Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

In spite of the fact that sexism has been such a prominent dynamic in this campaign, the thrust of much mainstream public conversation is that Obama should pick a Republican or conservative Democrat to balance the ticket. Even when we're talking about Democrats, that almost always means someone willing to occasionally defenestrate women's rights or health. I don't want to get started on what a slap the anti-choice Chuck Hagel (R-NE) would be, but Jim Webb wouldn't be much better.

And while all and sundry Obama supporters bask in the joy of his ascendant, dudely vibe, it's becoming readily apparent that feelings are raw beyond all civility, even if people are probably going to unify. The Democratic Party is very popular right now, yet while the nomination might be in the bag, the general election isn't, and Democrats should have learned about the consequences of giving the finger to large constituencies during the NAFTA fight. Remember, the clusterfrak that took the wind out of the sails of the other Clinton's presidency?

Any discussion about the selection of the vice presidency can't be held in a vacuum as if the primary hadn't happened, infighting and all. Some caveats, though ... There are a lot of legitimate reasons a person might have had to support someone besides Hillary Clinton for the nomination. They were both good candidates, there's no cause to make assumptions without evidence about why anyone in particular supported one of them.

The only major demographic group still supporting Clinton to the tune of 51% or more is women aged 50 and older. This group's preferences have changed little during May, at the same time that Clinton's support among younger men (those 18 to 49) has declined by nearly 10 points. - Gallup

... Pundits debated whether Clinton's tears were "real" or "manufactured" -- that is, whether she was some weak sob sister who couldn't hack the rough-and-tumble of a man's world, or just a power-grabbing witch who would do anything to hang on to her broomstick.

A few, such as San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci, offered more cogent appraisals. She pointed out that female voters didn't seem to be responding to Clinton's tears so much as to their outrage at men's reactions to those tears (in particular, men in the media). ... - Susan Faludi

Maybe you hated the loathesome Mark Penn, a sentiment shared even by many HRC supporters that include me and, by reports, quite a few of her campaign staff. Maybe you just couldn't get over her war vote, and I understand that, it was sort of a big deal. I'm not going to talk about those reasons here.

... Hence the appalling preponderance of violent, death-infused imagery in conversations about Clinton, smuggled into otherwise ordinary political discourse like a knife taped on the bottom of a cake plate: On CNN, pundit Alex Castellanos said democrats must realize that "it's time to take the family dog to the vet." Matthews' MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann expressed the hope that "somebody will take her into a room--and only he comes out." CNN's Jack Cafferty gleefully floated the specter of Clinton being run over by a flatbed truck. A recent Tribune editorial compared Clinton to a euthanized Kentucky Derby contender. ... - Julia Keller (via)

It could be that you decided not to support her because you felt that her campaign and surrogates descended into racist tactics that, whatever the potentialintent of various parties might have been, caused people a lot of pain. It's not my purpose to address that here, either, and I doubt I'm the most qualified person to do so. I want to discuss the sexism that's been brought to light in this campaign, within the media, within the Democratic Party, and not to put those two dynamics in a face off. As if the horror of the one could change the vileness of the other. Or as if, just because women sometimes join in the misogynist fun, that can make it all right.

... She is, according to author Andrew Sullivan, akin to the zombies in the film "28 Days Later" (2002), as well as that knife-wielding harpy in "Fatal Attraction"--the one with the relentless, rapacious, inhuman will: "It's alive!" Sullivan wrote, adding, "Whoosh--She's back at your throat." The comparison between the Close character and Clinton also seemed apt to U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who wrote, "Glenn Close should've stayed in that bathtub." Translation: Death. Comedian Chris Rock loves the "Fatal Attraction" link as well. Ditto for blogger Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley in the TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation," who dubbed Clinton "the psycho ex-girlfriend of the Democratic party." ... - Julia Keller

Full Firing? Or Just Gelded? ... Is Penn really out? Completely, positively out? ... - Josh Marshall

Racism and sexism are not like matter and antimatter. They do not cancel each other out (via). Oppressions, by that way of looking at them, invert and then turn into some weird sort of privilege over others, which is ridiculous; observe that lesbians of color do not run the world. Instead, Black women get whipsawed about whether they're gender traitors or race traitors when these dynamics come into conflict, like they need that crap.

Often, when people bring bigotries up together, they do it as if to say, 'here, so-and-so is suffering too, so be quiet.' That's both unhelpful and inappropriate. Can we skip that part, here, and talk about some things that need to be considered when picking a vice presidential candidate?

Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life.

S. 3 As Amended; Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. Those who performed this procedure would then face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable. This bill would make the exception for cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. - Evan Bayh's abortion issues record.

See here, here and here for what it meant to vote yes on that ban without a health exception.

As a kid, did it ever make you feel better about eating your Brussel sprouts that there were kids going hungry in [insert impoverished region here]? No? Me neither. Acting as though one oppression obviates another is sort of like that, but about a million times more of a non sequitur.

... Just a few years ago, Webb described America's elites in terms that might be familiar to the fans of Fox News. Liberals were "cultural Marxists," and "the upper crust of academia and the pampered salons of Hollywood" were a fifth column waging war on American traditions. ... - Excerpted from a Rolling Stone article about Sen. Jim Webb, 2007.

... This is the only country in the world where women are being pushed toward the battlefield. The United States also has one of the most alarming rates of male-to-female violence in the world: Rapes increased 230 percent from 1967 to 1977 and the much-publicized wife-beating problem cuts across socioeconomic lines.

These are not separate issues, either politically or philosophically. They are visible peaks in what has become a vast bog. They are telling us something about the price we are paying, in folly on the one hand and in tragedy on the other, for the realignment of sexual roles.

... There is a place for women in our military, but not in combat. And their presence at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation. By attempting to sexually sterilize the Naval Academy environment in the name of equality, this country has sterilized the whole process of combat leadership training, and our military forces are doomed to suffer the consequences. ... - Jim Webb: Women Can't Fight, 1979, emphasis mine

Consider, for example, that there's nothing that's going to make me feel better about the fact that when I inevitably become old, I will become to a lot of people nothing more nor less than a fat, ugly, white bitch who needs to get my arse out of the way. Because about the worst thing a woman can be is unsightly (via). Nothing would make that better besides living in a society in which it becomes untrue.

For women, if we're not pleasing, it often follows that we're useless. That's why strange men so often tell us to smile. They're just reminding us that our purpose in life is to visually delight them, that we need to be happy, friendly and ready with our laughter, but not our cackling, because no one likes being around those humorless feminists. Aww thanks for the heads up, sweetie, you shouldn't have. Really.

He said he'd do anything for her, anything. 'Will you tell me the secret of your strength, my love?' Then he told her, because he loved her. So Delilah did steal shears into his bedchamber, cut his long hair, and deliver him into the hands of his enemies to be tortured.

Some Obama supporters also seem to want to believe that there hasn't been much sexism in this campaign. Or that if there was, it didn't really affect anything. Or if it did, stop crying about it, I'm sick of listening to you whine; god, you're worse than a child. Maybe they want to think that Obama won this 'fair and square', or whatever. That he wasn't helped by being a man competing with a woman in a sexist society. It must raise disturbing questions about whether or not you, if you're a guy, benefit from it, too. And men do. Even if they don't seek any such benefits. Even if they're feminists. Sorry to break it to you.

If you can't face that discomfort, you can't be part of the solution to the problem. If that discomfort prevents you from hearing women point out cases of sexism that you, or people you support, have benefitted from, if you turn every such discussion into how you never meant to do anything wrong, you are part of the problem.

It's not like you'd ought to mope about it though, either. What good's that going to do, besides make you sound like a jerk? And don't get started by asking me how to fix it. First, listen.

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" - Matthew 11:15

And why won't you calm down, anyway, what are you so angry about? Christ. You never listen. I heard you the first time, and the third; you just don't know what you're talking about, so shut up. You're such a bitch sometimes.

I was at a meeting in [major city] today and bumped into a fellow female [low-level state party official]. She could barely get out how much she hated him ... she was so angry ... she's a Dem and eventually she will vote for him ... fortunately [state] is so blue it won't matter how angry woman are. ... oh I forgot to mention she's gay and they are furious as well ... But those guys just totally underestimate the female anger out there ... [There's a] difference between hardcore Dem[ocratic women] and the other kind: indies, republicans and women who will only go to the polls for her.

- Private email from an anonymous low-level state party official to me.

he only hit me a couple times. but the yelling, the insults, the fights he would start at all hours, the vicious phone calls while i was at work ... it all got to be too much. when he found me that day sitting in the closet with his gun in my mouth, trying to talk myself out of my cowardice and praying to distant gods through my tears, (just pull it, just do it, it can all be over today) i don't know whether i was more angry, sad or relieved to have been stopped. 'the safety's on,' he said. god. i'm every bit as pathetic and useless as he always says. i love him, i hate him, i hate myself for not leaving. i've never had a 'real' job, where would i go? sometimes i take my anger out on the cats. sometimes i barely talk for days. please, please, make it stop.

Hillary is "petulant, arrogant, whiny... a spoiled brat." She's "insane," worthy of hate. She's childish. A desperate, spurned lover. And, as ever, shrill... shrill... shrill... shrill. And, oh yeah, cold. (Brrrrr!) She doesn't have a heart, and she's jealous and vindictive (over, uh, boys?)  Any woman who votes for her is voting with her vagina, not her brain. When she "periodically... is feeling down" she goes on the attack! She's ruthless.She has claws! But dude, there's nothing sexist about saying that! Especially according to the guys. And, you know, she really ought to just be beaten... to death. I mean, c'mon--don't you just want to punch her in the face? After all, she's ambitious, dominant, and controlling. She's carping, and a liar, and frigid, and when she smiles it's fake. She's controlling and humorless. Watch out--she'll bite you! And watch out for her supporters, too--those ladies, when they don't get what they want, they tend to go a little crazy! They may even cut your balls off. Ooh, but she has balls of her own--three of them! Arianna Huffington agrees with Maureen Dowd: Hillary's just a little wittle girl. - Erica Barnett ("claws" link altered from original posting, where it was broken)

Man in -Bros Before Hoes- tshirt. Obama rally, Philadelphia, 4/18/08 - by Natasha ChartWe're a liberated society, better than all those brown nations. But if a woman is walking alone at night, or out alone with a group of male friends, and 'something' happens to her, she deserved it. Especially if she wasn't wearing enough, then she was asking for it, even if she said no. Why wasn't she taking any precautions? And so what if she said no. You can never trust the word of a woman, anyway; they never say what they mean, such liars. Such monsters. Such whores. Oh wait, it's the 21st century ... I meant to say 'hoes'.

... [O]verall women were more likely to be abused by an intimate partner than men, particularly for the more severe kinds of violence. For example, women were seven times as likely to have been threatened with a gun; 14 times as likely to report having been "beat up" by a partner; and twenty-six times as likely to have been raped. ... - Ampersand, 2004

... Homicide is the fourth leading cause of death among all American women of childbearing age; and one-third of all female murder victims each year are killed by an intimate partner. As pioneering medical researchers reexamine death reports of murdered women, looking for signs that the victim was pregnant, they are concluding that often, the killer of a pregnant woman is the partner or spouse of the mother-to-be. ... - Mary Papenfuss, Salon, 2003

... Nationally, homicide is a leading killer of young women--pregnant or not. In 1999, homicide was the second-leading cause of death among women ages 20 to 24. It was fifth among women ages 25-34. Accidents are the top cause of death in both age groups.

The Maryland study reinforced at least two earlier studies that found homicide to be the top killer of pregnant women.

... Police records show that homicidal violence cuts across all races and classes.

"There is no profile of what these men look like," Sharps said. "Many are educated, upstanding citizens." - Kim Curtis, AP, 2003

Well, what do we do now? Hmmm. Good question.

I always hate it when people assume that I'm telepathic, so I almost (via) want to help the confused on this one out of reciprocal empathy. But also, I can't sit on your shoulder all the time. Consider the discomfort; I dislike heights and prefer latitude to pace. This could leave us at an impasse.

Though I can tell you, once again, that this is much bigger than the Democratic nomination. That's been decided. Now everyone wants to know how to heal the party and what I'm saying is that it isn't going to happen if the same disregard for women's issues prevails in the vice presidential candidate selection process as it has done in the tenor of commentary coming from the media, and sadly, too many Democratic Obama supporters.

... Linda Hirshman to Andrew Golis of TPM Café: "So why did I not make the cut? Is writing for the times and the Post not good enough for TPM?"

Andrew: "It's not a matter of prestigious clippings, Linda. We're trying to both keep long-standing contributers [sic] around and flesh out the discussion by involving people who are covering things we're not yet addressing."

Linda: "And do you have a lot of contributors covering the female voters, who are likely to determine the outcome of the election of the President of the United States? I am assuming it's not that you don't want anyone who's not already in the tank for Obama. I am serious, here, Andrew. I think this is a real mistake; I have a point of view you don't have much of, I am getting increasingly prestigious opportunities to write and opine, and this is the moment you should capitalize on your relationship with me, not drop me."

Andrew: "I'm not sure the accusation of bias is particularly helpful. For now, like I said, we're focusing on getting our long-standing regulars and folks covering things we don't on the blog. I recognize that you think female voters should be one of those things, we disagree."

Take health care. Puberty usually signals for guys in this country the advent of some 30+ years of relatively good health, while it gives women the need for yearly medical exams and the potential for some very expensive and potentially dangerous medical conditions. STDs that might not even cause symptoms for a man can give women cancer or render us sterile. Women still do the bulk of both child and elder care, which means regular contact with two other subsets of the population that have even more routine health problems. And women still make less money, and are less likely to have health insurance, in a system where health care has become prohibitively expensive.

