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excepting maybe dan savage, no one gives a fuck what sullivan has to say.

Posted by bing | January 25, 2008 2:28 PM

What #1 said.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 25, 2008 2:30 PM

As a Lifetime Member of N.O.W., and former board member of Washington NOW (three terms) and Seattle NOW (three terms) I have far more claim to the ability to pronounce what is feminism than Andy does.

I hereby proclaim Andy as contra-feminist.

You're welcome.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 25, 2008 2:35 PM

"Feminism" is so dead so why even bother. When a women finally grows up (usually around 30) she realizes what an intellectual crock it is. It appears that the only place that it still has sway is in the university. Once young women graduate and realize how little the ivory tower relates to their own experience, they drop the subject.

Sullivan is OK in my book most of the time.

Posted by ecce homo | January 25, 2008 2:36 PM

Be careful, Erica. You are quickly becoming Obama's Sullivan.

Posted by monkey | January 25, 2008 2:40 PM

I'd say that he has a point not about the commercial specifically, but about riding to power on the coattails of a powerful husband (see Michelle Bachelet) not necessarily being good for feminism. I do happen to think that Hillary is quite qualified for the job, but damn, I wish that she were downplaying Bill instead of running around saying, "Elect me! It'll be like having my husband in office again!" As it is, if she wins, she'll owe her presidency to nepotism just as much as Bush, Jr.

Posted by Gitai | January 25, 2008 2:42 PM

I can't stand sullivan, but he's right--there's nothing feminist about voting for Hilary Clinton.

Posted by Kevin Erickson | January 25, 2008 2:43 PM

see also: today's piece by Maureen Dowd.

Posted by gnossos | January 25, 2008 2:45 PM
Andrew Sullivan (snip) has, once again, declared himself the arbiter of what is and isn’t “feminist.”

When everyone knows that's your job.

Posted by Judah | January 25, 2008 2:46 PM

No, I am the arbiter of what is feminist.

Sullivan's all right. He's got some blind spots but most of what he's saying about Clinton (B & H) is pretty right on.

Posted by Fnarf | January 25, 2008 2:50 PM

@9, RIGHT ON!! Now both of our comments will be deleted by ECB.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | January 25, 2008 2:50 PM

Wow. A pot calling a kettle black while beating a dead horse. I guess necessity really is the mother of strange bedfellows.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | January 25, 2008 2:51 PM

His power glutes are the true arbiter of feminism

Posted by Milk Me! | January 25, 2008 2:52 PM

Don't fret, Erica, nobody but Andrew Sullivan cares what Andrew Sullivan thinks.

Posted by crazycatguy | January 25, 2008 2:54 PM

oh please -- sullivan doesn't declare himself the arbiter of anything. and in this case, he has a good point -- is it empowering to think that the first woman to be elected president was carried into the white house on the back of her political powerhouse ex-president husband?

Posted by Judith | January 25, 2008 2:56 PM

I know Andrew Sullivan. Andrew Sullivan is a friend of mine. And if Andrew Sullivan wants to decide who has and who hasn't betrayed feminism, that's cool by me.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 25, 2008 2:56 PM

It shouldn't be "empowering" at all, Judith.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 25, 2008 2:58 PM

erica, i was reading your blog the other day and read a post about how you won’t shop at american apparel, in part because the CEO exploits his position of authority to score sexual favors from AA’s models. fair enough.

so i’d really like to know: how do you reconcile these principles with your support for a candidate who has a well-documented history of lying to cover for her husband, who has a well-documented history of exploiting his position of authority to score sexual favors from his subordinates? that’s okay with your inner feminist? personally, i think it’s morally reprehensible.

Posted by brandon | January 25, 2008 3:04 PM

Is that a traffic cone, a conehead, a dog's penis or just some poor unfortunate child dressed by someone who doesn't know better?

Posted by Wolf | January 25, 2008 3:06 PM

You really should've given a hat tip to TAP, where I suspect you first cribbed this from. Their post takes a position on the more general question of whether nepotism is detrimental to feminism, and is somewhat more interesting than this one.

