Thursday Reads: Irrational Hatred and the Exhaustion it Creates


Good Afternoon!!

I’ve been struggling all morning over writing this post. I knew that if Hillary ran for president again we would face unprecedented sexism and misogyny from the media and from many people who claim to be Democrats. But I never imagined it would be this bad. It was bad in 2008, but in 2016 the CDS is magnified beyond belief.

Since I was a child I have had a difficult time understanding why people hate those who are different from themselves. It was around 1956 when I noticed the prejudice that black people have to deal with. I just couldn’t make sense of it. I was 8 years old.

Later I followed the Civil Rights Movement closely and again I was mystified by the hatred of Americans for their fellow Americans. I could empathize and feel rage at the injustice perpetrated against African Americans, but of course I couldn’t really comprehend what it felt like to be the targets of so much ugly, vicious hatred.


As someone who has dreamed her whole life that women might finally achieve equality, and who believes that electing a woman president would go a long way toward making that dream a reality, I am beginning to truly understand how it feels to be hated and reviled by the culture I live in. It is exhausting.

It requires superhuman strength and courage just to get up every day and keep trusting my inner voice no matter what other people say and do, and internally trying to counter the ugly attacks on the first woman to have a real chance to win the Democratic nomination and perhaps to become the first woman President of the United States.

The only thing that gives me the strength to keep believing is the the example set by Hillary Clinton. I don’t know how she does it, but I think she has the courage and the competence to keep fighting for us all the way to the White House.


Last night in the CNN Democratic Town Hall, I saw a woman who is comfortable with herself, who believes in her ability to pull this off, and who has truly found her voice as a candidate. I have never seen a better performance by Hillary Clinton in any debate or forum. She was magnificent.

But don’t expect the media to report that. They’re busy praising Bernie Sanders, the man who answered every question by returning to his boring stump speech far outshone the woman who following him (why does Bernie always get to go first, by the way?) according to the largely white male Washington press corps.

You know what? I don’t care. Hillary is speaking to the voters and I think enough of them will hear what she is saying.

Last night Bernie got mostly softball questions from Anderson Cooper and the audience. Hillary got mostly tough questions, and she rose to the occasion. She never whined or complained. She was humble and she listened carefully to what she was asked.

Bernie on the other hand did his usual nodding and waving–he doesn’t seem to listen to the questions at all. He makes up his mind what the question is while the person asking it is still talking. Hillary doesn’t do that. She actually cares about the person who is talking to her. It’s amazing that so many people can keep right on hating her even after they watch her be so open, so willing to listen, to learn, to get better as a person and a candidate. But that’s what hate is about–hence the cliche “blind hatred.”


Just for today I’m going to leave aside the many media arguments for why Hillary Clinton just isn’t good enough and why she can never be good enough in their minds. There’s another debate tonight, and I need to psych myself up; because I am determined to watch it no matter how exhausting it is to see the irrational hatred my candidate has to face.


First, a couple of positive moments from last night:

From a mostly negative article by Eric Bradner at CNN, a wonderful quote from Hillary Clinton after she was asked for the umpteenth time why younger voters like Bernie Sanders so much and why they are rejecting her (although I see so many young women and men on line and on TV who do like her):

“I’m impressed with them, and I’m going to do everything I can to reach out and explain why good ideas on paper are important, but you’ve got to be able to translate that into action,” Clinton said.

“Here’s what I want young people to know: They don’t have to be for me. I’m going to be for them,” she added.

Could Bernie Sanders have been that humble and non-defensive? Not from what I’ve seen so far.


From Maxwell Tani at Business Insider, here’s another sincere and humble moment from Hillary last night.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton delivered a deeply personal answer to a question about how she stays self-confident while being conscious of her ego and staying humble.

Responding to a question from a rabbi at a CNN town-hall event, Clinton seemed to allude to damaging past public scandals, saying she kept a parable from the Bible in mind during tough situations.

“It’s not anything I’ve ever talked about this much publicly. Everybody knows that I’ve lived a very public life for the last 25 years. So I’ve had to be in public dealing with some very difficult issues,” Clinton said.

She continued: “I read that parable and there was a line in it that became just a lifeline for me. It basically is, ‘Practice the discipline of gratitude.’ Be grateful for your limitations, know that you have to reach out to have more people be with you to support you advise you. Listen to your critics, answer the questions, but at the end, be grateful.”

I thought that was straight from the heart. But it will be minimized and then brushed aside by the haters.


