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i can’t leave you people alone for one second!

Posted by pocochina on June 24, 2008

I can’t leave you people alone for one second! THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!

Leaving aside my perpetual astonishment that the world, in fact, goes on when my internet goes down and I spend the weekend engrossed in third wave theory and Japanese feminist crime fiction, oh, sweeties, I didn’t think anyone would actually pour a whole bottle of detergent into the dishwasher, but now you’ve gone and done it.

Link Lovin’!

First of all, excellent news via Jack at Feministe, the convictions of two of the NJ Four have been overturned.

Q: Did Karl Rove us? A: No more than usual.

The Prospect has decided that the witch is dead, and so now they can get “Beyond Hillary” (no, no, I would never knowingly subject anyone to that level of annoying) and talk seriously about women in politics. One of these articles, about how one of the major barriers to women’s participation in politics is that women aren’t asked, and whew, now we’ve got that sorted, written by the original AHBADSMoFo, Ezra “too cool for universal health care if it means giving up a lie about That Bitch” Klein, unironically hosts a sidebar which proudly displays an article about how Jim Webb’s manly, handsome loose-cannon all-‘mukin sexy* beefiness makes him just too good to stand a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Meanwhile, Ann Friedman (of Feministing fame) writes on how to increase the numbers of women in government. The article is well worth a read, but I do have a couple of bones to pick. She mostly mentions women in legislative positions, though, and then HRC as an “exceptional” case – but, well, that’s the rub. Any woman willing to run for president – especially after seeing the shit that got thrown Senator Clinton’s way – is going to be exceptional in a lot of ways, and therefore there will be lots of grounds for “it’s not women, it’s just that BALL BUSTING BITCH.” To our sad detriment, we consider masculinity apart of power, and especially of the kind of power that comes with being Badass in Chief of the biggest bunch of tanks in the fucking world. (No. That is not how I think of our armed forces. It is how people with gender issues think of the presidency.) We don’t, as she suggests, need to “move beyond the exceptional Hillary Clintons.” Exceptional is not a bad thing. Only an exceptional person runs for the presidency, only an exceptionally talented exceptional person gets as far as Hillary Clinton did. [*For the record, I don’t think fiction should be held against anyone seeking office unless it shows a propensity towards violence; however, I haven’t read the books in question, but I do know the RNC and exactly what they have to say about the books.]

My co-blogger, Red (I say that a lot about the H1K ladies because it makes people think I’m as awesome as they are. It’s the transitive property of “seriously, go read her now”) follows Obama’s speeches to working women and mayors. Unsurprisingly, he is sooooo much better than that John McCain, who, don’t get him wrong, he would never talk trash, but Jasmine in band said is tooooootally going out with that nerd from the quiz bowl team. (Shut up, I’m allowed, I was the queen of Shakespeare trivia at Quiz Bowl! And we totally made it to semifinals because I nailed a math question. Arrogant Math Guy was so embarrassed.) Equally unsurprisingly, some good ideas couched in lots of conservative pandering and avoidance of important issues.

And oh, the weekend of the ill-fated Obama seal, which has already mercifully been yanked (h/tlady_jane). I have a couple problems with the seal. First of all, of course, it’s utterly ridiculous. “Vero possumus?” As morpheus0013 was kind enough to explain to us, it’s not even good Latin, but that doesn’t matter so much as – really? Was he pandering to his anti-Carthaginian hardliners? He’s tough on Gauls? Whatever, dude, we get it. What really bugs me about it, though, is the conflation of the person with the office. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life furious about this, and it’s only been exacerbated by spending the last ten months of my life immersed in constitutional theory. George Bush is POTUS; it does not mean that he is the office of the presidency. For example, though I disagree with his selfish, irresponsible vetoes, I acknowledge that it is his constitutional prerogative, and if he makes a bad one, it means we haven’t been doing a good job holding him accountable. To see a Democrat play this game that conflates the person with the office not only goes against the values in which we’re supposed to believe, but it’s also the Manly Leadership Game – fighting on the Republican’s turf. You don’t want to out-arrogant GWB, or out-ego Nixon, but you also can’t. Obama should be reiterating that he’s running to “unify” the country, not absorb the country into his campaign whether we like it or not. And, of course, this will lead to attacks of “elitism” and “arrogance” which, while crushingly ironic coming from Republicans, aren’t totally inaccurate. However, these attacks will be laden with racist dogwhistles, which are totally inexcusableand those don’t just hurt Obama, they hurt all POC.

