Tuesday, July 1, 2008

BITTERNESS WATCH

Just as I had surmised, the supposed uprising of bitter women, implacable in their anger at the Obama triumph over Hillary Clinton, is the product of sleazy Republican machinations. Of course, many feminists were justifiably angry at the misogyny directed toward candidate Clinton--and for good reason. But the idea that they would rush to the embrace of anti-feminist, sexist, and retrograde John McCain is yet another perverse example of MSM women-bashing (women are SO irrational and emotional that they would support sexist McCain) and lazy reporting. It took blogger Amanda Marcotte just a few minutes to do what major newspapers and the broadcast news--too credulous and too feckless--could not do. She unearthed the Republican roots of the supposed feminist avengers of Hillary. But this is just the beginning. It's just a matter of time before we hear from "civil rights" leaders for McCain...and so on. Let the swift-boating and ratfucking begin.

8 comments:

Ann said...

Thanks for the link. However, Amanda's research isn't all that conclusive. So what if PUMA PAC founder Murphy wrote a check to McCain 8 years ago? I myself switched my registration to R and voted for McCain in the Ohio primary in 2000. (I didn't like McCain--but many of us in Ohio that winter thought we might be able to stop Bush by backing McCain in the primary. Wishful thinking!)

I won't venture to guess how many authentic or phony PUMAs there are, but I can say that there are large swaths of Clinton supporters who want Obama to speak to them and address their concerns. He's the presumptive nominee--he should spend some time mending fences and shoring up his base for the fight, just like every other survivor of a tough primary has done before him.

Historiann.com

Tom S said...

Thanks for the comment, Ann. Were I one of Obama's advisors, I would have encouraged him to take on the issue of sexism in the MSM and in the blogosphere during the primaries. As for Darragh Murphy: if I lived in MA, I would head to the Carlisle town hall and examine the voter registration records. (Unfortunately, MA voter records are maintained by town clerks--and not, to the best of my knowledge, digitized). I have misgivings about crossing over to support the other party, but making a $500 contribution to McCain is substantial. In MA in 2000, McCain was a shoo-in in the GOP primary because of his purported "maverick" status. He beat W. by a 2-1 margin in MA. In any case, whether PUMA is the creature of GOP tricksters or not (and given the Republican Party's long history of ratfucking the GOP provenance is likely), PUMA's goal--a McCain victory--would be devastating for the feminist cause.

As a feminist, for me the bottom line is the position that Obama takes on women's issues. His post-primary statements on women's issues are every bit as strong as those that came from the Clinton camp and, although Obama has tacked to the right on many issues, he has held firm on equal pay, anti-gender discrimination, reproductive rights, Title IX, and paid family leave. Even if he doesn't use the bully pulpit to denounce the legion of misogynists in the press and public--in the Democratic as well (and especially) in the Republican camp--his commitment to the equality of the sexes is unflagging. And that really matters.

Hesperis said...

I'm not an American so it's impossible for me to say what I'd do if I was. I'm happy that I have the choice of a third party in Canada, though even the NDP doesn't do what I'd like them to do, even on those rare occasions when they achieve governing power. I just can't help but think that women in America AND lefties in America will never come close to seeing their views represented in the White House until they abandon the Democrats who can be counted on to abandon THEM.
I don't really blame the Democrats. As everyone says, "it's politics". But a third party could move the conversation somewhere left of centre. Without that, I don't see how it can ever happen.
And running an Independent or Third Party candidate is always a risk because of the incredible fear of vote-splitting. Americans have become ever more fearful in that regard since 2000 and the supposed responsibility of Ralph Nader for giving the election to Bush. Frankly, I've never bought that.
All I can say is, the time will never be right. And the time has never been better. Especially for the poor and working poor, especially for African Americans. And especially for women, who are understandably pissed off, I think.
As is likely obvious, I wouldn't have supported either Clinton or Obama. But I certainly was impressed by the sexism of the campaign against Sen Clinton and by the end, I bet I would have supported her. And I sure wouldn't support Obama now, though I couldn't vote for McCain either.
I wouldn't quite count the PUMAS out and, while I don't always or even mostly agree with them, I sure as hell understand them. For how long are they supposed to take the boot to the gut and then quietly do what the party wants them to do? When will be the right time for them to express their unwillingness to toe the line while at the same time enduring profound disrespect?
Political parties live and die by constituencies like the PUMAS. It's awfully late in the game, but I suggest it would be a good idea for someone to pay attention, or stop complaining when they feel the kick in the gut themselves.

hysperia
http://alterwords.wordpress.com

Ann said...

Tom--I probably should have been clearer when I wrote that "should spend some time mending fences and shoring up his base for the fight." I didn't mean with feminist women. Although that would be nice we're probably never going to be a huge constituency in swing states. I meant with voters in PA, OH, MI--you know, the rust belt? (My home region, actually.) It's working-class voters in those states who will either grant him or deny him the presidency. He needs to talk turkey with them. He could save a lot of jet fuel and gasoline this summer if he spent it driving back and forth on the Ohio and Pennsylvania turnpikes, and up and down I-75, talking to the folks on those two main interstates and building up his support there.

As for "his commitment to the equality of the sexes," I'm skeptical, but I care more about his policies. He seems like most male politicians, in that he's probably a patronizing jerk ("sweetie") to most people, but I'm not voting him for Best Friend or Husband.

Historiann.com

Tom S said...

Thanks for the comments Hesperis and Ann. H: I'd love a third party in the US, but our history is littered with the ruins of such efforts, alas. The next best--as was the case in the New Deal and early/mid 60s--is pressure from the left. During the 90s, the left was so disorganized and liberals were so desperate to cling onto the White House that they didn't do enough to pull Clinton leftward. And the Democratic strategy of the time was to govern to the middle-right, with hopes of winning disaffected "Reagan Democrats" back into the fold. I'm worried that the left is still too weak and disorganized today, but we have to try. Ann--thanks for the clarification. I'm totally with you on the need for Obama to focus on the heartland. Ohio and Michigan were screwed during the primaries--and now with the virtual collapse of the auto industry, they're even worse off. The "sweetie" thing got under my skin too (I mean really--"sweetie"? Like Obama, I came up in a sexist world--my dad still calls women of all ages "hon" or "honey"--but something like sweetie and other diminutive phrases for women aren't even in my vocabulary.) But while I fret greatly about Obama, check out his women’s issues page. It's quite promising.

Hesperis said...

I fell out the bed just after I was born and hit my head. Ever since then I've been a person who tends to look with what's wrong with things as much as what's right. So forgive me, BUT:
Just focussing on one of Obama's issues on the women's page, he talks about "gender violence" against women in Sudan and mentions a small amount of money that he helped secure - $20 mil -for the African Union peace keeping mission. The UN agency that provides services to women who have been victimized by sexual violence used as a war tactic in Darfur and DRC is the UN Population Fund. Over the last seven years, the US has cut its support of the fund by $300,000. with the latest installment axed on June 27.
What I see is that most people, women, will read his women's issue page and think he's done something. Because no politican running for President is going to say what he HASN'T done.
I like your blog very much better than I like Barack's "women's issues" page. lol

Hesperis said...

That's $300 mil by the way, in case that wasn't clear.

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