women. Having heard a lot of these same vague, unmeasureable insults unfairly applied to both me personally as well as women I know is what makes it feel gross.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:32 AM on March 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


A mentor of mine once said that women tend to get proportionally less credit for their successes than men and proportionally more blame for their failures. I think that's a good way to put it. It doesn't make those failures any less real, it just means for some reason they stay more to the front of peoples' minds (while the successes sit quietly in the back).
posted by sallybrown at 11:35 AM on March 14, 2016 [20 favorites]


I still remember how pleasantly surprised I was when the tumblr of sunglasses-wearing-Secretary-Clinton memes became so popular. I could only ever remember, going back to the 90s, how horribly people reacted to her.
posted by bardophile at 11:43 AM on March 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


John Kerry was a terrible candidate also.
posted by Artw at 11:54 AM on March 14, 2016


sallybrown, I'm sure there are tons of studies showing that, but I was literally looking over this one yesterday. It's on an altruism scenario but I think it still applies.

This is what their hypothesis was:
[...] women who fail to perform altruistic citizenship behaviors when the opportunity arises are likely to provoke strong negative reactions—they are behaving contrary to the specifications of the female role prescription. This stands in contrast to men whose similar failure to act altruistically is unlikely to be of great consequence because being helpful is not normatively required of them.

Furthermore, women who do perform altruistic citizenship behaviors are unlikely to be noticed, or, if they are, their actions may not be considered to be anything special, whereas men’s altruistic behavior is more likely to stand out and appear to be exceptional. So, women are likely to benefit less than men from performing altruistic citizenship behaviors and are likely to be penalized more than men for their failure to act altruistically.


Their research bore this hypothesis out. So... depressing.
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 12:35 PM on March 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


I thought about this at work recently when a colleague introduced me as "helping out" - I'm leading two teams, not volunteering. I'm not "helping out." It's so diminishing yet I've heard myself described as "helping" so many times. I cochaired a volunteer activity - male cochair described me as "helping." I'm sick of it.
posted by zutalors! at 12:37 PM on March 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


Relatedly, I’m still kind of baffled by all the RAAAAGE over Clinton’s Wall Street speeches. If Wall Street wanted to pay me obscene amounts of money to show up, eat a catered lunch, and tell them “good job, $$$-wranglers!”, I’m not sure I’d be all that averse to taking the money out of their hands and putting it somewhere better.

Haha, I feel the same way about all the RAAAAAAGE over her conferring with Henry Kissinger. I mean, say what you will about the man, he was enormously influential in foreign policy for decades. Whether you agree with him or not, wouldn't you at least want to hear everything he had to say, if for no other reason than to do the opposite of everything he did? Hell, forget about any kind of advice. Don't you just think he'd be kind of an interesting person to talk to? I can think of very few once-important people (up to and including Cheney) whom I'd refuse to talk to. Just by virtue of having once been important, I'm sure they could provide at least some kind of insight.

I would just love to see some of these ardent Bernie supporters get a call from Henry Kissinger and be like, "Sorry dude, not gonna have lunch with you."
posted by panama joe at 1:30 PM on March 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would give Wall Street speeches for considerably less than $225,000. Considerably less. Call me.
posted by Justinian at 1:38 PM on March 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


i would most definitely not have lunch with henry kissinger if asked to do so, i don't think i'd be able to keep any food down
posted by burgerrr at 1:40 PM on March 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I dunno, I can't get with this idea that conferring with someone necessitates agreeing with them or even liking them. I dunno, I'd love to have lunch with Bush and Cheney, whom I consider to be at least as bad as Kissinger. Would love to hear about the pressures, goals, and opinions that precipitated the worst American foreign policy disaster of my lifetime. Would love to hear their post-mortem, especially 10 or even 20 years from now. I mean, the neocons really thought the Iraq war would go well. Would love to learn about the overlapping layers of self-delusion that could make such a viewpoint seem tenable. From a political, historical, and psychological standpoint, such knowledge is invaluable.

