Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hillary News & Views 6.7.2016: AP Count, 227 Years & "We Don't Have Time For Fear"

Congratulations, Madam Candidate (per the AP)

Guest post aphra behn

Hello Hillary-supporting community! Due to travel plans, I’ve swapped days with Lysis, who will be back on Thursday. That gives me the honor of bringing you news on a historic primary day when California, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and New Mexico vote.
And also! The first HNV since the AP reported that, by their count, Hillary Clinton has enough total delegates to clinch the nomination:
Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.
Clinton's rise to presumptive nominee arrived nearly eight years to the day after she conceded her first White House campaign to Barack Obama. Back then, she famously noted her inability to "shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling."
...Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count.
The AP surveyed all 714 superdelegates repeatedly in the past seven months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted.
Writing at the New York Times, Nate Cohn explains the AP’s conclusion a bit more:
Mrs. Clinton went over the top with the support of around 20 additional superdelegates, the officials who represent about 15 percent of the delegates to the Democratic convention. These delegates did not previously commit to Mrs. Clinton, but pledged their support to her in interviews with The A.P.
...The A.P. has repeatedly interviewed superdelegates, so it’s not likely that there’s a big pool of delegates who pledged to her a year ago and have since switched. If anything, these early supporters are likely to be her strongest backers.
And history provides reason to take them seriously. In 1984, Gary Hart failed miserably in trying to change superdelegates’ minds in his race against Walter Mondale.
The news networks projected that Mr. Obama was the presumptive nominee in the 2008 Democratic primary based on the same rules for tabulating superdelegates. Mrs. Clinton did not decide it was worth taking the fight to the convention.
Writing at Blue Nation Review, Melissa McEwan sums up my feelings nicely:
I have watched, with incandescent joy and agonizing fear of disappointment, as Hillary Clinton has fought her way through brick walls of misogyny to stand on the precipice of the presidency. I have clapped my hands with elation and I have wrung my hands with worry and I have knitted by brow in rageful vexation and I have worked my mind and fingers to their limits, pounding away on a keyboard, with hope and anxiety.
This is a world of men. And the United States Presidency is one of the biggest, baddest Boys’ Clubs on the planet.
I don’t just want any woman to break into it. I want a woman who has spent her career fighting for women and girls, who leverages her influence to uplift other women, who listens to women and amplifies their voices. I want Hillary Clinton. I want her to win.
And now, after two hundred and twenty-seven years of uninterrupted male presidencies, and nary a single female nominee from a major party, Hillary will pass the threshold. She will earn a majority of pledged delegates and clinch the Democratic nomination.
But the campaign is taking nothing for granted, hoping to maximize votes today:
True to form, Clinton campaigned hard in California on Tuesday, as Seema Mehta of the LA Times reports:
 Hillary Clinton kicked off her star-studded final sprint through California at a boisterous rally at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood on Monday, urging voters to head to the polls.
"Tomorrow is a really big day," she told several hundred supporters, one of whom yelled that it was “Hillary Day!” "Let’s hope it is," she responded. "I would be deeply honored and humbled for it to be Hillary Day. But that depends on all of you and your family and your friends and your colleagues."
"This election feels so personal to me because I know that whomever we elect will have a profound role in shaping the world and the values that my children, your children, your grandchildren will grow up in," she said.
Hillary Clinton never lacked as a mother because her work, Clinton said. Her parents would frequently bring her to political events and hold debates at the family dinner table.
"I'm grateful now as a mom that she took what could have been an overwhelming experience for a 6-year-old and made it a real teachable moment," Clinton, who is pregnant with her second child, said.
According to reporting in the New York Times, Obama is eager to jump in and start campaigning for Clinton:
“He has indicated he wants to spend a lot of time on the campaign trail, so when it’s time to do that, we’ll go out guns ablazing,” Jennifer Psaki, Mr. Obama’s communications director, said in an interview. “We are actively thinking through how to use the president on the campaign trail — what works for the nominee, what works for him, and how to utilize his strengths and his appeal.”
Jennifer Palmieri, Mrs. Clinton’s communications director, said that Mrs. Clinton hoped to earn Mr. Obama’s endorsement and his active participation in the campaign during the summer and fall.
“There’s no one better to lay out the two paths voters will face in the fall elections,” Ms. Palmieri said, “and he is particularly strong at making the economic argument for her.”
Lest anyone doubt that sexism is playing a huge role in this election, Charlotte Alterhas a peice at Time magazine about the ugliness:
Longtime political observers say these comments make it permissible to use language that was once frowned upon in the public sphere. “It’s coming from the top,” says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. “We’re not talking about trolls sitting in their mother’s basement. We’re talking about the candidate himself.”
But it also appears to be bubbling up from the bottom. The Travis County Republican Party in Texas recently elected as its chairman Robert Morrow, a conspiracy theorist who regularly tweets explicit sexual jokes about Hillary Clinton along with anime soft porn of big-breasted women.
“Liking beautiful women with big titties is not misogynist. I call it normal,” he told TIME, when asked about the images on his Twitter. The co-author of the book, The Clintons’ War on Women with former Trump aide Roger Stone, he has a similar explanation for the venom he sends at the former Secretary of State. “I hate Hillary Clinton because she is a vicious, vile criminal who should have been thrown in jail many years ago,” he says. “It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s an ugly, vicious, angry bull-dyke.”
But the joke’s on Morrow and his ilk. Writing in USA Today, Heidi Pryzbyla notes that emphasizing women’s issues (as well as grassroots organizing) is turning out to be one of Clinton’s great strengths:
In 2008, Clinton did not overtly run on women’s issues. This time, they were stitched into every facet of her campaign. “Women for Hillary” was launched on the 20th anniversary of the former first lady’s 1995 Beijing speech in which she proclaimed “women’s rights are human rights.” There was even a marketing component offering regular subscriptions for home deliveries of some of Clinton’s favorite household items and branded products.
“She’s very comfortable playing the woman card, as Trump would say,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster and expert on women candidates.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Clinton was asked whether she appreciates what her nomination means to other women. “My supporters are passionate. They are committed. They have voted for me in great numbers across our country for many reasons," said Clinton. "But among those reasons is their belief that having a woman president will make a great statement, a historic statement about what kind of country we are, what we stand for. It's really emotional."
Tamara Keith of NPR got Hillary to open up about what her candidacy means for women and for girls:

