Thursday, April 28, 2016

"Vote For Clinton Because She's A Woman"-ism Spawns Another Awful Article

Gender Politics? Dept. - In a campaign season where poorly reasoned, uninformed and just plain dumb articles on behalf of Hillary Clinton's candidacy have become a regular occurrence, Marcie Bianco, a contributing editor at Curve, has authored a standout example of the subgenre. It fails in its first paragraph and never gets any better:

"A patriarchal ploy to keep women divided, women have been harangued for 'voting with their vagina' for months. Such crude critiques are designed to undermine female political agency—specifically their support for other women."

But, of course, that isn't the "critique" or part of some patriarchal conspiracy; it's a direct reflection of what one Clinton supporter after another has, with the encouragement of the candidate herself, been saying. "We're supporting Clinton because she's a woman." Contrary to Bianco's crude framing, that view has been offered by Clinton supporters both girl and boy throughout the campaign and the actual critique of it, thrown at both by critics girl and boy alike, is that it's stupid. Does it really need to be noted, in 2016, that a candidate's gender constitutes absolutely no reason to support (or oppose) that candidate? Even those who are currently insisting Hillary's girl-parts are a reason to vote for her don't, themselves, believe that, because if the candidate in question was some reactionary grotesquerie like, say, Sarah Palin, the number of them who would be spouting that nonsense and backing said candidate is exactly zero.

Former lefty pol Tom Hayden sure as hell wouldn't be backing Palin. In his writing over the years, he's offered nothing but scorn and contempt for her. In 2008, he said the foreign policy she advocated constituted nothing less than "a mortal threat to America." Yet when he wrote an article that appeared shortly before Bianco's in which he came out as a Clinton supporter, he was singing that tune: "...I have been so tied to the women’s movement that I cannot imagine scoffing at the chance to vote for a woman president." Bianco read that article--she approvingly quotes a different portion of it.

This "vote for Clinton because she's a woman" stuff is intellectually empty, emotional applause-line idiocy, encouraged at every turn by the candidate herself. Hayden, Bianco and everyone else shoveling it have, in reality, various issues that are important to them, just like everyone else; where a candidate stands on those issues will make up a part of whether they back that candidate, just as with everyone else, and contrary to these campaign-season assertions, a candidate's gender will play no real role in their decision.

Which brings me to this from Bianco:

"Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock explained her support for Clinton by highlighting the former secretary of state’s prioritization of reproductive rights and reproductive justice. Rival Bernie Sanders, Schriock notes, 'treats abortion rights like an afterthought.'"

But Bernie Sanders has a 100% rating from both the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He's literally never cast a single vote with which these orgs disagree. How much more forthrightly pro-choice can a candidate be?

Hold that thought.

"While admirable, Sanders’s 'revolution' is primarily an economic one. And despite what he may say, an economic revolution is not tantamount to a sociopolitical overhaul. To put a finer point on it: Achieving a $15 minimum wage will not stop racially prejudiced cops from shooting black people. It will not stop immigrants or refugees from being detained at our borders. Dismantling Wall Street, whatever that means exactly, will not shore up or extend women’s reproductive rights."

It's fortunate, then, that, contrary to this nonsense, Sanders doesn't try to solve those problems via a minimum wage hike and has an actual program that addresses each of them:
As Bianco would well know if she'd done even the most minimal research, Sanders has been addressing such issues for decades. Sanders, in fact, has one of the most ambitious proposed agendas of any presidential candidate in five decades or more:


"It’s a fallacy on Sanders’s part to believe that a 'revolution' in America could be so divorced from identity politics. As the New York Daily News wrote in their endorsement of Clinton, Sanders is 'a fantasist who’s at passionate war with reality.' Clinton’s policy ideas, meanwhile, 'are shaped for the world in which we live, not the world in which we might wish to live.'... Clinton’s platform is designed to advance the rights of the systemically oppressed. This is why she has the support of women’s rights groups, from Planned Parenthood to Emily’s List to the Human Rights Campaign, in addition to countless endorsements from leaders within the black and Latino communities."

As already noted, Sanders has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood. He also has a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He holds a 100% rating from the NAACP and the ACLU and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and on and on. If one is looking for reasons why groups like PP and Emily's List endorse Clinton and work against Sanders, one must look too their close--and, some would argue, corrupt--integration with the Democratic Establishment; one won't find it in any of Sanders' actual views on the issues important to them.

Bianco is aware of this. For all her talk about "Clinton's platform" and the centrality to her argument of its alleged superiority to that of Sanders, she makes no case for it being any better and, indeed, no effort to differentiate it at all. Clinton sheds personae like a snake does skin and her current one is that of a watered-down version of Sanders. Bianco asserts that Clinton "gets things done," but doesn't offer even a single example. Indeed, she links--perhaps accidentally?--to a Jeff Cohen article that illustrates some of Clinton's infinity of outright anti-progressive views. If that's the sort of thing Bianco wants to get done, I suppose Clinton is the perfect candidate for her.[1] It's a matter of public record that, while in the Senate, Clinton sponsored a grand total of three bills that became law, one renaming a highway, one renaming a post-office and one designating a building in Troy, New York as an historic site. That's Hillary Clinton, the gal who "gets things done."[2]

Bianco concludes her train-wreck of an article with this:

"As a feminist, my identity is defined by the fight for equal rights for women, gender parity, equal representation in politics, and women’s reproductive justice. So, yes, my vote will most definitely be dictated by my vagina. And that vote is for Hillary Clinton."

But even if Bianco thinks her desire to vote for Clinton sprang from her vagina, the orifice from which her Orwellian farce of article emerged is clearly a little further back.



[1] Relevant to Bianco's crowing about endorsements, Cohen also goes into how Sanders has long represented the views of various interst groups only to see those groups endorse Clinton, who works against their positions.

[2] Sanders, the "fantasist who’s at passionate war with reality," has a much more extensive and impressive record of liberal legislative accomplishments:

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