November 6, 2007
Hillary's Gender SpinBy Kyle-Anne Shiver
I never thought I would see a day when I could agree with anything coming from the pens of Maureen Dowd and Kate Michelman. Maureen Dowd, at the New York Times, would probably rather agree to give up make-up and manicures for life, rather than write a positive word about a Republican. And Kate Michelman, as former president of NARAL, is one of the most powerful feminists in America. I doubt I have ever agreed with three words that the two of them together have ever uttered. But on Hillary Rodham Clinton, we all see eye to eye.
Regarding Hillary's debate performance last week, Ms. Dowd writes:
And Ms. Michelman, who now works for the Edwards campaign (Her words must be taken with that grain of salt.) made this statement:
Not only was Hillary trying to have it both ways, as Dowd and Michelman noted, she used about 150 words and said absolutely nothing. When little kids do that, we mothers call it gobbledy-gook. When a polished pol does it, we know they are insulting our intelligence.
As I heard candidate Clinton's fork-tongued, two-faced reply to Mr. Russert's forthright question, I held my breath for a few seconds, fully expecting at least one of those 8 others on the stage to let out an impersonation of the now infamous Hillary-Clinton Cackle and say:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, little lady, but where's the beef?
For the past thirty-five years, I have been listening to rabid feminists doing their level best to build a credibly substantive revolutionary "house" on the foundation of non-existent kitchen shackles and an imaginary glass ceiling. That's been pretty hard to do, since the shackles were never actually there, and the ceiling was much more a matter of American women's personal desires than any deliberate barring of their participation in our highly competitive, capitalistic economy. Jobs actually tended to go to the people who wanted them the most, and who could perform at them the best. A real revolution, therefore, required quite a bit of embellishment for motivation.
Wanting to be treated in absolutely equitable fashion, and then also expecting to get special consideration, too, has been traditionally called, "trying to have your cake and eat it too." It is usually a phase of childhood, a phase from which we assume adults have matured. However, Mrs. Clinton has somehow miraculously survived this 35-year game of wanting to have-her-cake-and-eat-it-too, without maturing any further.
Oddly enough, national attention paid to Hillary's form, with a notable void of substance, began with her Wellesley commencement address of 1969. She was then featured on the front cover of Life Magazine as one of the real leaders of the new generation. But her speech was eerily similar to her debate performances, a lot of bun and condiments, but no beef. Just a bunch of gripes dressed up in saucy rhetoric.
Only weeks before graduation, Miss Hillary Rodham had completed her senior thesis about the crass, socialist agitator, Saul Alinsky. After extensive personal interviews with Alinsky, the man of self-proclaimed revolutionary-figurehead status, she apparently seized with gusto her first opportunity to demonstrate her "beefless" arrogance at the commencement podium. And her very first victim utilizing Alinsky's 13th axiom (Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.) was not Rush Limbaugh, but Senator Edward Brooke, the first African-American to sit in the United States Senate since Reconstruction. Senator Brooke was not only the distinguished Commencement Speaker that day at Wellesley College, he was at the time, the highest-ranking black politician in American history. Nobody to sneer at, if you ask me.
However, true to her now famous form, Hillary Rodham used the graciously granted privilege of a few moments at the Commencement podium, to lash out at the socially liberal Republican Senator that she had once supported, because the distinguished man had the temerity to politely criticize the New Left's anti-war rhetoric, as offering aid and comfort to our communist enemies in Southeast Asia.
Senator Brooke expressed great empathy with the student movement's goals of making the world better, of improving the lives of the unfortunate. But because the Senator disagreed with the leftists' means and their aiding an enemy in a time of war, he could not wholeheartedly support everything they were trying to accomplish. So, Hillary changed the rules of polite discourse, arrogantly assumed the role of critic, and essentially called the man a do-nothing scoundrel, saying "We've had lots of empathy. We've had lots of sympathy. But empathy doesn't do us anything."
When she gave that speech, Hillary Rodham was only 22 years old. However, her 1969 oratory bears a stark resemblance to her September 2007 remark to General Petraeus during his Senate testimony. In the denigrating spirit of the MoveOn.org ad (General Petraeus or General Betray Us?), Senator Clinton looked over the tops of her reading glasses, and said that the highly decorated General's testimony required "the willing suspension of disbelief." The common thread of moral arrogance links her dress-down of Senator Brooke in 1969 and her slimy ridicule of General Petraeus.
With Hillary, sincere disagreement always seems to have been a call for condemnation, automatically assuming the worst about one's opponent and the best about oneself. Neither Senator Brooke's high position, nor his invited-guest status could protect him from Hillary's temper tantrum. Perhaps she even imagined that Senator Brooke was part of a vast right-wing conspiracy (Does she think that the General is in on "it" too?
If Alinsky were alive today and running the show in Mark Penn's place, he would advise Hillary that the highly suspect use of the downtrodden Gender Card is becoming tiresome, transparent and trite. Alinsky's 7th rule: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
Hillary's tactic of hiding behind her modernized version of a wide-hooped skirt is not only disingenuous and lacking substance, it is vulgarly disrespectful of the American electorate. When she gets honestly called to account for meaningless, equivocating, dodge-ball rhetoric, and then yet again pulls out the Gender Card, we should not be surprised. We should be downright angry that a person who has had the extraordinary opportunities and fortuitous advantages that Hillary has had, would calculatingly reduce the highest electoral Office in the Land to the childish level of a symbolic game.
Kyle-Anne Shiver welcomes your comments at email@example.com.