Upon Being Courted as a Hillary Supporter in a Swing State

23 Sep

I wish truth were the antidote to Obamamania. Why don’t people see the travesty in front of them? What is so magically delicious about the “O” brand of Kool Aid that keeps these people enthralled with ‘The One’ when he’s just smoke and mirrors and Chicago thuggery?

H/T to the awesome, powerful, all knowing, all seeing, all doing HillBuzz for this terrific post:

By Joan Lipkin

As an out and proud Hillary Clinton supporter who lives in a swing state, I am feeling downright popular these days.  People I haven’t heard from in years call me up or send notes. They want assurances that I have moved into Obama’s camp but I want to have a different conversation before I go anywhere.

The other night, at a fundraiser to provide services for low-income women, a lawyer I know gave the requisite sympathetic preamble, “I know you were for Hillary” before launching into an attack on Sarah Palin.

“What are we going to do about that moron, Sarah Palin?”

I tell her that I think Sarah Palin is a very smart and accomplished woman, even though I don’t share her perspective on some issues. And I don’t think it benefits anyone to engage in name calling.

The next person, a social work professor, again gives the requisite preamble, and then asks, “What are you going to do?”

I tell her I haven’t decided.  That there are a lot of options and I am weighing them carefully. I say that I care about the platform of the Democratic Party but I also care about the principles of democratic representation. From my point of view, they have been egregiously missing and I am still trying to understand how my party could condone what has gone on during this election.

“Like what?” she asks.

“Like the Obama campaign swamping the caucuses illegally to win a disproportionate number of votes.  There were 2,000 violations in Texas alone.”

“That really happened?”

“Really,” I say. “And there’s more.”

“Really?” she asks.  “Yes,” I say. “Like the silence from the Obama campaign and the leadership of the Democratic Party as sexism was lobbed by the media over and over again at Clinton.” 


“Yes,” she acknowledges.  “That was not so good.” 

 “Yes,” I tell her.  “And Obama also participated directly in it.  Remember? How would you feel about having someone talk about your ‘claws’ coming out or periodic moodiness?”

She lowers her eyes.  I get it.  It is hard to hear information that sounds so outrageous. Because it then requires that someone rethink their decisions and maybe even change them.

I talk about the reassigning of votes designated for Clinton in Michigan and Florida and awarding them in the form of delegates to Obama. Even the votes that were Undecided.  I say that this high jacking of votes was decided by the Democratic Party’s very own Rules and By Laws Committee meeting in our nation’s capitol in May.

She shifts her weight. “Yes,” she says.  “That was not so good.”

I talk about the hours and hours of work on behalf of dedicated volunteers to get Clinton’s name on the ballot in nomination at the first roll call at the convention in Denver.  About trying to get an answer from Howard Dean about this for months, even though his name had been in nomination on the roll call in  a previous election, as had Ted Kennedy’s and Jesse Jackson’s. And they didn’t come anywhere near accumulating the number of delegate votes that Clinton had.  She received more votes than anyone in the history of the democratic primary. 

I talk about how many Clinton delegates were harassed, race baited, isolated or given little information and ultimately prevented from voting for her at the convention. About how some were even offered reimbursement for their considerable expenses to attend if they would switch their vote.  And then there were the numbers of Super Delegates who had been bribed with donations from Nancy Pelosi’s PAC.

She is incredulous.  “Did that really happen?”

“Yes, it really happened.”

“So why didn’t we hear about it?”

The $64,000 question. 

How much time does she have?

“I don’t know exactly,” I say. “Lots of reasons. We need media reform in addition to election reform.  There was plenty of information about this if you read the blogs. We should know better than to rely strictly on mainstream media to get the full story.  So I am thinking hard about all of this as I make a decision about my vote.”

And then it comes.  There is that moment in the conversation when it always comes.

She raises her eye brows and asks about Roe v Wade.

My vote suitors always ask about Roe v Wade.

Even after I outline the corruption in the Democratic Party that prevented Hillary Clinton, a more experienced and principled candidate who won the popular vote from receiving the nomination, they still always ask about Roe v Wade.

I say that for over 35 years, Roe v Wade has been the law of the land, through several Republican administrations.  There is no reason to think that Roe v Wade will disappear.  Not only is it the law of the land but it is embedded in the culture.  I say that Roe v Wade is the threat that is dangled by the Democratic Party to hold women hostage to their corrupt process and I am a little tired of hearing about Roe v Wade.

