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AdLib On February - 8 - 2016

Hillary Albright

For much of her life, Hillary has been focused on women’s issues and has taken some remarkable steps with regards to them. For example, in 1995, Hillary attended the United Nation’s Fourth Women’s Conference in Bejing, China to campaign for women’s rights which was an unprecedented and bold move for a First Lady, and delivered the memorable quote, “Women’s rights are human rights”.

She also invested herself as First Lady in the passage of the SCHIP program which provided federal health care for six million children in low income homes, providing critical support for many single mothers among others.

Whether people support Hillary or not, it wouldn’t be fair minded to dispute that she has taken a variety of stands along the way to support women’s rights and has been a positive symbol of feminism to many.

Which is why Hillary Clinton has been justifiably frustrated by polling that shows young women preferring to support Bernie Sanders instead of her. What is questionable though is whether the way she is using the gender card to try and turn that dynamic around to her favor, is helpful or will backfire.

Hillary has been employing a common political tactic that many politicians use but in this year when voters disdain political game playing and with a particular weakness Hillary has, it may have the opposite effect of what is intended.

She repeatedly affirms that she will not play the gender card to get votes while she and her campaign double down on it. She knows it would be viewed as shallow and unseemly for her to openly campaign on the simplistic platform of, “All women need to vote for me because I’m a woman” but she apparently believes that if she simply denies that she is actually campaigning that way, it will work for her.

This is a risky approach to begin with but set in front of a backdrop of polls showing that a majority of Americans question Hillary’s honesty, presenting such an obvious untruth, that she is not trying to get women to vote for her because she’s a woman, is even riskier. Many of the young women who are voting for Bernie Sanders are doing so because they believe that he is more genuine than Hillary. The basic proposition is, if young women felt Hillary came off as earnest in supporting virtually all of Bernie’s positions, why wouldn’t they vote for Hillary and get a two for one deal instead?

This is completely anecdotal but today on tv, I saw one young woman in New Hampshire being questioned as to why she prefers Bernie instead of Hillary and the history-making Presidency she represents for women. Her answer was that the way Hillary communicates comes off like a politician and that Bernie comes across to her as real and authentic. That sensibility seems to make sense for many young women who are supporting Bernie over Hillary, it’s about supporting who they think would truly pursue the policies they want to see pursued regardless of that person’s age or gender. So, they and Hillary supporters who are supporting her based on her policies and experience would seem to be more enlightened than any who would vote for Hillary simply because she’s a woman (women voters had a chance to have Sarah Palin as the first woman VP in 2008 and Michele Bachmann as President in 2012 if the only factor was voting for a woman but they were too smart for that!).

On Friday, Hillary appeared at a rally with a number of women senators and Madeline Albright, referring to them as her “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits” (yet Hillary flatly denies she is trying to use her gender to get votes and that she is part of “the establishment”). It was at this rally when Madeleine Albright coined her well known phrase, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” but in this context, it was essentially damning women as traitors who dared to support Bernie instead of Hillary.

Later that night, Gloria Steinem was a guest on Real Time With Bill Maher and expressed that young women aren’t supporting Hillary because they are shallow and just following after the boys who support Bernie.

Ironically, it is the Hillary campaign and elitist Hillary surrogates who are exhibiting a type of sexism, insulting the intelligence of young women for not being sheep and shallow, for not choosing a Presidential candidate based solely on gender and for trusting their own minds and opinions to make decisions.

Anyone who remembers what happened in 2008 in New Hampshire may have guessed what would have happened this time around. In 2008, coming off a crippling defeat in Iowa to Barack Obama, Hillary came back against the odds to win in New Hampshire. What was credited in turning around New Hampshire for her was an emotional (genuine or not) campaign stop at a diner where Hillary expressed sadness about how she had only wanted to run to help people but that it was so hard to deal with the setbacks she was suffering.

She was appealing to women voters in a way they related to, a woman struggling emotionally with setbacks from a male dominated system and that moment resonated with them and they helped her win a surprise victory in the New Hampshire primary.

Call me cynical but I expected that the sensibility of, “If it worked once, it will work again” would be in the minds of Hillary’s campaign (especially with her being so far down in the polls again) so I have been waiting for the “victimized” moment to come. And it did, over the weekend and continuing through today, linked of course to the gender card as it was in 2008.

Bill Clinton is leading this year’s victimhood push in New Hampshire (if this wasn’t a calculated political move, why didn’t Hillary address this herself?), with Hillary and the rest of her campaign marching beside him. He has resurrected that tone deaf outrage that served him and Hillary so poorly in 2008 against Obama, now claiming that Bernie’s “Bros” (male supporters) are all over the internet attacking Hillary in sexist ways and he lays the personal responsibility for those people’s actions on Bernie Sanders. In other words, in Clintonworld, if any supporters of an opponent posts something offensive, it is the responsibility of that opponent. Of course, the same would never be true for Hillary.

It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that there are jerks who support every campaign and write offensive comments against those supporting an opponent to their candidate. I can quote outrageous and demeaning comments from Hillary supporters, Bernie supporters and almost in every case, Trump supporters. I haven’t seen Bernie’s campaign accuse Hillary of being responsible for her supporters’ comments that are anti-semetic, ageist or sexist towards him and they’ve been right not to do so.

Yet, as part of the strategy to use the gender card, Bill, Hillary and their campaign are now trying to smear Bernie (once again) as sexist…and outrageously, not because of anything he’s actually done or said himself. For the record, it is disputed that this is even a “thing”, not that there haven’t been offensive comments made by Bernie (and Hillary) supporters along the way, just that sexist comments aren’t as rampant as Bill and Hillary are attempting to claim.

Being too smart to argue the veracity of the claim, Bernie came out quickly to harshly condemn any of his supporters who use sexist comments towards Hillary to try and stop this strategy dead in its tracks.

And BTW, when some of Hillary’s supporters in 2008 were inspired by her Rev. Wright attacks on Obama to post racist comments around the internet, Hillary didn’t step in to stop them. Not that she had to do so but it does come off as a bit…”inconsistent”…to express outrage at Bernie now and to have been just fine when the situation was reversed in 2008.

