Yesterday, I posted something about the race for the Democratic nomination. It wasn’t an endorsement of either candidate. It made no argument in favor of either candidate. It didn’t even express my preference for either candidate.
What I posted yesterday was a critique of the political process as it’s playing out this year. It pointed out that allowing our progressive selves to embrace decades of right-wing character assassination of Hillary Clinton harms more than Clinton. It pointed out that doing this harms me and other women who have been subjected to similar campaigns for being politically active and effective. And it pointed out that it’s nearly impossible to get people to pay attention to this problem.
It also said this:
Commenting note: If you think a personal reflection like this is a place to argue for or against your candidate, whoever that might be, think again. Think hard. Trying to talk about this problem–and having that treated as though I were campaigning instead of engaging in the same cultural critique I do every day as a feminist–has been exhausting and disheartening. My reserves of diplomacy are running low.
Here are the comments I received on that post that you won’t see there.
This would have a lot more weight if CNN and the mainstream media hadn’t been pushing Hillary Clinton as the inevitable nominee for practically an entire year now. You look at the treatment Bernie Sanders got at the CNN townhall at Iowa and the questions were completely unbalanced. Chris Cuomo asked Hillary questions like “Gosh look at all these amazing endorsements for you. Why does Obama love you so much?” Directly after, btw, all the media put up blaring out-of-context “We will raise taxes, yes we will – Sanders” headlines when he was referring to a Medicare-For-All system. Sanders has gotten seriously terrible treatment by the press as well, with corporate media practically openly campaigning for Hillary.
I’m not saying that to make some sort of false equivalency with the sexism directed at Clinton. I’m trying to say that the establishment media (esp. CNN and MSNBC) have all been pushing Hillary Clinton as the nominee, dismissing and deriding Sanders constantly. So to suggest that those same forces are somehow against her politically is obviously ridiculous (if that is what is being suggested here). She’s not the underdog.
The commenter doesn’t even know what I’m saying, but instead of asking, they had to talk about anything but misogyny.
… a woman whose major “crime” was pushing for progress faster than post-Reagan Republicans were willing to allow…
So the US share of the mayhem in Honduras, Iraq, and Syria during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State counts as merely a minor crime? Voting as a Senator to give blank checks and get-out-of-everything-free cards to the Bush-Cheney gang and the financial industry ranks as somewhere between misdemeanor and peccadillo?
Stephanie Zvan doesn’t qualify as a monster, because she did none of those things. Clinton, however…
No, the “crime” that got Clinton dumped into the right-wing lie machine was entering the White House as First Lady with an ambition to single-payer health care. I’ll take that time machine if you’ve got it, though. And thanks for letting me know I’m not a retroactive monster…yet.
I don’t see any reason to respect your commenting guidelines, frankly. I see no reason you get to say something personal, publicly, and then threaten that your reserves of diplomacy are getting low. I don’t have reserves of diplomacy at all. You deal with that and I’ll deal with your commenting guidelines and that’s fine.
I agree with you that there has been a tremendous amount of sleazy shit thrown at Clinton. It’s being thrown by horrible motherfuckers that are probably worse than she is. I say ‘probably’ because – unlike her – they haven’t shown their colors as thoroughly. Clinton backed an illegal and immoral war in Libya, and gloated disgustingly over Ghaddafi’s being killed with a bayonet up his asshole. Her opponents have to nitpick her because they’d probably be worse. But Clinton has done that. “We came, we saw, he died.” What the fuck. If that’s not monstrous, can you please tell me what is? And – yes – if you don’t have truly harsh words for Clinton; not “nitpicking” I mean serious “do you want that person to have the reins of power?” harsh words then there is something wrong with you.
And this from the same commenter.
Because the republicans are fucking awful human beings, too, restricts their moral range from which they can criticize Clinton. I’m not that kind of human being and I can criticize Clinton for being a nationalist warmongering asshole; if the republicans did that it’d be insane hypocrisy coming from them. Decent people should not feel limited to the moral landscape that the two party system has carefully constructed and is selling as “the lesser of two evils” Where it gets tricky is when someone sides with one of those lesser evils to the point where they become an outright apologist for those evils. I hope you’re not going there.