I see no moral victory in denying oneself knowledge, however sickening that knowledge may be.
posted by panama joe at 1:54 PM on March 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


And I have no idea why you'd think any of those people would be reliable narrators. They wrote books if you want to hear more about their self-serving bullshit justifications for war crimes.
posted by dialetheia at 1:58 PM on March 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


And there's so much knowledge out there to not-deny! Charles Manson is still alive!
posted by rhizome at 2:00 PM on March 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


These hypotheticals about meeting the powerful and getting their honest accounts of themselves cloud the issue: Clinton and her husband enjoy a close personal relationship with Kissinger and his family, and Clinton's foreign policy is not that of a person who meaningfully opposes Kissinger's foreign policy.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:12 PM on March 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


[A few comments removed, please chill a bit.]
posted by cortex at 2:12 PM on March 14, 2016


This feels like it's getting a little off-track.
posted by uosuaq at 2:13 PM on March 14, 2016


[She] continues to raise huge sums of money… but when the money gets here, it supports a plodding, low-wattage, organizational campaign that can’t figure out how to present the candidate, seems unable to communicate, ducks the news media, and produces generic TV spots.
... In my (small) sample of well-educated Democratic and independent women, they are realizing they’re not alone in being turned off by the campaign. Demographically she’s one of them, but politically she’s losing them. They say they won’t vote for a republican, but her hectoring, know-it-all style leaves them deeply disappointed.
...You hear words like “preachy” or “lawyer-like” to describe how she comes across on TV... She always seems annoyed, impatient that people don’t know how right she is. She’s got to stop the finger wagging; it adds to her strict schoolmarm appearance and bossy manner. At the Democratic convention, when the delegates kept applauding, she shushed them with “Enough, enough!” as if the delegates were her pupils.


Amazingly, the woman in question is not Hillary Clinton.
It's Elizabeth Warren, and the column it's from is on Boston's NPR site, WBUR, published in 2012 in the runup to her Senate race.

Thank you, whoever posted that link upthread, and also to the person who posted Warren's actual favorability ratings vs Bernie's. I hear a lot of "it's not sexism, it's Hillary-specific -- everybody loves Elizabeth Warren" and that's just patently untrue.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 2:39 PM on March 14, 2016 [24 favorites]


I followed her election and there was absolutely without question a lot of "Is Warren likeable enough to win?" crap.
posted by Justinian at 2:44 PM on March 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


From Ryan Lizza's most recent New Yorker piece on Bernie and Hillary:
"Some of [Bernie's] strategists have been trying to get him to change his mind [on attacking Clinton's emails], but they say that his wife, Jane, has opposed attacking Clinton too harshly. Tulchin told me, 'We're constrained by a candidate and his spouse who don't want to say anything negative about her, don't want to name her.'"
On the topic of likability - I really like Jane Sanders. A heck of a lot.
posted by sallybrown at 2:49 PM on March 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


She’s got to stop the finger wagging; it adds to her strict schoolmarm appearance

Oh, that's hilarious.
posted by psoas at 2:52 PM on March 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Senator Mikulski is sort of like a female Sanders, less frumpy but can be just as feisty.
posted by phoque at 3:57 PM on March 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Senator Mikulski's emails to Hillary are my favorite thing. (Apart from the Senator herself who is my true favorite thing.)

so fit n sparkly

A genuine sense of warmth n respect

U. R. The. Best. !!
posted by sallybrown at 6:13 PM on March 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sanders didn't put Wall Street cash in his own campaigns. He still solicited and got donations from Wall Street. The donations went to the DSCC (Dem Senate Campaign Committe).
posted by humanfont at 6:24 PM on March 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Senator Mikulski's emails to Hillary are my favorite thing.

omg <3 <3 <3
posted by triggerfinger at 7:36 PM on March 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Someone gifted e e cummings a Shift key.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:43 PM on March 14, 2016


All I know is that I never saw the word "shill" being used so frequently before GamerGate started, and now whenever I see it being whipped out on Hillary the very first impression I have of the person calling her a shill is that they're probably of the GamerGate ilk. So far, in most dealings I've had with people on the internet during this election cycle, it's proved to be a pretty safe assumption.
posted by palomar at 8:58 PM on March 14, 2016 [11 favorites]


The thing in my mind to reconcile is that yes while societal forces have led hillary to create the person/brand that she is, it still created a person/brand that I don't agree with politically. I look at the whole scene and think, "I wish it hadn't happened that way" but she's said things like "super predators" that really stick with me in an uncomfortable way. Is there a german word for realising something is produced from a completely fucked setup but still wanting to avoid it?