This bogus smear (Hillary has repeatedly used the word “smear” against Bernie for simply repeating her own words about being a moderate…when someone projects something on others, watch for them to be the one guilty of it) is part and parcel of the mercenary style of campaigning we’ve seen from Bill Clinton during his political career and Hillary when she ran against Obama in 2008 so it’s not surprising. But it is questionable. Have they learned nothing from 2008 when it comes to contrived attacks and scenarios? They turned so many independents and possible Hillary Dems away from them because such tactics make Hillary look calculating, less honest and more unlikable.

Consider the bottom line of the response by the Hillary campaign to addressing the issue of a majority of young women preferring to support Bernie (and Hillary knows she needs them to win). The effort has been to launch a campaign of insults and attacks against young women, calling them shallow and traitors who should go to hell unless they vote for Hillary. If they already view Hillary in negative terms, does the Hillary campaign really think insulting them is the way to win them over? Might it not be viewed by young women as doubly insulting since the implication is that they are weak minded and can be convinced to change their minds through such a transparently manipulative way?

This attempt by Hillary to use the gender card might work to turn some young women towards her but it might instead validate the feelings of the majority of young women who feel disconnected from Hillary because of the way she conducts herself.

Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long. The New Hampshire primary is tomorrow and the question as to whether this tactic has been successful will be reflected by the results.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

36 Responses so far.

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  1. kesmarn says:

    If anyone is interested in a very well-written, witty (if scorching) representation of a millennial feminist woman’s opinions on this issue here’s an article that will get you fired up (on one side or the other):


    • monicaangela says:

      Excellent article Kes! I agree wholeheartedly with what this person has to say, and I am far from a millennial. The younger generation has finally decided to take the time to look at what is happening in our government, maybe out of a subconscious need for self preservation because of climate change, the recent economic crash, and the incessant call to war by the billionaires and those that continue to fall for the “be afraid, be very afraid tactic.” The millennials have lived under stricter surveillance in this FREE country than any generation since slavery. I admire the younger women I converse with when I hear them explain their reasoning for wanting to see Bernie Sanders elected to the office of the presidency. I believe they get it. I believe they realize the establishment has completely sold out to the oligarchs in this nation and around the world. I especially enjoyed her description of the fact that Bernie has been trying to open the eyes of the population in this country for years:

      “If Millennials are coming out in droves to support Bernie Sanders, it’s not because we are tripping balls on Geritol. No, Sanders’s clever strategy of shouting the exact same thing for 40 years simply strikes a chord among the growing number of us who now agree: Washington is bought. And every time Goldman Sachs buys another million-dollar slice of the next American presidency, we can’t help but drop the needle onto Bernie’s broken record:

      The economy is rigged.

      Democracy is corrupted.

      The billionaires are on the warpath.”


      • kesmarn says:

        Monica, I loved the line about “Bernie’s clever strategy of saying the exact same thing for 40 years.”

        This woman can write!

        One of my other friends did make the point that millennials have tended to be conspicuously absent at the voting booths in those important mid-term elections, so they have little ground for scolding their elders. Okay — point well taken. But there’s much worth thinking about in her article too.

        • Fergie1 says:

          I whole heartedly agree with your friend Kes re “millennials have tended to be conspicuously absent at the voting booths in those important mid-term elections”. Of course it wasn’t only millennials who were absent, but what a difference they could have made. I cannot give them a pass on that.

    • Fergie1 says:

      Witty indeed Kes! Just one point. I’m way over baby boomers being labelled the cause of all ills and how we had it SO easy. What a load of crap. I lived in San Francisco, went to University (USF) with a partial scholarship, worked three jobs, whilst taking 18 Units a quarter to be able to graduate in 3 1/3 years because I needed to help my Mom financially. My Dad died whe I was 5 years old. It wasn’t easy getting a job in San Francisco,as there were few sectors to choose from. If you had the money to continue on to Law School, or the extra year required in California to become a teacher, then you probably did OK. I managed to get on the Dean’s List somehow (!) and was entered into “Who’s Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges” 1968. And I’m not the only one who gave it their all and had responsibilities. Many, of my colleagues had to do as much to get an education.

      So yes, I say I could be seen to be fired up by this article. We too had idealism, working for George McGovern in the hopes that a good, intelligent person would be elected. We too had dreams and hopes. My prediction is that if Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, we will have a Republican in the WH. It won’t affect us much, but it sure will affect future generations. SCOTUS appointments for one, the ACA for another, foreign policy and our standing in the world. I could go on. Hillary has her flaws, so does Bernie, we all do (yes, I know we are not all running for POTUS!), but I’m not willing to take the chance that a Republican is elected.

      If you honestly think that Bernie Sanders can accomplish what Barack Obama could not, IMHO, you are deluded. Obama did amazing things, despite the obstruction he faced and he will go down as one of the best Presidents of all time. He will be missed. Free College, Universal Health Care etc. RIGHT! And these are going to be approved by Congress and paid for by……?

      C’est tout!

      • kesmarn says:

        Meant to add also, Fergie — I am so impressed by the hard work and persistence you put into the process of getting your degree! You really deserve to be commended! I didn’t have a free ride, by any means, but I was fortunate in having both parents there during the struggle. It’s true — contrary to popular myth — the Boomer generation has not been carried through life on little fluffy soft pillows!

        • Fergie1 says:

          Thank you very much for your compliment Kes. I’m pretty sure that you know that I wasn’t tooting my own horn but I have a need to say that. The reason that I included that in my comment was as a concrete example of reality. I felt a little uncomfortable sharing my personal experience, but it was necessary in order to explain my reasons for being ‘fired up’ about this article!

      • kesmarn says:

        I am right with you on protesting against Boomers being dubbed the source of all evil, Fergie. It wasn’t Boomers who developed and used the atomic bomb, had a love affair with DDT that poisoned the earth and streams in so many areas, and blithely waltzed into unwinnable wars like Korea. That would be the so-called Greatest Generation.

        Boomers were — however — involved in the Civil Rights movement, the first environmental protection movements, women’s liberation and anti-Vietnam protests. Which doesn’t make that generation perfect, but does balance out the picture a bit.

        I’m not so sure, though, that Bernie is doomed to be defeated by any GOP candidate. When we consider that the GOP has alienated many African Americans, quite a number of women, most Hispanic folks, virtually all Muslims, college kids/grads struggling with debt and anyone who is interested in peace and rationality — do they have a majority left?

