Official candidate of the sisterhood?

sisterhood_poster.jpgIn case you’ve been in hiding for the past two weeks, you should know that everyone is running for president. And they’re starting now. I’m pretty sure Dem Hill staffers are still hung-over from all the celebrating, but even though winter came late, spring is coming early in Washington. Joe Biden has already stepped in it (again), and he only officially announced his candidacy yesterday. Nice.
While Congressional leadership is trying to get work done, it seems everyone else is starting to take sides. As women sign up to work with anyone but Senator Clinton, of course, they’re being asked why. That’s the bad news. The good news is they’re all giving the same answer. Being a woman does not get you the automatic support of women. There’s no vagina litmus test, people. Congratulations on your new gigs, Kate, Eureka,and Amanda. For the rest of you out there, am I wrong? Should women, especially feminists be supporting Hillary by default?

and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

86 Comments

  1. Posted February 1, 2007 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    The only world Clinton’s willing to deliver is a world of power to herself. The only women whose issues she cares about are former US first ladies whose initials are HRC.

  2. donna darko
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    The only world Clinton’s willing to deliver is a world of power to herself.
    I may be dating myself but for me the First Lady and law student Hillary Clinton eclipses the phony Senator Clinton. A place called Hope and all that.

  3. donna darko
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    I think any male President will put women’s issues on the back burner. All previous presidents did that, all our current male Congressmen and Senators do that and I don’t have much faith this will change. I’m sick of women’s and minorities’ issues being put on the back burner and there’s a possibility Clinton would not do that. I currently don’t have faith in the male candidates unless we draft Gore or Dean.

  4. Posted February 1, 2007 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    I’d latch onto a draft Feingold movement, but it ain’t happening. It’s too bad, really. The guy has more experience than the three main candidates put together, and actually cares about not bombing random countries, keeping abortion legal, and respecting civil liberties.
    If Obama says something meatier about his intention to bomb Iran, I’m putting that on a petition to Feingold to run and circulating it among any blogger I am distantly related to.

  5. mimo92
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “I want a President who believes in childcare, education and healthcare for all people first… getting out of Iraq second… minority (including GLBT) equality third. I want a President who doesn’t use his beliefs to redefine the relgion of the nation, who can properly pronounce words, and who is more interested in policies that work than propaganda. I want a President who will pull us out of this budget deficit, who doesn’t believe corporations (and pharmaceuticals and tobacco) run this nation, and who isn’t afraid to talk back to the Christian Coalition once in awhile. I want a President who listens and who can (somewhat) unite this country… who gives me (some) faith in the US government’s abilities… and who realizes our bureaucracies are slow and ineffective.
    I want a lot.”
    Well, as Rummy said, “You go in with the [candidate] you have, not the [candidate] you want.”
    Smart man, that Rummy is. *satcasm*

  6. mimo92
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    *sarcasm

  7. katie
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I actually personally know Senator Clinton and interned for her back during my senior year of college. I can assure you, she not only has a soul, but is a caring person. On top of that, she has the experience and record to prove her success. I like obama, but he absolutely does not have enough experience to run this country. perhaps in a few years, but i think anyone voting for him over clinton is doing the country a serious disservice. The fact is, politicians cannot be 100% feminist in their policies and get anything done in this day and age. hopefully one day, but you MUST work within the system, even if it means tempering your views a bit, if you want to get things that need to get done, done.
    donna-dean went on the 700 club not too long ago and told them that the democratic platform was that only a man and a woman should get married. that guy is dead in my book. while i know he doesnt believe that, you dont go on a show catering to wacko christians and say that just to appease them.
    as for hillary supporting the war, i wasnt too against it either when we thought that what the white house said was true. please remember the LIED about intelligence, and noone knew until it was too late. almost every single senator voted for the war, and frankly at this point, i dont think we can hold that against anyone. what we can hold against them now is if they STILL support the war and the new surge policy.
    futhermore, I find it funny that people are surprised women chatting with the senator generally ask things like whats your favorite movie. Do you guys really think women have the stereotype of not being well versed in politics for no apparent reason? Or being concerned with inane stuff like that? It’s because many, if not most women in this country are like that. Now, the reason I am a feminist is because A) I rather surround myself with people like everyone here and B) because i think its important to change things like that. I don’t think women are like that bc they are biologically inclined, i think they are that way bc we are socialized like that.

