Guest post by Grey
Dedicated to Scot Lehigh, because he wrote a really farcical piece today, “Clinton’s ‘sexism’ dodge”:
People are right to decry boorish anti-Clinton comments, offensive jokes, and the bilge, bile, and billings-gate of the talk-radio blowhards, as well as occasional over-the-top utterances from cable commentators.
But let’s not mistake the Bruegelian sideshow for the political mainstream. Even allowing for all that stupidity, the notion that sexism is primarily to blame for Clinton’s woes doesn’t pass logical muster.
Hear that? If you think sexism might have had something to do with Clinton’s position in the race, you’re illogical, and isn’t it just like a girl to get all whiny and flighty about it?
Consider: Last fall, Clinton was widely judged the prohibitive front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. In early October, she led Obama by a staggering 53 percent to 20 percent in the Washington Post/ABC News poll. At that point, her average lead in national polls was 20 percentage points.
Therefore, if gender bias really were the cause of her primary problem, one would have to posit that a epidemic of resurgent sexism suddenly infected the country late last year.
U-huh. Sen. Clinton’s earlier numbers reflected her name recognition, not her popularity, and they certainly were not an indication of the country’s view of women or, more narrowly, women in politics. One would not have to “posit” any such thing, because sexism, as any serious, logical person knows, is often a response to events, and maybe seeing just how successful Clinton has been woke up some people and their dormant sexism, too.
It is no more logical to say that Clinton’s candidacy has not been hindered by sexism than it is to propose that Obama’s has flourished because the country has turned the page on racism, which is a fantasy in which no one should indulge.
But that’s just my girly logic. Where’s the fainting couch?