        A huge number of voters under 40 do not view the word “socialist” as a pejorative the way that older people were conditioned to.

        As for the lofty goals of free college education and single-payer medical care, it’s true Bernie can’t get those things done single-handedly. But I can’t fault him for aiming so high. If other countries can do it — are doing it, in fact — there’s no reason the US should say it’s impossible and just “settle.”

        I think the millennials are weary with “settling.” They’re had enough of half-loaves. They’re ready for revolution, and maybe the corporados should thank their lucky stars that they seem to crave a non-violent political revolution.

      • Nirek says:

        Fergie, you and I don’t seem to agree on this issue. I’m a boomer and didn’t get to go to colege, I was drafted. When I got home from Vietnam I knew that war was the wrong way to solve differences with other countries.

        Hillary voted for war in Iraq, Bernie voted against it. That alone makes me like Bernie better as a potential president. There are several other reasons why I prefer Bernie. He has a great agenda that when he is elected he will use the power of the people to bring congress into line.

        Bernie has ways to pay for all his ideas. Sure it may take a while to get everything done (nothing happens fast in the government). But think of the jobs that will be created when we start rebuilding our infrastructure.

        Do you think that loopholes in the tax code are fair? Bernie wants to close them. Hewants the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes. Corporations, too!

        Hillary is part of the problem, noot the solution. She wants to continue the way things are. She doesn’t want to try to make things better.

        I could go on Fergie, but I don’t want to ailinate you.


        • Fergie1 says:

          Don’t worry Nirek my friend, you won’t ever alienate me! We just agree to disagree. My support for Hillary is a pragmatic realist’s support. And everyone is entitled to their opinion. The best outcome is for people to be engaged in the process and to educate themselves about who is the most likely to achieve what for the betterment of the country,and I’m sure not talking about the betterment of the 1% ers!!

          Peace to you!

        • monicaangela says:

          Excellent comment Nirek! We must also remember the fact that Bernie Sanders is at least willing to tackle the problem while Hillary Clinton is constantly touting the fact that we should be happy with what we have. She continues to say incremental change is all we are going to get…What a defeatist attitude, or maybe it is her way of saying you aren’t going to get anything to alleviate the hold the billionaires have on our government, so just become accustomed to it, and when there is an opportunity, if I can, I’ll throw you a bone to alleviate some of your suffering.

          Did you notice in her concession speech last night she tried to act as though she was against big money in politics? She actually didn’t say get big money out of politics, she said get dark money out of politics…there is a huge difference in the meaning of the two. She is satisfied with billionaires buying elections, she just feels she/we should know where the money is coming from. Bernie is for elections funded by the governed, in effect, he is against Citizens United…Hillary, not so much. 🙂

      • pinkpantheroz says:

        Tres Formidable, ma Fergie! Of course us Boomers got everything handed to us on a plate after the devastation of WWII. The Gummint paid for absolutely everything and we were all on welfare and didn’t do a thing, except conceive other generations of greedy, grabbing wimps who couldn’t wipe their noses unless Mommy was there. We could actually get a bus across town at age 10 without Family Services being called. Boomers did NOT cause the Recesssion. Our kids and grandkids did. My buck’s worth ( 10c taking inflation into account!)

  2. Fergie1 says:

    I’m actually MAD at Albright and Steinem saying what they did. I’m seriously PO’d off!
    I’m not a Millennial by any stretch but I think that Albright and Steinem diminished women by what they said. What were they thinking?! I’m particularly surprised by Albright. I would never vote for anyone based on gender. IMHO, absurd and less than an intelligent way to vote for anyone. Would either of the above women say the same thing if they were Republicans suggesting that women should vote for Fiorina? And as you pointed out Ad, the same could be said for Bachmann and Palin! Aaaggghhh!

    I say this as a supporter of Hillary Clinton but an admirer of Bernie Sanders.

  3. kesmarn says:

    This is a really remarkable conversation, and one of the things that makes PlanetPOV the best place on earth for political conversations.

    Last night (before I turned the television off due to temporary political burnout) one of the pundits in a group who were discussing Madeline Albright’s (and Gloria Steinem’s) comments said: “Any time in politics, when someone tries to “guilt” people into voting for a given candidate, it virtually never works.”

    I think that’s true.

    I really, really admire Steinem (she’s from Toledo, OH after all), Albright and Hillary in many ways. What they’ve accomplished takes more chutzpa and endurance than I could ever have mustered in a lifetime. And — in truth — I think Madeline Albright made her comment in a somewhat light-hearted tone, although the message was still meant to hit home with younger feminists. As with everything else in this campaign season, it has certainly been parsed and analyzed to death.

    But I think millennial women are almost inevitably going to be offended by those comments (at the same time that they’re more than a little baffled as to where they’re coming from…they simply did not grow up in the Albright-Steinem era).

    As a woman, seeing the inauguration of a woman president in my lifetime is important to me too. But it’s not the most important thing to me. The older I get, the more I’m convinced that economic factors and conditions are at the root of virtually all forms of discrimination and oppression. If those factors and conditions can be addressed, greater justice will follow in many, many different (and sometimes unexpected ways).

    I can’t recall who said it, but a Black woman was quoted recently as commenting: “I can’t make you love me, but I can see to it that you are compelled to treat me fairly.”

    There it is. Economic justice — once achieved — is much more than half the battle won for social justice.

    And which candidate is pushing most forcefully for economic justice? At this point, I believe it’s Bernie Sanders. If Elizabeth Warren were running in this primary season, the fact that she is also a woman would put me over the top. And she would have gotten my vote. But she would have gotten it primarily because of her record on economic justice. I think millennial women feel the same way about her. They love her. Because she’s a feminist? Possibly. But more likely because she understands the difficulties that they face — and always has.

    I will most certainly vote for Hillary if she’s the candidate, but I can’t deny that her corporate ties worry me. I understand what she’s saying when she says that “everybody does it” (accepts money from Wall Street and corporate donors), but if there’s one thing that we all have learned over time about Wall Streeters and corporate executives it’s that they rarely invest money in any venture without expecting a return on their investment.

    When Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs said that he viewed people like Bernie Sanders as “dangerous,” that was the best endorsement I could possibly have heard for him.