In Michael Moore’s Casual Chauvinism, Michael Tomasky writes about the endorsement of Bernie Sanders by the liberal icon. In a letter, Moore lists a series of historical “firsts” in the history of presidential campaigns. The first Catholic, JFK. The first president from the deep South, Carter. The first divorced man, Ronald Reagan, and so on up till the first black president, Obama.

But Moore never mentions women at all. He doesn’t think the first woman president would be important. No. He’s thrilled by the idea of the first socialist president–ignoring the fact that Sanders would also be the first Jewish president if elected. Sanders clearly agrees with him.


Here’s what’s weird and gobsmacking about this endorsement. In a letter that is almost entirely about historical firsts—it goes on to discuss how “they” used to say we’d never have gay marriage and other changes—Moore doesn’t even take one sentence to acknowledge that Clinton’s elevation to the presidency would represent an important first.

I mean, picture yourself sitting down to write that. You’re a person of the left. You are writing specifically about the first Catholic president, the first black president, the first this, the first that. You want people to believe that if those things could happen, then a “democratic socialist” could win too. Fine, if that’s your view, that’s your view.

But it’s also the case the other candidate winning would make history in a way that is at least as historically important from a politically left point of view—I would say more so, but okay, that’s a subjective judgment—and it’s not even worth a sentence? I wouldn’t expect Moore to back Clinton or even say anything particularly nice about her. But he can’t even acknowledge to female readers that this great progressive sees that having a woman president would be on its own terms a salutary thing?

I obviously have no idea whether Moore contemplated such a sentence and rejected it or it just never occurred to him. Either way, it tells us something. To a lot of men, even men of the left, the woman-president thing just isn’t important.


Please read this magnificent essay by Melissa McEwan at Blue Nation Review: I Am a Hillary Clinton Supporter Who Has Not Always Been One.

I am a Hillary Clinton supporter who has not always been one. She was not my first choice in 2008.

But it was during that campaign I started documenting, as part of my coverage of US politics in a feminist space, the instances of misogyny being used against her by both the right and the left, amassing a “Hillary Sexism Watch” that contained more than 100 entries by the time she withdrew from the primary. And it was hardly a comprehensive record.

I have spent an enormous amount of time with Hillary Clinton, although I have never spoken to her. I have read transcripts of her speeches, her policy proposals, her State Department emails. I have watched countless hours of interviews, debates, addresses, testimony before Congress. I have scrolled though thousands of wire photos, spoken to people who have worked with and for her, read her autobiography, listened to her fans and her critics.

And what I have discovered is a person whom I like very much.

Not a perfect person. Not even a perfect candidate. I am not distressed by people who have legitimate criticisms of Hillary Clinton and some of the policies she has advocated; I share those criticisms.


Is any person or candidate perfect?

What is distressing to me is that I see little evidence of that person in the public narratives about Hillary Clinton. Not everyone has the time nor the desire to deep-dive into documents the way that I have. If I hadn’t had a professional reason to do so, I may not have done it myself.

I may have—and did, before I was obliged otherwise—relied on what I learned about Hillary Clinton from the media.

Which, as it turns out, is deeply corrupted by pervasive misogyny.

The subtle misogyny of double-standards that mean she can’t win (even when she does), and the overt misogyny of turning her into a monster, a gross caricature of a ruthlessly ambitious villain who will stop at nothing in her voracious quest for ever more power.

Please go read the rest. I only wish I could quote the whole thing.


Emily Crockett at Vox: This awful Morning Joe clip shows how not to talk about Hillary Clinton.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday featured a tone-deaf discussion of Hillary Clinton’s tone, which you can watch in full here.

“She shouts,” journalist Bob Woodward said of Clinton. “There is something unrelaxed about the way she is communicating, and I think that just jumps off the television screen.”

That kicked off an eight-minute, slow-motion train wreck of a conversation that used Clinton’s alleged problems with volume to support arguments about how voters find her untrustworthy — and even to suggest that Clinton doesn’t know or trust herself as a person.

“I’m sorry to dwell on the tone issue,” Woodward said later, “but there is something here where Hillary Clinton suggests that she’s almost not comfortable with herself, and, you know, self-acceptance is something that you communicate on television.”

Host Joe Scarborough compared Clinton unfavorably to 1980s conservative icons Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, both of whom were apparently self-confident enough to keep the noise down.

“Has nobody told her that the microphone works?” Scarborough said. “Because she always keeps it up here.” The “genius” of Reagan, Scarborough said while dropping into a deep baritone for emphasis, is that Reagan “kept it down low.”

The panel also included Cokie Roberts talking about how people think Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy and dishonest. Gee I wonder where they got that idea, Cokie?

