The Talking Dog

March 31, 2008, The Slog...

That's referring to primary season, of course... which takes a much unneeded lull, as we are still around 3 weeks away from Pennsylvania, fwiw, which isn't much. The surrogates will call for Sen. Clinton to drop out, and Chris Hitchens will call for Sen. Clinton to drop dead, such as this post, more or less upping criticism for her... missteps... concerning her not-so-dangerous trip to Bosnia, and going to largely blaming her for the Bosnian genocide!

Hitch's post comes close to demonstrating a problem that Zuzu nails in one (albeit a lengthy one) in this post ("why calling out misogyny matters"); some money lines:

So, having listed my feminist bona fides, allow me to explain why calling out the misogynist shit thrown at Hillary Clinton, even if you think that Clinton is a party-destroying, warmongering succubus feeding at the corporate teat, is important. The Wall Street Journal has helpfully provided a framework for discussion:
When Sen. Clinton started her presidential campaign more than a year ago, she said she wanted to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling. But many of her supporters see something troubling in the sometimes bitter resistance to her campaign and the looming possibility of her defeat: a seeming backlash against the opportunities women have gained….

But her campaign has also prompted slurs and inflammatory language that many women thought had been banished from public discourse. Some women worry that regardless of how the election turns out, the resistance to Sen. Clinton may embolden some men to resist women’s efforts to share power with them in business, politics and elsewhere.

This is why I continue to call out the use of misogyny and sexist insults in this campaign. It’s not so much that I’m defending Clinton (though I think she’s getting an unfair shake in the media and in the blogosphere, and that annoys me), but that I’m calling this shit out because this shit hurts women. Women like me. Women like many of you. Women like your daughters, your sisters, your mothers, your friends, your spouses, your SOs. If it’s okay to dehumanize a US Senator and presidential candidate as “that thing” or dismiss her as “that bitch,” or set up a 527 called “Citizens United Not Timid” (aka C.U.N.T.) to “educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is,” then we now have an environment in which it’s okay to dehumanize, demean and diminish ordinary women because they’re women.

In short, the Obama candidacy has benefitted from the fact that it is, thankfully, uncool in any kind of polite society (and that includes Wall Street trading floors and locker rooms) to express openly racist sentiments. Alas, it still seems that there are large swathes of this society where it is perfectly cool to express, if not to espouse, openly sexist or outright misogynistic sentiments. This is most unfortunate. More unfortunate still that Sen. Clinton is herself such a divisive figure as to invite this sort of thing, but the fact that while Hillary Clinton may be a seemingly inviting target of this... Zuzu's point is that no one, ever, ever, deserves this kind of crap. No. One. Not. Even. Hillary.

In some sense, that is another major and humongous failure of all of us, but especially of the political classes this year. None of the Democrats, to be sure, should have tolerated attacks of a misogynistic nature against Sen. Clinton. They are unfair, and dehumanizing to all of us (and as Hitchens reminds us, entirely unnecessary!) And it was Sen. McCain himself-- the man who Sen. Clinton unforgivably lauded in the course of her pre-TX and OH denigrating of Sen. Obama-- who didn't miss a beat in describing "how we beat the bitch" (he sure as hell did not chide the disrespectful and misogynistic sentiment.)

I have not been shy about my favoring Sen. Obama's candidacy over Sen. Clinton's, at this point... but we are all diminished in standing by while the national discourse is debased.