Sunday 8 June 2008

Women Vote For Man Shock

Sorry about the hiatus. On Friday, NigeCorp technology collapsed under me like a spavined nag (or the horse you put your money on in the Derby) and on Saturday I was not fully in touch with reality, partly as an after-effect of the previous night's leaving party for a lucky colleague who has escaped the sticky corporate web and is heading for a new life in the south of France, where nobody works and everything works (jaloux - moi?).
However, I was dimly aware that Hillary's minders have finally wrestled her to the ground, sedated her and, with a mere three days of intensive deprogramming, convinced her that she is not the President of the United States of America. She rose on her hinder legs and, in terms as ringing as a muffled bell in a thick fog, 'endorsed' Obama, 'praised' him - see Bryan's post 'Hillary As Mark Anthony' (to which, as to everything else, I am currently unable to link) - and 'urged' her supporters to 'back' him (the verbal form of stab in the back?). Well, we'll see what happens next...
Meanwhile, it seems that the Dems' historic first of running a white woman against a black man has unleashed an equally historic level of bitterness and enmity, reigniting precisely the kind of attitudes the Dems most deplore - racism, sexism, class enmity - and throwing them into uncomfortable prominence. This morning, I caught one of Hill's defeated army - a prominent feminist, I gathered - opining that the problem was that the women didn't all vote together. Which is to say that the women should have all voted for Hillary, simply because she is (despite a testosterone level that would be the envy of Sly Stallone) a woman. By the same token, presumably, all the blacks should have voted for Obama - as should, by the crazed logic of identity politics, all the men. And Hill would have lost by a much bigger margin. This kind of talk only makes sense in the context of a wholly outdated - indeed, exploded - version of feminism. No wonder Mrs C's lot have seemed to be living in the past, whereas Barack at least gives an impression of living in the present. Well - if the Dems are going to beat McCain, they're surely going to have to stop thinking like this, and the legions of aggrieved, embittered Clintonistas are going to have to line up behind Obama, whether they like it or not.


  1. Nige, in fairness one should note that virtually all blacks did vote for Obama. Had women supported Clinton by the same margins, Obama would be but a footnote to history by now.

  2. Ah, the south of France, the home counties overspill area. In a very few weeks I suspect that we will have our own burdz v black show on the road. The great oarsman is, I suspect, about to part company with his rowlocks, leaving the ship of state pilotless (as it has been since 1997, only now officially so.) Imagine if you will the scenario, in the Grey corner Jaquie the hair producless one, (motto, give em' some cleavage) in the even grayer corner Milly Band, the very odd dark one, (the end result of a one night stand between a social worker and an estate agent,) motto, sound like an intellectual, act like a pratt.
    Here we go again, but there is some excellent news, it is anticipated that due to the housing crash, up to 15,000 estate agents will be made redundant, well it's a good start.

  3. Ah Malty - that is indeed the silver lining to this particular cloud. I look forward to seeing entire high streets with no more than, say, 2 or 3 estate agents per dozen shops.
    And Randy you're right of course - but this blog isn't about fairness, not when there are cheap jibes be made...

  4. Hello Nige,
    The Gramscian wing of the Democratic Party has done to Clinton what it did to Lieberman in the 2006 primary season. Already Obama is trying to sound hawkish. His acolytes won't be bothered by that, because they know he just saying that to win - in other words, he's lying. The rest of us, however, know that as well, and I continue to suspect that Obama will do about as well in the election that counts as Ned Lamont did.

  5. There was an electoral map in the Times a couple of days ago that I highly recommend viewing. IIRC, at this point, all McCain needs to do to win is pick off Florida, Pennsylvania and/or Ohio. In those three states Obama ran far behind his average, well before he became the annointed one (Florida), well after his inevitable victory was proclaimed by the press hounds (Ohio), and well after it was acknowledged by everyone else (Pennsylvania). Despite this, I suspect he will win, and those who apparently dream of the second coming of Christ will be as disappointed as those who expected Tony Blair to lead them to Nirvanah.

  6. Frank:

    Already Obama is trying to sound hawkish.

    Let me guess. He still wants to talk to Tehran and Pyongyang, but he wants to talk sternly to them?

  7. Cheap jibes? Nigeness blog jibes are priceless.

  8. As one of those forty-something American female voters who moved to Obama in such droves.

    I don't pretend to know how the November election will play out. Both parties have ended up with an unexpected nominee who will race in perilous times (cf war, economy).

    But I *do* know that seldom in any election has so much nonsense been spouted as conventional wisdom.

    Clinton lost because she's a hopelessly compromised and widely disliked candidate, whose candidacy was primarily enabled by her celebrity, whose only permanent base is a relatively small cadre of party insiders and older, entitled women.

    In the primaries, she got some power from working-class voters who remember Bill and the good ol' days of the 90s and who know very little about newcomer Obama.

    Beyond that, Obama's position as the nominee has nothing to do with some sort of imaginary increase of leftism in the Democratic party.

    * There's nothing leftist about wanting a reasonable plan to end a tragically mishandled and misguided war.

    * There's nothing leftist about returning to something more like normative diplomacy as practiced by such radicals as Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and JFK.

    * Nor is there anything particularly radical about promising to address the US' hopelessly expensive and inefficient health-care payment system (whether or not you can solve it is a different issue)

    Obama's an articulate, charismatic young candidate with reasonable positions and none of Clinton's baggage.

    A great many women voters my age simply vote on the issues we care about (good shot at jobs, healthcare, and the freedom to go about the business of our lives without our nation hubristically invading other nations to try to fix the world).

    It would be nice if those backing the conservative candidate could stick to making a reasonable case about why those who don't already support him should...instead of a lot of breathless-sounding OMG Fear the Enemy clatter.

  9. Hey, I'm in the same demographic as Anonymous. But I was for Obama in the first place, though happy to vote for Hill if she was the one who clenched the Democratic nomination.

    All this cult of personality -- good and bad -- is tiresome. It really is the issues that matter and Hillary, at least, knows a thing or two about national healthcare programs. In my family, getting decent health insurance is our primary concern. When middle class people can't afford to see a doctor, something is wrong.

  10. susan, emigrate to the UK, healthcare is free (as in beer) after entering a UK hospital your chances of coming out again on two legs, about 50/50. If you need a physio, forget it, 4 months waiting time.
    Chances of been given life saving drugs, slim, most of the money goes on doctors bloated salaries and administrators. If you don't have a bug when you go in, they will give you one, the NHS specialty is MRSA.

  11. i could get physiotherapy in about 5 minutes by walking into outpatients and saying "my leg's gone funny, help", but that's because i type their letters for them and they fear my wrath.

  12. One of the benefits of surviving a heart attack is always being told to go to the head of the line in the emergency room, and almost never having to wait long for even the most mundane test. A dubious honor, but it will do. I don't recommend joining the club, however.