  8. lyra27
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    One thing I do like about HRC is that we know she has battle scars. We know she’s used to being criticized mercilessly by almost everyone, and we know she’s a tough lady who can handle the pressure. Being in the public eye so constantly for so long (even longer than Bill, really) is of course going to bring controversy and some bad publicity, that’s really inevitable for any politician. And so far, that IS one thing Obama has going for him — he hasn’t been on the national stage long enough to face really tough scrutiny from anyone. So of course he seems new and fresh and appealing right now — but I just do not see how the honeymoon period can last much longer with him. While he might be a great president some day, I think he should start by getting some much-needed practice in the public eye as Hillary’s vice (ha, no pun intended).

  9. EG
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    “I’ll take a person who doesn’t know the system, who has a conscience”
    See, TLF, here’s where you and I part ways. I don’t want some newbie who doesn’t know how to work the system. I want an old hand who knows exactly where the bodies are buried. When I go in for surgery, I want someone who’s done hundreds of surgeries before. And in a president, I want a politician who’s been around long enough to build up juice and knows how to play the game. I don’t mind corruption my elected officials; I expect corruption in my elected officials. What I want is for them to be corrupt and on my side.

  10. katie
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    hahahahaha nice EG. you crack me up

  11. tink
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Alon – Obama wants to bomb Iran? DAMMIT. Linkee please?

  12. Posted February 1, 2007 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Katie writes:
    dean went on the 700 club not too long ago and told them that the democratic platform was that only a man and a woman should get married. that guy is dead in my book. while i know he doesnt believe that, you dont go on a show catering to wacko christians and say that just to appease them.
    Agreed. Howard Dean lost most of my respect when he said that. People who donated money to his campaign in 2004 did so precisely because they thought he wasn’t the kind of candidate who would pull that kind of shit.
    Re HRC: I want to like her. I really do. Just as she benefits from the reputation of her husband in some ways, it hurts her in others. I tend to think of Bill and Hillary Clinton as if they were a single unit. I don’t think Bill was a good human being–though he was, in relative terms, a great president–and so I expect that same hollow moral center of gravity from his wife. But that isn’t really fair, is it?
    HRC still has time to win me over. I don’t like her, but “don’t like” is never set in stone for me.
    Cheers,
    TH

  13. Posted February 1, 2007 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and I share Alon’s Feingold crush. No candidate running is in his league, IMHO, including on feminist issues.
    And I have to respectfully disagree with Donna on the notion that a male, by definition, can’t lead the pack on women and minorities. Identity is only worth so much. Would anyone really expect Condoleezza Rice to care more about black folks in general, women in general, and black women in particular than somebody like Russ Feingold, even though he’s not black and he’s not a woman?
    If we submit to identity politics, there are right-wingers who will be more than happy to manipulate that. See also Keyes, Alan. See also Schlafly, Phyllis. See also the “ex-gay” movement. If we fall for the logic of tokenism, we will find ourselves electing black white supremacists and female misogynists all over the place.
    Cheers,
    TH

  14. Posted February 1, 2007 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Yes, you should be supporting Hillary. Hillary’s the only candidate – possibly ever – that has third world women, sex trafficking, sex selection, and women’s rights as human rights (and vice versa) anywhere on her radar.
    And I’ll go out on a limb and say perhaps you should even support her just because she’s a woman. People keep hemming and hawing over whether she’s REALLY the best person for the job, but does anyone honestly believe that Barack Obama or Rudy Giuliani are better qualified? If so, why exactly? Is anyone actually studying these guys’ voting records and issue stances nearly as closely as they claim to be studying Hillary’s? People vote for male Presidents for their “charistma” and their “character” and their “guy I’d like to have a beer with” qualities all the time. But we get a viable woman candidate and we have to do this endless hand-wringing over her qualifications. I’m calling bullshit on that. It’s a dodge and another in a long line of bullshit gender-based double standards.
    Vote Hillary!

  15. donna darko
    Posted February 1, 2007 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    And I have to respectfully disagree with Donna on the notion that a male, by definition, can’t lead the pack on women and minorities
    It’s not that they can’t but that they won’t. Men have never done much for women and minorities and it’s unlikely any would now. I believe Feingold is best on pro-choice issues and would be great for that.
    Yes, you should be supporting Hillary. Hillary’s the only candidate – possibly ever – that has third world women, sex trafficking, sex selection, and women’s rights as human rights (and vice versa) anywhere on her radar.
    As happy_bunny said, Hillary Clinton has many womens’, girls’, minorities’, the poor’s issues on her radar. She’s waffles on abortion which is the most important issue but she has the most issues on her radar for those most in need in the world including the poor.

