Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Obama surfs a wave of misogyny
Feb 11, 2008
Like many Democrats at the beginning of the primary season, I felt the happy rush of having "so many wonderful choices." And, yet, as time has worn on, I have become more and more disillusioned with the process, and throughout this last week, I have felt my anger and bewilderment at Obamamania spiral to a depressing peak.

I was born in India, and moved to the US with my family at a young age. I have lived as a woman torn between two cultures. In many ways, my native culture is a generation behind American culture in all things related to women and feminism. I have always related better to the American feminists of my mother's age than to the feminists of my own age. I know the sexism of the work place and the social scene that many young women face today, but I also know a deeper, life-threatening, soul-searing sexism that I think most American women of my generation have never experienced. They express their gratitude and then expect the older women to stop complaining and "get over it already." The struggle that feels like ancient history for many of my peers is not yet history for most women alive in the world today.

First of all, there is obviously a double standard applied to Senators Clinton and Obama. If Senator Obama faced the same constant tirade of racially motivated attacks we'd never hear the end of it, but somehow it's okay to heap hatred and sexist epithets on Senator Clinton - on a woman. Of course Senator Obama can run a squeaky clean campaign - everyone else slings the mud for him! By staying quiet and reaping the benefits of misogyny, he is exploiting sexism while still appearing innocent.

One of my good friends started a conversation off last week by telling me that not only does she support Senator Obama, but she hates Senator Clinton and she would never vote for her. When I asked why, she said essentially, "she is too ambitious, she comes off as 'smarter than everyone else,' and Bill [Clinton] destroyed Gore's chances in 2000." Not a single one of those answers is a substantive, rational reason to not vote for Senator Clinton. I'm proud that Senator Clinton has joined a very small handful of women who have steeled themselves for decades to brave this vicious political landscape. When I have a daughter, I would be proud if she decided at twenty years old that she wanted to be President and then worked for it her entire life. Doesn't every mother secretly suspect that her newborn son could be the president someday? Why then the double standard for a woman with that same ambition? Isn't Obama even more ambitious, who, at the age of 45 and with just two years of Senate experience, decided that he was more prepared than anyone else to become President of the United States? He moved to Illinois because Illinois is one of the few states that has historically elevated African American politicians beyond the local level - isn't that naked ambition (and all the more power to him, but let's call a spade, a spade, please)? Obama's polished speeches and impeccable vocabulary (which, by the way, I admire) not only sound intelligent but occasionally elitist. And aren't we beyond the point where we blame women for their husband's infidelity? There can't be many women who still believe it's fair to lose a job that she's otherwise qualified for because her husband cheated on her. It's a lose-lose situation for Senator Clinton. If she stays with him, half the people hate her; if she leaves him, the other half hate her. And who the hell are we to judge? Our viciousness and our accusations sound eerily like metaphorical equivalents of the stones cast at women under the Taliban regime - after all, they deserve to die for crimes committed against them by men, right?

If you say, as many do, that you support Senator Obama because you don't agree with Senator Clinton's vote on the authorization to go to war or her mandatory health insurance plan, then I say, "okay, I respect that." If you say that you are impressed by his tenure as President of the Harvard Law Review and his work as a community organizer, a Constitutional Law lecturer, and a state legislator in Illinois, then I say, "okay, I respect that." If you say that you support Senator Obama because you read one or both of his books and were impressed by the depth of his analysis and clarity of thought, I say, "okay, I respect that." If you believe that Senator Clinton might be too beholden to special interests, I respect that, but I also believe you need to take a long, hard look at Senator Obama, whose list of political obligations grows as big donors come out of the woodwork with every electoral success.

I also fully respect the deep, visceral longing that many voters feel when they think about having an African American (or bi-racial) family in the White House. What an amazing symbol of hope he could be for young black men, the most disenfranchised members of our society. What a powerful sign that our country is finally learning and growing beyond its past prejudices and into a post-racial era (of course, the exit poll breakdowns are an immediate reality check; identity politics are as "in" as ever). It's the same yearning I feel as a woman when I think of President Hillary Clinton, and it's the same hope I want for my future daughter. But I also support Senator Clinton because she's brilliant, hard-working, experienced (and, no, I don't think the past is something to run away from - see below), specific, thorough, and, yes, inspirational. I agree with her that mandates are the only route to truly universal (and affordable) health care, and I believe that she is more knowledgeable and better prepared to deal with both our economic and foreign policy challenges. I forgive her for her vote to authorize the war, knowing the pressure she was under both as the country's most prominent woman needing to prove her street cred (let's face it, she would have been lambasted either way) and as the freshmen senator from the state that suffered the greatest casualties on 9/11, the state that continues to be one of the prime targets for terrorism in this country. I don't always agree with her on everything, but I do believe she is the most qualified person to lead this nation forward.

But when I hear interviews with groups of college voters who can't articulate a single specific reason for their support of Senator Obama; when I can find very little of substance in the same stump speech he delivers everywhere; when I hear people calling Senator Clinton a warmonger or a conservative sell-out even though she and Senator Obama have very similar Senate voting records; when I know that it is indeed a 26-year old speechwriter (according to a glowing feature in the New York Times) masterminding those luminous speeches (everyone has to have speechwriters, of course, but if that's what he's MOST widely known for, then it begins to feel like the guy behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz); I have to wonder what in the world is going on in this country? I wish his speeches had more meat. I wish he would more consistently show us the nuanced, sharp-as-tack insight I came to love in his books. I want to believe he's got substance, and I want him to demonstrate it, to apply it more directly and consistently during this campaign. I don't want to feel like I have to join the group-think brigade and simply have "faith" that he'll be a good President because I read somewhere that he's capable.

I, too, worked as a community organizer and was trained in the same school of urban organizing that Senator Obama was (Saul Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation; Alinsky was also one of Senator Clinton's early influences), and that is precisely why his calls for unity strike me as disingenuous. What I learned from my years in organizing is that the more privileged you are, the less tolerance you have for conflict. Conflict is uncomfortable; it's threatening; it's not polite. The refrain we most often hear from well-to-do liberals is "why can't we all just get along?" I'll tell you why: people who have experienced oppression directly are ANGRY. Not go-out-and-shoot-people-at-the-mall angry. It's a slow-burning anger that says, "I don't care if you're uncomfortable with my demands, with the pitch of my voice, with the intensity of my commitment." Fundamentally changing the balance of power is hard (or we would already have a just society!), and no one, not even we well intentioned, well-to-do liberals, can afford to pretend that it won't require a fight (with our own souls, in fact, not to mention with those whose reach extends to the very roots of power in this country). By its very nature, change at a fundamental level is going to mean that the Haves have to give up some of their privilege, and they won't be doing it willingly. That doesn't mean coalitions aren't important; on the contrary, they're critical to success. But it does mean that conflict and discomfort are unavoidable - unity for the sake of unity is pointless at best and counterproductive at worst, especially in a nation fundamentally organized around tensions, around a "balance of power." We were meant to argue, disagree, take different perspectives, negotiate, and, by doing so, moderate each other's views. I take exception to Senator Obama's campaign because I believe that he's co-opted the tools of broad-based organizing and is manipulating them to promote a political process that is more appealing to privileged elites, and by doing that, I think he is indeed offering false hopes that will ultimately undermine the social justice movement. To the extent that this narrative is about race, it's also very much about class.

We see this in the very fact that he's won 9 out of 10 of the caucus states (and arguably, he won Nevada, too. In Nevada, Senator Clinton, despite her campaign's fears, did relatively better than in other caucuses, I think, because working-class employees were allowed to caucus at work). After working as a community organizer for over five years, I can guarantee you that the vast majority of people who can and will show up for a 2-3 hour political process are college students and the upper middle class. This is Senator Obama's prime demographic (especially in the caucus states, where there have been relatively low African American populations). Senator Clinton's main demographic, low-income and blue-collar voters, simply do not have the time and luxury to participate in such a process. For example, without transportation, childcare, and meals, many low-income voters would not even be able to attend. And even with those resources, caucusing can be very intimidating. Many people have very little experience with the type of overt, political discourse a caucus requires, and without preparation, support and relationship-building, they are likely to remain silent and invisible. I'm not implying that we need to change the process NOW, just for Senator Clinton, but I do believe that we owe it to all voters to create a process that is indeed more equitable and democratic. We also have to keep this bias in mind when we analyze Senator Obama's victories in those states. No doubt he has a phenomenal political machine in place, but he's also got privilege working to his advantage.

Anyway, in the end, it isn't going to matter how poetically Senator Obama calls for unity. It isn't up to him. It takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and his dance partners aren't going to willingly sway to his tune. The Clintons know this first-hand after twenty years of partisan attacks. We often forget that despite everything the Kenneth Starr Republicans tried to pin on Senator Clinton, she was found INNOCENT of all charges. Senator Clinton didn't lead our country down a path of bloody fueds during the 90s. The Republicans did. Even one of our very first attempts at Universal Health Care, however flawed, has been tainted as somehow immoral and deceptive. By spewing such hatred toward her now, we are punishing Senator Clinton for being attacked in the first place, and we are letting the Republicans manipulate our worldview.

Finally, I am distressed by the way that Senator Obama's campaign has capitalized on our culture's obsession with youth and all things young. He is essentially calling upon us to discard the past and to throw Senator Clinton away with it. But as the first woman president, she would not be the past. She embodies the future. Though I am not much older than Senator Obama's college voters, I have to admit a certain impatience with the arrogance they display. You have to be somewhat privileged to be attending college nowadays, and for them to assume that they alone know what's right for the rest of the country (the world!) is naive at best and narcissistic at worst. Perhaps because I come from a culture that respects its elders far more than this one does, I find many of his supporters to be self-indulgent and overly righteous. The contrast was made stunningly clear in an interview on Larry King Live of young surrogates from both Senators Clinton and Obama's campaigns. Senator Obama's young celebrity representatives were not able to provide any specific answers or concrete policy proposals when asked pressing questions about the future; on the other hand, Senator Clinton's representative, America Ferrera, was amazingly articulate and knowledgeable. And, again, this doesn't apply to everyone, but the media does tend to focus on Senator Obama's screaming mobs more than the thoughtful, well informed students. I suspect, in this and other ways, the media has done a disservice to all of us.

I am fully willing to acknowledge that there are many intelligent, thoughtful Obama supporters out there (like my fiance) who have weighed their decision very carefully, and I respect you and I am thrilled by the energy of democracy in action. Senator Clinton is certainly not perfect, either, and I think this dialogue could be fabulous and enlivening. However, you must understand that what we see in the media are the Obama "rock concerts," with thousands of swooning young people in the throes of their Obamagasms. We see Senator Clinton's breathtaking grasp of policy and detail, and her thoughtful, specific speeches, and, in contrast, his airy rhetorical flourishes and his slightly bumbling debate responses. We see videos like Obama Girl's (which I find tasteless for the way it reinforces both our hypersexualization of young women and black men) that emphasize Senator Obama's youthful attractiveness, and, in contrast, have to put up with constant, offensive Hillary-hating rants and critiques of her clothing, thighs and ankles. We've heard Senator Clinton apologize for the insensitive comments made by her surrogates (at least a few of them); we've never heard Senator Obama apologize for the avalanche of sexism dumped on Senator Clinton by the voters in his camp. We've never even heard him call them out on it, not even when a pundit recently accused Senator Clinton of "pimping out her daughter in some weird sort of way" because Ms. Clinton was willingly campaigning for her own mother. You have to understand that it begins to feel that, if Senator Obama wins this nomination, his political machine will have done so largely through charisma and by exploiting a tidal wave of youthful narcissism, privilege, and, most of all, misogyny.

I think Senator Obama needs to carefully rethink his arrogance when he claimed, "I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee. It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee." Not only is his confidence dangerously presumptuous, but by promoting his own electability based on irrational Hillary-hating, he's legitimizing both the misogyny and the political blackmail that his supporters are threatening us with: either pick our guy or we sink the whole ship. By doing so, he's polarizing the party and alienating the rest of us. If his and Senator Clinton's policy positions and Senate voting records were considerably different, I'd understand why each group of supporters would be reluctant to crossover in the general election; but since they are virtually identical, it appears that he is more interested in promoting himself than in insuring the success of the Democratic party and the much needed reforms that this country needs.

Tags: Acknowledge this Obama (all tags)

Comments

199 Comments

Obama was talking about independents

and new voters when he said: "I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee. It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee."

There is evidence to indicate that what he said could hold, i.e. the new constituency being brought to the polls by Obama may not show up to vote for Clinton or, in fact, may choose McCain in the general: see the recent string of GE polls, national and some state polls as well. Obama polls strongly w/ independents and beats McCain, whereas the opposite holds for the HRC vs McCain matchup (or at best comes even w/ McCain).

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-02-13 03:36PM | 0 recs
I find that bizarre.

Why would someone who is for Obama choose McCain over Clinton?

I can understand them choosing to stay home, but vote for McCain?  Is that logical?

by vj 2008-02-13 03:39PM | 0 recs
a good portion of independents and 'swing voters'

don't hold hard drawn partisan views on things or hold rigid ideologies. For some, perceived honesty, sincerity and trustworthiness plays an important role in deciding whom to support.

McCain has a reputation of being a "maverick". While he has broken ranks with the GOP hard-right many times, he has pandered to the establishment over the last 7 years quite badly as well. Close followers of politics (like many of us here) know that, but most people out in the real world don't necessarily know or care to find out.

Also, while Obama can make a winning argument on Iraq vs McCain (by saying that McCain should never have authorized to invade Iraq in the first place since Saddam was never an imminent threat), McCain can (and almost certainly will) score against HRC on the war (by saying that while both HRC and JM voted for the war, McCain didn't back off for political expediency when the going got rough, and took great political risk in promoting the "surge" which McCain would/does claim is working well in improving the security situation in Iraq).

Proof is in the pudding. Several recent GE polls show the trends I mentioned in my comment above.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-02-13 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: I find that bizarre.

It is bizarre. It's professional wrestling level politics. McCain: maverick war hero, Clinton: evil liberal. It's not smart or impressive but it's the way a lot of our fellow citizens vote. These narratives have been built up over years and years and there's not much you can do to change them for people who care that little about policy and issues. Obama's a clean slate.

This brings up another important point that blogospheric Americans can often forget. Not very many people in this country are like us at all. Most people don't read newspapers or blogs or care about the news at all.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I find that bizarre.

I don't know, but there was a reply to one of my earlier comments where a Clinton supporter said that she and her 5 voting age family members would vote McCain over Obama in the general if Clinton didn't win the nomination.

So, it goes both ways!

by LordMike 2008-02-13 07:13PM | 0 recs
I don't find it bazarre at all.

I'm unaffiliated, support Clinton, but would vote for McCain over Obama. What I find bizarre is when people support one party on every issue.

by JimR 2008-02-14 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't find it bazarre at all.

   But I don't understand...then you clearly have no preference on Iraq War policy?

by cilerder86 2008-02-14 02:20PM | 0 recs
But if you support Clinton, and she doesn't win

the nomination,  wouldn't it make sense to vote for the candidate who is MOST SIMILAR to Clinton in terms of policies??????   That candidate would be Obama.  

I am a Hillary supporter,  but there is no way in hell I would make a 180 degree in my political views just because of PERSONALITY POLITICS if she doesn't win.  

by Sandy1938 2008-02-15 05:45AM | 0 recs
A Clinton supporter who won't vote for Obama

I'm another one!

by PlainWords 2008-02-14 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I find that bizarre.

Your comment seems to indicate a lack of understanding about how voters make decisions:

Politically engaged people who have a definite and fairly consistent ideology make their votes based on values and policies. There is about 30% of the population that is self identified liberals or progressives.  There is about 35% who are self identified conservatives.

Elections are determined by a combination of turn-out in the base and share of the 35% of voters who are neither consistently left or right.  Obama does much better with indies than Clinton.  If Clinton wins the nomination many of the indies who would have voted for Obama will go for McCain.