I’m running out of space already. I’ll put some more links in the comment thread. We’ll have a live blog tonight for the MSNBC Democratic Debate.


57 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Irrational Hatred and the Exhaustion it Creates”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    The bullshit about Clinton’s speaking fees is unbelievable. Anderson Cooper, child of wealth, also gets huge speaking fees. Does that affect his reporting? If not, why not? Almost every other powerful journalist does the same and so do most politicians. But it’s a terrible problem when Hillary does it.

    Just like Hillary’s vote on the Iraq war is a terrible problem but wasn’t a terrible problem for John Kerry or John Edwards or the many many other Democrats who voted for the resolution too.

    • Fannie says:

      Amen. Thank you, I can’t help but shed a tears.

    • mablue2 says:

      I cannot believe there was a whole discussion on Morning Joke about how Hillary talks too loud. I read different post today while I was in my office and I was seething. Really?
      We’re going through an election cycle where Bernie Sanders keeps some people from watching the debates because he yells all the fucking times. He yells in interviews, in townhalls, in debates: He yells at you everytime you turn the TV on, and there a whole segment with the likes of Bob Woodward about Hillary talking too loud? I’m almost shocked.
      How useless is Mika Brzezinski? this is unbelievable.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s a stereotypical sexist attack. Women talk too much, they talk too loud, their voices are shrill and so on.

      • janicen says:

        The really incredible part of it was that MSNBC created it’s own criticism of Hillary. The night before the Iowa Caucus, Hillary gave a speech which was streamed on FB and shown on MSNBC. I had them both going and the comparison was stark. In the live stream Hillary was raising her voice above the cheering of the crowd. What was broadcast on MSNBC had the crowd noise potted down so that it appeared as if she was shouting and nobody was cheering. Interestingly, about a third of the way through MSNBC had “technical difficulties” and had to switch to a different audio and video and this time the crowd noise was at least audible. It wasn’t as loud as it was on the live feed, but it was better. I wondered if someone from the Clinton camp made a phone call.

        By the way, in case you’re wondering, when the showed Bernie speaking he was shouting above the loud cheers of the crowd.

        • Fannie says:

          That reminds me, last night when Hillary was responding to the question from the man with cancer, it was during this time that the camera ZOOMED into her eyeballs for a split second, and then out again. Did anyone notice this?

          I just remembered and want to know what the hell were they doing? I’ve never seen that before!

    • janicen says:

      She capitalized on her fame and status in a big way. Actually in a bigger way than most of the men in similar positions and that of course, is what makes it so wrong. That whole obscene speaking fee thing is a dude’s thing, when women do it it is a sure sign of their corruption.

    • Ms. Becky says:

      I always say that Hillary didn’t soak Goldmann Sachs for enough money. I’m certain she was underpaid.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I’m exhausted, but I’ll put up more links after I rest awhile.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Today is Rosa Parks’ birthday.


  4. Pat Johnson says:

    It breaks my heart to see and hear the daily denigration of this accomplished woman. Her experience and qualifications far exceed any of these wannabes running in opposition.

    For years she has suffered at the hands of the press. Her every move was covered as if she were some Dragon Lady bent on destroying the fabric of the US and lie after lie has been heaped upon her, more than any other female politician has been asked to endure. It is still happening even as she sits on the threshold of history.

    It seems to me that it all goes back to “feminism”. She was the first First Lady who carved out a role that was not the typical role of the adoring FLOTUS clinging to every word of her “master” husband. Hillary Rodham Clinton was a full grown product of the 60’s and 70’s women’s movement. A woman with a mind of her own eager to put her convictions and education to work. Staying home and baking cookies was not where her interests resided and she took the incoming flak as a result. Hillary was not Jackie O nor was she Nancy Reagan. She was herself and that was where the fault lay.

    I have absented myself from watching coverage of this campaign as it upsets me too much to sit back and watch her torn to shreds by idiots who just plain hate her or who see her as such a threat they are willing to use any means available to tarnish her image in hopes the electorate will follow suit. Compared to her competition on both sides she is head and shoulders above them and they know it.

    The movement toward Bernie has as much to do with the antipathy toward Hillary that has been cultivated for years. Say it long enough that she lacks integrity and much of it sticks. More so to those who are unfamiliar with her background. The young view Bernie as some “savior” which is so untrue. His is a one note campaign but his “popularity” is based on long held grudges that have found purchase in CDS, a syndrome we have all witnessed in 2008.

    My absence from this blog is because I am unable to endure the slings and arrows thrown at this woman while few step to the plate in defense. If the press has its way they will watch her implode while pushing Bernie which will almost guarantee a GOP win. My biggest fear.