  16. Posted February 1, 2007 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    please remember the LIED about intelligence, and noone knew until it was too late. almost every single senator voted for the war, and frankly at this point, i dont think we can hold that against anyone.
    Politicians lie. It’s what they do to get ahead. Outside the US, almost everyone realized Bush was full of shit, even in countries whose governments were pro-war, like Britain and Spain. Needless to say, Clinton knew enough about how politics worked to realize that Bush’s words weren’t to be taken at face value. And still she voted for the war.
    Alon – Obama wants to bomb Iran? DAMMIT. Linkee please?
    It’s old news, it turns out.

  17. Posted February 1, 2007 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Happy Bunny writes:
    People vote for male Presidents for their “charistma” and their “character” and their “guy I’d like to have a beer with” qualities all the time. But we get a viable woman candidate and we have to do this endless hand-wringing over her qualifications.
    I’m not hand-wringing over her qualifications. I’m hand-wringing over the fact that she’s the wife of a former two-term president who was not reliable on feminist issues (and was most certainly no feminist in his private life), and that this has largely defined her public persona. We are not talking about some random person here. We’re talking about Hillary Clinton.
    I can understand why someone would support her, by the way. What offends me is the “you’re a bad feminist if you don’t support her because doggonit, she’s a woman” logic. That’s like saying that you’re a racist if you don’t support Barack Obama. Can we move past tokenism into real analysis of where candidates stand on various issues?
    I have heard two people say so far in this thread that HRC is the only candidate who has given any real attention to feminist international human rights. Citations, please? If that can be substantiated, then that’s a serious plus for HRC. Where are the bills she’s proposed on these issues that other Democratic senators have refused to co-sponsor? Where is the brave, controversial vote she made in favor of an important women’s rights issue despite risking condemnation for being unpopular? Where is the one case where she didn’t do the most politically expedient option available to her at the time?
    Because that’s the Clinton precedent. Her husband ran on a pro-gay platform and gave us all “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the DOMA.
    And maybe it’s not fair that she’s being tarred with her husband’s legacy, but we all know that’s why she’s a viable national candidate. Goodness knows the media has gone out of its way not to support someone who doesn’t have a more famous husband. Again, I didn’t see anyone talking about this stuff when Carol Moseley Braun was running.
    So let’s cut the crap about how anyone who votes for a candidate other than HRC is an antifeminist. I’m not suggesting that anyone vote for Giuliani (who told his wife and kids he was leaving them in a televised press conference, for God’s sakes) or any other Republican–I’m suggesting that we look at what people’s actual views are rather than checking their gender and calling it good.
    Voting for Phyllis Schlafly does not make you a good feminist. Voting for Condoleezza Rice does not make you a good feminist. Voting for Kay Bailey Hutchinson does not make you a good feminist. Voting for a woman who does not have feminist values on her agenda, who will sell out women’s rights in a heartbeat if it’s the most politically expedient option, is nothing to brag about.
    Cheers,
    TH

  18. Posted February 1, 2007 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    And I am not saying, by the way, that HRC is that kind of candidate. But I am saying that given her husband’s record and her own record on issues like the Iraq War, she is going to have to prove that she does have moral convictions that do not happen to line up with whatever the most popular option happens to be.
    And what I loved about Russ Feingold was that he so obviously did. LONE vote against the PATRIOT Act, thank you very much. One of the damn few senators to vote against the Iraq War. Broke his own pledge to oppose Alito because of his commitment to choice. And several of y’all are kicking sand in his face just because he’s got a penis. Well, I’ve got one, too. Am I next?
    Cheers,
    TH

  19. Posted February 1, 2007 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like the tone of those last two posts, and I apologize. To be honest, I’m mad as hell at Bill Clinton for selling out, and I have been for years. Maybe it’s not fair to tar HRC with the same brush. But to get my worthless little Mississippi vote, she’s going to have to be willing to stand up for something. Her support for parental notification laws does not give me confidence that she will.
    Cheers,
    TH

