[Sayma-Discuss] Why Hillary Wouldn't Quit...(If the Elephant Sits on You, Can you talk about it THEN?)
freepolazzo at comcast.net
Sat Jun 7 18:56:34 EDT 2008
Dear Julia (and others)
You deserve a response but I don't wish to have an argument about the
election for the Democratic Party presidential candidate. I just
wish to present my beliefs, so you know someone heard you and that
there are other concerns that were addressed in this historic
election that resulting in Senator Barack Obama becoming our first
Bi-Racial nominee for president of the USA by a major political party.
My first and second choice for president did not get selected,
either. Note that Senator Obama was selected over all the other men,
who happened to be white, not just over the one white woman
candidate. Senator Clinton came in 2nd in a field of 9. Quite an
accomplishment, considering the sexism she had to overcome. And sure
it helps to be 1st, but look at John McCaine. He didn't get the
nomination the first time, either. Yet, he persevered and now has
the nomination that had previously eluded him.
Senator Clinton, in spite of being female was NOT
substantially different from the other Clinton when you look at how
she campaigned and the tactics she used to run for office. Yes, she
was in a "bad" spot. Hillary wouldn't have been the "one to beat"
from the beginning without her ties to husband Bill Clinton. Yet,
the irony might be that husband Bill was also a big part of why she
lost. Perhaps is it Bill Clinton who is the "Elephant who Sits on You"?
My vote has often been decided by examining the spouse(s) of the
persons running for office. After all, that is a major decision
that all married candidates make. The spouse(s) selected speaks
volumes to those who are willing to examine what that means. I
voted for Bill Clinton, partly because of the fact that Hillary
Rodham chose him as her spouse.
People may have not voted for Senator Clinton because she was part of
the "good old boy" system. Her anger, I believe, is due to the fact
that she "played the game" for so long and so well that she believed
it was her turn to be president. She showed me that she was the
"old style" politician by her inability, to this day, to admit that
her vote to give President George W. Bush the power to invade Iraq
was a mistake. Senator Edwards admitted he had made a
mistake. Senator Kerry admitted he had made a mistake. Why can't
Senator Clinton admit she made an error in that vote, too?
What happened on the way to the coronation was that Barack Obama's
charisma and persona attracted huge numbers of voters, both young and
old, both white and non white, who wanted someone really different
from the old style politician to be in office and they all worked
very hard to get Obama elected. I read his book,
I'm glad we have Barack Obama as a candidate. Not because he is
bi-racial. Not because he has lived overseas. Not because he
understands Islam. Not because he seems to be more of a peace maker
than all those still running when they got to GA. Not because he has
a working class background. Not because he passed up big bucks for
a community organizing job in Chicago. Bit because he rejects money
from lobbyists and PAC's.
I voted for Barack Obama because I desperately needed a breath of
fresh air and "hope I could believe in". We cannot appear to be
going back to the politics of big money and big lobbyists. Even to
put a woman in the White House.
Barack Obama give me something that I have been missing. Hope that
our county can become more united and learn to see that of God in
every person. Nobody else in the race (even my two previously
supported candidates) did that. I want a leader who believes in our
people's goodness and is willing to listen to what others have to
say. Someone who does not pretend that they have all the answers
and can "fix" everything all by themselves. We've already had
way too much of that kind of leadership. And that's what we need
at the local level, too.
To bring this to the local scene, I also believe that having Senator
Obama at the head of the Demicratic ticket this November will help to
elect many more Democratic candidates in Georgia, than otherwise. We
who live in Georgia have to be VERY CONCERNED at how our Republican
controlled legislature and Executive branches are cutting services to
the poor and ignoring our environmental degradation.
Friends, let's not get completely distracted by National
politics. What your school board does and what your county
commissioners want are as important as who is president of the
USA. We can be key actors in the political realm by getting
involved in politics and helping to build the peaceable
kindom. It's way past time to "get into the game" and stop "yelling
from the stands".
