TIGGER DIGS POLITICS

 

My ten-year-old and I had fun watching the primary election returns from New Hampshire.  With mounting excitement we refreshed the screen over and over to watch Hillary Clinton’s votes go up and her lead hold steady.  Tigger was practically jumping up and down.

 

“Mom,” she said, “do you think I could become President some day?”

 

We turned on the TV.  PBS, CSPAN, and CNN all had flocks of jowly, pasty-faced men falling all over themselves to explain why the New Hampshire voters ignored the media’s directions.  None of them wondered where the media got the idea that they should tell the voters what to do.

 

Tigger stood next to the TV and mimicked the commentators, pulling down on her cheeks to simulate the jowls.  She somberly droned on about messages and the meaning of Clinton’s allegedly tearful speech, copying the pundits so accurately I laughed out loud.

 

Just now I finally got around to watching a video clip of The Teary Speech.  Clinton answered a question about how important the whole business is to her with the slightest quaver in her voice.  Not a single tear rolled down her cheek.  That’s it?

 

The hullabaloo clearly demonstrates that Clinton withstands far closer examination than any other candidate.  There may be endless discussions about the deliberate-or-not nature of Huckabee’s bookcase cross, but nobody rewinds the tape to examine every flicker of his eyelids.

 

I’ll tell you this.  Anyone who seriously believes that the intense vitriol directed at Clinton is NOT about her gender is seriously deluded.  No, she hasn’t got Obama’s charismatic oratorical style, but nor is she actively offensive.  Her voice is not shrill, her mannerisms are commonplace.  Ideologically speaking, there’s barely a hair’s breadth of difference between Clinton and Obama.  Here in the country of enlightenment and tolerance, many just cannot cope with an uppity bitch going after real power.

 

Have I mentioned the undertones, no, make that overtones, of violence in the anti-Clinton rhetoric?

Back when I was a kid, they fed me that “any kid can grow up to be President” line.  But I knew it was a lie.  “Any kid” really meant “any boy,” and even that was a lie, because it was really “any white, gentile boy.”  (Take note, Michael Bloomberg.) 

 

“Of course you can grow up to be President,” I told Tigger, but she’s no fool.  She will watch this election unfold and she will decide whether it’s true or not.


Before anyone else gets all defensive on me, note that I never said that sexism was the only reason why a voter might prefer a candidate other than Hillary Clinton.  I did say that sexism is the underlying force behind the extreme antipathy, all out of proportion to anything she says or does, that is directed at her.  And sexism is behind the microscopic scrutiny she receives from the media–far more than the male candidates get.  And call me a militant radical hairy-legged feminist, but I pointed out that all 43 presidents so far have been males, and I’m just a teeny bit suspicious that that was no demographic accident.

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24 thoughts on “TIGGER DIGS POLITICS

  1. but….it’s Hillary Clinton.  I could – nay, would, vote for a woman – another woman. Not to get too political, but she just makes me cringe. You know how there are the sweet teachers, and then there is the one mean teacher, and the latter eventually makes principal while the others continue to do the real job of educating children.  It’s sort of like that in my mind.  I don’t think she and I would get along. I know I couldn’t work for her.  So, why would I want to vote for her?Jay

  2. I don’t care for Hillary, and it has nothing to do with her being a woman.  I’ll vote for her if she’s the candidate, but once more, I’ll be voting against the others, rather than voting for someone. 

  3. Hillary is not my candidate, but that t-shirt is truly disgraceful.  I don’t have anything against her personality, but if she becomes president, we will have government run health care. 
     She tried to do it when her husband was in office.  It will be a nightmare.  It’s bad enough having insurance companies dictating to the doctors.  The best and brightest who would normally become doctors will not want to be salaried government employees. There has to be another way to get everyone the medical care they need.

  4. If Obama was a woman he’d have been laughed out of the Senate the day he announced his candidacy.
    I find it curious that so many peoplpe find so many odd hurdles for Hillary to cross over before they’d deem her an acceptable candidate…chauvinism, though it now wears many cloaks, is still alive and quite well in the America of 2008. Perhaps things will change, someday, if the boys club doesen’t destroy us all in the meantime.
    And the beat goes on…

  5. If Barbara Mikulski decided to run, I’d vote for her gladly.  For that matter, if Olympia Snowe decided to run, I’d cross party lines and vote for her as well.  But I won’t vote for Hillary.  And gender has nothing to do with it. 

  6. Hillary is better than any of those other bums of either party.  I just feel bad cuz it will all be decided before the primary gets here so I can vote.  At least I’ll be able to vote against Mike/Rudy/Mitt/John or whoever the Republijerks put up in November.. 

  7. I honestly don’t get the Hillary hate.  She’s not my hero(ine) or anything, but she’s never bothered me personally.  I didn’t (and don’t) care that she didn’t stay home and bake cookies, didn’t (and don’t) care that she stayed with her philandering husband instead of divorcing him, didn’t (and don’t) care that she likes to wear pantsuits instead of skirts.  (Also, I thought she looked cute in her headbands, but those days are long gone.)  I don’t find her voice shrill or schoolmarmish.  It’s just a voice.  I don’t even think her laugh is annoying.  I saw her on David Letterman once, and she seemed quite personable to me.  If I were still a Democrat, I would probably vote for Hillary.  That might say more about her opponents than it does about her, but still.
    None of this is to say I don’t find both Clintons corrupt in a variety of ways.  I just don’t *hate* them.  That they breathe the same air I do is not a major point of concern for me.  I often say that she’s not likeable, but I’m realizing now that’s the wrong word.  What I mean is that she is (widely and intensely) disliked, by people of all ideological persuasions (though more intensely on the right), and while that is a fact, it does not strike me as rational.  It just is.
    And I do think some of the vitriol directed at her has to do with her gender, because it so personal.  Just like I think Ted Rall picks on Condi Rice in part because she’s a woman (and black).  (He would beg to disagree, I’m sure, but I’m also sure he’s deluded.)
    I still think most Americans would be fine with a woman president, just not this woman.  That so many conservatives dream of Condi Rice running for president, when there’s little indication that she is temperamentally inclined toward or suited for the job, is just one piece of evidence.  True, none of the women who actually have run for president have appealed to American voters either, but considering the small number of such women and the specific women themselves, I don’t think it can be chalked up to sexism.  Republicans didn’t go for Elizabeth Dole, but she was a lousy candidate by any measure.  So was Bob Dole, whom the voters rejected as well.  But no one made mean t-shirts about them.  Probably because there was no danger of either being elected president.

