Monday, March 24, 2008

Why You Can Hate Hillary Clinton

Politics as Sideshow - David Kurtz @ TPM

Kurtz posts an email sent in by one of TPM's readers and there's a striking quote about Sen. Clinton that I hadn't thought about before. It reframes the issue of sexism somewhat in disliking or outright hating Sen. Clinton.
"Can you hate Barack without feeling racist? It's not easy. But with Hillary it is. You can hate her without feeling sexist, because she's a Clinton."
I think this feeling is a predominant reason for why the mainstream media doesn't pull its punches when it comes to the Clintons. Sen. Clinton is not just a female senator from New York, she's also the wife of President Bill Clinton and candidate for the Presidency herself. Nearly twenty years of arguing over the Clintons has left the media with the sense that nothing is really out of bounds. Had any other woman run for president, the media would treat her with kid's gloves for fear of falling into sexism. Additionally, the animosity that the Clintons engendered during their time in the spotlight has allowed the American public to either love or hate them without reservation. Sen. Obama, on the other hand, hasn't been around long enough for a large number of people to form a solid opinion of him.
I think also that Sen. Obama has gone about things in a completely different way than either Sen. Clinton or the rest of the politicians out there so it confuses people somewhat. After the whole Reverend Wright issue came up, Sen. Obama stood up and gave one of the greatest speeches on race in America since the Civil Rights Movement. Instead of ducking and hiding, trying to evade the issue, Sen. Obama went to the mat over it. That shows a lot of guts and it's hard to hate someone who shows that kind of moxy. It's the same reason why the media still loves Sen. McCain, despite his less than stellar platform. So we're left with three people of who two do their best to make it hard to hate them while Sen. Clinton, by virtue of being Sen. Clinton, has trouble crying sexism when she has done so well for herself in the last two decades. No one is really convinced when she cries sexism because she's Hillary Clinton. Strange, I know, but the political game itself is more than strange.

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