Thursday Reads: Irrational Hatred and the Exhaustion it CreatesPosted: February 4, 2016 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: "hatred, CDS, culture of misogyny, exhaustion, haters, Hillary Clinton, Media bias, prejudice, Sexism 57 Comments
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.
We Need to Reboot the Two Party SystemPosted: September 19, 2012 Filed under: 2012 elections, Republican politics, Republican Tax Fetishists, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum | Tags: haters, Republican extremists, Teabaggers 84 Comments
When in the course of human events, a political system becomes so corrupt and so obviously subservient to theocrats, corporatecrats, and plutocrats, the people living under the system need to “dissolve” some political bands. I suggest we spend our time this election cycle pulling the plug on the band of Ugly Teahadis. This election we need to ensure that the self-destruction of the Republican party becomes complete and then, we need to turn our jaundiced eyes towards the Democratic Party. The stated purpose of our government is to ensure the ability for all of us to pursue life, liberty and justice. We cannot do so when narrow and extreme religious views completely rule one party and the combined money of the extremely wealthy and corporate entities control both.
Here’s just a few things today that demonstrate the need to send the Republican Party into the History books with the Whigs.
They talk jobs, but then they vote like the rest of us don’t need no stinking jobs: “Republican objections to spending in veterans jobs bill blocks election-year legislation”. They are eager to throw every one that works for the betterment of our society on the streets and to the wolves of Wall Street. They hate veterans, firefighters, and teachers but worship orgy-throwing public money-using gamblers like Marc Lede.
The Senate blocked legislation Wednesday that would have established a $1 billion jobs program putting veterans back to work tending to the country’s federal lands and bolstering local police and fire departments.
Republicans said the spending authorized in the bill violated limits that Congress agreed to last year. Democrats fell two votes shy of the 60-vote majority needed to waive the objection, forcing the legislation back to committee.
Supporters loosely modeled their proposal after the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps used during the Great Depression to put people to work planting trees, building parks and constructing dams. They said the latest monthly jobs report, showing a nearly 11 percent unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, merited action from Congress.
Who are the real parasites on the society and our country? Is it teachers,veterans and firefighters or the people that gambled our economy, our home values, and our jobs into a Great Recession and then begged to be bailed out so they could pay themselves exorbitant bonuses and lobby for lower taxes on their gambling earnings? I’m a teacher. My marginal federal tax rate is higher than Mittens and I’m the parasite? All of my income is subject to social security taxes and I’m the parasite? My savings is in this country in both investments and banks and I’m the parasite? The people I teach work right here in the US. I help them get jobs. I don’t fire them or send their jobs to China. AND I’M the parasite?
Republicans no longer seem to care about the truth. They only care about their ideology, their base, and their power agenda. Try this one on for size: Fast And Furious Report: No Evidence DOJ Leadership Knew Of Gunwalking Tactics. Remember all that time and money they spent impeaching Eric Holder?
There is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder and high-ranking officials at the Justice Department knew that guns were allowed to “walk” during an ATF operation known as Fast and Furious, according to a report released on Wednesday afternoon by the department’s internal watchdog.
Following a 19-month investigation, the Inspector General found that the decision not to take action against low-level “straw purchasers” was made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office. Their decision, according to the report, “was primarily the result of tactical and strategic decisions by the agents and prosecutors, rather than because of any legal limitation on their ability to do so.” Dennis Burke, the head of the U.S. Attorney’s office at the time, resigned from his position in August 2011.
The IG report is considered to be the most comprehensive and least partisan account of the scandal available to date. Unlike investigators with Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, DOJ investigators had access to criminal investigation files.
Republicans will elect complete loons to our legislative bodies and executive branches who then appoint complete loons to the courts. Here’s a great example of yet another Republican loon: “GOP Congressional Candidate Says Mideast Turmoil Is Because Of ‘Girly Men’ In The White House”. How many Michelle Bachmanns, Allen Wests, and assorted reality, truth, and modernity deniers do we need before nothing we have left in this country is even functional any more? These are people with a different approach to governing. These people have an insane approach to everything!
