By Brigitte L. Nacos
I am appalled by the relentless attacks on Hillary Clinton from right and left and in-between—from males but also from females who seem as eager as the macho guys to land knock out punches. The former first lady is not a saint but neither are her male competitors in the race for the presidency. Yet, none of the former and present male Democratic and Republican contenders have been the targets of constant stereotypical swipes and attempts in character assassination as the former first lady has endured day-in and day-out. The line-up of attack dogs seems determined to prevent what wacko Ann Coulter called on NBC’s TODAY SHOW the other day a “girl president” in the White House. For the good old boys and their female collaborators the current presidential campaign is not in the first place about the economy or Iraq or immigration: It’s about the preservation of male supremacy, stupid! These insecure guys cannot stomach the idea of a woman in the White House. I simply do not believe them when they claim that they can support a female presidential candidate—but not this woman.
Mentioning “Carl Bernstein's disgust at Hillary’s ‘thick ankles.’ Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, ‘Citizens United Not Timid’ (check the capital letters), Comedy Central’s ‘Southpark’ featuring a storyline in which terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s vagina, and many other examples, Robin Morgan, co-founder of The Women’s Media Center, wrote recently,
“This is not ‘Clinton hating,’ not ‘Hillary hating.’ This is sociopathic woman-hating. If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison. Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?”
Well, there is no outrage. Instead, the dominance of
anti-Clinton gender bias in the constant attacks on Hillary Clinton--her character,
looks, marriage, daughter, campaign tactics, policy agenda, and so on, have
worked in favor of Senator Obama whose campaign appearances look more and more
like those of a rock star.
As Paul Krugman writes today,
“What’s particularly saddening is the way many Obama supporters seem happy with the application of “Clinton rules” — the term a number of observers use for the way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent…
During the current campaign, Mrs. Clinton’s entirely reasonable remark that it took L.B.J.’s political courage and skills to bring Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to fruition was cast as some kind of outrageous denigration of Dr. King.”
Krugman is right on this. Ted Kennedy is wrong.