    • AdLib says:

      Kes, I don’t think Albright or Steinem are bad people for doing what they did. They were playing their part in Hillary’s strategy in the final days to try once again to grab the women’s vote to win NH as she did in 2008.

      It was a two pronged strategy of claiming she’s being victimized by Bernie and his supporters via sexism and shaming young women into coming over to her camp.

      It was a real miscalculation though.

      Having “won” Iowa, she couldn’t replicate what happened when she lost in 2008 so they had to manufacture a sexist attack to rally women to them. And who better than two feminist icons to counsel younger women on where there responsibility lay as women, to vote for the woman candidate and usher in the first woman President.

      What poisoned the well is the elitist sensibility of all of it. As you mentioned, though Hillary knows Albright and Steinem are superstars of feminism, young women today may not be so familiar with them and hold them in such high regard. And then having them deliver such self-important disses of young women didn’t make them feel guilty, they instead felt, “Who the hell are these women to tell me who I have to vote for?”

      As President, Hillary would probably be more like her triangulating husband’s presidency. Some Progressive things would be supported but some compromises that advance pro-corporate and pro-war goals would also be made. We would get decent SCOTUS judges which is most important to me so while we’ll probably lose ground in some areas, overall we would be far better off than if any Repub got in.

      BTW, I am planning to write an article soon on the underestimating of Bernie’s electability in a GE. People may not recall that all of these doubts were raised big time when it came to a black man with the middle name “Hussein”.

      • kesmarn says:

        Looking forward to that next article, AdLib! (And I was one of those people who wrote Bernie off as unelectable when all this started. I was sure that the “Socialist” label would doom him. I was wrong and I hope I’m proven even “wronger” when he’s elected President.)

        I’m with you in believing that Steinem and Albright are not bad people. (I have to admit that I was surprised by Steinem’s “Where The Boys Are” comment, though. That seemed unlike her.) But millennial women — for whatever reasons — just don’t think in those terms.

        As so many have noted, in this race the older candidate is actually the person with the younger ideas. Bernie gets millennials (while not pandering to them — or anyone else) and they get him.

  4. Kalima says:

    As you all know, I won’t be voting in your election but find this article from the BBC a fair enough answer to the question and facts that you based your article on. I expect the GOP to try something that has failed once, over and over again, but not someone who has put herself out there as a Progressive. It smells of desperation and the voting is just beginning. Being thin-skined, and blaming the opposition while accusing them of a smearfest because of her gender, is quite frankly appalling. Voting for someone who implied that if I didn’t vote for her I would be a “traitor” would put me off that person for life. Very disappointing and in no way empowering women.

    My own opinion is that anyone who expects or demands special treatment because they are a woman, should not be running for the office of the president of the United States. It is a tough job. The gender card makes her look weak.

    Thanks for the article, AdLib, and to answer your question, I think it will backfire, it was a costly mistake. I can’t imagine ever voting for a woman just because she is a woman. I live in a country where many men don’t listen to women. Where for many we are expected to be seen but not heard. Still, if I could vote here, I wouldn’t vote for a gender expecting a huge change in the attitudes of men who have been mollycoddled from birth to think they are more important than women, and who believe that women are incapable of making decisions. If Hillary wins the nomination, she will still be facing that in America too.

    Now back to sleep. It’s 3 in the morning and I have no idea why I’m up.

    US election: Hillary Clinton’s problem with young women


    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, thanks for the article, I really liked it!

      I think your conclusion is being validated, I see anecdotally on the MSM and on the web that the net result from Steinem’s and Albright’s attacks on young women supporting Bernie is that those young women are angered at them and the Hillary campaign for going after them like that.

      IMO, this ploy has backfired and whipped up women supporting Sanders to become stronger supporters and far less available to switch to supporting Hillary.

      The real world stats listed in the article you linked to bear repeating:

      In the Iowa caucus last week, 84% of women under the age of 30 voted for the 74-year-old Bernie Sanders; just 14% for Hillary.

      The projection for New Hampshire is even more striking. 92% of that age group say they will back Sanders. Among women aged 30-39 it is not a whole lot better. Just 11% say they are going to back Hillary.

      So when we talk about a majority of young women supporting Sanders, we need to include the 30-39 age range as well. Hillary draws a lot of support across the board from older voters, men and women, and older voters are more dependable to show up at the polls.

      But the youth and enthusiasm is on Bernie’s side and when it comes to elections, that can make all the difference.

      As to running a campaign as a woman based on pressing women to vote for you because you’re a woman, I do think that is regressive in terms of feminism. I’d propose that Feminism is about having the standing and power of an equal to everyone else (especially men) in society. To be told that you need to give up your power as an individual and be part of an obedient herd to be a feminist is beyond any logic I can find.

      I hear that Bill is going nuts over the campaign, fearing that he’s witnessing a replay of 2008 and Hillary could go from a sure thing to losing the nom. I don’t know that will happen but it sure doesn’t seem that these leopards can change their spots. They reside in an elitist bubble and are repeating similar mistakes they made in 2008.

      I don’t think there’s anyway Bill Clinton could win a primary nowadays, all the chauvinistic cheating and lies that came out in the primary back in 1992 wouldn’t be overlooked today. Yet he and Hillary seem to be using the same formula in their campaign, thinking they can just go back to the same well they went to in 2008 to win this time.

      They haven’t learned from their mistakes, if they had, Bernie wouldn’t be so competitive. Hillary may win in the end due to their financial and infrastructure superiority but it would be despite their archaic and out of touch strategies on how to attract voters.

  5. monicaangela says:

    Will Hillary playing the gender card backfire? What a lovely question AdLib. Why would Hillary be playing that card in the first place…Contrived politics? Why would Hillary feel it is in her best interest to cry foul and accuse every Tom, Dick, Harry, and even some Harriet’s of playing the gender card? I continue to wonder if she and Bill feel that the only reason Barack Obama won against her in 2008 was because every AA that voted for him did so because he was Black. They still haven’t learned anything…hard to teach old dogs new tricks I guess.

    I am for the people of this nation. I am for the candidate that I feel will push the agenda forward, not a candidate that appears to be satisfied with the status-quo, let’s stay the course she says let’s continue to build on the legacy of President Obama, and somewhere in that statement I get the feeling she is attempting in a clumsy way to garner the black vote. Why is it that people trust her less than Bernie Sanders, it is because she is doing what Claire McCaskil did to her opponent in her last race…I believe McCaskil is coaching her.