“Oh,” she says.

“Yes,” I say.   “Oh.”

And she leaves for a refill.

A man I know who considers himself a feminist asks if I have seen the photos of Sarah Palin wearing a bikini made out of the flag and holding a rifle.  I ask if he really thinks someone of Palin’s stature and faith would wear such an outfit and for public display, no less.  I tell him it has been photo-shopped and suggest he check the snopes website for accuracy in the future.

He looks disappointed and says, “Well, one can only hope.”

Then it is time for the first person of the evening to ask if I have seen the Gloria Steinem editorial about why Sarah Palin is the wrong woman.  Yes, I have seen it.  It has been sent to me 17 times.

So what do I think, they ask.  “I mean, it’s Gloria.”

Yes, I know it’s Gloria.  That is why I read it so carefully.  I revere Gloria Steinem.  To my mind, she is one of the heroes of our time but even Gloria Steinem is human and gets it wrong from time to time.

I tell them that Gloria’s piece is problematic, not so much for what she says but for what she doesn’t say.  That Sarah Palin hasn’t limited teaching to creationism; she wants this view point included in the curriculum along with evolution. 

That Sarah Palin doesn’t propose banning books, she asked how a particular librarian would respond if the issue came up, as it has in many communities across the country.

That Sarah Palin doesn’t hate wolves and encourage shooting them from planes for sport, she is concerned about their effect on caribou and moose that provide sustenance for some Alaskans and also that there have been reports of wolves attacking humans and dogs.

That to label John McCain as beholden to the Right Wing is maybe not much different than Barack Obama’s nomination being brokered by the Democratic National Committee. What about his obligations?  Do they really think Obama will come without strings?

We go through Steinem’s editorial point by point.

“I don’t get it, “they say.  “Do you support Sarah Palin?”

“I support the truth,” I tell them.  On any side, at any time.  I support the truth.”

And I wait for the next suitor.

And when they pat my arm and give the requisite preamble about how sad I must be that Hillary lost and by the way, have I seen the amazing piece that Gloria Steinem wrote, I say, “With all due respect, if Gloria Steinem feels so strongly about the future administration, where has she been?  She wrote an editorial supporting Hillary early on but there weren’t many reports of Steinem sightings and they sure would have been useful. Because unlike, say Matt Damon or Sandra Bernhardt, she has serious intellectual cred.

But no, no Gloria.  So where has Gloria been, along with other feminist high profile public figures  for over a year  while Hillary Clinton was pilloried in the press? 

Robin Morgan courageously laid it on the line as did the great Maya Angelou. 
And of course, the amazing Stephanie Tubb Jones, the late African-American congresswoman from Ohio. Or, another great African-American public servant, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas.  Both were running for re-election and their seats were at stake and they spoke up as out and proud Clinton supporters.

But with few exceptions, our famous sisters and organizations have been missing in action.  Or if they took action, like the National Organization for Women, it was pretty anemic.

I mean, no tangible results from our oldest and largest women’s rights organization. Zilch.

And NARAL?  NARAL even came out and endorsed Obama months ago, long before Hillary suspended her campaign.  Even though Hillary has a stronger track record on issues of reproductive choice.

What the heck was that about?”

“Hmmm,” they say.

“Yes,” I say. “Hmmm.” 

I take a deep breath and wait.  Here it comes.

“But what about Roe v Wade? “they ask. “Aren’t you concerned about Roe v Wade?”

I give my Roe v Wade spiel yet again and then decide that it is tiring being an out Hillary Clinton supporter in a swing state, even if people are buying drinks and chatting me up. 

I think maybe I need a vacation from all these feminists, female and male who have been asleep at the wheel for the past year and are suddenly concerned about Roe v Wade but not about the sexism and corruption that prevented Hillary Clinton, the greatest candidate of my lifetime from ascending to the highest office of the land.

Hillary Clinton, a feminist who knows how to extend her hand to Republicans and Democrats alike and who continues to work on behalf of a whole range of issues pertinent to women and children and men, as she has for some thirty five years.
A vacation is sounding good about now.  Especially since I worked for months on behalf of Hillary Clinton, of all of us, really, trying to get the word out. I don’t need umbrellas and an ocean view. I would be happy to visit the Land of Reason and Responsibility. Does anyone know how to get there? But let’s make it a short trip.  There is clearly much work yet to be done. And I have a vote to decide.


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