Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What is Hillary Thinking?

Hillary Clinton supporters flocked to the Democratic Rules and Credentials Committee meeting in Washington over the weekend, to protest pretty much whatever was bound to happen there. And, well, from what I can see on tv, they really acted kind of crazy.

Hillary Supporters Fly In

Why do they hate Obama so much? And why the bad manners? It looks to me like Obama has been going out of his way to be gracious all along, while Hillary and her gang just persist in being rude and obnoxious. Check out this angry gal:

She's really mad!

None of this makes sense. If Hillary is such a strong candidate, and Obama is so weak, then why can't she beat him? And why all the complaining about the rules? Hillary and Bill had all kinds of input on these rules. Obama had zero input on the rules. But he seems to have read them and figured out how to win. Isn't that a good thing? Does this remind anyone of Hillary's Iraq NIE misfeasance? Aside from being fair, I think it's a valid indicator of competence.

All of this Hillary Anger seems to be tied to a sense of feminist resentment that is peculiar to Hillary's supporters. I don't remember any such emotions playing out so vividly when Elizabeth Dole ran for President. Until now it seemed simply amusing that Hillary continues to campaign with a straight face. But something more is going on. The borderline fanaticism of Hillary and her supporters on insisting that she is "better," their fury over her losing, mixed in with negative references to racial and class differences, and the overarching belief that the nomination is somehow being taken from her because she's a woman, have all brewed into a bitter gestalt with a momentum all it's own. It's boiling over and I don't know if even Hillary can contain it and bring her supporters back to the party in time to win in November. If she even intends to.
Meanwhile, look at what has happened to John McCain in the past nine months. For all of the press apathy toward his campaign, he has maintained a steady upward momentum. If the Democrats screw this up enough, he'll be there to take it from them in November.
If Obama wants to be a uniter, then he has a good challenge right now with his own party. And it's the women he needs to placate. The older feminists seem the most upset. He's been playing it cool by not attacking Hillary or gloating over his lead in delegates, but that's not enough. He needs to start actively and publicly reaching out to other women in the party who are in elections this year. That way he is going direct, and not allowing Hillary to become a de facto intermediary between him and large blocks of women voters.

Here's a list of women in Congress he should be talking to:

Tammy Baldwin, (Democrat-Wisconsin)
Melissa Bean, (Democrat-Illinois)
Shelley Berkley, (Democrat-Nevada)
Madeleine Z. Bordallo, (Democrat-Guam)
Nancy Boyda, (Democrat-Kansas)
Corrine Brown, (Democrat-Florida)
Lois Capps, (Democrat-California)
Julia May Carson, (Democrat-Indiana)1
Kathy Castor, (Democrat-Florida)
Donna M. Christensen, (Democrat-Virgin Islands)
Yvette D. Clarke, (Democrat-New York)
Susan A. Davis, (Democrat-California)
Diana L. DeGette, (Democrat-Colorado)
Rosa DeLauro, (Democrat-Connecticut)
Anna Georges Eshoo, (Democrat-California)
Gabrielle Giffords, (Democrat-Arizona)
Kirsten Gillibrand, (Democrat-New York)
Jane F. Harman, (Democrat-California)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, (Democrat-South Dakota)
Mazie Hirono, (Democrat-Hawaii)
Darlene K. Hooley, (Democrat-Oregon)
Sheila Jackson-Lee, (Democrat-Texas)
Eddie Bernice Johnson, (Democrat-Texas)
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, (Democrat-Ohio)
Marcia C. (Marcy) Kaptur, (Democrat-Ohio)
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, (Democrat-Michigan)
Barbara Lee, (Democrat-California)
Zoe Lofgren, (Democrat-California)
Nita M. Lowey, (Democrat-New York)
Carolyn B. Maloney, (Democrat-New York)
Doris Matsui, (Democrat-California)
Carolyn McCarthy, (Democrat-New York)
Betty McCollum, (Democrat-Minnesota)
Juanita Millender-McDonald, (Democrat-California)2
Gwen Moore, (Democrat-Wisconsin)
Grace Napolitano, (Democrat-California)
Eleanor Holmes Norton, (Democrat-The District Of Columbia)
Nancy Pelosi, (Democrat-California)
Laura Richardson, (Democrat-California)
Lucille Roybal-Allard, (Democrat-California)
Linda T. Sánchez, (Democrat-California)
Loretta Sanchez, (Democrat-California)
Janice Schakowsky, (Democrat-Illinois)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (Democrat-Florida)
Allyson Schwartz, (Democrat-Pennsylvania)
Carol Shea-Porter, (Democrat-New Hampshire)
Louise M. Slaughter, (Democrat-New York)
Hilda L. Solis, (Democrat-California)
Jackie Speier, (Democrat-California)
Betty Sutton, (Democrat-Ohio)
Ellen O’Kane Tauscher, (Democrat-California)
Nicola S. (Niki) Tsongas, (Democrat-Massachusetts)
Nydia M. Velázquez, (Democrat-New York)
Maxine Waters, (Democrat-California)
Diane Edith Watson, (Democrat-California)
Lynn C. Woolsey, (Democrat-California)