Getting a VP pick who's bad on this issue just isn't going to go over well. Obama has essentially got the version of the Democratic standard health care plan that runs its appeal on allowing young dudely types to bail out of the whole thing, and you know, any woman who makes it to a certain age has heard that story a few too many times.

... But the real objection is probably more deep-seated: homosexuality is threatening because it seems to challenge the conventional rules governing a person's sex, their sexual preferences and the general female and male roles in society.

... As Freud understood, most societies are based on relationships between men - most powerful institutions like parliaments or business corporations are male-dominated. And this 'male-bonding' demands a certain degree of sexual sublimation.

... In many societies the links between men are much stronger than the relations which link them to women. But these bonds are social rather than individual, and for this reason need to be restricted. ... Thus the most extreme homophobia is often found among tightly-knit groups of men, who need both to deny any sexual component to their bonding and who can increase their solidarity by turning violently on 'fags' or 'queers' who are defined as completely alien.

... Those societies which are best able to accept homosexuals are also societies which are able to accept assertive women and gentle men, and they tend to be less prone to the violence produced by hypermasculinity. - Dennis Altman

It doesn't escape women's notice that the worst thing you can call a man in most circumstances is a word that implies he's a woman. Or that he's spent too much time around a strong woman and has become castrated by contagion.

No one can possibly have missed that this mocking feminization, based on exaggerated and demeaning stereotypes of women's standard gender roles, is the most common way to smear gay men. Sissy. Mary. Sweetheart. That it's a form of social enforcement that sometimes (or often) prevents straight men from being comfortable expressing emotion, being helpful to their partners, being close to their families, or simply expressing disinterest in stereotypically male activities that they just don't care for.

Lesbians are held up as almost ungendered bogeymen, monstrously masculinized beings that straight women have to fear being mistaken for. Because in a patriarchal authoritarian [1] system, strength is inherently male and women who have it end up dancing on a knife's edge of having to perform enough femininity to try and escape mockery.

While it might take a professor to highlight it authoritatively, most women know it. Know that the authoritarian wellspring of homophobia is the same thing that poisons gender relations.

Getting a VP candidate that's poor on LGBT issues, another of the easy ways for a Democrat to garner 'conservative' or 'moderate' credentials, bad plan. Do we need to have the McClurkin conversation again? Good. Because I don't want to have any of those conversations over. Not ever.

There are other issues that it would be relevant to bring up, but I expect that I don't need to spell them all out from this point.

Anyway, please stop worrying so very much about winning Appalachia, which someone like Webb won't necessarily help anyway (via). Start worrying about keeping the base of the Democratic Party intact. There isn't any non-White-dude sector of the party coalition that isn't sick to the damn teeth of the 'where else are you going to go' schtick, so how about we actually do try something different this time around and spend less time pissing in each other's corn flakes? The unity candidate won, after all, that shouldn't in theory be so radical a proposal.

This year, many female voters have just had it, really had it.  

And then when we bring this up, a common response is 'stop acting like a victim.' I realize that being a victim is a terrible insult in patriarchal cosmology, and no dude ever wants to admit to it, nor any woman aspiring to dudely approval. (Especially not the women, because making dudes feel bad when they've been sexist is totally unappealing in a chick.) Being a victim isn't about having someone do something wrong to you, it's admitting that someone bested you in a contest of strength, punked you, p0wned you, and that makes you, like, a woman.

Ahem.

So don't even go there. But hey, let's talk vice presidents.

-------------------

Adapted from previousessays

[1] - And by patriarchal authoritarianism, I mean a system of power-seeking based on strongly hierarchical social and gender [2] relationships, self-denial [3], complicated codes of personal behavior that keep people focused on personal instead of public morality and sharply restrict/pathologize sexuality, particularly that of women, that idolize and idealize power as something to be held by someone who embodies a stern and unyielding archetype of male dominance.

As Robert Heinlein (he had some funny ideas, but also, a lot of keen insight) said in "Revolt in 2100":

Take sex away from people. Make it forbidden, evil. Limit it to ritualistic breeding. Force it to back up into suppressed sadism. Then hand the people a scapegoat to hate. Let them kill a scapegoat occasionally for cathartic release. The mechanism is ages old. Tyrants used it centuries before the word 'psychology' was ever invented. It works, too.

Though there also seem to be a lot of people who are comforted by membership in authoritarian structures (which might not say anything essentialist about their personalities, they might even be non-ideological types plugging in for the sake of gaining power in a climb to the top of some bodies,) and seem to enjoy insisting that everyone else join up, and I think they can fairly be called carriers. Whether they believe or not is almost irrelevant to their function as enforcers or recruiters.

[2] I'd argue that authoritarianism holds women (and people impressed by popular sentiment with feminine traits, which may include entire races or nations) to be its first icon of a category of adult that, child-like, can't manage their own affairs, be trusted to be rational, or allowed any position of power from which they could seek retribution for their treatment.

This last is at the heart of authoritarian cruelty, because the enforcer knows simultaneously at some level that a) if they were treated similarly they'd become vindictive, b) continuing physical/psychic brutality will break the target's spirit so that they're less likely to come to be in such a position of power and must be c) used as a twisted justification for keeping the (add target)s down because they'd just act out 'irrationally', ie, exactly as the offender is acting. But maybe worse.

A sexist society is by definition authoritarian, though degrees of repression can vary significantly from manifestation to manifestation. Authoritarianism requires, as a foundation stone, distrust between men and women and stunted, crippled sexual love impulses whose full energies can then be harnessed for other ends. You can see its full flower in religious fundamentalism (h/t Mary @ PacificViews) of just about every kind, as religion is the usual enforcement mechanism. Though it is not an essentially religious philosophy; in describing the masses as feminine, this is exactly what was meant by the ultimate authoritarian, Hitler.

Misogyny is the usual first step towards creating people who can look at another human being and see an animal or a thing instead of a person.

[3] You saw "Dead Poets' Society", right? Consider that Neil's father was the ultimate authoritarian 'hard worker,' and all he was trying to do for his son was to teach him a particular type of work: self denial. Self negation, really.

The person is never to be themselves, they are to be a role. This is properly considered to be work [4], because no matter the position achieved thereby, it is forever difficult, brutal, dirty and unpleasant.

The true sin of the Dirty eFfing Hippie is that they are attempting to be happy, instead of diligently working to be a machine part. No one incapable of doing this unstated, and transcendently moral (in the authoritarian system of morality,) work of a true 'adult' will be given respect in an authoritarian environment.

[4] Specifically, it's mainly male work. Self negation involves a lot of negation of humanity, the senses of empathy and connection to others are expressly to be sacrificed, put to fire and the sword. This is painful.

As has been noted by others, women do less of this type of work because the separation of the female and male spheres of influence (private vs. public) is done to preserve a space in society where empathy and connection can be expressed such that people don't completely lose their shit, what with all the emotional repression.

... If the fathers of capitalist theory (Hobbes, Smith, Locke) had chosen a mother instead of a single bourgeois male as the smallest economic unit for their theoretical constructions they would not have been able to formulate the axiom of the selfish nature of human beings the way they did. They would have realized that human beings can be both selfish and altruistic, both aggressive and caring. They would have seen that human life is not just 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short' and that the law of history is not only the 'war ... of every man against every man (Hobbes); they would have been able to observe that people cooperate with each other, live in communities, can be peaceful and merciful and, in spite of hardships, enjoy and celebrate life.

Lieselotte Steinbrügge has shown that the Enlightenment philosophers of the eighteenth century were clearly aware of the difficulty the capitalist philosophy of the self-interested, competitive, rationally calculating, individualistic homo oeconomicus would create for society. What would happen, they asked, to mercy, peace, love, generosity etcetera?

They solved this difficulty by separating the public from the private spere and creating two different kinds of ethics, one for the private, the other for the public sphere. The responsibility for 'private' values was then relegated to women, while men could pursue their 'war of all against all' in the public sphere of politics, militarism and economics (Steinbrügge 1987).

The anthropology of the lonely, egotistic, male human warrior fits well into the cosmology based on a concept of nature as principally poor, stingy, with permanently scarce resources. As Carolyn Merchant has plausibly demonstrated, before the Renaissance nature was conceptualized as generous Mother Nature, a female organism with inexhaustible wealth and resources (Merchant 1980). But the theoreticians of capitalist patriarchy, above all Bacon, turned her into a stingy witch from whom 'rational man' has to extract her treasures by coercion and torture. ...

- From "The Subsistence Perspective", by Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen & Maria Mies, 1988

Women are the safety valve for an emotionally crippled society, but ... it means they explicitly don't do the work of self negation -- so just like rebellious children, people of allegedly lesser classes or races, etc., they don't do the full work of adults and are by definition incapable of self-governance. Not least because, see above, the 'natural' vindictive tendencies of someone targeted for repressive abuse would in theory not be tempered by any kind of self-restraint, making them doubly unfit for holding power over others.

Tags: 2008 presidential, Barack Obama, Evan Bayh, female voters, feminism, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, sexism (all tags)

Comments

169 Comments

Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

My god couldn't you have written something a little more manageable.

I don't deny the excellent work you have done but geesh Natasha !!

Get to the point lol

by lori 2008-06-02 03:27PM | 0 recs
TL;DR

My top two realistic picks are Sebelius or McCaskill. Whoever it is, I'm guessing it'll be someone who came out for Obama before May.

by Firewall 2008-06-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: TL;DR

those are 2 unrealistic picks.

by lori 2008-06-02 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: TL;DR

You're welcome to your opinion. I think either's pretty likely.

by Firewall 2008-06-02 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: TL;DR

Why unreaslistic?  Sebelius is pretty damn realistic, unless you think that Hillary HAS to be his choice.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-06-02 03:44PM | 0 recs
Not McCaskill.

Less than two years a senator.  Plenty of baggage from Missouri.  Being state auditor does not prepare one for the presidency. No experience and too conservative.  

by TomP 2008-06-02 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Not McCaskill.

Don't forget the most important reason, we don't exactly have a huge majority in the senate and there just isn't a good reason to take a senator from a state where it's not a sure thing to replace them with a democrat in the next election.  That also disqualifies Jim Webb and Evan Byah in my opinion.

by fangthang 2008-06-03 12:05AM | 0 recs
Sebelius/McCaskill

any woman out there is going to be a slap to the face of her supporters if the VP slot hasn't been offered and declined by Clinton first.  It will stink of tokenism.  And we are also more than a little sensitive to "anyone but Hilary, no matter how smart and qualified she is."  

There a strong argument that Clinton helps that ticket and several kind of strong arguments that she hurts it. In my mind the fight to keep her off the ticket by some Obama supporters is looking pathological, like some sort of Hilary Complex or something.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-06-03 02:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Webb would likely not take a VP spot under Obama.  Webb is a patriot.

Instead of people like Reverend Wright, Obama should have taken his inspiration from this man --

His father died when he was a boy.  To survive, he did various jobs on the streets of New York to feed his family. A Jew who married a practicing Catholic, he and his wife found themselves snubbed - she was disinherited.  He celebrated Christmas in his mixed marriage but this day was always sad for him --   his namesake son died in infancy on Christmas Day.  Thoroughly patriotic, he made his living creatively, and wrote a few things you may have heard of: Easter Parade, White Christmas, and God Bless America.  

Yeah, maybe this is the guy Obama should have gone to for inspiration.

By the way, your analysis of Webb is cursory and vapid.  I campaigned for Webb in Virginia and gave him $500.  You should not speak unless you know the facts.

by katmandu1 2008-06-02 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Most people under 50 may like Irving Berlin, but....what the heck are you talking about???

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

By the way, this is only my second time saying it, but I'm really beginning to like it --

Is this snark?

Seriously/

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I've given money to Webb too.  So what?  While I think he's an okay choice, I also can understand there are reasons by Natasha is against it.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-06-02 03:46PM | 0 recs
Not intended to be comprehensive

My premise is that a VP candidate should be someone who doesn't have a record that will sit badly with voters alienated by sexist themes in the primary season. I don't feel a need to analyze Webb beyond that for my purposes here. He's fine enough in the Senate, why not have him stay?

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Not intended to be comprehensive

I'm an Obama guy and I appreciate the post, given the topic you were limiting it to.  I wasn't aware of a number of his positions in this regard.  Thank you.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-02 04:30PM | 0 recs
To those who doubted

To those who doubted when I stated that the admins here approve of the "Inadequate black male" video, please note that a diary citing it has now been promoted to the front page.

by libertyleft 2008-06-02 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: To those who doubted

The admins are fine with bigotry as long as it's not quite as blatant as the No Quarter / H44 variety.

by Firewall 2008-06-02 03:33PM | 0 recs
What are you talking about?

I in no way approve of that comment, and if you read what was said in the post I linked to as a citation, the author was making the point that people are angry to the degree that they'd say awful things like that when they know they're being videotaped.

Am I not allowed to talk about something without someone assuming an endorsement of it? Did you read any of the other links to people's posts about the racial aspects of this race further down?

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you talking about?

To clarify and expand, I think that at the start of this campaign, it would have been pretty well understood that a comment like that is unacceptable. Even people who were prone to thinking like that would have been inclined to check themselves in public, but even that level of hypocritical social conformity is out the window when people are seen acting out like that.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you talking about?

This subject is a raw one.  Your use of the video is for a completely different purpose -- and I certainly didn't see an endorsement.  The problem is that the video has been used twice to inflame controversy and was endorsed, along with another fake video (the bruise lady) to somehow link those sentiments with Clinton supporters.