On the other hand, Clinton actually pulls more Dems than Obama against McCain, that means his task will be to consolidate the support of the Dem base, whole Clinton's task would be to win over indies who are inclined to go for McCain.  Most would agree that it is easier to consolidate the base than to persuade indies to rethink hardened impressions.  Almost all independent analysts agree that Obama is more electable.

by upper left 2008-02-14 08:27AM | 0 recs
It isn't logical

but it is out there in mass quantities.  Which is why we need Obama.  We don't want a 50+1.  We want a landslide, we want McCain buried so deep he'll wish he was back in the Hanoi Hilton.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-02-14 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was talking about independents

Obama had no right to say this -- he doesn't know what Clinton supporters will do or what his supporters will do. It is arrogant for him to assume he does.

by seattlegonz 2008-02-13 08:34PM | 0 recs
It's not the only arrogance he's shown IMO.

It's one thing he has in common with George W. Bush.

by JimR 2008-02-14 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was talking about independents

I don't think Obama will get all of HIllary supporters. Latinos in CA, which voted heavily for HIllary, have said they don't like him. also working class people have problems with him. And I know of women who say they will not vote for him because of the way the media was so unfair to HIllary, who has been a great campion of children and families.

by Enviro 2008-02-13 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was talking about independents

I'd like to see some quotes from Latinos saying they don't like Obama. Working on the campaign here in the heart of LA, from Latinos I've heard many positive things about Hillary, her husband, and matriarchal power, and I've heard that many Latinos just aren't at all familiar with Obama, but I've not heard one negative thing against him, other than a couple of Latinas who told me that that they would never vote for a Muslim.

by dmc2 2008-02-14 05:28AM | 0 recs
True and remember that Latino voters

helped GW BUSH win the election in 2000 (well "win" is debateable here)  and in 2004.  

by Sandy1938 2008-02-15 05:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was talking about independents

Thanks this is important information. Sadly it also fits in with other research I have been doing.

by Grandma M 2008-02-14 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was talking about independents

These are idiotic arguments from these people.  Anyone saying Obama is riding sexism or Misogony can easily have it thrown right back at them that Hillary benefits from racism.  Either both are true and Dems are not as enlightened as we think we are, or both bullshit and Obama is running a better campaign.  I go with B.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-14 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was talking about independents

Then go join the GOP. You are putting your petty issues above the needs of the country and our chance to win.

by JDF 2008-02-14 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was talking about independents

Your retort is far too simplistic, JDF.  Believe it or not, there are some of us Democrats who strongly believe that Obama is not at all prepared/qualified to be president.  I would rather see a McCain presidency with a strong Democratic majority in Congress, than a 4-year failed Obama presidency with a consequent loss of both the presidency and the Congress in 2012.

by miriam 2008-02-14 10:46AM | 0 recs
he's always a puzzle

that can be read more than one way. That's why he won't debate, it's how he keeps his momentum, something for everyone, and his largest group hates Hillary.  He's trying to get the other groups to hate her too, and when he appears with her in public and can't get away with being rude and dismissive, he undercuts his hope, that more will hate Hillary.  

by anna shane 2008-02-15 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Excellent; recommended.

I find your points about lower income voters to be so starkly true.  I used to work with lower income bracket individuals in housing and what you find is that these are people most directly affected by the changes in administration but so often, they feel like they have no power in the process.  It's very much like what Maxine Waters said after the Super Tuesday debates - "These people need help not hope."

I stopped talking about "unity" after I dealt with a racially motivated brawl and started talking about providing the services necessary for people to succeed in the future.  That's part of the reason I've supported Clinton.

by ejintx 2008-02-13 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I recall one snotty Obama supporter saying of the comment by Maxine Waters, "People should help themselves.  Why do they expect the government to do it for them?"

by Montague 2008-02-13 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I used to be like that until I got into that position.  Yeah, there's a degree of personal responsibility people have to take in order to fix their lives and all the government programs in the world aren't going to do that, but there are also many people who want to succeed and are trying to overcome some huge hurdle that some aid would relieve - be it a health problem, etc.

I was crushed by both sides; people who threw it back in my face and those who just couldn't make it.  I don't think we should socialize everything and I support limiting unemployment benefits and welfare, but universal health care would be on of those things that would help people from day one.

by ejintx 2008-02-13 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I can certainly relate to what you went through.

My husband died when I was 33, and left a mountain of debts for his business, which I paid off. I raised my 2 daughters alone with no help. When finally things stabilized, and after they went through college and married, I thought good -now I can save for  my retirement.

Well 2 1/2 years later I collapsed and was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. When I woke up 3 days later, I was informed that I was 'indigent'. I was shocked, and the nurses called my employer and gave me the phone. I learned they had cancelled my health insurance effective the morning I went to the hospital (I collapsed mid afternoon that day). I also was told that since I was going to need more surgery, I was considered unable to do my job, and therfore did not have it.

As a result of working hard an playing by the rules, I am now disabled, and have to live on Social Security. Universal Health would have preserved what little savings I had, and not made getting medical assistance so difficult.

by Grandma M 2008-02-14 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I am so sorry to hear that.  I've been lucky so far in life that nothing terribly serious has happened to me as far as health, but I've seen people's whole lives fall apart when a loved one came down with cancer.

I used to do service at a homeless shelter before I moved, and it was truly terrifying to me how close any of us could be to being in a situation like that.  God bless you.

by ejintx 2008-02-14 05:42AM | 0 recs
This is exactly what is wrong

with the system we have now.  You went from employed to indigent, not because you did anything stupid, like gamble away all your savings in a casino - but simply because the system is gamed against people like you and me.

It is so far beyond the time we should have UHC in place.

by Montague 2008-02-14 12:55PM | 0 recs
Of course there must be personal responsibility

The kind of help that Maxine Waters meant, I believe, is not a handout.  She means the kind of help provided by a strong economy, by covering people's health care needs so that they don't have to worry about going bankrupt.  The kind of help provided by making sure the system is fair and offers real opportunity to people at all levels.

I'm not for socializing everything, either.  I want a system where people who work hard can share in the benefits of a strong economy.  That's the kind of economy I think that Hillary is capable of fostering, and I suspect that is behind what Maxine is saying.

by Montague 2008-02-14 12:58PM | 0 recs
Certainly

I think that's what she's going for to, but even a strong economy doesn't ensure you much - probably a job and a steady income.  UHC will at least protect you from huge losses due to a sudden health problem.

by ejintx 2008-02-14 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Certainly

Absolutely.  I am 100% in favor of single-payer health care, in fact, and have been since I first knew what it was.  Only when we do not have to worry about losing our livelihoods and savings over an unexpectedly expensive health problem will we be free to contribute to a strong economy ourselves.  America is supposed to foster small businesspeople, right?  And yet the lack of UHC kills the ability of people to afford going into business.  It ties them to uninspiring and unfulfilling work in boring jobs.

My point in my earlier comment was to counteract some people who have suggested that there's something wrong with needing help instead of hope.  I just want to give credit to lower-income people for the very hard work they do to keep afloat financially.

by Montague 2008-02-14 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Certainly

Oh absolutely.  I was pissed to read that quote; it reaffirms to me the divide between what Obama says and believes and what the composition of the Obama coalition is.

Quite frankly, I'm struggling with what to do with this man - I firmly believe that I could vote for McCain.  Somebody is going to rush in and try to claim that he'll appoint another Alito, but I highly doubt that.  I'd expect another Sandra Day O'Connor - who I could live with if necessary.

I'm not in the Clinton cult of personality; I like her but mostly I believe she'll be center-left.  That's an ideal spot for me - it stops far-rightist agendas and doesn't espouse overzealous Democratic policies.  To me, a moderate Republican is just as far away as "the most liberal senator."  So, I actually have a choice.

I might be a Democrat, but I don't vote party lines.  Sure, I voted for Kerry and Gore, but I've voted for moderate Republicans before.  Could I be pushed so far as McCain?  It depends on what happens between now and November, but I could vote against the Party to save it from itself.  Why is that we're the ones that so easily fall to the flavor of the month?

by ejintx 2008-02-15 04:05AM | 0 recs
Right. Maxine Waters hit the nail on the head

when she said that.  Currently,  the healthcare system is rigged against you.  When a person becomes seriously ill, the last thing they have the strength to do is fight with insurance companies over "loopholes" in their policies.  In fact, the Insurance companies are banking that people will lose their will to fight and just give up.  

by Sandy1938 2008-02-15 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

For people supporting what they claim is the "most liberal senator" they certainly come up with some very right-wing arguments.  I perticularly enjoy hearing the libertarian rationale for non-mandated health care.  Just tonight someone was extolling the virtue of free market medicine.

The cognitive dissonance is amazing.  Maybe if you chant "Yes, we can" enough you just don't notice it.

by newhorizon 2008-02-13 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

The irony is stunning isn't it?

David Axelrod Obama's campaign manager, has receieved medical help for their oldest daughter, through Hillary's efforts.

David and Susan Axelrod have three children in their late teens and early 20s. Their eldest, Lauren, has developmental disabilities associated with chronic epileptic seizures and now lives in a group home in Chicago. But for years her illness required enough of her parents' time that it kept Susan Axelrod out of the work force and kept David from moving to Little Rock during the 1992 presidential campaign. Susan and two other mothers of children with epilepsy started a foundation, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), which Susan runs, to promote research and raise funds for a cure. Because of David's political work, they have had political celebrities do fund-raisers: Bill Clinton, Tim Russert, Obama. But few have done as much for the foundation as Hillary Clinton.

It was January 1999, President Clinton's impeachment trial was just beginning in the Senate and Hillary Clinton was scheduled to speak at the foundation's fund-raiser in Chicago. Despite all the fuss back in Washington, Clinton kept the appointment. She spent hours that day in the epilepsy ward at Rush Presbyterian hospital, visiting children hooked up to machines by electrodes so that doctors might diagram their seizure activity and decide which portion of the brain to remove. At the hospital, a local reporter pressed her about the trial in Washington, asked her about that woman. At the organization's reception at the Drake Hotel that evening, Clinton stood backstage looking over her remarks, figuring out where to insert anecdotes about the kids. "She couldn't stop talking about what she had seen," Susan Axelrod recalled. Later, at Hillary Clinton's behest, the National Institutes of Health convened a conference on finding a cure for epilepsy. Susan Axelrod told me it was "one of the most important things anyone has ever done for epilepsy."

And now David Axelrod is behind the smears and Lies against Hillary coming out of Obama's campaign.

by Grandma M 2008-02-14 05:03AM | 0 recs
Wow n/t

by Montague 2008-02-14 09:02PM | 0 recs
Thanks for sharing this

It would not go over well at DailyKos, but it's a telling story about partisanship and what it does.

by citizen53 2008-02-14 10:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I agree wholeheartedly. This is a beautful and powerful diary. It touches, mind,heart and spirit.

by Grandma M 2008-02-14 05:06AM | 0 recs
Clinton surfs a wave of racism

This is easy! Next.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 03:59PM | 0 recs
You're an ass

And a fine example of what many of us on the Clinton side have been complaining about for this last month.

As far as I can see, you're just a sneering dismissive jerk. I'm sure you think much more highly of yourself but whatever qualities you may have sure don't show well.

by lombard 2008-02-13 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: You're an ass

The Clinton camp can not claim purity.

by SocialDem 2008-02-13 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: You're an ass

And your a pompous self-important dork. Maybe the Clinton side should've been working to get their candidate elected instead of complaining for the past few weeks. Your a fine example of a why Hillary Clinton is losing.  A ton of complaining but no positive vision. Sucks to be you.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 06:05PM | 0 recs
Nah, I'm OK with being me

But I suspect from the way you talk to people, your life probably isn't all that much.

by lombard 2008-02-13 06:26PM | 0 recs
by Jumbo 2008-02-13 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re:

I've spoken to quite a few white males here in Georgia who voted for Obama on Feb 5th. The main gist is

"Anything to stop that b!tch!"

They have however said against Obama in the fall they are for McCain. "Of course" he said like it was a forgone conclusion

by rossinatl 2008-02-13 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re:

It makes me sad to hear that, but I can't see it didn't cross my mind.

by ejintx 2008-02-13 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re:

So then we should nominate Clinton? So we'd have a better chance of winning Georgia? I'm so confused.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 04:07PM | 0 recs
And I'm sure those words are verbatim

Yes, I'm anxious to see how all these "independents" the Obama campaign claims support them vote in November.

by lombard 2008-02-13 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: And I'm sure those words are verbatim

Don't be so defeatist. She's gonna pull it out. What happened to March 4th?

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 06:06PM | 0 recs
Piss off, loser!

Why don't you amuse yourself in some other way - like pulling wings off flies or drowning cats.

by lombard 2008-02-13 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Piss off, loser!

If this is the sort of highfalutin discourse that transpires here on a regular basis, and that does appear to be the case, what possible justification have I got to spend another moment on it?  Should I practice my guitar, or bandy words with angry right wing democrats?  What a no brai...

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-02-14 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

you offer a brilliant, passionate, and incisive analysis!  thank you so much ---- your arguments  really resonate with me.  

by txyellowdawg 2008-02-13 04:03PM | 0 recs
It's not about you

"I wish his speeches had more meat. I wish he would more consistently show us the nuanced, sharp-as-tack insight I came to love in his books."

Guess what, he did that at the beginning and you apparently weren't watching C-Span at the time. You missed out. Not Barack's fault. And here's the best part: It wasn't working. He was boring people and getting bogged down in details. He ditched it for the inspiring superficial stuff and it's working. He's getting more votes now. People like what he says and they vote for him. That's what this part of the process is all about. He's not going to change his rhetoric just because you wish he would say other things. Because then he'd be a loser like Clinton and Edwards and Dodd and Biden and Kucinich. Great, substantive people all, but people don't like voting for them very much. Or at least not enough. What he's doing is working and you're just going to have to learn to deal with that.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not about you

"He was boring people and getting bogged down in details. He ditched it for the inspiring superficial stuff and it's working. He's getting more votes now. People like what he says and they vote for him."

And that's what just scares the hell out of me.

by newhorizon 2008-02-13 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not about you

Then vote for Chris Dodd. Seriously. I'm freaked out that Bill Clinton started race-baiting in South Carolina. But I know he's just doing what he's gotta do to win. They all do. They are all professional politicians. You go with what works. Because if you go with what doesn't work (which seems to be Mrs. Clinton's problem at the moment: going with name recognition and TV ads instead of grassroots organizing) you lose.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 08:37PM | 0 recs
Obama started the race-baiting in SC

when he put homophobe Donnie McClurkin onstage for him to make a play for AA Evangelicals. At first I thought it was something that got out of hand for him, but after the orchestrated cries of "dog-whistle politics" went out from his supporters, it became obvious it was calculated triangulation.

by sgary 2008-02-15 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

GE polls? GE contributed to Obama's campaign. So did Time Warner..so much for polls.

Sorry, but, I believe she can stand against McCain and I have read the entire record of Senator Clinton. Several things about her position have been twisted and Senator Obama has neglected to mention several comments he made with regard to Iraq and his support of lack of support on that issue. He didn't have a vote and commented "present" at the time. Admitting that he did not know how he would have voted at that time if he had to make that same decision or was called upon to do so. He wasn't. Furthermore, the reading of the entire so called approval in context will tell you that she did exactly as she said she did.

Time reported that the republicans organized to support Obama well before we got this far into things. They want him to win. They are saying one thing and doing another and they do feel they can beat him. See my other article on this subject.

Hillary Clinton has stood up against them for a long, long time. She has the mettle to go against them and it's a fake argument that she can't because any democrat is going to stand against the war as she consistently said and voted the exact same as Obama except for the one he wasn't there for. The republicans know that and no way McCain is going to look less hawk like.

I have my own ideas about what has happened here based on many things I've seen and lots of research. It's too bad really.