  20. donna darko
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    She’s the wife of a former two-term president who was not reliable on feminist issues (and was most certainly no feminist in his private life)
    She was reliable on feminist issues as First Lady. imo forgiveness of his cheating was her own business because it didn’t affect anyone but her and her daughter.
    I’m mad as hell at Bill Clinton for selling out, and I have been for years. Maybe it’s not fair to tar HRC with the same brush.
    You make good points for me to ponder. We also have to look at the times. Clinton signed FMLA and VAWA and was on his way to full protection of women’s rights when the 1994 Republican revolution happened partly out of Republican fear of women’s equal rights. 2008 may be a different environment after the long 2001-2009 nightmare. If Gore had been able to serve his two terms from 2001-2009, the feminist agenda would have been completed in full from 1993-2009. I know HRC is not the most left candidate but I’ve listened to politicians talk over the years and think she has the best vision for this country, even better than her husband’s. People say nothing will get done without working with others so she should be the best candidate. Here are the 12 possible candidates from the furthest left to most centrist. Finally, you can’t blame me for not trusting male politicians to prioritize women’s and minorities issues since no president ever has before.
    Populist-leaning liberals:
    Edwards
    Clark
    Kucinich
    Obama
    Sharpton
    Left liberal:
    Dodd
    Hard-core populist:
    Gore
    Moderate-leaning populist:
    Clinton
    Richardson
    Moderate liberal:
    Daschle
    Centrist:
    Vilsack

  21. donna darko
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Again, 2008 is not 1994. I sense a sea change after the 2000-2008 nightmare, a shift in which Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton’s vision will finally be complete.

  22. Posted February 2, 2007 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Donna writes:
    She was reliable on feminist issues as First Lady. imo forgiveness of his cheating was her own business because it didn’t affect anyone but her and her daughter.
    Agreed, and to be honest I’m beginning to think I have a lot that I need to ponder myself. I don’t really look at HRC and her husband as having two different moral codes or agendas. The two kind of blend together for me.
    Clinton signed FMLA and VAWA and was on his way to full protection of women’s rights when the 1994 Republican revolution happened partly out of Republican fear of women’s equal rights. 2008 may be a different environment after the long 2001-2009 nightmare. If Gore had been able to serve his two terms from 2001-2009, the feminist agenda would have been completed in full from 1993-2009.
    With respect, I don’t think it would have. I think that there might have been more progress than there was–had Democrats been successful in reclaiming Congress in 2002 under a Gore administration, as they almost certainly would have been assuming 9/11 would have happened regardless of presidency–but the feminist agenda is going to take centuries to complete in full, IMHO.
    The FMLA and VAWA were certainly improvements, but look at the titles of the bills: One had to do with “family” medical leave (because the rights of women alone wouldn’t be seen as grounds for significant policy changes), and one had to do with violence against women (which appealed to a sense of chivalry). That’s helpful, but hardly revolutionary.
    Clinton did not get the ERA passed. He did not even attempt to get the ERA passed. And while I recognize that a lot of folks see the ERA as a red herring, I don’t think we can even begin to speculate about what it might look like to complete a meaningful feminist policy agenda without it.
    Donna writes:
    I sense a sea change after the 2000-2008 nightmare, a shift in which Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton’s vision will finally be complete.
    I would just be happy to know what Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton’s agenda is. I’m not even sure they all share the same agenda.
    With respect, I have a very hard time seeing Bill Clinton as an honest feminist given the way he manipulated the women in his life to fulfill his sexual needs, with no thought to how any of this might affect them. Clinton strikes me as one of countless male faux-feminists who have a half-assed commitment to the cause and will abandon it as soon as the almighty cock says so. I do not think that his commitment to the feminist agenda is genuine. I was never able to figure out Al Gore; he has a puritanical streak, obviously, and the idea of austerity and belt-tightening plays a role in every area of his policy (from free speech to the environment to the economy), but I was never able to see enough from him as an individual to figure out where he really stood on things.
    Hillary Clinton is the only one of the three that I can really accept as an honest feminist, but she is so connected to her slimy husband, in my mind, and so tied in with compromises on things like parental notification, that it will take a lot for me to see her as an improvement over a male candidate who may have an inconvenient set of chromosomes, but who at least isn’t married to Bill Clinton.
    I think you clearly have a lot of faith in the ability of the DLC Clinton-Gore-Clinton dynasty to really work for the feminist cause, but I have no such faith. I would rather see fresh blood in the White House.
    That said, I do hope that if a male candidate wins the nomination, he will at least select a female VP–preferably one who will be able to succeed him in 8 years. Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona, in particular, has displayed far more guts vis-a-vis women’s rights than HRC could ever dream–vetoing four semi-popular “moderate” abortion bills in a single congressional session. Jennifer Granholm and Jodi Rell also appeal to me as candidates. Frankly, for me the biggest disappointment about HRC is that the only viable female candidate in 2008 is HRC. She should be one of a field of female candidates. Then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
    Cheers,
    TH

