Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hillary's Army

A number of women who support Hillary Clinton have expressed a lot of outrage over the way Hillary has been treated. Apparently they feel that she has been undermined by the Old Boy Network. Issues such as debate moderators referring to her as Mrs. Clinton rather than Senator Clinton and a scant smattering of jerks in the crowd who opted to express sexist comments have fueled this speculation that Hillary is being held back by a glass ceiling. Some of her supporters insist that they’ll vote for McCain to spite Obama even though Obama has conveyed nothing but the utmost respect for Hillary.

One supporter asked if not for sexism how else can one explain the hatred so many people express toward Hillary. That’s easy: She’s a Clinton. For eight years the Republican Party and all of their conservative pundits waged an all out war on the Clintons. Unfortunately for Hillary much of the dirt thrown at Bill ended up on her. She was often characterized as the brains behind the operation which is a point Hillary’s supporters never argued. Blame the venom on partisan politics not a gender bias.

Hillary’s run for the Senate was transparent. It was a poorly kept secret that Hillary had her eyes on the White House and that’s why, at least in the minds of most voters, Hillary never took Bill to task on his philandering. Her marriage was one of political convenience. Hillary could have disputed this notion but she simply refused to discuss the details of how she opted to hold Bill accountable for cheating on her. If she can’t take her husband to task for his very public affairs how can she be expected to confront world leaders?

Hillary and her supporters take a lot of pride in how many votes they secured but Hillary’s campaign seemed to pick up steam after the Mitt Romney stepped down and McCain became the Republican front runner. It’s na├»ve to think that the registered Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary were playing fair. A significant number of Hillary’s votes came from people who wanted to inflict harm on the Democrats by extending the battle.

The clandestine conspiracy Hillary’s supporters insist is designed to keep a woman out of the Oval Office is really just good sense on the part of party leaders who realize that there’s something fishy with this primary. Would Hillary be as popular with the rank and file Democrats if Republicans had been fighting to the bitter end?

Hillary wasn’t the victim of sexism. She was the victim of politics. Most of that was her own doing. She ran for a Senate seat in a tradition Democratic stronghold and beat a weak Republican rival. Hillary had no genuine connection to New York so her political career started off as a ploy. Then she led a very undistinguished life as a Senator. She didn’t make any waves or take any real stands. It was all about photo ops and sound bites.

It’s remarkable that Hillary was able to capture as much support as she did which is a great sign for women. If somebody as unlikeable and suspicious as Hillary can put her self in such high standing within her party you have to wonder what a truly inspirational woman could accomplish.

Shame on Hillary’s supporters who claim they won’t back Obama. That sort of rhetoric undermines everything Hillary accomplished. If her supporters are willing to spite her party that only proves that the sexists in this argument are the bitter old harpies who only supported Hillary because she was a woman.

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