Not in your case, but I found the other two postings a complete insult to Senator Clinton who would have been appalled by such an attribution to her campaign.  There's a difference between instruction -- as demonstrated herein, and ugliness.

by gchaucer2 2008-06-02 03:51PM | 0 recs
This isn't an argument for or from her campaign

Her supporters are incredibly angry and their votes are important. You can't make that not true by disliking that people are angry.

It's awful that it's gotten to the point where people are acting this way, which as you note, isn't a way that Clinton's campaign would endorse and not representative of her supporters. It's like the man said, I can't believe it's gone this far and gotten this bad.

I can't tell you how horrified I am to have watched the way various people have acted, threatened, given excuse to things they'd have previously deplored, attacked each other, what have you. A statement like that woman made is godawful, but ... these are all Democrats we're talking about. These are all the activists we need to work towards a general election victory, all votes we're going to need in order to defeat the most popular Republican in decades.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 05:14PM | 0 recs
Thank you.

I have been an Obama supporter since Dodd dropped out.  While I have certainly expressed extreme anger over some things from the Clinton campaign, I have consistently defended her from vile attacks.  No one can convince me that that vile woman in the video is a real Democrat -- if she is, I won't be sorry if she disappears from the party.  The other video, the "bruised woman" was completely debunked by a number of doctors -- i.e., impossible for that type of bruise to appear that quickly -- she may either be a deluded Clinton supporter or a plant, I don't know.  

I know Clinton supporters and they are some of the most ardent Democrats.  Like Alice Huffman, they understand the importance of party over person.  I honestly cannot waste my time on rabid dead-enders when there are hurt and confused Democrats out there who need, not a condescending welcome, but time and information.

I have spent most of my 36 years of voting -- voting for a candidate who was not my choice.  I truly believe that the good Clinton supporters --
which is an overwhelming majority -- do not need my coaxing.  They already have a moral and social conscience and damned good sense.

Thank you for your diary and responding to my comment.

by gchaucer2 2008-06-02 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: What are you talking about?

You can use that excuse to post anything.  The video is offensive and has no place being used to pimp your political point, no matter what it is.

by libertyleft 2008-06-02 04:05PM | 0 recs
Obama

Hilary shoud extend the invitation to Obama! :)

by Newport News Dem 2008-06-02 03:33PM | 0 recs
Evan Bayh is a Clinton supporter.

You do realize this, don't you?

by kjblair2 2008-06-02 03:34PM | 0 recs
I don't care

What does it matter? Both candidates competed for the endorsements of a great many people who'd be unsuitable veeps. It's not relevant to the issue at hand.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

The polling is pretty clear on the VP subject. John Edwards. He even beat Hillary Clinton and Al Gore in the last Michigan poll. That is a very big deal.

by vcalzone 2008-06-02 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

He may be the best choice out of those with extremely high name recognition, but that's all we know at this point.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-06-02 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I agree that it's still very preliminary, but it definitely calls into question ALL of the criteria we have been using to figure out who his VP should be. America has no interest in getting a military man in there, they want someone they can identify with.

by vcalzone 2008-06-02 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I don't think it calls into question any of the criteria we've been discussing. I bet not more than 10% of Americans have any idea who Webb is. Most people probably have no idea about his military credentials.

Same goes with most other candidates for VP. We won't ever know who's best, because it will take a couple months after being chosen before people will get to know the candidate. Only then will we really know their value on the ticket.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-06-02 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

For God's sake, LOOK at the polls Survey USA has been doing: http://www.surveyusa.com/

There is not ONE POLL for which Edwards is shown to be a liability. All I can think is that the conventional wisdom that Obama needs a strong, experienced veep must be wrong.

by vcalzone 2008-06-02 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

The polls are really only relevant if the VP choice being polled has sufficient name recognition.  Edwards has huge name recognition, so of course he polls well.  Most of the others polled have very little name recognition.  That would also be one of the reasons Romney polls so well as VP on the Republican side.  

by fangthang 2008-06-03 12:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I don't see Edwards on the ticket.  Bad ju ju to put someone on who was on the losing ticket the last election cycle.

by JustJennifer 2008-06-02 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I don't know that it really makes a difference. People hate John Kerry, but clearly they didn't mind Edwards at all. But with Axelrod having run both their campaigns, it could be the most message-driven Democratic cycle in a very long time.

by vcalzone 2008-06-02 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Kerry ran a crappy campaign.  Is there one person here who disagrees?  It wasn't Edwards fault.  Obama's campaign would make better uses of Edwards' strengths.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-06-02 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I agree.  But that said, I agree with JustJen.  You need someone in the VP who isn't afraid to be a junkyard dog.  In this case, particularly, since the nominee is percieved (by many including me) to be a "nice" guy.  His message is unity so he needs someone else responding to the Swift Boaters with force.

<preemptive response>
And no, Juno, that doesn't mean he's got a problem.  I know, he's talking about bringing people together BUT there is a way to do that while NOT TAKING SHIT FROM ANYBODY!  
</preemptive response>

by SpanishFly 2008-06-02 04:38PM | 0 recs
I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle...

In spite of the fact that sexism has been such a prominent dynamic in this campaign,

Is that like an anti-Obama-supporter firewall?
`
"I know, I will put a clause at the beginning of the first sentence that is guaranteed to set off 50% of the democratic population, and then I can act offended and accuse everyone of being unreasonable!!!!!"

?

Holy malacka.  Sure is a good thing this place is so even handed, not like that horrible Great Orange Satan.

-sheesh

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle..

Sexism has not been a prominent dynamic in the race. The examples brought up are horrid, but they have hardly been terribly common. Some shock jocks said "iron my shirt." Some airports sell an offensive nutcracker. Some pundits said nasty things.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

This 50 year old woman and feminist admires Clinton for some things, but doesn't admire her vote to go to war.  And, you know what, that matters to me.

I'd like to vote for a woman like Barbara Jordan, someone truly courageous.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:49PM | 0 recs
The death of Sexism and Racism - our kids

Good comment, PM.

Until this moment it had not crossed my mind to think about whether you were male or female.  Given the comment I just wrote (or pasted) about my kids and sexism, this reminds me of the perspective we try to raise our kids with (or do not try, which is kinda more the point).

In the spirit of my current laziness (or maybe I can claim pro-environment recycling), I am going to share my letter to Ms. Ferraro.  I do not think I can say it any better than I did then, so here that is whole damn thing.

I warn that it shows my strong bias, but it was truthful then and I feel the same now.

Dear Ms. Ferraro,

I am personally hurt by your recent words.  As a young man I watched your candidacy with youthful hope that I was watching the change from the Old Ways of judging people by their skin, by their gender, by their biology.

Now I am a father of two girls and a boy.  Your words make me flinch with the fears and the guilt that I have gotten over as an adult.  They make me want to protect my children from the accusations and sick memes that refuse to die off - the sick memes that you just inserted back into the public consciousness on behalf of a politician who cannot seem to do enough to ensure that my children integrate those thoughts, that they too suffer as their parents did.

I want to apologize for my skin.  For being male.  But I can't.

You see, my children are "white", too, whatever that word even means to them. Not much, really, unless you and I make sure that they carry the burden of guilt you wish to gift them.

One of my children is male.  He is a boy.  

I regret that at twelve he has already picked up some of the guilt that your generation and my generation were so eager to accept, so eager to share.  To inflict on one another.

So you see, I cannot apologize for myself because if I did I would have to apologize for my children as well.

And they are still innocent.  Do you see?

I do not support your candidate because I disagree with her qualifications to lead my children's path to adulthood.  Not because I want my girls to have a Woman or my boy to have a Man as president - because I want them not to have to think along those lines, but to think about whether the person is good at their job, and I can't see your candidate being as good at the job as the one I support.

I do not support my candidate because I want my children to grow to adulthood with a leader who matches their skin, nor to see how gracious Daddy is in supporting one whose skin does not match theirs.  I want them to not understand that this is even an issue that Mommies and Daddies think about.  

And I don't think about these things, except for the boy inside me that was excited when you, Ms. Ferraro, ran for Vice President.  That boy lived in a world defined by race and gender differences.  He wanted you to win - to break down the barriers of biology.  That boy would be happy to have anyone win who wasn't a biological match for all his predecessors.

But that boy is grown up now.  The man that boy became knows that it is more important to elect qualified - even, when we can, great - leaders than it is to elect leaders because we want them to break barriers that have already dissolved all on their own.

You helped begin the dissolution of those barriers - can't you see that you won?  They are gone!  Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and many others attest to that already, and so long as you and your candidate don't succeed in destroying Senator Obama and with him the Democratic party, another proof will be at hand that biology is off the table in choosing the leadership of our species.  The leadership of our children.

Please, Ms. Ferraro.  Not only do I think you should publicly renounce your own words - words that are doing more to perpetuate the sick thoughts you stood against many years ago than anything your opponents of that day could hope for - but I ask that you repeal your support for Senator Clinton.   You are both feeding the dragon you once sought to slay, and it will come out of its cave and damage my children if you don't stop.

Best Regards,

Chris Blask

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle..

You don't think that sexism has been an issue?

I didn't say that she lost because of sexism. I didn't say that supporting her or not was a measure of sexism. I said that it had been a prominent dynamic.

If that's a firewall to all Obama supporters, which I hardly think is the case, then we're in worse trouble than I thought.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle..

I think he's taking issue with the classification as a "prominent dynamic." I think we can all agree it was an issue, we've seen plenty of examples in the media.

But your classification suggests that it was a big force. A lot of Clinton supporters here talk about sexism and say "She didn't lose because of it, but..." like you just did. And yet all this talk of sexism near the end of the campaign seems to suggest you do believe that.

In my personal opinion sexism was an issue, not a force. Meaning that is was there, it influenced votes, but it was cancelled out by a much larger force. I personally think there are many more older women out there who voted for her because they wanted to live to see a woman president than people who voted for Obama because he wasn't a woman.

I think to get to the place she was, she had to face many obstacles unique to a woman. But I think if she was a man, she would be in the exact same place she is today. You may think if she was a man, she would have edged out Obama. I don't. And many of us Obama supporters feel like a lot of Clinton supporters are belittling our candidate's accomplishment and undermining his nomination by suggesting otherwise.

I have no problem addressing sexism. It exists in our society. But I think there are many more important women's issues like equal pay, abuse, etc. than stupid comments like "the claws are coming out" and stuff about kitchens and iron my shirt and other stupid comments.

I just think the best way to address sexism in our society now is to take it out of a Hillary Clinton context.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-06-02 04:19PM | 0 recs
Got to be kidding

I've been talking about sexism, as have many other feminists, throughout this campaign. And if you'd read what I was arguing, it's that because it has been important and prominent to many people who are both angry and important voting constituencies, that any VP pick needs to be sensitive to that.

And I don't even think that VP pick needs to be a woman. I haven't suggested, if you'll observe, a single name.

Your disinterest in, or unawareness of, a great deal of blatant sexism during this election, doesn't mean it didn't matter to others. We still live in a world where this guy gets to go on the TV and say crap like this:

... On The O'Reilly Factor, Marc Rudov said men should boycott the Sex and the City movie and would not see it because "paying to hear women whine is as stupid as paying for cobwebs, because you can get them both at home for free." When Bill O'Reilly asked Margaret Hoover whether she believed "that most American women are as shallow as" the four main characters in the movie, Rudov interrupted: "I do." ...

What does that, for example, have to do with Obama? Nothing directly. But he's going to have to go into the general election with an eye towards winning the votes of already angry female constituencies. He has to operate within the environment created thereby and can't pretend like none of this happened.

Attacking or disagreeing with Hillary Clinton's policies is just that. Sexist attacks on her as a woman are attacks on all women. And I don't know if she would have won if she were a man, there's no way of knowing such a thing. They were both strong candidates as I clearly stated above.

But you have the consolation of having won, while her supporters' only possible consolation is having their issues addressed.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Got to be kidding

I would like to believe the issues of all these isms are everyone's issues.  

They are certainly the issues of anyone who even vaguely believes in Progressiveness(ism).

At the end of this eight-year term my son will be 21, my daughters 16 and 14.  Sexism in all its forms I hope will be more dead than it is now, but by my 43 year old perspective it is vastly more dead than it has been in my life already (let's talk sexism circa 1970 when my Mom went back for her Master's degree...).  

Eight years of Democratic presidency under either of these folks - against the backdrop of a GOP that will recreate itself in a Modern context (you think a GOP woman in 2016 will vote for barefoot-n-pregantism?) - should imho go a long way to wiping out the remains of this ism.

-best

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Got to be kidding

Who gives a flying f*** what Bill O says? I never watch him and flagging every dumbass sexist crap on that show imputes it far too much power than it really has.  

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Got to be kidding

First of all, I wasn't specifically addressing you with my comment. Part of it was addressing your statement, part of it was addressing others with similar feelings here, and part of it was my own comment on who should or should not be VP, as you offered yours.

I don't have a problem with talking about sexism. And you may have been talking about it throughout the campaign, but most of the talk has sprung up now (at least in regard to how it effected Hillary's bid).

I never said you did suggest Hillary. But you talked about Webb, so I thought I'd say another person I thought would not be a good choice.

And where did I say I did not recognize sexism during this election. I think there was plenty of it, but I think most of it just made the media look bad. It was petty, stupid statements like the one you quoted.

But honestly, there have been sexist and racist remarks made this whole time and while they may have exposed the idiots who made the comments, what the hell else did they do? Did all the Dems who were watching O'Reilly that night decide not to vote for Clinton? When sexist comments were made after Hillary's emotional moment before NH, the was a huge backlash, which I think most would agree helped Clinton to some extent at the time.

But what gets me is this "angry female constituency." Why the hell are they angry? I mean, they certainly should be angry at the commentators and the media that gave them a forum. But at Obama? I'm sorry, but please don't tell me your one of the one's who buys that Obama is sexist. The claws comment, the likeable enough comment, sweetie... none of that was sexist. Sure, some of them came out wrong. But nothing Obama has said should give anyone the idea that he looks down upon women.

