Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hillary News & Views 10.29: "Ten Candidates, Zero New Ideas."

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton's epic trolling of last night's GOP debate.   

The Hill reports:
Call them "Texts from Hillary." Hillary Clinton used the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night to text her supporters.
"Seems to me: 10 candidates. 0 new ideas," Clinton wrote in one text, before signing it "H."
Time reports:
If her Twitter is any indication, Hillary Clinton was not too concerned about her possible Republican competition after Wednesday’s GOP debate. The frontrunner for the Democratic nominated tweeted a confident GIF from her Benghazi hearings in response to the Republican debate.
Here's that GIF:
ABC News reports:
Throughout the debate, Clinton continued to text her supporters – hitting the Republican candidates on issues such as college affordability and equal pay. She called out Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson specifically on health care.
“For a surgeon, Ben Carson has a pretty poor diagnosis,” she texted. “We need to build on the progress we’ve made on health care.”
In addition to the texts, Clinton’s campaign aired four new television ads in both Iowa and New Hampshire during the GOP debate on similar issues that Clinton brought up tonight, including equal pay and college affordability.
And here's her video of what it would look like if she was on the debate stage:

Here are some more social media highlights from Clinton yesterday.
Hot on the heels of her endorsement from leading progressive Senator Sherrod Brown, Clinton has gained the backing of leading progressive House member Jared Huffman:
To my friends who have been urging me to endorse Bernie Sanders for President, and to those who have urged an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, I have an announcement.
I like Bernie very much and definitely "feel the Bern" in terms of his positive, authentic, progressive message and especially his relentless focus on addressing income inequality and fixing an economy that is rigged against the middle class. His candidacy is a very good thing for our country and he has already impacted the race in positive ways. Plus, I enjoyed travelling with Bernie and his wonderful wife Jane to Chile last year on a "co-del" focused on human rights.
I'm also very impressed with Secretary Clinton, especially the strong positions she's taken over the past couple of months on trade, climate, environmental protection, and gun violence. She is uniquely qualified to be President, and her very strong performance in the debate and the sham Benghazi hearing reassures me that her candidacy is only gaining strength. And, as a bonus, I think our country would benefit from electing a qualified woman at long last to be our President.
Considering the terrible GOP candidates, the imperative of winning in this very consequential election cycle, and the opportunity to create a wave election in 2016 that returns both the Senate and the House to Democrats, I believe Hillary is our best candidate.
For that reason, and with lots of respect for Bernie, I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and pledging my support as a "Super Delegate" to her at the Democratic convention.
I wanted those who are interested in this to know of my decision and my reasoning.
Meanwhile, as the primary battle continues, negative campaigning is rearing its head. Sort of.

