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What Zuzu said


What's one of the Democratic Party's greatest strengths? Its appeal to women -- who make up more than half the electorate -- as the party that cares about their rights. The party's problem, of course, is that Clinton's candidacy exposed that for the expedient lie it is, since the party establishment allowed the blatant misogyny directed against Clinton by the media, Democratic lawmakers, the Obama campaign and the rank-and-file to go unchallenged. Then, when Obama was ushered into the nomination by a fishy decision by the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee that was contrary to the DNC's own rules, the party establishment finally spoke up, albeit weakly. But only for so long, because there was no time to pay attention to silly things like rooting out misogyny in the party that claims to care about women. Get in line and vote for the Chosen One, and keep your mouth shut and don't spoil the optics.

This did appear to be a fairly serious problem for the Dems; Obama was losing support among women and other groups with his lurch to the right. And instead of trying to bring those voters back into the fold with persuasion and carrots and addressing their concerns, the campaign, the party, the media and especially the fan base turned to threats, mockery, infantilization, accusations of racism, doomsaying and RoeRoeRoeRoeRoe when those voters started saying that gosh, love to vote for you, but you haven't given me any reason to and how dare you assume that I have nowhere else to go?

Now, there was never a real risk that progressives would vote for McCain en masse; those Hillary supporters who show up in polls as planning to vote for McCain may very well be Republican and Independent women who were voting for Clinton, not for the Democrats.

There has been, however, a real risk that progressives who are sick of the misogyny and sick about the direction the party was taking would sit this one out. And the Republicans were counting on that continuing.

And then a funny thing happened -- after a lot of tension about whether Clinton and her 18 million supporters would be shut out of the Convention, the Obama people agreed to give Hillary and Bill Clinton prime-time speaking slots. [Thank you PUMAs!*] And they both spoke of unity, and urged Hillary's supporters to vote for Obama. And a lot of the Hillary diehards here watched those speeches and said they were convinced, they'd now vote for Obama. Others, too -- as Jack Goff said, it was what he'd been waiting for, though he hadn't known he'd been waiting for anything. ...

Then McCain -- who, it should be noted, was telling the press he had not selected a running mate as late as the final day of the Democratic National Convention -- dropped the Palin bombshell.

Right on cue, the sexist attacks against Palin began on the left -- which the McCain people were undoubtedly counting on.

Double super fucking bonus pony bingo.

Then there's all the "Governor Barbie," bimbo, golddigger, VPILF, CUNTRY, etc. crap. Oh, the Republicans will undoubtedly say, look how much the Democrats value women. All that unity business was a steaming pile of bullshit; they don't value you when the chips are down.

And what the Republicans will do that the Democrats will not is call out the misogyny against their candidate. I've said it before -- the Republicans would never, in a million years, stand by and let the media and the party rank-and-file treat one of their female candidates the way that Clinton got treated during the primary.

OK, we get the message. We're an out group. We're really not wanted in the party. Check.

Well done, all.

NOTE * They hate you because you were effective.

NOTE I should disclaim that I don't consider myself a feminist -- I'm a cranky old white guy, I don't understand lots of the theory, and I don't like *-ists. All that said, the way that the Village, the press, the boiz, and the Obama campaign treated Hillary during the primary should outrage any sentient being with a simple sense of justice. And I'll fucking get over it when justice is done. It doesn't matter what Hillary said at the Convention, although her speech was great, because her speech doesn't erase the historical record -- which the usual suspects are now busy reinforcing with their Palin hakas.

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dws's picture
Submitted by dws on

does this mean we can't make anymore jokes about ho's?

cuz dayum, their funnee!

[beats head with rock]

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

Thanks for this, and your comments on it, Lambert. Just about perfect all the way around. I've been trying to explain to a not deeply political male friend (gay) just what it is I'm so pissed about, and sent this right off to him.

BTW, there are feminists and Feminists . You don't have to wade through the theory or subscribe to the sometimes really rigid ideology of Feminists to be a feminist. (I haven't and don't) All you need to to be a feminist is just what you've been doing right here. Deny the label if you want, but you're a feminist just as much as you are a liberal.

IOW, you are one of the Good Guys. :-)

dupager's picture
Submitted by dupager on

Good post.

The Obamanation lost me at the Clintons = racists incantation. The Democratic party lost me when they said not a word against such seriously damaging lies or against the repetition of every vrwc lie against Hillary. After March the WWTSBQ refrain only hardened my resolve and my heart.

I've pretty much had to stifle my outrage over this primary in my house and among my lib friends. They're all really tired of my not moving on..