  23. Posted February 2, 2007 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Actually, Napolitano will make a great running mate against McCain or Giuliani, who are pro-immigration and have a shot at recapturing the Hispanic vote in the Southwest. Richardson would be better for that, but for the fact that a) people don’t realize just how experienced he is, and b) he’s from New Mexico rather than Arizona.
    There are only three real candidates in the Democratic primary – Edwards, Obama, and Clinton. Richardson’s chances of winning are faint; those of everyone else are zero.
    Clinton may say she prioritizes women’s issues, but so far I haven’t seen her risk anything for it. She seems to have a mentality in which advancing some good issues is fine, as long as they don’t cost any political capital. So yes, she’d sign something like VAWA. So would Bush. MRAs are shut out of the federal government at least as much as feminists.

  24. donna darko
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m dating myself again but Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 was a huge victory for women. It was the first piece of legislation Bill Clinton signed into law and it enabled workers to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a new baby or ailing family member without jeopardizing their job. The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 was a landmark piece of legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States.
    Things were crackling along for feminists before the onslaught of Republican Revolution 1994. After that, Clinton was constantly vilified and stymied by Republicans. It was very frustrating because it was Clinton alone against the Republican Congress and there were no blogs or alternative media apparatuses. We all watched him helplessly as he was attacked day after day by the MSM and Republicans. The Clinton-Gore agenda had a definite feminist, minority and environmental agenda. I think thirtysomethings who were in college at the time have a special place in our hearts for the promise of Clinton-Gore. A couple other thirtysomethings on Hillary Clinton:
    “”Hillary most certainly was a feminist, when the label and identity could be used strategically to her benefit,” said Rebecca Walker, author and co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation, an organization of young feminists, via e-mail. But identifying herself as a feminist today “would be divisive and undermining to her cause of representing, or seeming to represent, all Americans.” Walker continued that although Clinton “voted for the war and made sympathetic antiabortion statements, my sense is that she stands for a ‘feminist’ agenda.” To Walker, that agenda includes reproductive freedom, pay equity, increased family leave, universal healthcare, environmental preservation and education reform. Walker broke a big-time taboo by coming out and saying one of those things that is impolite to mention. “I have to be totally honest and say that I would vote for Hillary because of her husband,” she said. “Real partnership, with its mammoth requirements of negotiating power and taking turns, is the next feminist frontier,” and “President Hillary and first gentleman Bill would give the world one hell of a demo.”
    To others, Clinton is all the feminist they need right now. “I am wild about her as a person, and I am definitely a liberal feminist,” said comedian Janeane Garofalo, a host on liberal radio station Air America. “I like her very much for who she is — when she doesn’t pander to right-wing constituencies.” As for troubling Clinton stands like the flag-burning conflagration, Garofalo said, “There’s no way she could fully believe in that. Having said that, this woman has been so browbeaten, so picked-on, so ridiculously maligned that I don’t blame her for having these spurts of post-traumatic stress disorder.“”

  25. Posted February 2, 2007 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Alon writes:
    Clinton may say she prioritizes women’s issues, but so far I haven’t seen her risk anything for it.
    Bingo. HRC has never risked anything for women’s rights. If she had decided to run in Arkansas instead of New York, I’m reasonably confident she would be anti-choice.
    Donna writes:
    I’m dating myself again but Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 was a huge victory for women.
    Yes, but mainly it was a victory for “families.”
    Think about it a minute: 1993 gave us a Democratic president, a Democratic Congress, and they still wouldn’t be caught dead signing legislation unambiguously designed to protect the economic status of women.
    The Clinton-Gore agenda had a definite feminist, minority and environmental agenda.
    Compared to Bush, yes. Compared to all Republican candidates running in 2008, yes. Compared to most of the Democratic candidates running in 2004, no. Compared to most of the Democratic candidates running in 2008, no. The party moved ahead, but the Clinton-Gore-Clinton agenda is somewhere to the right of the Jimmy Carter agenda, and that was 30 years ago.
    Donna writes:
    As for troubling Clinton stands like the flag-burning conflagration, Garofalo said, “There’s no way she could fully believe in that. Having said that, this woman has been so browbeaten, so picked-on, so ridiculously maligned that I don’t blame her for having these spurts of post-traumatic stress disorder.”"
    I suppose this explains her support for parental notification laws, too. And her support for the war in Iraq.
    Bottom line: I do not want a president who will sign anti-choice/anti-woman and other regressive legislation just because she has “post-traumatic stress disorder.” I’m sure Bush can be diagnosed with an entire range of mental illnesses to explain his public policy decisions, but that doesn’t help us a bit.
    Cheers,
    TH

