Sexism… What Sexism?

Seriously, why can’t our own press report about the realities of our politics? Why must I resort to the foreign press to find the truth? Well, at least the New Statesman of Scotland is willing to say what hardly anyone on our side of the pond is willing to admit.

Gloating, unshackled sexism of the ugliest kind has been shamelessly peddled by the US media, which – sooner rather than later, I fear – will have to account for their sins.

History, I suspect, will look back on the past six months as an example of America going through one of its collectively deranged episodes – rather like Prohibition from 1920-33, or McCarthyism some 30 years later. This time it is gloating, unshackled sexism of the ugliest kind. It has been shamelessly peddled by the US media, which – sooner rather than later, I fear – will have to account for their sins. The chief victim has been Senator Hillary Clinton, but the ramifications could be hugely harmful for America and the world.

Really, why is it OK for media pundits to joke about Hillary’s “thick ankles”? Or laugh at the thought of her “pimping” her daughter? Or say that she’s “deranged & delusional” for not bowing to their pressure on her to drop out, especially when she’s leading the popular vote count? Ted Kennedy had much less of a chance of winning the Presidential Nomination in 1980, yet no one called him “desperate”, “cold”, and “evil” for taking his fight all the way to the convention.

Go ahead and read the whole article, and then come back and think about it. If Barack Obama were facing John Edwards or Bill Richardson or Chris Dodd right now instead of Hillary Clinton, would any of these men be villified by the corporate media the way she is?

  19 comments for “Sexism… What Sexism?

  1. May 24, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Yes, they would be. John Edwards was blasted for staying in as long as he did and I was berated as a supporter of his by both sides, Obama and Clinton.

    There has been a great deal of sexism, I’m disappointed and there is no excuse, but people wanting her to bow out for the sake of the party are desperate and using everything they can, fair or not.

  2. May 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Now Hillary is a VICTIM? If that isn’t sexism, I don’t know what is.

  3. Northcountystorm
    May 24, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I agree with Heather. Clinton’s people(as opposed to Clinton) would be trying to get Obama to concede the nomination if the roles were reversed. Just like some of Obama’s people(but not Obama) have been trying to get Clinton out since Iowa. And if that happened CHris would be crying racism.

  4. Sharon Toji
    May 24, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Today I tried again to listen to KTalk. The first thing out of Johnny Wendel’s mouth was “Guess what! Hillary opened her big, fat, ugly yap . . .” I turned off the radio, again. When John McCain is criticized, I never hear words like that. Why doesn’t Hillary quit? I wouldn’t either! No one would make me back down by using that kind of ugly slur. I can’t believe that Democrats are doing that to a Democrat! How does that help the party? How does it convince Hillary’s supporters, particularly her women supporters, to go out and work for Obama. I can’t stand being around Obama supporters. People constantly email me cartoons and jokes about Hillary that they think are funny! Do they realize how offensive they are? Do they know how turned off I am? Thank god for Thom Hartmann, who is an Obama supporter, but appears to “get it.” His “ask Hillary first” campagin is what we need if we are going to heal the hurt that Obama supporters have heaped upon many of the hard-working older Democratic women of this country.

  5. May 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    And that is why I listen to Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow, I feel Randi Rhodes has gone to far in her support of Obama and her hatefulness towards Clinton is inexcusable.

  6. May 24, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Sharon,

    The primary is not over yet. And as the Clinton supporters are fond of claiming that Senator Obama will not have enough pledged delegates to win the nomination outright, there is no real reason for Obama, or his supporters, to unilaterally disarm until the nomination is settled. Once that happens then the outreach and healing can begin. At this point Senator Obama would be called presumptuous by Hillary supporters if he were to claim the nomination before he has it in the bag.

  7. May 25, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Sharon-

    Agreed. Thank you. That’s why I’m afraid these days of even turning KTLK on or clicking onto sites like TPM and Daily Kos. The level of hate directed toward Hillary Clinton and her supporters is terrible, and it does nothing to encourage Democrats to ultimately reunite to support the nominee.

    Chris-

    No one’s asking you and other Obama supporters to “unilaterally disarm”. We just wish Obama spporters can do more to promote their candidate instead of trash Hillary Clinton and all of us who support her. No matter which Democrat ultimately wins the nomination, he/she will need supporters of the other Democrat to win in November. There’s really no getting around that.

