Thursday, March 06, 2008
Okay, so shoot me. If it isn't already abundantly clear, I'm for Ms. Hillary as the Democratic Candidate for the next President of these United States.
She's highly intelligent, politically savvy, experienced, seasoned and tested.
And, yes. She's a Bitch.
Put a 'capitol B' on that word, please. Because of all of the adjectives above.
'Bitch' has come to describe a strong woman who knows who she is and what she wants and is willing to work hard in order to achieve her goals. You know, just like men. Except, they are described as 'self-directed', 'goal oriented', and 'successful.'
I'll leave that essay about the next level of sexism for another time. Right now, I want to talk about the dilemma I'm struggling with: the nomination for Democratic presidential candidate. In talking with many Democrats - male and female - I know I'm not alone in this.
Look, I'm as excited as anyone else about the Democratic slate. An African American and a woman! Women of a certain age never thought it would be possible in our life time. And, there she is. There he is. My, my, my. Whodathunk it? It's certainly cause for great celebration - and, yes, hope.
I admit, I'm worried (Ready?). I'm worried that Mr. Obama is going to win the nomination.
Not that I don't want an African American or a man to win. It's that I want a Democratic candidate to win.
My real concern is that Mr. Obama can't win.
I admit, I'm worried (Aim!). I am very concerned about the fact that while he's obviously 'all that' - intelligent, self-directed, goal-oriented and successful - he is not seasoned, experienced or tested. He's a junior senator with no international experience, for goodness sake! He needs more seasoning. More experience. More testing.
He's got lots and lots and lots of charisma, of this there can be no doubt. Suddenly, I feel like that feisty old woman in those commercials for Wendy's Hamburgers. I listen to him and I find myself asking, "Where's the beef?"
So much of what we know about both candidates is what we read in the papers, and what I'm reading about both candidates smells like old fish. Susan Russell sent me the article below, which I append for your consideration. It's much of what I have suspected all along.
I like Mr. Obama. It's not that. I want an African American to be President. It's not that. I don't mind having another man as President of the United States. It's not that.
It's this: While she is far from perfect, as far as I'm concerned, the only really qualified candidate we have for the kind of change we need is Ms. Hillary.
So, here it is: (Get ready to fire!). If Mr. Obama wins the Democratic nomination, I just may have to vote for Mr. McCain.
Never mind. Put down your guns. If I had to do that I'd probably shoot myself first. At this point, however, I'm seriously considering the possibility of voting for a Republican President for the first time in my life.
Not because he's Republican, but because if Mr. Obama is the Democratic candidate, Mr. McCain is going to win anyway. It brings me no joy to say that he probably should. There is simply no contest between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain.
Change for the sake of change is not good enough. These are dangerous times - politically, economically, and internationally. We need someone who is seasoned. Experienced. Tested. Mr. Obama is not. Mr. McCain is.
And, Mr. McCain is certainly smarter that the present incumbent. Further, he has earned a reputation for sitting down and talking with Democrats. He's a reasonable Republican. Just the fact that the Religious Right hates him is almost reason enough for me to like him.
But, Ms. Hillary? She's all that and more. More importantly, she can win against Mr. McCain. Then again, what do I know. I'm just a woman.
Here's the bottom line, for me: If she's not the candidate, well, as far as I'm concerned, it's all over but the crying. I'm sure there are those who are for Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain who are saying the same thing.
You wouldn't know that from reading the papers. Well, here. Read this. Okay, it's one perspective, but I think it's a voice that is being suppressed in the 'free press'.
I know I'm going to pick up a lot of heat for this, but there it is. Tell me what you think.
The Uppity Woman has just unfurled her 'Bitch' flag. Target practice has officially begun.
(With apologies to my sisters and brothers who work hard against that militaristic imagery. Find me a better metaphor and I'll use it, but for me, it fits. You just wait and see.)
