Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29, 2015--The "Woman's Card"

Though it is still 2015 and neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have selected their nominees, from the political salvoes exchanged over the past few days between Hillary Clinton and Donald TRUMP you could have fooled me--it sounds as if they have declared themselves nominated and already launched the general election campaign.

The initial focus is on sexism.

Both are deeply experienced in that arena, but not as always assumed.

The eruption broke out last week when TRUMP said that back in 2008 Barack Obama had "schlonged" Hillary.

He probably meant that Obama defeated her handily (the connotative meaning of schlonged); she that since schlong is a Yiddish slang term for penis, he was being not just a bully but sexist.

Would he, she probably wondered, have said the same thing about Joe Biden who Obama also schlonged? In my and TRUMP's old neighborhoods, the answer is for sure.

Rising to the bait and seeing an opportunity to get under Clinton's skin (as The Donald has so successful done to Jeb Bush and John Kasich among other opponents) he in effect warned her not to play the sexism card, implying that if she did he would retaliate in kind.

Predictably, thus challenged, to show that he couldn't intimidate her as well as to raise higher the ire of the women who despise TRUMP, Hillary doubled down and continued to accuse him as having "a penchant for sexism."

At the same time she was defending her own honor, Hillary Clinton's people announced that they were about to unleash husband Bill and that he would next week take to the campaign trail in New Hampshire. There is some worry in the Clinton camp that Bernie Sanders may steal that primary and who knows where that might lead.

Seeing the unshackling of Bill Clinton to be an opportunity, TRUMP seized it. First he quoted Hillary back to herself, claiming on Twitter, all in caps, that she "HAS A PENCHANT FOR SEXISM."

And, less playful but potentially more potent, TRUMP began an assault on Bill Clinton, tweeting that he "has a terrible record of women abuse [sic]" and that by using her husband in her campaign, she is "playing the woman's card [sic again]."

This requires a little unpacking--

How does turning "women abuser" Bill loose on the campaign trail constitute playing the "woman's card"? They seem mutually exclusive, minimally contradictory.

This then brings us to Hillary Clinton's problem with young women.

When it comes to middle-age women, head-to-head in the polls against TRUMP, she gets over 80 percent of the vote, but she languishes when it comes to young women--young women who do not reflexively see sexism so commonly on ugly display.

For the younger generation of women getting schlonged, for example, is not as hurtful as it might be for their mothers' generation who needed to fight every step for their liberation. Taking feminism and liberation as a given, younger women tend to see TRUMP's utterances as only stupid while Hillary feels the need to remind them, motivate them, to think of themselves as women first, as vulnerable women, and everything else as secondary.

What she thus may be failing to notice is how these younger women, whose allegiance and votes she covets, are not that enthusiastic about seeing Bill Clinton coming to the aid (or rescue) of his unfairly put-upon wife. Ironically a wife, for whom sexism is her default mode, being shielded by someone who, in his sexual escapades while in the White House--exerting sexual power as president over a 19 year-old intern--had, as TRUMP rightly claims, that "terrible record of women abuse."

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While on this subject, remember that less-than-felicitous phrase, "bimbo eruption," that was bantered about during Bill Clinton's first campaign and then later during his years in the Oval Office, a phrase for what his staff and advisors most worried about--that there were more Paula Joneses and Gennifer Flowers rattling around who might at any moment pop up on the front page of the National Inquirer, accusing Bill Clinton of sexual harassment. And then sure enough, up popped Monica Lewinsky.

Where are the TRUMP equivalents? There are big bucks and Gloria Allred waiting to bring their stories to the public. If there were such women wouldn't we by now have heard from them?

And wouldn't we also have heard about all the illegal Mexican immigrants mowing the fairways and greens of TRUMP's numerous golf courses? We learned about poor Mitt Romney's gardeners so, if there are any working for TRUMP, they should by now have been outed. Many mainstream reporters hate him and would love to win Pulitzer Prizes by exposing his hypocrisy.

In the meantime, I can't wait to see what mayhem Bill Clinton will soon be perpetrating. Remember South Carolina back in '08?

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Breaking News--with a margin of error of 3 percent, the latest Rasmussen Poll has Clinton and TRUMP in a statistical deadbeat with Hillary at 37 percent and Donald at 36.

Stay tuned.

"I did not have sexual relations . . ."

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