What Do YOU Think About the Irrational “Hillary Hate”?

I almost wanted to make this your “Sunday Read” today, but I figured you’d like something local. But anyways, I wanted to point out to you a great post on No Quarter, former CIA Agent Larry Johnson’s blog offering a progressive point of view on national security issues. He’s been writing on and off on the Presidential Primary, and he has something to say about Hillary Clinton that isn’t always talked about. In last night’s post, Larry Johnson recalls one of the first briefings he gave to Hillary in 2005 on the outing of his CIA colleague Valerie Plame Wilson.

Here are the first impressions Larry got after his first visit with Hillary:

If people could always see the real Hillary she would win in a cake walk. […] She’s funny, quick, and can think and talk on her feet without choking on a pretzel. […] The Hillary I saw behind the closed doors of her office is a genuine, smart, very likable person. If America is permitted to see that woman then she has a chance.

Wow, now this is something we haven’t been hearing lately! And you know what? This has me asking: In the midst of all the attacks on Hillary during the campaign season, are we losing grip on who the real Hillary Clinton is? When we constantly hear the right-wing noise machine bashing Hillary as “cold” and “corrupt” and “murderous” and “castrating”, are we not hearing enough about the good qualities of Hillary?

So what do you think about the attacks on Hillary? Are they “fair game”? Or is this all irrational hatred toward a woman that some men fear may be the next President? Have your say.

  24 comments for “What Do YOU Think About the Irrational “Hillary Hate”?

  1. December 23, 2007 at 10:27 am

    It’s 100% irrational, but it’s out there. And if she’s the nominee she’ll lose because of it.

  2. Anonymous
    December 23, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Hillary is a damn hippy!
    My man is John Edwards baby!

  3. Andrew Davey
    December 23, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Gila-

    Agreed and disagreed.

    I agree with you on the first point. The “Hillary Hate” is completely irrational… Except if we notice the latent misogyny in much of it. I’ve seen the “Hate Hillary” Facebook groups talking about how “her place is in the kitchen, not in the Oval Office” and how “she can’t be trusted to lead the free world if she can’t control her own husband”. I’ve seen Chris Matthews try to turn everything Hillary does into some “sick game”, and I remember Tucker Carlson complaining of a “castrating feeling” he supposedly got from her. While I don’t think all of the Hillary Hate is rooted in sexism, I think much of it comes from the fear many men have of seeing a woman in power.

    But on the second point, I don’t think this will cause Hillary to lose. Rather, I think one of her strengths is in defeating the right-wing noise machine in this game. She won her NY Senate Seat seven years ago, even though she “wasn’t supposed to win”. She was reelected in 2006 with 67%, winning 37 of the 41 counties Bush carried in 2004. And even now, just 10 days after Matt Drudge called her “a loser”, she has a very good chance of winning Iowa on the 3rd and becoming our nominee. No matter how many times she’s dismissed as “polarizing”, it seems like Hillary wins despite of that label that the mainstream media slaps on her.

    That’s why I wouldn’t count her out just yet. :-)

  4. Anonymous
    December 23, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Hillary is considered too weak at one point and then she is too strong. The right-wing noise machine is nothing but noise.

  5. Anonymous
    December 23, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Anonymous 11:25am/Paul Lucas, the “damn hippy” comment is old and tired.

  6. December 23, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Umm. This piece claims that the “attacks” on Hillary are irrational and makes a claim for her on the basis of personality. If we knew the real Hillary we’d like her for her wit and smarts. But if you follow the link to the “attacks on Hillary, you find that they are not personal and hardly irrational. Instead, Hillary is justly pilloried by Obama for her dismally irresponsible willingness to go along with the President’s transparently bogus claims about weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the Iraq catastrophe. Obama didn’t believe Bush and said so on national television in the Fall of 2002. Many other former inspectors, foreign governments, and millions of citizens could see through the trumped-up case for war. Hillary either couldn’t or wouldn’t. It was a dramatic moral and political failure of leadership. At least Edwards apologized for it years ago and has been pressing the case to get out.

