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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

STFU Andrew Sullivan

posted by on February 5 at 15:16 PM

Shorter Sullivan: Hillary takes photos with her kids and tears up and OMG she’s ambitious! and that makes her a threat to feminism, of which I am the arbiter.

Oh, and bring back Maggie Thatcher. Now there’s a feminist icon.

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We may be on opposite side of the Obama/Hillary fight, ECB, but on this point we are totally in agreement.

Iron Maggie? Yeeesh. Not a help, Sullivan, not a help.

Posted by Andy Niable | February 5, 2008 3:16 PM

I rarely read Sullivan because I figure I know what to expect - but wow. He has gone off the deep end. Where does all the vitriol come from? Why does anyone ever listen to him about anything?

Posted by bobbo | February 5, 2008 3:26 PM

Regardless of Iron Maggie’s politics, surely her ascendancy more accurately mirrors the feminist ideal than Billary’s. Or is it now an acceptably feminist tactic to ride your husbands coattails into office as an out of state carpetbagger?...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | February 5, 2008 3:26 PM

I think you missed the point. Your knee-jerk reaction to everything not all about your candidate is getting old.

Voting for a woman just because she's a woman won't help the feminist cause.

I want a good candidate male or female who will not mobilize the hysterical Republican base because of past baggage.

Obama turns out Democrats.

Hillary turns out Republicans.

I would love to see a female president some day but the right one. Would you vote for Elizabeth Dole because she's a woman? I want to vote for a strong woman who has earned her place by being right about policies that I care about while not being such a polarizing figure.

Hillary is not the best woman for our times.

Posted by ghostlawns | February 5, 2008 3:29 PM

Sorry, no. Sullivan's making the point that, whether or not you admire Thatcher's record and ruthless AMBITION, she didn't use her husband's influence, party machinery, emotional manipulation or victimology to get elected. Unlike your 'feminist' icon...

Posted by banjoboy | February 5, 2008 3:34 PM

He's got some points. Thatcher DID come from nothing, and she DID go up against the male-dominated party machine -- more so than anything Americans can even imagine -- and win, and she DID do it without any kind of pandering or gender politics. And it's true, she didn't use her kids as photo ops, the way Clinton -- and every American candidate -- do incessantly. To say that's not a legitimately feminist achievement -- far more impressive in political terms than Indira Gandhi or Benazir Bhutto or frigging Eva Peron -- just because she's of the right and not the left is narrow-minded.

Posted by Fnarf | February 5, 2008 3:36 PM

ECB, please stop looking for things that upset you. Hopefully I'm wrong, but you give the impression of being depressed or troubled. I'm sure there is something that excites you in a positive way.

Posted by Fitz | February 5, 2008 3:36 PM

Hillary is not Elizabeth Dole. I don't know where people come up with these comparisons. And frankly, women like me have been told our whole lives that "one day" it'll be time for a woman president - just not this one, not yet. I'm getting pretty sick of hearing about "one day."

Posted by ECB | February 5, 2008 3:37 PM

sullivan is a douche. its lame how much he pops up here.

Posted by bearsrus | February 5, 2008 3:39 PM

Hillary is a good "femenist" because she has a vagina and is a democrat (she really is a republican but aside from that).

Margaret Thatcher was slightly more conservative than the modern democrat party (not by much). But because the IDEA of Thatcher that ECB has (she was too young to actually REMEMBER Thatcher), is that she is a "conservative", then she is not a femenist.

See fememnism has nothing to do with being an equal, having power, or the accendency of women above repression. It is just an intellectually lazy pursuit of over privilidged suburban cunts while in college and experimenting with lesbianism, and of the academics who teach it because they have no skills outside of the university and tend to be functionally retarded.

ECB, when you actually grow and and join the rest of the adults at the grown up table, you may understand the stupidity of your statement.

Posted by ecce homo | February 5, 2008 3:40 PM

Oh Ecce, do you kiss your Mama with that mouth?

You have both a penis AND a vagina (as you're always trying to show everyone, once you get a few snorts in you). Does that make you a feminist?

Posted by catalina vel-duray | February 5, 2008 3:45 PM

Sully's power glutes are a threat to masculism. Still.

Posted by Sillysully | February 5, 2008 3:49 PM

It would be great to have a woman president. Hillary is a woman. Ergo, Hillary would be a great president. Yep, your skill in logic is right up there with your reading comprehension.

