Rick Klein writes that some Clinton supporters are organizing a “boycott” of the November election and the Dem party if Senator Clinton is not the party’s nominee.
Just talked to a 55-year-old Columbus, Ohio resident named Cynthia Ruccia, a spokesperson and organizer for a group calling itself “Clinton Supporters Count Too.” She said the group — numbering in the hundreds, and organized in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan — stands ready to boycott the Democratic Party if Clinton doesn’t win the nomination, and will work against superdelegates who support Obama over Clinton as a means of registering their displeasure with the party.
“We have a plan to campaign against the Democratic nominee,” the group said in a press release Thursday. “We have the (wo)manpower and the money to make our threat real. And there are millions of supporters who will back us up in the swing states. If you donâ€™t listen to our voice now, you will hear from us later.”
Ruccia tells ABC News that she believes “millions” of women share her group’s views, though they have only begun to make contact with like-minded women. They’re disgusted, she said, that Democratic Party leaders haven’t more aggressively denounced sexist media comments and coverage in the campaign, and are angry at the drumbeat for Clinton to get out of the race.
“We’re just at the boiling point,” Ruccia said. “Women will sit back and be quiet about things for a while, but we’ve had enough. Unless Hillary Clinton is our nominee, we are not going to support the nominee.”
There’s no question Senator Clinton has been the target of some hideous sexism, as Libby Copeland documents in today’s Washington Post and Marie Cocco in yesterday’s WaPo. I also think we’ve seen that sexist expression is more socially acceptable in our national political discourse than racist expression, which so far has been heard mostly “on the ground” and not on MSNBC. Sexism has a lot to do with Clinton’s “negatives,” the people who just plain don’t like her and won’t budge from that position no matter what she says or does.
However, there are a few points I think some Clinton supporters are overlooking.
First, just because someone is the victim of sexism doesn’t mean she would make a good President of the United States. Hell, I’ve been a victim of sexism plenty of times, and I think I’d make a terrible POTUS. (Better than the current one, of course, but I’ve seen refrigerator mold that would do better than the current one.)
I get the impression that some older women (disclosure: I am female and 56) are die-hard Clinton supporters because electing her would be glorious payback for the countless indignities they’ve suffered through the years. I can understand how this would be emotionally gratifying, but emotional gratification is not exactly the point of electing a POTUS.
Second, I think some of the vile remarks aimed at Senator Clinton are expressions of dislike about her specifically, not of women generally. The problem is that our national political discourse has become so polluted that many who express dislike of Clinton believe they are supposed to toss in some vulgar personal insults of her. They think it’s expected of them, because it’s the way all public political figures are treated these days.
Third, although sexism trumps racism in national discourse, in voting behavior I believe we’ve seen that racism trumps sexism. As far as voters are concerned, I believe Barack Obama’s race is a bigger handicap than Hillary Clinton’s sex. Yet he has more votes than she does.
Fourth, I think the single biggest reason Hillary Clinton is behind is that her campaign has made huge strategic blunders. On the other hand, while Obama’s campaign has made some tactical goofs, strategically it’s been brilliant. In other words — she’s losing because she’s losing, not because mean old stupid men have taken something she has earned away from her.
Fifth, the fight over seating the Michigan and Florida delegates has nothing to do with sexism. It’s about Clinton trying to pick up a couple of easy wins by gaming the rules. She originally agreed those states’ primaries didn’t count, and only changed her tune when she realized she needed the votes. In Michigan, she agreed not to participate in the primaries but refused to take her name off the ballot, even after Obama and Edwards did, then tried to claim Michigan as a “win.” Does anyone seriously believe that if Obama had tried to pull the same trick on Clinton, the Clintonistas wouldn’t have screamed bloody murder about it and called it “cheating”?
Sixth, if a man were in Clinton’s current position in the race, the powers that be would be leaning on him to quit, too. Scott Lehigh writes,
LET’S SAY Hillary Clinton’s remaining primary rival were not Barack Obama but a white male. Suppose she were ahead in pledged delegates, led in the popular vote in DNC-approved contests, had raised the most money, and had attracted the most contributors.
Let’s further suppose that her rival had responded to her success by suggesting he might pick her as his vice-presidential nominee. And that, as she gained more momentum, he asserted that superdelegates should nevertheless make him the nominee because he could attract the working-class voters the party needed to win in the fall.
Clinton supporters would likely find those suggestions sexist.
And yet Clinton and her camp have made the same suggestions in this campaign. Clinton’s political arguments have found a broad acceptance among her backers – an acceptance that’s hard to imagine if a similar case were made by a lagging rival in a race Clinton led.
The only reason the media bobbleheads are still pretending the nomination fight isn’t already over is that the drama Clinton is generating is great for ratings. And, frankly, the only reason most of the Democratic Party is putting up with her is that she is who she is. If Chris Dodd or Joe Biden or Dennis Kucinich were in Clinton’s position and trying to win the nomination by tripping up the front runner (and can you imagine them doing that? I can’t), the Dems would have pulled the plug on this nonsense a long time ago.
Regarding the NARAL endorsement — although I support its cause, I’ve had no use for NARAL for some time. I’ve long believed NARAL is ineffectual and exists mostly to collect donations that will pay the salaries of its executives and staff. I think it was odd they decided to endorse Obama before the nomination fight was officially over, although I believe I understand why they did it. The nomination fight is, for all practical purposes, over, and it’s time to take on John “free ride” McCain, whose election would be a disaster for reproductive rights.
However, the backlash to NARAL’s endorsement has all the markings of an eating-our-own feeding frenzy. Just one more reason the Clinton nomination fight needs to stop now, and in fact should have been stopped a couple of months ago.
Updates: Michelle Cottle interviewed “high-level advisors, staffers, fundraisers, and on-the-ground organizers” of the Clinton campaign to find out why Senator Clinton is losing/lost the nomination fight. And guess what one factor is not mentioned?
Lots of other reasons, which mostly came down to the campaign’s own misjudgments and mismanagements. But not one person interviewed said that Hillary Clinton got shoved out of the nomination by the paternalistic establishment.
See also my post of March 3 in which I talked about why I support Obama over Clinton, and why I think Clinton supporters are not being honest with themselves about their own reasons and behaviors.