  26. Posted February 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    And may I add that if we’re already explaining HRC’s right-wing votes before she has campaigned outside of New York, imagine how much we’ll have to apologize and shuffle and say stuff like “port-traumatic stress disorder” after she’s won the nomination.
    Better to nip this in the bud, unless HRC is willing to show some backbone on these issues.
    Cheers,
    TH

  27. Posted February 2, 2007 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the thing:
    White southern Democrats generally suck. I say this as a Mississippi boy. They have been trained to appeal to rural white social conservatives who are racists but refuse to admit it, and their entire policy agenda is based around ambiguous submission to the status quo.
    Both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were white Southern Baptist governors who won in socially conservative states, in part, by convincing regressive rural white voters that they were not a threat. They were successful on the national stage, in part, because they were really good at convincing other parts of the country that they weren’t a threat, either.
    We have never had, in the modern era, our version of Ronald Reagan–in our case a president who is more progressive than average instead of less, and everybody knows it, but people vote for that candidate anyway because the candidate sounds so darned appealing. Candidates like this actually change the culture.
    Russ Feingold sounded like he could have been that candidate. Barack Obama, I believe, could be that candidate.
    Hillary Rodham Clinton would be a step backwards. John Edwards would be an even bigger step backwards. But Barack Obama just might be able to pull it off.
    So could any number of high-profile female Democrats, but none of them are in the running. It’s unfortunate that the only viable female candidate in 2008 is a Southern Strategy veteran who panders to the right wing, but that’s the truth as I see it, and I see nothing feminist about voting for her.
    Cheers,
    TH

  28. donna darko
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Think about it a minute: 1993 gave us a Democratic president, a Democratic Congress, and they still wouldn’t be caught dead signing legislation unambiguously designed to protect the economic status of women.
    We always talk here about how feminist flexible work-family policies are and how central they are to the feminist movement. Who usually takes the time off to care for children, the sick, elderly? Women.
    White southern Democrats generally suck. I say this as a Mississippi boy. They have been trained to appeal to rural white social conservatives who are racists but refuse to admit it, and their entire policy agenda is based around ambiguous submission to the status quo.
    Bill Clinton was our first “black president”. Hillary Clinton would be our first black female president. 60% of blacks currently support Clinton and only 20% support Obama. The Gores are also not racist. I still think Clinton-Gore was the dream team.

  29. Posted February 2, 2007 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Donna writes:
    We always talk here about how feminist flexible work-family policies are and how central they are to the feminist movement. Who usually takes the time off to care for children, the sick, elderly? Women.
    Of course the FMLA was great for women, and therefore qualifies as progress on the feminist agenda. So was the VAWA. But both represented moderate legislation as part of a moderate agenda, and the feminist agenda will never be achieved by moderation.
    Bill Clinton was our first “black president”.
    No, he was our 42nd “white president.” He was, at most, the Eminem of black presidents.
    He sure as hell wasn’t “black” when he carried white swing voters in rural Arkansas, I’ll tell you that.
    Hillary Clinton would be our first black female president.
    No, she’d be our first white female president.
    60% of blacks currently support Clinton and only 20% support Obama.
    Obama’s name recognition is nowhere near as high, so that’s to be expected. In six months, I’m sure it’ll be a different story.
    The Gores are also not racist.
    If you want to get technical about it, the Gores are racist, I’m racist, and every other white person in America is racist, too. That’s what institutional racism means.
    And Al Gore got elected to the Senate in Tennessee by the same voters who thought “I met Harold at the Playboy Party” was an acceptable campaign advertisement.
    I still think Clinton-Gore was the dream team.
    I don’t think that any ticket made up of two upper-class white male centrist Southern lawyers can be a dream team, I’m sorry. Obama/Napolitano would be a dream team. Even HRC/Obama, relative to what we’ve had in the past, would be a dream team. But Clinton/Gore? Just Jimmy Carter without the humility. And without Walter Mondale–who, unlike Bill Clinton, did stick his neck out for the feminist agenda in a risky way by selecting Ferraro, which I’m sure cost him votes in the states Clinton and Gore came from.
    Cheers,
    TH

