Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Obama and Clinton

If you need something to help you make up your mind about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and you want something a little meatier than policy positions and talking points, you could do worse than to read these complementary articles in the Washington Post. Frankly, I wish I could vote for both of them. Our nation, beaten down for seven years by the incompetent and corrupt, could do much worse than to have Clinton or Obama lining up to the be the next president.


Scott Schiefelbein said...

I hated Erica Jong's column supporting Hillary. It was a self-pitying, excuse-making, silly puff piece. In other words, Hillary would never have written it.

Point 1: Jong claims Hillary has been "pilloried" for standing by Bill through his womanizing. Not true. Hillary was at her most unpopular when she made her infamous "I'm not going to be Tammy Wynette and just 'Stand by Your Man'" in the early '90s. But Hillary has never been more popular than after the Lewinsky scandal, and I never hear or read anyone discussing her dedication to her marriage as a campaign issue.

Point 2: Jong argues that a male politician would be more popular if he stood by a cheating wife. I can't think of a parallel, but I doubt it. No male politician could tolerate such an affront to his "manhood" and survive politically.

Point 3: Susan Brownmiller and Oprah are "poisonous pundits" because they support Obama. Methinks that's overheated, whiny rhetoric, based on the public statements Oprah has made.

Point 4: Jong manages to work into an article supporting Hillary that Jong, too, was Phi Beta Kappa. Who cares, you pompous twit? This is about Hillary, right?

Point 5: Jong whines that women writers are marginalized . . . except for her, of course. What, no Amazon.com link?

Point 6: Hillary is defensive because of the "beastly press." She's been, in her words, a "co-president" and is now running for president. Shouldn't the press be aggressive with her?

Point 7: Hillary has never exploited Chelsea. What planet has Jong been living on? One of the most infamous images of the Clinton presidency is the staged walk to the helicopter with Hillary and Bill each holding Chelsea's hands. One of the most cynical performances ever.

Point 8: Hillary was somehow following in the feminist tradition of "smart European and Asian women" by not leaving Bill. What tripe! I am no scholar of the feminist movement, but I never remember Betty Friedan saying, "Now, if we can just get America to the gender equality of 18th-century China or 17th-century England!" That's some high-grade weed Jong is smoking. Hillary stayed with Bill for her own reasons, and that's fine. But if you take Bill and Hillary out of the equation and you simply asked a strong feminist what an ambitious, intelligent woman should do if her husband repeatedly and publicly got caught cheating on his wife, 10 times out of 10 the feminist would say "She should leave the S.O.B." Staying with the guy would not be considered admirable.

Point 9: Jong refers to Hillary winning over the "rednecks in upstate New York." I can't recall a more dismissive, arrogant, elitist, contemptible slur in a column in the Washington Post. How is this insult support Hillary? Did Hillary call them rednecks?

Point 10: Obama is a "token." His supporters think "an Obama button will change America." He is "smart and attractive." What dismissive claptrap. Obama is a serious candidate with serious ideas for improving America. He is a strong candidate not because he is telegenic or a fire-breather, but because he is passionate, brilliant, and focused like a laser on leading this country. For Jong to casually tell him to wait his turn is the height of arrogance.

Again, this article was supposed to help Hillary? It was as pathetic as NOW's recent slam of Teddy Kennedy when he dared to support Obama, and as poorly written.

Xanthippas said...

Ha, well obviously not everyone feels the way I do. I'm not sure why some Obama supporters detest Clinton as much as Republicans do, but to each their own.

Scott Schiefelbein said...

Hey, I didn't say anything in my comment that can be taken as detesting Hillary. Please re-read my comment and I think you'll agree.

My problem is with Erica Jong's column, which I think represents a lot of the negative attributes that Hillary's haters love to attribute to her - she's elitist (note the self-promoting reference to Phi Beta Kappa and the derisive 'rednecks' slur); she stayed with her husband for her own gain (note the incredibly lame 'Asian and European women' defense); and the repeated claim that Hillary never exploits Chelsea (virtually every politician exploits their children a little bit for photo ops and the like - Chelsea was just higher profile).

Erica Jong's column was passed around my office to much hooting by Obama supporters like me and much wincing by Hillary supporters. That column was a disaster.

I don't detest Hillary - but I will never pay a red cent for one of Jong's books. Give me a real writer.