July 24, 2007

"Look, I'm renowned not only in the U.S. but across the world for my capacity to be vengeful, aggressive, brutal, and ruthless..."

"... and I'm already about ten times as intimidating to any foreign despot as John Edwards could be even if he shaved his head and got some tattoos."

What Hillary could've said when that guy asked her how she's going to get taken seriously by the "Arab states, Muslim nations" where they see women as "second-class citizens." According to Beldar, anyway -- who thinks ¶ 19 of my debate blogging is too accepting of what was an "incredibly" and "amazingly" "lame" response:
Starting with a reference to visits she made as First Lady is, I am convinced, a careless use of that double-edged sword. None of those visits she made as First Lady were anything more than ceremonial....

If one is going to cite examples of notable national leaders who were effective notwithstanding their lack of a Y-chromosome, then then screamingly obvious example is former British Prime Minister Margaret ("The Iron Lady") Thatcher, followed (equally obviously) by Golda Meir and Indira Gandhi. Babbling about little-known women heads of state from Germany, Chile, or Liberia — Liberia?!? — cuts against her case, since none of those countries, whether headed by a male or a female, is going to be perceived by American voters as having a role remotely comparable to that of the United States in world affairs.
Looking at the transcript, I see what he's talking about. And I can see that my comment is very much a representation of how what she said merged with my own thinking on the subject. The key problem that I ignored wasn't the First Lady business, but her failure to address in any way the problem of the way Muslim countries treat women. She acted as though the question was just: Can a woman be President?
This was a question that begged for a thoughtful, articulate statement of principles. There are so many things she could have said about how we must not abandon our values just to gratify those cultures and countries who don't yet embrace sexual equality. This question was a medium-speed fastball right over the center of the plate — and she laid down a not-so-good bunt with it.
Maybe Elizabeth Edwards is right about Hillary: She really doesn't have the best feminist instincts.

37 comments:

AllenS said...

Muslim men treat their women just like Bill has treated Hillary. Hillary, just like Muslim women, keeps her mouth shut when the man decides to take another woman. There is no difference.

MadisonMan said...

Verily I say unto you, a Christian man would never treat his wife the way Hillary has been treated.

Roost on the Moon said...

Calling herself brutal and ruthless would've been terrible, but I agree with the general sentiment. While watching it, I thought: "Just say 'I'll be the Commander in Chief of the most powerful military the world has ever known. I'll be the Leader of the Free World. I'm not worried about respect.'"

Simon said...

America is not quite Rome, but I think the key point is that the world (and any individual country) has to take the United States seriously, and thus they have to take the leader of the United States seriously. American military and economic power make it prima inter pares - and most of the countries we're worrying about here are profoundly less than pares. That those countries would be forced to take a woman seriously by virtue of her occupying that role is just the icing on the cake, and personally, I hope it really really hurts and offends their sensibilities. In fact, the offense of femicidal regimes around the world would likely be the saving grace of a Hillary Presidency. Women can lead nations to war, as Thatcher ably demonstrated.

Nancy Pelosi went to Syria in a headscarf to avoid giving offense. I hope Hil shows up in a Bikini, appoints Catharine MacKinnon as ambassador to Syria, and airdrops a million copies of The Female Eunuch on Tehran.

Hoosier Daddy said...

There are so many things she could have said about how we must not abandon our values just to gratify those cultures and countries who don't yet embrace sexual equality.

That’s not very multi-culti though. Then again we seem to bend over backwards to do it at home. The more we have these discussions, I’m thinking a female President would open many eyes into those cultures where personal freedoms in general, not just woman’s rights are still sitting somewhere around the 11th century. I wonder how the electorate would respond to Hillary meeting the Saudi Head of State wearing a hajib? Would the Iranian president even consider meeting her? It’s all well and good to assume a moral high ground by not being judgmental of other cultures until one sees how they interact with the rest of the world.

I hope Hil shows up in a Bikini, appoints Catharine MacKinnon as ambassador to Syria, and airdrops a million copies of The Female Eunuch on Tehran.

Make that a thong bikini and a better book would be the Vagina Monolouges but you have the right idea.

rhhardin said...

Can a woman be president?