.@tamarakeithNPR gets Clinton to open up about likely becoming the first female nominee from a major party.
And speaking of broadening horizons for women, how about our “Thursday Herstory” break? (I know it’s only Tuesday, but just call it early!)

They voted.
Across the United States, between 1868 and 1873, they voted.
Sojourner Truth. Susan B. Anthony. Virginia Minor. Hundreds of other women, in more than ten states. They went to the polling places. Some registered. And a few voted. And although their bold actions did not result in women’s immediate enfranchisement, a key legal case from the election of 1872 would determine the shape of the woman suffrage movement for decades to come.
Very few of the women who tried to vote in those years were successful. In 1870, a group of black women in South Carolina successfully voted alongside black men. The next year, however, when two black women attempted to vote in Charleston SC, they were refused and fined.
Most times, they were unsuccessful. A  group of both white and black women attempted to vote in Washington DC in 1869, but were refused. Their names were: Eliza J. Anderson, Sarah Evans, Caroline W. Moore, Sarah Richardson, M. G. Smith, Julia A. Wilbur, and Louisa C. Butler.
Gladstone Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress; Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-6165 (3-11b)It wasn’t that women were shut out of all political involvement. The famous orator Sojourner Truth (about whom Denise Oliver Velez  has written) actively campaigned for President Grant in 1872.  But when she attempted to both register and vote in 1872 in her hometown of Battle Creek, MI, she was refused both times, albeit politely.  Newspaper account says that she made many “original quaintly put arguments” for the vote, but was unsuccessful. (Perhaps if the arguments had been made by a  white man, the paper would have been more respectful.)