    I know there have been a lot of ugly attacks against the Clintons, and I don’t care for them. But her drop in the polls is as or more related to her failures as a leader. This is not politics of character assassination; it is the politics of would-be leader rejection.

    I don’t care what the right says. I won’t vote for her because of how she votes and how she leads.

    j

  7. mj
    December 23, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I object to Clinton not because she is a woman. I object because I see a future where Jeb Bush is going to take over after her, and later the little Clinton and later maybe Jenna Bush or some other Bush.
    I reject Clinton because I do not want America to turn into a developing country where a few families run everything.
    The Bush tax cuts is moving America in that direction economically. Electing Clinton will do that Politically.

  8. December 23, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Really, I dont hate Hillary, I just dont think she is the best person for the job.

     

     

  9. December 23, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Many people love to join a lynch mob. It makes them feel morally superior. They enjoy feeling like one of the good cowboys, going after the bad Indians. Attackers get to bond over a common enemy, and to release the aggression that they build up as a result of not fully processing the frustrating events in their lives. Hate is rarely useful, and it’s especially counterproductive when one is making a choice about whom to choose for political office.

    I think that the hostility toward Hillary is based on irrational fear of a powerful progressive woman, and it’s fomented by people who have little concern about the public good.

  10. Andrew Davey
    December 23, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Everyone-

    Thanks for the great dialogue! I just got back from an AWESOME party for Hillary at Libreria Matinez in Santa Ana, and it was great to see 111 of us get inspired by Dolores Huerta to get up, make calls, and make change happen with Hillary! :-)

    Chris & James-

    I know you guys don’t hate Hillary. I have no problem with you supporting other candidates and making respectful cases for them. Still, regarding Hillary and foreign policy, I’d like to point out to you this article from Fmr. Ambassador Joe Wilson:

    http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2007/12/21/the-real-hillary-i-know-and-the-unreal-obama/

    It’s quite telling about who Hillary really is.

    Maura-

    I think you got it! Unfortunately, quite a few powerful men feel “threatened” by such a strong, powerful, progressive woman as Hillary… So they’re now doing what they can to tear her down by spreading lies about her, questioning her womanhood, and making insulting comments about being “castrated” by her. But ultimately, I have confidence that most voters will reject this same old crap that we’ve been subjected to for the last 15 years, and they’ll see the real Hillary for the strong leader, fearless advocate, and beautiful soul that she is. :-)

  11. Paul Lucas
    December 23, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    I went to the Hillary event today at my good friends Ruben Martinez’ Art Gallery. I was impressed by the turnout and also very happy to see my good friends Ruben Martinez and Jose Solorio. I had an engaging conversation with Andrew Davey about his switching from Obama to Hillary as his pick for the Democratic nominee.

    As you know, my choice for nominee is John Edwards. I challenged Andrew to outline the differences between Hillary and Edwards. By his own admission, there are few if any differences between the two candidates.

    All things being equal, I am going to be voting for John Edwards as my nominee for the following reasons;

    A. He can win against ANY of the declared candidates that the Republicans are weaning out for their nominee.

    B. His electability among DTS voters is stronger against Hillary.

    C. He is pretty much the same as Hillary in their voting records both of which are good.

    D. If Hillary is the nominee, I feel that we will lose the White House in 2008.

    E. And finally, John Edwards has never taken any of the Special Interest monies that Hillary and the rest of the candidates have taken. he is truly a man of the poeple and not the corporations.

    That being said, if Hillary is the nominee, you can bet the farm that I will be knocking on doors and making calls to get her elected in November 08. But in the primary I am going with John Edwards.

    In my conversation with Andrew today, I floated the idea that he may be voting from his heart and not his mind using logic. By that I mean that he may be pulling for Hillary based on the fact that, quite frankly, because she is a woman. After all, their voting records are the virtually the same.