    Also too, I did notice her contrived event where she had female senators go to New Hampshire along with ex-Secretary of State Madeline Albright…yet again contrived and exactly what male candidates have done for years. I as a voter do not wish to have a top heavy government of women any more than I want a top heavy government run by men. And yet again, this smacks of contrived politics, an effort to get a vote through pandering. I don’t see Bernie Sanders doing that.

    Bernie Sanders sticks to the issues, he is constantly trying to remind the people of what we have come to, of how we are being taken advantage of, and how we can correct what is happening in this country. I have never seen him play the gender card against Hillary, and don’t even believe that comes across his mind. Bernie is for the people, and is trying to educate the people as to where this country could go with the proper leadership. So will this tactic backfire on Hillary, the playing of the gender card? I guarantee you it will. Something her campaign doesn’t seem to know about the millennials is this. They don’t fall into the trap of male vs. female, hetero vs. homo, etc. Most millennials are concerned about their future and the future of the planet, not just the future of the U.S. which has much to do with the future of the planet. Hillary should learn to listen to this new generation and if she did her campaign would not appear to be so old fashioned and out of touch. My answer: Yes, it will backfire, and thank God for that.

    • AdLib says:

      Monicaangela, imagine if in the 2008 race, Obama had his surrogates make big public statements that accused AAs of being traitors or unintelligent if they didn’t support him. I would write an article just like this one on Hillary over the hypocrisy of claiming his election is about empowering AAs while attacking those who dared to think for themselves and have their own opinions.

      If such a thing had happened, it would have been widely condemned and Obama would rightfully have paid a political price for it.

      So when Hillary does this, she deserves to be taken to task. She should be the last one to ever condemn women for making up their own minds on who they would or wouldn’t want to vote for. How dare anyone who’s part of any group of people decide that they can dictate to that group the only things that they should be allowed to think…especially while claiming to be a symbol of equality and empowerment for that group.

      These repeated attacks on Bernie of being sexist are dishonest, plain and simple. When he said that we need to get things done instead of just yelling about them, she jumped on that eagerly to claim Bernie is sexist. Clearly, he was talking about actions speaking louder than words yet for political advantage, she claimed the role of victim by branding him sexist.

      Now just before election day, Bill and Hillary try it again, trying to paint Bernie as sexist because they claim that supporters of his have written awful sexist comments on the web.

      I don’t know about you but I’ve read rude and ageist comments about Bernie by Hillary supporters but I would never think of blaming Hillary for it. BTW, Rachel Maddow told Hillary this and my experience is the same, I don’t see any difference between the tone and hostility of Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters when they write negative comments about the other. I believe this is a phony, manufactured issue to once again create the victim/sexist meme that they feel will drive women voters to them.

      The proof is in the pudding, a huge majority of young women are voting for Bernie so they don’t see him as sexist but instead see him as someone they respect for his political views. Dissing young women for making up their own minds and choosing Bernie over Hillary is not a smart recipe for winning them over.

    • Nirek says:

      Monica, you and I are on the same page! Everything you say is right on! To me the environment is probably the most important thing we have to take care of. I have two adult children and four wonderful grandchildren. I want them and their kids to have an environment that is as good as it was when I was growing up. Right now the environment is in jeopardy of great damage. Climate change is real, Bernie knows this and it is a priority for him.

      There is no other candidate who really cares about all of these things. In fact all the republicans want to continue destroying the environment.

      I don’t believe that taking donations from the corporations that continue poluting shows that you care, the same with banks that donate to a candidate . If you take those donations, you are beholden to them. Bernie is beholden to to three and a half million individule Americans, NOT to the BIG banks or corporations like Monsanto.

      Speaking of Monsanto, did you know that that company is suing the State of Vermont ? Vermont passed a law that goes in effect in July that requires labeling of GMOs in food products sold in Vermont. Monsanto has contributed a lot to her campaign. That company is trying to bully Vermont to keep labeling off their products.

      Thanks Monica, for continuing to support the best candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders!

      • monicaangela says:

        Our bios are similar Nirek, maybe that is why we get along so well. I have one son and a daughter-in-law that I consider a daughter, and three wonderful grandchildren. I have lived a long and interesting life. Much of what I do today is done with not only my children and grandchildren involved, but with the children and grandchildren of the rest of the human race in mind.


        Yes I know Monsanto is suing Vermont, the entire state to try to demand that the consumer in this country not have the right to decide whether or not they want to eat genetically modified foods. Now then, think about it, with their influence over Hillary Clinton, and the meme that we need to elect Hillary because there may be an opportunity to replace a Justice on the Supreme Court, I wonder if she would be obligated to choose a justice that would side with Monsanto.

  6. escribacat says:

    I don’t know if playing the “gender card” is the latest cynical HRC strategy (but of course everything Hillary does is a cynical strategy, right?) and I don’t really care.

    I don’t think “Bernie Bro’s” is a pack of sexist Bernie supporters and I doubt very many Bernie supporters are sexist. I doubt very seriously if Bernie is sexist. I like Bernie, except for the fact that he’s been bashing the democratic party and Obama for many years. That fact makes me dislike him, even though I agree with his beautiful speeches. I understand why people love him so ardently. I find I dislike him even while agreeing with him. He believes there is no difference between the democrats and the republicans (has said so) and I think there is a huge difference. So I disagree with him there. But I’m pretty much a socialist like he is.

    However, I can honestly say that, as a woman, I may just go ahead and vote for Hillary because I’d like to see a woman president before I die. I agree with her positions on the policies that are most important to me, including climate change & environment, health care, social security, immigration, et al. Sure, Bernie is further left. I’d like to see single payer but I haven’t seen any plan to make that happen. But her policies are good too.

    If you haven’t spent your life meeting up with glass ceilings and brick walls and sly innuendos every day in the workplace, maybe it’s really hard to understand and apparently impossible for some to imagine, that I might finally decide my vote based on gender. I’m not supposed to feel that way, I’ve been told. How shallow to vote for someone based on their gender (never mind all those men who would never vote for a woman.)

