Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary's Hypocrisy

This week Hillary Clinton and many of her supporters claimed that misogyny is the reason behind the failure of her candidacy, that people prefer to vote for a black man instead of a woman. Yes, this is true of some people, but, hypocrite that she is, Clinton does not acknowledge that some people prefer to vote for a white woman instead of a black man, like the 20% of voters in Kentucky who told pollsters they could not vote for a black man. More hypocritical yet, Clinton has made overt and covert appeals to the racism of white people. But she dares now to play the woman-as-victim card.

If she were honest she would look at herself and her campaign to see what went wrong. She entered the primaries thinking her nomination was inevitable and would lead to her being crowned the First Woman President, a distinction that seems incredibly important to her. By the time she figured out that Obama's people had out-organized the vaunted Clinton organization, it was almost too late.

Equally as important, Obama did not make the mistake Al Gore made in 2000 by beginning every paragraph with "I have a plan...." He did not make the mistake John Kerry made in 2004 by beginning every other paragraph with "I have a plan...."People do not give a damn about plans. They want someone who will speak to their hearts, and this is what the Republicans have been doing.

As much as I loathe their politics, the Republican Party cares deeply and passionately about their issues. Obama is the first Democrat since John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson who is not afraid to be passionate about being liberal. He is not afraid to speak to people's hearts about the issues that matter to him. Clinton tries but her language is hackneyed and, somehow, I, for one, just don't find her believable. I can't shake the feeling that she says what she thinks people want to hear.

Of course there were people who didn't like a woman running for president just as there were people like seeing a black man run for president. This is America! Did anyone expect that misogynists and racists would stop being misogynists ad racists?

But misogyny isn't the reason your campaign failed, Hillary. The sad truth is that the more many of us listened to you say whatever you thought you needed to say to get votes, the more we listened to you pander to the so-called white working class, the more we disliked you.

Now your hypocrisy has reached heights rivaling Mt. Everest. You are threatening to take your insane ambition to the convention to force a fight over the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates. We know that if Obama had campaigned in Florida and "won," if Obama had kept his name on the Michigan ballot and "won" while you had removed yours, you would be screaming that to award those delegates to him would be unfair and unjust to you who observed the rules. Awarding him those delegates would be just more "proof" of how much men wanted to keep a woman from being the nominee.

Hillary Clinton is showing herself to be as crass a politician as there is in America today. And I thought feminists were supposed to bring a new sensibility and different values into the political arena.

Ironically, the candidate exemplifying the more so-called feminine values is not a woman. That probably begrumples Hillary most of all.

© 2008 by Julius Lester


Begrumpled: Displeased

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