Thursday, January 10, 2008

So is it sexist when MoDo says it?

Or is she just being a humongous asshole as usual? (I think I have answered my own question...)

At the Portsmouth cafe on Monday, talking to a group of mostly women, she blinked back her misty dread of where Obama’s “false hopes” will lead us — “I just don’t want to see us fall backwards,” she said tremulously — in time to smack her rival: “But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not.”

There was a poignancy about the moment, seeing Hillary crack with exhaustion from decades of yearning to be the principal rather than the plus-one. But there was a whiff of Nixonian self-pity about her choking up. What was moving her so deeply was her recognition that the country was failing to grasp how much it needs her. In a weirdly narcissistic way, she was crying for us. But it was grimly typical of her that what finally made her break down was the prospect of losing.

As Spencer Tracy said to Katharine Hepburn in “Adam’s Rib,” “Here we go again, the old juice. Guaranteed heart melter. A few female tears, stronger than any acid.”

Is it sexist only if a man says something like this? Is this sorta similar to when black people call each other the n-word?

I just want to clearly understand the distinctions. Where the line is, so I won't step on it again.

Or is it sexist not to call Hillary out for a little whining because she was asked "how do you go on" (on the premise that treating men and women differently in similar circumstances is the very definition of sexism)? The incident would not have gone unremarked upon had it been any of the men on either side of the aisle. And it is ridiculous to suggest so.

Or ... was New Hampshire a little payback for all the times women have been put down, pushed down, passed over, held back, paid less, called "little lady", patted on the ass, whistled at, groped, etc.

See, I heard the tremolo (see tremulous for the best definition here) in her voice as well, and described it as "whimpering". But -- I have been appropriately chastened -- that's considered a sexist remark coming from a man. For the record I would call it 'whimpering' had Edwards done it.

The Clintons once more wriggled out of a tight spot at the last minute. Bill churlishly dismissed the Obama phenom as “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen,” but for the last few days, it was Hillary who seemed in danger of being Cinderella. She became emotional because she feared that she had reached her political midnight, when she would suddenly revert to the school girl with geeky glasses and frizzy hair, smart but not the favorite. All those years in the shadow of one Natural, only to face the prospect of being eclipsed by another Natural?

How humiliating to have a moderator of the New Hampshire debate ask her to explain why she was not as popular as the handsome young prince from Chicago. How demeaning to have Obama rather ungraciously chime in: “You’re likable enough.” And how exasperating to be pushed into an angry rebuttal when John Edwards played wingman, attacking her on Obama’s behalf.

More of this:

Gloria Steinem wrote in The Times yesterday that one of the reasons she is supporting Hillary is that she had “no masculinity to prove.” But Hillary did feel she needed to prove her masculinity. That was why she voted to enable W. to invade Iraq without even reading the National Intelligence Estimate and backed the White House’s bellicosity on Iran.

Yet, in the end, she had to fend off calamity by playing the female victim, both of Obama and of the press. Hillary has barely talked to the press throughout her race even though the Clintons this week whined mightily that the press prefers Obama.

So Dowd contradicts Steinem regarding Hillary's testosterone level. Hm.

To play level on this field, I also dismiss a rather incessant carp on the part of my camp about Edwards being ignored in the media; "this is now a two-horse race", etc. (By the way, is it sexist or racist or something else-ist to refer to Clinton and Obama as thoroughbreds? Just checking. My sensitivity meter may be giving me false readings.)

Bill Clinton, campaigning in Henniker on Monday, also played the poor-little-woman card in a less-than-flattering way. “I can’t make her younger, taller or change her gender,” he said.

I think the Big Dog forgot to say "black".

And I don't think I like the turn this campaign has taken. Is it too late to turn around?

Oh wait, here's Andy Borowitz. He'll lighten things up for me:

Hillary Schedules Official Crying Jag for South Carolina

Launches ‘Sniffling Tour’ Before SuperDuper Tuesday

Saying that she has learned valuable lessons from her victory in the New Hampshire primary, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) today announced that she was scheduling an official crying jag for the eve of the South Carolina primary on January 26.

Speaking to reporters in Las Vegas this morning, her eyes noticeably watery, Mrs. Clinton said that her election eve crying jag would be scheduled for 4 PM EST on January 25.

But the newly lachrymose junior senator from New York indicated that her South Carolinian waterworks would only be one stop on an ambitious tear-drenched campaign schedule leading up to SuperDuper Tuesday on February 5, an itinerary which she and her aides are calling her “Sniffling Tour.”

“I’m going to be crying so much you’re going to think I’m Anderson Cooper,” she wept.

But even as Mrs. Clinton said that “this election is a crying game, and I’m in it to win it,” some political observers wondered if the New York senator would be able to cry at will as often as her punishing schedule demands.

According to strategist Mark Penn, a trusted group of campaign aides would have the job of inducing tears from Mrs. Clinton by “saying mean things to her” before every appearance.

Additionally, Mr. Penn says, Mrs. Clinton has a secret weapon in her latest endeavor, former president Bill Clinton: “No one can make Hillary cry like Bill can.”

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