Posted by banjoboy | February 5, 2008 3:54 PM

why do you constantly, publicly beat yourself up? you seem to revel in your own misery, on a perpetual hunt for things that offend you. "today, in really depressing news"; "hillary haters"; it goes on...

the few things that do seem to make you happy are rage-filled screeds like the robin morgan essay you reprinted yesterday. or reprimanding nasty slog commenters by re-posting their nasty comments.

the depths of your pessimism never ceases to amaze me. the world doesn't suck nearly as much as you want it to.

Posted by brandon | February 5, 2008 3:54 PM

brandon@14 - some creatures live off of light, others off of plants or meat. Erica lives off of self-righteousness and indignation. Without something to scold someone else for, or to be offended about, she withers away.

Posted by there there | February 5, 2008 3:59 PM

Hey, ECB, take it easy. Many criticisms of Hilary are not personal attacks on either you or women in general.

The pot/kettle thing would be amusing, but I'm pretty sure it's unintentional. Who are you to say someone can't have an opinion about feminism?

Posted by also | February 5, 2008 4:01 PM

Can you please stop portraying HIllary as some victim.

How about you post about things that she has said or done that would make us want to vote her instead of making the same tired "femenist" argument over and over.

I need more than just the fact that she is a woman to vote for her. Like that her and her husband didn't sell out gays once they were elected. Oh wait they did.

Posted by cbc | February 5, 2008 4:03 PM


Bit of a strawman, isn't it? What you're hearing isn't "it's not time for a woman to become president". What you're hearing is "I don't think HNC will make as good a president as Obama".

Posted by Vasya | February 5, 2008 4:15 PM

You people are very strange. My post didn't portray Hillary as a victim, it portrayed Sullivan as an asshole. Which is scientifically provable.

Posted by ECB | February 5, 2008 4:15 PM

I see Clinton as the Thatcher of the 90s, but somehow transported into the 21st Century, and still not quite fitting.

Better than Maggie any day, she was one of those 18th Century people, of course, like the bottom-scraping neocons that are running for the Big Red Repub side now.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 5, 2008 4:20 PM

yes, ECB, but every asshole must have a victim of his/her assholishness, or else they wouldn't be an asshole. it's yin/yang.

Posted by brandon | February 5, 2008 4:25 PM

Sullivan is an "asshole" who should "STFU" because he writes fairly temperate, well reasoned posts against candidate Clinton, while acknowledging a lot of her good points? Classy, ECB.

Posted by banjoboy | February 5, 2008 4:27 PM

Elizabeth Dole is not Hillary Clinton?


• Married a man who eventually ran for President
• Ran for the Senate themselves and won, using their well-known surname
• Have serious records of achievement as individuals
• Ran for President

Clinton’s husband got elected President. Dole’s didn’t. So yes, aside from Dole being conservative, there is at least one difference.

If Hillary Clinton gets elected, there will be another difference.

Posted by BB | February 5, 2008 4:30 PM

@22 Since when has Andrew Sullivan written "fairly temperate, well reasoned posts" about anything? Does his saying, immediately after 9/11, that liberals may well form a "fifth column" which would rise up and join hands with the filthy terrorists ring any bells? Jay-sus.

And what's with all the hostility to ECB? Her post is 2 sentences long. And she is quite right - Sullivan is indeed being an asshole, per usual. You freaks need to lighten up.

Posted by Jason E | February 5, 2008 4:48 PM

@23 wins.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 5, 2008 4:51 PM

@24 Did you even read the Sullivan post this thread references?

Yes, ECB's post is 2 sentences long, and according to her, "portrays Sullivan as an asshole". Not hard to do when you completely misrepresent what he said, but not especially useful either.

Posted by banjoboy | February 5, 2008 4:56 PM

This is funny. In a previous comment thread I made the following statement:

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

After reading his most recent post, I realize I wasn't even parodying him.

Posted by Gabriel | February 5, 2008 4:57 PM

ECB- Having re-read Andrews article, and then your summary, I can only believe that you are a liar or a mental defective. If you are really trying to say that you believe that the thrust of his argument is that Mrs. Clinton cries when it’s politically expedient and is naked in her ambition, you are either willfully dishonest or incapable of reading for content.

If you would care to dispute either of these accusations, kindly show me what part of the thrust of his article is inaccurate. Just what part of the following do you believe is indefensible?