    For years, I’ve listened to my rightwing brothers bad-mouth Hillary Clinton, much of it aping crap they heard from Rush Limbaugh or other male rightwing assholes. When I hear from progressives how dishonest she is, what a dirty trickster she is, what a liar she is, how corrupt she is, how flip flopping she is, it stirs up a lot of very negative defensive feelings in me. It makes me think “Yep, that GOP smear machine has been pretty effective all these years.” It’s an emotional reaction, I know. But the truth is, I could barely stand to read your whole essay, Adlib, my gut reaction was so negative. I had to start skimming because I’ve heard all this shit before so many times — and you know full well I am a big Adlib fan. But it makes me mad. Rest assured, I’ve “known” you for a long time and know damn well you have zero gender bias, nor do the other Bernie supporters here, but it still makes me mad and upset to read those charges against her.

    You see, it’s not just Hillary carrying the baggage. It’s a whole lot of us progressive females who have been listening to Hillary-bashing for so effing long — it was her fault about Monica, you know? Guess what. When I read that she got $675K for speaking to the idiots at Goldman Sachs, I thought YEAH! Get what you can out of those bastards, girl! When I saw Hillary taking a relentless pounding from Trey Gowdy and the other goons on the “Benghazi committee,” I thought “Yea, girl!! You showed those assholes! They look like petty assholes, and all you did was calmly answer their petty questions.” I felt so good that day after watching her stay cool through that intellectual waterboarding. You see, to me, Hillary IS the underdog. I know everyone laughed at her when she said that. Those people just don’t get it. She IS the underdog because she’s a woman.

    Hillary is a survivor in a man’s world. She has been on the frontier of female power for a very long time — all unexplored territory in this country. She’s been almost alone there for a very long time too, which is disturbing. Yep, she has baggage. She has said some stupid things, made some terrible mistakes, voting for the Iraq invasion the biggest among them. I don’t know what the hell she was thinking. She went to Trump’s wedding, fergawdsakes. Her voice is unpleasant. Her pantsuits are yucky. But I forgive her. Maybe I shouldn’t but I do.

    Her stamina in that vicious man’s world has meant something important to me. Her mere survival. Of course she’s a bloody politician! How the hell else could she have survived this long with all the mud that has been slung at her? With all the mistakes she’s made?

    Maybe men can’t understand it. Maybe young people can’t understand. Maybe men and women who are more populist than I am (I’m not a populist) can’t understand it. Maybe people who haven’t been paid less than their male colleagues can’t understand it. Maybe people who haven’t been dismissed for being “that blonde” can’t understand it. But I feel strongly about this.

    I’m not one who likes to argue and really haven’t made much of an effort to defend Hillary against the flood of attacks I’ve seen against her in recent weeks from the left. I don’t see much point. I’m not going to change anyone’s mind and I don’t want to read any more about how corrupt etc she is. I’ve just stopped reading because my gut reaction is so strongly negative. Can’t help it. There is it. From where I sit, I really have no knowledge of who is truly corrupt and who isn’t. I pretty much assume anyone who wants to be a politician is weird and hungry for power, and the successful ones are good sales people, including Bernie. After all, they are selling something.

    • Nirek says:

      Escribacat, I have always wanted to have a woman President. I just don’t think Hillary is the right woman. Especially since we have a better candidate (Bernie Sanders).

      I also watched the hearings on Benghazi and cheered her on. I don’t hate her. I thought she did a good job as Sec. State.

      As for people like Rush Limpblah, they disgust me and I don’t listen to them.

      I guess what I want to say to you is, I am as much a feminest as any man can be. Bernie is just a better person for the job. Liz Warren would be a great choice for the first woman President. But she isn’t running.

      I hope you don’t have hard feelings by my opinions. I mean no harm. I am just glad to have the BEST candidate in my 70 years, Bernie Sanders.

      • escribacat says:

        Nirek of course I don’t have hard feelings about your opinions. I am, however, disputing the narrative that Hillary is a corrupt liar and Bernie is all pureness and light. I’ve never seen any evidence to support these claims.

        If Bernie gets into office, he’ll face the same JUST SAY NO congress that Obama faced. Remember the uprising of disappointed Obama voters? Remember “Where’s my pony?”

        I am still worried about some nutbag GOPer getting in there, especially if Bloomberg enters the race. I think that dismissing Hillary as a corrupt liar helps the GOP. Call me cynical but to some degree, they’re all corrupt liars. Like I said, they’re salespeople. I’m watching Kasich on TV right now pouring coffee for people in a diner. It’s a performance and they all do it. Including Bernie!

    • AdLib says:

      Escrib, I think your comment is a very thoughtful and potent argument for supporting Hillary. I do understand and appreciate it.

      Though my post does contain criticisms of Hillary and her campaign, the focus of my article was about the end result of her focusing so much on gender as leverage to bring women voters to support her.

      It resulted in the negative treatment of young women because they were women, for exercising their independence to pick the candidate they thought was best…by the surrogates for a woman candidate who represents the empowerment of women. The irony was dizzying to me.

      What is feminism if it doesn’t include supporting and empowering other women to make their own decisions for themselves?

      What seems to be going on today is a clash between classic Feminism and today’s Feminism 2.0 where young women appear to believe that it is even greater empowerment to not have to feel obligated to consider the gender or age of a candidate when they consider who they want to support. For them, this is what empowerment looks like. On the other hand, classic feminists like Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem don’t understand why all women wouldn’t rally together to elect the first woman President, hence their harsh criticisms of younger women. It is a disconnect right now.

      I do recognize the excitement and historical aspect of Hillary becoming the first woman president. I fully understand the many women who want to see that happen in their lifetime because one of them is a family member. And where Hillary is on the issues right now is pretty much in tune with most of the Democratic base. It is no surprise that she and Bernie are now virtually tied among Dems nationally in terms of support. There are legit reasons for folks to support either one of them and there are legit reasons to be critical of either one of them.

      You mentioned the reasons you dislike Bernie and in some cases, I agree with you on what you dislike about him (his dissing of Obama and the Dems in previous years, for example). I think it is important though to see candidates warts and all, especially the ones we support. I leave it to the Republicans to be in denial about the flaws in their candidates. Please understand though, that when I express what I dislike about Hillary or her campaign, it is not the result of GOP propaganda or anyone else’s influence. I always try to present the facts and justifications that lead to my conclusions, I may not always be correct but it’s not a typical practice of mine to make unsupported assertions or simply echo someone else’s opinion.