So last night at dinner a woman friend was reciting the McCain is so old he's going to die in office meme.. and that 'Palin is so inexperienced' and how insulting it was that McCain thinks some soccer mom is supposed to be PRESIDENT??!!

And finally i said, "But she's been the governor of a state--a STATE with a huge economy-- for 2 years, which entails some management experience and political skill, don't you think? And Obama has been one of 100 Senators.. for.. help me out here... uh.. THREE years?? and you think one doesn't even deserve to be Vice President but the other absolutely must be elected PRESIDENT??"

And her reply was, "well that's why Obama picked Biden.."

it's like someone came and took the brains of all my Dem friends and hid them away... and I can't find them anymore.


Submitted by lambert on

In the primaries, the hate is for women.

In the general, the hate will be for the old.

Nice to see I'm on target. And naturally, I trust the FKD to do the right thing on Social Security, even if hate for the old is encouraged as a campaign tactic. Why wouldn't I? I mean, a straight replay of FISA -- big pressure from the netroots, followed by seeming victory, followed by a pause, then total defeat as the issue is introduced -- would never happen. Right? Even if the finance guys are salivating for the fees to maintain themselves in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. Do I know the D platform? Yes. Do I trust it or the Ds? No. Why would I?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by cg.eye on

Only the Democratic Party could turn its most prized demographic of the past decade, soccer moms, into an epithet.

And only the DNC, through its open flaunting of its own rules, could turn those soccer moms into PUMAs.

All their meme freaks, their framing consultants, were they bribed or drunk when they approved this, or did Brazile push this through after consulting with her friend Rove?

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Another loss of traditional liberal thinking: anger at injustice is what I'm supposed to feel, isn't it?

I think I missed a memo somewhere. 'Cuz now I'm not just supposed to get over injustices to others but to me. Is it supposed to work that way?

Whatever -- I vascillate between anticipatory schadenfreude and a brokenheart at the prospect of Obama losing this election.

But, in the spirit of 'moving on', was the misogyny in the Democratic Party always this bad, just latent, or is this a new infection? I'm leaning toward the latter, since the current strain seems to have Kos and Ariana as Patients 0. Or were they merely the catalysts that let the Attack Weiners of Misogyny out of the oven?

Most of the time, I see the bloggerboyz as the demographic and intellectual inheritors of the Reagan youth; they are the boys (and a few women, drilling holes with their stilletos as they clomp up the backs of the women who fought for their rights to make sure they get to the front of the line) who I went to college with. I detested their smug triumphalism and soulless discompassion (is that a word?) for others around them. Not only ready with a mocking FU to those not as fortunate as they, but with a driving callous joy at the unfortunes of others.

Did we grow them in our own greenhouse, or did they get here clinging to the wheels of some airplane, like the brown snake epidemic in Guam? And if they are stealth immigrants, does that make it more or less likely we can get rid of them?

Right now, I'm thinking the answer matters to how to proceed. Zuzu nails it in a satisfying way; more satisfying is watching them rush to their own destruction, I hope.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i think not--back when Ferraro ran we were still proud of our diversity and DC Dems hadn't yet surrendered to the "govt bad"/"social programs bad" shit.

It was really in 88 -- and especially after -- that the Party ran away from celebrating our diversity and our concern for those who weren't white guys.

All thru the 70s we were fighting for social programs and for unions/workers and expansion of opportunity--especially for women and African Americans--we were still doing that in 84 too. We had tons of old liberal lions still in Congress back then too, and the younger ones were all "Good Government" types swept in during/after Watergate.

Submitted by lambert on

Who removed it?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the Equal Division Rule--

"... What Is The Equal Division Rule?
Another rule important in the Democratic Party is the Equal Division Rule, which requires that every state delegation be equally divided between
men and women. This means that a state with 128 delegates must have 64 men and 64 women. Perhaps the most important feature of this rule—and
the feature that ensures that every Democratic National Convention will be equally divided between men and women—is that super delegates are
also included as part of a state delegation. Democratic members of Congress, Senators and governors are all automatic delegates to the convention
and they are counted as part of the delegation where they vote. ..."

This is good too -- on Title IX, which truly changed millions of lives and still does -- Bernice Sandler, Title IX Godmother --

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

majority female delegate count, according to Pelosi--

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to the convention stage this afternoon with several dozen Democratic women serving with her in the House of Representatives to mark the Denver convention as the first in which women are a majority of delegates.


i dunno--was it exactly balanced before now? (we know states "arrange" it so that all their officials and VIPs get to go)

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

"was the misogyny in the Democratic Party always this bad?"