I'd still vote for her in a heartbeat during a general though.
posted by Ferreous at 9:05 PM on March 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Relatedly, I’m still kind of baffled by all the RAAAAGE over Clinton’s Wall Street speeches.

Here's the thing: by the standards of most of the developed world, American politics is fantastically corrupt, and that corruption is entirely due to the influence of money on the political process. It's evident in things like, yes, Clinton's speeches (and the apparent exercising of influence on behalf of large donors to the Clinton Foundation), in things like Howard Dean's volte-face on single payer healthcare after he switched careers to become a lobbyist, even in things like Obama appointing people who "bundled" significant amounts of campaign money to ambassadorships. Shrugging your shoulders at this sort of thing and saying "that's how the game is played, they all do it" or "so what? if someone wanted to pay me that much I would too!" neither justifies it or excuses it, it's just a sign of acceptance of a fundamentally corrupt system; "forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown."
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:10 PM on March 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


I agree with you, Pseudonymous Cognomen.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:08 AM on March 15, 2016


Erm, sorta off-topic, but what/where is the thread to discuss today's primaries?
posted by Windigo at 7:54 AM on March 15, 2016


Right here!
posted by zarq at 7:54 AM on March 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Shrugging your shoulders at this sort of thing and saying "that's how the game is played, they all do it" or "so what? if someone wanted to pay me that much I would too!" neither justifies it or excuses it, it's just a sign of acceptance of a fundamentally corrupt system; "forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown."

But that's not what I'm talking about. We should all be indignant that our representatives behave in this manner, I agree. I have said that multiple times (and I get ignored every time, because people assume I'm being disingenuous. I'm not. I believe that with 100% sincerity).

And yet only Clinton's behavior in this arena is talked about with the kind of frothing, unbounded rancor that I see everywhere lately. People who LOVE some of her ideologically-identical-but-male colleagues somehow decide that when Clinton engages in the same behavior, she is an eldritch hellbeast destroying democracy.

When I said RAAAAAAGE I meant actual, visceral rage. These are not people making principled objections. These are not people talking about the detrimental effects of campaign finance. These are people who are FURIOUS about an issue that they ignore for all other candidates. They scold everyone for not caring as much as they do-- but they only actually care when it comes to one person.

People should object to this behavior of Clinton's. I myself object to this behavior. But I'm not talking about whether or not we should object. I am talking about how these objections are leveled at Clinton in a way that always, always turns back into her being worse than everyone and worthy of utter scorn and contempt.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:31 AM on March 15, 2016 [23 favorites]


I am talking about how these objections are leveled at Clinton in a way that always, always turns back into her being worse than everyone and worthy of utter scorn and contempt.


It's a really outsized aggression. I don't understand it. Also the weird theme I'm seeing all over Metafilter that Clinton is actually a Reaganite Republican and should run with Rubio (wtf???)
posted by zutalors! at 8:44 AM on March 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, I think that Romney should have endorsed Clinton in his "anyone-but-trump (but trump if he's the nominee)" speech.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:23 PM on March 15, 2016


by the standards of most of the developed world, American politics is fantastically corrupt

Looking at the corruption perception index vs. major economies the US is slightly below Germany, UK, Canada and Australia. However it is above Japan, France, South Korea and Italy. The US (76) is near the middle between France 70 and the Canada 83. South Korea and Italy are the only ones that fall into the sub 60 levels of fantastically corrupt.
posted by humanfont at 3:10 PM on March 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Today I Was Asked How I Sleep at Night Defending Hillary – Answer: Very, Very Well

Nearly 5 million voters (more than any other candidate) have expressed their trust by voting for Hillary.

And in Bernie Sanders’s case, there’s this:
Bernie had the opportunity to vote against Hillary’s nomination for Secretary of State. (After all, he voted against Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary). Instead, he voted to confirm her, an affirmation of his trust in her ability to represent America to the world. In other words, Bernie trusts Hillary.
...In the case of the vitriol directed at Hillary — so much of it gender-based — I try to imagine my daughter, sister, wife or mother in Hillary’s position and ask myself what I’d do if they were subjected to the same venomous slander, the same unhinged, unprovoked and unwarranted scorn, the same double standard. The answer is clear.

