Nothing like a self important male explaining to the ladies what feminism is
all about. One of Andrew Sullivan's readers evidently transcribed a segment on "Hardball"
from yesterday, with a woman telling it like it is, which resulted in a full
Derangement Syndrome meltdown from Sullivan.
Chris Matthews: Faye, you first, you know Hillary Clinton, you know Bill Clinton. What's Bill's role in this thing, is it a good role or a bad role?
Faye Wattleton: Well, I think that Bill Clinton's role is that of the spouses of all the candidates, he's participating as a surrogate for his wife who is running. And I think that its entirely consistent with the ascension of other women to the top offices in their country; they come about it as the result of the president being their spouse or being members of prominent families. So I don't think that we should be so upset and agitated about Mr. Clinton's participation - we should continue to focus on the issues that the people want to hear about...these other matters are really side issues.
Andrew Sullivan responds: A proud defense of nepotism over feminism. Or rather, as is the Clintons' wont, a total conflation of feminism with nepotism. I remember similar Clintonian feminists in the 1990s trashing, smearing and sliming women who dared to complain about the sexual harassment and abuse of women that Bill Clinton - with his wife's full knowledge - engaged in for years. This couple really do corrupt everything they touch.
Wattleton's explanation of a woman's reality is the point I've been making from day one. How is any woman going to break the ultimate glass ceiling of commander in chief unless she's not only qualified, but also connected? The only way Clinton could run for president and be the first viable female candidate ever is deep connections running through the male dominated political system, which includes her powerful husband.
But as you can tell from Sullivan's screed, this is about so much more for him, and has absolutely nothing to do with feminism or a defense of women. It's a personal attack on one the most powerful political females in our country today using her husband's moral failings against her. Sullivan strips Clinton's own identity from her, ripping it apart from her persona. In the process, he ignores and disrespects her mental agility, her prowess on policy, her talent to understand issues, her passion for solving people's problems, her ability to take fire and keep on reaching out to convince voters she's not a wingnut caricature, including going places she's not welcome to try to change minds. She's done just that in New York state, winning over voters that used to doubt her commitment to their lives. But none of this matters to Sullivan. He reduces Hillary Clinton to nothing more than the wife of a philanderer, who also evidently likes it that her husband has had terrible moral lapses in his life. Hillary Clinton's ability to forgive him, rise above it and continue to thrive and prosper, through the approval of thousands of voters in New York, escapes Sullivan. So does Hillary Clinton's unending commitment to her marriage. He is the better arbiter of all things Clinton.
Sullivan's insults are the very product of male misogyny wrapped up in the cloak of false feminism and defense of women. But his derangement only results in his own disgrace. Because you simply cannot target one woman with such vile screeds day in and day out, without any substance whatsoever attached, then say you're some arbiter of feminism. That's especially true when you also attack another woman in the process who is telling it as it is for women seeking power today. But for Sullivan attacking another woman while sliming Clinton is just a twofer.