And in regards to your last statement, I don't understand why Clinton's issues are women's issues. Clinton never made women's issues a bigger part of her campaign than Obama. Yet somehow, Clinton is the champion of women's issues and her losing means a victory for sexism. It's that I just don't get.

Honestly, I still don't understand the connection between this election and sexism. This election showed certain people to be sexist. Fine. But it was Hillary Clinton that kept talking about gender. She injected it into the campaign. So if her campaign was tied to women across America, then she needs to take responsibility. She needs to be the one to tell her supporters that her loss was her own and not a loss for women as a group. She needs to be the one to remind everyone that Obama will be strong on women's rights and choice. If Obama finds himself with a problem amongst women, he isn't to blame. And neither is the media. It makes no sense for women to vote for McCain over Obama because the media was sexist. Its Hillary who tied her campaign to women, and she needs to remind everyone that she lost for good reason, not because she was treated unfairly as a women and had the nomination "hijacked" from her.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-06-02 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Got to be kidding

Oh and the stuff in regard to Clinton not being a good choice for VP I said in a different comment, sorry, I got confused.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-06-02 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle..

I guess we just have to disagree. Sexism was by no means a prominent dynamic in this campaign, if you mean a major, influential dynamic.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle..

I don't believe it played a huge role in who to vote for, but it was out there on the MSM, warts and all.

we should condemn it.  I do not blame Obama or his campaign.  Who I do blame is the MSM which was unhinged with their comments.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle..

I condemn it as I have for 35 years.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, I cannot hear over the dogwhistle..

Hi Natasha,

No, I don't think racism or sexism were significant issues.

Just to save my fingers I'll blockquote a comment from a day or two ago.

I must be blind (2.00 / 1)

Because I have seen little sexism and little racism in this entire campaign.

I have seen:

a lot of discussion of sexism and racism
a lot of accusations of sexism and racism
a lot of discussion of gender and race

But very little of anything that I would point to and say "that is sexist/racist!".

I lost my rec/rate because I got sick of the whole debate and TRed everyone who accused anyone of either.

Not being either female or non-white maybe I am not atuned to it when it happens.  Maybe I'm not over-sensitive to anything that can be read as sexist or racist so I don't jump to those conclusions.  Maybe I'm just blind.

It's not that I have never thought about these things.  I've argued against both of these things extensively in public and private - I have been publicly attacked by actual unapologetic racists (two White Supremacist leaders and their cronies) and had my physical address tracked down by them.  

I've asked these questions about this primary race of women and black folks and gotten both "yes" and "no" answers in both cases to both charges. Both candidates have women and black folks supporting them fervently at all levels of their campaigns.  I would think that the women supporting Obama and the black folks supporting Clinton would flee en-masse if these accusations were overtly true.

My biases I have stated many many times - I have liked Obama for years, I have not been fond of Clinton for longer.  Still, I had not expected Obama to be viable and he has proven me wrong, I had expected Clinton to be viable and had expected to vote for her.

Maybe being raised by non-sexist non-racist parents I don't have the memes in my head to help me recognize the subtler forms of sexism and racism that incense others.  I don't know why I don't see what others do, unless my supposition that the hints of both have been blown completely out of proportion is correct.

Frankly, imho I think that if both these candidates were the same (white men, black women, black men, white women) the results would be the same as they are today.  If you were race and gender-blind and just looked at the campaign strategies that were executed (I understand, she was First Lady and he is in fact half black, so it's not entirely possible to extract), I think that the current state of race would not be at all surprising.

But maybe I am just blind.

So, while I think the perception of a "gender card" being played against Sen. Clinton, and the perception of a "race card" being played against Sen. Obama was a factor, I do not see anything that shouts out to me that Racism or Sexism themselves were actual factors.

I mean, they each got more votes than the last ninety-seven presidents combined.  Not a lot of folks sitting home cause they would not vote for a woman or a black guy.  Other than an occasional Ferraro or Wright, there seems to have been remarkably little of anything solid that could be pointed to for either ism.  Given the nature of both of their candidacies, the lack of those topics has in my view been encouraging.

But, again, maybe I am just blind.

Thanks for your calm reply to my vitriol... ;-)

-best

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 05:21PM | 0 recs
on your potted feminism

Whatever you say.  Personally, I'm more moved by feminists like Katha Pollitt, Barbara Ehrenreich, Zillah Eisenstein, and Linda Gordon who have endorsed Obama because peace and the environment are feminist issues.

We urgently need a Presidential candidate, who understands that "pre-emptive" attacks on other countries and the reliance on military force have diminished rather then strengthened our national security. And we urgently need a Presidential candidate whose first priority is to address domestic needs. We do not believe that Senator Hillary Clinton is that candidate

We base our judgment on her seven-year record as the Senator from New York. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she has carefully identified herself as a supporter of a strong, enlarged and proactive military. In 2002, she voted to authorize the "use of force" against Iraq, while voting against an amendment that would have mandated further diplomacy. In subsequent years, she expressed enthusiastic support for the war effort, objected to fixed timelines for the withdrawal of U.S troops and until last summer voted for the "unconditional funding" of the war.
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/NYfem inistsforpeace/

And I'm moved the late, great Molly Ivins who wrote before her untimely death:

like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.
http://www.freepress.org/columns/display /1/2006/1304

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: on your potted feminism

You don't fight sexism by voting for a woman because she's a woman.

You don't fight sexism by supporting a candidate because she has been the subject of sexist attacks.

That's not what feminism is about -- not according to this lifelong feminist and millions of other women and feminists.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:47PM | 0 recs
I'm talking about the way she's been attacked

... and how many of her supporters, and some observers who weren't supporters, feel that a large number of those attacks were gender-based instead of issue-based. I wasn't accusing people who didn't support her of being anti-feminist, or even saying that the proper feminist thing is or was to support her.

You're reading things I didn't write, don't put that on me.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm talking about the way she's been attacked

Come on!

You post information about how many women are killed by men and then you're comparing that to how Clinton was treated?  

Personally, I'd like a candidate who was against the war, who was politically courageous when it counted, when I was marching in the streets to try to stop the war.  

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm talking about the way she's been attacked

When you live in a sexist society, which this is, the perpetuation of social themes that put women down feed into a myriad of other problems. Women are talked about in violent ways, especially when they're a 'threat' to people, and it translates into real violence against other women.

When it's perfectly acceptable for theoretically respectable media figures and outlets to engage in violent, denigrating talk against even someone as prominent, establishment and powerful as Clinton, it means larger things than whether she won or lost the primary. In a way, the primary is irrelevant to it.

I believe one of the main opening statements in this post was that I see opposing her war vote as a perfectly reasonable argument for not having supported her. I'm not even contesting that point. Why don't you discuss the issue at hand? How do you think the general election campaign can be corrected for all of this?

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm talking about the way she's been attacked

You think that men don't live under a threat of violence? Please. You think violence isn't considered when men are considered a threat to other men?

If you want to compete on the same playing field with men, suck it up.

by pneuma 2008-06-02 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm talking about the way she's been attacked

I think in order to understand how sexism impacted this nomination race it's important to divide the sexist attacks in to two camps.

The first are sexist attacks on Senator Clinton for doing or saying something that a male candidate in the same position doing the same thing would not have been attacked for.  

The second camp are attacks on Senator Clinton for doing or saying something that a male candidate would have also been attacked for, but in a sexist way, or using sexist language.  

Attacks and comments in the first camp appear to be a net negative for the candidate in my opinion.  It's clearly unfair for a female candidate to have to fight off attacks in this camp that no male candidate would ever have to face.

In the second camp however I'm not so sure on balance it's a negative for the candidate.  In the second case the criticism is deserved, but the manner it's couched is offensive due to its sexist nature.  Does the sexist language mean that men internalized and accept the criticism of the candidate more?  I don't know but it's certainly possible.  More important I think however is that most women will complete disregard the criticism because it's couched in sexist language, no mater how valid the underlying criticism may be.  It also allows the candidate to counter the attack by pointing out the sexism, and then pivoting to sexism in general.

Now I haven't done any analysis to see how many of the sexist attacks fell in to each camp, but my gut feeling is that more fell in to the second camp then the first.  That could just be because attacks in the second camp are easier to identify and are more loudly denounced, but it's all I have to go on at this point.

Anyway, my point would be I can understand why a lot of people can say sexism existed and was a factor in the primary campaign, but it was not a major factor.  I can also understand how a lot of people can be very angry with the level of sexism that was displayed in the campaign.  It's important to acknowledge their legitimate anger at the sexism that occurred, while at the same time not allowing the idea to set in that Clinton lost because of sexism.  I just don't see the evidence to support that sexism was the dominant reason she lost, not when there are obvious strategic blunders that contributed to Obama's pledged delegate lead and ended up deciding the race.

P.S. Natasha, I'm not suggesting that you hold the view that Clinton lost because of sexism, I'm just trying to suggest it's important for all of us to make this distinction as clear as possible.

by fangthang 2008-06-03 01:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Yeah, I'm a white guy so feel free to dismiss me, but I generally am pretty forward-thinking and try to fight sexism where I see it, but it still seems to me that much of the sexism cited in this diary is overblown, and that comments are having sexism read into them when none originally existed.

The "violent imagery", for example, seems like a stretch.  Yes, there were some comments that used violence as a metaphor, but that's often the case with anyone losing a race and overstaying their welcome.  Everyone talks about "putting X out of their misery", and there's no sexism in that whatsoever.  

The Elaine Hopkins article, for example, is pretty questionable.  Clinton arguably has to deal with more appearance-based commentary than Obama, but Obama had to deal with the biggest fashion-based topic of the campaign -- his flag pin!

She's got a negative reputation for "charged with being willing to do or say anything to win" not because she's a woman, but because she appears to be willing to do or say anything to win.  Just look at the mental gymnastics she had to go through regarding MI+FL.  It was baldly, clearly intellectually dishonest, a complete about-face from her earlier position, but she blithely argued her newly-found populist screed without a hint of self-awareness.  

Discounting her accomplishments?  She was the First Lady.  Unelected, unvetted, and she attemped to exercise a huge amount of power.  It had nothing to do with her being a woman, but that turned me off from the start -- who is this person who wants to reform our health care system, who only got into a position of power by virtue of being married to Bill Clinton?  Again -- my initial negative reaction had nothing to do with her being a woman, and entirely to do with her overstepping her bounds a First Spouse.  

Then after that, she won in NY (where she wasn't even a resident, IIRC) running against an incredibly weak opponent.  It wasn't a difficult race, and she effectively backed into the seat.

And finally, regarding the tears in NH that are so often cited as an example of a sexist response by the media.  Just imagine, for a moment, that Obama would have had the same tear-filled moment.  It would have ended his candidacy on the spot.  As a man, you simply cannot show that kind of weakness or vulnerability.  So yes, there was some sexism in that example -- but it was anti-male much more than it was anti-female.

by ChrisKaty 2008-06-02 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Clinton arguably has to deal with more appearance-based commentary than Obama, but Obama had to deal with the biggest fashion-based topic of the campaign -- his flag pin!

meh....Clinton had to deal with her friggin' cleavage when she wore a modest tank under a suit jacket.  Oh, what does that say about her seriousness if her tits are hanging out, said the MSM.

I didn't hear any of the MSM talking about the male candidates and their penises and how the size of them affected their "seriousness" about running in a campaign.

think I am kidding?

http://mediamatters.org/items/2007080100 03

23 minutes and 42 seconds devoted to Hillary's breasts.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

There's bs on all the candidates. What the hell is the point of making lists to prove who is the greater victim?

I switched from Clinton to Obama and none of this crap mattered to me.  T

his is just another version of insulting Obama supporters for supporting Obama.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

who is making out anyone to be a "victim", greater or not?

facts are stubborn things.  I think the diarist was not arguing, nor am I, that sexism sunk Hillary's campaign.  But to deny this, when there are so many sites out there that have gone over this, such as media matters, is absurd.

perhaps sexism is in the eye of the beholder - I don't know.

But I noticed it.  And it isn't just Hillary - Pelosi gets slammed as well.

shakesister had a pretty good sexism watch, some I agree with and some I don't.  But they got a shitload of 'em out there.

http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2 008/02/hillary-sexism-watch.html

they actually go up to 104, but it isn't all linked.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Of course women face this crap. But it wasn't a dominant part of the campaign. I heard a lot more about NAFTA, health care and Iraq than about Hillary's clothes and hair.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I wasn't talking about the debates.  I was referring to the MSM.

please go to media matters and look at what they have compiled.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

think of it this way

drip
drip
drip

that is how it was doled out in the MSM

and those drips add up

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

There's bs on all the candidates. What the hell is the point of making lists to prove who is the greater victim?

I switched from Clinton to Obama and none of this crap mattered to me.  

This is just another version of insulting Obama supporters for supporting Obama.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

That one really pissed me off.  And wasn't it Ruth Marcus who wrote the abominable piece?  What the hell was she thinking?  I do think Clinton's appearance was over-scrutinized -- pantsuit, hairstyle, jewelry, cleavage. It made me sick.  I didn't see it as an "entertaining distraction," rather I saw it as a complete insult to a woman who actually did accomplish many things other than being First Lady.  I fear we are a long way off from that nonsense regarding women.

by gchaucer2 2008-06-02 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Sure - it was crappy.

And how many articles got written on such things compared to ones on the gas tax, on NAFTA, on health care, on education.