    Heather-

    Well, I’m glad Thom Hartmann finally “gets it”. As I just said to Chris, whichever Dem gets the nomination can’t win in November without support from the folks in the other Dem’s camp. Personally for me, that’s why I like the idea of Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama being on the same ticket. That may just be the only way left that Democrats will reunite for November.

  8. May 25, 2008 at 9:31 am

    that’s why I like the idea of Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama being on the same ticket.

    In most instances, having two rivals on the ticket could work well, but this year it’s the opposite due to the negatives of each candidate. Let’s face it: there are a decent number of Americans who will not vote for a woman or a black man. There are also a decent number who despise Hillary, and many who think Obama is a radical Muslim or some other nonsense.

    They both have pretty high negatives, and having the two of them on the same ticket will compound those negatives.

    The problem is that we Dems got so excited at the prospect of nominating the first woman or black man that we passed over the most electable candidate, John Edwards. And if we lose in November, that’s going to be the main reason.

  9. May 25, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Gila-

    I understand what you’re saying. I guess we won’t have the chance this year to see what would happen if John Edwards were the nominee. But still, I think many preconceived notions have already been crushed during this election season… So why not do something to ensure that all Democrats can happily support our ticket?

    After all, I remember one of those preconceived notions being that “Hillary can’t beat the GOP”. I guess no one would have ever imagined this…

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Clinton/Maps/May25.html

    Maybe some will say I sound naive for saying this, but whatever… I really think most Americans are done with the sexism AND the racism. That’s why I think we have a unique opportunity to excite so many new voters- young people, African-Americans, Latinos, women, blue-collar voters, LGBT people, etc.- with a Clinton-Obama or Obama-Clinton ticket. For all of us who’ve ever felt discriminated against and marginalized by greater society, this would be our ultimate “payback”. ;-)

  10. May 25, 2008 at 10:47 am

    So why not do something to ensure that all Democrats can happily support our ticket?

    And this is what bothers me. Democrats should “happily” support the ticket even if their candidate of choice is not on the ticket. I’m tired of the blackmail by Clinton supporters that imply if Clinton is not the VP choice they won’t support the nominee. It’s counterproductive to the main goal of beating McCain in November.

    If I were to follow this logic, I would support neither of the remaining contenders since my guy dropped out in late January but that is not the case. I dusted myself off and moved on. I know support Obama and if he weren’t on the ticket in any capacity, I would support the Democrat running, end of story.

  11. Dan Chmielewski
    May 25, 2008 at 11:05 am

    The argument for a Clinton/Obama ticket goes back to the LA debate before the California primary. An “OC” Ticket of Obama/Clinton would unite the party like never before. Even if he doesn’t want her on the ticket, just asking her to be on the ticket with him unites the party. Name one other VP candidate that would have the unifying affect Hillary Clinton has?

  12. May 25, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Dan-

    One can’t. End of story. That’s why we need these two Democrats to run on the same ticket this fall.

    Heather-

    No, this isn’t “blackmail”… This is a practical strategy for winning. Like it or not, many Hillary Clinton supporters are angry over the treatment they and their candidate have received by the media elite, Obama supporters, and sometimes even the Obama campaign. As much as I try to tell them how scary a McCain Presidency would be, they’re genuinely angry at how they’re being marginalized… And there’s a real chance that many “Hillary Clinton Democrats” won’t even vote.

    Now speaking practically, would it be smart for the Democratic Party to allow 1/2 the party to be so angry that some may not even vote? I understand why they don’t want to offend Obama supporters… But why has it been OK to dismiss Hillary supporters as “white trash”, “Archie Bunker types”, and “bitter & clinging”?

  13. May 25, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Sorry, that’s how I see it when supporters declare that the only way for Obama to win is to include Clinton on the ticket, it implies that her supporters are unwilling to support him otherwise. Clinton has been wise in saying that we should support the nominee.

    I’m not opposed to her being on the ticket but I also don’t like the idea of feeling threatened if she’s not.

    “Media elite”? Really. This is so tired Andrew. And if “Hillary Clinton Democrats” don’t vote, you can’t really call them Democrats, they are just something else but not Democrats.

