Thursday, May 15, 2008

99 Problems, Sweetie

Obama dismisses a question from a woman reporter yesterday, calling her "sweetie." As pointed out by Shakespeare's Sister, it's not the first time.

Elizabeth Edwards is notably absent from her husband's endorsement of Obama, having gone on record recently endorsing Hillary's health plan as superior. John made a point to state that his wife was not a part of his link-up with Obama.

Obama is riding high on a wave of support from Hillary-haters, most of whom do not criticize her platform, but instead resort to misogynist slurs ranging from Chris Matthews' "She-Devil" to Randi Rhodes' "fucking whore" comment. And then there's Olbermann who suggests that a super delegate should take Hillary into a room "and only he comes out," as a part of the ongoing Why Won't The Stupid Bitch Quit saga. Even Charlie Rose has chimed in on that one several times.

Shakespeare's Sister has an ongoing Hillary Sexism Watch which is now up to post #90.

Marie Cocco weighs in at the Washinton Post today:

Misogyny I Won't Miss

I will not miss seeing advertisements for T-shirts that bear the slogan “Bros before Hos.” The shirts depict Barack Obama (the Bro) and Hillary Clinton (the Ho) and are widely sold on the Internet.

I will not miss walking past airport concessions selling the Hillary Nutcracker

I won’t miss episodes like the one in which liberal radio personality Randi Rhodes called Clinton a “big [expletive] whore”…

I won’t miss [nice use of anaphora!] Citizens United Not Timid (no acronym, please), an anti-Clinton group founded by Republican guru Roger Stone.

I won’t miss political commentators (including National Public Radio political editor Ken Rudin and Andrew Sullivan, the columnist and blogger) who compare Clinton to the Glenn Close character in the movie “Fatal Attraction.”

The airwaves will at last be free of comments that liken Clinton to a “she-devil” (Chris Matthews on MSNBC, who helpfully supplied an on-screen mock-up of Clinton sprouting horns). Or those who offer that she’s “looking like everyone’s first wife standing outside a probate court” (Mike Barnicle, also on MSNBC).

But perhaps it is not wives who are so very problematic. Maybe it’s mothers. Because, after all, Clinton is more like “a scolding mother, talking down to a child” (Jack Cafferty on CNN).

When all other images fail, there is one other I will not miss. That is, the down-to-the-basics, simplest one: “White women are a problem, that’s — you know, we all live with that” (William Kristol of Fox News).

Most of all, I will not miss the silence.

I will not miss the deafening, depressing silence of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean or other leading Democrats, who to my knowledge (with the exception of Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland) haven’t publicly uttered a word of outrage at the unrelenting, sex-based hate that has been hurled at a former first lady and two-term senator from New York. Among those holding their tongues are hundreds of Democrats for whom Clinton has campaigned and raised millions of dollars. Don Imus endured more public ire from the political class when he insulted the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

Would the silence prevail if Obama's likeness were put on a tap-dancing doll that was sold at airports? Would the media figures who dole out precious face time to these politicians be such pals if they'd compared Obama with a character in a blaxploitation film? And how would crude references to Obama's sex organs play?

There are many reasons Clinton is losing the nomination contest, some having to do with her strategic mistakes, others with the groundswell for "change." But for all Clinton's political blemishes, the darker stain that has been exposed is the hatred of women that is accepted as a part of our culture.

Obama has played into this theme with his mime of the rapper Jay-Z's 99 Problems(but a bitch ain't one) during one of his campaign speeches, to the delight of his supporters.

I guess there are at least 99 reasons why my vote for Obama will be half-hearted in the fall, if it comes down to that.