Posted by tsm | January 25, 2008 3:09 PM

Dan's Cool is non-transferable (except to DJ.) Sullivan is a fuck no matter what Dan says. My right-wing coworkers quote Sullivan *constantly* in an attempt to portray themselves as intellectually open-minded.

Posted by Big Sven | January 25, 2008 3:09 PM

Who cares what Andrew Sullivan has to say... uh... the New York Times seems to think that some folks do:

A year ago, The Atlantic’s Web site was, to put it gently, weak--in content, staff, traffic and advertising.

Today, with big-name bloggers and video, it barely resembles the same site, having evolved into one of the livelier places on the Web for public policy debate and news analysis. And the number of readers going to the site has quadrupled....

By comparison, a year ago The Atlantic made fewer articles available to nonsubscribers and offered less Internet-only material. It had no blogs. But in February, it hired Andrew Sullivan, the iconoclastic, sometimes conservative commentator, who is one of the nation’s most prominent journalists. Justin Smith, the president of Atlantic Media, estimated that the addition of Mr. Sullivan’s blog accounts for 30 percent of the increased traffic.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 25, 2008 3:11 PM

@18: Brandon, I adore you, but you're crazy. What Bill Clinton does with his dick has absolutely nothing to do with HRC's campaign or her qualifications for the presidency.

There are, however, perfectly legitimate reasons for feminists (including myself) to be queasy about electing HRC—the fact that she's running on her husband's record rather than her own record in the Senate comes to mind.

Posted by annie | January 25, 2008 3:11 PM

Who cares what the New York Times has to say?

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 25, 2008 3:15 PM

i'm so shocked to learn that sully is "ok" in ecce homo's book "most of the time". i guess the rest of the time is when sully is trolling the interwebs for unprotected sex?

sully is a complete douche with serious mommy issues that he wants to take out on the whole world. ignore, ignore, ignore.

Posted by exiled in LA | January 25, 2008 3:16 PM

23 - but annie, the lies! the "vast right wing conspiracy!" do you really believe she had no idea what was going on the whole time? please.

i agree it's not her fault her husband is a pig. but it is her fault for standing by idly as the media tore those women to shreds, and she did so purely out of her own self interest. it's shameful any way you slice it.

Posted by brandon | January 25, 2008 3:25 PM

Granted, ECB, Andrew may hate Hillary (more of us hate her than you’re pretty little head is probably capable of grasping), but if you are going to label him a “woman hater” for hating one woman, then you’ll need to label Hillary a racist for hating one black man, and probably apply that same label to yourself as well. Make no mistake about it, she hates him as only a scorned woman can hate, (she really must to get her attack dog so red in the face (I haven’t seen Bubba that indignant since he insisted that he “did not have sex with that woman”)).

Not that I think there is anything wrong with hating individuals, but to spin contempt of one person into hatred of that persons entire race, sex or creed seems a wee bit hysterical.

However, I completely understand that your knee jerk reflex to do so is nothing more than the standard battle tactic of weak minded Liberals everywhere, and is probably completely beyond your control, and if not form you, then from whom would anyone ever expect hysterics...

Hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings… but if it does, I’m sure you’ll just delete it.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 25, 2008 3:25 PM

In Sullivan's eyes, the only acceptable form of feminism is a deep and dedicated love of Margaret Thatcher.

Posted by Gabriel | January 25, 2008 3:26 PM

I love that it is mostly men who are agreeing with Sullivan and also declaring whether voting for Hillary is feminist or not. You know what is freakin' feminist? Making up my own mind and not listening to some man tell me what is or isn't "feminist."

And yes, having a woman in the White House would be a boon to women's progress in the US.

Posted by exelizabeth | January 25, 2008 3:27 PM

Feminism is just a red herring with Sullivan -- he (like some Slog commenters) just plain loathes Hillary, and so cultivates a temporary, fraudulent concern for feminism as a convenient brick to hit her with.