Neither comment has anything to do with anything other than the title on the post where they were left, despite mentioning the commenting note at the bottom of the post. Both comments come from someone I’ve actually enjoyed interacting with and who’s been good at looking at and seeing misogyny in the past. When I say it’s really hard to get people to look at this problem, this is the kind of thing I’m talking about. The part where they note the boundary I stated then trample over it is also a problem.
Clinton directly changing her position on, say, same-sex marriage is not flip-flopping.
But okay, you’re basically saying that her slimeballiness is a necessary evil to enact good policies in a political environment.
That, say, Bernie Sanders is not PC enough and therefore cannot enact his polices.
Well, YOU’RE just wrong. Studies have shown that Bernie Sanders is MORE electable against a Republican. Hillary Clinton is the greatest enemy to progressivism.
She was an ARDENT support of the war in Iraq (if that’s not a deal-breaker, what is?), and she has an ABYSMAL track record on finance reform.
Of course, I strongly suspect you support her JUST because she’s a woman, like a little feminist faggot.
And another from this commenter.
I don’t give a shit, Steph.
Hillary Clinton supported the Iraq War. I will never miss an opportunity to give her shit.
Nothing you’ve written in this blog post compares to the slaughter of 500,000 innocent people that she voted to authorize. Even as late as 2007 she was defending the war.
You didn’t even know, did you? That’s how much of a deluded privileged feminist you are.
All three over the course of about half an hour. No one I know this time, just someone who had to spend that much time telling me about their obsessive, misogynist hatred.
I don’t know if this is an acceptable argument to make here. But, coming from a mexican perspective, I do view Hillary Clinton as a monster, or at the very least the newest face of the eternal humiliation that my country has had to endure.
A little bit of context. It’s a bit of a mexican history lesson but please, bear with me:
There had been several socialist programs in Mexico, almost all of them product of the 50’s policy of “The Mexican Miracle”, probably the period of greater stability in mexican history. Nearly all of them were privatized one by one and bought by foreign (mostly american) corporations during the 90’s. Only a couple of public universities and two major programs remained, Social Healthcare and the Oil Industry (PEMEX).
I don’t expect you to be aware of any of this but PEMEX has been one of the main job sources for mexicans and its earnings produce a third of the mexican government’s budget.
Well, now PEMEX is getting it too. A recent reform passed that is going to open the oil industry to foreign (mostly american) corporations, breaking PEMEX down and creating an influx of jobs (for other people).
Now Why would a mexican politician draft such a terrible thing? Well they didn’t.
Among the e-mails that the American State Department released one of them was the Mexican Energetic Reform, as drafted by Hillary Clinton.
Right now the healthcare of my sister, the retirement pension of my father, the entire industry of my hometown, Tula de Allende, are under threat because of her. I don’t pick her out on her gender, I pick her out because she is the face of american interventionism in my life and the life of basically everyone I know.
And now she’s posing herself to gain even more power as President of the United States. How can I see her as anything but a monster?
And who benefits from her actions? Well… not the american people, from what I understand. But corporations like Exxon, Mobil, Chevron and BP. So when people accuse her of just looking out for the benefit of her corporate donors all I can say is “Yep, she does. Thought you guys knew that already.”
Well, no. I said it wasn’t acceptable here, but nobody seems to care about that any more than they care that the problem I’m talking about damages me. Who gives a fuck about me if you can hurt Clinton by any means necessary?
I have no intention of putting up with another nine months of this, so I’ll take my leave.
You are a disgusting fat cunt.
Yeah, this is the one I woke up to this morning. This is also someone who’s been commenting here for a while. I’ll be enforcing that flounce.
I’ll be enforcing my boundaries on commenting here too, same as they were on the last post. There are huge swaths of the internet where you can talk about hating Clinton for any reason–good or bad–and get cookies for it. You don’t get to do it here. You particularly don’t get to do it here in lieu of giving a shit about me.