The appearance thing was distinctly minor and always criticized as soon as it was raised.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

again, you cannot wish it away.  It was there.  I am not stating it swayed any voters, but it really was a disgusting display from the MSM

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 04:43PM | 0 recs
Weakest argument yet. Shameful

No, you didn't hear MSM comments about Senator Obama's penis.  Nor did you hear any comments about Senator Clinton's vagina.  I believe most fourth graders and even a sexist knows those two organs are in the same general area, not in an open collar area.  Deliberate slime.  When they criticize Hillary's vagina, please feel free to criticize Senator Obama's penis.

I suspect that if Senator Obama (or any other male Senator for that matter) elected to wear a "modest tank under a suit jacket" on the Senate floor, even the 'sexist' traditional media might make mention of it.

Also, you may recall that there was huge manufactured outrage when someone photographed Senator Obama in what most adults would define as a very modest traditional male swimsuit.

But then after a foreign tour, someone tipped Drudge with a photo in traditional African garb - that case complaints of him being over-clothed.

by Eman 2008-06-02 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Weakest argument yet. Shameful

oh, we heard a lot about vagina voters on the blogs.

the reason why I used penis as an example is because it is the only part of the male body that "sticks" out like a woman's breasts.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 05:12PM | 0 recs
Sorry I missed them. They must have come from

"scumbags"

The newest word now legitimatized for Presidential conversation.

Seriously, I have never heard the term "vagina voters," so I guess I don't read the same blogs.

And I never saw the outfit being criticized, but I will stick with the position that any Senator wearing an open suitcoat with just a shell underneath would be criticized.

by Eman 2008-06-02 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Weakest argument yet. Shameful

oh, and it wasn't the weakest argument.  Flag pin vs tits.

flag pin - could apply to anyone, male or female.  Could be a valid point (not to me, but people who get hyped up over that stuff) in a campaign
breasts  - women.  What purpose does referring to breasts have to do with the capacity to lead?

unless Hillary is going to be the wet-nurse for the nation, nothing.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Just imagine, for a moment, that Obama would have had the same tear-filled moment.  It would have ended his candidacy on the spot

oh, BS.  Many male politicians have had a tear-filled moment and were praised for it.  This isn't the 1970's, when McGovern was creamed for it.

GWB tears up.  Mitt Romney chocked up and cried about his faith

Hillary gets a lump in her throat and everyone in the MSM and right hate radio stated she was crying and whining.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

that pic of the smarm-y kid with that t-shirt pisses me off to no end.  Surely he could have shown some respect.  But no, look at his f'ing smirk.   God, I feel for anyone who hooks up with him.

grrrrrrr........

great diary, btw.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 03:49PM | 0 recs
playing victim

your opening line: "In spite of the fact that sexism has been such a prominent dynamic in this campaign"...

Sure some voters vote based upon gender and race and such, but Obama did not win because of sexism. Clinon did not lose because of sexism.

The role of sexism in this election has been one where Clinton and her supporters try and use it to play victim.

by Mojo Risen 2008-06-02 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs
I got very confused reading all that so I didn't finish. But I was getting the impression that you think Hillary should have been an affirmative action candidate because of all the cards stacked against her? Maybe she should have been given a handicap or something?

Sure there is built-in bias against women but surely she and Obama's built in bias problems would cancel each other out in the primary.

Or maybe I missed the whole point.

by Becky G 2008-06-02 03:52PM | 0 recs
Nice post Natasha

There isn't any non-White-dude sector of the party coalition that isn't sick to the damn teeth of the 'where else are you going to go' schtick, so how about we actually do try something different this time around and spend less time pissing in each other's corn flakes?

I think this passage is worth highlighting.  The response around here to many female Clinton supporters expressing their unhappiness with Obama has tended toward the, "So you, a feminist, are going to help out a man who called his wife a cunt?  LOLZ!" angle.  I think ultimately this is really missing the forest for the trees, and your diary does a good job of driving this home, albeit in rather elliptical fashion.

While I have enjoyed this diary and some of your other work on OpenLeft, I will say that you don't make it very easy on your readers.  Perhaps that is the point to some degree. Thinking about your diary has made me think of this essay. I say that in a good way, reading your style as kind of a blogosphere version of the Adorno pole.  On the other hand, this little universe is really Orwell's world, with readers accustomed to those norms and I think there is some risk of doing a disservice to your ideas by making them so difficult to access.

by Fuzzy Dunlop 2008-06-02 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Anyway, please stop worrying so very much about winning Appalachia, which someone like Webb won't necessarily help anyway (via). Start worrying about keeping the base of the Democratic Party intact.

Here's the problem. Clinton's last few months have been devoted to trying to divide up the party. She's got Latinos, working-class whites, older women and he's got blacks, liberals, and higher educated folk.

But it was never like that. Sure, he was more popular among his group and she was more popular among hers, but it wasn't until the very end when they started saying they wouldn't support the other candidate.

Now it comes to the VP choice, and we need someone to heal the party instead of reach out to new voters? This may be true, but it ticks me off quite a bit that we can't emerge from this primary united and ready to fight for new voters. Now we have to fight to keep our own voters in tact?

I think Obama should pick someone that will help unite the party and can also make appeals outside of it. But if we're going to take Webb off the table because he can only reach out to new voters, I think we should also take Clinton off the table.

She may be able to mend the rift in our party, because I believe she created it. But I don't think she will be able to help Obama reach out to voters outside our party, part of Obama's plan to win.

Whether or not you think Clinton's divisive language (He can't win these groups, etc.) was wrong, I don't think its appropriate to choose the one who created the divide to heal it.

I'm sure I'll get some flames from this, naturally. I want to unify the party. I want Clinton voters. And I don't blame Clinton for having support or being in the race. But she could have left it at that. She could have championed her appeal, and she could have  been content to point out her strengths in certain groups.

But she took a risk. She sought to make Obama look unelectable by attacking his so-called weakness with these groups. She used the bitter comment to divide. She said he can't win white voters, latino voters, women. She made this about his voters versus her voters, and that, I think makes her the wrong choice for VP.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-06-02 03:55PM | 0 recs
I don't want Clinton as VP

Where did I say that she should be the VP pick?

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't want Clinton as VP

I didn't say you did. I was just making my own comment about who else we should take off the table.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-06-02 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

He said he'd do anything for her, anything. 'Will you tell me the secret of your strength, my love?' Then he told her, because he loved her. So Delilah did steal shears into his bedchamber, cut his long hair, and deliver him into the hands of his enemies to be tortured.

What the heck is this?

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 03:59PM | 0 recs
It's militant &quot;feminism&quot;.

Shit that has NOTHING to do with Obama thrown into a crockpot of shit to be slung at Obama.

by Firewall 2008-06-02 04:02PM | 0 recs
cultural backdrop

It's a gloss of a classic story from the Bible, a book which informs rather a lot of this country's dialogue.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: cultural backdrop

A gloss? What are you talking about? You haven't interpreted it but rather just threw it in there.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:41PM | 0 recs
whatever.

Listen if a male candidate had expressed the kind of dogged determination and nearly inhuman level of tenacity as Hillary, i'd be making Terminator 2/T-1000 analogies about them too.

It's sensitive because of identity, but it's painting with a pretty broad brush to say that she's getting beat up on more because of being a woman.

It's the "win at any costs" thing.

Which i'm not saying is always bad, I mean if John Kerry had that eye of the tiger in 2004 we'd be in a much better place right now.

The media loves focusing on banal gotcha moments and lowering the debate with sensationalism, it just does.

This season has been dominated by flag pins and such, I mean, come on!

by neutron 2008-06-02 04:00PM | 0 recs
Yes &quot;Win at all costs&quot; and LIES

Bosnia was the first.  Four recorded times, and further embellished each time until caught.

The latest?  "I've won more primaries."  Said with a straight face even.  

No matter how anyone spins it, Hillary winning 18 state contests does not beat Barack Obama winning 33 state contests.

Camp Clinton has milked the term "disenfranchise" to the utmost.

Every time Hillary spins her "I won" argument, she is deliberately, consciously, and maliciously disenfranchising all electors in 14 states - even those who voted for her.

by Eman 2008-06-02 05:14PM | 0 recs
Hillary and her supporters

should have thought about the idea of Hilary being vp before she went scorched earth and saddled up to Hannity and Fox and such. Now her chance for vp is close to zero.

by Mojo Risen 2008-06-02 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary and her supporters

The only reason I support Hillary actually swallowing the pill of being Obama's #2 when her qualifications for President are superior, is so that hopefully she can be there to take over if needed & provide counsel from the background. In the end my biggest concern is the welfare of my country.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 04:47PM | 0 recs
NO to Webb!

It's not just that I don't want to see a two Senator ticket...I really don't trust the guy much.

I'm hoping for Warner or Edwards.

by Elsinora 2008-06-02 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Dudely?  Uh-oh...

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-02 04:10PM | 0 recs
What about Wes Clark
In the Hillary camp.
General, prosecuted a war in which no American lives were lost.
Smart as hell.
Improved as a media personality through purgatory on Fox News.  
Dudely, but has beautiful cheekbones.
by kellogg 2008-06-02 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: What about Wes Clark

Definite Cabinet material.

by Endymion 2008-06-02 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: What about Wes Clark

Military man.  All these people need to be kept away from government.  We have enough of a militarization problem in this country.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2008-06-02 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Dudely vibe?

Given how often the use of "boyz" has been tossed around here, and how "sexism" has been accused every second post by Clinton supporters of their Obama supporting peers, regardless of which candidate was bragging of testicular fortitude of the moment, there's an awful lot of duditude in this post that it might not really require.

Or need.

Frankly, I like Webb for one reason alone. It negates McCain's one and onely plus. Military strength. Ends it. Caput. McCain can bluster, and then Webb can say "you don't know Shi'ite from Sunni, and we haven't drawn down, and verb tenses matter, and meeting with our enemies beats drawing them into winningless wars any day so shut up Magoo" and then this election ends.

That's why I like Webb.

Then Hillary can lead the Health Care Blue Ribbon Committee, and Edwards can lead the Katrina Reconstruction Zone and Secretary of State Gore can put the US in the lead of our Global leadership on climate change issues and America truly becomes the worlds beacon again as President Obama rebuilds out nation's economy and standing throughout the world and I finally sleep a night without grinding my teeth to nubs.

Dude.

by Lettuce 2008-06-02 04:16PM | 0 recs
Every Dudley Boyz comment is an attack on my son

and he's not quite 13 yet.

I have just as much of a visceral response when he is attacked as when my daughters are.

Everyone just stop being what you oppose and we might make some progress.

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 08:34PM | 0 recs
Your Photo is sure to piss everyone off

It pissed me off. I get a visceral reaction in my gut just looking at the jerk in the T shirt.

But that's what you wanted us to feel, didn't you Natasha?

You wanted your readers to confront this jarring, emotionally evocative, offensive, image.

As a reader I find that overly manipulative. So much so that it detracts from your message.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-06-02 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Your Photo is sure to piss everyone off

The message isn't any better. It seems to be a collection of examples of sexism interspersed with jabs at Obama and his supporters mixed with threats of women across the country abandoning the party in November.

by Firewall 2008-06-02 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Your Photo is sure to piss everyone off

I had to stop reading when I got to the photo.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-06-02 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Your Photo is sure to piss everyone off

And by 'everyone', presumably you mean people who didn't think sexism was that big a deal. How do you think I felt when I wandered by and saw that? How the bleep am I supposed to get people to understand that serious offense has been given if I can't show examples of it? That discussion goes like,

"I'm angry."

"Why?"

"Because I am."

"Why?"

Not very informative.

When things like that have been said and done, there are going to be a lot of angry people. What are you going to tell the rest of them? I want you to see what I saw so you can get what all the fuss is about.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Your Photo is sure to piss everyone off

I help run the women's studies program at the university where I teach and about half of those faculty support Clinton, the other half Obama. I don't think ANY would not vote for Obama because the MSM was sexist -- and why should they?

I mean, really, why would anyone not vote for Obama if the MSM was sexist?  

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Your Photo is sure to piss everyone off

That's silly. People who didn't think sexism was that big a deal wouldn't be offended by that photo at all.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-06-02 05:51PM | 0 recs
What's saddest to me about the rifts between camps

is that attempts to get people to use empathy and understand the other side's anger get dismissed.

This photo was powerful precisely because it allows the viewer to experience that visceral kick in the gut that any woman -- let alone any Hillary supporter -- would feel seeing it and seeing the smirk on the wearer's face.

What is frustrating is that this diary is about trying to describe how many women feel about the fact that it looks like the dream of a woman president is about to be deferred.

It doesn't MATTER what the arguments for each candidate are or even -- at this point -- who's to blame for the sexism that existed in the campaign (and I wasn't even a Hillary supporter and it's damn clear it was out there).  The sexism is out there in our society.  She is the first woman to run who really had a shot of winning the office.  You'd have to believe our society suddenly became gender-blind overnight not to think there was sexism in this campaign.  Just as there was racism.  Just as there was nastiness.  We've been stewing in 8 years of nasty politics.  How could there be anything else?  I thought the appeal of Obama's vision is precisely that he is asking us as Americans to be BETTER THAN THAT.

As the primary campaign winds to a close, it is important to try to repair the damage and come together for November.  The winners have even more responsibility for this than the losers, not because they are on a particular side, but because they are emotionally in a better place to get the job done.

And it is a job that needs to get done.

If you're not willing to understand the hurt, how in hell do you expect to fix it?

Stop complaining about Natasha posting this picture and start contemplating what to do to heal the bitterness such messages engendered in all who may have encountered them.

by katerina 2008-06-02 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Trollish post. The role of sexism in this campaign has hardly been one where it has been manifested in the campaign of Barack Obama. Rather, its role has been much more as a tool to convince people that the election has been stolen from Hillary Clinton because she is female.

by b1oody8romance7 2008-06-02 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

One of the best, most cogent pieces I've read.