When it comes to news about candidates, few people really know what they are getting
By Ellen Snortland 02/28/2008
American news consumers are double-crossed by the mainstream press all the time. The Latin phrase, "caveat emptor," or "buyer beware," is particularly apt for news consumption. As news consumers, how do you know what's missing if it's missing? I've seen press bias about Hillary Clinton (and other powerful women) my entire professional life. How do you impact a biased media without access to the media? Double standards and double binds abound!
Here's a recent, relatively small yet highly emblematic example: I was eager to attend the Feb. 2 Hillary Clinton rally at Cal State LA. I arrived around 7:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. start time. I had forgotten to apply for a press pass, so I was prepared to stand in line. At the entrance to the main gym, I was thrilled to see that people of every color, age, size and yes, both genders, were waiting. "Wow," I thought, "Is it possible there won't be room in the auditorium?"
Looking for the end of the line, I kept walking. I grew more choked up as I walked. People were engaged in the democratic process. They were on fire, inspired and eager to support Sen. Clinton. This is exactly like the crowds the media covers showing up for Sen. Barack Obama. They cared enough to take a precious Saturday morning to participate in the selection of the next president of the United States. I saw remote news vans. OK, finally, the Clinton camp will get some decent coverage. How is it possible that I can still be so naïve after all these years of being a part of the media, albeit the alternative media?
Finally, I arrived at the end of the line. I realized I was not going to get into the gym. Fortunately, I let a friend of mine, MJ - who had a sprained ankle and was using a cane - stand with me in line so she wouldn't have to hike even further. An hour later, a campaign volunteer pulled people out of the line who needed handicapped access. I got to accompany MJ and made it into the rally.
The place was packed to the rafters and smelled of the sports gyms of my youth: that unmistakable mix of maple flooring and packed bodies. They had to set up an overflow area outside for the thousands of people who could not get in. I stood shoulder to shoulder with a crowd that actually looked like the population of America. The press bleachers were packed. "There's no way the press is going to be able to ignore the inspirational impact that Hillary has on people," I thought.
Her speech was exhilarating, as were those of her endorsers: US Rep. Maxine Waters, Sally Field, Magic Johnson, Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers ... the list is too long for this column. Our cheers were deafening. The rafters literally shook. The chants: "Hillary, Hillary, Hillary" or "Si, se puede!" (An AP reporter, David Espo, reported recently that "Si, se puede" is a translation of Obama's "Yes, we can," when almost any progressive from California knows the United Farm Workers and other labor activists have been chanting "Si, se puede" for decades.)
I left refueled. I tuned into news with great expectations. Alas, the Hillary event was reported in the most tedious manner possible, if at all. No mention of the packed crowd, no "sound bites" from her stellar line-up of endorsers, no sounds of the rapturous, gigantic crowd. No mention of the overflow. Meanwhile, the Obama rally on the same day was reported with words like "raucous," and "packed," with the ambient sound of the chanting crowd of passionate Obama supporters. How do you know what's missing if it's missing? If I hadn't been there to witness it myself, from the news reports I would have concluded the Clinton event was virtually empty.
Later, a so-called liberal talk show host "spun" the event at Cal State LA to be Latino vs. African American. Excuse me? Why the intentional creation of conflict? There were plenty of African Americans - again, men and women - in that gym. Excuse me? Who is spinning what? When people support Clinton, it does not mean they are anti-Obama or anti-African American.
When I covered the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, I witnessed the impact Clinton had on gigantic crowds. She had them on fire. What did US readers get? More column inches on OJ Simpson and prosecutor Marcia Clark's hair. I have heard a news producer's directions to "Get a picture of that ugly woman," to represent a crowd full of all sorts of people when he was covering a feminist demonstration. You get the idea.
Do you think I could get this Cal State LA story published in the mainstream press? The irony is that if I suddenly became one of those "anti-feminist" female columnists, I'd bet you I'd be syndicated in no time.
Buyer beware, you're being sold on some ideas that are ultimately double-crossing all of us.