Whatever Hillary does, the media will take it as a soap opera question, for the media audience is soap opera people, in with the following analysis by James Thurber :


``In many soap operas, a permanent question is either implied or actually posed every day by the serial narrators. These questions are usually expressed in terms of doubt, indecision, or inner struggle. Which is more important, a woman's heart or a mother's duty? Could a woman be happy with a man fifteen years older than herself? Should a mother tell her daughter that the father of the rich man she loves ruined the fortunes of the daughter's father? Should a mother tell her son that his father, long believed dead, is alive, well, and a criminal? Can a good, clean Iowa girl find happiness as the wife of New York's most famous matinee idol? Can a beautiful young stepmother, can a window with two children, can a restless woman married to a preoccupied doctor, can a mountain girl in love with a millionaire, can a woman married to a hopeless cripple, can a girl who married an amnesia case - can they find soap-opera happiness and the good, soap-opera way of life? No, they can't - not, at least, in your time and mine. The characters in Soapland and their unsolvable perplexities will be marking time on the air long after you and I are gone, for we must grow old and die, whereas the people of Soapland have a magic immunity to age, like Peter Pan and the Katzenjammer Kids. When you and I are in Heaven with the angels, the troubled people of Ivorytown, Rinsoville, Anacinburg, and Crisco Corners, forever young or forever middle-aged, will still be up to their ears in inner struggle, soul searching, and everlasting frustration.

_The Beast in Me and Other Animals_ ``Ivorytown, Rinsoville, Anacinberg and Crisco Corners'' p.222

You can see the Althouse take on things tending that way a little, as if this were one of the Permanent Questions.

The respective interests of the sexes die hard.

Real Debate said...

Never forget her playing the thug card and cowering in fear when Rick Lazio had the audacity to approach her podium in a NY Senate debate.

Sloanasaurus said...

America is not quite Rome, but I think the key point is that the world (and any individual country) has to take the United States seriously, and thus they have to take the leader of the United States seriously.

It's not that simple. America can be a paper tiger if we do things like abandon our allies and pull out of Iraq. Hillary appears to have moral courage, but we don't really know.

Despite what people say about Bush, he has built up a sense of fear in the world that America can and will do what it says from time to time - that includes attacking with ground forces and it will hopefully include seeing things through to the end (unless the Dems get their wish and we surrender in Iraq).

A future president will inherit this asset. Hopefully, they won't squander it.

Richard Fagin said...

American feminists in general don't have the best feminist instincts, let alone Sen. Clinton. How else to explain the pass they gave Bill over credible accusations of rape, or the total, complete silence of NOW about the very real, very brutal subjugation of women in all Islamist countries.

It is difficult to agree with the statement that being commander in chief of the world's best military per se would cause leaders of Islamist dictatorships to respect a woman president, or any president of the U.S. They certainly showed no respect to the previous president, who, despite having command of such a resource, was relatively unwilling to use it, and such was the perception overseas.

The only real ruthlessness and vengefulness Sen. Clinton has shown is to her domestic political rivals, while giving the soft touch to some really nasty characters, for example, Puerto Rican terrorists and Palestinian terrorists. Given her well demonstrated prior hostility to the military, it is hard to conclude the Iranians, Chinese or Russians are going to take her seriously as President.

SteveR said...

I have many things on the list of reasons I don't like her as a presidential candidate but being CIC is far from the top. She couldn't possibly be worse than Carter.

Having intentionally lived in the shadow of Bill (and in Arkansas) for all those years, only in the last decade to emerge on her own, she picked up some bad habits, not to mention putting up with things she can't easily justify.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Nancy Pelosi went to Syria in a headscarf to avoid giving offense. I hope Hil shows up in a Bikini,

I'm no fan of the Syrians but this seems awfully harsh. Couldn't we be humane and just nuke 'em?

chickenlittle said...

Hillary may rediscover that it takes a male envoy to get things done in certain countries. Wouldn’t that be Bill’s job? It would be simply confrontational to insist that certain countries change their customs to accommodate a female head of state.

Roost on the Moon said...

Having intentionally lived in the shadow of Bill (and in Arkansas) for all those years, only in the last decade to emerge on her own...

That's a grossly ignorant characterization of her career.

B said...

As I have stated several times before, this conservative evangelical does not hate Hillary. I do not think she is the anti-Christ,and I frankly, as do millions of evangelicals, respect the decision she made to stay by her husband.

Personally, having followed her career since 1992 and having read most of the national biographies of her, I believe that Hillary is motivated by the same ambitions that anyone seeking the Presidency is motivated by: a combination of the desire to "do good", endless ambition and ego.

I have no personal animus toward her at all - I simply believe that she is wrong on the issues. I see no need to question her character or tear her down at this point in order to turn minds toward my political preferences.

Would I like her as a person? From what I have read, most likely, yes.

Lastly, I have never felt that someone who's only political experience was as a legislator is qualified for executive positions. However, Hillary, as First Lady was involved in the national decision-making/moving process, and in addition has shown the ability to manage both the roles of Senator and former First Lady remarkably well.

Again - I can't vote for her because we're too far apart on the issues.

