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Excellent points!

Posted by arduous | November 5, 2007 1:43 PM

You know, I've been all up in Hill's grill about this, but you do indeed make an excellent point. Thanks.

Posted by Lola | November 5, 2007 1:44 PM
You know, I certainly don’t want to belabor the tedious discussion about Clinton’s “gender problem,”

Then please, I beg you, don't.

Posted by tsm | November 5, 2007 1:45 PM

Most excellent - tipped to dailyKos and TPM.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | November 5, 2007 1:49 PM

Thanks for cutting through the crap on this one, Erica.

Sweet photos!

Posted by Irena | November 5, 2007 1:52 PM

Dowd has hated Hillary forever, or at least since she let Bill "get away with" the Monica thing. Ever since her hubby blew his wad all over that tramp's dress, Hillary's name has been mud in Dowd's view. It's as if she thinks supporting Hillary is like excusing male infidelity. Or something. I'm just guessing here, but the woman has issues.

Posted by Matthew | November 5, 2007 1:54 PM

Aw yeah, ECB!

Posted by caroline | November 5, 2007 2:02 PM

It's interesting and sad to see how much emotional baggage we as Americans have over the Clinton sex scandals. Blame Bill, blame Hillary, ignore the issues in favor of the scandal.

I'm not a big fan of Hillary - she seems like just another politico, in bed with big business as usual (go Edwards!) - but it is ridiculous to treat her as anything but the strong-minded, independent woman she obviously is. It is ridiculous to suggest that weakness was why she stayed with Bill. It is ridiculous to allow all of our personal baggage about marriage, sex, and infidelity to affect our judgment regarding the political process.

Ridiculous, but inevitable.

Posted by MLeaver | November 5, 2007 2:09 PM

I totally agree. There is no gender card in play here. She's a politician, acting like a politician. Move along...

Posted by Matthew | November 5, 2007 2:14 PM

And Bush himself never said Saddam was behind 9/11... but he plotted the dots and let you connect them while having his surrogates in the media make those arguments in a more direct fashion.

Posted by RU Shur | November 5, 2007 2:15 PM

An unusually lucid, thoughtful post on gender. Also worth noting Arnold has larger breasts than most female candidates.

Posted by StrangerDanger | November 5, 2007 2:20 PM

I will not be suprised if Hillary takes up hunting or something just to get some votes from those who would be impressed by such a stunt. She is not beyond it.

Posted by Heather | November 5, 2007 2:22 PM


I agree with everything you just said. For me the only problem I have with Hillary Clinton is that pretty much every single one of her policy positions is horrible. If you set the bar as low as "not what Bush would do" then Hillary's fine, but I'd like to do a little better than that.

Do you know who really is a wiltingly weak little flower? That Eli Sanders. One single Slog poster says "grow a vagina" and he like won't stop whining for a week. Dude's being a puss about it and taking it out on Hillary Clinton. Eli Sanders is the one saying "leave me alone, I'm a weak little girl!" not Hillary.

Seriously. No joke. I think you're totally right about this. Are you on drugs today?

Posted by elenchos | November 5, 2007 2:34 PM

terrible post. are you saying hillary was acting like a woman? what? the pics you show are of men being oh so manly. what did clinton do that was oh so womanly? are you saying playing the gender card is womanly? i'd hate to think that.

Posted by infrequent | November 5, 2007 2:34 PM

Having once managed a campaign with a woman candidate, I'm very familiar with the double standard. If a male leader is seen as pushy and aggressive he gets lauded for being "tough" and "an effective leader". There is no expectation that he be seen as nurturing, or sensitive.

If a woman shows similar traits she's a bitch.

Also Matthew is on to something. Maureen Dowd *clearly* has issues.

Posted by Rod | November 5, 2007 2:34 PM

If Hillary casterates Bill she will win in a landslide.

Posted by Just Me | November 5, 2007 2:42 PM

sorry, let me clarify what is motivating my post. if hillary wins (as i've posted before) i think that would be great. no only is she qualified for the job, but it's embarrassing that we've yet to have a female president.

your post, however, suggests that men play the gender card when they pose with guns and dress up like army boys and what not. the equivalent would be more like when ECB suggests that a woman understands woman's issues better than a man, or poses for a picture doing something that is traditionally "mothering" or nurturing, i'd guess (forgive me if i cannot get my stereotypes correct -- i try not to internalize them).

you, instead, suggest that hillary playing the gender card (if she did at all) is equivalent to men doing stereotypically manly things. the former is not like the latter because one of the two has the possibility of being received positively.

so, your post -- to me -- just comes off as a way to make fun of men in politics. your message is what, then? don't vote for a man again, because look at things men like doing? that is the sort of message that will not help hillary get elected.

Posted by infrequent | November 5, 2007 2:48 PM

For fucks sake...

Posted by gavingourley | November 5, 2007 2:53 PM

These are great points to bookend this conversation with.

I know you get paid per blog, but is payroll ever like

"OK you said the same exact thing in this post...and this you added a picture...THAT COUNTS FOR 1."

