Thursday, April 03, 2008


Now I'm playing it real straight, and yes I cut my hair
You might think I'm crazy, but I don't even care

Because I can tell what's going on

It's hip to be square

--Hip to Be Square,
Huey Lewis and The New

We sell 'em missiles, We sell 'em tanks

We give 'em credit, You can call up the bank

It's just a business, You can pay us in crude

You'll love these toys, just go play out your feuds

--Highwire, The Rolling Stones

RealClearPolitics.com ran a piece speculating the reason behind the fervent calls for Hillary's capitulation lies in her anatomical difference from the majority of the power elite ("Trying to Push Hillary Aside"):

"Now Clinton's methodical, dogged history of work for the Democratic Party is treated just like the methodical, dogged histories of so many women in the workplace: Having come this far she must not go too far. She must step aside to take the smaller office, with the lesser title and the lower pay to make room for the younger guy with the thinner resume. And please, would she just go quietly like a good girl?"

She presents and is represented as hectoring, measured, whining, grating, possessing a teacher-like voice. This adds up to one annoying woman. Certainly not any woman who you would like to watch sashaying down a runway, and isn't that mostly why we like to watch women?

We like to watch them scale the heights that their femininity can gain them -- such as Jessica Simpson's keeping her football hero man Tony Romo off the gridiron, and later, the scadenfreude that comes with their inevitable fall from grace

Men are told by women what to do since they are little boys. Mothers, grade school teachers, girlfriends and wives. . . they are tired of it, and not going to take it anymore. Culturally, the battle of the sexes is same as it ever was. Some maneuvers become more background, some more foreground, but parity is never reached.

Pretty little Nancy Pelosi is a woman who gets away with being House Speaker because she is brilliant and eloquent, and wears heels and suits that show her weight-proportionate knees, and smiles when Dick Cheney talks, even if she does wish to wretch. She is a funambulist, which is what a successful woman must be in our society.

Hillary is like a man in sheep's clothing. She does not know how to look at a man or woman in a way that says, "I'll wager you'd be fun in bed." She doesn't flatter nor ingratiate nor insinuate in those ways that emanate from either a natural charisma, or a lifetime of practice.

Ultimately, that flirtation is why most people like others and vote for them. "He is a good-looking man," as my grandmother said of Mr. Reagan. It is the Sally Fields' moment: You like me. Or at least, you are like me, which is a close enough approximation for our selfish genes to recognize.

Hillary is favored with none of Bill's natural talent in that arena. She is a wonk, with a lifetime of book learnin', but female non-player wonks do not make it to the highest echelons of power. We have not come that long of a way, baby.

The topic of Mr. Clinton's indiscretion with Ms. Lewinsky became a topic of discussion in a class of mine at the time. There was a clear racial divide between those who were outraged by his behavior and those sympathetic. The black students took the French view: he was just a man, doing what men do, but he got caught. The women were his fiercest defenders.

One cannot imagine such sympathy being transferred to Hillary. She is not a good 'ole girl. In that dialectic, she is to be the long-suffering servant. Instead, she has chosen to be disobedient and insubordinate in her project to "dethrone" Bill. She is harsh, and that is unforgivable, except by other women unfortunately so-labeled.

, U.S. black men got the franchise before women, via the 15th Amendment (1870) vs. the 19th (1920.) A man of color will be accepted to the office of president before a woman by virtue of his anatomical affiliation with others in power.

Alice Eagly, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, agrees: “In general, gender trumps race. ... Race may be easier to overcome.”

People will not be wowed by charts and figures. They want something that looks way different than the nasty white men who got them into this fix. Obama looks different. Appearances are convincing.

Change, American-style. Game-set-match.

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Blogger DirkStar said...

So, what happened to Spiider?

I'm worried.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 6:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 8:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey Dirk,

I don't know what's up. He has been off the radar for up to a month or so in the past, but this is a long time.

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 8:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An old friend who was a conscientious objector and became a medic in Vietnam started a blog about his experiences which you two may be interested in reading:

Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 9:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Kootenay said...

I don't supposed I'm entirely unique in thinking that race and gender are pretty irrelevent in the matter of choosing a leader (at least, I hope not!) In this case, the problem I have with Hillary has zero to do with her gender and everything to do with her support of the Iraq war. I know that other people feel that issues like the economy and immigration are more pressing concerns, but that's my number one issue and my support will inevitably go to whoever seems most likely to get the hell out fastest. To my knowledge she has yet to admit that supporting the war in the first place was a mistake. It seems to me that if you can't 'fess up to a mistake that big, maybe you haven't learned from it.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 12:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys, the Pissed Off said...

