I’m a curmudgeon, but not a dope.
I believe in strong competent leaders. And I have absolutely no trouble with the concept that a strong competent leader is a woman.
The women in my life are strong, competent people. My wife, my daughter, my mother and mother-in-law: not one is a weakling or a coward.
For most of the past decade, by most measures by far the most remunerative in my 40+ years in the workforce [bar inflation, a subject of a future post], my supervisors, managers, directors and even one vice president / corporate officer, are all women. Strong, competent leaders, each of them.
Not all of them easy to work with or for, but that’s equally true of all of the men I have worked for all of these years.
Have I established gender neutrality credentials? Feminist (if a guy of a certain age is permitted to so classify himself) credentials? I hope so, because it’s how I lead my life.
Thus, I have absolutely no trouble with the concept of a woman ascending to the office of President of the United States of America. Long overdue.
I’ve had trouble from Day 1 with the actuality of the particular woman who seeks that office this year.
And it’s not about her gender whatsoever.
Maureen Dowd in today’s NYTimes finally expressed out loud what many of us of the progressive persuasion have not expressed out loud, although perhaps it has been manifested in polling places for the past six weeks. Because, after all, it doesn’t seem very progressive, or very feminist, to be against a woman running for president.
It’s about this woman.
A Flawed Feminist Test
By MAUREEN DOWD | Published: February 13, 2008 | WASHINGTON
… We’re not just in the most vertiginous election of our lives. We’re in another national seminar on gender and race that is teaching us about who we are as we figure out what we want America to be.
It’s not yet clear which prejudice will infect the presidential contest more — misogyny or racism….
…But Hillary is not the best test case for women. We’ll never know how much of the backlash is because she’s a woman or because she’s this woman or because of the ick factor of returning to the old Clinton dysfunction….
Exactly. This woman.
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
A Flawed Feminist Test – New York Times
The Obama people who have been running against Bill Clinton’s presidential record have it wrong. Slate did a good job exposing that the other day.
Memo to Obama Fans
Clinton’s presidency was not a failure.
By David Greenberg | Posted Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, at 3:34 PM ET
Barack Obama’s upscale white supporters (and those too young to recall the 1970s and 1980s) tend to describe Clinton-ism as a betrayal of liberalism, a sellout to Wall Street, and proof that “the Clintons” won’t bring about change—a view encapsulated in the Daily Kos blog’s visceral aversion to Terry McAuliffe’s mug. Yet while the courting of big donors with stays in the Lincoln Bedroom left a bad odor, as a historical matter, the Clinton years were unquestionably a time of progress, especially on the economy. And it seems that as Obama mania sweeps the educated classes, the party’s struggling lower-income base still prefers Hillary. One reason is that they’re less prone than their better-off party mates to vote out of an enthusiasm for stirring rhetoric or viral videos or a wish to play their part in a grand narrative of racial reconciliation. Having been battered by globalization, rising health care and education costs, and the subprime mortgage disaster, they’re remembering the Clinton years and voting for who they think will help them.
Memo to Obama fans: Clinton-ism was a success. – By David Greenberg – Slate Magazine
So where does this leave us? If it’s all about the pocketbook, then the Clinton years definitely were propitious, especially measured against the myriad failures of commission of the George III reign.
But it’s that man.
The one that so affronted the opposition party, that filled the Republican congressional leadership with such sclerotic fury, they finally impeached him over a serious personal, but governmentally trivial issue, because he was that man, and they could.
And he’s still around. And she’s still married to him.
Back to Dowd:
Instead of carving out a separate identity for herself, she has become more entwined with Bill. She is running bolstered by his record and his muscle. She touts her experience as first lady, even though her judgment during those years on issue after issue was poor. She says she’s learned from her mistakes, but that’s not a compelling pitch.
As a senator, she was not a leading voice on important issues, and her Iraq vote was about her political viability.
So, wife, daughter, mothers, bosses, please understand how sincere I am.
This country is more than ready for a strong competent leader.
If that strong competent leader is of a progressive frame of mind, so much the better.
If that progressive strong competent leader happens to be a black man, or Hispanic, or a self-made billionaire mayor, or a woman, well, it’s about time.
But this woman?
Sorry, can’t do it.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
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Thanks Mark, great analysis
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