But in the end the media and super delegates will probably decide the election for good or bad.

I know a lot of disenfranchised Clinton supporters who despite what the "polls" show are saying they will not vote at all, leave the party and go independent and just sit this one out if Obama is the nominee. Dont' underestimate this situation because the media is lying. As usual.

by RAnne1 2008-02-13 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Disenfranchised???? She has such a poweful network of backers thanks to her husband and her contacts. Who exactly is preventing you from exerting your support for Hillary?

I dont have a problem with most of your diary. But your title is over the top. She is not in the position she is because of misogyny.

by Pravin 2008-02-13 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

RAnne, this is exceptional writing, and you have the life experiences and volunteerism that adds powerfully to your statements.

Would you please drop me a line at susanunpc at gmail.com ?  Thank you!

by susanhu 2008-02-14 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

One of the best diaries on the campaign I've read. Thanks for this.

by OtherLisa 2008-02-14 09:41PM | 0 recs
Your comment

says everything I don't like about Obama.

by Coldblue 2008-02-13 04:17PM | 0 recs
Penn fondlers

It's no wonder so many of you folks back Clinton... you practically breathe the Mark Penn oxygen -- at least Penn does a bit of statistical analysis to draw his jaw-droppingly bad conclusions.

It appears many of you folks don't even go to that trouble -- talk to an Obama supporter who doesn't blow your mind with grasp of policy?  Why -- certainly that's all the evidence you need.

More than 9.3 million Americans have voted for Obama -- more than clinton, by the way - even if we include MI.

I find it difficult to believe that any of you have met enough of them to draw any credible conclusions to apply to all of them.

by zonk 2008-02-13 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Penn fondlers

But why did they vote for Obama?  Riddle me that.  I doubt you have met enough Obama supporters to either.

by ejintx 2008-02-13 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Penn fondlers

I'm not the one making claims about more than 9.3 million Americans.

by zonk 2008-02-13 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Penn fondlers

Aren't you?  Aren't you asserting the very opposite of what you claim we're saying?

Aren't you also asserting something about Clinton supporters by calling us "Penn fondlers"?  It seems like you are the one making claims.

by ejintx 2008-02-13 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Penn fondlers

<sigh>
 I voted for Barack Hussain Obama and i support this message!  I voted for Mr Obama simply because i have been in politics for 25 years and i know that he has a little something called star power.  The current state of our nation is such that all elections are decided based on popularity NOT substance.

Sad as that may be, you folks in the Clinton camp may want to wake up and realize that.  Yes, i do like Mrs Clinton, and yes she is very bright, and intelectual, but her personality is polarizing and several other minor personality traits she has tend to give the common masses pause.  She is on par with the candidates we have fielded in the last 2 presidential elections.  Gore and Kerry, are both very very smart men and very very intellectual, but they did not have the personality to win a popularity contest.

Is it fair?  No.  Is it mysagnistic?  No.  Simply put, little things like not congratulating Barack over the weekend on his victories, and not thanking the people who voted for her in MD, D.C. and VA is exactly what i am talking about.

Please do not take this the wrong way; you asked why i supported Barack and i am telling you.  I know it grates for women in general that the best candidate, and the first real shot you have had at the white house with a woman, is coming up short. I have no doubt that she would be a great president, but i feel that right now she is more of a liability to the Democratic Party than a solid candidate.  We all know that if she does not win in TX and OH she is going to get down right nasty in trying to get MI's and FL's delegates included in the convention, which will do more harm to the party than good.  If she does not win in those 2 states she should condede to B.H.O. and just try and heal the gap she is instigating in the party.

by gnosis 2008-02-13 10:38PM | 0 recs
I agree with gnosis...

His appeal to a wide swath of people is important - especially here in Texas where we would like to win some local state elections.

It's odd that it's his popular appeal that turns so many people away from him here at myDD.  Don't you want liberal-progressives to win in November?

What confuses me though, are the folks here who claim to not like Obama b/c he speaks like a Republican (I disagree).  Have you guys not been paying attention the last 5 years, as HRC has used Republican talking points time and time again to saddle up next to conservatives?

It's not only that Hillary voted for the war, she continued to strongly support the war and used the language of fear until around mid-2006, long after  Kerry and Edwards had abandoned their positions, and even Republicans like Chuck Hagel were speaking out against the war.

She was a war supporter for so long.  I can't forget that.

There are other examples of her using conservative talking points for her short term gain- like here sponsorship of an anti-flag burning amendment.  In order to prove her own patriotism, she had to take up a cause which was rooted in the mythology of unpatriotic, anti-war activists who purportedly burned the flag.  

How disgusting.

So no.  My vote for Barack Obama (and it is a vote FOR him, not against Hillary Clinton) is not founded in misogyny. It is based on their records.

If you want to see one clear example of how Obama and Clinton differ in their judgment calls on the issues.  I found a nice nugget here.  Enjoy.

by Damien in Texas 2008-02-14 03:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Penn fondlers

I contend that this "star power" is a common problem we have as a party - that is we rely on it far too much.  We capitalize on Republican missteps and field candidates that do nothing but try to build cults of personality.  That's how we won the presidency in 1992; that's how we took back Congress in 2006.  If we field a "star power" politician, it's another dent in the party.  Clinton offers the first chance we have in a long time to field a candidate based on conviction and not rhetoric, and we're passing it up for another politician is our first chance at an intellectual president that can rebuild our party and our nation.  Excuse me if I'm resentful.  

by ejintx 2008-02-14 07:22AM | 0 recs
Wow, best diary I have ever seen

Wow.

by SluggoJD 2008-02-13 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I only had to read the title and barely glance at the diary to know this should be troll rated, if diaries could be.  

by soros 2008-02-13 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

My thoughts exactly.

Absolute pablum.

by goodnbad 2008-02-13 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Actually, the title of the diary is kind of misleading and doesn't really do it justice. I was tempted to not even read it, but I did, and found it to be heartfelt, well-written, and, despite the title, pretty balanced.

I am a Hillary supporter, but I am also kind of a "newbie" here and not comfortable recommending diaries (or giving "troll" or even positive ratings). This is only the third diary I've recommended. And one of the others I recommended I unrecommended when I realized that the diarist had gotten some of his facts wrong and the whole thing turned into an insult-fest.

But this diary really struck a chord with me. Rather than judging a book by its cover, I suggest you read it in full, instead of skimming it.

by freemansfarm 2008-02-13 06:17PM | 0 recs
He sure does

great diary!

by annefrank 2008-02-13 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee. It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee

I saw this statement as a challenge. Yup, he sealed his fate with many, many Hillary supporters.  We won't be voting for his arrogance in November.

He's going after fickle independence at the cost of his own base.  Wrong move.

by Sensible 2008-02-13 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

And BTW, I've no intention of voting for McCain.  I'll write in a candidate or abstain.

McCain-Obama?  Obama-McCain?  They both cater to the right.  What does it matter which wins.

Supreme Court?  Obama's pretty conservative about abortion rights, and pretty pro-corporate, for "voluntary regulation" of nuclear plants.

He's a Republican in Democrat's clothing.

by Sensible 2008-02-13 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

If you're willing to cede an election to the party who would love to select more SCOTUS justices like Scalia and Thomas, then I don't know what to say to you.

You can't be reasoned with.  Leave my party.

by goodnbad 2008-02-13 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: like you know who he'd pick....

Yes.  Heaven forbid you actually be required to do some RESEARCH on a candidate, rather then have their soundbytes be spoonfed to you.

>>    *  Voted against banning partial birth abortion. (Oct 2007)
    * Stem cells hold promise to cure 70 major diseases. (Aug 2007)
    * Trust women to make own decisions on partial-birth abortion. (Apr 2007)
    * Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters. (Oct 2006)
    * Constitution is a living document; no strict constructionism. (Oct 2006)
    * Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill. (Jun 2004)
    * Protect a woman's right to choose. (May 2004)
    * Supports Roe v. Wade. (Jul 1998)
    * Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
    * Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
    * Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
    * Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006) <<

http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Barack _Obama.htm

by goodnbad 2008-02-13 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

But hey, Obama in the Senate could lead the charge against Republicans and stop anymore Scalias getting on Supreme Court.  Of course, he'd have to do more than just vote "present" though...

by newhorizon 2008-02-13 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Refresh my memory - what was Hillary's vote on that important FISA bill yesterday?

by goodnbad 2008-02-13 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

But remember? She's evil incarnate!  Obama is The Chosen One, purveryor of unity, hope and change we can believe in!  At least that's what I'm told!

by newhorizon 2008-02-13 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I don't get it.

Aside from being hyperbolic to the point of being meaningless, your post isn't even responsive to the topic we're discussing.

by goodnbad 2008-02-13 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Try reading them in order:

1. Terrified about what will happen to Supreme Court if Obama not coronated.

2. Hey, Obama can be big shot leader in Senate to prevent Supreme Court disaster

3. Snarky remark about Hillary's not voting on FISA as unresponsive shot at her leadership in Seanate evidently.

4. Me. mocking Obama's purported superior being qualities (you know I am endlessly reminded by Obamans how much better of a human being he is anyway).  Since Obamans see The Chosen One as inherently a better living being than Hillary and comparison would be for naught.

Try minimizing your distractions when you're online.  Having to summarize this for you has been a pain in the neck.

by newhorizon 2008-02-13 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Uhh...interesting review of the posts.  Just a bit skewed however.  The true version:

#1 Pointing out to an HRC supporter that if Obama gets the nod, and she stays home in the GE, she imperils the future of the SCOTUS.

#2 Your remark about what Obama can do in the Senate to stop that, followed by snarky remark about his voting "present".

#3 My snarky remark about Clinton not showing up at all on the FISA bill.

#4 ?????  Infantile invective which can be summed up as "Oooh, Obama is so perfect!"

Your #4 follows no logical progression from the previous 3.  Unless, of course, you believe that a valid response to any critique of Clinton is "Oh, but Obama is so perfect", followed by painting his supporters with a broad brush - then sure - your post is reponsive.  In my world, this type of debate style is considered infantile and devoid of substance.

by goodnbad 2008-02-14 04:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

What's infantile and devoid of substance is any criticism of Obama being answered with some attack on Clinton.  Why can't any Obaman ever admit that he has faults, hasn't always done the best/smartest thing, isn't always correct on issues?  You've conceded that if Obama did not win in a GE and remained in the Senate, he would be incapable of exercising the leadership needed to prevent right-wing appointees from getting on the Supreme Court.  

In debate, even debate heavily and obviously laced with sarcasm, not answering is the same as admitting.  

by newhorizon 2008-02-14 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Ah - I understand the rules now:

Snarky comment about Obama = criticism on Obama, deserving of a reasoned response
Snarky comment about Clinton = attack on Clinton, and can be ignored

You haven't asked me to admit whether Obama has any faults.  I'll gladly tell you - of course he does.

As for your hypothetical about Obama "exercising leadership in the Senate" to stop right-wing SCOTUS appointees, the very same applies to Senator Clinton.  But last I checked, the job of providing majority leadership in the Senate belongs to, ummm, the...SENATE MAJORITY LEADER.  

by goodnbad 2008-02-14 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

You'll really stand aside if Obama wins?

Well, I guess you and your conscience will have to sort that out. Hopefully you don't live in a tightly contested state.

Frankly, I love seeing Hillary getting the spanking she so richly deserves. But if she somehow manages to pull this thing back from over the cliff, I'll give her my vote in November. (I'll then go home and take a shower and try to prepare myself for another round of Clinton antics.) You see,  I live in Colorado, and I know that even Hillary "let's invade Iraq, and Iran's military are terrorists" Clinton would be better than McCain.

Maybe you should do a gut check before making such pronouncements.

by PhilFR 2008-02-13 06:08PM | 0 recs
Please get your facts straight

I hate repeating your mistatements on Obama's record, but they need to be corrected.

Obama's pretty conservative about abortion rights, and pretty pro-corporate, for "voluntary regulation" of nuclear plants.

I'll let you do your research on the abortion rights  material (hint: look beyond the Clinton campaign hit pieces.  They've been a bit misleading.)  I will include this little article though, that mentions the anti-women's rights protesters who protested when Obama announced his candidacy for president.

Anti-choicers protesting against Barack?  He must have done something right.

As for the voluntary regulation on nuclear.... um that was a bill of his that required plants to release every instance of minor radioactive release (evidently they are quite common) to the public.  In order to move it, he had to water it down, otherwise it would have gone nowhere.  

It's quite a common legislative strategy.  It's unfortunate that you aren't giving him credit for working to get a toehold on an issue that you obviously care about.  He filed a bill that opposed the interest of a local company and contributor in order to protect his constituents. Give him some credit!

by Damien in Texas 2008-02-14 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

So you prefer "4 more years of Bush" + Republican SCOTUS appointments?  Please don't ever call yourself a Democrat, then.

You're going to risk the overturning of Roe v. Wade, just because Obama upset you?

Wrong move.

by goodnbad 2008-02-13 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

This is one of the best pieces of writing I've come across on MyDD. The heartfelt honesty is appreciated.

Obama cannot win by dancing on the political grave of the Clintons, nor fueled by riffing off the worst instincts of the fourth estate for scapegoating Hillary or Bill. Should Obama become president I am certain he will reap what he has sown and he will have to reckon with the bad energy he has gathered around him to win. A nation that cannot uphold fairness as a matter of conscience will never find itself. The political house of Obama is built on a pack of cards.

by superetendar 2008-02-13 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

let me just say......

wow!

What planet have you been on? You say Obama's campaign is built around negatives(bad energies)?  What do you mean when you say "A nation that cannot uphold fairness as a matter of conscience will never find itself."?  Are you infering that because your candidate is in a tightly contested race it is somehow not a fair race?  If that is what you are implying you have got to be kidding~!  I grew up with the affermative action cloud hanging over my head and people constantly behind my back and sometimes to my face accused me of having my job simply because of the color of my skin.  

What hardships are you saying Hillary had to endure?  Remind me please because last time i checked she came from a wealthy white background, regardless of how many uncle tom's like to say that the Clinton's were the first black family in the White house.  Please i hope just once women will have to endure the shame of having to go to a seperate bathroom just because they are a different color from the other kids in their school.  Your assumed hardships are just that... assumed...  The most you can claim is that people of your gender endured not getting promoted, and making less money than men?  Wow forgive me for hiding under my bed as a cross was burned in my front yard and my father dragged out in the yard and whipped with a bull whip so badly that he almost died.

 Maybe since i am not complaining about all the racist remarks comming out of the Clinton campaign to the effect that "Oh well such and such state didn't matter because there are a lot of registered blacks there"  Give me a break please.  I sometimes think that we are progressing as a nation, and then people like you remind me that people with little to no intelligence can still breed.

by gnosis 2008-02-13 10:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Senator Obama is not winning by dancing on the grave of the Clintons, he is winning by running a better campaign, and attracting a broader coalition of supporters. What has he done that was unfair? Was it unfair that he came into this race as the underdog against someone with tremendous name recognition, fund raising ability, and a honed political machine? The political house of the Clintons was built without a grassroots foundation, it's just a facade.

by joseb 2008-02-14 12:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I agree with the other comments. Obama said the vote thing and I actually agree with him. He was talking about some cross-over voters and indies who probably wouldn't vote Clinton because of the stigma surrounding the name "Clinton". And it is in no way her fault. It was started by Conservatives and stuck. Does it suck? Totally. Is it fair or based on any reality? Hell no. But I know that is the way it is. I completely admire Hillary and glad she is out there fighting for the party. But I'd also love to win this election. I read in another post the prospect of her becoming a Supreme Court Justice. If Obama wins, that could be a reality. Then we'd have Hillary for ever fighting for us!