    Now you may think that in this case I am being somewhat misogynist and chauvinistic. I am not. I am the furthest thing from that stereotype. I am basing my vote on the fact that all things being equal (time in the Senate and Voting Record) John Edwards has a better chance of winning the White House against any of the Republican candidates.

  12. Andrew Davey
    December 23, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    Paul-

    Thanks for dropping by, and it was nice speaking to you today. HOWEVER, I do want to rebut some of your points. First off, I repeatedly explained that I’m NOT supporting Hillary just because she’s a woman. I’m supporting her because she’s the best candidate for the job of POTUS.

    Secondly, I did tell you that there isn’t much difference between where Hillary stands and where Edwards stands on the issues. HOWEVER, I also said that Hillary has the best chance of actually making these policies into law. Oh yes, and I mentioned that Hillary has more and better details on her climate/energy plan and health care plan.

    And finally, I told you that Hillary has a strong history of standing by our side. While John Edwards “converted” to support universal health care this year, and while Barack Obama is renouncing his support for universal health care by leaving 15 million people uninsured under his plan, Hillary has ALWAYS fought for universal health care. While the other candidates say good things about women’s rights, Hillary has ALWAYS been at the forefront of fighting for working women. While the other candidates talk about children’s issues, Hillary has ALWAYS fought for our kids. That’s the difference.

    While the others talk about change, Hillary has always been working to MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN… That’s why I’m supporting her. :-)

  13. Paul Lucas
    December 23, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Andrew,
    I admire your passion. However, we are going to have to agree to disagree on who the best candidate is to beat the GOP candidate. In my humble opinion, I wish that Bill Richardson was in the same spot as Hillary and or Obama. As it is, he is not. bill Richardson has such a long track record of doing the exact same things as you credit Hillary Clinton for.

    That being said, I lament the fact that Mr Richardson is not pulling in the numbers like Obama and Hillary. And Bill Richardson had it right the whole time when he asked the memebrs of the Democratoc Party not to fall for sound bites and Rock Star charisma such as Obama, and IMHO Hillary.

    To that end, i am left with John Edwards as my personal favorite choice for the Democratic Presidential Nominee. In Edwards I see substance and not sound bites.

    Now Im not accusing Hillary of being made up of mostly sound bites. But I wouldnt hesitate to levy that charge against Obama. but when I stack Edwards and Hillary back to back, I find the two weighed and measured and Hillary is left wanting. just My humble opinion amigo.

    Love ya.

    Paul

  14. Bladerunner
    December 23, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    The last time I heard Democrats push “electability” they went and nominated John Kerry and John Edwards. Remember–Kerry was the war hero, the most electable. Kerry’s campaign was a flop and Edwards couldn’t help the ticket win his own state. The issue is important to consider but don’t be so sure you have a handle on it.

    Andrew–much of the dislike of Hillary is irrational and sexist but some of it is both programatic and also based on her style and that of former President Clinton. She has a record and it provides a target. The high negatives are something that, while not necessarily being a decisive factor should be at least considered in the matrix. Dems have to factor that against Obama’s relative inexperience(and the irrational and racist opposition he will get in addition to the normal opposition) and Edwards own electability problem(he averages 3rd in all the primary polls which won’t even get him to the Convention unless he does some fancy Clogging) and the predictable GOP class warfare attack that he invites that the Reds have been honing against selective Democratic candidates since 1896.

    Frankly, if we use Chris’ standard of the best person for the job, Joe Biden or Bill Richardson can make a stronger case than the three front runners.

  15. Andrew Davey
    December 23, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Bladerunner-

    Now how the heck am I supposed to disagree with you? You’re the wisest person roaming in the entire OC blogosphere! It’s an honor for me to just see your comment in my thread. ;-)

    But anyways, you raise some good points. No candidate is perfect, and we’ll ultimately have to judge for ourselves whose flaws are the least and whose flaws pose the greatest threat to our general election chances. And as always, your observations are quite accurate.

