For the last few days I’ve been seeing a lot of spasming about Barack Obama having an easier time of things with reporters because sexism makes them go after Hillary Clinton. Which sounds great as long as you ignore quite a few elephants in the room. Little things like her writing herself a check for $5 million dollars, but then refusing to release her tax returns. Or the reports that a Clinton staffer was in part responsible for the circulation of the Obama is a closet Muslim out to destroy America emails. And of course there’s always the old scandals of Vince Foster and Whitewater. Plus the ongoing controversy over whether or not all the documents from her time as First Lady have been turned over to FOIA requests. There’s the issue of her initial support of NAFTA and what she did during her time spent on Wal-Mart’s board of directors.
And then there’s the question of who she was as a lawyer. Because while it’s true that she was assigned to defend the rapist in question, she specifically chose to go after the 12 year old victim’s credibility as part of an aggressive defense. And before someone jumps on me for ignoring the realities of criminal law I’m not saying she shouldn’t have given her client the best possible defense. But, that doesn’t change how these things all line up when it comes time for Hillary to be vetted as a prospective candidate by the press, the unions, and your average American citizen.
As for the claims that Obama has it easy? Well the only real tie to a scandal that anyone has been able to find is his association with Tony Rezko. And here’s the thing about that scandal, it’s a non-starter because not only has he returned the questionable donations; the media has been digging into the story for months without really finding any wrongdoing. As for the claims circulating in email? Not only has the Muslim link been debunked, but the follow up attacks on him as a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ all seem to be based in some bizarre idea that a black church in a predominately black neighborhood that is focused on strengthening the family and rebuilding the black community is a bad thing.
I know I’ve had several conversations in various places with people who somehow think that black people recognizing that they are black in conversations about the community means they want to kill all the white people. I wonder if anyone has told the white people that attend services at the church that they’re in danger every time they step into the building? And you know I’m not a member, but I’ve attended a few services over the years and thus far I haven’t noticed anyone attempting to bar white people from entering. In fact the friend that first cajoled me to go to a service (I’m a very lapsed semi-Catholic) is a white woman. As far as I know she’s never been scared by any of the topics under discussion in the weekly sermons though she has developed a mildly distressing tendency to break into gospel songs when she’s in a good mood. Meanwhile Obama’s got some security issues and lovely comments from O’Reilly (and some of his supporters) that make it sound like there’s a contingent of people in America that think Michelle Obama being “militantly black” is a reason to lynch her.
Now maybe this is just me, but on the list of things to worry about as a public figure I’d take the talk of gaping security holes and lynching a lot more seriously than whether or not I get the first question in a debate. Personally the longer this campaign lasts the more I find myself thinking that while I want a woman President, I really don’t want *that* woman to be President. And while I’m not one to say never; I can say with some certainty that I’m not likely to vote for Condoleeza Rice if she decides to run for office either. It’s not about gender or race for me and a lot of voters in America. It’s about the issues. It’s about character. In essence I’m looking at who I think will do the best job for our country, and as the weeks go by I find myself feeling that only one of the three candidates on the table is a person I can comfortably vote for in the general election.
Your mileage may vary and that’s fine, but please look at the facts and the issues before screaming sexism is the only reason that Hillary is an unpopular candidate with a lot of voters. Personally I’m a news junkie with a memory that could shame an elephant and all I can see when I look at the candidates is their platforms and their background. All the rest of this folderol? It’s mudslinging, lies, and questionable tactics and has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a candidate is the right person for the job. Don’t be fooled by the same tactics that brought down the Kerry campaign. You’re smarter than that and we all deserve better than this idea that we’re too blind to see the elephants in the room.
Karnythia is a writer, a historian, and occasionally a loud mouth. In between raising hell and raising kids she usually manages to find time to contemplate the meaning of life as a black woman in America.” Her posts on any topic (including a copy of this one) can be found at her Livejournal.