Absolutely right on the mark.

by Juno 2008-06-02 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Cogent?

That word does not mean what you think it means.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

If Obama selects a R or DINO...then I think I am out & for the first time ever will not vote in an election. I can't vote for such a wildcard & can't trust his thought process for the SC or anything else.  The man & his campaign would officially reach certifiable idiot status in my book...

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Yet you support a candidate who said that McCain was more qualified to be president than a fellow Democrat?

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

And we misconstrue what she said once again.  

However, during the G/E there will be a valid question re: the breadth & depth of Obama's qualifications which cannot be posed with any validity against Clinton's background. I can't stand McCain or the GOP however the man's qualifications would not be a reasonable arguing point. This is unlike when W was first nom'd against Gore; his qualifications were seriously lacking - of course the GOP managed to bury that issue. However the DNC is not that effective in burying illegitimate issues, much less ones that actually are based in reason; that being that Obama is really not ready to run for office yet.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

And we misconstrue what she said once again.  

However, during the G/E there will be a valid question re: the breadth & depth of Obama's qualifications which cannot be posed with any validity against Clinton's background. I can't stand McCain or the GOP however the man's qualifications would not be a reasonable arguing point. This is unlike when W was first nom'd against Gore; his qualifications were seriously lacking - of course the GOP managed to bury that issue. However the DNC is not that effective in burying illegitimate issues, much less ones that actually are based in reason; that being that Obama is really not ready to run for office yet.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Oh crap posted twice the same thing - also meant to say that your response in which you misconstrued the very valid point that was made about Obama's credentials, doesn't change the fact that it would be absolutely idiotic for the campaign or Obama to pick a Republican VP or a DINO  - and that would be the final nail in the coffin for me in considering voting - b/c my concerns about his capability would have all been but confirmed so at that point I can't trust him to make any sort of reasonable decisions.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

jrsygrl said
"b/c my concerns about his (Obama's)capability would have all been but confirmed so at that point I can't trust him to make any sort of reasonable decisions."

So I'm assuming that you think Clinton's decision to authorize the war in Iraq, her decision to run up a 20 million $ campaign debt, and her lack of planning beyond Super Tuesday are reasonable decisions...

It truly is the silly season.

by tomanderson13 2008-06-02 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs
Well, this really is too much to be responded to all at once.  By the time I finished writing a comprehensive response, I would be the 30000th commenter.  
I would like to point out that the way the feminist movement has traditionally focused on the needs of middle and upper class white women has contributed to the sense that racism and sexism are mutually exclusive.  But the atomization of the social justice movement that ended the Progressive Era is an issue that no one cares about anymore.  
Regarding the presence of sexism in America, what has bothered me the most about pro-Clinton cries of "sexism" is the surprise.  Obama supporters, by-and-large, expected racism.  But Clinton's supporters seem absolutely, incomprehensibly poleaxed by the existence of sexism in American life.  How is it possible that they are so surprised?  Don't they have televisions, or the internet, or a nearby Carl's, Jr. restaurant(for unambiguous sexism, look up Carl's Jr. ads on YouTube)?
Anyway, I think this sexism angle will be used to push Obama into selecting a woman VP, which I don't think will do much for the average woman, but it will be a warm fuzzy.  
by Endymion 2008-06-02 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I cannot speak for all HRC supporters, but I thought I would answer you

I thought the MSM got it out of their system in the 1990's.

I thought they would have grown up by now instead of being stuck in a 15 year old body of a teenage boy.

Now, I do have to give props to them, because they have always called her tough and strong (as if women aren't tough and strong), but then they would start up with their yuck-yuck moments.

I remember the outage I felt when the MSM made fun and smeared Edwards over his haircut and when Ann Coulter called him a faggot.  Others were equally outraged and it was on the blogs - everyone in the dem blogosphere condemned it - even if they didn't care for Edwards.

not so much for Hillary.  Instead, I got a poster telling he that he "knew" sexism because he was surrounded by military guys.  And what Hillary got wasn't sexism.

How the hell do you argue with that?

Look - I was enlightened here about dog-whistles from the Clinton campaign and how AA's took it as race-baiting, even though I didn't see it myself.  

Perhaps the problem is that we have been desensitized to sexism.  

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I guess it's indisputable that there are different levels of sexism.  And it would be so much easier for me to defend Clinton if she hadn't run a campaign centered around her, as one of her supporters said, "testicular fortitude."  She didn't run as 'the woman candidate', the way Yulia Tymoshenko or Ségolène Royal did.  She should have tapped in to the feminist movement from the beginning, rather than expect women to come to her because "where else are they gonna go, to the MAN?"  
But that's a dangerous tangent.  Unity! Unity!

You mentioned Edwards...What about Edwards for VP?

by Endymion 2008-06-02 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Edwards - I don't think he wants that.  He had that role in 2004.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Not surprised by the existence of misogyny. I am a working woman for Christ sakes! But the acceptance of it but her own party, the party that I thought might be less inclined towards that attitude & the lack of an attempt to even HIDE this attitude in the MSM has not only disappointed me, but also made me feel great disgust, and in many ways has, I think, changed my attitude permanently.  It has certainly made me even more cynical and I certainly feel alot more alone in the world, that is for sure.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Who in the Democratic party "accepted" it?

The guys who shouted "iron my shirt" weren't Democrats. Democrats didn't sell those nutcrackers.

What are you talking about?  

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

jrsygrl,
There are sexists and racists in the Democratic Party, but much fewer than the Republican Party I presume. Some of them are Reagan Democrats who never bothered to change party affiliation.

I'm from the South which was once solid Blue, but since 1964, everything has turned Red, solid Red. I now live in West Virginia and I sense racism and sexism in the air.

I'm an independent, and guess what? There are also racist and sexist independents. They're everywhere. Fewer than before, but they permeate every aspect of society. Many are in the closet which is good, but it takes many generations for change to take place.

Are there racists supporting Hillary? Absolutely. Are there sexists supporting Obama? Absolutely. But I'd be willing to bet there are more racist and sexist supporting McCain.

I know this isn't much consolation, but I don't want you to feel alone or cynical. I want you and others to live in a better world, and one day we will. We are all in this together. Peace and love..

by tomanderson13 2008-06-02 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I believe that misogyny is much more apparent in the party then I originally thought.  It is obvious that Hillary Clinton has not been treated the same & her qualifications have been diminished in a manner that would have NEVER happened to a male counterpart with her background. Additionally, the manner in which she has been treated in this race would have never been perpetuated against male. For Christ sakes Nadar was treated better & he was an actual real spoiler, unlike Clinton!

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

jrsygrl,
Like I said before, I agree with you and others that there is misogyny (and racism) in the Democratic Party. Like I said before, it permeates every aspect of society. But I do not believe there was a concentrated (conspiratorial) effort by Party leaders to keep Clinton from becoming the nominee. (If you believe so, please cite some sources.) But some voters within the Democratic Party do vote based on gender and/or race.

Misogyny in the mainstream media is a different story. I do believe there is a concentrated effort by many organizations to discredit women and other minorities.

Leave the Democratic Party if you are that upset. But I truly believe you might be of more service from within the Party. Like I said before, you are very likely to find much more sexism and racism in the Republican Party, and you will even find it among independents and others.

You mentioned that Clinton's qualifications, etc, were diminished in a way that would have never happened to a male counterpart. What the Republicans did to Max Cleland of Georgia was pretty bad.

Anyway, I agree with others that Clinton did not lose this campaign solely due to misogyny. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It does. On that point, I definitely agree with you.

by tomanderson13 2008-06-02 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

What does the GOP have to do with problems with this party?  That is like saying "If you don't like the problems in America, leave & go to Saudia Arabia; see how much better you like it there."  My point is that my prior views on the party & its followers have been altered by the behavior I have witnessed.  Do I think the ideals of the party more closely mirror mine then the GOP? Yes, but that doesn't mean that this primary hasn't pointed out a much more serious problem here then I thought existed. And the fact that so many would respond so flippantly to it with a "so leave then & see how you like it elsewhere," instead of having a light bulb go on & realize there is a problem, is disturbing to say the least. I expected overall that the party & its followers were a bit more reasonable then this line of thinking would suggest - however it appears that this sentiment is actually not unpopular.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-03 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

jrsygrl,
You are clearly looking to argue. Like I've said before, your are totally correct that there is misogyny in the Democratic Party.

I am not flippantly suggesting that you leave the party. I am totally serious. However, my point was that you would be of more use in the Democratic Party, but apparently you are not interested. Perhaps you have not finished venting...so please get it all out of your system so you can start to make the Democratic Party and the world a better place.

by tomanderson13 2008-06-03 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Not really trying to argue - I am making very valid points in response to what appears to be a total lack of understanding by other members of the party, as to the thought process of someone like myself.  Instead the perception seems to be one of extremes instead of realizing that valid concerns are at play her re: the future of this party & the people who seem to be in control. Yes, I know the GOP is worse BUT I am becoming more & more disillusioned by what is going on with the Dem. party as well based upon the actions of many which so many followers seem to brush off as incidental at most (that also raises other concerns).  It is not arguing for the sake of arguing; it is pointing out a very real mindset, that is neither irrational or invalid, which it seems many in the party would like to believe.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-04 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

There are sexists and racists in the Democratic Party, but much fewer than the Republican Party I presume. Some of them are Reagan Democrats who never bothered to change party affiliation.

I'm not 100% sure that is 100%, 100% of the time....

(ducks behind flame shield)

I've spent a fair bit of time in the past 15 post-Liberal years debating that issue.  It started a bit earlier and led to my post-liberalishness.  Arguing against Holocaust deniers and White supremacists on USENET, I was simultaneously attacked by feminists and minority leaders.

Quite an experience.

Very few people on the Left would agree that we should just treat everyone the same.  Being attacked by Nazis didn't surprise me, being attacked by Liberals did.

Not that Nazis represent Right Wing Americans, but previous experience with right-wing rural southerners had also failed to prove to me that all those folks were misogynistic racits, either.

A combined 12 or so years in Canada (where liberal is Liberal) just got me crankier and crankier with local Left ideals of separating everyone into groups so you could treat them all differently (for their own good, mind you).  I finally placed the phrase "Compassionate Condescension" on the whole thing, which is not a pretty thing.

I think the US Democratic party has done a good job of beginning to move away from that.  It's one of the things that has me supporting it, again.

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I never said "all those folks" were misogynists and racists. I was careful to qualify my labels with "some." Anyway, a rose is a rose is a rose...

I've lived most of my life in the south (26 years), and I still have relatives who use the n-word and other derogatory terms. To my knowledge, all of my older relatives were Democrats until the 1970s, my father being the last hold out (1980).

Labeling is necessary when dealing with immoral beliefs and actions. Do I still love my relatives as humans? Yes, but I must label there evil words and actions as such. When I mention their party affiliation it is only to point out the current state of affairs; that some groups may contain more elements of racism and sexism than others. If that is compassionate condescension, so be it.

Are you suggesting that the Democratic Party is moving away from CC and labeling? Perhaps so, but not when it comes to the amoral issue of Ralph Nader seeking the presidency.

by tomanderson13 2008-06-02 09:13PM | 0 recs
Achieveing Eqaulity Without Ineqaulity

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the response.  Couple things:

1.  I wasn't picking on you in depth, more using your comment to highlight issues that I feel strongly about.  I know you were not saying "all" in any context.

2.  Well thought out diary on your blog (btw, the link in your comment is bad).  If I read it correctly.  I believe you are writing more about Institutional Racism.  I believe I have some variances with your position.

In one of those old USENET debates I was being firmly thrashed for trying to make the point that inequality is color/gender blind.  A self-described Feminist Leader had shouted that "Only white men can be racist or sexist because they hold all the power!!!!".  While I was pondering my response, someone else offered up this gem:

"If two people with baseball bats are beating a third person over an issue of skin color, it is not necessary to know who has what color skin to recognize that it is a racist act."

We were contemplating parenthood at the time, and as it turned out our first child was a boy.  A White Male.  Holding baby Damien in my arms later, I continued to think about and discuss these issues.

While the Power of White Males at an institutional level can be netted out and treated as an Object of some sort, none of that does anything to ensure that the little creature holding my finger would not be discriminated against, not be subject to prejudice, nor protect him from racist actions that would harm him.  And he remained innocent, notwithstanding, and not in any way more deserving of those threats than any other human.  Reconciling this stark personal fact which can directly affect my son with the grand social patterns of past foolishness on the part of others remains a difficult issue, but not one in which I am willing to sacrifice his life or any part of it to.  

I think doing so removes any valor in the act, and ultimately renders the effort wasted.

As I have stated, Damien's siblings are girls.  I am similarly unwilling to sacrifice them to any greater historical/social matrix of balanced forces to adjust for real or perceived injustices.

I think doing so also removes any valor in the act, and ultimately renders the effort wasted.

Moreover, I cannot solve the problem of sexism by sacrificing any aspect of one of my children to benefit the other without intrinsically perpetuating the very problem I would seek to remedy.

Which only leads me back to the overarching set of actions which also most clearly resonate with the message of equality I myself grew up with in the sixties and seventies.  Treating everyone the same without regard to their biology.  Equating equality with equality.

The Political Correctness of Nineties Liberalism contradicts that.

If I must consider the biology of a person before I decide what actions are permissible in regards to them, then I have not avoided discrimination, prejudice or racism/sexism.