    Still, I’d like to add this. You mention Richardson and Biden, and how their experience trumps everyone else. To a certain extent, that’s very true. However, Washington experience is not the ONLY asset I’m looking for (though it’s one that’s a BIG plus in my book).

    That’s why I ultimately chose Hillary… She’s the one who has the complete package. She has a great progressive platform of change AND the strength and experience to make her platform into law AND the ability take advantage of the current electoral climate to win BIG next year. No one’s been tried by fire and survived the firing at by the “vast right-wing conspiracy” like Hillary has. No one’s been advocating for women, for children, for working families as long and hard as Hillary has. And for me, I can see that no other candidate has the best chance of getting the job done (on health care, climate change, Iraq, economy, etc.) like Hillary can. :-)

  16. December 23, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Andrew,

    I read that piece and learned nothing about Hilary except that the former ambassador thinks she’s “more experienced” and that only experience will carry the US forward. She has considerably less experience than LBJ and he lied us into Vietnam. She has a lot less experience than Rumsfeld and Cheney and look where that got us. Abraham Lincoln had almost no experience, whereas Nixon had more than Hillary. Obama doesn’t have meaningfully less foreign policy experience than Bill Clinton did in 1991/1992. All this stuff about experience tells me nothing that changes anything. I also think that if she wants this not to be about her as a person, then she ought to stop running on her supposed attributes as a person (this vapid “experience” discourse is really structured to imply an ad hominem against her main rival). But she can’t really run on her record can she? She’s been voting with Bush on so many major policies that are now unpopular or downright disastrous. What is the part of her Senate record that is supposed to endear her to the party faithful?

  17. Bladerunner
    December 23, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Andrew-Thanks but I am not worthy of such praise.

    I do want to complement you on the format of your posts on the race. Same for most of what Chris Prevatt puts up for Edwards. Positive stuff for the most part but inviting a good exchange. You’re going to get comments by folks wanting to tee off on somebody(usually your candidate) but you’re smart to try and keep people focused on the positive. Attack dogs have their role in politics but you have to have a coherent positive message as well. It takes discipline to refine the positive message when its easier(and sometimes more interesting) to go for the jugular.

    And Andrew, experience is a big factor in the mother of all job interviews. Any employer will tell you experience is a key attribute for a position and POTUS is no exception. Just compare Bush I versus Bush II. However it is not the only factor, which is one of the reasons relatively inexperienced candidates like Obama and Huckabee are still very much in the hunt.

  18. DCDemocrat
    December 24, 2007 at 3:55 am

    My take on this is that Hillary is tough. I’ve been grateful for the rough spot the campaign has passed through, because I think it will make Hillary all the more formidable a candidate in the General Election.

  19. Andrew Davey
    December 24, 2007 at 7:25 am

    james-

    Good question on Hillary’s experience and her “progressive street creds”… So here’s my answer:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/11/161828/90/253/420803

    Bladerunner-

    Oh yes, you’re right about that. At yesterday’s event, Richard Chavez (Dolores Huerta’s husband) told us that “this election isn’t in the bag ’til it’s in the bag”. While I’m confident Democrats will look at Hillary and see what I see (our best chance to make lasting change in 2009 and beyond), I won’t be taking her nomination for granted until she wins California and all the other Feb. 5 states.

    DCDem-

    Great point! Once again, Hillary has been “battle-tested” after all these attcks. And once more, she’s only coming out better and stronger. If this is how she can handle challenges in the primary, then I’m confident she’ll win BIG in the general election. :-)

  20. rebecca
    December 24, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Paul, every time I brought up Edwards you gagged and then went on and on about Richardson, the Man. When did this big epiphany happen? How come you never believe me???

    Becca

  21. rebecca
    December 24, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    B laderunner, Kerry actually waged a hell of a campaign. In the course of the entire campaign, he said one stupid thing–one stupid thing–and the media hammered it home until election day, when they sure as hell didn’t reciprocate with the multitudes of awesomeness falling from the lips of GWB. Despite that, take a look at Robert Kennedy’s Rolling Stone piece on Ohio. Kerry won.