All these principled feminists (e.g., @15) who are holding out for a woman to be elected on her own merits seem to accept holding women to standard they would never hold men to -- I mean, how many of our male presidents were elected solely on their own merits (whatever than means)?

Posted by David | January 25, 2008 3:29 PM

@24 bourgeois liberals

Posted by vooodooo84 | January 25, 2008 3:31 PM

@29, I am the arbiter of what is and is not a "woman." Hillary Clinton does not meet my standard.

It follows that: a) HRC as president would not be a boon to women's progress in the US, and b) Andrew Sullivan is not a "contra-feminist."

Posted by joykiller | January 25, 2008 3:33 PM

"Wow. A pot calling a kettle black while beating a dead horse. I guess necessity really is the mother of strange bedfellows."

#12, if I weren't married, I would be stalking you already.
(Now this is going to turn out to be my husband and we're going to get all "Pina Colada song and shit).

Posted by jb | January 25, 2008 3:33 PM
And yes, having a woman in the White House would be a boon to women's progress in the US.

Um, of course. After all, look how gender equality was achieved in Pakistan when Bhutto took office.

Posted by tsm | January 25, 2008 3:34 PM

Erica C is playing the vagina card here. The way this works is that any criticism of Hillary Clinton is of course "...woman hating bile." This is a nasty trick that was pioneered by columnist and intellectually dishonest moral cripple Charles Krauthammer who coined the phrase "Bush derangement syndrome" as a means of discrediting and dismissing anyone who criticized the policies of the Bush administration.

Sullivan's point is a legitimate one, Hillary has gotten where she is by riding on her husband's coattails. Don't believe me? Then ask yourself this: would Hilary Clinton have won a US Senate seat in New York, a state where she had never lived, in 1992? The answer of course is "fuck no!". Oh, and notice how she's Hillary Clinton now? Whatever happened to "Hillary Rodham Clinton"? That must have been a phase she was going through, she's gotten rid of it now though, no point in diluting the brand.

What did Hillary Clinton accomplish as first lady? Health care? She fucked that up good and proper, and when questioned about her role as the chairwoman of the task force on health care reform behaved as arrogantly as Dick Cheney would eight years later when he was questioned about the energy task force. Is acting like a Dick, Dick Cheney in this case, something that feminists do?

Clinton's claim to 35 years of experience in government and of superior experience over the other two front-runners is as much of a lie as George W. Bush's military record. Is exaggerating your achievements and pointing out that you were once married to the most powerful man on the planet something that feminists do?

But despite her "experience" as a senator Clinton bent over and gave George W. Bush everything he wanted after 9/11, which says to me that either she's an idiot or that she agrees with the Bush administrations imperial foreign policy and totalitarian domestic policies. Is bending over for the most powerful man on the planet something that feminists do?

Clinton is relying heavily on nostalgia for her husband's term in office as a means of rallying support. Is that what "feminism" is all about? Achieving power by invoking nostalgia for the accomplishments of a powerful white male? I kind of thought that feminism was about women being strong and independent and standing on your own two feet. But what do I know? I don't have a vagina like Erica C. does so I just don't understand these things.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | January 25, 2008 3:38 PM

I used to enjoy Sullivan but now I can no longer visit his site. IMO, Sullivan gets caught up in style and not substance far too often (witness his love of Reagan and Thatcher as well.) This is not to say that there aren't Obama supporters who support Obama for substantive reasons. There are. But Sullivan isn't one of them.

And no, I don't think anyone can declare themselves the arbiter of what is or isn't feminist. Sullivan least of all.

Posted by arduous | January 25, 2008 3:39 PM

Hillary hating does not equal "woman hating", E. Grow up, will you?

Sullivan is a level-headed conservative, and a damned fine and widely read journalist. We should all be relieved that there are thinking conservatives out there with such a huge audience.

Posted by Julie | January 25, 2008 3:41 PM

@34, are you KIDDING me?

Under Bhutto, Pakistan became one of the most forward moving of the Islamic countries with regards to women's rights. It's degenerated AFTER Bhutto left office. Trash talk HRC all you want, but if you want to talk crap about Bhutto, do your damn homework.