On the topic of actually redressing past wrongs and their present reverberations, I have said things like: "The NAACP needs to obsolete itself if it is to achieve its goal" - the kind of things that would lead to energetic attacks from the aforementioned Liberals.  "Progams like Affirmative Action will have failed if they cannot in the end put themselves out of business."  Not that these sorts of efforts might not be regrettably necessary to pragmatically positively impact the lives of both those who have been oppressed or disadvantaged due to their biology as well as those "advantaged" by theirs - since those advantages bear a price of inequality that at the ethical level does them damage as well - but that every step along those paths should be taken with a view to getting off that path as soon as possible.

My consternation with Liberal America as it had become by the mid nineties (and moreso in Canada) was around the institutionalization of what must by nature be only temporary measures.  And around the ham-fisted application of those measures, when to be effective they must be applied with the greatest possible attention to the intricacies of the lives of the individuals they are meant to benefit.

Perhaps the best verbalization of these difficulties in implementation was in conversations with a Pakistani friend who had moved to Texas alone at 17 and then later to Toronto with a family of his own.  The difference in approach between the two countries we agreed could be stated like this:

When you show up in Texas from Pakistan, your white Yankee neighbors come over and say: "Hey!  Nice to meet you, where you from?" "Pakistan"  "That's cool, what do you folks do over there?" "Well, we cook curries and so forth"  "That sounds good, we'll have to have you over to a BBQ and maybe we can try some of that Pakistani food sometime!"

When you show up in Canada from the US, but visibly Pakistani, your white Canadian neighbours come over and say: "Oh, your Pakistani aren't you?" "Well, I am moving from Texas, but I was born in Pakistan, yes" "We have so much respect for your culture, we have setup all sorts of things to make sure you can maintain it without interference." (worse, they rarely say that much, but it is implicit in their actions)

The reaction inside is along the lines of: "I am perfectly capable of maintaining or not maintaining my culture without your assistance, thankyouverymuch."

So (with an eye on the unforgiving clock), in summary, my goal - and I believe the goal of Progressive actions to eradicate our separation by biology - is to eradicate our separation by biology.  This does not intrinsically include the perpetuation of sensitivities to our differences in biology.  For my parent's part, I think they did a pretty good job.  As parents ourselves, I think we are doing a pretty good job.  For what that approach is worth, it primarily involves failing to draw attention to these difference rather than specifically drawing attention to them.

As the political groups who have chosen to directly address these inequalities of biology, Liberal groups run the risk of placing so much emphasis on the very differences which "separate" us that the efforts themselves can serve to continue or exacerbate the problems themselves.  This thread of "sexism" in this campaign season shows many signs of just that over-focusing, imho.

None of that may have been very well stated, but as always I would enjoy digging into this all further with you and anyone else.

-best

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 11:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs
Chris Blask,
For more on my views concerning racism, please visit the link below,
http://the-independent13.blogspot.com/20 08/05/prejudice-discrimination-and-racis m-in_17.html
by tomanderson13 2008-06-02 09:26PM | 0 recs
It's Warner

and in other news, this is a really nasty diary.

by lexluthor 2008-06-02 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Warner

of course it is nasty.  The subject is nasty.  The links are real.

and that is what makes it nasty.

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

What an odd diary this is. The title suggests that the subject is about the choice for Obama's running mate, yet almost nothing in the body even deals with that choice. Instead, you have dredged up a huge number of instances of both casual and deliberate sexism. ("Dredge" is the appropriate verb here, I believe, because these things you have pointed out are muck and sewage, reflections of the viler side of man's treatment of woman.) You have every right to complain about both these offenses themselves and the easy, almost automatic acceptance of them in media sources and elsewhere.

Also, as an aside, I entirely agree that pitting one type of discrimination and cruelty against another is stupid. At a minimum, it blunts the exposure of what the effects of discrimination are, and often is just a sideways attempt to tell the person exposing the discrimination to shut up.

But I am struggling to find the point you are making ABOUT THE VP CHOICE. You label Jim Webb as not desirable (I think)based on one quote from a book Webb wrote in part to explain the perspective of the Scots-Irish heritage in Appalachia, and the other one about women in combat. The latter quote is 29 years old. Have you taken any step at all to see whether Webb's position has reversed or modified or grown more nuanced in the last 3 decades?

Further, Webb has been successful precisely because he understands and can talk with the "hardworking Americans, white Americans" in his state to whom Sen. Clinton aimed so much of her recent campaign. Are you suggesting that choosing someone who may be trusted by the very people that she told were her base would somehow be a slap in the face for women?

Then you appear to condemn Evan Bayh for his position on abortion. Of course Bayh is a Clinton supporter and the head of her Indiana campaign, and has frequently been mentioned as a possible VP if Clinton were the candidate. Did Clinton ever condemn Bayh for his position on abortion? Would you be as opposed to Bayh if he were chosen by Clinton as you apparently would be if he is chosen by Obama?

Further, you string together a series of quotations and incidents that should leave every Democrat, every woman, every American outraged. And thank you for it. However, I don't see a single thing in your list that can even indirectly be attributed to Sen. Obama. You do include the email in which a female party official evinces something near hatred for "him" (Obama) but point to nothing "he" has done to deserve this hatred.

One more observation: You attack Obama's health plan as "the version of the Democratic standard health care plan that runs its appeal on allowing young dudely types to bail out of the whole thing . . . ." Are you ascribing a specific motive to Obama to (continue to) place women at a disadvantage in access to health care? I think Senator Obama and his supporters, as well as Senator Clinton's supporters, deserve disclosure of any facts you have to back that up, if you have any facts. Otherwise, I fear, you are engaging in some mudslinging yourself.

Underlying your remarks is a strange disconnect. Senator Clinton has trimmed her sails in the Senate for years, voting for the war, talking tough on defense, putting distance between herself and progressives, all to make herself more palatable to everyone other than progressives. But now Senator Obama is to bear the entire weight of frustrated progressive ambitions? (By the way, I believe that Senator Clinton, freed of her drive for the nomination, will be a far more progressive force in the future.)

The bottom line on this is that it is all too familiar. Senator Clinton has carried the hopes and dreams of many women on her back to some time.  (I was a Clinton supporter until I determined for myself that Obama is the better candidate, and my wife, in her mid-50s, and my 19 year old daughter, both strongly supported her until the way she conducted her campaign disappointed them one time too many.)Carrying all those hopes and dreams was probably always unfair to Clinton. People looked past her political record to the hope she gave them. Like some of Obama's supporters, some of the most committed at times have acted like cult members. That is a trend that is unfortunate for both candidates.

What is fundamentally unfair is that Clinton supporters, and particularly female supporters, have been encouraged by her campaign to place the blame for her campaign failures not where it belongs, on a deeply flawed campaign organization that failed her and her supporters, but on the Obama campaign. While not perfect, his campaign has been a well-oiled machine next to hers. Even a front-runner can blow a lead, and it is not the fault of the runner coming up from behind if he takes advantage of the blown lead.

What is worse than unfair is that by misdirecting the real and justified anger of Clinton's supporters, especially women 40 and older who have lived through a lot of the tougher times in the struggle for equality, the effect is that it lets off the hook the Republicans who have been the ones restricting the right to choose, creating the economic disparities that strike women with the most force, opposing health care as a right of all Americans, and disenfranchising poor and minority and female voters for the last two decades.

Let's pull together to find a VP candidate that will help to heal the wounds in the party and be an effective agent for change when we retake the White House.

by anoregonreader 2008-06-02 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I argued that a group of voters that was incredibly ticked off should not be further ticked off by a VP choice. I've had people argue that sexism is barely an issue anymore, that it doesn't enter in, that it shouldn't be irritating people. And the same people who say that then don't read the arguments that it is a factor. So yes I brought up a lot of side examples, because there's a large, interconnected cluster of clueless associations being brought to bear by many people that seemed to also need addressing.

Obama, facts on the ground being what they are, can either ignore their anger or consider ways to pre-emptively neutralize it. It doesn't matter if it's his fault or not. He asked for the top job in the party. He's got it. That means he's responsible to the party's constituents, and to all the voters that he'd like to have as constituents.

Your argument is like saying that we shouldn't be mad at Bush over Katrina because he didn't cause it. But cause has nothing to do with it. He was the president, he was responsible for handling things.

Personally, I hope Obama rises to the challenge and puts everyone's concerns to rest. I hope he's the good leader we've been wanting and that his message of unity was sincerely meant. If so, all will probably go pretty well.

My title was a statement regarding why certain candidates and candidate types should be dismissed out of hand, a negative preference. It seems more efficient to me than listing out all the very unsuitable people it rules out.

If Clinton had picked Bayh, I would also have been incredibly annoyed. If she'd won, she'd be dealing with a different set of irritated constituents, though Bayh would also have been an inappropriate choice in that case. In fact, he's not a progressive at all, so I can't really think of a circumstance in which any of us ought to be pushing his name.

As regards Webb, the link in the first paragraph is to a post of Stoller's that lays out his behavior in the Tailhook scandal and a number of other career milestones that make him unsuitable post that article. But what matters is that it's that article that I'm betting will be sent all over the place if he's picked.

For me, I've already committed to support the nominee in the general though, anyway. I'm past making arguments about who should have won or what I think of the process. I don't care anymore.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Natasha said
"Personally, I hope Obama rises to the challenge and puts everyone's concerns to rest. I hope he's the good leader we've been wanting and that his message of unity was sincerely meant. If so, all will probably go pretty well."

Obama rises to the challenge and puts everyone's concerns to rest? Impossible and you know it. That is like setting him up for failure.

And are you implying that Obama doesn't sincerely want unity? My god, it's the only way he can win.

I agree with you that Webb is not a good choice for a number of reasons, especially sexism. But regardless of Obama's VP pick, it's safe to say that he or she will not please everyone.

Even if Obama's VP selection did put every Democrat's concerns to rest, all will probably NOT go pretty well. We still have the Republicans to contend with...

by tomanderson13 2008-06-02 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Thank you, Natasha, for a thoughtful response to my comments. I want to emphasize again that I give full support to your putting forward the real grievances you raised.

I have to dispute what you call my argument, though. I don't propose that Obama can ignore the tensions and resentments in the party. But he first has a duty to get elected as the party's nominee. To the extent he can solve both problems, he should. But if he is held hostage by a segment of the party that puts its interests above electing a Democrat, his options are very limited.

And your comparison is not well-taken. Bush was directly to blame for the effects of Katrina, not because of the storm, but because he had for political reasons destroyed the one federal agency that could help. Then he made things worse by his tactical decisions in the first several weeks of the disaster, and then made decisions such as on labor contracts that injured the local community further.

Obama is simply not in that situation. He is not and was not responsible for the acts of the mass media, nor was he responsible for whatever acts of misogyny that occurred at the DNC or elsewhere in the party. And I must say that for all the heat about sexism at the DNC, I have seen remarkably little in the way of facts to back up the heat. The sanctions on Michigan and Florida imposed in August 2007 had nothing to do with gender and were supported by Clinton and her supporters. The conflation of "make Florida/Michigan count" and "Hillary stands for women" was a deliberate invention of the Clinton campaign and has been utterly harmful to the party.

Obama did not start this fire. (Oh God, please get Billy Joel out of my head.) The root problems of sexism were around long before him, and I have yet to see any reasonable analysis of how he or his campaign had any significant role in the sexism aimed at Clinton. However, Clinton and her campaign fanned those flames in a number of ways. I don't think that it happened because Clinton wanted to start a gender war, but she got very far behind and started grabbing at anything that might help her catch up. And while Obama can help calm the anger, it is largely the responsibility of those who stoked the flames to participate in cooling them.

by anoregonreader 2008-06-02 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs
As a woman who voted for Senator Clinton all I will say is that
  1.  she didn't lose because of sexism
  2.  she lost because she had an awful group of advisers and listened to their awful advice
by deepee 2008-06-02 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I agree.

however, the MSM was/is very sexist in their treatment of women they don't like.  

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Do you have any evidence that the examples of sexism had any impact to Senator Clinton's detriment?  If anything, they encouraged some women to rally to her.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I contend that time spent pointing out either sexism or racism is time not spent explaining why you should vote for the candidate.  Even if one is correct that the accused is a bigot, pointing it out doesn't garner votes.

You should vote for me because....

Answering that question is the only way to get votes and win elections.  

After winning and taking office, that is the time to fight sexism and racism; from a position of power when it won't distract from winning the office in the first place.

by lockewasright 2008-06-02 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

If you haven't noticed the blatant misogyny apparent by the DNC then you really haven't been paying attention.  Being a woman really is irrelevant; like many women you just aren't aware of it.  And by the way I am hardly a uber radical womyn feminist; in fact I am very mainstream, makeup wearing, leg shaving woman who couldn't miss the blatant misogyny perpetuated by this party if I tried.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 06:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Give me ONE example that is related to the Democratic party. One!!!

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

If you haven't noticed the blatant suckiness of her advisers and her campaign, YOU haven't been paying attention.

She had everything going for her.  A popular president campaigning for her, mammoth leads in about every poll every where, the media claiming she was inevitable.  She couldn't have run a worse campaign if she tried.  Unfortunately, having a great record and the potential to be a great president aren't enough.

I think the DNC has done a great job of tiptoeing around a campaign that was dead in February.  

by deepee 2008-06-02 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I am done banging my head into the wall. The fact that you can't even see what is as OBVIOUS as the hand in front of your face, while disconcerting, is no longer surprising to me anymore. It has been very common lately. I thought it was more apparent with people who supported the GOP, but apparently is present in both parties, with support meted out on different sides of the fence.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

jrsygrl,
I offered this a few comments ago, "I know this isn't much consolation, but I don't want you to feel alone or cynical. I want you and others to live in a better world, and one day we will. We are all in this together. Peace and love.."

It still applies.