      In the end, no matter who wins the nomination, the Hillary supporters will need the Bernie supporters to join them and vice versa, to defeat the real danger posed by a Republican Presidency.

      The primaries will be over by June (probably sooner in a de facto way) and if this is going to be the year the first woman President is elected…or the first Jewish President…I think it benefits us to accept the disagreements between fellow Dems on the positives and negatives of two candidates who espouse agreement on 99% of the issues…that most Dems support anyway.

      • escribacat says:

        Agreed. In the end, Bernie people will need to support Hillary or Hillary people will need to support Bernie. I will have no trouble supporting Bernie and might even vote for him in the primary, despite my own gender bias. If I think the email thing is going to sink her, I’ll definitely vote for him, despite the fact that I’m far too jaded to believe he can really pull off the transformation he seems to be promising. But how can you ever support Hillary if the need arises if you have such a low opinion of her? What evidence do you have that she is so cynical and corrupt? You say she is looking “calculating, less honest and more unlikable” but I’m pretty sure that’s how you feel about her. Why? I agree she hasn’t got much charisma but I don’t think she has really done anything to deserve the charges against her.

        It also occurs to me that if Bernie thought the “Jewish card” would help his campaign, he’d use it. He’s just as much a politician as Hillary, even though he is more likable.

        Perhaps part of the problem here is that our choices this year really aren’t that appealing to me in general. I’m defending Hillary here for the reasons I believe I explained — that I have a visceral reaction to attacks against her, probably from a history of defending her to my rightwing brothers. My dream ticket of course would be Liz Warren (with maybe Sherrod Brown). One can only hope that happens in the future. I’m not in love with Hillary but I still say the attacks against her aren’t fair and play into the hands of the GOP. If Bernie gets the nomination, there is going to be an onslaught of dirt. They’ve probably already started digging for it. They’ve been doing it to her for decades. As she said, we already know everything about her. Not so with Bernie.

        Even though the GOP slate looks like a real nutbag parade, if Bloomberg jumps in, he’ll drain votes from the left. I think the GOP has a chance to win. I think we should close ranks now and defend both our candidates.

        • kesmarn says:

          e’cat, I do love your dream team of Warren/Brown and if they ever opted to run in the future, they’d get my vote. Alas… no chance this year.

          One of my friends who is a Hillary supporter said to me that when she saw Hillary firing back at Bernie in the last debate, she relished the moment because it felt like (as she put it) “the way I’ve wanted — all my life — to fire back at every patronizing white male bully-boss I’ve ever had!” When I heard her say that it was the first time I felt that I’d gotten an emotional window into what her experience had been and why she felt the way she did about Hillary’s candidacy. (Although I have to say I couldn’t quite go with the “bully” image when it came to Sanders.)

          I think a lot of the way that we feel about these candidates is indeed rooted in our life and career experiences. The woman I mentioned above really had/has been on the receiving end of a lot of career sabotage and prejudice during her tenure in university administration and teaching. Hillary’s “shouting” was very cathartic for her — since the message she’d been getting for much of her professional life had been to “sit down and shut up.”

          Having worked in health care for most of my adult life, I had a different set of experiences. (When I was bullied it was by women. LOL!) So Bernie’s aspiration to move toward universal single-payer health coverage is really important to me. We may not get there within the next four years. In fact, it’s not terribly likely that we will. But I appreciate the audacity of that vision.

          As so many have said, though, either of the Dem candidates would be head and shoulders above the so-called “best” of the GOP field.

          • escribacat says:

            Kes,I relate to your friend in a different way. I think Bernie has behaved quite well and don’t recall seeing any bullying from him. But I do think people pile on to Hillary. But I felt that way about Obama too. I think both Obama and Hillary have been treated unfairly by the left. If you want to see something very disturbing, check out the John Lewis thread over at rawstory, where the majority of Bernie supporters are now crapping all over John Lewis. I find it very disturbing. Racist comments even. One guy betting that Hillary will shoot herself in the head when she loses the nomination. Others saying Lewis is senile. SOmeone called him a “neeee-grow” or something vile like that. What’s going on?

            • kesmarn says:

              That’s really awful, e’cat! There’s just no excuse for that. I really admire John Lewis and he has every right to have his own opinion on this or any other issue.

              I’ve gotten some poor treatment from some Hillary people too. You know — the “traitor to your sex” accusations, and the “stuck in the 60s with your tired old hippie boyfriend” remarks. Sigh.

              I think online discourse has coarsened conversation across the board. It’s like everything has suddenly turned into the YouTube comment section.

              It’s everybody’s loss. And one reason I really value the Planet more than ever.

        • AdLib says:

          Escrib, I don’t think Hillary is a terrible person and if she is the Dem nominee, I will absolutely vote for her. However, I don’t think she’s the best or most principled person running for the Dem nomination.

          Like many others, I am weary of settling for establishment Dems who change their positions on the issues to get elected then once elected, go back to serving themselves and those that are part of their elite circle.

          Hillary Clinton supported DADT, DOMA, The Crime Bill (that caused this over-incarceration of black people), getting rid of Glass-Steagal, The Bankruptcy Bill (that stripped citizens of bankruptcy rights and handed billions to the banks), The Iraq War, TPP and more that I strongly opposed.

          You mentioned that you dislike Bernie because he attacked Obama and it’s true that he did. I didn’t like him when he was doing that either (he hasn’t done so for a long while now).

          But when Hillary started her run up to her campaign last Fall, the first thing she did was attack Obama for his foreign policy. Her condescending diss included:

          HILLARY CLINTON: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

          When she started her campaign, Hillary moved to the right, criticizing Obama repeatedly and giving props to George Bush (for his AIDS initiative in Africa). She espoused an aggressive foreign policy including greater military involvement in Syria, no-fly zones (against ISIS which doesn’t have an air force in Syria but Russia does) and going back towards the Bush doctrine of projecting more military force around the world. Much of that was in this interview she did with The Atlantic:


          She was met with criticisms from David Axelrod, MoveOn.org and other Progressives for attacking Obama and proposing greater militarism.

          Then, Bernie Sanders joins the race. Suddenly, Hillary moves far left to try and make his candidacy redundant. She reverses herself on many more-Right policies, flips on the TPP, Keystone XL, and represents herself as a true Progressive.