Posted by arduous | January 25, 2008 3:42 PM

@37 - but Hillary is Every Woman, it's all in heeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrr ....

Posted by tsm | January 25, 2008 3:42 PM

@38, I guess sarcasm doesn't travel well over a T1 line.

Posted by tsm | January 25, 2008 3:43 PM

Hey Erica, way to pretty much steal Dana Goldstein's post from TAPPED:

Posted by nick | January 25, 2008 3:45 PM

No, it's your sarcasm I'm objecting too. What I'm saying is that Bhutto *did* do a lot for women in Pakistan.

Posted by arduous | January 25, 2008 3:45 PM
Posted by nick | January 25, 2008 3:47 PM

ECB: Let's whittle it down. Most of your posts recently have been about what is sexist/mysogynist. Narrow it down to what is NOT in that category. My guess is we'll be left with pine cones and the number 12.

Posted by Jason Josephes | January 25, 2008 3:48 PM

Yeah, sorry, cancel post 40. @42, my point is simply this: is Pakistan a much better place for women today as a result of Bhutto's reign? The rather small progress she may have made certainly didn't last. Therefore, I argue that electing a female head of state doesn't necessarily produce any significant changes in itself.

Posted by tsm | January 25, 2008 3:48 PM

Erica, I don't like men lecturing me on feminism any more than you do ... but let's not make a big thing of it. The guy has a point ... albiet kinda skewed black-vs-white* one.

um, the figurative black and white, that is.

Posted by LOUdicrous | January 25, 2008 3:49 PM

One can hardly wait to hear Hill's opening remarks on January 20, 2009: "You hate me, you really hate me...!"

Posted by SALLY FIELD GREENS | January 25, 2008 3:50 PM

for what it's worth, camille paglia has aired many of the same anti-hillary arguments as sullivan, also in the name of feminism, and she has a vagina.

and please, let's not equate hillary bashing with woman bashing. i read through a few of sullivan's posts you link to, and i personally don't see any woman-hating bile there. perhaps you could clarify with some specific quotes, rather than a fistful of links?

Posted by brandon | January 25, 2008 3:50 PM

It's long overdue for a country that's supposed to be so ahead of everyone else and be a superpower too. Super power isn't just for comic books anymore, and white males should not be monopolizing the country or the world. Think of how old the earth really is, not how old you are trying to make it out to be. "Non white males" should have been given the chance a LONG time ago.

Posted by butIneedmybra | January 25, 2008 3:52 PM

I think Erica's just upset about this:

That's where Andrew Sullivan says that other commentators have "sharper memories" than ECB when it comes to the Clintons' record on gays. I suspect that Sullivan's criticism of Erica C. Barnett, and not his well-documented loathing of Hillary Clinton, is the real "woman-hating bile" to which ECB refers.

Or maybe ECB's just huffed that Sullivan left out her precious middle initial.

Posted by Vendetta Much? | January 25, 2008 3:53 PM

Also, so much for this post:

(in which Sullivan, in a brief moment of post-New Hampshire remorse, gets pwned by a reader and decides to mend his ways...)

Posted by David | January 25, 2008 3:55 PM


Obviously it's difficult to argue in hypotheticals, but my feeling is if Bhutto had NOT ever headed Pakistan, it would be in even poorer shape with regards to women's rights. Look, obviously women's rights have rolled back under Mushareff's regime. But you can't roll back women's mentalities. And Pakistan and Bangladesh (also has had female leaders) have a better track record regarding women's rights than other Islamic countries like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

It's all relative obviously but I think without a doubt what Bhutto did for women in Pakistan still reverberates today.

Posted by arduous | January 25, 2008 3:58 PM

Sully is a psycho, and one of Dan Savage's biggest blind-spots. Never forget that he was a big Bush supporter in 2000, especially during the Florida election theft.

Posted by MarkyMark | January 25, 2008 4:03 PM

Uh, I don't read TAPPED. This has been all over the feminist blogs today.