I also agree with you about the caucus thing. I think this election taught us a lot about our process, and certainly highlighted the flaws. Look at Florida and Michigan. What a disaster. At this point, no solutions are fair to anyone. Anyone will complain. It should have been dealt with at the very beginning. My dad the other day was telling me it should teach me a life lesson to deal with my problems when they arise because they will only become much bigger later when left to fester. It's corny, I know, but he's my dad and he's like that.  

I also am a woman and know that sexism in our society is very real, and we have all felt it in some way or another. All I'd ask is that you do not associate Barack with that kind of sexism. Some of his supporters will be sexist, because some people are ignorant a-holes. And some Hillary  supporters are racist. That doesn't mean Hillary is a racist. If anything, I think it just shows to go you that we need better education in this dang country! Go democrats!

by cecilybecily 2008-02-13 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

she is too ambitious, she comes off as 'smarter than everyone else,'

Many Americans dislike, I might even say hate, the  smartest kid in the class, the one that was the teacher's pet and always had their hand raised to answer every question.  Hillary Clinton comes off like she was that kid.  Gore did as well.  This is not misogyny.  And not being the smartest kid in the class I don't know the fancy word for hatred of smart people.

Bill Clinton may have been the smartest kid in the class when he was in school but he never was the teacher's pet.  Obama is clearly smart as well but again, I just can't picture him making the other kids feel dumb and answering every question.  He was probably too busy doing stuff he shouldn't have been doing during is his 'troubled' youth.

Coming from a culture where intelligence is valued, this facet of American culture may be hard to understand but it's real.  When people would say "W is the kinda of guy you'd want to have a beer with" this dynamic is at work.  These people  would not want to have a beer with a Harvard professor.  They prefer politicians who don't come off as smarter than them or as upper crust.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-13 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Exactly Gore suffered from similar problem in 2000. is RAnne going to blame misogyny for his defeat then?

by Pravin 2008-02-13 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

The dynamics behind Gore's "problem" in 2000 are quite different than the dynamics at play for Hillary.

by Montague 2008-02-14 04:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

There were snide remarks about Gore trying to hog all the credit and being  a know it all fancy pants.

by Pravin 2008-02-14 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I don't see how your comment is persuasive at all.  You make a assertion that the dynamics are different with out even an description of the dynamics.

My view is that Gore suffered from the same fundamental problem and HRC.  Many American just did not like him in large part due to him seeming like the smartest kid in the class.  

Remember the whole "sighing during the debate" press feeding frenzy during 2000.  That's what really smart people do who have no patience for the idiotic babbling of people like W.  A good politician realizes that sighing is a bad bet and realizes that persuasion is still necessary even when your opponent is a moron.  Neither Gore nor Hillary are good politicians.  I can't even imagine Obama sighing in response to Republican dribble.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-14 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

A little misogyny for those who don't believe it's affected this campaig.

by OtherLisa 2008-02-14 09:46PM | 0 recs
I get tired of having to explain

over and over.  Gore's problem had nothing to do with sexism, so clearly, the dynamics are different.  

But since you engaged...

Neither Gore nor Hillary are good politicians.  I can't even imagine Obama sighing in response to Republican dribble.

I can tell you what Obama will do.  He will stumble and stutter, because he isn't good with policy.  Someone else wrote the policies for him and he has no ability to answer questions in depth the way Hillary can.  He's good at holding pep rallies and giving nice speeches.

Hillary is an excellent politician.  Actually, so was Gore - but he should have reined in the sighing.  It's stupid stuff like this that the MSM uses to kill a candidate, and he didn't realize it in time.  Hillary does no such thing in debates.  Like Gore, she answers with details and an amazing depth of knowledge.  Unlike Gore, there's no sighing.  She comes off extremely well in debates.

by Montague 2008-02-15 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Normally, I'd let this go, but since your point is that the Obama campaign is encouraging misogyny for electoral benefit, what do you call your "and all the more power to him, but let's call a spade, a spade, please" remark?

And please don't try to tell me that this remark is harmless--you refer to "him" so you obviously know how hateful this remark is.

Shame on you.

by rayspace 2008-02-13 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I figured that someone would jump on that figure of speech, but you really have to understand that many people are simply not aware of the racially derogatory connotation of "spade" and simply use the phrase in its original sense:

To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1913) defines it as
"To be outspoken, blunt, even to the point of rudeness; to call things by their proper names without any "beating about the bush." ...

The phrase predates the use of the word "spade" as an ethnic slur, which was not recorded in usage until 1928.


Link

And when the author refers to "him" it's clear that she is saying "and more power to him for his naked ambition, but let's not be afraid to call it that."

Try to be a little circumspect with the accusations of racism. It's more thyan a little offensive when it's unjustified.

by Inky 2008-02-14 05:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

It seems to me that 2008 postdates 1928, and I would highly doubt the author is so linguistically sophisticated as yourself, Inky.  The post-1928 meaning is probably much more familiar to her than the 1913 dictionary meaning.

What is clear is that she is saying, "hey, great for him, but let's make sure to put him in his place.  He's still only a black man, after all."

by rayspace 2008-02-14 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Have you ever heard the term "spade" actually used in a racially derogatory way? I'm 46 and I've only read about it or heard it in an episode of "All in the Family" or perhaps a movie. Is this slur still in use anywhere in the United States? I gathered from this diary that the writer was both younger than I am and and an Indian-American, two factors that make it all the more likely that she would never have heard the term "spade" used as a racially derogatory slur.

I don't buy your reading of what she said at all. And I'm truly bothered by the ease with which some Obama supporters will accuse Hillary supporters and others not aboard the Obama express of racism.

by Inky 2008-02-14 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I don't know what racial slurs are still in use.  I missed the last meeting of the Acceptable Racial Slurs Committee.

African-Americans know that the first thing that immigrants learn is who is on the bottom rung of the ladder in this country.  We can't assume the writer's ignorance.

My comments were directed at the writer of the diary, not all Clinton supporters.  If there is a common thread to Clinton supporters' comments, it is a very patronizing attitude toward Obama, which often looks a lot like racism.  Here, however, the writer used a derogatory term, and you want to absolve her because you support Hillary.

If Clinton's supporters don't want their opposition to Obama to be misinterpreted as racism, they should be more careful of the language they use to dismiss him.

I'm sure you were probably offended when McCain didn't chastise his supporter for calling Hillary a "bitch," which was disgraceful.  Are you so blinded that you can't see how negative a term "spade" is for a black person?

by rayspace 2008-02-14 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

My parents were immigrants and I take offense at your assumption that the first thing that all immigrants learn is who is on the bottom rung of the ladder in this country and the assorted slurs for such groups. That was most certainly not the case in my household and so I don't assume it of other immigrants.

And shame on you for your comment: I missed the last meeting of the Acceptable Racial Slurs Committee. I never implied that "spade" was a racially acceptable slur, and it's crass and offensive for you to suggest as much. I simply pointed out that many people have never heard of the term used as a slur. Moreover, the writer, who probably had a British-English language education, almost assuredly has heard the term only in its original sense. The reason I piped up in defense of her in the first place is that I've heard others use this expression before without any awareness of the racially derogatory connotation and I've had to explain to them that while their use of the term was the original sense of the phrase, others might interpret it as being racially insensitive.

If Clinton's supporters don't want their opposition to Obama to be misinterpreted as racism, they should be more careful of the language they use to dismiss him.

I'm sure the writer will be alerted to this issue as soon as she reads these comments, but you shouldn't go around assuming the slur was intentional.

I'm sure you were probably offended when McCain didn't chastise his supporter for calling Hillary a "bitch," which was disgraceful.  

First of all, you're mistaking me for a Hillary supporter--in fact I'm an Edwards supporter who's willing to support either Clinton or Obama in the CE. Second, yes, I am offended when anyone uses the term "bitch", but there's no one who doesn't recognize the misogynous nature of that slur.

Are you so blinded that you can't see how negative a term "spade" is for a black person?

I don't believe the term was used here for a black person. Are you so blinded by the belief in the latent racism of all Hillary supporters that you can't even imagine that someone might use the expression "to call a spade a spade" in its original, and still more commonly used, sense?

by Inky 2008-02-14 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

an obama supporter just used the phrase over at the Daily Kos.  apparently not in a racist way.  kind of like the way I use it -- while imagining a playing card.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Thanks for that. I shouldn't let it bother me, but I can't stand it when people impute racism where it doesn't exist.

by Inky 2008-02-14 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

hey, last week over on the Kos I was accused of being a racist for including the words "racism" and "sexism" in the same sentence.

You know, because one is real and the other is ah, ah, a fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty I think.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Never said that all Hillary supporters are latent racists.  Don't believe it, wouldn't have said it.

Didn't say that you considered "spade" an acceptable slur.  You asked if people still used the term, and since it's impossible to know one way or the other (but likely that some people, most of whom would never vote for Hillary or Barack, do use it), I decided to answer with something called humor.  

But come on--"I don't believe the term was used here for a black person."  Really?  The writer used the term "spade," and mentioned "him" (referring to Obama) immediately before that.  Are you honestly arguing that Obama isn't black?

by rayspace 2008-02-14 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

But come on--"I don't believe the term was used here for a black person."  Really?  The writer used the term "spade," and mentioned "him" (referring to Obama) immediately before that.  Are you honestly arguing that Obama isn't black?

That's so illogical I don't know how to respond. I explained in my first post what I thought the diarist was referring to when she referred to "him."

Here's what she said:

He moved to Illinois because Illinois is one of the few states that has historically elevated African American politicians beyond the local level - isn't that naked ambition (and all the more power to him, but let's call a spade, a spade, please)?

And here's how I interpreted what she said:

And when the author refers to "him" it's clear that she is saying "and more power to him for his naked ambition, but let's not be afraid to call it that."

To me her meaning could not have been more clear. Why can't you accept that interpretation? Why do you have to assume the worst of both her as an author and me as a reader?

by Inky 2008-02-14 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I'm not assuming the worst, just wondering why you are being such an apologist for this diarist.  She drops a racially incendiary bomb, and you immediately rush to defend her.  

She said Obama was nakedly ambitious.  

She used the word "him" to refer to Obama.  

She then said that this "him" could also be referred to as a "spade," which obviously refers to his race.  What's controversial here?  

And why are you personalizing this?  You didn't make the remark, the diarist did.

by rayspace 2008-02-14 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

She then said that this "him" could also be referred to as a "spade," which obviously refers to his race.  What's controversial here?  

My point is that it doesn't obviously refer to race to many, many people. If you are going to infer racism at the drop of the hat, I'm going to defend the person in question. I didn't mean to personalize this discussion, and maybe I did come across too strongly, but as I said earlier, this isn't the first time I've encountered someone who was completely ignorant of the racially insensititve interpretation of the phrase "to call a spade a spade." In fact, here's proof that I've come to the defense of others who weren't aware of the pejorative use of the phrase.

Also, I do have to admit that I've gotten annoyed earlier in this campaign by Obama supporters who cried racism where I didn't see it. An example that comes most clearly to mind is when Michael Eric Dyson accused Bill Clinton of playing on the racist stereotype of African Americans as gamblers when Bill said that voting for Obama would be "a roll of the dice." I was turned off my Dyson's accusation, and I don't think that accusations like that serve Obama well in the long run.

by Inky 2008-02-15 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Inky, let's agree that neither of us knows the diarist's intent in using this phrase.  I think it's plausible that she's either intentionally slandering Obama or willfully ignorant of how this phrase has been used to cause pain to African-Americans.  Not much difference in my book.

You, on the other hand, want to cut her a break and say that it's likely she has no idea of the racist tone of this remark.  That's certainly a defensible position but, for the reasons I've posted previously, not mine.  (I do find it telling that she hasn't commented on this exchange, as you predicted she might.  Can't be a lack of time, because it must have taken her a while to put together this L-O-N-G diary).

I think you might want to keep in mind that Obama supporters are wary of anything that reinforces stereotypes of African-Americans, in the same way that Clinton supporters are about women, because both candidates want to be credible enough to win the general election.  If Hillary is seen as the "emotional" candidate, to take one example, it gets in the way of her being seen as a credible Commander-in-Chief.  (FWIW, I've never said she wasn't credible as a potential President.  I do disagree with her record, however, and her DLCish caution, which I also disliked in her husband).  

Similarly, if Obama is portrayed as "irresponsible" (as Clinton actually called him during a debate), it reinforces a stereotype of black men which is untrue and, well, racist in its origin.  We can't move toward a society in which women or African-Americans have equal opportunities for success if our side perpetuates stereotypes that keeps either group in their place.

So if there is an extra level of sensitivity, I think it can be found on both sides.  In this case, it happened because a racial slur was used, inadvertently or not.  It would be great if we could move through the next few weeks without either candidate or their supporters hurling insults and deprications, but somehow I doubt it.  I'd much rather have the nomination decided by the candidates' positions on health care and the war, but it probably won't.

by rayspace 2008-02-15 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I still don't think the diarist was being "willfully" ignorant, as you insist on claiming. Did you even bother to read the link I included in my previous post? That exchange proved, at least to me, just how many people of good will have never heard the phrase "to call a spade a spade" or even the term "spade" used as a racial slur.

And why do you find it telling that she hasn't commented on this exchange? And where did I predict that she might?

Like you, I disagree with Clinton's DLC-ish caution, but I find Obama possibly even worse in this regard. Did you by any chance catch Bruce Dixon's last post on BAR? I was particularly taken by this paragraph:

If Barack Obama, or for that matter Hillary Clinton is to be the Democratic presidential nominee, it's time they felt the heat to line up with Democratic voters, rather than with the DLC and the party's biggest donors.  

Ironically, Hillary Clinton, also a corporate DLC candidate to the core, may have been more responsive to some heat from the party's grassroots on a few questions than Barack Obama.  Clinton has at least promised to repeal No Child Left Behind, the legislation that has forced an unproven and unworkable "teach to the test" regime upon public schools nationwide, and carved tens of billions nationwide from the budgets of  schools to foster a privatized, for-profit education industry.  By contrast, Obama is still mumbling about "adequately funding" this failed and malevolent educational experiment.  Similarly, in a California debate which showed the tiny differences between the Democratic front runners, it was Hillary Clinton who broke the corporate taboo by at least mentioning single payer, the workable universal health care system implemented by every other advanced industrial country on earth and favored by most American voters.  Clinton didn't do this because she loves us, or because she is innately more progressive than Obama.  She did it because she hard pressed and because activists are less confused and less likely to he silenced by the pernicious notion that her campaign is "the movement" itself.


Link

Btw, even though I do think this is a great diary, I would rush to defend an Obama supporter against what I considered to be a B.S. accusation of sexism where I believed that no sexism was intended.

And I completely agree with your last sentence:

I'd much rather have the nomination decided by the candidates' positions on health care and the war, but it probably won't.

Anyway, I do think it was instructive that you pointed out that "to call a spade a spade" is seen my many as a racial slur. I just wanted to point out to you that many people are unaware of this slur. And particularly given the diarist's cultural background, I think it's wiser to be generous and grant the benefit of the doubt.

by Inky 2008-02-15 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

"I missed the last meeting of the Acceptable Racial Slurs Committee."

TR'd for this.  I'm old enough to remember my elementary school being integrated.  I grew up in the south with extended family who embodied a lot of the casual racism typical of the time.  I think it is only because of the time and place that I grew up in that I recognized spade as a loaded word.  Suggesting that there are acceptable racial slurs is just infantile on your part.

by newhorizon 2008-02-14 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Re-read it, newhorizon.  We may even be on the same side.

Inky asked if anyone even used the term "spade" anymore.  I, of course, have no way of knowing if "anyone" uses this term anymore, and to point out the absurdity of Inky's question, I responded with an absurd statement myself.

Of course there are no acceptable racial slurs.  And of course, I wouldn't know which racial slurs are being used by "anyone" right now.  Lighten up already.

by rayspace 2008-02-14 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

That remark jumped out at me, but the author comes from a very different culture and may not have realized that "spade" had very negative racial connotations.