Obama gives up public financing. Did he strongly imply that he was going to promise to take public financing if he were in a general election match-up with John McCain? Yup. Now, some of his supporters are deeply, deeply disappointed that The One has turned out to be a politician doing what politicians do; others are shrugging and saying you gotta do what you gotta do. But none that I’ve seen are exploring the situation to its logical beginnings. Obama knew, back when he was having these talks with McCain, that he was raising multiples of what McCain was, and that if he ended up being the nominee, he’d have even more new donors, plus the national machine at his disposal. The situation hasn’t changed fundamentally between now and then, in fact, he’s had comparatively slow fundraising months between now and then. He knew all along that he was going to take the public funding. And, you know, play games, don’t play games, but if he’s running as a reformer, against a guy with a widespread reputation as a reformer, and you come within a hair’s breadth of a lie about public financing, we should be asking a lot more questions about his credibility. This is an Issue. Elections are the ballgame. And, of course, when he was “strongly considering” but never actually going to take the public financing, he was using it against Senator Clinton, masterfully intertwining it with cultural assumptions that ambitious women are ballbreaking ruthless bitches who will do anything to have their way. All while trying to trap McCain into promising public financing and planning to pull the plug on it. It’s a good political move, but it simply bolsters what Clinton supporters said all along – he’s not a saint, he’s a politician, and a damned good one, which means he’s using your hopey changey inspiration for his own cynical ends. Which is fine, but don’t get so hacked off at us for it.


And then. The Traister maelstrom. This smarts a bit because Salon sucks a little less than, say, Slate, and Traister is a feminist writer who I really do admire. First the good, she does admit it’s incomplete, and there are some parts that are dead-on accurate. Ex: “And for any of you sitting at your computers yammering about how the coverage of Clinton had nothing to do with her sex, allow me to be frank: can it.” I just don’t understand why, if Salon wanted to know why Clinton supporters are angry, they didn’t, yanno, ask a Clinton supporter. Fuck, they have at least one on staff, and she just wrote a badass post about why she’s pissed off. (Kate would also fit the profile Traister is trying to draw, because she does plan to vote for Obama in the fall, unlike many of the women for whom Traister claims to be translating.) Hell, they could’ve asked me, I’m not doing anything. There’s a link to the PUMA website, I’m sure she could’ve asked the RD a couple of questions!

Mostly, though, it’s frustrating. The language of “coming home” in the context of female voters – particularly given the someitmes violent overtones of the primary season. The assumption that we’re pissed off at the Big Dawg. (As if!) This assumed partywide attempt to distance ourselves from the only two-term Democrat in fifty years is politically stupid, and again, it gives the high ground of the debate to the Republicans. Now we all agree we hate the guy who brought us peace, prosperity, and a balanced budget, choked off the Global Gag Rule, appointed the first openly gay US ambassador, and put Ginsberg and Breyer on the High Court? Hey, you must’ve spilled something, that looks like a big brown splotch of hell no on your blouse.

What’s most upsetting, though, is the way the post is obviously written to placate people who are just! so! angry! that those uppity bitches are upset. Don’t we KNOW they wouldn’t have to YELL AT US if we didn’t MAKE THEM? Traister seems to be jumping in front of the bullies going, “no, no, their feeeeeeelings are hurt.” And while I don’t necessarily like that she misrepresents us in order to protect us from the mean, scary Obama bullies – please, we’ve been taking their crap for months – but just how fucked up it is that we should have to be apologized for and explained and oh, aren’t we cute with our little temper tantrums? If our votes matter, treat us like they matter, if they don’t, leave us the hell alone, either way, the bullying reveals something fucked up in Obama land, and the article doesn’t shed much light about the Clinton supporters who aren’t voting for Obama.

And then, darlings.

Sparks Fly at Black Caucus Meeting

Just What Was Said Between the Presumptive Democratic Nominee and Clinton-Supporting Congresswoman?

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Sources at the meeting said that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, a Clinton supporter, expressed the desire that Obama and his campaign would reach out the millions of women still aggrieved about what happened in the campaign and still disappointed that Clinton lost.

Obama agreed that a lot of work needs to be done to heal the Democratic Party, and that he hoped the Clinton supporters in the room would help as much as possible.

Yup. It’s the Clinton supporters’ job to heal! Note the appeal to feelings – after all, only women supported Clinton (Rep. Rangel is amused) and women love that touchy-feely shit! Just give them a job to make them feel important! Hey, Senator, they have re-election campaigns to run, and lots of them hail from NY, which was pretty damn excited to re-elect Senator Clinton. They might not be much for healing right now. They might – wonder of wonders – have actually thought their colleague would be a great president. The original article states that at this point – post people switching at the last minute out of political necessity, the highly intelligent, politically savvy room is still 1/3 full of Clinton supporters, which makes those Unrepentant Racist Bitch assumptions just a hair suspect. Notice how there’s nothing about what he can do for them, districts where they can campaign together, just how Clinton supporters need to pitch in as much as possible.