Posted by ECB | January 25, 2008 4:06 PM

Adams, father and son.

Roosevelt, Franklin, and Roosevelt, Teddy, his cousin. Franklin got married in the White House and traded on his family connection to Teddy and his name ID from his very first forays into politics.

Long, Huey, Gov-LA.
Long, Russell, Sen., D-La for about 30 years.

Kennedy, Jack.
Kennedy, Bobby.
Kennedy, Teddy.
Kennedy, that one who is a rep from RI. Joe? Patrick??

Jackson, Jesse, Sr.
Jackson, Jesse, Jr.

Bush, Prescott Scott. Sen. R-CT. Mayve a few before him, too.
Bush, G.H.W. R-TX, VP, Amb., Pres.
Bush, G.W. Tried for Congress. Gov. TX. Pres 2x.
Bush, Jeb. Gov. of Fla. and future President.

Churchill, pere, member of parliament, and Churchill, Winston, MP and PM a few times. Not to mention Churchills going back to James the freaking 2d and such.

Clearly, it is ok for men to trade on a common family name and ride into office not on their own merits but on the coatails of family relations.

But when a chick does it, she's just an antifeminist bitch.

Even though in this case she was actually more intimately involved with the predecessor in office, working as his no. 1 political advisor for 35 years, engaged in teacher and education reform in ARk. and health care reform (attmpted) and such, which is far more involvement than any of the above male coat-tail riders had.

But still, in this case, she's a woman. Not a dude.

So, she's a bitch.
And an antifeminist bitch to boot.

For doing exactly what men have done for centuries.

Peace is War, Gore is Bush, the First Woman President Is Not An Advance for Feminism. Got it.

Perfect logic. Repeat Everywhere. That Makes It True.

Posted by unPC | January 25, 2008 4:09 PM

more than the above male coat tail riders (except RFK)...

Posted by unPC | January 25, 2008 4:12 PM

Sullivan accounts for 30% of the Atlantic's blog traffic? Impressive, until you realize that the other 70% are lonely Randroids who go there to beat off to pictures of Megan McArdle.

Posted by bing | January 25, 2008 4:13 PM

Really?! This guy endorsed RON PAUL. Good lord, you people are insane.

Posted by amp | January 25, 2008 4:25 PM


Oh please…

More than a few women have exploited family connections (like men) for political power without having to ride coat tails… A couple of Elizabeth’s, a Victoria and a Gandhi come to mind… Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Khaleda Zia, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Bachelet, Bhutto, more recently.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | January 25, 2008 4:35 PM

Clearly, judging by the responses here and by the amount of attention he gets, lots of people care what Andrew Sullivan has to say.

Which is too bad, because he's a complete tool, at least as a political commentator. He seems like a nice enough guy personally, which probably explains why people like Dan Savage who should know better politically give him the time of day and consider him a friend. But politically? He just needs to shut the fuck up.

Posted by Cascadian | January 25, 2008 4:36 PM

"betrayal of feminism"---thats a sticky turn of phrase, coming from anyone. Given that most of the population knows so little about what a "Feminist" is beyond the well worn stereotypes, and so few even care enough to inform themselves. Hell, Feminists in their own publications often argue long and passionately about nuances regarding that definition.

But, I would ask about Hillary using Bill to campaign for her as "betrayal of Feminist", isn't that kind of silly? Seeing how Hillary doesn't seem to be such a staunch defender of Feminism herself?

And Sullivan? he's a prick.

Posted by point x point synopsis | January 25, 2008 4:38 PM

Dan definitely has a blind spot when it comes to Sullivan. You'd think he'd be more circumspect after Sullivan conned him into supporting the Iraq War, something that Dan's SLOG stalkers are still needling him about today.

It's hilarious that Dan thinks being hired by the NYT somehow lends substance to Sullivan's shallow political analysis. After all, the newspaper that hired Bill Kristol as a columnist mere weeks ago is clearly the standard by which all political coverage should be judged.