Sometimes an innocent mistake is truly an innocent mistake.

by newhorizon 2008-02-14 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

This is easily THE BEST reasoned analysis of the field as I've seen on these pages--

personal, honest, but also substantive and fairly argued.

I share your frustration, RAnne1.  A lot of us do.

by Sieglinde 2008-02-13 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

"He moved to Illinois because Illinois is one of the few states that has historically elevated African American politicians beyond the local level"

Have any proof for this claim?  In his book, "Dreams from My Father," Obama writes that he decided to become a Community Organizer as he was about to graduate from college.  He wrote to organizations and politicians around the country and never heard back.  He then was working in New York when he was contacted by the man who became his boss in Chicago (pp.133-143).

"But I also support Senator Clinton because she's brilliant, hard-working..."

Great.  You could have turned this into a great diary about why you support Senator Clinton.  Instead you tried to tie Senator Obama to misogynistic attitudes in America.

"But when I hear interviews with groups of college voters who can't articulate a single specific reason for their support of Senator Obama"

As a college student who knows and regularly converses with college students, I haven't found this to be true.  Nonetheless, I am sure there are uninformed supporters of both candidates.

"when I can find very little of substance in the same stump speech he delivers everywhere"

This is wholly untrue.  Senator Obama's stump speech does have a lot of rhetorical flash but it also has solid substance.  Check out his Jefferson Jackson speech from Iowa which became his standard stump speech afterwards (and has now morphed a few times)
http://wokeuptoday.blogspot.com/2008/01/ obama-jefferson-jackson-speech.html

Here is an excerpt:

I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. ..to take those tax breaks away from companies that are moving jobs overseas and put them in the pockets of hard working Americans who deserve it. And I won't raise the minimum wage every ten years -- I will raise it to keep pace so that workers don't fall behind... I will make certain that every single American in this country has health care they can count on. ..I run for President to make sure that every American child has the best education that we have to offer -- from the day they are born to the day they graduate from college. And I won't just talk about how great teachers are -- as President, I will reward them for their greatness -- by raising salaries and giving them more support...As President, I will end the war in Iraq. We will have our troops home in sixteen months. I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century -- nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now."

"But it does mean that conflict and discomfort are unavoidable - unity for the sake of unity is pointless at best and counterproductive at worst"

Senator Obama has never called for "unity for the sake of unity"  He calls for unity around common purposes: providing all Americans with access to quality health care, introducing a sane and smart foreign policy, protecting our environment, creating new jobs, providing all children with a quality education, restoring fairness to the American economy.  These are the things he mentions in all of his speeches.

"We see this in the very fact that he's won 9 out of 10 of the caucus states ..."

Senator Obama has also won 12 of the 21 primaries.  He also won blue collar voters in the primaries yesterday.  You also contradict yourself by saying earlier that Senator Obama's supporters don't know why they're supporting him but now that they are experts at political discourse.

"Finally, I am distressed by the way that Senator Obama's campaign has capitalized on our culture's obsession with youth and all things young."

Sorry, inspiring young people to believe in the power of government is not a bad thing.  Young voters flock to Senator Obama because he actually speaks to our issues.  If you watch his speech in Madison, the young crowd cheers loudest when he talks about making college affordable for all in exchange for young people willing to serve their country.

"You have to be somewhat privileged to be attending college nowadays, and for them to assume that they alone know what's right for the rest of the country (the world!) is naive at best and narcissistic at worst."

College is not very affordable, but more people attend college today than ever before  (http://www.census.gov/prod/2000pubs/p20- 528.pdf).  Young people do not assume they know what is right for the country and world.  We know what is right for us.  We know our classmates shouldn't be in Iraq.  We know we're going to have huge environmental problems if we don't do something now.  We know we have more debt than we ever imagined.  We know its damn hard to find jobs right now.

"However, you must understand that what we see in the media are the Obama "rock concerts,"...You have to understand that it begins to feel that, if Senator Obama wins this nomination, his political machine will have done so largely through charisma and by exploiting a tidal wave of youthful narcissism, privilege, and, most of all, misogyny."

I already addressed your faulty claim of Obama supporter ignorance and Obama's supposed lack of specifics.  Obama has said he dislikes the "Obama girl" videos and they have nothing to do with the campaign. Senator Obama does not control what his millions of supporters say just as Senator Clinton does not control all of her supporters.  He has disavowed the remarks of his surrogates or campaign officials when they crossed the line.  The campaign did issue a statement condemning David Schuster's remarks which in no way were related to his campaign.  If Senator Obama wins the nomination it will be a result of his early, consistent, and strong efforts to organize in every community and connect to voters everywhere.

by WellstoneDem 2008-02-13 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

(1) Moving to Illinois: Obama moved to Illinois after he graduated from law school, as well. I think it is a fair assumption that he moved back there because he knew that the largely African American community on the South Side of Chicago would be the perfect place for him to launch his political career. Obama's brief stint as a "community organizer" notwithstanding, he had no real ties to the South Side and, with his credentials, could have moved anywhere.

(2) Ignorance of many Obama supporters: I find your response here to be disingenuous. Simply positing an equivalent deficiency with Hillary voters is not persuasive. (As an aside, many Obama supporters take this same tack when confronted with the claim that a cult of personality is forming around Obama. They say, without anything to back it up, that Hillary also has a cult!) I have heard no one make this claim about Hillary supporters, but, the inability of many Obama supporters to articulate why they support him has been commented on by many people, not just this diarist. I believe that there was a segment on a cable news channel documenting the very same thing. In fact, I believe these are the "interviews" the diarist was referring to. Stating that supporters you talk to don't fit this bill is no more persuasive an answer than your attempt to tar Hillary supporters with the same brush. That you have a different experience on this issue than many other people does not invalidate their take on it.

(3) Obama's lack of substance. You can highlight the few bits and pieces of policy that Obama throws out there (although even these are rather vague), but, as even you admit, his speeches are mostly "rhetorical flash." Obama seeks to WOW! his audience with his soaring rhetoric. It's a performance, not a conversation. It's meant to bowl you over, not get you to think. That's fine for a campaign speaker, but not necessarily so great for a president.

(4) Unity. Sorry, but when Obama talks about unity he talks about reaching out to the Republicans, not about achieving the laundry list of progressive goals, which the Republicans don't want, that you mention. This is what the diarist means by "unity for unity's sake," and the complacent, bland, substance-free, status quo preserving "why can't we all just get along" that Obama seems to embrace.

It's funny, but for eight years liberals on and off the net have been saying that we (liberals, Democrats) need to confront the GOP. We need to stop giving into them. To stop trying to compromise with people who just see our willigness to do so as a sign of weakness, and play us like suckers. Like Charlie Brown to their Lucy. That's what the Dean phenomenon was all about. He was tough. He was pugnacious. He came to bury the Republicans, not praise them.

Now, just because Obama says so, the netroots has completely changed its tune and is now looking to "make nice" with the Republicans. Well, I'm not "tired of divisiveness," I'm tired of the Republicans, and I want them ridden out Washington on a rail!

(5) Obama and the culture of youth. You are simply not responsive to the diarists' point. It's fine that Obama addresses the issues of college students. But other people have problems too. And, moreover, there is a distinct attitude coming out of the Obama camp that anyone who is not sold on Obama is dated, tired, washed up, "so Nineties," etc. All pointing to the conclusion that if you are not young, you are worthless.

(6) Obama speeches as "rock concerts." Again, you simply don't address the diarist's point. His speeches ARE like rock concerts. And, as in most rock concerts (and sermons by Evangelical ministers), the only role for women is to stand in the audience and cheer hysterically for the dominant, charismatic, sexy male towering above them on the stage. Obama inspires the "Obama girl" videos--and other expressions of female subordination--through his campaign style. His mere statement that he "dislikes" them doesn't change that.

Finally, let me say that I appreciate that you took the time to address the diary in detail. I do wish, though, that you, and other Obama supporters, would take more seriously the complaints of his critics and not just come bace with easy rejoinders, facile counterclaims about Hillary, and evasions of the issues.

by freemansfarm 2008-02-13 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

1.  Maybe he moved to Chicago because he eventually wanted to run for office.  There is no way of knowing.  He moved there for the first time in 1985 to work as a Community Organizer.  He didn't run for office until 1996.  In his book he makes it sound as though Chicago is somewhere he finally felt like he had a home.

2.  The diarist offers no support that Obama supporters do not know why they support the Senator.  How are interviews with a few kids at a rally indicative of anything?  How is that any more persuasive than my personal interactions with supporters?  Since Senator Obama does the best with those that are highly educated, wouldn't it be counterintuitive to say that those very voters are ignorant?  

3.  Rally speeches are not the same as policy speeches.  Rally speeches are meant to pump of supporters, inspire them, and get them excited about working for your campaign.  Senator Obama's rally speeches do have some substance but are generally thin on details.  He also does policy speeches in which he lays out plans as well as community forums where he is heavier on details and takes questions on specific plans.  It is a stylistic difference between the candidates but I don't agree that it means there is no substance behind Senator Obama's campaign.

4.  When Senator Obama talks about unity, he talks about creating a new governing majority.  He never talks about meeting people half way or compromising fundamental values.  His argument is essentially that Progressive values are American values and he is right.  Americans are against the Iraq War.  Americans believe in civil liberties and international alliances.  Americans believe the economy is out of balance.  American believe in universal healthcare.  It is a matter of framing Democratic policies as the American dream.  Democrats, Independents, and disaffected Republicans all essentially agree on these policies.  You can frame the election as about fighting everyone who isn't a Democrat and turn off people that may generally agree with you or you can talk about unity and attract 60% of the population.  And he does hit all of those issues in even his stump speeches at rallies, even if they are not super detailed.

5.  I think that is an incorrect reading of the Obama Campaign.  Senator Obama addresses more than youth issues in his campaign.  He talks about senior issues, working-class issues, minority issues, etc.  If people feel that way though it is something the campaign should address.  Perhaps the focus on change and the future alienates some.

6.  His speeches do attract and inspire a lot of young people and leave them feeling better than they did before.  If that is a "rock concert" ok.  I've been to plenty of concerts as well as an Obama forum and I don't view them as the same thing. I really don't know where you're going with the "only role for women" thing.  Obama has a lot of women in his organization.  His top foreign policy advisers, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, are both women.  Senator Obama is not a woman, but  by no means does that sideline women.  The Obama girl video was made by a woman who wanted to get attention out of Obama's popularity.  She didn't even vote for him.  I think it is beyond a stretch to say that Senator Obama's campaign style inspires expressions of female subordination.  Give me a break.

by WellstoneDem 2008-02-13 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

(1) Obama had no ties with Chicago. Yes, he worked there briefly before law school, but after law school, with his high powered credentials that enabled him to live anywhere he wanted, he moved to the South Side. He also went to work for a politically connected law firm. I thinks its naive to think that the South Side's likely receptiveness to his political ambitions did not influence his choice to live there.

(2) The point is this "meme," that many Obama supporters can't articulate a legitimate reason for liking him, did not start with the diarist. It is an impression that many observers are forming. And your simple counterstatement that it is not YOUR impression is not a very satisfying anwswer. Nor is your elitist comment about the education level of Obama supporters. A college degree is no guarantee against making ignorant, uninformed choices.

(3) The problem is that Obama's campaign has been defined by its style. Yes, there are the obligatory policy speeches and position papers, but the campaign has succeeded because of its style. I wonder what proportion of Obama supporters have joined the bandwagon because they have been entranced by that style, as opposed to the proportion convinced by substantive policies and arguments. I think most people would agree that it is very high.

(4) Obama constantly talks about "reaching out to Republicans." You can't wish away those statements now that they are inconvenient. What does it mean to "reach out" to them, if not to compromise with them on the very issues (Iraq, health care, etc.) that you mention. And I see nothing in the GOP positions on these issues of value. I want a Democratic president who comes into office fighting for OUR positions. Not giving the game away before it starts. This is a problem I have with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They took power and the first thing they did, and without any quid pro quo from the Administration, was say that impeachment and defunding of the war were "off the table."

(5) It's not the "focus on change and the future" that is alienating people, it is the dismissive, contemptuous, attitude towards anyone who doesn't join the bandwagon. And the labelling of such people as "tired," "so Nineties," "mired in the past," or just plain "old." This distinction was made clear by the diarist, and by me in my last post, but you simply refuse to address it.

(6) It is no "stretch" at all to say that Obama's campaign style inspires expressions of female subordination. It's a fact. And one that, rightly, makes you uncomfortable. But, once again, you can't simply wish away the problem. The "Obama girl" is simply the most obviouls manifestation of the problem, and her lack of official connection with the campaign makes no difference. Nor does the inclusion of a few women among Obama's advisors.

The point is that the key to Obama's success is his "rock concert" type rallies. And these rallies put most women (that is, those in the audience) in the same subordinated postion that women are put in at a rock show. They are scripted to be the aroused, adoring, pleading fans of the macho man on the stage. He does not have a conversation with them. He does not meet them as equals and try to convince them to vote for him because of his superior policies (as Hillary does). No, he towers above them and leaves them nothing to do but love and worship him and beg for his favor.

by freemansfarm 2008-02-14 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

You have a very distorted view of Senator Obama, his campaign, and his supporters.  Nothing anyone says will convince you otherwise.  You simply repeat the same thing and offer no support for your blanket statements and somewhat bizarre accusations.

by WellstoneDem 2008-02-14 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Obama had no ties with Chicago. Yes, he worked there briefly before law school, but after law school, with his high powered credentials that enabled him to live anywhere he wanted, he moved to the South Side. (..) I thinks its naive to think that the South Side's likely receptiveness to his political ambitions did not influence his choice to live there.

I wonder if Obama really helped old ladies across the street to help out his ambitions.

Perhaps Obama was interested in helping people out? Maybe he wished to work in America's third largest metropolis?

No no, can't be the case, he only moved to Chicago in the 1980s to launch a political career in the 1990s.

Since it was hard for an African-American to launch a political career in New York City (which is where he went to college (Columbia)).

Extra note: Obama once compliamented a painting down by someone, but it was only to GET THEIR VOTE, OH NOEZ

by RBH 2008-02-15 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

What a great critique.

by newhorizon 2008-02-14 11:02AM | 0 recs
think of Hillary as male

just image it as a male persona and then think about the comments, the attacks, the hatred and it becomes much more clear.

Ya know I think both of them have way too much corporate influence, big money, big power but when I see that sexism day in, day out, man that pisses me off and makes me want to vote for her.  

I would think most women would too but sexism seems to know "no sex".

by Robert Oak 2008-02-13 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: think of Hillary as male

If Hillary were male she'd be John Edwards mixed with Chris Dodd. And she'd lose even worse than she is now.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: think of Hillary as male

when i think of her as a male, i think of Al Gore.  Super smart, attractive, but just not capable of winning (all arguments of florida not withstanding).  Great person that Hillary, i just wish it would work on it's personality.  (see i didn't use she, for fear of being called sexist)

by gnosis 2008-02-13 11:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

He certainly has quite a bit of corporate money behind him too.

It's naive to think you can clean sweep the lobbyists though. It's a nice thought but, it won't happen. And in fact some of those special interest groups do good things like lobby for rights for the elderly. It sounds good to to say though.

by RAnne1 2008-02-13 07:39PM | 0 recs
As it turns out...

Hillary has raised twice as much big donor cash as Obama...