Barbara Boxer, (Democrat-California)
Maria E. Cantwell, (Democrat-Washington)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, (Democrat-New York)
Dianne Feinstein, (Democrat-California)
Amy Klobuchar, (Democrat-Minnesota)
Mary Landrieu, (Democrat-Louisiana)
Blanche Lambert Lincoln, (Democrat-Arkansas)
Claire McCaskill, (Democrat-Missouri)
Barbara Ann Mikulski, (Democrat-Maryland)
Patty Murray, (Democrat-Washington)
Deborah A. Stabenow, (Democrat-Michigan)

We will have a woman President. It's just a matter of when. And of course, who.
Lookee here, examples from other countries for a little inspiration:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Feminism has gone global. Let's not let Hillary burn down the house by confusing her personal political ambition with the progress of women in American politics. Our country has too many important things to do.

Word of the Day - "Strasbourg-goosed"


Well, I don't really know if such a hyphenated compound word constitutes a single word, but since it's late I'll just call it a "term" and deem terms eligible for recognition here in this category.
Once again we are exploring words provided by Dick Cavett's blog. I'm not sure why I read Dick's blog. It's only good about half the time, which I know isn't a bad average. But, he writes with an intimacy and a modest confidence that he's being entertaining, in the way that friends are confident that their friends will listen to each other's jokes and stories with sympathetic ears.
But back to our word of the day. "Strasbourg-goosed." Dick has used this reference twice in his blog, to much criticism the first time around, when he merely referred to a Strasbourg goose to describe the ubiquitous fatness of our general public. Well, I sort of agree with him, but the fatties sure got mad.

Toulouse Goose

This past week, Dick used the phrase as a verb for the endless force feeding of Presidential election campaign news upon the reading public. Then, as he is wont, he abruptly changed the subject to old man reminiscences of his childhood.

But I, like Dick, digress . . .

Strasbourg is a small city in France (sometimes Germany) on the German border. It's known for it's universities, air pollution, and fois gras, which is French for "fat liver" of a goose or (less desirably) a duck. Not to be confused with Mardi gras, which means "fat Tuesday."

So, anyway, the real point is that to get the goose liver to be fat, and therefore suitable for gourmet consumption as fois gras, the goose is force-fed by sticking a tube down it's throat and pumping in corn meal. Some countries find this practice gross and forbid it. Fois gras was very popular in ancient Egypt and, later, Rome. But it fell out of use during the middle ages, except in Strasbourg, where the locals kept the custom alive. And now it is more popular than ever!

Fois Gras

So, all that to tell you that to be "Strasbourg-goosed" is to be force-fed, metaphorically we hope.