Time Magazine’s Swampland has run a piece called “If Not Her…”
Among the many things that Hillary Clinton has been up against, sexism was undeniably a big one. It came from every direction: the media, the blogosphere, her opponents and, well, everywhere. That Hillary Clinton nutcracker seems to be on sale in every airport I go through these days. But while the next woman to run for President is certain to encounter some of that, she presumably won’t start the race with pretty much everyone in the country having already decided whether they love her or hate her. And so, I do think that some of the sexist bile was aimed not at the idea of any woman running for President, but rather, the idea of this woman doing it.
The hatred of Clinton has been utterly irrational; how does anyone know that the next female candidate won’t be subjected to the same garbage?
For instance, via Avedon comes this: “Devil in a pantsuit or the demonization of Hillary Clinton”
Revealed in the coverage of Clinton’s campaign is the persistence of an ancient and distasteful cultural theme: the powerful, ambitious woman as cackling fiend, as fantastically terrifying ghoul threatening civilization. And because this creature (or “she-devil,” as MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews called Clinton) is not human, the only solution is to kill it. Not just derail its career—obliterate it. Smash it to smithereens. Vaporize it. Leave not a trace of the foul beast behind.
Hence the appalling preponderance of violent, death-infused imagery in conversations about Clinton, smuggled into otherwise ordinary political discourse like a knife taped on the bottom of a cake plate: On CNN, pundit Alex Castellanos said democrats must realize that “it’s time to take the family dog to the vet.” Matthews’ MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann expressed the hope that “somebody will take her into a room—and only he comes out.” CNN’s Jack Cafferty gleefully floated the specter of Clinton being run over by a flatbed truck. A recent Tribune editorial compared Clinton to a euthanized Kentucky Derby contender.
And that kind of misogynist rhetoric is just fine with Obama’s fauxgressives — which resent the media selling the public the cluster fucks in Iraq and Afghanistan, but has no problem with the media selling Barack Obama to the country. The progressive blogosphere can no longer be considered a watchdog of the media; too many pro-Obama bloggers are trying to use the blogosphere as a stepping stone to establishment political circles or establishment journalism outlets, and they think Obama can help them achieve their goals.
All it costs is an endless volley of vile cheap shots at Clinton that would make John Birchers gape.