In certain areas of Left Blogistan, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth that Senator Clinton has not, as the Senator expected to do, waltzed uninterrupted to the Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.
In those quarters, her failure to march triumphantly to the convention is being interpreted as a result of prejudice against women.
Senator Clinton’s supporters have also claimed that she has been mistreated by the press. When pressed, they offer up the same two or three culprits, most notably Chris Matthews. Yet, as Suzanne Smalley pointed out on today’s Radio Times, half the reporters on the campaign bus are women (go to the website and search for today’s date or listen to the show in Real Audio format here).
A couple of days ago, Howard Fineman, shilling his new book on that same show, said that he thought that there perhaps had been some coverage that betrayed sexism on the part of the reporter, but not a significant amount. He also pointed out that there’s a reason 75% of the word news is n e w, and Senator Obama is new. (Listen to the show in Real Audio here.)
(Aside: These generalizations do not apply to political blogs. Look not far to find enough racism and sexism to keep you gagging for a week.)
Senator Clinton’s double-x chromosomes do not make her more virtuous than Senator Obama’s x and y make him, despite what some seem to believe. Nor does it make her less virtuous.
Senator Clinton entered the campaign expecting, not a nomination, but a coronation. She unexpectedly found herself facing a competent and energetic challenger. Then she started to, well, behave badly.
Senator Clinton’s failures are her own failures. They don’t belong to anyone else. They are failures of strategy, such as running an incompetent campaign in Iowa (and elsewhere). It is her conduct and her behavior, not her sex, that has backed her against a wall.
It is her vote in favor of the fraudulent War in Iraq, in contrast to the vision of an opponent who recognized from the git-go that it was a fraud.
It is her lame claim that everything she has done since she got her law degree is somehow “experience in governance,” when most of it was experience in corporate law.
(And, as I have demonstrated, experience in governance is irrelevant to effectiveness as President. Hell, look at all those in the Current Federal Administration who have spent almost their whole working lives in the government, the Cheneys, Rumsfelds, the Ashcrofts–based on their performance, one can argue that experience in governance should actually disqualify persons from high office).
During the campaign, it has been her choice to pander to the worst American instincts, rather than to search for the best, that has seen her sink. And, at this point, she has shown that she can attract voters in the Appalachian states, whereas Senator Obama has shown that he can attract voters everywhere else (and don’t talk to me about Indiana and Ohio; anyone who has spent significant amounts of time there, as I have, knows that their south and central areas are pretty much nothing more than northern Kentucky).
And, as her prospects have become dimmer, her conduct has become–er–screwier.
Now, do not mistake me. If, through some combination of luck and political muscle and skulduggery, she gets the nomination, I will certainly support her.
The Current Federal Administration has proven to me that any Democrat is superior to every Republican. The political discourse can continue from that point.
Nevertheless, it’s not because Senator Clinton is a woman that she looks to be a sure number two in the race for the nomination.
It’s because she has shown herself to be a jerk.
And, sadly, some of her most fervent supporters over here in Left Blogistan have followed her lead.
Hillary Clinton gives me the willies.