Unfortunately, money is the name of the game.

by Damien in Texas 2008-02-14 04:37AM | 0 recs
i very much

hate that this election is dividing the liberal blogs and democrats as a whole..

but at the same time there is a strange contrast between the pro clinton and pro obama sites.

here and other places, all i see is constant obama bashing. when i read places like dailykos its all talk about how great obama is...

look at comments on some of her blogs like hillaryis44.com, woah, now that is a new level of insanity, and people say obama fans are nuts.

generalizing about any group of supporters is completely disingenuous. there are knowledgeable clinton supporters and there are stupid ones. there are knowledgeable obama fans and yes, there are stupid ones.

people have become such shills for their candidate. i dont know what should be done about MI/FL. but i somehow think the reasons a lot of people are on a particular side of that argument is more to do with who it benefits then disenfranchised voters. please no one try to deny that if obama won the states hillary would not be on the other side of this, its politics.

i cant believe a democrat would actually not vote when the alternative is mccain. i couldnt live with a war in iraq that i did nothing to try and end.

i will be working hard to elect either hillary or obama come the general election. anyone who will only support one or the other is not a democrat. forget the dislike for open primaries, these are the people that shouldnt be allowed to vote in these.

by falseintellect 2008-02-13 08:27PM | 0 recs
don't sweat it

this happens every four years. It's part of the culture. As an ex-Deaniac I can attest to the fact that my loathing of John Kerry was about an 8 or a 9 while my my dislike of Hillary's maybe a 2 and Obama's a 1. of course I still voted for him in November. these seasons always bring out the worst in us and it's good to get it out of our system now. The blogosphere is a teeny-weeny sample of liberaldom. and the active blogosphere (people who post comments and write diaries and start their own blogs), is an even teeny-weenier subset of that. blogging is a good way for nutjobs (speaking generally here, not casting aspersions on the author here or myDD in general) to get attention and perform their nutjobbery in public. it's inevitable that they'll be disproportionately represented. go out and travel around the internet a little more and you'll see a lot worse than what you get in the liberal blogosphere. We're all really just a bunch of wimps and whiners when you get down to it. just people being pissy because they know they're right about everything and if only people would just "wake up" and agree with everything they say the world would be perfect.

by Jumbo 2008-02-13 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: i very much

finally someone with a brain!  I will work for either one depending on who we elect, but me personally i like Obama.  I think that the majority of people posting anti Obama things are what the Right wingers call the far left fringe.  Nut jobs that do not speak to us old school yellow dog democrats.  They are basically spoiled democrats too used to getting their way with the party and putting up a candidate that can not win.  Well it is time this ship (our democratic party) righted itself by electing someone more towards the center, like the majority of Americans.  One more generalization before i go... they are the ones that honestly like losing so they can run around yelling that life is not fair.... you want a fair?  go to the carnival.

by gnosis 2008-02-13 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: i very much

Thank god there are still some non-assholes here. I am so fucking sick and tired of being called a misogynist I want to fucking puke. Anything you say can get you branded as one by one of the lunatic Clinton supporters.

Obama supporters are a cult? Clinton supporters are a torch-wielding mob.

by beanbagz 2008-02-14 02:30AM | 0 recs
Wonderful diary -- or rather

ten diaries in one.  I'd appreciate seeing you pull four or five ideas out of this diary and expanding them into their own postings.

Thoughtful, balanced, authentic, intelligent.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 01:52AM | 0 recs
Uniter not a divider deja vu

Obama is going to unite progressives to take back Washington from politics as usual. Weird, because the party whose nomination he seeks seems more than divided than it's been since 1968.  

At least GW was successful at uniting his party before he split the country down the middle.  

I ask this and ask this and can't get anything other than the typical dismissive one liner -- if Obama is such an awesome uniter, why can't he unite the party?  

If he can't unite the party, what hope do we have of him uniting the country?

Why isn't he reaching out to Clinton supporters in substantive ways instead of just assuming we'll all hop onboard once we have no other choice?  Is that the uniting power of Obama?  You have no better choice than me?  If I don't acknowledge your concerns they don't matter?  I've got enough people united over here to wash over the un-united?  Why am I having deja vu?

I loved the diary but I think rather than stating my core complaint the diary led me to it -- while we are all busy uniting and all -- can someone explain to me what we are uniting around and why I feel so damn left out?  (and not for lack of trying)

I want UNIVERSAL healthcare FOR ALL.
I want my candidate to stand up and decry sexism in so many words and acknowledge the economic disparities between men and women
I want economic policies that address the crushing problems of the working class with a genuine understanding of what those are -- including banking practices
I want to be united against conservative Republicanism in all it's vicious forms
I want to be united in safely returning our men and women in uniform, with acknowledgement to their great sacrifice and honor for their accomplishments

Every time I make the demand -- go ahead, unite me -- I get the same response -- give up your old tired misinformed ways and your corrupt candidate and JOIN US.  Still not convinced?  Well then screw you, we don't need you anyway.

The diarist is spot-on.  With every passing day the Obama campaign seems more elitist, more indistinct, more exclusionary even as, yes it can, unite us.  What it seems to unite is a politically cobbled together mish mash of mixed interests, some at clear odds with each other, all under the banner of "anyone but Hillary" or better put "not anyone but Obama".

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 02:29AM | 0 recs
An organizer's misgivings

I want to also recognize the diarist for her concerns as a community organizer -- I too am an organizer and I've felt through the entire Obama campaign like I can see through the curtain to the mechanics of what he's doing.

There are effective organizers and there are great ones.  I'm not entirely convinced Obama is a great one.  

Effective "get and go" organizers can often be accused of minimizing the differences and tamping down internal conflicts to keep a group focused on the prize.  and they have great numbers -- signed cards, turn-out, doors knocked.  

The best organizers look at the long road and how to honor those differences, organize around those conflicts, be honest with people in their reservations and still keep people united in what they do share.  It's slower tougher work.

Organizers can lead a group to shared victory by glossing over the details and tamping down the differences,  only to drive them right off a cliff when the implied promises come due and the superficial alliances start unraveling as the going gets tough.  This is victory driven organizing, not true coalition building.

And great organizers never ever organizes around themselves or depend to heavily on their own personal magnetism --  they strive to be invisible and the "we" not "I" rhetoric is genuine.   when a great organizer is done anyone with the right tools should be able to step into their shoes and drive the bus. I don't think we could say that about this movement.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 02:45AM | 0 recs
Re: An organizer's misgivings -- sorry

one more thing --

If Obama was a great organizer and truly solidifying a movement he should be able to turn it over to anyone with the right set of values.  That would include Hillary Clinton. Or Edwards or Dodd.

The movement would sustain and grow and shape the person leading it, whoever that person was.  Obama should be able to say to this movement he's created if need be -- get behind Hillary Clinton and hold her accountable.

And the movement would listen.  He doesn't have a movement, he's got a following.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 02:50AM | 0 recs
Re: An organizer's misgivings -- sorry

His movement has been branded as misogynists and cultists. Why the heck would those people want to follow the person responsible for creating that division and those labels? Expecting his movement to follw her, even if he says so, is like expecting them to follow a Republican if he endorsed one of them.

It's been made very clear that we're just not fucking welcome among Hillary Clinton's supporters or in her hobbled and myopic ideal of the democratic party.

by beanbagz 2008-02-14 02:55AM | 0 recs
Re: An organizer's misgivings -- sorry

it hasn't been branded anything by Hillary Clinton.  A good organizer of a movement would help you to understand that and be able to unite you behind whoever was in a position to lead, even Hillary Clinton.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: An organizer's misgivings -- sorry

Her chief strategist referred to almost every state they lost as insignificant. Are you telling me it's on Obama to prepare people in Nebraska for being told they are meaningless to the Clintons?

by beanbagz 2008-02-14 03:20AM | 0 recs
Re: An organizer's misgivings -- sorry

is he the self proclaimed next great uniter or not?

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny
Hillary the victim.
The last desperate card of an imploding campaign.
by Liberal Avenger 2008-02-14 04:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

This is one of the most thoughtful and well-articulated essays I have read on this issue.  I am in compete agreement.  Well done.

by Sabrina Duncan 2008-02-14 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Fantastic Diary, highly recommended! I thank you for expressing so clearly why I am depressed and bitter--and feel my own profound anger--at what has happened during this campaign.

I am stunned to see so-called progressives spew such hate against a woman who has served her country for 3 decades. I am shocked to see so-called progressives use rhetorical and visual propaganda techniques to insult her with such blatant contempt that it boggles the mind! These are "progressives" who are using deliberately unflattering photos, invoking such brazenly offensive rhetoric in their daily diatribes, that it is hard to see ANY difference whatsoever between them and the GOP.

I am angry, deeply angry, at the comments that I read, so vicious, so vile, that it defies belief to think they are coming from actual progressives. I have concluded there is real evidence of group-think and cult behavior. People who express doubts, offer critical analysis, or simply state support for Hillary Clinton are routinely auto-banned at DailyKos, when Obama supporters troll-rate in group-think pile ons.

It's really depressing to see, and it's made me certain of one thing: I will not join their movement in any way shape or form. I will not vote for their candidate because it would mean that I am becoming a part of them, and I want nothing to do with them.

by Tennessean 2008-02-14 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I'm really unhappy about the way Clinton's advisors have run this campaign, and I'm unhappy with the way her supporters have used childish and racially tinged attacks on Barack Obama.

I understand why some partisans are now saying they would rather vote for McCain than hillary in the GE, but they're wrong and they're stupid.

Please don't let people who are wrong and stupid affect your decision.  I would ask everybody on both sides of the current primary fight to take a step back, take a deep breath, and get ready to stand shoulder to shoulder against John McCain and the absolute disaster he would be for this country.

by dbt 2008-02-14 05:24AM | 0 recs
Amen

Thank you for so forcefully concisely stating my feelings to a tee.

Excuse me, but I won't be jumping into this groundswell of Liberalism of Convenience -- yesterday sexism was a horrible problem, today, not so much.

Have your movement without my conscience, thanks, I'm just one person and it's been made fairly clear to me my concerns are no longer relevant.  you've got the numbers, you've got your independents, I'm sure you'll be able to scrape together enough voters who can be made to hate John McCain too.

I'll vote Dem down the ticket and work to get rid of Mike Rogers, the douchebag.  I'll leave president blank but I won't vote for something I can't trust.

Let the chips fall as they may.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

This is a great post.  It is true that the realization of sexism among our generation is minimal.  I am still surprised that there are voters who choose a man who has been in the US Senate for only three years because of his charm/promises, over a woman who has tremendous experience, grasp of the issues, and plans that make sense.  

As for the one comment someone made above about honesty:  Obama lies in the eyes of the American people everytime he says that he does not get lobbyist funding....that's pure dishonesty.  

by findthesource 2008-02-14 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

The diary is interesting but the title is a vile slur that is not supported by the evidence given. The allegation of misogyny, like the allegation of racism, is extremely serious and should not be devalued by being leveled at political opponents on the basis on anecdotal conversations with friends or the realization that the voters are rejecting your candidate (of course you think that they should be supporting her, and are unreasonable in preferring someone else; that's why she's your candidate.)

Polls say more Obama supports would be happy with Clinton than vice versa: both figures are high, over seventy percent. That doesn't sound like either misogyny or racism to me.

by EMTP democrat 2008-02-14 05:43AM | 0 recs
funny. the last poll I read said

something completely different.  84% of both candidates supporters would vote for the other.  Maybe that's changed since Obama declared otherwise but that's the latest poll I saw.  

If you don't think both candidates are lightening rods for racism on the one hand and sexism on the other you need to get your head out of the sand before you choke.

Is racism at work here?  I wouldn't doubt it for one second.  the only disclaimer I'd have is many of your flaming racists also happen to be flaming sexists.  Maybe they're sitting the whole thing out because I have alot of trouble wrapping my head around Billy Bob the Bigot voting for Hillary.

I'm not sure that's as true the other way around, but I'm willing to look at it.  I do know quite a few progressive liberal men who have very very ugly attitudes towards women.  but that's just anecdotal.  Maybe I attract them or something.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: funny. the last poll I read said

Yep, I'm sure sexism in the reason they react to you the way they do. "Take your head out of the sand before you choke" . . . yeah, couldn't be any other explanation. ;)

by EMTP democrat 2008-02-14 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

One thing to realize is after the November elections we will have either our first female President or our first African-American President. Either way American politics will be changed forever.
The concept of hope is not trademarked. The election of either and the fact that both now are basically tied demonstrates a real potential for high office beyond the traditional white male...

The times are truly changin'..and we are a part of it.

by nogo war 2008-02-14 05:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Misogyny!  YES!  I'm a misogynist, which is why I'm supporting Obama... LOLOL!

I can think of 12 women I would rather vote for than Hillary Clinton.... at least 8 of them I'd support over Obama.

by IowaCubs 2008-02-14 05:58AM | 0 recs
glad you find the topic funny

but try to remember no one is saying every Obama supporter is a misogynist.   I think we all agree the vast majority of Obama supporters have their own informed reasons.  I believe what we are arguing about here is the prevalence of those whose reasons are less than admirable and those who are judging Clinton through 20 year old misogynist frames.

You have to admit there is a large "Anyone But Hillary" movement out there and when I parse their reasoning I come up with all sorts of weird leaps of  inexplicable logic.
*She won't "apologize" for her Iraq vote so it matters -- but Edwards' didn't
*she gained no experience in the Clinton Whitehouse but is still somehow responsible for Bill Clinton's decisions and is the latest "Clintonista"
*she is corrupt, a known liar and opportunist  with no clear evidence beyond Rush Limbaugh talking points
*Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton is just plain wrong with no cogent explanation as to why
* she is running a "dirty campaign" no less dirty than Obama's or anyone elses
*she's bought and paid for when Obama too takes money from special interests

you see, when I see reasoning like that, the old feminist hound dog in me smells something else.  Maybe it's just about age and energy for those people, but a few of them, I'm sorry, I just have to wonder, expecially when they let fly with the sexist labels and assumptions and call asking about it "whining".

You laugh over there.  I'll whine over here.  Nice to meet you.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: glad you find the topic funny
   This is such a game.  I suppose Clinton didn't get any votes from racists in the Dem primary?  Noooo...no racists in the Dem primary of course, only misogynists.  This is a game of victimhood.  I understand the monumental challenges for a woman to overcome status quo sexism.  Barack Obama has to overcome racism - Madrassah, anyone?  
     
by cilerder86 2008-02-14 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

"I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee. It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee."

This is the awful, arrogant, misogynist thing that the diarist is so offended about?  Get a thicker skin, Clinton supporters.  

I think Hillary is a fine person and a strong candidate.  I voted for Obama.  All this threatening to stay home or vote for McCain is little more than sour grapes.  The Clintons have not lost an election in a long time and their supporters appear to be very poor losers.

Seriously, Obama has done NOTHING that should make any good Democrat pull the R lever this fall.  If you put Hillary above party, you're a crappy Democrat.  This isn't about your little petty grievances-- it's about removing a very dangerous political party from power, cutting back on our warlike ways, slowing global warming and protecting a woman's right to choose.  If those things are unimportant to you, then by all means do the selfish thing and vote for McCain.  You'll be just like all the other Republicans.

by JK47 2008-02-14 06:04AM | 0 recs
Ranne1

I found your post is thoughtful and even-handed for the most part, especially the end.  I appreciate the effort you made to be fair to Obama.

But I take issue with a few things, most of all the "wave of misogyny".  Obama cannot control or personally respond to every unfair attack on Clinton, even those by his supporters.  And the fact that so many jerks hate Clinton for the wrong reasons doesn't obscure the fact that there are many valid reasons for strongly disliking her.  To broadly label criticism of Clinton as simple misogyny is unfair.  The criticism that sums up my opinion of Clinton:

She didn't read the NIE before her IWR vote.

I agree with you about Obama's annoying habit of not emphasizing policy details.  But remember that we're not the target audience and that it's tactical.  Also, I do not share your appreciation of Clinton's "grasp" of policy details.  I think she memorizes position papers so as not to be surprised by anything, but lacks the superior cognitive skills to make the right judgments on tough issues.  Or if she has them, she doesn't trust her own judgment.

Peace

P.S.  I know what you meant by this, but

and all the more power to him, but let's call a spade, a spade, please
can easily be taken out of context when talking about a black person.

by corph 2008-02-14 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I'm an Obama supporter, but I must say that this is definitely one of the more cogent and compelling arguments on behalf of Hillary that I've yet read.

