Bullshit Philosophy

Half-assed political and religious commentary from a cynical left-winger

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Feminist Clintonistas and Cynthia McKinney

Posted by Kevin on December 20, 2008

[originally posted 6/3/08]

This clip of a Clinton supporter going batshit insane on camera has been making the rounds on the internet for a few days now, but even if you’ve seen it already I want to use it as a jumping-off point for a thought I’ve been kicking around for some time now.

One quick thing before I get to that: about the “inadequate black male” comment in the video, Harriet, you should just get it over with and call him an uppity nigger, because everyone can tell that’s what you’re thinking. And in any case, Obama’s primary victory is not part of some sexist conspiracy to deny America a woman president by deviously winning the popular vote – although it’s not for lack of trying on the part of Chris Matthews and other misogynists in the media. There are plenty of reasons besides sexism to be dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton. On the contrary, I think Obama’s victory is in spite of the Clinton’s subtle appeals to white racial resentment, which you’d be hard-pressed at this point to admit that they haven’t at the very least been the passive beneficiaries of.

[I could go on about the sense of entitlement evident in Christian’s rant: she’s practically saying, “how dare he skip his turn! How dare the Dems not override the will of the voters and back *my* candidate!” Says one of the commenters at the Alternet post on the video: “Rules be dammed. Forget the delegate count. Nothing would have made this person happy except the straight forward annointment of Hillary.”]

Now, on to my main point. For some time now many feminist Clinton supporters, illustrated in the present instance by Harriet Christian but including many big-name feminists and feminist groups, have seemed to argue that her policy positions don’t matter all that much; what matters is getting a woman in the White House. Now, that’s not the same as saying they’d support Katherine Harris for President, but Clinton’s gender seems to matter quite a bit more to her feminist supporters than the fact that she could almost out-hawk McCain on foreign policy.

I actually have no problem with preferring non-white and/or male candidates, all else being equal. Considering that there really aren’t many substantive differences between Clinton and Obama, I can’t fault Clinton’s supporters too much for putting extra weight on her gender – although I take issue with their hypocrisy in criticizing Obama supporters for doing the same with race [i.e. the “He’s only popular because he’s black” meme]. In fact, race and gender are part of the reason I’m supporting….

[drum roll…………………………………..]

Cynthia McKinney, the presumptive Green candidate, who happens to be both black AND female!

Of course, I prefer McKinney for a variety of other reasons, but the fact that she’s a black woman certainly helps. But that’s a topic for another time. The point I’m trying to make here is this: If Clinton’s gender is so crucial, will her feminist supporters back McKinney now that Obama is all but assured the Democratic nomination? This is an especially important question in light of the fact that the Harriet Christians of the world are claiming to be so consumed with rage at Obama that they’ll consider a vote for John McCain, an anti-abortion hardliner who voted for pay discrimination. If you’re that pissed at Obama, why not vote for someone you might actually agree with?

And if you’re still not willing to consider a vote for McKinney just because she’s a Green, then obviously it’s not that important to you to get a woman in the White House.

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