Posted by Bison | January 25, 2008 4:44 PM

@55 - Great well-reasoned post!

Notice that no one ever suggests a female alternative to Hillary - or if one existed, would they deign to vote for her?

Hillary-haters regard her as an uppity white woman, no better than she oughta be and a conniving, unfeeling, shrewish, loud-mouthed bitch, minus accomplishment, experience or sympathy, and partnered with a criminal bubba, who're embarked upon becoming this country's Ceacescus.

Such vile bile heaped on anyone of acknowledged merit with such insensate glee, in a weird way, almost makes me understand the Stone Age Islamic mentality regarding women.


Posted by WHO'S YOUR DADDY? | January 25, 2008 4:45 PM
Notice that no one ever suggests a female alternative to Hillary - or if one existed, would they deign to vote for her?

Kathleen Sebelius.

Unfortunately, she's not running this time.

I may well have picked her over Obama, too.

Posted by tsm | January 25, 2008 4:52 PM

unPC: thanks for that rundown! i have been thinking along the same lines lately, but was too busy/irritated to sit down and list them all out. but i have a few additions:

we could also add the Harrisons (18th/19th century) the Cuomos (NY), the Udalls (NM/CO), the Tafts (OH), the Browns (CA), etc etc etc.

this is exactly the point: men have done this for centuries, and it is commonplace. a woman uses the same advantage some men have been given for generations, and somehow she becomes an uppity bitch.

i'm a gay man, so i'll refrain from deciding who is(n't) a feminist, but some people really need to look at how they view and treat women as leadership figures.

Posted by exiled in LA | January 25, 2008 4:52 PM

Erica, you claim that Sullivan is slamming Hillary b/c she is "letting her husband praise her in a South Carolina ad." That's ridiculous. It's obvious Sullivan's ire is against her ad's explicit conflation of Bill's prosperity in the '90s and the looming recession today:

"This is Bill Clinton. These are tough economic times. There aren’t enough jobs... I want to thank you for twice giving me the chance to serve as president. The 1990s were a time of prosperity. We created more than 22 million new jobs..."

What did Hillary have to do with '90s prosperity? Nothing. She's clearly trying to take credit for Bill's success.

"Feminism" has become amorphous, ever-evolving idea that no one can claim to define. But it's pretty safe to say that "a wife not having to depend on her husband" is a feminist goal every feminist can agree upon.

So why is a housewife depending on her breadwinner husband any different than a candidate depending on her ex-president husband?

(And yes, as smart and capable as Hillary is, she is clearly depending on Bill; she didn't deploy him until after she placed 3rd in IA and was facing defeat in NH.)

Posted by BarackOutWithYourCaucusOut | January 25, 2008 4:59 PM

Girls have cooties!

Posted by Sullivan SuperFan | January 25, 2008 5:01 PM

@64 - So much for feminine coat-tail-less-ness:

Sebelius is the daughter of former Ohio governor John J. Gilligan, and thus they became the first father/daughter governor [Kansas] pair in the United States after her election. Her husband Gary Sebelius is a federal magistrate judge and the son of former U.S. Representative Keith Sebelius.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | January 25, 2008 5:04 PM

@64 - damn. I didn't even know that.

Surely there must be one, though. Our senators are OK, but neither really strikes me as presidential material. And Gregoire ... no.


Posted by tsm | January 25, 2008 5:13 PM

By the way, the second link you label as "woman-hating bile" can be summed up thusly: Sullivan is highlighting Peggy Noonan's praise of Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, and Angela Merkel (a sentiment then echoed by Liz Mair).

How is this "woman-hating bile"? Of the seven woman he mentions in his post, Sullivan "cannot stand" one of them--Hillary Clinton.

Posted by BarackOutWithYourCaucusOut | January 25, 2008 5:20 PM

Well, I can name a woman who was self-made who would've made a hella president, yet who never stood a chance: Barbara Jordan.

Posted by gnossos | January 25, 2008 5:22 PM

@7 "I can't stand sullivan, but he's right--there's nothing feminist about voting for Hilary Clinton."