Posted by Lake | November 5, 2007 2:55 PM

No. 19: I'm actually salaried. But thanks for reading!

Posted by ECB | November 5, 2007 3:02 PM

@13 - see, you're trying to get the discussion around to actual policy, instead of getting just a bit too caught up in political campaigning as a spectator sport the way Eli and ECB and journalists in general and the politically attentive in general and, annoyingly, myself as well unfortunately seem to. But that just isn't as captivating somehow.

Posted by tsm | November 5, 2007 3:04 PM

good point, but... how do you think people would react if obama made a speech in front of an all black audience patting himself on the back for making it in the "white boy's club" of american politics? some might call it "race-based self-pity", i.e. playing the race card.

and another thing - isn't sexism directly implied when one uses terms like "boy's club" and "glass ceiling"?

she's a politician, and manipulating emotions in order to score votes is nothing new. but let's at least be honest about it - she IS playing the gender card. it's definitely gotten way more air time than it deserves, but it is what it is.

Posted by brandon | November 5, 2007 3:04 PM

Note how seldom playing the gender card works for men -- you're either masculine or you're not.

Posted by from my cold dead hands | November 5, 2007 3:05 PM

@23 so true. in fact, it might be more difficult (at this time) for a man to be elected who was not viewed as a manly man then for a woman to be elected.

kerry and dukakis were both victims of this. either of them to complaining about it would only have served to have made it worse.

Posted by infrequent | November 5, 2007 3:18 PM

@17 --

"so, your post -- to me -- just comes off as a way to make fun of men in politics. your message is what, then? don't vote for a man again, because look at things men like doing?"

You are reading all kinds of things into this post that aren't there. There's no hidden message! Just go back and read it again.


Posted by Irena | November 5, 2007 3:18 PM

@22: Obama would absolutely be accused of that, and that's pretty fucked up, too.

Posted by exelizabeth | November 5, 2007 3:19 PM

Gah! That last picture looks like something out of a Clive Barker movie.

Posted by keshmeshi | November 5, 2007 3:37 PM

ECB: (from 19/20)

my bad!

Posted by Lake | November 5, 2007 3:41 PM

i'm not reading anything into this that isn't being strongly implied. or did i miss which one of those candidates is currently running for president? what? none? so she's holding current candidates to the standards of former candidates.

okay, that's fine. but that means my next question would be, what is that standard?

to play the gender card. this, she implies they all have done. and how do they do it? subtly (not by saying "i'm playing the gender card" -- just like hillary didn't say it), by do very manly things and being photographed.

she is implying a four things here: one, that only men can hunt and play army (which i disagree with), two, that playing the gender card is acceptable (which i find unfortunate), three, that there is no difference between doing something stereotypically manly (or stereotypically womanly) and playing the gender card.

and four, of course, she implies that as many women complain about being treated in a sexist manner as men play with guns. this is the worst one. did margaret thatcher play the gender card when she was photographed on a tank? no, she appealed to the opposite gender. big difference.

there are strong women just as there are strong men. to say that only men get to be viewed as strong is perhaps sexist, but it is certainly unfair. to say that a leader must be viewed as strong is a relic of paternalism, perhaps, but at present a necessity.

so mocking men who are photographed being strong in order to support a female candidate (who was not photographed doing something strong but instead was accused of subtly playing the gender card) does not help hillary's cause.

am i making any sense?

Posted by infrequent | November 5, 2007 3:42 PM

Gross! You know Arnold totally farted doing that pose...

Posted by Maria Shriver wept | November 5, 2007 3:44 PM

one more try: sexist people are going to judge hillary. i'm just saying it is better for her not to give them fodder.

ecb's post reminds me of when i was in elementary school and some guy was threatening to beat me up. i thought saying something clever was a good idea. it was not, as the bullies were never impressed. the respected strength, and that was it.

if hillary want to stand against such a bully, it will be her strength of character that triumphs (which she has), not remarks that might be mistaken for playing the gender card.

Posted by infrequent | November 5, 2007 3:52 PM

HRC's reaction when people challange her has nothing to do with being a woman, it has everything to do with being a paranoid.

Posted by Mike | November 5, 2007 4:05 PM

Holy shit, are we still reading about this?

Posted by Fyodor Zulinski | November 5, 2007 4:27 PM

ps way to align Hilary Clinton with a bunch of assholes

Posted by Fyodor Zulinski | November 5, 2007 4:34 PM


Nice post.

Everyone who thinks that talking about "the issues" will show Hillary to be a terrible candidate-

Whuh? I've said it before- except for the war, there isn't a GNAT'S ASS difference between her and Obama. Or Edwards, for that matter. So we talk about character and tactics because WE ALL HATE REPUBLICANS AND WANT A CANDIDATE WHO WILL DO TO THEM WHAT THE ROMANS DID TO CARTHAGE.

Thank you for your time.

Posted by Big Sven | November 5, 2007 5:05 PM


Without getting into it, I disagree that ECB is implying any of the things you say she is in @29. But I do agree wholeheartedly with your last paragraph in @31, especially the "mistakenly" part.

Posted by Irena | November 5, 2007 11:51 PM

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