Please don't bang your head into the wall. Like I said before, leave the Democratic Party if you are that upset, and it's obvious that you are upset. But I truly believe you might be of more service from within the Party. Like I said before, you are very likely to find much more sexism and racism in the Republican Party, and you will even find it among independents and others.

by tomanderson13 2008-06-02 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Why should I have to join the GOP where things are even worse?  I am attempting to make a change but it is very frustrating when 1. I realize that followers of a party that I thought were less vulnerable to mindless manipulation are in fact not what I thought they were 2. the party is not as forward as I thought it was 3. I am watching the party make a HUGE mistake & when logic is used to point this out I am met with willful ignorance instead of people realizing the reality.

So now I am stuck.  I think the party nominating Obama is going to prove fatal. I don't believe he will win it; rather I think he will be skewered by November & if the man has as much potential as others are saying he has just eliminated any possible future  he could have had when all he had to do was just be patient & gained more experience.  Additionally, if by some miracle he does win I am skeptical as to his ability right now to govern effectively & I am also concerned by what I believe is an overriding sentiment that he doesn't need the help that others with more experience can provide him.  And to top it all off a wonderful candidate has been eliminated by the party which she has helped revolutionize with a vitriol that contains a major undercurrent of misogyny & noone seems to be concerned or willing to admit that.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-03 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

jrsygrl said,
"no one seems to be concerned or willing to admit that..."
I admit that there is misogyny and racism in the Democratic Party. As I mentioned before, you seem more interested in arguing endlessly.

And you seem obsessed with Obama's real or perceived inadequacies. I responded to one of your earlier posts concerning Obama's so called lack of reasonable decisions. I pointed out that some of Clinton's decisions were not very reasonable. Is there a reason why you haven't responded?

by tomanderson13 2008-06-03 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

In addition I have no clue what post you are referring to, however I am concerned about Obama's actually abilities & experiences for a myriad of reasons. I don't like getting detailed with tearing a Dem. candidate down - it is NOT something I can bring myself to do; suffice it to say I don't like the man on many levels. I am basing this upon what I have saw of him publically (interviews, the debates, speeches, reading I have done that favors him etc.).   I don't think disliking someone based upon a whole host of very valid reasons that focuses on his experience (or lack therof), capabilities & how he has presented himself is exactly an unhealthy obsession; I tried to like him b/c I WANTED him to be everything his supporters paint him to be (desperately) but it just isn't there. And I can't get away from all of the wonderful things Clinton has done over the past 39 years, the contributions she has made to the party & our country and the over the top disparaging way she has been treated, by supposedly the very organization that people say she is the "insider" with. Furthermore, a progressive organization that has demonstrated a higher level of misogyny then I anticipated is problematic to me on many levels & right now my mindset is one of just being disturbed. The value system that I thought was held by certain individuals is indeed not what I believed to originally believe. So excuse me if that creates some conflict for me personally. However, simultaneously when I see certain statements made that seem to almost dismissive or to trivialize what is occurring, I keep hoping that something I say will cause the light bulb to go on at the other end. But intellectually I know that is not the place for me. Finally I am not irrational & the suggestion that, b/c there is something wrong her I should go vote for or support an alternative party that is even more far removed from my morals & values is ludicrous. However, I have the right to be feel a bit separated from an organization that I realize does not stand for the same things that I used to believe it did.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-04 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I think the idea that he would seriously consider a Republican is a fantasy being floated by pundits with no real insight into the process.  Why not take Strickland and begin with the advantage in Ohio?

by rfahey22 2008-06-02 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

or Eddie in PA - just kidding.  I like Ed (straight talking guy, even though sometimes I want to scream at him), but he is not Veep material

by colebiancardi 2008-06-02 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

You don't think so?  Too much of a hothead?

by rfahey22 2008-06-02 07:48PM | 0 recs
Strickland also unsuitable

He's anti-choice and so I think a bad idea. At least he was against the war and opposes the death penalty, though.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Strickland also unsuitable

That is a legitimate objection. It does put me in mind of former  GOP Sen. Mark Hatfield from Oregon, though. Hatfield opposed war, the death penalty and abortion because of his views on the sanctity of life. He also had a very good record over the years with programs for the disadvantaged. On balance, I think most Oregonians agree that Hatfield was honorable and trustworthy.

by anoregonreader 2008-06-02 07:24PM | 0 recs
Sherrod Brown....

...is my choice.

The only Democratic woman who is progressive enough and high up enough the power/experience ladder that she could handle being President at a moment's notice is Hillary Clinton.  But she brings way too much baggage to Obama's campaign, and the last thing she wants, I think, is to be at the center of more conspiracy theories over the next four to eight years.

The existing remaining crop of capable Democratic women for the slot are limited.  Napolitano, McCaskill and Sebelius are somewhat conservative regarding certain key issues and/or still limited in their national-level-capable experience.  I don't think any other female Senator or Governor has what's needed for the job.  (That said, give Napolitano a term in the Senate for Arizona, let McCaskill and Sebelius finish their terms, and they will be far more capable for future possibilities.)

Biden?  He isn't going to give up his seniority in the Senate, he's gaffe-prone, and he's essentially too cozy with certain financial interests.

Richardson?  Maybe, but again, gaffe-prone, and their are rumors of affairs.  (Put him in the cabinet, though, along with Edwards.)

Webb or Warner?  Too conservative.  And Warner would be better off as a Senator.

Kaine?  I like him, personally, but the rules of succession in the state of Virginia might leave the state with a Republican governor as his replacement - not good.

Strickland?  I like his personal history, but I believe he's somewhat anti-choice.

Bayh?  Hahahahahaha.....sorry.  No.

I like Brown because he's served in the House for a while, he's very progressive, had to fight both a contentious primary and a general election to win a Senate seat in a difficult state, Ohio, and potentially brings the ability to assist Obama's weakness among working class whites east of the Mississippi.

My two bits...

by palamedes 2008-06-02 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Sherrod Brown....

I like Sherrod Brown, too. He's great on labor issues, including NAFTA, and on the war.  And, of course, he's from Ohio.  How would picking him affect the chances of the Democrats keeping that Senate seat.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-02 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Sherrod Brown....

I honestly don't know, but the Governor is Strickland, so I would assume that if we can appoint a placeholder, we have a good shot at it being a Dem.  And given the disarray of the Ohio Republican party, if there needs to be a special election, I would assume we have a very good shot at winning.

That said, the only reason I'm comfortable with Brown, above all else, as a VP pick, is that we have a very good shot at winning a boatload of Senate seats this year.

by palamedes 2008-06-02 06:12PM | 0 recs
Quite the Contrary

I would like to see the Democratic nominee pick Joe Lieberman to be his VP.  That would get Lieberman out of the Senate.  And once in office, the president could make it be Lieberman's to attend the funerals for the pets of foreign leaders.  The president could also find a suite of other humiliating tasks that Joe Lieberman could do.

Think about it.  It has its appeal.

by kaleidescope 2008-06-02 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Quite the Contrary

Genius! Also, drop him after four years.

by lexluthor 2008-06-02 06:51PM | 0 recs
This is the problem

Obama & his camp think like this I suspect - personally I find the the thought process ridiculous & another reason that I just cannot identify with his camp whatsoever. Obama will NEED his VP to help him in more ways then one (both from a competency standpoint & as well as campaigning know how).  The question is if he & his camp understand this. I don't believe they do.

by jrsygrl 2008-06-02 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I agree that Webb is not a good choice.  While I am glad that he gave us one more seat in our senate caucus I do not want to see him moved over to the executive branch.  He is wrong on women's issues (which are democratic party issues when you get down to it) and he was wrong on FISA too.

Kaine would be a better Virginian IMO.  

I like Sherrod Brown.  He's an Ohioan and Ohio is very close.  It could go either way.  Also, the number one polling issue right now is the economy and Sherrod has one very well polished economic populist schtick.  Additionally he is a scrapper.  His weakness is in his lack of military service on his resume.  There are those who say that we need a veep who closes the military experience gap for Barack.  I'm not sure that I disagree.

by lockewasright 2008-06-02 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

someone 58-63.  old enough so that if hillary wants to run in 2016 s/he can bow out with a good reason, but young enough that if hillary doesn't want to be prez in 2016 s/he can stil run for prez

by Doug Tuttle 2008-06-02 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

how o yo upload a pic?  i have one i'd like to uplod, but i can't cut and paste it.  thanks for your help in advance.

by Doug Tuttle 2008-06-02 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

my key board sucks!

by Doug Tuttle 2008-06-02 06:01PM | 0 recs
lol!

know all about the keyboard thing - mine hates double letters...

Put your image on a free image hosting (google those words) site.  Then paste the html code for it in your message (the site will provide that for you).

Preview your comment and see if it worked.  You may have to edit just a bit (the place I use which escapes my mind puts a "target" bit in that mydd doesn't like.

Hope that helps.

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-06-02 08:02PM | 0 recs
The key to any VP selection is...

The vetting.  You don't want to saddle yourself with someone you later find out was banging his/her administrative assistant for the last 17 years, or worse.  

Other keys:  

Regional diversity - I don't like Bayh anyway but this would wipe him out.

Weakness balancing - This puts Webb right up there for Obama.

Swing state pickup - Anyone from Penn or OH makes sense in this regard.

I'd place sex and race well after all of these traditional measures.  

That said, I still appreciate the informative diary.  I don't agree with everything you said but I did get an education on why there's as much anger in some of Hillary's supporters as there appears to be.  This isn't necessarily about anything that happened in the last 6 months as perhaps more the last 30 years.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-02 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The key to any VP selection is...

Good points, though overcompensating for perceived weaknesses, as Chris argues, doesn't always look as confident as it might. I'd agree that the race or gender of a person isn't the top issue at all, but any pick should be good on the policy areas that matter to important party constituencies.

by Natasha Chart 2008-06-02 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The key to any VP selection is...

"but any pick should be good on the policy areas that matter to important party constituencies."

No doubt.  And in this case, given the raw nerves after this race, it makes sense that Obama commit to womans issues very specifically.  I'm not sure VP is the best way to do so, however.  I think Barack's been very clear with his positions here but his record on most things, being a relative newcomer, hasn't stood the test of time.  

The question posed above regarding Webb's positions and whether he's had any transformation over the years is a good one.  I haven't checked back recently to see if you responded there.  I can tell you I myself have come a LONG way over the last 20 years in this regard.  I'm 43.  So, perhaps holding Webb accountable to something he said 29 years ago requires a bit more current research or data.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-02 06:25PM | 0 recs
An alternative view.

We are going to have an election in November which will largely be about a Republican vision for the future and a Democratic vision.  I think we all have a general idea where each vision takes us.

The VP position will not be very important for getting us through the election, so I'm not that interested in regional diversity, balancing or other things that will get us through the next few months.

I am much more interested in finding a person who will be a great President.

I have been an Obama supporter from day 1 and have been pretty damned angry at Clinton from time to time, but the truth is, she could step into the Presidency without missing a beat.  For that reason alone, she deserves consideration.  

There are a number of women who exude that kind of confidence (I especially like the Gov. of AZ), but I'm not especially committed to having a woman on the ticket -- though it would be good.

I have been more impressed with Biden than most of my friends here.  Most people think that he is a blowhard, but I think he makes alot of sense and I like him.  Evan Bayh is good, Chris Dodd is good, John Tester is good.

But more importantly, I would like to get out of the mindset of gaming this and having a parlor game out of who would do the most good for the ticket and instead have a discussion of who would be the best President.

by smoker1 2008-06-02 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I see. You tell us that we should pick the person who is bst liked by the white people with no education - because they are Regan Democrats. In other words - we should pick the person the stupid people are for. Now you are telling us who to choose for VP? give me a break. Go back to your white trash pile and cry us a river!!

by forjoeb 2008-06-02 08:50PM | 0 recs
if it wouldn't get me a TR I'd

call you an asshole.

People without educations aren't always stupid, stupid.  More often than not they are POOR and unable to afford higher education, come from weak school districts that don't prepare them for college or must begin earning a living early to support themselves or family.  Doesn't matter what color they are -- poor people are less educated, can you grasp that one?

Real Democrats don't hate on poor folks, no matter what color they are.  Google "Migrant Mother" then come back and enlighten us more about the worthlessness of "white trash".   FYI -- Bobby Kennedy would have kicked your ass for using that term -- any real Democrat would.

Trollslime.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-06-03 02:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

Obama won't pick Clinton and it's just as well.  There will need to be someone of a national stature left standing after this fiasco-in-the-making goes by the boards.

by krj47 2008-06-02 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I've gotta say... There is some pretty shameful commentary being spouted amongst supposed progressives.

The argument that Clinton is the only female allowed on the ticket because any other female would be seen as a pander or consolation is preposterous.

There are many qualified great American Democratic leaders who are (gasp) female, some of which even have a big chunk of executive experience.

I think Sebelius could really prove her worth before November. An education/health care advocate, not wildly liberal, direct & plainspoken, Midwestern, grew up in southern Ohio, an executive, not a divisive partisan figure (even in beet-red Kansas), she can't stay governor after 2010 because of term limits...  She reminds me a lot of Gore in '92.  She may not bring her state to the table but I think a lot of folks in the midwest swings can relate to her.

Here's another prediction... If Sebelius doesn't get on the ticket, she will run in the next avail presidential election.

She's my choice for VP at this point.  And if she doesn't make it there, cabinet.  I feel almost as strongly about Webb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPfxOtq5A Ig

by evantakesall 2008-06-03 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Veepness Stakes: Please no Webb, DINOs

I believe one of the main opening statements in this post was that I see opposing her war vote as a perfectly reasonable argument for not having supported her.

by anasky123 2008-06-26 10:39PM | 0 recs

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