  8. I’m struck by the mixed messages we give female candidates because of tears.  Geraldine Ferraro was sunk by her waterworks, while Hillary Clinton (it is speculated) gets a boost just from being a little misty-eyed.
    And just to be fair.. there are at least a couple jowly, pasty-faced women pundits too.

  9. I hate Hilary b/c she loves big government. A lot of other ppl dislike simply b/c she’s a pretty unlikeable person. I have no problem voting for an asshole as long as their ideological views line up with my own. I would vote for a purple hermaphrodite if I thought they 1) could be effective as president, 2) had the closest ideological views to my own out of all the other candidates, and 3) had a legitimate chance of winning the presidency. 

  10. Meaning… Huckabee is a scary clown?   Totally agree, btw.  The gender-based hatred of Hillary (as opposed to the policy-based) goes way back to when she was elected First Lady.  Haha – I’m joking, she wasn’t “elected” First Lady – I just like to ruffle the anti-Hillary folks.  Really, though, it’s not surprising.  I mean, she’s not only a woman, she’s a feminist – gasp!  Why can’t anyone just admit that they don’t want to see a woman as president?  Especially one who “cries” and won’t bake cookies and just isn’t so nice to be around.  waaaah.  If everyone is so supposedly “gender-blind,” then why aren’t there more women in Congress or other high political office already??  It’s still a man’s game… and as Hillary herself says, the presidency is the biggest and thickest glass ceiling and she’s giving it her best to break it.  

  11. I agree with the “teary” speech being tearless — what was the big deal?  But ever since 1988, we have had a Bush or Clinton in the White House.  I’m just sick of them!   Our first woman president should be Nancy Pelosi. 

  12. I’d probably cross party lines to vote for Olympia Snowe, too (but for the fact that Barack Obama is the candidate I have prayed would come along for about the past 50 years).
    Some of the vitriol might be as sexist as you say, but you’ve no business painting all of us with the same brush.  Many decades ago, I gravitated toward female doctors and female lawyers (or, in the latter case, I WOULD have so gravitated had I been in need of legal representation) primarily for the reason that I’ve always considered women just as viable as men and I figured anyone who could make it through med or law school against sexist odds would be a good bet to be a great doctor or a great attorney.
    My main problem with Hillary is her husband, whom I cannot stand.  But that’s visceral and irrational, and despite how much Bill disgusts me, I’ll enthusiastically support Hillary if she gets the nomination.
    But Barack’s the candidate for me.  And by the way, your comment at my place showed clearly that you did not click on any of the links I provided.  Strong evidence was provided of the skills Obama possesses in bringing opposing sides together, and making progress on whatever issues are at hand.
    Do you want to protest that last statement?  I dare you to come over and read about his presidency of the Harvard Law Review, or of how he got legislation enacted in Illinois regarding the videotaping of police interrogations, and in a future comment give evidence that you actually read the articles and then still say “The junior Senator from Illinois has not had the opportunity to bring any seriously opposing factions anywhere.”
    You want to vote for Hillary, fine.
    I have plenty I’d like to say against her, but I’m following Barack Obama’s lead and refraining from negative campaigning.  You might consider that the next time you imply that the only factions Barack has brought together have been “the leftist left and the moderate left.”  The fact is, Sen. Obama has co-sponsored legislation with Republicans both in the Illinois state legislature and in the U.S. Senate.
    I’ll grant you he’s a liberal.  So is Hillary.  So whom do you think you’re fooling?

  13. The Wall Street Journal today had a bunch of interesting articles today including an op ed piece by Karl Rove that really skewered Obama. But there was a great piece on women supporting Hillary, and it mentioned that women are offended by the vitriolic hate toward her. Let’s be honest. The powers that be don’t want a woman leader, and they are denying denying denying it, and couching it in a bunch of other language. But you and I know. BTW I’m sending you a message!

  14. THere are a great many people in the US who as you said take issue with “uppity bitches”.  Since I’m AM an uppity bitch, I am not one of those people.  Does HRC deserve all the vitrol spewed at her?  No.  Most certainly not.  She gets heckled for simply being a woman.  When was the last time my candidate of choice, Obama -yeah!- got heckled for being black?  It’s ridiculous and wrong much of the negative press she recieves and the level of scrutiny she encounters.  Even so, she’s still not my candidate.  For me to vote for her or support her simply because she is a woman and a feminist as I am would feel as if I were disregarding the other things I look for in a candidate.  It would be the antithesis of feminism to me. 

  15. I went to my POGO site last night o play a game. It’s a game site. While I was waiting for my game to load, a particularly unflattering photograph of Hillary loaded–she appeared to be screaming at someone–next to a headline that read, “Would you feel safe if Hilary were President?” It’s a GAME site.

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