Yes it was... it just wasn't expressed. Social pressures (i.e. "political correctness") made it impossible for people to express their sexism/misogyny in public. The sexism and misogyny directed at Clinton was the result of the "any attack on Clinton is permissible" zeitgeist promoted by the SCLM. Hillary became the vessel into which men felt free to dump their resentment of female empowerment, and women to express their fear of losing the 'privileges' of being a woman (e.g. Hillary was a repudiation of every woman who uses sex to get ahead.)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"Palin has been the VP pick for all of five minutes, and already one of the (male) reporters on CNN just asked another reporter something along the lines of, “Now, Palin also has a baby with Down’s Syndrome. Those children require an awful lot of care. Do you think she’ll be able to balance taking care of that baby with being Vice President? I mean, having a Down’s Syndrome baby takes up a lot of time and energy.”

Ugh. ..."

Submitted by cg.eye on

These Dem asswipes really don't get that they're not only damaging their vaunted GOTV techniques, they're also damaging the voting infrastructure.

Who in the hell gets up months before an election, takes the courses in learning the new rules and machines, patiently asking for help from the corrupt Diebold voting machine gamers, attempts to get up to speed for Election Day, then spends that day facing the wrath of the electorate as *they* try to manuever through the maze the GOP has laid down for them, just for exercising their right to vote?

That's right. Old hags and soccer moms, now on the Democratic Enemies List for simply wanting their issues on the agenda.

Bet those Obama Youth would love texting their friends to vote, but wouldn't be bothered to get off their ass and help the system work, if they couldn't rig the vote themselves. Misogyny affects voting infrastructure. If only Brazile could get this tattooed on her ass....

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i wonder whether state/local parties are feeling it yet? if they don't have the older women working in Nov (and before, too), what have they got?

Submitted by lambert on

"If they couldn’t ...."

If the women don't show up, what are the locals going to do? Why, turn to the bright young volunteers!

Just as in the TX caucuses, I bet somebody is gaming this possibility out right now, and seeing an opportunity.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by cg.eye on

bragging and being ascendant in a supposedly progressive party?

The proof of the system? Is what it does.

How else is he going to have a mob to counter the *Republican* vote-stealing shenanigans? We civilians are no longer part of this -- it's all operative against operative. *We've* become the sockpuppets.

Is this like tossing everyone under the bus except those feral enough to scare Karl Rove?

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Seems the 50/50 thing is applied state-by-state -- each state is required to be half and half. So in order to make the 50+ Pelosi brags on (really, Nance), all they'd need is one state with one more female delegate than male, and they're in! It's the Thundering Advancement of Women Party!

Sorry, do I sound bitter? Yes. Yes I do.

Don't women usually make up like 60% of Democratic voters? It's just the math.

In another item for the irony is dead category, Kentucky used the gender rules to remove a male delegate for Clinton and replace him with a female delegate for Obama. Cool!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Female Democratic Congresspeople compared to just a few years ago?

Which year was it "the year of the woman" during an election? 92? 96?

wiggles's picture
Submitted by wiggles on

Because more women were elected to Congress than in any other year previously. Plus Boxer and Feinstein were both elected to the Senate to represent CA.
Right now we're at a record high of 16% representation (House and Senate) for 52% of the population. Weee! It's a post-feminist matriarchy!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

thanks--i had read tho, that female Democratic numbers are down, and GOP ones are up.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Obama is not like Winnie M. He may be a chicago poll, but Winnie M. he ain't.

Submitted by cg.eye on

general voting practices, for any aspect of such his new Democratic machine controls. He's only post-partisan when it comes to making friends with Republicans -- he's sure as hell partisan and suppressive when it comes to people within the party.

Silence equals consent. Let him stop being silent about the thuggishness that's being deployed against people he differs with in policy. Let him attack those people *on* policy, instead of how ugly or beautiful or old or young these people are.

Let his operatives stop acting like bullies, and have them act as if they can win an election without suppressing votes or intimidating the unglamorous parts of his base.

Submitted by gob on

about "our side" in politics? Am I only now seeing it because it's my ox being gored?

Walking my dog this morning, I ran into an acquaintance who I occasionally talk politics with, a long-time old-fashioned liberal Democrat. Well, he started in with "can you believe they think women will vote for McCain just because they nominate a woman?!", proceeded to "boy, she is disgusting, with her I-bore-a-Down's-syndrome-baby I'm so pro-life" -- I had something on the tip of my tongue but my friend, who is talkative, immediately seemed to sense that he'd gotten a little too crass and started to walk that back in a confused way, only to wind up by recounting the hilarious, witty moment on The Daily Show when Jon Stewart showed a shot of McCain, Cindy McCain, and Palin, and cracked that McCain held a presser to introduce his third wife. Ha ha ha.