I'm sure there is some misogyny involved in the mix here, but at the same time, it's without question that there is also plenty of racism. It's not secret that some of the last bastions of racial animosity towards blacks to be found in this society are working class whites and Latinos -- the core of Hillary's constituency.

The fundamental problem with your analysis, however, is that it's more sociological than political. By that I mean, it's fine and great to try to analyze why it is that the "smartest girl in the class" is losing the election for student body president to the cute, popular guy, but it doesn't mean it's not going to happen. You should consider renting the DVD "Election" with Reese Witherspoon.

Believe me, Obama has just done all of us a huge favor. Putting aside the misogyny issue, you could write nearly the exact same essay about Gore v. Bush or Kerry v. Bush, and it would be equally true, but that wouldn't change the fact that the Republicans have been in power for seven going on eight years now. Hillary v. McCain would be more of the same, potentially worse because McCain would take the independents and Hillary would rile up the conservative base for him. The Democratic base would once again try to excite themselves based on the "issues" by a candidate who is, yes, quite competent, super knowledgeable, etc., but no not particularly inspiring, charismatic, or even authentic.

It's not so much about "discarding" experience and knowledge; it's just that everyone has a proper role to play in all of this. There are zillions of super-smart people working at think tanks and universities coming up with brilliant plans on every conceivable topic that we face as a nation. But it's all for naught if we don't have the power to put them into action. Our first task is to find a leader who can excite the Democratic base, inspire new voters to engage in the process, persuade independents and moderates to join our side, and neutralize the opposition. On these counts, Obama far exceeds Hillary and every other Democratic Presidential candidate that we've had since Robert F. Kennedy himself.

And no, Obama's abilities in these areas are not the result of years of hard work, although he has in his relatively short life, done quite a bit. But his abilities in these areas are partially the result of what he's done to put himself in the position he is, but also because of what he represents at this particular point in the nation's history (i.e. not being tied to past conflicts and a demonstrated ability to get things done by bringing people together), and even beyond that, it may be unfair and even unfortunate, but yes, he has natural born gifts (charisma) that enable his to pull off his magic.

But please don't be mad about it. Again, I truly believe that he's saving us from ourselves. We will all, even Hillary, benefit if Obama can lead our Party into a new governing progressive majority across all 50 states in the country. She's the United States Senator from the State of New York, for chrissakes, that seat has in and of itself been used for amazing purposes over the years. Maybe this year or in 2010 we'll get 60 seats and she'll be center stage as we pass a slew of progressive legislation the likes of which haven't been seen since in a generation. Her encyclopedic knowledge and finely-tuned political skills would be critical to that effort.

Sometimes it's your time, and sometimes it's not. This just might not be her time. I happen to believe that 2004 was, that if she'd voted against the war in October of 2002, and then run against Bush and the war in 2003-4, that she'd be President today, and thousands of lives and billions of dollars might've been saved in Iraq.

Right now, I think it's Barack Obama's time, and he's done everything in his power to seize it, not for himself (though clearly he's as ambitious as any other politician), but for us. For that we should be thankful, not scornful.

by dmc2 2008-02-14 06:10AM | 0 recs
good argument -- must take issue

with the assumption that all Independents will flock to McCain in a head-to-head with Senator Clinton.

I think the insular nature of the progressive community has it out of touch with mainstream positions on the war and national security.  I think when it comes to the GE Senator Clinton will be able to stand up to McCain as tough on Islamic extremism but unhappy about using war before tough alliance building diplomacy.  she will also be able to make the case that while she saw the need to unseat Saddam by any means necessary, Bush jumped to war and then conducted it horribly.

I think that position is much more in line with the general voting public than Obama's sit down with dictators/I was against the war from the beginning position.  It galvanized the liberals, but hurts him in the great big middle.

I think too the great big middle is going to want to see debate on the specifics of hows and won't swoon as easily to the "Hope and Change" oratory.  In one sense, Obama has been preaching to the choir all this time.  He will have to expand that message to motivate and convince a much larger perhaps much more skeptical audience.

and that audience may just be more predisposed to value experience over energy.  They may just look at that time in the Illinois legislature and turn up their noses preferring 25 years in the United States Congress.  The current Obama base might very well see experience as a non-issue because their resumes are a little on the light side too.
(remember I'm talking about voters and not endorsements)

These are terrifying times for most Americans -- they are in genuine economic peril or fear they could be, they see the cost of war now in their wallets and in their communities, they don't still feel 100% safe from terrorism, and the cost of gas is scaring them more than just about anything.

They may just not be predisposed to taking some new energized movement out for a test drive right now.  Some other year, maybe.  Just not this one when everything seems so dire.  They just might want an old steady hand on the wheel.

Just my thoughts.  It's all speculation -- including yours.    

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: good argument -- must take issue

Yes, it is all speculation at this point. I think you make decent arguments with respect to the independents. My main point is that McCain is in a bit of a tough spot right now, because he doesn't yet have the conservative base behind him, without which he cannot win. But in order to get that base, he'll have to throw them some red meat, which will turn away independents. A Hillary nomination however will give them all of the red meat they could want, freeing him up to cultivate his "maverick" independent image. Obama, on the other hand, has already laid claim to much of the independent vote because they're already invested in him through their primary votes. On the other hand, he's not a motivating force for the conservative base, for now at least, maybe that'll change by November.

by dmc2 2008-02-14 07:10AM | 0 recs
wrong

McCain doesn't have to throw any meat to the Right beyond running against any Democrat.  They have a strong history of uniting around the closest Republican they can find.  Already today Mittens is getting ready to endorse without any of the deep soul-searching edwards seem to need.  

You seem to want to homogenize that Independent vote into one like minded mass like a third party which is exactly what they aren't -- thus the term "independent".  

there are left, right, middle and kook independents -- people who just hate all labels, social liberals who are fiscal conservatives, people who pride themselves on thinking independently, closet militiamen and unwashed Libertarians, Socialists, and a buttload of people who just resent the hell out of the two party system.  People self identify as "independents" if the hate their dem governor but also hate Bush, and most commonly if they have voted one way one year and a different way the next time around.  you can poll independents but you can't extrapolate spit from those polls in a different race.  They might be voting for Obama right now because they want change and hate Clinton.  But come November, they might hate Obama and have no problem with McCain.

MOST LIKELY, unlike partisans, they'll wait until the last minute to make up their minds.  They lean this way and that way as one candidate or the other hits their trigger issue, angers them or impresses them.  This whole idea of Obama "pulling" Independents is nonsense.  It's like saying I tamed a stray cat because it took a handout from me.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: wrong

All good points, but at the very least people do get invested in a candidate that they've already voted for. They want to be proved right in their vote. I don't see independents who voted for Obama, turning around and then voting for McCain in the general. Sure, that's not nearly the majority of independents because plenty of states do not let independents vote in the Democratic primary, but it's a base to start with.

by dmc2 2008-02-14 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: wrong

seriously, on exactly what basis do you not see a significant percentage of independents who voted Obama voting McCain in the fall?  Do you assume all those independent votes to be pure?  Based only in attraction to Obama?  Are you truly that niave?

Do you remember the big Kos movement to vote Mittens in Michigan just to screw up their primary?  Do you find the Repubs above such stuff or just Obama immune to it.

Seriously.  Try not to consistently project your thoughts about Obama onto those you know nothing about and no one really knows anything about Independents.  They are called Independents for a reason.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-15 02:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Hmm.

I voted for Obama on Tuesday.

I'm fairly sure I'm not a misogynist.

This diary sounds like so much whining.  

I voted for Obama and against Clinton because of their respective records and the general impressions I had gotten from both campaigns.  

Attack diaries like this do not make me think any better of Senator Clinton.  

by RickD 2008-02-14 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

again, have a look at this.

by OtherLisa 2008-02-14 09:54PM | 0 recs
RAnne--brilliant diary!

Major Mojo for you.

by Mariel 2008-02-14 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Great diary, I think this is a very important topic, that no one wants to talk about.

by nulee 2008-02-14 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny
Since the diarist was born in India she probably not been part of or read up on recent American history,
AA men lynched for merely looking at a white woman, AA only drinking fountains, dogs let upon peaceful protesters merely seeking dignity.
No honest person could claim that being a white woman has been more of a burden in this society than being an AA man. After all white women are the mothers and daughters of white men.
Obama is winning because he's a much better candidate despite the obvious disadvantage of being an AA.
He's just the right candidate at the right time.
by joachim 2008-02-14 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Absolutely right.  In terms of pure persecution of minorities there is no contest.  Nobody in their right mind would rather be a black man than a white woman in modern America.  Therefore, from a global and historical perspective, there is infinitely more useful healing to be derived from an Obama Presidency than a Clinton Presidency.  Race divides America far far more than gender.

by ramfar 2008-02-14 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Except that women of all colors are killed every single day of the year by abusive, mysogynistic  men.  In fact, I will bet any amount you chose that research shows that there were more women killed in America today simply because they were women than there were men killed simply because they were black.  

by miriam 2008-02-14 11:05AM | 0 recs
Your diary made me register on mydd

So I could comment. I'm a Daily Kos refugee who's had to flee the blatant hostile sexism there.

What a great, thoughtful diary!
You've articulated many of my own concerns about Obama. I started out this campaign as an anyone-but-Clinton voter, quickly became a John Edwards supporter (and still am), but I'm seriously considering voting for Hillary in April because this Obama campaign really really worries me.

by votermom 2008-02-14 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Your diary made me register on mydd

If you have any questions about issues ask a Hillary supporter.  :)

by masslib1 2008-02-14 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Your diary made me register on mydd

Thanks! I will.

by votermom 2008-02-14 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Your diary made me register on mydd

That way, you'll be sure to get the answer that makes you happy.

Just don't be surprised when Reality doesn't turn out as predicted.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-02-14 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Brilliant! What an intelligent and thoughtful analysis. I couldn't agree more with your insight and am grateful to your masterful synopsis on the various elements in obamamania. Thank you for posting your diary, it is the best I have read so far and I have since forwarded it to all that I know.

by no pasaran 2008-02-14 07:57AM | 0 recs
Just a reminder -- Obama is a politician

I know, I know, he's not like all the other politicians out there -- he's different, he's above it all, he's purrre.  Well then, he's the first in 230 years.  We better clone him.

he's crafting a message and spinning his talking points just like every other politician out there.  He's playing fast and loose with the facts, saying exactly what his supporters want and need to hear and playing the same game they all do -- what does it take to get the votes.

Clinton does it, he does it, they all do it.  Just because it comes from the Obama campaign doesn't make it so.  It makes it what he wants you to hear.

He was spinning so hard on that usury cap question in the MLK Day debate I expected him to end up in a Wonder Man costume.  He spins on universal healthcare so hard my eyes bleed watching him.  He as much "not politics as usual" as the last "no more politics as usual" what was that guy's name?  That downhome Texas outsider who never told a lie?

Come on.

his campaign looks and feels different because he has a rare gift -- the gift of energizing oratory at a time when people crave it.  we've been falling asleep to Old Bumblemouth for so long we'd elect Reagan out of the grave if we could.  

He's the anti-Bush.  Awesome.  That doesn't mean it's what the country needs.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

How pitiful.  I was surprised to find such a poorly thought-out post on mydd.  If you think that a woman ascending to the Presidency when her husband has already had the job is in any way a breakthrough for feminism then you need to stop writing and start reading.  Add in to the mix that she overlooked his philandering for nearly 40 years in order to further her political career and you have, in my opinion, a victury for male chauvinism if anything.

by ramfar 2008-02-14 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

speaking of misogyny.  Perhaps you need to read a bit more yourself.

you might start with your Women's Studies textbook -- then you'd know that it has been quite common for truly remarkable female leaders to ascend to positions of power through their husband's legacy, or that of another male family member.  such is the sad fact of sexism -- even the most powerful competent women are most often overlooked unless they are associated with a powerful man, take Indira Ghandi for one example.  Take Queen Victoria for a second.  

Our first elected female Senator Hattie Caraway followed her husband into the office he vacated in death, then won reelection twice on her own.  Our first female governor, Nellie Ross followed her husband into office upon his death; another woman wasn't elected to a governorship without following her husband until 1974.

These are both accepted as tremendous breakthroughs for women.

As for "overlooking her husband philandering" -- to take the condition of a woman's marraige into consideration when judging her professional capacity is most decidely sexist.  shame on you!

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-14 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny


Nonsense.  Where to begin?  I'm like a kid in a candy store:

1.  Which powerful man did you have in mind with respect to Queen Victoria?

2.  Those examples are not "accepted as tremendous breakthroughs" by me.

3.  The marriage issue is not circumstantial.  It reflects the core of their beings: personally, morally, financially, and politically corrupt.  Sorry to have to be the one to break this to you.

by ramfar 2008-02-14 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

1. George III

  1. too bad.  They are accepted as tremendous breakthroughs by scholars
  2. if my marraige reflected the core of my being?  I'm in more trouble than I thought.

sigh.  what a waste of ten minutes but what the hell.  

I don't know if you are married, but marriages are rather complex human endeavors.  We marry someone to find out over time exactly who we married.  It is seldom a matter of "just get a divorce" when there are children involved.  People are not cardboard black and white characters.  A spouse can be both beloved and extremely difficult to accept.

It is a common sexist assumption to view the man and woman in a marraige as one entity. His morals say nothing about hers, and vice versa.  And the "core of their beings" I would argue is utterly independent of the marraige.  

I suspect you are suggesting the Clintons are "personally, morally, financially and politically corrupt".  
Prove it.  with links to reputable sources.  

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-15 01:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Excellent dairy! You said some of the things that have really bothered about Wama Obama. Besides the fact that he will never, ever win the presidency. He was the only major Democratic candidate that would lose this election. Hillary would win. Edwards would win. Dodd would have won. Richardson would have won. But Obama will be crushed.

by moi moi 2008-02-14 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Beautiful post.  But I'm afraid it won't reach the short-attention-span Obamaniacs.  If they were reading or thinking, they would already know he is a phony.  The only way to beat them is to get out more thinking voters to oppose them.

by PlainWords 2008-02-14 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

I've refrained from letting lose of these "great diary" comments in the interest of civility but since I take unthinking as insult' I going to go head.

I can summarize the whole diary in one sentence:

Hillary Clinton is such a better a candidate than Obama that anyone who doesn't support her is a misogynist.

This diary makes a really poor argument relying almost entirely on pathos while criticizing the other side for excessive pathos.  It denigrates the intelligence and intellect of Obama supporters to reach its conclusion while ignoring established facts such as Obama's proven ability to increase turnout by pulling voters who do not usually  vote.  I'm extremely skeptical that it convinced anyone but rather preached to the choir of Hillary followers.

The flood of pro-Hillary diaries and comments do tell me one thing.  Hillary Clinton really is on the verge of losing the nomination to Obama.  There's no other reason that Hillary's supporters would suddenly take such a superior and condescending tone.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-14 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Another DKos reader here...coming out of lurk mode to let you know that your diary is one of the best I've read in WEEKS. Very good, please write more!  :)

I find myself over here more these days...DKos is getting ridiculous to the point of being useless for anyone other than the True Believers.

by Nobody 2008-02-14 01:02PM | 0 recs
So true. Thank you for saying it!