Free Polazzo, Chair
Douglas County (GA) Democratic Party Recruitment and Eduction Committee
email: freepolazzo at comcast.net
phone: 770-949-1707 (H)
cell: 770-778-8507 (C)
At 01:22 PM 6/7/2008, you wrote:
>Hillary Clinton has been faulted by Obama supporters for not
>surrendering earlier in the interests of "unity". Most Obama
>supporters are from Generation X or even younger, and they do not
>have the direct experience of history that Hillary, and all of us
>"over 50" women (of every color) have. Nor do they have any
>inclination to know. They stand upon the shoulders of Hillary's
>generation, especially the women do, and they take for granted a lot
>of things that we do not.
>Under most circumstances we are glad that they are able to see life
>the way it is now not as conditional privileges but as "granted" or
>"normal" "rights". But when it makes them fail to appreciate Hillary
>and our generation for who we are and what we have done, and could
>yet do, for women, for the poor and for our country, and that lack
>of appreciation costs a tough and courageous women the Presidency,
>then somebody has to shake them awake and demand that they know what
>they do not wish to know--how bad things used to be, and how
>profound the sexism still is in this country.
>Gail Collins her column today in the New York Times makes some
>effort to educate a new generation about these matters, but like the
>rest of the country she is deflected by the (justifiable) elation
>over the African American Obama having the backing of a major party
>for the Presidency. Yes, that is a heady, historical, moment. One
>that women would not begrudge Obama and the country (at least the
>liberal portion of it), if we saw that Hillary's candidacy was being
>appreciated in anything but a sexism soaked patronizing way.
>On supposedly "liberal CNN" last night the (male) commentators went
>on and on about what wonderful progress is represented by Hillary
>getting "almost nominated" and that she and her supporters (the
>great majority of whom are women of her generation) should shut up
>and be happy about that." Look how far you have come." The lone
>commentator to break away from the chorus was an African American
>woman (much younger than the Hillary generation) who pointed out
>that the object of any candidate is to WIN and that being happy with
>losing (getting "almost" nominated) is not part of a personality
>that makes for achieving the White House.
>People understand that about men. Nobody (male) runs for Vice
>President. John Edwards, who was the third strongest contender was
>asked when he dropped out if he did so because he had decided he
>wanted to be vice president. His tone of voice and the look he gave
>the reporter (he would be one dead reporter if looks could kill)
>said exactly what HE thought of that idea.
>If you are running for President that is because you want to BE
>president! Nobody then persisted in suggesting to Edwards that he
>should be "happy" (read "grateful") that he had gotten to air his
>populist issues about poor people (of all colors) and wait and see
>if somebody offered him left-overs--like the VP slot or a cabinet
>position...He was not seen as ungracious either. Edwards did not
>back out to accomodate Obama or anybody else. He looked at the money
>he had and the length of campaign still before him, and he went home
>to wait for a better opportunity.
>Hillary, however, had a real shot at the Presidency. She had the
>money. She had the experience. She had the name recognition. For a
>significant portion of the primary campaign she was ahead or at
>least even with Obama. When the Obama supporters began pressuring
>her to pull out there was still a probability that with good
>politicking to the party leadership--the superdelegates--and the
>remaining states' delegates she could win. And so she did what any
>man would do. She declined to "make nice", let the man win, and then
>show up to do the scut work for him.
>That is exactly what all of us women of her generation were asked by
>the males to do, from elementary school on, whenever there was a
>competition for an office or an honor.
>Gail Collins's comments about Hillary's own history explain a lot:
>"Clinton is very much a product of the generation that accepted a
>certain amount of humiliation as the price of progress. She wrote in
>her autobiography that when she ran for president of her high school
>class against several boys, one of them told her she was 'really
>stupid' if she thought a girl could be elected president. She lost,
>and later the winner asked her to head a committee 'which as far as
>I could tell was expected to do most of the work." She swallowed
>hard, accepted and, she admitted, really liked organizing all the
>school parades and dances and pep rallies.
>"This is one thing you have to admire about Hillar, says Gail
>Collins. "She still enjoys the work."
>(When is the last time you heard that said about a MAN who "almost"
>was President--that he "still enjoys doing the work" for the guy who
>won?? Collins betrays the weakness of our generation of feminists.