  30. Posted February 2, 2007 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Donna, let’s look at it this way: Assuming John Edwards doesn’t get the nomination (and please, God, I hope he doesn’t), we’re basically fighting over whether the next Democratic Party nominee will be a man of color or a white woman. This has never happened in the history of American politics. Whether 2008 goes exactly like we want or not, maybe we should both be grateful for that much.
    Cheers,
    TH

  31. choiceonearth
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    As long as we are nominating female VP’s, I’d like to get a plug in for Maxine Waters–anti-war, pro-choice, hugely involved in minority issues, not afraid to speak out against US-backed coups in other countries, not afraid to speak out about just about anything really. I think she’d be awesome… I also think the repubs would have a field day trashing her…
    And no sand on you and other penis-wielding feminists TH. (Btw, it’s really nice to hear from a southern male feminist… things can seem pretty bleak here in FL at times.) I think the discussion you and others have been having here is extremely valid. There are issues that are troubling with supporting any of the candidates. I remember hearing HRC give an inspiring little speech at the ’04 March and being all for her back then. But that pandering to religious conservatives she did after the election has had me feeling betrayed.
    That said, if I had to choose between her and Obama, it would be a pretty tough choice. I really need to hear him take a point-blank stand on choice (I know, wishful thinking). I’ve seen some vaguely pro-choice faith-centered rhetoric of his in a Time article, but that’s not really enough for me to feel I can trust him not to sell out on the issue down the road. And bombing Iran, well that’s just stupid at this point.

  32. Posted February 2, 2007 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    choiceonearth, Maxine Waters is exactly the kind of candidate I would like to see running for president right now instead of HRC.
    And speaking of strong women of color who would make great presidents, let’s not forget Sheila Jackson-Lee, who has an 100% pro-choice voting record. Her district, Texas 18, was the same district represented by Barbara Jordan–and by fictional TV president Matt Santos of The West Wing, which was probably no coincidence!
    Jackson-Lee should be on the shortlist of any Democratic presidential contender, IMHO, though I suspect neither Clinton or Obama would select her (because that would mean an all-female or all-black ticket, respectively, and everybody knows you can only have a shared-identity ticket if you’re white men). People always talk about bringing in the Southern vote, but they mean white Southerners. White Southern Democrats are not going to tip the election–but Southern black turnout might, and Jackson-Lee represents the community better than anybody else in Congress.
    Agreed on Obama and choice. But his voting record on this issue has been perfect so far–100% from NARAL, and one Human Events op-ed claimed that he was to the left of NARAL on some abortion issues–so I see him as miles and miles above HRC in this department, who seems to be trying very hard not to be perceived as too liberal on the issue.
    Cheers,
    TH

  33. donna darko
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Maxine Waters would be the best choice. Maybe if we bomb Iran people will be so pissed they’ll start a Draft Maxine movement. I voted for Kucinich in the Florida primary but he had no chance of winning.

  34. Posted February 2, 2007 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    choiceonearth, I forgot to thank you, BTW, for the kind words. :o ) It’s pretty brutal here in Mississippi sometimes, too–12 anti-choice bills just came out, several are on the agenda, and it’s depressing as hell.
    But I am learning a lot from reading Molly Ivins, who didn’t exactly live in a liberal utopia herself and still had a great time fighting the good fight. If I can do my activism with even half as much spirit, I’ll never stop.
    Peace,
    TH

  35. donna darko
    Posted February 2, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Hillary Clinton always cracks me up. Maybe it’s just me but I cracked up when I saw this video, “Hillary Clinton: I Don’t Trust Dick Cheney”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvbUPJ4Uyc4

  36. Posted February 2, 2007 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    That’s brilliant stuff, Donna–I have to say I caught part of that on CNN the other night and loved it. If she keeps giving interviews like this, she’s going to be very hard to beat.
    And maybe I do underestimate her. I don’t know. Lots of people have abusive spouses, and it does seem kind of unfair to let my assessment of her husband’s behavior color the way I see her.
    So I don’t know. Still an Obamamaniac over here, but I’m not completely shut out on HRC yet.
    Cheers,
    TH

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

193 queries. 0.477 seconds