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“Hillary’s Double-Standard Dance”: Same Dance Women, Especially Female Candidates, Have Been Expected To Do For Years

Things I heard Hillary Clinton talk about Saturday night in Denver at the Colorado Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson dinner: Supreme Court appointments. Health care. Gun violence, with a catch in her voice when she mentioned Aurora, Columbine and Sandy Hook families turning their grief into action. Electing Morgan Carroll to Congress to represent Colorado’s sixth district, returning Michael Bennet to the Senate and regaining Democrats’ state senate majority. Anti-abortion personhood measures. The reopening of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Monday.

Things Bernie Sanders talked about: The Supreme Court and Citizens United. Income equality. Single-payer health care. Zero mention of helping other Democrats in swing-state Colorado, or much specific to Colorado at all.

As my hero Ann Richards famously said, “Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

So how much does Hillary Clinton have to do backwards and in high heels before she gets the credit she deserves? I agree with Bernie Sanders’ positions on the issues (guns aside), as do most Democrats, even though he wasn’t one until a year ago. But Sanders’ positions wouldn’t exist without the groundwork Hillary Clinton has done on health care, women’s rights, LGBT rights, civil rights, as secretary of state and in 40 years as a child advocate, including creating the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and starting with her first job as a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund.

So yes, there is some frustration among those of us in the Thelma and Louise generation, that while Bernie gets accolades for what he says, Hillary still has to earn them for what she’s done.

The same goes for the entirety of Bernie’s foreign policy, resting on his vote against the Iraq War. That’s nice. Meanwhile, as secretary of state Hillary successfully navigated the complexities of international diplomacy, restored our stature in the world, contributed to our taking out Osama bin Laden, normalized relations with Cuba, negotiated a cease-fire in Gaza, laid the foundation for the agreement to denuclearize Iran and traveled to more countries than any other secretary of state. As Sen. Harry Reid put it, “Nearly every foreign policy victory of President Obama’s second term has Secretary Clinton’s fingerprints on it.”

Bernie Sander wants credit for a day. Hillary Clinton doesn’t get credit for four years.

And a personal note to Bernie-backers: I was Sen. Barbara Boxer’s press secretary when she was one of 23 senators to vote ‘no’ on the Iraq Resolution in 2002. She was up for re-election at the time, and even though her seat, like Bernie’s, was considered safe, our campaign manager nearly had a stroke.

The political atmosphere courtesy of the Bush administration was toxic and just this side of McCarthyism – they were questioning the patriotism of Sen. Max Cleland, an Army captain who left both legs and an arm on a helicopter pad in Vietnam, for disagreeing with President Bush. Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone voted ‘no,’ and had he not been killed in a plane crash he likely would have lost his seat.

So the idea that the senator from New York could have voted ‘no’ a year after 9/11 is simply ridiculous. As Hillary has said, if she knew then what we all know now – that the Bush administration was lying about the connection between Saddam and 9/11 to foment a rush to war – she would have voted differently. Hindsight is 20/20 and apparently politically beneficial.

It’s also worth noting that Sens. Boxer and Franken, the latter the Democratic successor to Paul Wellstone’s seat, have both endorsed Hillary.

Hillary may be in a pantsuit. But she’s doing the same double-standard dance women, and especially female candidates, have been expected to do for years.

 

By: Laura K. Chapin, U. S. News and World Report, February 17, 2016

February 19, 2016 - Posted by | Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Women, Women in Politics | , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I love how people villify Bernie for not helping other Dems at the same time as they call him a Socialist, and claim he’s just using the Dem Party (having just joined a year ago). How would he help them, and would it even be welcome?

    Like

    Comment by barkway | February 19, 2016 | Reply

    • I don’t see it as vilification. It’s a part of the process done by both parties to help raise money for down ticket campaigns. Bernie has not done that as he has always been an independent. It was not the Democratic Party that labeled him as a socialist. He of his own volition has described himself as a Democratic Socialist. Pure socialism by definition is any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. This pure definition, I don’t believe, is not what he is advocating. I do believe that republicans will use this pure definition against him and that use will not bode well for him in a general election.

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | February 19, 2016 | Reply


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