We've gotten a lot of tips about Citizens United Not Timid, the new 527 organization founded by veteran Republican strategist Roger Stone to "educate the American Public about what Hillary Clinton really is." Here's that name again. Citizens United Not Timid. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, right? Lucky for us the organization will be printing T-shirts. (And doing literally nothing else.) Well, Stone probably finds it funnier than you do, as a veteran of Nixon's 1972 Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP). But it reminded me of an old Esquire story, "Hillary Clinton Has A Sexy Mouth," written in 1999 by Tom Junod:
I was flying to upstate New York to see Hillary Clinton when I heard the Hillary joke. I had a window seat. I was reading a magazine article about her when the man next to me leaned in to my ear and in a loud, plain whisper said, "What's the Hillary Clinton KFC special?"
I put the magazine in my lap. "Okay," I said. "I give up. What is it?"
"Two small breasts, two large thighs, and two left wings."
I looked at the man. He was sitting in the middle seat and was representative of every man who has ever sat next to me in the middle seat for as long as I've been flying. He had a hearty anonymity. He was friendly to me but fatalistic — cheerfully hostile — in regard to everything else, particularly politics and the mass media. He was too big for his seat and ate his allotted bag of snack mix with a kind of puzzled, proprietary disappointment. He was an engineer in his early fifties with an imposing belly, thick forearms, reddish hands, squarish fingers, graying hair combed to the side, and a well-kept, graying beard. He was wearing aviator-style eyeglasses, a golf shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers. He had a laptop. When I told him, with a craven and guilty chuckle, what I thought of his joke — "That's cold, man" — he shrugged, as if in noncommittal apology, and then said confidentially, "I'll bet you she has bigger balls than Bill."
I suppose the reason I hate talking about the misogyny Hillary Clinton everyone seems so fond of detecting throughout this campaign is that it reminds me of guys like this, the idea of America as a joke that's not funny anymore. I can imagine my dead grandfather, himself an engineer (though never a fat one) telling a dumb joke like that, probably while washing down a drumstick — he preferred Popeye's — with a glass of Port or Bourbon or Creme de Menthe or whatever it was he felt like abusing at the time. Like most of the things I heard him say when I got old enough that he began to see me as more aligned with his hippie pinko atheist children than his own grandfatherly good intentions, it's the sort of thing I would have dismissed as an expression of a fundamental frustration with the limits to which a life of hard work and sacrifice can make a person happy and whole, a frustration that only fermented in the abyss of retirement.
Hillary Clinton knows who she is. It's impossible to feel the same about anyone who hurls such inanities at her. Because I am not a fan of her husband, I don't support Hillary in the Democratic Primary. But good grief, I feel as though I understand her and respect her, and I can't help but feel sorry for anyone desperate or ignorant enough to deem such wholly infantile, inane put-downs worthy of her. I mean, look: in the end, not even the airplane guy did. And about those pantsuits that that have become such a staple of the Hillary-as-confused-bipolar-schizo-who-can't-come-to-terms-with-her-gender: see ladies, pantsuits just aren't as flattering as skirts. But dudes: they're so much more comfortable.
Anyway I doubt this will be the last time we write on this site about Hillary and gender and sexism and identity politics, but fuck if I don't feel depressed for all dudes every time we find ourselves drawn into this thing.
"Legendary" GOP Strategist Launches Hillary Namecalling Effort [Talking Points Memo]
Earlier: Why Is The Word Cunt Still Such A Big Deal?