          When the recent conflict began over Bernie Sanders replying to a question about whether Hillary is a Progressive, he replied that she is sometimes, when she’s not telling people she’s a moderate. Bernie was literally repeating Hillary’s own words, back from when she was positioning herself as a center-right candidate last Fall and yet Hillary responded with faux outrage, attacking Bernie for trying to be the gatekeeper of who is or isn’t Progressive. That was wholly dishonest of her and very calculated. Here is the video from just months earlier when she made that declaration herself that she pleads guilty to being a moderate and centrist:

          In this clip, she describes how she supported passing tax cuts under George Bush though not as huge as he wanted and that she is a moderate and centrist so she can make deals with Republicans.

          That is not a horrible thing but it is not being Progressive nor supporting a Progressive position against cutting taxes for the wealthy.

          And yet, Hillary continues to call Bernie’s mentioning of this documented fact, “an artful smear”. Is she being honest about that? Clearly, no.

          I do think you’re very wrong about Bernie playing “The Jewish Card” if he could. There’s nothing stopping him from doing so, he could and he hasn’t. Obama didn’t play “The Black Card”. Hillary didn’t have to play “The Gender Card” but she has which does go to an issue of judgment in my mind (especially since it appears to be really backfiring now).

          There are a number of things she said or did in 2008 that I found unprincipled including her and Bill demeaning Obama in a racial way, her refusal to say that Obama was Christian when he was being attacked by Birthers, her completely false story about being shot at on the tarmac in Bosnia and her attempt to override the democratic nature of the primary through the use of Superdelegates to cancel out the decision by a majority of voters to nominate Obama.

          There are many more issues I have with her and they all stem from my expectations of the Democratic candidate staying faithful to a meaningful set of ethics.

          It is a whole other issue though to compare her to the Repub candidates. At worst, if elected, Hillary may operate as a center-right Democrat. But any of the Repubs would be like a wrecking ball to our society, economy and safety nets. So the choice would be simple if it was Hillary against any of the Repubs.

          I don’t doubt the Repubs would wheel out all the negative oppo they can find on Bernie and some could pose a real challenge for for him to deal with…but it will be a fraction of what they can throw at Hillary (even though much of it is BS).

          As it was with Obama, they’re not really prepared to take down Bernie because they’ve been planning on having to take down Hillary, they have reams of oppo to use against Hillary that they’ve been waiting to use since 2008 and building on since then.

          One other thing to consider, with Hillary the nom, a Bloomberg entry could result in a Repub win if he takes away enough of her voters. In Bernie’s case, it would play right into the scenario of Bernie fighting for the people against two billionaires each trying to grab control of the government away from the people (Hillary and Bill are of course multi-millionaires and travel in the same circles with Trump and Blooomberg so the contrast wouldn’t really be too strong). He can also draw Trump voters too while Hillary doesn’t really draw from them.

          Bottom line, as Nirek mentioned, I would love to have the first woman President in the WH. I would be a passionate supporter for Elizabeth Warren. So it’s not a “woman thing” with many Bernie supporters (especially of course for the women supporting him), it is specific to Hillary. She has a track record and continues to create one that undermines support for her when contrasted with Bernie.

          But in the end, if Hillary is the nom, I and I would suggest that most Bernie supporters will firmly pull the lever for her so we can have a Dem in the WH and keep the Repubs out.

          • Nirek says:

            Ad, thanks for the indepth post. There is little I could add to it. Maybe just my opinion that in my lifetime , Bernie is the BEST candidate! Bernie has an agenda that I fully support. I am not foolish enough to think that he will have an easy time moving all his ideas through congress. But if we don’t try to do the things he wants to do we are done before starting.

            I honestly think we have to replace most of the Congresswomen/men and as many of the Senators as possible. I am going to try to get a primary against Pat Leahy (a distant cousin) because he has endorsed Hillary and is dissing Bernie. The trouble is Pat is entrenched and so far there is nobody willing to run against him.

            I have never been as excited about a candidate as I am with Bernie!

            I feel the Bern but the other candidates fear theBern!

        • ” I think we should close ranks now and defend both our candidates.”

          Hear Hear!

          I’m quite sure that the RNC is loving all this Hillary hate.

          The stakes in this presidential election are simply too high, to let political infighting put yet another RW lunatic in the white house. People can say what they will about Hillary, some true, some not true, but she is SANE, RATIONAL, EXPERIENCED and a FIGHTER.

          Sanders and Clinton are the only two adults in the race.

  7. Nirek says:

    Ad, I remember a bunch of dirty tricks used in politics. The Clintons are not squeeky clean when it comes to these things.

    Bernie is more qualified than any other candidate from either party. Bernie has integrity which all the other candidates lack. Bernie is honest, moral, even handed, authentic, and THE BEST candidate in my lifetime!

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, yes, considering the stakes, it’s not surprising that politicians use dirty tricks in elections. It is true and documented that there were a number of questionable tactics used the last time Hillary ran for President. I’ve made the case that a leopard doesn’t change its spots and such things are happening this time around as well.

      While it would be justified for Hillary or her supporters to take issue with any negative characterizations of her that Bernie Sanders makes, I don’t think Bernie could be fairly portrayed as being intentionally dishonest.

      Like young men, young women are supporting Bernie by a large margin because they connect with his integrity and his vision for what the U.S. should be.

      That’s not to say Hillary’s supporters aren’t doing the same but it’s a one way street. Because a majority of young women are supporting Bernie, they are being insulted and slammed by the Hillary camp for not being faithfully feminist…which in this tortured definition means they must act like cattle and vote for the woman candidate even if they prefer the male candidate.

      The disrespect for the intelligence, morality and independence of young women who won’t be told who to vote for and instead make up their own minds is very disappointing and contrary to what feminism is really about.

      Some think Hillary will make the best President, a majority think Bernie would. If Hillary wants to win over those young female voters, she should start by respecting their right to their own personal decisions and try and convince them with thoughtful arguments instead of trying to intimidate them into voting for her because it’s their duty as women to vote for a woman.

      Bernie has won them over by respecting their intellects and appealing to them through his passion and vision, they’re not voting for him because of his gender. That’s the playing field that Hillary should be playing on, the entitlement thing doesn’t work with independently minded young women.

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