    She is my choice. Always has been, always will be but it is going to take some bigger minds than mine to defend and support her on the national stage to pull her into the victory she deserves.

    I am so sick of the hypocrisy, lies, and demeaning comments flung at Hillary Clinton that it makes me cry.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks for your great comment, Pat. I understand your feelings and I share them. I just have to keep following what’s happening. I will stand with Hillary till the end, no matter what the outcome. But I believe she will win. After that the hatred will be even worse. But I’ll stand with her always. I know you will too.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I have been a fan since he was president beginning in 1991. I stood in the freezing cold back in 2008 for almost 2 hours just to see her.

        I am so looking forward again to voting for her next month in the primary and more so in November when she makes history.

        Like you and others, I must remain positive since the alternative is too bleak to consider.

    • Fannie says:

      We have said it before, they are going to keep the sexism, and the horseshit up against Hillary, on everything she has done, and the vote for Iraq……….they are going to do so up to election, and when she is in office, they are going to keep it up, just like they did to President Obama. Hillary will not be taken down, she’s in the fight till the end of her life.

      We will forever stand with Hillary.

  5. ownaa says:

    I read you guys every day but it’s my first commenting here. I am here to say exhaustion is exactly what they are counting on. They are paid to do it. It’s their bread and butter. No matter how ridiculous and professional they sound they will continue. The funny thing she looks in her resilience and courage more of revolutionary than him. Have ever in history saw any revolution starter so pampered and soft treated by the establishment he was revolting against? I could understand the young not see the irony but what’s up with the rest.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Any one notice Fiorina is not on the list for the Republican debate but Jeb, etc who got less notes in Iowa are on the list? Not that I like me her or anything but enquiring minds have to wonder ….

    • bostonboomer says:

      She didn’t show up at her campaign party after Iowa. I don’t if that has anything to do with it.

      • dakinikat says:

        They’re still going by national polls which makes her not viable but Jeb and Christie still on the list. Kinda stupid at this point to not include the Iowa results but I assume they’re trying to favor the “establishment” candidates and want to bend over backwards to include Jeb who should have a fork stuck in his buns by now cause he’s done.

  7. janicen says:

    And last night it took the Republican on the CNN panel during the town hall post mortem to get the rest of them to stop comparing her to Bill Clinton as a politician. He had to point out that NOBODY is as good as Bill Clinton but she is the only one who consistently gets compared to him.

    Chin up, bb. I’m seeing dribs and drabs of signs that people are starting to come around and look at her more fairly and objectively. Thanks to posts like yours and other pieces around the web.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I hope you’re right. I don’t see how anyone could have objectively watched her performance last night and not come away impressed.

  8. Riverbird says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m glad this blog is here.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    NH tracking poll:

    Clinton gaining slightly on Sanders.

    Rubio in second place after Trump.

    Christie is polling below undecided.

    Sanders still has a significant lead over Clinton– 58% to 36%– a 22 point margin.

    But look at the direction of the tracks: Sanders is down three and Clinton is up four, our biggest single gain since we started this poll.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I hope Bernie continues his attacks on Hillary. I think it will help her in NH. They know her there and don’t see her as a monster. She’s popular all over New England.

  10. William says:

    I thought Hillary was wonderful last night. There is not a question, political or philosophical, that she has not considered and can comment upon in depth. I am sure that she won votes last night, even if not in New Hampshire.

    As to the media I just stopped watching it, except for things like debates and town halls and Hillary rallies. The media has lost any pretense at responsible journalism. And of course they have to fill up hours of time. Woodward has been a scorner and demeaner of Bill and Hillary Clinton from way back. What he and the others will nevef admit is that their ridiculous analysis is based on preconceived feelings. If I had not read it here, I would not have imagined that someone could have criticized Hillary’s public speaking style, which is very good, and much better than say, twenty years ago. And then for Woodward to decide what it means, is pretentious idiocy from a smug and pretentious person who co-authored one famous book forty years ago, and has lived off that reputation ever since. There is no point in even arguing with people who are basically trying to intellectualize their own personal animosities.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton has more of the combination of qualities needed to make a great president, than anyone in many decades. I’m just waiting to get past New Hampshire, on to South Carolina, and to primaries in large and heterogeneous states. I’ll watch the debate tonight, and am certain that no matter what is said, the media spin will be exactly the same tomorrow. They are not analyzing, they are simply reiterating their biases, which would never change no matter what she said or did. She’s not talking to them, she’s talking to the voters.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Why wouldn’t Hillary win votes in NH? Both Bill and Hillary are extremely popular all over New England–even in Vermont. Hillary won NH in 2008 after Obama and Edwards attacked her. I would not be at all surprised to see her win or finish very respectably in NH.