A Republican congressional nominee laid the blame for turmoil in the Middle East on “girly men” in the White House.
North Carolina State Sen. David Rouzer (R), the GOP nominee in the state’s 7th congressional district, levied the charge during a speech at a Tea Party Express rally in Wilmington on Sunday. If Romney is elected, Rouzer said, those perpetrating recent violence in the Middle East are going to “cut it out a little bit […] because now we have real men in the White House.” An audience member shouted “No girly men!” prompting Rouzer’s approval: “That’s right, no girly men.”
ROUZER: When we get [Romney and Ryan] in you are going to see a big change, you’re going to see number one that America is going to be respected again around the world. You’re going to see all this turmoil that’s taking place, you’re going to see them look up and say guess what, the American people have spoken and maybe we need to cut it out a little bit, maybe we need to tone it down a little bit, because now we have real men in the White House.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: No girly men!
ROUZER: That’s right, no girly men.
Do we really need a repeat of the Iraq war? Is this how we want our money spent? Do you really want to see your social security and medicare used to chase another Neocon wet dream? Do you want your children to be sent to die because of a bunch of chickenhawk war mongers?
While they are focusing on getting more of us killed in Iran, have you read this? Obama official: Benghazi was a terrorist attack
The Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was in fact “a terrorist attack” and the U.S. government has indications that members of al Qaeda were directly involved, a top Obama administration official said Wednesday morning.
“I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, in response to questioning from Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) about the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
As for who was responsible, Olsen said it appears there were attackers from a number of different militant groups that operate in and around Benghazi, and said there are already signs of al Qaeda involvement.
“We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda’s affiliates; in particular, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” he said.
The U.S. government just isn’t sure yet whether the terrorist attack was pre-planned or whether it was an example of terrorists taking advantage of protests against an anti-Islam film, Olsen said.
So, we’re supposed to think that Russian and Iran are the problem right? Remember what happened the last time a Republican administration ignored the real threats and went after its boogeymen instead?
Here’s another example for you from Rick Perry: Rick Perry Tells ‘Christian Warriors’ Separation Of Church And State Is Of ‘Satan’.
Rick Perry yesterday urged “Christian warriors” to fight President Obama and the concept of separation of church and state, which, he claimed, is of “Satan.” Perry, who kicked off his quickly failed, embarrassing campaign for president with a million-dollar prayer rally for Christians, also suggested anti-choice activists should “elect women” to pass anti-abortion legislation, and, shockingly, seemed to blame President Obama for the deaths last week of four U.S. foreign service officers, who were killed in Libya after an anti-Muslim film was publicized by Pastor Terry Jones.
“President Obama and his cronies in Washington continue their efforts to remove any trace of religion from American life,” Perry claimed, falsely. He added that the “American family is under seize [sic], traditional values are somehow exclusionary,” and, blamed (of course) “activist courts,” saying:
“It falls on us, we truly are Christian warriors, Christian soldiers, and for us as Americans to stand our ground and to firmly send a message to Washington that our nation is about more than just some secular laws.”
We can not have a functioning government as long as both parties are corrupted by money and one has a base that is just plain bat shit insane. If there is absolutely anything you can do to shut down republicans in your area from being elected to ANY office, then please do so. For the sake of children, women, the GLBT community, public servants, the planet, your ability to retire without a grocery cart, veterans, soldiers who have been deployed enough, and the country’s roads, schools, bridges, scientific research, and basic regulation of our food, health, and natural resources … DON”T let any of them get elected! Once the Republican party goes into complete collapse there’s a possibility of several challengers coming out of the ashes that might just be responsive to people. Then, something viable can compete with the Democratic Party and begin to keep it in check. This election needs to be about making sure the Republican Party Death Spiral is complete. My biggest hope is those pesky religious fanatics go off on their own. But that is only one hope that I have. Pick a Republican you hate and end their political career! Please!
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