June 24, 2007

Hillary and power

Talking Points Memo points to a Media Matters story on Chris Matthews fanning the "uh oh, woman President" scare fest:
"As a follow-up to his question, Matthews said: 'But isn't that a challenge, because when it comes down to that final decision to vote for president, a woman president, a woman commander in chief, will be an historic decision for people. Not just men, but women as well.'"

Today we watched Stephanopolous and his crew and heard former Rumsfeld spinster Victoria Clarke (that is her, isn't it?) say essentially the same thing--that if America experienced a dramatic national security event, it would make them rethink the idea of a woman president.

Really? I am no fan of Hillary, but know of no one who says that she is soft or wilty. Hell, the right went out of their way as early as 1992 to say that she wasn't a "real woman." Hard to now say that she is too womanly to be President (whatever the hell that means).

The right is still unhinged on anyone other than a white male in charge, and many supposed progressives (I am sure that Matthews sees himself in that mode) are no better.


P M Prescott said...

Let's see. India had a women in charge and kicked Pakistan's butt, Israel had a woman in charge and kicked Egypt's, Syria's and Trans-Jordan's butt in six days. England had a woman in charge and had little difficulty with Argenina. It seems that since WWII the only decisive wars that were won were waged by women.

Tony said...

I've been reading where a lot of feminists no longer trust her; they see her as opportunistic and feel betrayed by her. Some are claiming that having a woman in the White House won't do anything for progressive feminism. There are many feminist groups who want to support a woman for president--just not Hillary.

Many Americans may be ready for a lady president but I think those same people are just not ready for Hillary. Jane Fonda even has said she is a patriarchal ventriloquist.

steve s said...

Surprisingly enough, I kind of like Hillary. Like Bill, she is an excellent speaker and can do a great job of getting her point across. She also has softened up a bit and seems more down to earth. I realize this is probably part of an effort to appeal to more voters, but I prefer her to Obama, and Rudy, for that matter.

A negative from Jane Fonda is a positive endorsement, in my view. If the election were held today and it was Hillary v. Rudy, I would vote for Hillary.

Streak said...

Tony, I don't doubt that, but think that just plays into what feminism really stands against--these gender stereotypes that end up limiting people. What the hell does "patriarchical ventriloquist" mean? Isn't that just another way of saying that when a woman acts tough, she isn't really a woman?

Like I said, the thing with Hillary is that she seems damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. Conservatives fear her because she is a woman, and accuse her of not being a woman. Seems like the argument about Obama not being black enough.

All that aside, I don't disagree that there is much to dislike about Hillary's approach to policy. She bugs me a lot, but I just wish people would address her as a person rather than some female stereotype.

Streak said...

Steve, interesting. I would not have pegged you for a Hillary fan. I understand about Jane Fonda, btw, but think she has been mischaracterized over the years as well.

As for Rudy, Fareed Zacharia said it best the other day--that Rudy's campaign is a one note band, scaring the hell out of people and then reminding them that on September 12, he may have done something good. But that is it.

steve s said...

I don't know if I would call myself a fan, but the more I listen to her, the more I like what she has to say. I feel the same about Edwards. I think his foreign policy ideas are great. On the other side, I still like Ron Paul, but he does such a poor job of explaining himself in a concise manner. If he has some time, he does better. Fred Thompson is interesting, but I will wait to hear more of his positions before I decide.

Streak said...

As far as I am concerned, all you need to know about Fred Thompson is that he can't support convicted felon Scooter Libby enough, and he continues to lie about the case. As Fitzgerald documented, Plame was in fact a covert agent, and there was a crime here--despite what Thompson continues to say.

Tony said...


I'm not trying to poke my finger in your eye here. I agree with you--respect her as a person. If you remember not too long ago I blogged on Giovanni Versace outright telling her that she would get more respect if she would wear dresses instead of pants suits. Whatever.

On the patriarchal ventriloquist, I thought that made my point, that she herself may be fueling some of this anti-Hillary hype.

Tony said...

I just came across this and I think it illustrates what we are talking about.

Janice Crouse, a senior fellow with the conservative Concerned Women for America, said Code Pink members "talk out of both sides of their mouths."

"They emphasize their femininity but advocate policies that are very aggressive and more often associated with men," she said.


Streak said...

Wow, great quote, Tony. I have never been a fan of CWA, and this is just one example. I would suggest that by their definition, they themselves are not very "feminine" but that might expect something approaching consistency from one of the LaHaye's.

Mary said...

There's only one reason I'd like Hillary to be elected, and that's to annoy many of the people that I find very annoying. Beyond that... meh, no thanks.

What I don't understand is why the media proclaims her as the democratic frontunner, while none of the democrats I know personally (and almost none of the ones I read online) are supporting her. Who are these people they're polling?

My reasons for being wary of her have nothing to do with her gender, or who she's married to -- I count those two things as big positives. The negative for me is the old cliche of "follow the money" -- I read just the other day (and now can't find) that the only senator who'd taken more money than Hillary from the pharmaceutical industries was Rick Santorum. That scares me. I'm not sure that she'd be working for me.

Streak said...

Mary, I think you put that about right. I have those same questions and would like to annoy the same people. :)