Have to disagree. Even if I support Obama, I think that a feminist can regard voting for a woman to be President as a feminist act. Even if I think she's the wrong candidate to choose, you have to admit having a woman President would be a milestone, just like having a woman be Speaker of the House was.

@29 had it best, though. So, exelizabeth wins.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 25, 2008 5:24 PM

I agree with many of Sullivan's criticism of Hillary, with a major exception: his claim that Hillary is harming feminism. Bullshit. Feminists can't claim any real victory until we have a female president who got there on her own steam, but that doesn't mean that Hillary is causing harm to feminism.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 25, 2008 5:28 PM

Dang, did it again. Forgot the closing thought.

The problem with Sen Clinton being President is I'm pretty sure she would not take actions to promote women into positions of power, kind of like how her husband didn't order the military to let gays serve. Totally gutless when it comes to important things, because they all come at a political cost, and in an area she'd be vulnerable to.

Whereas Obama could just do it and ignore the whining from the Red Bushies. Why? Because he's a guy.

Is it fair? No. But that's how the world works. Heck, most women say "I'm sorry" when they present an idea - totally bogus but they do that. And then they say stuff like "This might not be a great idea, but ..." instead of "Here's my idea, ..."

Conditioning? Culture? Not sure.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 25, 2008 5:29 PM

55 - unPC, you make a good point, but you kind of un-prove it by including the bushes in your list.

the dynastic nature of gwb's presidency has always been held against him, even though the family name clearly helped him win in 2000. and after the damage he's done to our country, he's a flawless example for an argument against dynasticism.

Posted by brandon | January 25, 2008 6:07 PM

beg to differ.
You're confusing two different things.
One: dynasticism.
Two: genderism.

Throughout history, men have used dynasticism -- as well as every other damn tool of power possible -- to fight and and gain and wield power. Sometimes we love it, as in FDR. He never even would have had a chance had he not a been a richy rich cousin of Teddy. Or, RFK. He didn't become AG on his own merits, right? He didn't magically become Senator from NY on his own merits, from living in NY all his life and working his way up from ward heeler, right?

He hadn't even lived in NY. He moved there as a post-White House celebrity carpetbagger candidate, just like you know who. But we all love him and wish he had won the presidency. And in all that wishing, no one says "what a bitch, he's riding on his brother's coatails, waaaaaaaaaaaa it's NOT FAIR AND BOBBY KENNEDY IS JUST A BIG FRAUD!!!!!!"

The way they do with HRC.

Dynasticism sometimes results in a flub, like GWB. So what? This does not undermine the point being made. It supports it. It's more evidence men do this all the time. And, he was like a mid level advisor on one of his Dad's campaigns, he was not a top political advisor for his Dad for 35 years. He was doing blow and partying it up in Houston. He wasn't part of his Dad's team really until just one campaign, later, and he wasn't in the inner circle. Facts.

When Hillary uses that same tool of power, that Bobby and FDR and all those other men used, she is suddenly held to a different standard and devalued and because it is apparently inflicted on her due to gender, it's sexist.

As to Queen Elizabeth and Indira Gandhi:

EXACTLY. No one goes around saying "wow, that Queen Elizabeth, what an antifeminist bitch, she only gained power by riding on family coattails, she doesn't count."
Same with Indira Gandi. She had a well known political name and she used it. Good for her. But no one says her career doesn't count.

Great info, thanks.
Harrisons, Cuomos (NY), Udalls (NM/CO), Tafts (OH), Browns (CA), all prove the point. Totally.
And here in Seattle anyone remember our favorite anti Viaduct councilmember, Mr. Steinbrueck? His claim to fame prior to winning office was (a) his name and (b) he used to ride on his Dad's shoulders when his Dad was out saving the Market.

I didn't hear loud cries of coattail riding when he ran. We liked him. It was fine for him to ride coattails of his Dad. QED.

