Feminists Might Like Hillary, Or Not

Illustration for article titled Feminists Might Like Hillary, Or Not

One of the major narratives surround Hillary's run for the White House is that some women like Hillary and others don't. While this story at least gets a bunch of supposed feminists to weigh in on her gender and her "feminism," it doesn't manage to find one that will actually weigh in on things like not kicking Bill to the curb, her actual positions on so-called feminist issues or anything like that, let alone one who says she's not voting for Hillary. They probably should have talked to us last week! But I have been mulling over Hillary for a good long while, and I consider myself a feminist, so my thoughts on her are after the jump.


As a Senator, Hillary has surrounded herself with at least as many Kool-Aid drinking staff at George Bush. They are notoriously difficult to talk to or get in touch with, they aren't always helpful when constituents come to town, and they're more than happy to call you when you have something they want and then never return a phone call when you're looking for some information. From my perspective, this doesn't bode well for her being a significantly different style of President than GWB — just a different set of politics in the same kind of President. Good policy doesn't come from an echo chamber of sycophants, as many people have pointed out in the last (almost) 7 years.

Furthermore, I think she's squishy on the issues. I know as well as anyone that politicians are all about triangulation and she's made an art of it. But, personally, I would rather disagree with a politician on an issue because it is a matter of conscience for them (and thus know that they have an actual conscience) than to have someone who tells me they'll just do whatever the polls say most people want. I am far more comfortable with someone with a conscience making decisions than I am entrusting my government to people with nothing more than great political minds.

Finally, and this comes from a place of deep pain, I am concerned that Hillary could end up being the feminist equivalent of a shande far di goyim, in a way that I don't feel that Barack Obama would be to the African-American community. I think that Hillary has the capacity to be a decent President (although, not a great one) and an equal capacity to be the President that a generation of people point to and says "that's why" the next time a woman runs. I personally think that, for all Obama's flaws as a candidate, he just doesn't have the capacity to fuck things up for other candidates of color down the line as Hillary does for women.

Plus, I don't vote for female candidates just to vote for a woman.

U.S. Feminists Weigh Vote For Clinton [MSNBC]



I must say I completely agree with AL. For a first of any type(woman, African-American, etc.) in the White House, it is of the utmost importance that it be the right candidate above all else. Hillary is not that person. There is far too much calculation far too little actual opinion, stance, and moral certitude. I don't know if Hillary would screw up the country as much as Bush has, but she certainly has the potential to do further damage to America's international image with her equally hawkish and pandering policies.

Furthermore, @so5minutesago: If you examine Obama's opinions and suggested policies in foreign relations beyond the sound bites (something that is actually possible, unlike with Hillary), they are anything but simplistic. Rather Obama looks at foreign policy in all it's complexity and formulates a pragmatic opinion based upon the facts of the situation. A moral compass is present - and ought to be - but he is by no means blindly idealistic. Just ask the vast majority of the foreign policy elite in the US, most of whom are backing Obama. Zbig Brzezenski is counted among his supporters.