I'm not a fan of either Clinton or Obama. I feel like locking them both in a closet together and dragging John Edwards back into the spotlight...so much for political fantasy. Now, that said, I will be as abrupt and incorrect as always---I DO find Clinton to be a hectoring pain in the ass, her very speech patterns irritate the hell out of me. I don't think it is just sexism that is working against her---she herself has changed in some fundamental ways in her quest for the Presidency. She LIED about the whole Serbian "hot landing" in a way that simply torched me; like, come off the combat schtick already, Woman! I'm genuinely unhappy with ALL my choices right now, but if she doesn't stop sounding like the condescending "teacher" in all her speeches, it sure as hell isn't going to make me any happier if she comes out on top.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 10:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I understand your point. Race and gender shouldn't matter, and in a perfect world, they wouldn't. But alas, they do to many people, which is why the topics must be addressed.

The U.S. is not alone in this discrimination. The Hutu and Tutsi division was largely drawn along physical/tonal lines. So even being a member of the same race or gender doesn't guarantee solidarity, obviously.

While we shouldn't ally merely along such superficial lines, neither should we divide based upon such superficialities. But we do every day.

If someone does not measure up to our preconceptions of what this or that category should be like, we are scandalized. My frustration is with these imposed expectations.

So Hillary must prove to be tough enough in wartime, not hysterical, so she now makes "corkscrew landings." Yet equally outrageous is the media's obsequiousness toward Obama. See Krauthammer in today's WaPo (The Fabulist vs. the Saint) for a sense of what I mean.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 11:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


She may be a very warm person in real life, but she doesn't present well. Obama is slow-talking and accessible.

I am sorry Edwards is gone, too. Politics is dirty business.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 11:43:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim! It's the "antique lady." Just finished reading your most recent post. Interesting! I would have guessed you would say some of this stuff about Hillary. A lot of it I agree with. Poor thing, she probably would be a good leader for the country but contrary to her belief - she hasn't "found her voice." I think she is being handled way too much. They did the same thing to Al Gore and made him sound like what you would expect Ken of Ken & Barbie to sound like. I really disliked him until I saw him on Letterman and heard that he did have a personality and a good one at that. We can only hope Hillary is the same!! As far as what she looks like, well, there's always Margaret Thatcher - now she was a looker and I think you will agree that she was reasonably successful at what she did. So, I'm not buying all that "wonk" stuff you wrote.

And just recentely I had to straighten my sister out about the whole Clinton under the desk episode. Any man in the right situation will cheat on their wife/girlfriend. That's a fact - it's biological. And any women who doesn't know that is an idiot. And let's say you husband gets caught and has to talk about it on national television. Would you prefer he lies his ass off or says Yes, American that was the best blow job I ever got ???? American's need to get over themselves and stop being so judgemental of others. Take care of yourself and mind your own damn business - we'll be well on our way to rebuilding should we all start following that advice.

I'll be the first!

But before I go, I have to comment on the part about women telling the men what to do from birth - Yes, yes we do. Now get over it!

Here's a question for you from a women's point of view - we make our own money, own our own houses, pay our own bills, take out our own garbage and we can even produce babies on our own - Remind me, what do we really need men for? Oh, right to tell you what do do.

Wink Wink!

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 2:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Antique lady,

It was I who wrote this, not Jim.

Points well-taken.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 5:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Addendum: The main difference between the two democratic candidates, from Paul Krugman's recent column, "Voodoo Health Economics,"

Indeed, while Mrs. [John] Edwards focused her criticism on Mr. McCain, she also made it clear that she prefers Hillary Clinton’s approach — “Sen. Clinton’s plan is a great plan” — to Barack Obama’s.

The Clinton plan closely resembles the plan for universal coverage that John Edwards laid out more than a year ago. By contrast, Mr. Obama offers a watered-down plan that falls short of universality, and it would have higher costs per person covered.

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Kootenay said...

(high five to Antique Lady)

Friday, April 4, 2008 at 11:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

For the record:

Neither Maggie Thatcher nor Golda Meir nor any other female head of state was the result of democracy American-style. When and if she comes, I'll wager her beauty consultant will work double-time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 12:42:00 PM GMT-5  

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