Posted by unPC | January 25, 2008 7:00 PM

Will sit this one out, other than to add two more names to the list of male dynasties: Rockefeller and (you're gonna groan when I say this) Romney.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | January 25, 2008 7:28 PM

unPC - my point is that prior to his nominiation, gwb WAS criticized for riding his family's coat tails. you're saying no one ever makes this critique of men, but that is not always the case.

Posted by brandon | January 25, 2008 7:52 PM

and one thing unique to the clintons' dynasty: they're married, and they supposedly work as a "team." i don't think anyone considered JFK's presidency as a backdoor way of giving his father a 3rd term.

Posted by brandon | January 25, 2008 8:36 PM

Not that I expect anyone to get this far down the comment list, but -- my two cents -- I thought Erica's post was right on, and Dan's support of AS -- because they're friends -- is sort of akin to saying George Bush is a nice guy (which a lot of people say is the case, as if that makes up for his views). But I still read AS; what I find compelling about him is that once in a while he seems to really "get it" -- "it" being why and how fucked up our country is -- which is exciting until he reverts to some nostalgic and optimistic bullshit about Reagan being so great blah blah blah (which is really inconceivable coming from someone who's HIV+ and betrays a lot of "self-hatred," to use a psychobabble term). I get the sense that AS would be a complete Nazi but for the fact that he's gay, which has given him enough compassion and humor to keep him interesting and controversial. But his desperation to fit in with the bland suburban Republican straight guys he likes to quote, particularly when you understand how much they hate him (like, he's still gay, right?) is really pretty tragic when you consider how crushed he'll be when he finally wakes up to this fact.

Posted by thegayrecluse | January 25, 2008 9:29 PM

Surveys have shown that about half the people that support Hillary admit they are doing so because she's married to Bill Clinton and they like him. How feminist is that? The first female President should not be elected on her husband's popularity.

Posted by mrobvious | January 25, 2008 11:21 PM

How feminist IS that? I mean, under what definition of "feminist" does using all resources available to you count as wrong? Especially if most of the male politicians of recent years have also done it (run under a well known family name). Does "feminism" not mean "equality between the sexes"?

Yes, people think of Bill when they hear Clinton... and really, why shouldn't they? They're obviously married because they share values, ideas, and political cohesion. Should her alliances count for nothing?

I really don't get how a female president (however she got there) could be anti-feminist. There may be other problems with her campaign, but this is not one of them.

Posted by Cinders | January 26, 2008 1:32 AM

In none of the other family dynasties listed did the predecessors sleep in the same bed with the new officeholder. Bill Clinton has lately had a higher profile in "Hillary's" campaign than she has; and it is extremely clear that he is planning on having a major role in his wife's White House. That IS different.

Posted by Fnarf | January 26, 2008 10:50 AM

There's a word for what Hillary Clinton is doing. It's not feminism, it's nepotism. Getting a job by using your family connections is nepotism. It's amazing to me that so many of the Billary supporters ignore this basic fact. We've been suffering through the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush, a man who never would have gotten near the governor's office in Texas, much less the White House were it not for his family connections. Do we need another political dynasty after George W. Bush?

It is amazing to me that the Democratic party, which claims to be, well, Democratic, has such a huge hard on for the kind of political dynasticism that you usually find in fascist third world countries. Say what you will about Bill Clinton the man at least won the presidency on his own merits and stood on his own two feet while doing so, which is more than his wife will ever be able to say.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | January 26, 2008 11:18 AM

@84 - So if she'd split with Bill post-Monica and then run for Senator, then President, where would she be now? Would her main support be the gay divorcee crowd? Women who've been dumped on by their men? If/when she wins not on her own merits, will that compromise her ability to preside? I notice you haven't put money into the equation - where do you think Romney would be without his money? That's not exactly standing on one's own merits. If Hillary survives all of this, standing on her own two feet will be miracle enough considering the buckets of shit thrown at, tossed on her.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | January 26, 2008 12:00 PM

@1: Ditto. @16 Dan -- stop being an ass.

Posted by Jonathan | January 28, 2008 6:38 PM

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