"If Senator Obama faced the same constant tirade of racially motivated attacks we'd never hear the end of it, but somehow it's okay to heap hatred and sexist epithets on Senator Clinton - on a woman. Of course Senator Obama can run a squeaky clean campaign - everyone else slings the mud for him! By staying quiet and reaping the benefits of misogyny, he is exploiting sexism while still appearing innocent."

by Shazone 2008-02-14 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

   Paging Paul Krugman, paging Paul Krugman.  Internet bloggers are being mean to my candidate - waaaahhh!  If only I could whine on the Op-Ed page of the NY Times.

by cilerder86 2008-02-14 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

   I can't believe people are still attacking Obama for lack of substance.  His Wisconsin speech was chock full of policy ideas.  This line of attack is total bullshit.  What is wrong with being passionate?!  Christ, talk about kicking a gift horse in the mouth.

by cilerder86 2008-02-14 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Er, yes, chalk full of Hillary's ideas, in point of fact...

by OtherLisa 2008-02-14 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny
Wonder what the diarist thinks is worse the caste system in the Indian society or sexism in that society.
Maybe both are really bad and we should not only focus on sexism while ignoring the horrible caste system.
by joachim 2008-02-14 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Get over it.  Hillary is rightly mistrusted by most Independents and deeply hated by Republicans.  There is no getting around that.  McCain would own her in a general election.  No doubt about it.  Not that it would matter as she is a hawkish warmonger herself.
by ramfar 2008-02-14 04:17PM | 0 recs
apparently there is SOME doubt about it n/t

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-15 01:31AM | 0 recs
Excellent diary...and here...

is a comment I posted in a Daily Kos thread about the difference of Daily Kos and MyDD:

But is it really the Obama supporters or Kos?  He has, after all, chosen sides and allowed an atmosphere to grow where it is fine to heap gobs of hate on others who either disagree or support other candidates, or both.

This is especially troubling in a venue that is, generally, faceless, and lends itself to the worst in communication.  No one is really innocent.  But if the most basic rules of decent communication between humans was adhered to, this could be a great place to discuss and supply information.  Instead, it, and these other sites, descend into places where, unless there is a singular voice, others' views are treated with contempt and people or candidates with other views, treated with near hate.

We are all supposed to be here for Democrats, yet people talk openly about voting for Mccain or against a person who could realistically be our nominee.  But how dare a few of us object when this occurs?

We are all supposed to be here for Democrats, yet people call Clinton the same things as more often repeated at Free Republic and the people on the other side.  Not to mention the sexism that is real.    And too many join in with utter glee.  How odd for people who are progressive to demean so easily.

We are all supposed to be here for Democrats, yet a rumor spreads about one former candidate and out comes the knives from far too many, calling him a fraud, a sell out, as if only one way is the pure way.  And this was based on a news story from a media that loves speculation.  But we should remain silent.  That's what they say when a vocal minority speaks out.  That is what we call tyranny of the majority.

Then there are the followers.  I think if Kos looked at a rose and said it smelled like a fart, there would be many who would say the same.  Kos has dumped on Clinton and Edwards, too.  This creates a climate for the followers to do the same.

This place has gone downhill since 2004.  It is much meaner.  It reflects society at large.  Impersonal and filled with people too tied to sensationalism, too wedded to media and American Idol, too reliant on cell phones and text.  People have lost track on how to communicate with others.

Imagine if we met our enemies at the table and spoke to them the way we speak to our friends.  Do you think we could ever persuade them?  Do you think they would ever believe we shared common ground?

Before some of you start calling me a hypocrite, I acknowledge that I have large questions about Obama as the best Democratic nominee.  I remain undecided.  There is nothing wrong with it.  I see him foremost as a politician, planning to run since Harvard, in my opinion, maybe sooner.  So much of what he has done is with that ultimate purpose in mind.  Just like Bill Clinton and probably others.

For lots of the good things a politician does, there are examples that would lead an observer to raise a legitimate question and ask for explanations.  Not just about votes, but actions.  If one does not project to be different, there is less reason to scrutinize such claims.  For example, regarding Obama, there is his disqualification of voter rights when he knocked off all the candidates in his first race.  There is McClurkin.  I find his lobbying connections troubling in terms of his rhetoric.  Deny all you wish, they exist, just like his corporate ties.  There are plenty of people who see it besides me.

I use things like this, and more , and other things, to make my own determination of who to support.  I contrast them to the claims a candidate makes about who they are and what they stand for.  If I am not convinced so easily, if the explanations don't square, I am within my right as a Democrat to question because each example above raises a legitimate Democratic interest.  When I comment, it is mostly substantive criticism, and referenced.  It is not a right wing frame, like the hair or the hedge fund or the house, issues that others like to raise.  Yes, it is sometimes argumentative.  It is sometimes to defend against a comment that is unfair in my view.  I will continue to speak as I see fit.  Someone needs to point out context and views that, because of the slant here, most others ignore.

Some people here will continue to think I am an asshole, and that is fine.  More power to you.  You see, I know who I am and of what I speak.  I have lived through most of it, not just read about it.  That counts for something, you know, even though we like to pretend that age and experience are irrelevant and unrelated to ever consider.  That's why I chuckle when someone also pretends the progressive blogosphere is the "reality" based community.  In most successful societies and communities, the one in real life we try to emulate, elders are respected and revered because of the knowledge they can share.  Touch a hot stove, get burned.  If only someone had told me.

Sorry for the partial rant.  It actually was pretty mild.  It will change nothing here, or elsewhere.  Let the war on dissent, intolerance, and mistreatment of others for no good reason continue.

I'd love to see this diary at DKos.  In any event, I look forward to reading more from you.

by citizen53 2008-02-14 10:44PM | 0 recs
Misogyny? What about Bill Clinton's veiled racism?

First off, let me say that I am the father of 2 wonderful little girls, ages 6 and 2, and I have a son who is only 4 mos - I have walked, marched, screamed and hollered for women's rights and civil rights in general for Blacks, Arabs, Hispanics, and Whites when disenfranchised.  With that said I don't think the label of misogynist would fit on me so please don't hurl it this way.  

The diarist starts off with "anger towards Obamamania," Well what about anger towards Clintonian politcs?  I was an Kucinich supporter who was won over by Edwards and have found Obama to be the real deal for the democrats.  Why not Clinton you ask?  Well, there are many reasons (UHC aside -- as I do NOT feel mandates are the best way to deal with the heathcare problems for lower-income Americans) that I could NEVER vote for Hillary Clinton - ever.  

#1 - (yes, this is the #1 reason) - Bill Clinton.
I am a very strict constitutionalist.  I have DEEP reservations about allowing the "Clintons" (she is running on his record 50% of the time) to regain power for what could be considered a 3rd term.   With that said, it should be noted that during Clinton's 2 terms in office we had record economic success, a balanced budget, low unemployment, and relative (discounting Bosnia) peace.  However, we also had Whitewater, Travel-gate, Monica-gate, Vince-Foster-gate.. so many scandals I could write an entire diary about them.  I do not want to hand the republicans the congress AGAIN!  The American people deserve better than to have Congress investigating our President for 4-6 years!

#2 - Bill + Hillary + South Carolina
I am 50% Arab-American / 50% African-American, with that said, I would have VERY strong words for Bill Clinton if I ever met him in person, and so would 90% of Blacks in this country, which I will detail in one second.  Bill Clinton deliberately played on racial overtones in the South Carolina primary, we all know what he said but many Whites will dismiss it.  Well, we in the Black community DO NOT.  "Well, huh, JESSE JACKSON won South Carolina, too."  WTF does that mean?  How many ppl have run in South Carolina?  Why bring up Jesse Jackson, especially in a time of all of this race baiting?!  I for one was still willing at that point to give Hillary a chance.  But she didn't even fight for the Black vote!  She wrote it off, after they gave her the benefit of the doubt, she wrote us off!  I work at my local NAACP office and  I can tell everyone reading this personally that Blacks supported Hillary Clinton about 60/40 before South Carolina, especially Black women.  After the racially divisive remarks and codewords used by Bill Clinton, the lack of respect of the Black vote - the ONE and ONLY voting bloc to consistently support the democratic party 90% - I was totally disgusted by not only Bill Clinton (who lost my respect long ago) but by Hillary Clinton whom I've always respected and always admired.  

#3 - Hillary Clinton + Mark Penn
I'll make this REAL short.. superdelegates should not decide the Democratic nomination - AND IF THEY DO - I guarantee that Blacks (not all but I bet 30% of the Black registered vote) will withdraw from the democratic party.  Don't take my word for it, ask Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.  Whites don't regard either very highly, but their names bring gravitas, and Blacks will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she steals this from them.  I will be voting for Barack Obama here in Ohio, knowing he cannot lose the pledged delegate total but he can perhaps lose my state.  If the superdelegates steal this from the one minority that kept them in office for years then I assure you that'll be the end of the Democratic party - I hope it doesn't come to that but if it does, then the Democratic Party is finished, and I think anyone reading this should acknowledge that if Blacks leave the party, then the party's over.  Is Hillary Clinton worth that?

I think Clinton supporters will flame me for writing this (my first comments on MyDD -- I was advised not to come here by folks over at DKos --to biased, as if DKos wasn't) but if you read what I wrote, you'll see I am not voting for Obama because of "Obamamania," he was my THIRD choice, but because as the field narrowed I found myself left with Obama as the only Edwards-like candidate that was not Bill Clinton 2.0.

Hillary Clinton IS responsible for the comments her husband makes on the campaign trail.  They were offensive and reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were said in a state that still flies the confederate flag!  

Clinton supporters and so-called die-hard democrats need to realize that if you alienate the Black vote, our party will become your party.

Sorry for this ridiculously long comment but I felt it was too important, and I have never posted a diary here before and wanted to post more of a response diary rather than just a quick blurb, hope I didn't break any rules.

by RyuX 2008-02-15 01:27AM | 0 recs
To RyuX

First of all, I want to acknowledge your thoughtful relatively uninflammatory comment.  I may not agree with you on most of it, but I respect points made respectfully.

I reject anyone who would write or suggest that ALL Obama supporters are anything.  Obviously many of you are well informed, have your well thought out reasons and your own personal perspective that draws you to one candidate over another.  So too I make my decisions for a number of reasons, some of them thoughtful, some of them inexplicable.

That said, I believe both camps have members with superficial, knee-jerk or less than admirable reasons for their choices.  Both camps have persons who are grossly misinformed, judging from so many of the comments out there.

As this is a numbers game, I think it's fair to examine these "fan-bases" of both candidates closely.  How well will the most prevalent reasons translate to the general electorate?  Is one candidate or the other being falsely supported in order to derail the other?

This is my deepest concern and it cuts both ways.  I worry for the percentage of Obama supporters, whatever that may be, who are voting for him only to prevent Senator Clinton from winning the nomination because they either hate her based on right wing misinformation or hate her for her gender outright.
I also worry for the percentage of Clinton voters who choose her based only on the color of her skin -- a hidden "anyone but the black guy" vote.  

Beyond the disgusting implications of that for our society, it forbodes trouble in November if we assume those voters won't jump ship to the white male in November.  In that frame I find a discussions on misogyny and racism in this contest not only appropriate but necessary.

I found the Pres. Clinton comment on South Carolina profoundly stupid but not racist.  but then, I'm not a victim of racial prejudice so I'm not the best person to judge.  

I have felt the sting of a great number of sexist slurs and assumptions around Senator Clinton.  I accept a man or younger woman who is less familiar with blatant sexism might not find them as alarming as I do.  but they would not be the best person to judge how society has treated and does treat 60 year old women.

What shocks me is how we are all expected to muzzle ourselves on the topics of embedded racism and sexism at a time when they could not possibly be more important to examine.  Nothing sickens me as a progressive more right now than the choruses of indignant "how dare yous" and "don't you dares" from my supposed comrades in enlightenment every time either issue is raised for discussion.

Am I a racist?  Decidely no.  Am I capable of racist assumptions and thinking?  Yes, and only my willingness to admit that and fiercely examine that allows me to even consider myself free of bigotted decision making.

I would only ask the most enlightened Obama supporters out there to do the same -- examine their hearts and reasoning for sexist assumptions -- not to change their vote but to better understand the shared problems we face.

We are not each other's enemy -- our common enemy is ignorance and there is enough of it both here and on the Daily Kos to keep us all busy for quite some time.  

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-02-15 02:03AM | 0 recs
Re: To RyuX

Well, all I can say is wow.  Very well put.  I agree with everything you said.

So.. I guess theres not much else to say, but I respect your well thought-out decision to support Hillary Clinton; however, I think fairly soon the time will come to rally behind Barack Obama, as the delegate race is seemingly over.  

Take Care!

by RyuX 2008-02-16 01:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

What a wonderful, thoughtful, and beautifully written diary.  Thank you.

by sgary 2008-02-15 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Opening with a conclusion ("wave of misogyny") is not the best way to introduce a productive discussion of racism and sexism as they relate to the 2008 elections.

I would also argue that you failed to support your premise. There are many good reasons to dislike Hillary Clinton. Based on her record and her platform alone, I don't think anyone would call her a progressive. What is progressive about her run is the possibility of the first woman elected president. If she's lost supporters as a result of sexism, she's also gained them.

This is also a particularly unreasonable charge to direct at the Obama campaign, which has been relentlessly positive and inclusive. I have waited and waited for them to go on the attack over Clinton's corruption, her eager embrace of lobbyists' money, her history of vicious feuds within the party, and more. They haven't because that is not the kind of campaign they are running.

Calling someone a sexist is the end of a rational discussion, not the beginning of one. Following it with the clarification that sexism and racism are everywhere and hey, we're just talking about it, is a weak defense. It's a powerful slur, especially among progressives, regardless of how common it is in theory. Remember that this movement is all going to have to come together soon and how we conduct the discussion now matters greatly in how that healing unfolds.

by EMTP democrat 2008-02-15 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

Obama compared to Hitler from Crooks and Liars

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/02/15 foxs-tom-sullivan-compares-obama-to-hit ler#comments

by nogo war 2008-02-15 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama surfs a wave of misogyny

This whole post is absurd and the misogyny card ain't gonna fly.

You must have forgotten about the slew of racial tactics that the Clintons used against Obama in South Carolina -- to their detriment, I might add. And it was not only the Clintons who were slinging that mud, it was other people on their side, as well.

Where is this supposed sexism coming from the Obama camp? Not liking Hillary because she seems to focused on her own ambitions (as opposed to the health of the country) or because she comes across as arrogant (which I think she does from time to time, especially when she was acting like this election was some sort of inevitable coronation) are legitimate reasons to not like someone and not want to vote for them. It is not sexism just because said person happens to be a woman. Plenty of people have felt this way about male candidates and not voted for them, too.

Read Senator Obama's first book, "Dreams From My Father" which was written shortly after he graduated from Harvard Law. He moved to Chicago because he had a job offer, not because he had some long-standing idea that because he was black he could catapult himself to national prominence (that, by the way, is bordering on a racist sentiment).

And since when did "sound[ing] intelligent" become "elitist"? Don't we want all our children to "sound intelligent"? Geez, I'll be sure to tell my 6-year-old stepdaughter to start talking like a moron so no one will think she's a snob. Oy vey!

Most people can't look you in the eye and give you specifics for ANY candidate that they like. The fact is, people tend to size candidates up based on how they come across. And people like Senator Obama because he doesn't talk down to his audience; he doesn't act like he's the smartest guy in the room. He could have easily made this campaign all about him being the African-American candidate, but he chose not to because he knew that America is ready for a black president -- or a woman president. It's a non-issue -- until the Clintons try to make it one.

So, I have thoroughly gone through this whole post title "Obama surfs a wave of misogyny" written by a young woman with an ispriring story, but I still see no evidence of this supposed sexism you talk about.

It has now become the strategy of all the "hillarybots" out there to simply say Obama fans are naive, cultish and sexist.

None of which is true.

by DoubleDs 2008-02-15 06:09AM | 0 recs
PRIVILEGED?

To attend college?

My (single) mom has been a waitress the last two years of her life, before that she worked in a retail boutique, before that she was out of a job for a year and before that she was a hostess at a different restaurant.

I got ONE scholarship for $500 from my high school (barely enough to buy books for one semester) and the rest of my education has come from loans, my own work and federal aid--in that order.

Tell me where the privilege is?

Your idiocy is astounding.

by Colin Kalmbacher 2008-02-15 07:42AM | 0 recs

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