Contrary to the straw man I’m confronted with daily, this is not about issues and not about overwrought accusations of sexism. I have absolutely no problem with people vehemently disagreeing with Hillary’s positions. I disagree with her on several things, from her AUMF vote to drones to fracking. I was upset by her comment on Nancy Reagan and AIDS and I’m glad she apologized for it. She is by no means perfect. No one is.

But I won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the exceptional. And make no mistake, Hillary is an exceptional human being and an exceptional candidate. She is by far the best positioned in this race to advance the progressive agenda and she is nothing like the caricature painted of her.

posted by triggerfinger at 4:37 PM on March 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


People should object to this behavior of Clinton's. I myself object to this behavior. But I'm not talking about whether or not we should object. I am talking about how these objections are leveled at Clinton in a way that always, always turns back into her being worse than everyone and worthy of utter scorn and contempt.

Well said, IMO that personal rage is one of the biggest symptoms that there is something going on besides taking a reasoned issue with her views.
posted by frumiousb at 5:03 PM on March 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's weird, coming into this election season I was pretty uninterested in the whole thing - but then I experienced Clinton reaching out to the black community... and yes, she has gaffs like anyone does, but listening to her on Another Round was really... striking. Some of her answers were weak, but she rolled with the whole thing; finding out she approached them made my jaw drop. And then there was her speech on February 16th, where she explicitly called out the racism at play in a variety of angles, including Flint. I ...did not expect that. I'm really not used to politicians - any politicians (even the Perfect Until She Runs For Office Warren) - using the language of anti-racism social justice. Granted - it was a safe crowed in Harlem, but by now every politician knows nothing stays locked down.

So yeah. She did some shitty stuff. And it looks like her time spent listening to people, and her determination to listen in particular to black people and engage with black women and the movements they create (Black Lives Matter!) have led her to shift her language and approach in a way I really appreciate. I went from "I dunno" to "yeah, voting Clinton" on the back of watching her change in approach.

And her record as Secretary of State. I'm a fan of her record as Secretary of State.

Still more hawkish than I like - but so was Obama.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:24 PM on March 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


When asked their positions, Clinton laid out a series of very reasonable requirements she'd want in place in order for fracking to continue. Requirements that would effectively shut down all current fracking operations. In contrast Sanders just said "No fracking".

See, I find the honest approach refreshing. Voters who don't oppose fracking should not be hoodwinked by a politician who wants to ban it but hides that position behind so much doublespeak that they don't know she is telling them she wants to ban it.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:50 PM on March 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hillary Clinton Won Big Tuesday. Male Pundits Responded With These Sexist Tweets.

C'mon, honey, I bet you got a real nice smile.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:21 AM on March 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Clinton's answer on fracking is policy and Bernies answer is values. One is saying what we should do, the other is saying what we ought to do. For me Hillary's answer is more honest because she is outlining a specific course of action. Bernies is less honest because he wants us to trust that he will end fracking. Without a specific policy to back it up, he can avoid accountability. It is similar to the current custerfuck around Gitmo. Obama said close it. He issued an executive order on day one of his first term. Yet the order remains unfulfilled because objective wasn't blocked by policy constraints. The result has been a number of disillusion supporters and claims by critics that he wasn't honest about closing Gitmo.
posted by humanfont at 10:01 AM on March 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yet the order remains unfulfilled because objective wasn't blocked by policy constraints

What does this mean?
posted by rhizome at 12:03 PM on March 16, 2016


I don't know if this is where the thread is at anymore but if Hillary were a man, I see her as a John Kerry or Al Gore. Totally boring establishment candidate.
posted by LizBoBiz at 2:40 PM on March 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Meant to write "was blocked by policy constraints". By that I mean the President's order was not implementable because those charged with implementing the order were unable to formulate a policy / plan of action that fell with in the President's legal authority. For example Congress has barred the transfer of prisoners to US soil and passed other legislation to block implementation.
posted by humanfont at 4:52 PM on March 16, 2016


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