GenderGappers 2007 – 045
Just like most countries America has a macho culture despite the efforts to put perfume on the pig. This is clear right now in the run-up to each Party’s primaries, our history and the direction most of the media takes.
It’s all about winning and not about facts. We fight wars and equal rights with similar determination. Polls may show a large majority against the war but ask the question in terms of winning or losing and they hedge their bets – that is, they nuance.
Nuance has become the word du jour, serving all candidates by letting them say a lot without taking a firm stand. While at first blush this seems reprehensive in fact it is necessary. American media excels in “dammed if you do; dammed if you don’t politics”.
When a candidate actually makes a point of addressing the concerns of a particular voter, that reply is locked in, scanned for inconsistencies, related to former positions and mangled to the point that all clarity is lost.
Early on in this campaign, Maureen Dowd set the stage as a conflict between warrior and peacenik - Hillzilla vs Obambi. What? A male Bambi; a female Godzilla! This presents a classical conflict situation diametrically opposed to conventional wisdom – a puzzling dichotomy for many to get their heads around. Why?
We are so caught up in our deeply embedded stereotypes that we do not seek the cause of our gender prejudices. Consider why it is that a woman is elevated in rank and stature by marriage to a man above her in rank while a man is diminished in rank and stature when he marries “beneath him”. Or why a woman who marries a King becomes a Queen while a man who marries a Queen becomes a Prince.
The Dem’s testosterone rising fueled by hate and prejudice is clearly seen in the way the Netroots blasted their former hero blog, The DailyKos, because Kos recently wrote positively about Hillary Clinton.
The viciousness of their attack was clear. You either agree with us or we will destroy you. Does this remind you of anything? Anything like Bush claiming that any opposition to him or his way or his plans is treason and punishable? It’s bad enough that Bush and Republicans use scare tactics but must Dems emulate them?
The Democratic Philly debate this week produced another testosterone storm. For weeks Hardball Matthews has been calling for Barack and John to use Hillary as a punching bag. He actually gave them a script claiming that the only way they could stop her was to “bloody” her.
They were not very effective until one of the moderators, Tim Russert, acting as if he was one of the candidates, entered the debate. He initiated personal attacks against her and then called on Barack and John to follow his lead. Huffpost blog even put his picture in with the pummeling candidates of the debate – very effective.
These attacks coming at her all at once from several sides did unnerve her momentarily so that Matthews got what he was hoping for – lots of footage and soundbites.
Breitbart wrote, “And if those attacks were to bear fruit, it may be Democrats as a whole, desperate to reclaim the White House, who pay the price for Tuesday's debate next year.”
Repugs are estatic. They know the only Dem that can beat them is Hillary so they have insisted that she can’t be elected knowing that naive and gullible Dems like Obama and Edwards will echo their suggestion.
Overall, the media reaction ranged from claims that Hillary was rightfully challenged to opinions that the battering was negative and would not go down well in Iowa. In any event, the pig was de-perfumed; our misogynist underbelly culture emerged raw, unfurled and unmasked – Godbama’s manhood demanded that he kill Bambihill. In his primitive rage he forgot that he had pledged not to go negative.
We send kudos to Governor Richardson and Senator Biden for trying to stop the verbal assault when Russert instigated personal attacks and Edwards, Obama and Dodd followed his direction.
Both of these Senators strongly announced that the enemy was the Republicans and condemned their fellow candidate’s negative attacks. Where it is acceptable to challenge the leading candidate, personal smears and Swiftboating is not.
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