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Bashing Hillary; Electing Obama

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   9 comments
Message Cameron Salisbury

          I'm sick to death of the Hillary bashing, so I can imagine how her supporters feel.  

         The blatant sexism, poor judgment and self-satisfied insolence of media commentators from both the left and the right, TV and radio, is matched only by the blatant sexism, poor judgment and self-satisfied insolence of the progressive blogosphere.

         With two viable presidential candidates who enjoy broad national support, progressives should be thanking providence. Instead, we’ve gone out of our way to throw away all claim to ethical or intellectual high ground.  

         The 2008 Hillary bashing sounds a lot like the 2000 Gore bashing, except that Gore’s trouble came largely from the terminally myopic arrogance of the national press in league with the far right. Hillary, on the other hand, has to deal with those and everyone else, too, including us.   

         Regardless of our own personal candidate of choice, we could react generously and applaud her candidacy, or if we can’t bring ourselves that far, to give reasons for our disengagement. Instead, the progressive blogosphere, much like the mainstream media, is full of snide, rationale-free invective, which is also known as misogyny.   

         Despite the fact that many of us think she has lost her way on some issues, she deserves respect for her sound record of liberal leadership and for being an intrepid trail blazer for women. She has kept the faith with us better, on most days, than we have with her. Her voting record is among the most liberal in Washington, far more liberal than Edward Kennedy’s.

        Much has been made of Hillary’s so-called name-calling of her opponent, another example of what, for her, is a treacherously uneven playing field. Every one of her comments about Obama has been fact-based. She has said nothing that comes close to the mindless venom that has been directed at her.   

         To prove that there are female misogynists, a woman at a McCain rally called Hillary a b*tch. To show that he was on her side as a misogynist, Senator McCain tittered in apparent agreement, although you probably can’t expect much from a man who calls his wife far worse in public.  

         Hillary didn’t deserve to be called a monster by an Obama campaign aide. 

         She didn’t deserve to be compared to Tonya Harding by an apparently deranged questioner at a Democratic rally.  

       She also didn’t deserve her remarkable array of false friends. She has been gratuitously and publicly betrayed by Ted Kennedy and Bill Richardson, as well as by NARAL for whom she’s has been stalwart. It’s hard to imagine any competent, qualified and viable male candidate getting the same treatment from either gender. 

           Recently, when giving reasons for ignoring the pundits who  have been calling for her withdrawal since February, she mentioned campaigns that went into June, including her husband’s and Bobby Kennedy’s race that ended in his assassination. The mention of the word ‘assassination’ was certainly ill-advised and she apologized immediately, but that wasn’t good enough because no one else in history has ever said anything they instantly regretted. 

        Dunderheads in both the media and in the blogosphere have said that she really meant that Obama should be assassinated.  Where do these people come from? Obama brushed it off as did Bobby Kennedy, Jr.  Even conservative NY Times columnist David Brooks said that the reaction to her statement has been overblown and small minded. David Brooks, for godsakes! 

        No one in the media or among progressives seems to consider the favor Hillary has done Obama just by staying in the race. Had she allowed herself to be railroaded out of the campaign by the mindless hatred that came from all sides, we would never have learned so much about Obama.  

        In January, Hillary was the media’s clear favorite with lots of campaign financing, nearly 100% name recognition, and a double digit lead in the polls. The election was hers to lose, they said. 

        By February, in what surely must be one of the fastest and most ill-considered u-turns in pundit history, the same talking heads had begun saying that she should abandon the race - for the good of the party, of course.   

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Cameron Salisbury is a biostatistician, epidemiologist and grant writer living in Atlanta.
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