More on Clinton and Sexism

Joe Gandelman has a must-read post on the Clinton sexism video. It’s fairly long, but I want to quote snips from it, because Joe makes a lot of excellent points (my bolds below):

Clinton goes after Obama…Obama goes after McCain…and some Clinton supporters point to a video showing the “Ugly Sexist Vilification Of Hillary Clinton.” On balance, it sounds as if Obama is the one keeping his eye o[n] the Democratic party’s main task: starting to focus some of the fire on McCain versus on other Democrats.

Exactly. You don’t see Obama coming out with videos quoting racist sentiments from white Americans, or showing horrific images of racial hatred, and blaming Sen. Clinton for not responding to each and every one of them or making speeches about them. For that matter, we haven’t seen Obama spending much time reviewing the subtle and not-so-subtle appeals to white racism that have come from the Clinton camp.

Agreeing with John Cole that it’s unfair to ask Sen. Obama to apologize for the sexist sentiments of others (like the jerks who held up an “Iron My Shirt” sign at a Clinton event), Joe continues:

Indeed, my reaction when I viewed it was the same as Cole’s: that there seems to be a bit more there than just anger due to bias showed against Clinton by some bozos who do not represent the vast number of Obama (or McCain, or Edwards, or Romney) supporters on the campaign trial. Warning to Democrats: Whether Clinton or Obama becomes the nominee, if he/she seems close to the nomination and either is pressured into making a mea culpa that is not totally deserved it will NOT help your party win the White House in 2008.

Joe also takes on the notion that opposition to Hillary Clinton’s take on delegate seating rules and the nomination process constitutes a dismissal of the “historic nature” of Clinton’s campaign:

Problem: Since when is a political party supposed to yield to the demands of a candidate to affirm that the nomination of an aspiring candidate who is a black or a woman or a Jew or a Latino or an Asian-American is historical?

Parties aren’t about affirming historical natures — just nominating candidates according to whatever rules they have in place at the time and then trying to win elections.

Joe links to a Boston Globe piece that says the Clintons’ history of antagonizing other Democrats is coming back to bite Sen. Clinton now that her nomination hopes are fading. And she’s not making it easier for them to let bygones be bygones:

For Clinton, holding one of the most famous names in Democratic politics has had both advantages and disadvantages as she has sought to persuade superdelegates to make her the nominee. Much of the Democratic establishment jumped to Clinton’s side early, rewarding her and her husband for years of friendship and shared political struggles, giving the New York senator a large lead in superdelegates at the beginning of the campaign.

But the reality of the Clintons’ relationship with fellow Democrats was always more complicated. As even some Clinton supporters concede, there are many superdelegates who have had issues with the Clintons. And now, when the New York senator most needs the loyalties of her Democratic colleagues, the checkered history of relations between the Clintons and Democratic officials is making the task tougher, say lawmakers and political analysts.

“The Clintons have a lot of enemies, even in the same Democratic establishment that embraced them,” said Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. “Now that it looks like she’s done . . . there’s not a lot of reason [for them] to stick their necks out for her.”

Joe again, for the last word:

Gender and race bias can and do play political roles. But no party is obligated to make a historical statement. Candidates are obligated to win by the rules of the nomination and election games. Sometimes they make mistakes and don’t pay a price…sometimes they do pay a price.

4 Responses to “More on Clinton and Sexism”

  1. tas says:

    You know, I don’t like God Hates Fags. I think I’m going to ask the Unitarian church down the street to answer for their actions, since anyone who believes in Jesus must apologize for groups like God Hates Fags. Right?

  2. DrGail says:

    Despite checking out most of the links, I couldn’t find a source for the video. Obviously, someone made it and the source really does make a difference.

    If it came from the Clinton campaign (or was blessed by the campaign in some way), then it is just another example of trying to force Obama to repudiate and/or apologize for all sorts of things that he is not — nor should he be — responsible for. In my book, those are Republican tactics, not something a candidate of the same party should be pulling.

    If the source of the video has nothing to do with the Clinton campaign, however, then it’s simply an example of some dolt trying to underscore Geraldine Ferraro’s claim that Obama has had it easy because he’s a black man running for the president; if he were a woman, he would really get to see some prejudice.

  3. Chief says:

    I could have, easily, voted for Sen. Clinton. I am generally inclined to see the willingness of women to collaborate when working on issues to be a positive, where as most men seem to think that working together is a weakness.

    I would like to be able to vote for Sen. Clinton. But, I think that Sen. Obama has better ideas on how to guide our nation. Where Sen Clinton would paper over differences, I see Sen Obama building bridges. Where I see Sen Clinton appointing Dem loyalists, I see Sen Obama appointing the best available including Republicans.

  4. Kathy says:

    If the source of the video has nothing to do with the Clinton campaign, however, then it’s simply an example of some dolt trying to underscore Geraldine Ferraro’s claim that Obama has had it easy because he’s a black man running for the president; if he were a woman, he would really get to see some prejudice.

    I agree that the source is important, but on the other hand, even if Clinton or her staff had nothing to do with the video, Clinton *supporters* are still using it to smear Obama and attack him for not apologizing for stuff he didn’t say or do. The potential damage is there regardless.

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