    I’d really love it people would stop with the Kerry Is A Big Loser meme–it’s the same thing the media did to Gore, but with the added fillip that it’s Dems doing the complaining . . . as they love to do. We eat our own, you know.

  22. Bladerunner
    December 24, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    rebecca, I’ll agree that Kerry’s statement that he voted for the $87 billion war appropriation before he voted against it was stupid…although thats an understatement at best. But he popped off with quite a few boners, like his time for a regime change in the U.S. comment or his elitist dismissal of U.S. troops in Iraq who he said were only there because they weren’t smart enough to get into law school. But as we can see looking at the current occupant of the White House, stupid statements alone don’t cost elections.

    Hell of a campaign? Did you mean sitting back what seems like forever, getting bloodied beyond redemption by the Swift Boat mosquitoes? Did you mean playing by outdated Marquess of Queensberry rules and leaving Bush pretty much untouched during the campaign? Did you mean when Bush pulled his own boner about not being able to win the war on terrorism at the GOP convention, big John was windsurfing and unavailable for comment? Maybe it was the too numerous to count flip flops that left many Americans wondering the same thing about Kerry that they are wondering today about Willard(Mitt) Romney–does the guy have a core?

    As for Ohio, I was told progressives on the ground in Ohio felt abandoned by Kerry who conceded the election and while supporting a recount had no interest in going down the road that Mr. Kennedy wanted to take us. Maybe Kerry realized he got his butt kicked by a 3.5 million vote margin(recall Gore got over a half a million more votes then did Bush). Either way, Kerry decided to be be a gracious loser.Kennedy should go research the Illinois and Texas votes in 1960, irregularities that allowed his uncle to be elected President. The 2000 election, or theft by Florida, should have been a big signal to the DNC and eventually Kerry to focus significant resources in voter suppression efforts by the GOP in swing states.

    Anyway, I know it wasn’t all Kerry’s fault, lots of bad hops, shady Buckeye election officials, lazy reporters and lazy voters. But even if you are right and it was a hell of a campaign I don’t think that conflicts with my point that while electability is important to consider don’t be so sure you have a handle on it.

  23. Andrew Davey
    December 25, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Rebecca-

    You’re right. Kerry waged on hell of a campaign in 2004, and he got a hell of a lot of help by 527s like ACT. Democrats and progressive groups spent more money than ever before, and they were actually quite successful in turning out our voters. But unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to counteract the electoral trickery being used in states like Ohio. I did read that RFK, Jr., article… And I read Greg Palast. I still think 2004 was stolen.

    Bladerunner-

    You’re right. Kerry f***ed up with his flip-flops, his goofy “hunting” on one day and windsurfing on the next, and his inability to just challenge Bush on Iraq, civil liberties, the economy, and other issues. While I do believe the election was stolen in Ohio, I also think Kerry made it too damn easy to steal by not taking on Bush and his shameful record when the Swift Boaters came to attack.

    Oh yes, and it was a shame that the election was conceded before we could have figured out what the hell really happened in Ohio.

  24. December 25, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Andrew, I admire your energy for this one, but I just don’t see it your way. Not only does Clinton have the highest negatives of anybody in the race, making her a favorite for rightwingers who can mobilize their supporters to oppose her… just running against her would mean the Right would not get challenged on certain issues in the general election: Clinton voted for the Patriot Act both times, she voted for the war, she has voted over and over again to fund the war, and she has said that she won’t get US soldiers out of Iraq before 2013 (maybe not even then). I’m telling you, it will be a serious mistake if the Dems back her for their nominee. I won’t vote for such a nominee, and there will be others like me. But worse for you guys will be that you will have mobilized and unified a fractured opposition Republican Party. You’re in much better shape with one of the other two. …now I hope Iowans agree… I’ll watch the news from NYC on Jan 3 … happy new year…

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