Probably the most famous illegal voter of 1872 was Susan B. Anthony.   On November 5, 1872, Anthony and fourteen other women voted in Rochester, New York. A poll watchers’ complaint led to her arrest in November 18, leading to a hearing before the local commissioner in December, where Anthony was represented by Henry Selden. As outlined at the Federal Judicial Center site:
When the hearing resumed on December 23, 1872, the commissioner moved it from his office to the city council chambers to accommodate a large audience. Henry Selden spoke first. He argued that Anthony had the right to vote, since voting was an essential ingredient of citizenship. States retained their right to regulate voting, but the Reconstruction amendments took away states’ right to exclude a class of citizens from voting. Even if Anthony did not have that right, yet believed she did, her action lacked “the indispensible ingredient of all crime, a corrupt intention.”
The commissioner did not accept the argument, and set bail for the women. The others paid; Anthony did not. At her trial in June 1873, Anthony’s lawyer argued that she had been arrested merely because of her gender; a man attempting the same act would not have been jailed. He argued for three hours; the state argued for two. At the end of arguments, Judge Ward Hunt, who had not permitted Anthony to testify on her own behalf, took an opinion that he had already written out of his pocket and read it, pronouncing Anthony guilty. Not only had he ignored every argument made, he had subverted justice; one of the jurors later claimed that he and the other men would have acquitted Anthony is they had been allowed to speak. Although Anthony protested, the judge fined her $100, to which she responded:


"May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper- The Revolution -four years ago, the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your manmade, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."
But Anthony’s case did not go to the Supreme Court. That honor belonged to Virginia Minor, a white St. Louis woman who was turned down by county registrar Reese Happersett when she attempted to vote in 1872. Her husband, Francis Minor, filed an action against Happersett in Missouri state courts, arguing  that, as a citizen, Virginia Minor had a right to vote. They lost, and appealed. By 1875, the case had wound its way to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Waite delivered the opinion. In it, he agreed that women were citizens:
There is no doubt that women may be citizens. They are persons, and by the fourteenth amendment "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" are expressly declared to be "citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."


But he concluded that being a citizen did not mean having the right to vote:
[I]f the courts can consider any question settled, this is one. For nearly ninety years the people have acted upon the idea that the Constitution, when it conferred citizenship, did not necessarily confer the right of suffrage. If uniform practice long continued can settle the construction of so important an instrument as the Constitution of the United States confessedly is, most certainly it has been done here. Our province is to decide what the law is, not to declare what it should be…
If the law is wrong, it ought to be changed; but the power for that is not with us.
It was  a stunning blow to the women who had voted. At the same time, it clarified the direction that arguments for women’s suffrage would take over the next 55 years: suffrage would have to come by statute, not lawsuits. Some suffragists would take thestruggle to the states. Others would take it to Congress. In January 1878, Aaron A. Sargent, husband of suffragist Ellen Clark Sargent,  took the floor of the senate to introduce a brief (29 words!) amendment to the Constitution recognizing the right of American women to vote. Not until 1920 would it finally became the law of the land.
Oh, and Sargent’s constituency? The great state of California, which recognized women’s right to vote in 1911, and where (I hope) many voters will choose a certain female candidate today.