The Washington Post reports:
The general consensus seems to be that Sanders is going more negative on Clinton than the other way around. That seems generally right, but ultimately, none of this stuff is really a big deal, at least not yet. The candidates gain from as robust a debate as possible.
And by the way, both of them almost certainly know this. It has been suggested for months that Clinton was expecting a coronation. But all of the available evidence suggests otherwise — it’s far more likely that Clinton’s team always anticipated the possibility of a very tough battle. And as her strong debate performance and series of surprisingly ambitious, detailed and progressive policy positions suggest, she’s the better for it.
Obviously there is a line that negative attacks can cross, after which they become destructive. But we aren’t near that line yet. Get back to me when the campaigns begin dishonestly wrenching the other side’s words out of context to completely change their meaning, or when Sanders goes after Clinton’s emails in some form or other, or when Clinton red-baits the self-avowed socialist from Vermont. Then we’ll have something to wring our hands about. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.
The biggest argument seems to be surrounding Clinton's wry response to "shouting" about gun control, which has some in the Sanders camp going ballistic that Clinton is calling him a sexist.
Salon reports:
During the first Democratic debate, Sanders responded to Clinton’s impassioned anti-gun argument by telling her that “all the shouting in the world” won’t fix the issue. Now Clinton, to huge amounts of applause from the women in her audiences, has taken to saying, “Sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting.”
It’s a funny line, more of a nose-tweak than some kind of heavy accusation of misogyny. Sanders does, after all, shout all the time. Women like the joke because we’ve all dealt with men who, however well-meaning they are, still end up pushing double standards where they’re allowed to raise their voices or be rude, but blanch if women do it. Most of us know that they don’t mean it, but it’s still offensive.
But even though it’s really not a big deal, a lot of folks are acting like Clinton is accusing Sanders of wife-beating.
I would ask the people who are getting all bent out of shape over this to put yourself in the shoes of the many women who found the exchange between Sanders and Clinton to be annoying. When a man is condescending to you, it’s often hard to tell if that’s just how he is to everyone or if it’s just women he talks down to. It gets even more complicated when you realize that a lot of men who are condescending to everyone still turn the volume up even more when they’re talking to women.
And that is exactly how the “shouting” exchange felt during the debate. Yes, Sanders used the same general talking point in response to both Clinton and O’Malley. But he was more aggressive about it with Clinton, saying, “All the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want,” whereas he merely told O’Malley, “Here is the point, governor. We can raise our voices.” His tone and the amount of force he put behind this openly condescending talking point was very different. Telling women they’re just imagining things reads, in and of itself, like it’s sexist condescension.
A male writer (ahem) at Slate had one of those over the top responses:
Clinton is framing Sanders as a sexist who accuses women of shouting when they try to speak up. It’s a lie. She’s manipulating women and abusing feminist anger for her own advantage.
It’s great that we’re more aware of bigotry than we used to be. But we should also beware false claims of bigotry: the race card, the sex card, the homophobia card.
Sexism, racism, and anti-Semitism are real. But sometimes they’re fabricated.
Clinton is trying to connect with women who have felt bullied by men, and to turn them against Sanders, by smearing him.
And what’s true of racism and anti-Semitism is just as true of sexism: The more seriously you take the real thing, the more you should revile people who use it as a fraud.
Yes, that pleasant bit of gaslighting was written by a "progressive."

Feminist blog Fannie's Room calls the writer on it:
Saletan's is not a reasonable response. It's so reactionary, this reflexive, patronizing defense of Sanders, that it is the sort of thing that pushes me further into Clinton's corner, mostly because it evidences some serious male discomfort about a statement that was so .... tepid.
Clinton alluded to something Problematic that a man said without even using the dreaded words "sexist" or "misogynistic" and whoa boy Saletan reacts as though she's inflicted a human rights violation of the first order on Sanders by calling it out.
Yet, for all of Saletan's warning about "cards" that women, gays, and minorities "play" in order to, as he alleges, "smear" their opponents, the biggest move of all is when people like him throw down their Gaslight Card and proclaim, As the speaker of Objective Truth here, I define what's really racist, sexist, and homophobic, and what you just experienced isn't it.
Because that's another important pattern too, isn't it?
So, it is something big, for a prominent woman to use her authority and platform to speak a truth about Speaking While Female that many women know all too well.
I bet that Hillary Clinton, in her many years of speaking publicly while female, knows that many people react in predictable, unfortunate, and gendered ways when it is a woman speaking. That Clinton will call this out, name it, and also deign to define reality in this way, I suspect is the real threat here, even to purportedly liberal and progressive men - certainly to conservatives and anti-feminists.
A brief moment of editorializing on my part:

 Documenting and attempting to dismantle structural sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry is an ongoing part of progressivism that many progressives do not pay attention to, but others have as their central focus.

When issues like this flare up, it's an opportunity for us to be educated and to listen to those who are knowledgeable experts. Sadly, that too often means listening to members of the group being marginalized, as doing the meaningful work mostly falls on the shoulders of those being marginalized.
Many women, particularly those who work in advancing feminism, noted the sexist framework of that "shouting" comment. I noticed it, too, but probably wouldn't have if I hadn't been listening to and reading the writings of feminists over the past few years. I have to work to get past my male privilege. As we all must do.

Same thing with the #BLM movement. I shut up and I listen as much as possible to compensate for my white privilege. As we all must do.

When a recommended diary turns "trope" around to be in service of those claiming to be victimized by feminism, rather that sexism, we've got a serious problem. We're very good at calling the right out when they wail, "reverse racism." We're not so good at calling ourselves out when we do something similar about race or gender. Just being better than the right is not enough.

We progressives present ourselves as the true advocates for equality. When we're shouting down and dismissing the concerns of those we claim to advocate for, we're doing something wrong.

That is all.

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