“She is, it should be conceded, the most viable female candidate for the presidency in history. But feminism isn't just about women wielding power. Female monarchs and despots have ruled throughout history - and it was no thanks to feminism. Few would see Elizabeth I or a dynast like Eva Peron as feminist role models. What matters is not that they came to such prominence; but how they did it. Inheriting office is no achievement. In some ways, inheriting it, when you could have won it alone, is a rebuke to feminism. What marks a true feminist is a woman who gains democratic office through strictly meritocratic means. Think of Margaret Thatcher: a woman who came from lowly beginnings to master a chemistry degree and a legal career in the 1940s and 1950s, who won a seat in parliament single-handedly and eventually became a three-term prime minister for the Conservative party. Yes: the Conservative party. You think she didn't have to deal with prejudice and chauvinism? More than Hillary Clinton will ever know. But she never engaged for a second in the gender politics and nepotistic shenanigans that Clinton has. Thatcher had a rich husband but he was not a stepping stone to politics. She had two children, but never used them for public attention or photo-ops. She did it all - indisputably - on her own merits.

Hillary Clinton could have done the same. She is an extremely intelligent woman, with a strong work ethic, an attention to detail, a passion for helping children, and a fascination with politics. She remains one of the leading lights in her generation. If she'd wanted to, she could have forged a political career on her own, and done splendidly. She chose not to. She chose to form a long-standing alliance with the man she married, to fuse her own political persona with a man's, and to win her first national power - as First Lady, with authority to remake American healthcare - without ever being directly elected to anything.”

Seems pretty spot on to me.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | February 5, 2008 5:09 PM

You folks sure like to beat the dead horse of feminism.

Posted by er? | February 5, 2008 5:20 PM

FNARF said:
"He's got some points. Thatcher DID come from nothing, and she DID go up against the male-dominated party machine...far more impressive in political terms than Indira Gandhi or Benazir Bhutto "

Totally agree. AND she did it in still class-obsessed England, hardly the same obstacle in this country. I don't agree with Thatcher's (I would say "didn't", but I was in grade school, jr. high) politics, but her achievement is something who's time has long passed in this country. If Hilary Clinton is elected, it doesn't compare in importance to that of Thatcher's, IMO.

That's why I get miffed when people praise Argentina's recent election of Cristina Fernandez as something revolutionary or related to feminist ideals. It was a vote for the status quo, and probably to honor the legacy of her dead husband. Hardly the breakthrough for woman is South America some were framing it as.

Posted by Dougsf | February 5, 2008 5:26 PM

@28 OK, this feels weird, but to be fair, I have to (partially) defend ECB here. Yes, I think overall the Sullivan post was fairly temperate (especially given his acknowledged hatred of the Clintons) and well reasoned and I agree with the thrust of it. Yes, I think ECB misrepresented what he said in her post. But on any fair reading of the WHOLE post, not just the bits you quote, he patently DOES believe that Clinton cries when politically expedient and is not just "nakedly ambitious" (which is fine, Thatcher sure was), but uses dirty methods of seeking to win. Why make out he doesn't?

Posted by banjoboy | February 5, 2008 5:46 PM


I never intended to make out that he does not believe that she cries when it’s politically expedient and is naked in her ambition or imply that he does not say as much. But where those points punctuate the piece, they are not, as ECB very dishonestly suggests, the thrust of the piece which is that “what marks a true feminist is a woman who gains democratic office through strictly meritocratic means” and as the polar opposite of that woman, Mrs. Clinton is not a Feminist and her presidency (shudder) would not be a Feminist victory.

(Unless, of course, (and this is me, not Andrew) Feminism has decayed to the point that it would claim placing any random Vagina in the White House, regardless of how or who is is attached to, as a Feminist victory.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | February 5, 2008 6:14 PM

@32 Thanks for clarifying, I misunderstood you. Re your second point, some people around here seem to be heading down that path, with their "but I can't wait for 'one day', I want a woman now, even if she isn't the best candidate"!

Posted by banjoboy | February 5, 2008 6:31 PM

@9 & 19:
Yes, he is a douche and is too frequently referenced here.

ECB, why is Sullivan a "Friend of Slog"?
Off topic, but why isn't Glenn Greenwald (a much better writer) a Friend o' Slog?

Posted by hairyson | February 5, 2008 8:17 PM

You're tired of hearing about one day? So are we all, so are we all. They interviewed a woman on NPR about 2 hours ago who went to a segregated high school, who had to pay a poll tax. You want her to die before she sees an African American president? Oh and for that matter when my Dad graduated from high school the public colleges in Missouri were still segregated. Your tired is not some exceptional emotion.

Posted by daniel | February 5, 2008 8:37 PM

ECB vs. Sullivan, I'll take Sullivan any day.

Posted by The Luke | February 5, 2008 9:39 PM

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