According to Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Obama then said, “However, I need to make a decision in the next few months as to how I manage that since I’m running against John McCain, which takes a lot of time. If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it.

First of all, Mr. I Wanna Run a Government, MEN VOTED FOR HRC, TOO. A LOT OF THEM. Second of all, WOMEN ARE NOT FUCKING STUPID. We know exactly what John McCain is. If women are pissed enough to look at the two of them, under the harsh glare of day, and still think that they will do better under a McCain presidency, that is something Obama needs to fix, and right now. Third of all, stop fucking expecting our votes. I own my vote, not the Democratic Party or its nominee (however chosen).

And then. GET OVER IT. The ultimate in dismissiveness. Not “get excited.” Not “know they’re an integral part of our party.” GET OVER IT YOU STUPID BITCHES NOBODY YOU NEED ME ELSE WILL LOVE YOU.

Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., a longtime Clinton supporter, did not like those last three words — “Get over it.” She found them dismissive, off-putting.

“Don’t use that terminology,” Watson told Obama.


In Clarke’s view, Watson thought Obama had just told her to “get over it.” She didn’t appreciate that, and she told him so and emphasized that it was a heated campaign and lot of healing remains to be done.

FUCK YEAH. First of all, Watson handled the situation perfectly. She explained that her colleague had used inappropriate and unnecessary language, that it wasn’t helpful in the caucus room or the campaign, and how and why he should fix it.

“I agree,” Obama said. “There’s healing on both sides.

You bitches ruin EVERYTHING! Winning would’ve been AWESOME if that BITCH and her BITCH FRIENDS hadn’t fucked it up with their CAMPAIGNING AND SHIT! No, there’s healing on one side. Clinton supporters need to be respected, and have our reasonable issues addressed. And we don’t owe anyone anything. Everyone has to vote in the manner which will leave their consciences least disturbed.

Obama then said two sources at the meeting said that he’d held his tongue many times during the campaign against Clinton in the interest of party unity and sensitivity. Clinton and her allies had suggested he was a Muslim, had said he wasn’t qualified to be president.

First of all, he shouldn’t be walking around slinging the M-word, not with his campaign discriminating against Muslim women who support him. Second of all, those smears have been debunked and debunked and DEBUNKED. The “qualifications” thing – I’m assuming he’s referring to the CIC threshhold test – was nothing the GOP isn’t going to bring harder and hotter in any event. Nothing is more destructive to party unity than such blatant lies about a candidate that a lot of us support.

Notice, too, how while he cites alleged slurs against him, he conveniently forgets that some of the healing on her side is going to have to come about because of the insults he dished out to us, her supporters, not just her?

According to the sources, Obama suggested he bit his tongue every time. He could be asking for an apology, he could be asking for the Clintons to reconcile with him, but he chose to rise above it.

Really? Axlerod didn’t send around some clip of Olbermann all hopped up on whatever as usual? OH, WAIT, HE DID. And the way he did it – to prominent media figures – suggests that not only did the Obama campaign expect the media to cover for him, but that you were utterly okay with all of what was going down on that show as it swirled down the shitter. Oh, and he didn’t answer criticism by saying that she “periodically feels down,”: or that “the claws were out,” nooo. Either none of that happened and we were ALL FUCKING HIGH, or he actually thinks that sweepingly insulting an entire gender just to get back at one woman counts for anything.

He just doesn’t seem to understand that he can’t blame everything on Hillary Clinton any more. It’s especially not going to work with the 18 million of us who voted for her, and it’s really not going to work on those of us who would drop everything to join her her if she were forming the breakaway People’s Republic of NYC. You have to work hard to do the healing, Senator.

And I’m tired of being treated this way. I can’t imagine how a black woman who beat all the odds to become a US Representative felt at being so dismissively treated. If that’s how he’s going to talk to her, comrades, just fucking well imagine how he feels about us.

2 Responses to “i can’t leave you people alone for one second!”

  1. donna darko said

    pocochina on wordpress: good deal! When you open your mouth, you have SO MUCH TO SAY, IT’S INCREDIBLE!

  2. pocochina said

    Hey DD!

    Yeah, wordpress. I needed the name for H1K anyway, so I just reserved it to keep everything substantive (not link roundups or vanity posts or whatever) here, too.

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