>We are NOT man-haters. We do ENJOY being with men, and we remember
>when we were allowed a lot LESS of a presence than we have now. It
>is not INGRATITUDE but gratitude that is our undoing...more below)
>"Over the past months, Clinton has seemed haunted by the image of
>the 'nice girl' who gives up the fight because she's afraid the
>boys will be angry if they don't get their way. She told people she
>would never, ever say : ' I'm the girl, I give up.' She would never
>let her daughter, or anybody else's daughter think that she quit
>because things got too tough.
>"And she never did. Nobody is ever again going to question whether
>it's possible for a woman to go toe-to-toe with the toughest male
>candidate in a race for president of the United States. Or whether a
>woman could be strong enough to serve as commander in chief.
>" Her campaign didn't resolve whether a woman who seems tough enough
>to run the military can also seem likable enough to get elected. But
>she helped pave the way. ...Hillary had made a woman running for
>president seem normal."
>But what is intended as consolation patronizes. Gail wants Hillary
>--and American women--to be content with "paving the way". CNN wants
>Hillary --and American women epitomized by her--to be content with
>"having influence" in a much lesser role in an Obama lead Democratic
>But, Friends, that is how Patriarchy has always worked. Denied
>access to power, women survived--and still survive--through
>"influence" on the MEN who actually get the power--and keep it in
>their own hands. Asking somebody to give an order is definitely NOT
>the same thing as giving the order--and other people doing what is
>ordered. Asking is influence, ordering is power. Power makes things
>happen. Influence only hopes. Even before Seneca Falls in 1848 we
>had "influence". We hoped.
>Hillary was not running for hope. Nor was John Edwards. John Edwards
>did not settle for hope. He is not interested in "influence". But
>then John is a man. And Hillary is a woman of her (our) generation.
>In the end, she did the :"feminine thing" and when the cause
>appeared truly done for, she settled for "influence", took "hope"
>because it is what there was left over for her.
>And even that was begrudged her. No sooner than she had said she
>would be open to being asked to be VP, the media began scrounging up
>anybody they could corral to say it was a bad idea, would divide the
>party. What? Bringing nearly half the party on board to support
>Obama is DIVISIVE?? Nobody would be saying that if John Edwards was
>in Hillary's shoes and somehow he could have been cajoled into
>"running for hope" instead of running for power.
>It scared the country to death that a woman had gotten that CLOSE to
>power. And the Patriarchy immediately snatched the "heir apparent"
>slot out of her reach as well. After all what if some racist
>decided that an African American President had come too close to
>power also and did the unspeakable...there in the wings would be a woman...
>Hillary has done what she can to calm down a frightened nation. She
>has done the "feminine" thing and "settled for hope". Made the
>gesture of corking the bottle, although the genii has been let out
>of it. But it is too late. She has actually played the power game by
>the men's own rules and was actually winning! That is what they will
>not forgive her for.
>It has become unacceptable in the Democratic party to refuse power
>to an African American man. The party members who had trouble with
>that left the party some time ago. Any residual racism is overcome
>by the fact that Obama has one important thing going for him that
>Hillary does not. He's a man. And sexism is the last form of bigotry
>that is acceptable at every point on the political spectrum,
>including the most liberal wing of the Democratic party. Hillary has
>done everything a male Democrat "winner" (as opposed to "loser")
>would do in campaigning. What she could not do and never can do is
>be African American or male.
>It is Seneca Falls all over again. When women were told that the
>goal of the antislavery movement--the liberation of men, who
>happened to be black--had been accomplished. And the liberation of
>women, if it were to be done at all, would be lead, defined and
>enacted by men. And that is exactly how things were.
>In 1920, after nearly two generations, in an all male Tennessee
>state legislature, with 15 minutes to go on the clock for
>ratification, one man, Harry Burn, changed his mind and voted,
>"yes". The Constitutional amendment passeed. Women could vote. Women
>could serve on juries. Women were "political people" of consequence.