The top came off my head at that point and I said that that was offensive, and I was offended. You'll never guess what he said, I'm sure........wait for's so original....... "It was only a joke."

Hell of a way to start the day.

Just keep it up, guys. I won't vote for McCain, but you've got me wanting to.

Have we always been such idiots about our candidates? Always so ready to repeat pointless, non-funny personal attacks that have nothing to do with the issues and can only alienate the people we ought to be trying to persuade????


Policy not party!

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

yes to this:
about “our side” in politics? Am I only now seeing it because it’s my ox being gored?

i don't know (nor really care) your "race," gob. but this is how a lot of minorities have felt about "our" party, and it's willingness to throw us under the bus anytime there's a need to please the party of out racists. queers to. as others are noting here, there was a time when women had tamped down most of the blatant sexism in the party, but as paul points out correctly, it was always there and is only coming back now (imho) b/c of the general slide to the right in our culture and the dissolution of the second wave feminist coalition.

lambert: normally i skip commenting/reading the HRC posts here, but this one is a keeper. i give thanks to zuzu for putting it altogether so well. it's excellent, and i always love to see that here at corrente.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

or really more of an observation, I guess, but it seems to me that Obama's selection is a two-fer in that it got to tell women to STFU and it lays the ground work to tell AAs the same thing if Obama wins. I don't know it's just that the more I see all the Dems celebrating the nomination of the first AA candidate (which is something to celebrate even if this particular candidate isn't my cuppa), the more I think they are going to use it to claim their job fighting racial discrimination and inequality is done. They gave you Obama, what more do you want? Am I the only one who is getting this feeling? I guess that's my question. Is it just me?

Because to me, this entire election campaign on the Dem side is starting to feel like one big "Get Over It" for women and people of color. No longer will they cater to our needs by caving on all but 5% of what's important to us. Now they won't even give us the 5%. They are moving past those excesses of the 60s and 70s. They're tired of having a coalition who is always making demands that they try to make the country more equal when all they want is to make their money and ride in their limos.

And if I read or see one more of those white guys on the news going on and on about how Obama is terrific because he's one of those new generation of black leaders who doesn't talk about racial grievances, I may need a new computer.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

1. i completely agree with what you just wrote; many af-ams are hip to this play as it's been done over and over again since it became impossible (or mostly impossible, OH and FL natch) to deny us the opportunity to vote and hold office.

2. here's a little known fact about Obama and African-American Christians. many are very, very pissed at how he threw wright under the bus, and haven't and won't forgive him for it. i was told by one black church leader recently, "we're not going to say anything about until after the election or later, but he will be punished for it (re: support of the religious af-am communities when he will need that from them). "

again, i wish we could just take 'race' out of our discussions. not that i'm complaining about most of what is written here, so much as BDB's greater point is telling, of how often false concern on the part of those who truly rule us allows them to get away with so much worse and more than the things they claim to be "improving."

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Via The Power of Narrative. You might be interested in this essay.

I don't agree with everything written in those essays but this (imho) couldn't be more true:

"In the white imagination, Barack Obama represents, not the “End of Racism” (racism has an experiential, existential meaning for only the barest sliver of the white population), but, he represents, rather, the end of the struggle to end racism."


Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Very helpful.

I don't write too much about race because I think others probably can say it better than I do. But I do think Obama spoke the truth when he said he wasn't about the excesses of the 1960s and 70s and that that appeals to the DNC where I think some of the men especially resent having to keep women and minorities happy. Obama isn't the first step towards a more just nation, he's the last. Which is great for Obama, but I don't know how much it's going to help the folks out here in Watts.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

no to this:

I don’t write too much about race because I think others probably can say it better than I do.

there's nothing "sinful" or wrong with being uninformed. the only way we learn is to speak, ask questions, test our ideas, and interact with those who "can say it better," whatever "it" is. there are no stupid questions, and even stupid statements can be a starting point for learning, advancement, and understanding. whatever ideas or beliefs you have about the social construction of "race," they are as equally valid as anyone else's. it's a social construct, therefore, available to everyone to critique in any way they see fit. everyone.

this uncertainty you mention is something i absolutely hate. i don't know your "race," and i don't really care, but i never, ever, want people like you to be afraid/shy to express your ideas on that subject. dammit, the silence on the part of "racial moderates" is a huge part of the problem. it's why people like me aren't considered "legitimate," and why racists like duke come to stand, in the minds of many people of color, for all white people.

express yourself. if no place else, you're safe here, and i hope you know that by now.