Thursday, May 8, 2008

So, You See, We're Still Fucked

Sometimes I just want a vacation from it all.

This morning I read a passionate post over at The Reclusive Leftist, where the author, Dr. Violet Socks (deceased but still kickin' butt) says she won't vote for Barack Obama if Hillary steps out of the race. Dr. Socks believes that the exit of Hillary will be the end of women's rights:

If Barack Obama and his supporters become the new Democratic party, then the Democratic party will no longer be the party of women’s rights. There will still be women in the party, naturally, but basic respect for women as citizens will be a dead letter. It will be the party of John Roberts and anti-choicers and the most virulent outbreak of public misogyny I’ve ever seen. All the sexism of this campaign will be rewarded instead of repudiated.
Although the virulent outbreak of public misogyny seems like a stretch to me (and why exactly would that be a stretch, Lisa?), Dr. Socks backs up her premise by discussing the anti-Hillary, anti-woman smears that have occurred throughout this campaign, and she paints a what-if scenario, describing in detail how it would be if the same level of cheap shots, except this time racial slurs versus sexist slurs, were perpetrated against Obama. Dr. Socks did a very good job of painting that picture. And it wasn't pretty. But, then again, it never is.

I have quite a bit of sadness about Hillary Clinton. As a woman, I've suffered from abuse and prejudice since I was very young, and it continued throughout my career in corporate America. I know I'm not alone. It's the norm rather than the anomaly. I would like to agree with baldy what's-his-face that Hillary Clinton has balls, but that implies that in order for her (and the rest of us girls) to be successful at anything, we have to grow a one (because, whatever we do, it's never enough, you know). No. Instead, I will say that she is extremely brave to have stepped into this cheap-ass sensationalist wrestling ring, knowing, in deep and dirty detail, all of the misogynistic slurs that she would have to wipe off on an hourly basis. She would have to wipe it all off while keeping her eye on the target.

At this point, I could say that she had selfish reasons for taking this crap on: power, money, fame. Who knows. Perhaps she actually cares about our country, about women, about the poor, about the average American. Again, who knows. Maybe it's a combination of both. Her clumsy attempts at being one of the regular people didn't make me sick. They just made me sad. The stories she told of flinging her book bag against the wall, or when she went a huntin', didn't make me angry, just sad. It all seemed so contrived. I wonder if she has bad advisers, or, if like me and the rest of us girls, she has been trying to flex and remold herself her entire life in order to somehow fit in to the good ol' boys club. Never actually quite getting there, of course. In the process, we kind of lose our humanness. We kind of lose our authenticity. We kind of lose ourselves.

Whatever Hillary's true goals, whether she is even conscious of them or not, I think I can say, without any doubt, that at some level, Hillary Clinton ran for president for all women. She did it for us. She took all this shit for us. She slogged through the disgusting slime and toxic taunts for us. Perhaps the kind of shit we women have faced for eons, will come out of the corporate woodwork and be exposed to the light of day. Perhaps right-thinking people will see it and hear it and become sickened by it. Perhaps things can then change. (I'm not holding my breath.)

I am sad that Hillary probably won't be president. I have been sad that I couldn't vote for her in the primaries, as she became, or perhaps always was, such a hawk. I can't abide by this war. And she is grabbin' her man-owned force-meat balls and saying she'll obliterate Iran. I can't abide by that.

I'm not a fool. Both Hillary and Obama are pandering to, and taking money from, the corporate world that, in cahoots with our current right-wing, religiously fanatical administration, has turned America, and soon, if we don't stop them, the rest of the world, into a fascist state. As I wishfully, and naively cried when I listened to the inclusiveness, the, dare I say, hopefulness, of Obama's North Carolina acceptance speech the other day, I also heard him give a very clear message to corporate America that he won't abandon them:

The woman I met in Indiana who just lost her job, and her pension, and her insurance when the plant where she worked at her entire life closed down – she can’t afford four more years of tax breaks for corporations like the one that shipped her job overseas. She needs us to give tax breaks to companies that create good jobs here in America.

Yeah - the corporations heard you Obama. Even though you just slipped that one in. It was still loud and clear. You just told them you'd continue the government-paid, corporate welfare program, while you were telling the sad story of one of its victims.

Remember when the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce freaked out and vowed to "punish" anti-business candidates? That's when Edwards was still in the race and he had the bravery to loudly challenge the corporate behemoth. He ain't in the race anymore. And...surprise, surprise, he says he won't endorse either Hillary or Obama. So that frees them both to pander to the only people who truly can get them elected, and who will demand payback after the election: corporate America.

And now that Edwards is nicely out of the picture, the Chamber of Commerce? They not freakin' out no mo.

So, you see, we're still fucked.


Richard said...

I think Hillary's biggest problem has been Bill and the Clinton's record and reputation. And I voted for Bill both times.

There is a feeling that the Clinton's represent the "Old Democratic" party. The one that got its butt kicked in 2000 and 2004.

If we want to make it about race and gender we certainly can, but I believe it's about issues.

If you take the latest gas tax pandering of Clinton and McCain you see a clearer picture of what they have in common. Obama thinks differently enough to not pander in that way at least.


Mauigirl said...

Great post and I do feel for Hillary. I support Obama and I agree with Richard that Obama does represent something different; but that doesn't stop me from feeling sad about Hillary anyway. I know what you're saying. And you know what? Even if she isn't President, she has paved the way. The next woman candidate will be taken seriously because of her.

OMYWORD! said...

Hey Rich - yep, I agree it's about the issues. No matter how much the press tries to focus on non-issues, and, at the same time, the icing on the cake (for us girls I think) would have been to have our first women president. But, if that woman didn't get the issues right, then I could forgo the icing.

Mauigirl - Even tho Hillary isn't the first female stateswoman in the world, she paved the way for future American women to take the plunge. We'll all learn from her efforts - the good and the bad.