>It has take eighty-eight more years to get one woman--Hillary
>Clinton--within spitting distance of being elected President. The
>men were not about to let her sit within a heart-beat of actually
>getting into the Oval office.
>Rather than being a purely inspiritational moment of history, this
>election has been an historially ugly moment in which a still racist
>country has made it clear, not just at the polls, but in the
>aftermath, when it should not really matter, that they prefer
>blackness when it male over femaleness. This is being mistaken for
>acceptance of blackness, when it is in fact abhorrence of femaleness.
>If racism against blacks no longer is operative in American
>politics, why all the feathers flying around Obama's pastor Reverend
>Wright, and why were his statements still filled 1960's style
>rhetoric about black woundedness and white perfidity? Why within our
>own Meeting are we continuing to work on our own racism?
>I repeat, the love-fest around Obama is not an embracing of
>blackness, it is a rejection of femaleness. And the pecking order is
>eye-opening. To be female is worse than being black in this country.
>(And we all know that America is still profoundly anti-black.
>Or was Reverend Wright hanging out in La-la Land? Why didn't the
>Obama campaign just laugh at him and dismiss him? Why has Obama had
>to resign from his church to get away from the implication that a
>black man can't get elected in this country, because of the racial divide? )
>But then, as Gail Collins points out, Hillary and her (our)
>generation are used to rejection and even ridicule, and we are where
>we are by sucking it up and even turning it into opportunity and
>turning opportunity into success.
>"Feel free to make fun of them," Collins says. "The movement they
>started (the Second Wave of Feminism) was the first fight for
>equality in which the oppostion deployed ridicule as its most lethal
>weapon. They won the ban on sex discrimnination in employment by
>letting a conservative congressman propose it as a joke. When they
>staged their historic march in Hew York in 1970, they heard
>themselves described as 'braless bubble-heads' by a U S senator and
>were laughed at on the evening news.
>"They had always seen a woman in the White house as the holy grail.
>Now their disappointment is compounded by the feeling that Clinton's
>candidacy was not even appreciated as a noble try."
>" She stayed in and showed she could take it.," said Muriel Fox, a
>retired public relations exeuctive in New York who was one of the
>founding members of the National Organization for Women. "I feel she
>has taken this beating for us--the abuse and the battering and the insults."
>While African Americans--especially African American men--and many
>Friends for whom racism is almost exclusively synonymous with the
>issue of equality--will be celebrating the historically eddifying
>nomination of Obama (at least up through November), Gail Collins
>points out that for many of Hillary's female supporters this era
>will be remembered "like the Irish remember the Famine. "
>We will remember Hillary's candidacy the way we remember how the ERA
>died for lack of one state's ratification. We will remember how we
>had to besiege the state legislatures one state at a time to nullify
>the chattel laws that still made us serfs or children financially
>and legally--when a Constitutional amendment ought to have settled
>everything. (The state chattel laws were finally a moot issue after
>1978). We will remember how in the spring of 1998 after securing our
>freedom from chattel laws in 1978 and having the right to our own
>credit as married women that the credit card compainies unilaterally
>(and illegally) stopped reporting credit in the names of married
>women who did not qualify for their own credit (the excuse? fighting
>the 'renting' of 'good credit' to deadbeats).
>While it is true that we are no longer entirely locked out of the
>Patriarchal banquet hall, we are now just out of reach of the feast.
>And the best thing that people can say is, "look how close she came.
>Isn't that WONDERFUL?" And there we sit with our plate, making nice
>and waiting to see what the men will be willing to put on it.
>It's the female equivalent of being addressed as "Boy".
>Of course, nobody will call Obama THAT, win or lose.
>That would be racist. And we all agree on how bad that is.
>We don't have to be African American to "get that".
>Yet somehow, unless you are a woman of Hillary's generation
>nobody "gets" that "almost" does not count--for her or for us.
>This game is called "power" not "horseshoes"--which, as the men
>all know, is the only place that "almost" counts.
>Hillary put the country on notice that we are not playing horseshoes.
>And she scared people because she nearly did win.
>That is what the men will not forgive her--or us.
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