Lance Mannion has a terrific piece on the Goldwater Girl slur, noting just how much of Hillary Rodham Clinton it erases:
People keep bringing it up as if a 67 year old former United States Senator and Secretary of State and likely next President of the United States is still exactly what she was when she was a 16 year old high school student, as if all of us, no matter how far we’ve progressed in life, are still and always only who and what we were back in the eleventh grade.
Instead of her being a United States Senator with a long list of accomplishments as a politician, attorney, and advocate for women’s and children’s rights, health, and education, she was frozen back in time as a silly teenage girl whose head was still turned by a gun-toting, cowboy-hatted, square-jawed, silver-haired, Right Wing Arizonan who’d opposed Civil Rights and was willing to blow up the world in an extreme defense of liberty while innocent children picked daisies. Or something like that. At any rate, it effectively erased her entire adult career from the debate, and back then, as it now, her breadth and depth of experience compared to her opponent’s inexperience was one of her central arguments in her own favor.
...After all, if you can’t actually argue away her experience and achievements, you can try to show that all she’s done has been motivated by the same politics that inspired her to put on her own cowgirl outfit and cowboy hat with the slogan AUH2O on the crown fifty-two years ago.
And speaking of some of her historic achievements, Wellesley has released an audiorecording of  the famous commencement speech from 1969. The transcripts have been released before, but this is the first time we get to hear young Hillary Rodham herself speak.
 I really love this section:
The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. And the word consequences of course catapults us into the future. One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to a woman who said that she wouldn't want to be me for anything in the world. She wouldn't want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she's afraid. Fear is always with us but we just don't have time for it. Not now.
“Fear is always with us but we just don't have time for it.” Maybe more than ever.
To end on a personal note: I was born in the 1970s, a Gen X-er in the younger part of the cohort. My childhood was full of pop culture feminist icons: Miss Piggy, Wonder Woman, the Bionic Woman, Princess Leia. The military academies were desegregated. The first female Supreme Court Justice was appointed. Sally Ride went into space. Geraldine Ferraro was nominated for Vice President. As a child I was confident that the promises of my youth were true, and a female president was just around the corner.
As an adult, I kept wondering “what happened.” For every inch of progress, it seemed the United States was stuck in the feminist shuffle: two steps forward, one step back. Then, in 2008, Hillary Clinton put 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, while Barack Obama broke down a  different kind of barrier. Her strength, and his win, gave me hope that the United States was able to overcome deep social prejudice. But I dared not have too much. I figured Clinton would not wish to run again, and I saw few other women with quite the same combination of experience, political gifts, truly international stature, and willingness to face inestimable bullshit. We have many very good female politicians, but I knew it would take someone very special to break that barrier. 
Hillary Clinton has done something no woman has ever done in our history: be named by a major press service as the presumptive nominee of a major American political party. She has an extremely strong chance to win the presidency. And I feel extraordinarily grateful and privileged to be alive to see it. Between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, today’s children will have never known a time when one had to be white and a man to become president.
How extraordinary. How awe-inspiring.
We’re with you, Madam Candidate!
(originally posted at Daily Kos)


  1. I was a year ahead of Hillary, and also a poli sci major, who wanted to go to law school, but I feared the LSAT, signed up but blew it off. I ended up first working as a secretary, where I learned to type like the wind, while protesting the war and supporting McGovern. (I discovered the glass ceiling was very low in 1968.)

    My friend Carole Greene was more like Hillary in personality, she had the obvious passion for righting wrongs, and she was also uncool in expressing her passions, and she was also clearly square. She went into teaching.

    None of us were fearless, fearless is Hillary's signature.

    I first noticed Hillary when Bill was running for office, the first lady with whom I could identify, even changing hairstyles. She's more polished now, but she still speaks awkward personal truths, and that's what I noticed, with the cookie line, a girl like me. I didn't know how easy it was to offend men and women for not knowing my place either.

    For me she was the star of Travelgate, she didn't like slackers and losing tickets, forgetting to make bookings and keeping checks for trips in the agency heads personal checking account was at the least too sloppy for her. But even that man was elevated, yet another example of Hillary not knowing her place.

    That's how I came to know her, we've never actually met. I've been a watcher.

    That's why I happen to know that the entire time Bill was president, she saw things she'd change if she had that job. That's why she had a blueprint for first day in office when she was running in '08, agencies mishandled by W, employees who should be promoted, the ones who do the job.

    That's what she looks for, (1) skills and an appreciation for honing them forever and getting new ones, (2) passion for your job based on a passion for public service, (3) play well with others, give credit where it's due and never take credit for someone else's work, (4) ability to see the big picture and to think big.

    bonus for humor, bonus for kind and generous.

    this is going to fun