  14. Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow
    May 25, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Heather,

    I agree. Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow are the only progressives really worth listening to on KTALK. I love Maddow in particular and have been following her career for years. Maddow hardly has time for the argument that attributes the calls for Clinton to bow-out to sexism. And she’s right. Such calls are the norm, not special in their application to Clinton or women. As for the rest of the sexism claims being made, some of them are true, clearly. It’s also true that when directly asked last week about whether there has been racism in the campaign Clinton said flatly “no.” That is nonsense. And it is the sound of the Democrats killing themselves for McCain. It really is over if Clinton can’t find a way to stop campaigning to delegitimate the process your party set up, look clearly at the obvious numeric facts, and make an exit.

  15. Northcountystorm
    May 27, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Heather—Did Andrew threaten to not support Obama if he gets the nomination and the Convention does not select Clinton as the VP? Other than an isolated person, where is the evidence that this is occurring?

    Your whole assertion of Clinton supporters “blackmail” is based on the implication of Clinton supporters who a) want her as the VP, and b) say that Obama can’t win without her. Huh? Try not to read into other people’s though process. Andrew has made it very clear th

  16. Northcountystorm
    May 27, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    OOPS, let me continue:

    Andrew has made it very clear he will support the nominee. He wants CLinton as the VP if Obama gets the top spot. He believes that Obama may not win without Clinton on the ticket. So Andrew does not count?

    Try this one” I’m supporting Clinton but she was not my first choice(that would be Bill Richardson). While I may change my mind, I’m not in the camp that want the convention to select her as the VP if she does not get the top spot. While I think she wins the general election against McCain(see the latest Gallup polls which give her over 300 electoral votes), and I think she would help the ticket with the kind of rank and file Democratic voters that aren’t part of the Obama coalition, I’m not sure it would be enough to help Obama. I’m not sure ANYONE on the ticket will be enough. The same Gallup polls show McCain close to winning an electoral college majority and Obama behind. So it helps, probably more than a few others who don’t have her negatives but don’t have 17 million people having voter for them this year either. But enough, I’m not sure.

    So I’m not blackmailing anyone. I’m not sure Obama can win in November regardless of who the convention selects as his running mate if he gets the nomination, Clinton included.

    But’s its all academic. Despite Obama making it clear that Clinton would be on “anybody’s short list” for VP, I can’t see Obama bucking Kos and the Kossacks whose hatred of Clinton is legendary. If you want to see people engaged in “blackmail” go look at some of the comments at that overheated site. Plenty of blackmail mentioned there if Obama were to select Clinton as the VP.

    I’m open to the idea of Clinton as the VP but would rather see her in the Senate, Governor of New York or on the Supreme Court. While there is precedent for VP’s to work well with POTUS even when they did not get along during the campaign, I suspect the model would be Nixon-Eisenhower or Kennedy-Johnson rather than Clinton-Gore or even Cheney-Bush(or is it Bush-Cheney?).

  17. May 27, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    NCS-

    Good points… But still, I must disagree somewhat with your fatalism. While I think Obama has some significant hurdles to overcome an Electoral College map that currently favors McCain over him, I don’t think it’s impossible for him to beat McCain in the fall. IF he succeeds at winning the nomination, he first needs to win over the blue-collar voters that aren’t into his still vague “change” message. And yes, I think this includes adding Hillary as his VP. But also, I think it includes him and the Democratic Party adopting Hillary’s practical progressive platform on domestic issues (health care, economy, climate/energy, education, etc.) as their own. Oh yes, and how about speaking to working class folks in a way that isn’t condescending? That would also do a world of help.

    And no, I don’t think Hillary will be invincible if she’s our nominee (as I still prefer, and I still think is more possible than some in this thread want to admit). That’s why I think Barack Obama would then be her best pick for VP. But not just that, she can also learn some helpful hints from his campaign on how to attract more younger voters. When we combine the strengths of Barack’s campaign with the strengths of Hillary’s campaign, I really do think we’ll have a much more complete general election campaign that actually has a good chance at winning this fall.

  18. Northcountystorm
    May 27, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Not fatalism—-I think he can win but I’m not sure if he will. It’s a 50-50 deal. Not impossible but at the present time not more likely than not. The audacity of skepticism.

  19. May 27, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Geez, NCS, now Barack is the slave of the evil Kos? i realize that site has been obnoxious to Hillary supporters, but that’s a real stretch…

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