      That’s exactly what Bernie’s afraid of and why he’s attacking her even though he’s way ahead right now.

      • Fannie says:

        In 2008 I was so sick, in bed, and when I heard the news, I though to myself, my God, this is the first time in my life that I have ever seen where women were a true voting block.

        That recognition of her character, her onward fight, will forever be in my heart. I give thanks to her for that, and I hope she does it again, and that her name will forever be in New Hampshire’s history.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Clinton Gains Support From 170 African American Women Leaders

    All of these black women will rally African American voters around Clinton’s candidacy in the upcoming South Carolina primary on Feb. 27 and March primary states.

    The women will serve as surrogates for Clinton, a Democrat, and according to the campaign, they will host debate watch parties, neighborhood meetings, and women-only phone banks.

    They will also walk door-to-door to businesses that include beauty salons, barber shops and grocery stores to carry Clinton’s message about closing the pay gap for women, fighting for paid family leave, raising the minimum wage, and protecting women’s reproductive rights.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Wonderful, now that puts a smile on my face.

    • Fannie says:

      Just in time, now if Elizabeth Warren would get off the pot and do the same, maybe a bright light will go off in those young female heads that Steve Kornacki says is wider than the ocean.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    This is really good.

    Right Wing Extremists are a bigger threat to America than ISIS, by Kurt Eichenwald.

  13. Fannie says:

    Tonight Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow are the moderators for the debate. I just want to say in advance, how disappointed I was with Rachel, when she did her first debate with Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley. She wanted everybody to know the candidates when they were in college, and hanging out as students. She showed Bernie at some kind of demonstration or meet up with the boys club, then show O’Malley as student hanging with the boys, then she did the one thing that pissed me off. She showed Hillary on her wedding day. Okay, I got over it, but there were many photos of her as Hillary Rodham, giving speeches with her glasses on and in front a microphone. She didn’t want to show our girl in that light, because she had character, and was working her butt off at Wellesley. Rachel knew her speech wasn’t bland, it was rich and formulated, and it was about the conditions of life that surrounded her.

    I am not going to be surprised with Todd, either. He said last night that Hillary was downplaying her feminist aspects……..and that is why the young women aren’t voting for her.

    Don’t be surprised, mistake the tactics the press uses to hold her back. I am looking forward to the upcoming comments and threads from you in tonight’s debate.

    Should be interesting, see you later skydancers.

    • William says:

      Oh, no. Todd is the worst of all, an insufferable jerk, and almost certainly a Republican. Maddow loves Sanders, just like she loved Obama in ’08. Neither of the two will ask Sanders one challenging question. I am reconsidering taping this. Maybe I will tape it, see the commentary here from the brave people who watch this live, and then see if I want to watch Todd’s sneering questions, and Maddow’s oh-so-concerned ones. She said once that she cried when Hillary voted for the Iraq Resolution.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        William, I’ll be watching the second half of “Madoff” starring Richard Dreyfuss as Bernie Madoff.
        The first half (broadcast last night) was terrific.
        I’ll check in here and at Uppity’s to get the lowdown:)

        • William says:

          Sue, I taped the first half last night, and I am glad it is so good. Richard Dreyfuss is a great actor, when they give him the kind of role he deserves.

          Hang in there! Once we get past New Hampshire we are much better shape. And the media will not relent, but we can just ignore most of it.

  14. mablue2 says:

    The press always find new ways to hit Hillary Clinton on pretty much anything. Are we seriously hammering Hillary Clinton about speaking fees? Every prominent figure gets speaking fees, some live exclusively from them. It’s one of the omst innocuous business transaction today and that’s not even something new. Even I get speaking fees, not to the level of Hillary Clinton who is one of the most prominent people on the planet. What is going on?
    This is really exhausting.
    Anderson Cooper asks for 100K and more? Are you kidding me?

    • jane says:

      I thought it interesting that they say that Hillary barely won Iowa, if it were a man who they were talking about they would have said something more like he had scored a victory by a nose or something like that. But with a woman, she almost lost, she didn’t win by enough points and stuff like that. And they are constantly saying how she doesn’t score big with younger women!! Can’t stand all that stupidity!!!

  15. bostonboomer says:

    The live blog is up top.

  16. NW Luna says:

    BB, this is a fabulous post! I couldn’t agree with you more! Thank you so very much.