But to say, for whatever reason, that Hillary is not qualified enough or capable of being President is simply wrong.

B said...

Perhaps I should hav more correctly written above:

But to say, for whatever reason, that Hillary is not qualified enough or that she is incapable of being President is simply wrong.

B said...

And Ann, you said above:

Looking at the transcript, I see what he's talking about.

Open to seeing the other person's point of view, and being willing to say so if you think you might have been wrong:That is the mark of humility and the mark of character of a great teacher and of a real leader.

Note to hd, doyle, lucky, and even dave:

That is one reason this blog is so popular.

The Drill SGT said...

Simon said...
America is not quite Rome, but I think the key point is that the world (and any individual country) has to take the United States seriously


reminds me of that honest one liner from that great Roman leader, Caligula (J/K about the great part). It went something like:

'Let them hate us so long as they fear us.'

Simon said...

Paul - oh, I don't know that I'd claw my eyes out. ;) But y'know, the point is to offend the sensibilities of men who believe women should be shrouded under a burqua and to stick a middle finger up to a culture that practices gender apartheid.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"A future president will inherit this asset."

Sloanasaurus you really are a dolt aren't you. The rest of the world knows that Bush is supported by about a 1/4 of the voting population and they, like you, would support that dolt like a blind pig after an acorn.

It will be up to the next President to restore order and prestige, so squandered and so wasted by this current idiot. Look at the list of nations supporting us in Iraq...have you? Look at the number who pulled out because our policy stinks and our chances of of fullfilling the Bush doctrine, whatever the hell that is today, are nil.

I'm sorry you are so blind. It is a pity. You might have a brain but it is delusional at this point.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sgt said:
reminds me of that honest one liner from that great Roman leader, Caligula (J/K about the great part). It went something like:
'Let them hate us so long as they fear us.'


Personally I like like Machiavelli's better.

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both

SteveR said...

Roost: With all due respect, I am not talking about her resume. Why did she change her name from Hillary Rodham to Hillary Clinton to Mrs. Bill Clinton? I am talking about decisions to put Bill in front for purposes of gaining political power. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm just saying some of the ways they handle things, reflect that.

Roost on the Moon said...

stever,

I guess I don't understand the complaint. She clearly didn't try to hide in her husbands shadow, as you first said; she was one of the most visible, powerful, and active "first ladies" in history.

Then you say I'm not getting you, you mean that she has used her husband's name to gain power. And then you add a "not that there is anything wrong with that." And you've said that it's not an issue of her resume. (Which is pretty outstanding with or without 'first lady' on it.)

So what is the complaint?

I'm just saying some of the ways they handle things, reflect that.

Like what?

Sloanasaurus said...

Sloanasaurus you really are a dolt aren't you. The rest of the world knows that Bush is supported by about a 1/4 of the voting population and they, like you, would support that dolt like a blind pig after an acorn.

Hmm... where did you get 25%?According to Rasmussen reports 49% of likely voters give Bush good to fair marks on his performance.

halojones-fan said...

Something Beldar misses is that all of the "strong" women he cites are generally seen, by liberals, as bad. Sex/race/class traitors, the lot of them. I mean, if you cite Margaret Thatcher as a chief influence, you've immediately lost the entirety of the liberal vote...and Lord knows conservatives aren't going to be voting for Mrs Bill Clinton.

Revenant said...

America can be a paper tiger if we do things like abandon our allies and pull out of Iraq.

Quite so. Our losses thus far in Iraq have been trivial, and we're talking about running home with our tails between our legs.

Why on Earth should Syria be afraid of a Democratic President? What's she going to do to him -- talk him to death?

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Its a popularity contest. We would be more popular with the rest of the world if we surrendered our wealth and power, stopped interfering with tyrants, and just let China or Islam step in to fill the power vacum.

For our efforts, we could get a UN resolution condemning attacks against us, kinda like the one's given to Isreal and Darfur. We could even frame it on the National Mall.

Revenant said...

For our efforts, we could get a UN resolution condemning attacks against us, kinda like the one's given to Isreal and Darfur.

Israel generally doesn't even get a UN resolution condemning attacks against it. The UN usually waits until Israel hits back before issuing its condemnations.

The Drill SGT said...

Halo said......and Lord knows conservatives aren't going to be voting for Mrs Bill Clinton.

You are correct. However, hypothetically if HRC was running in the general election against the clowns on stage last night, the calculations would change. Some would decide that though they disliked her positions on many things, that she had a certain level of competence and the big brass balls needed to be the POTUS. I don't like any of them, but as we used to think of in the cold war: "who do you trust to have his finger on the button?"

based on a limited showing, Clinton and Biden. Both have the level of pragmatism needed for the job. Both would be better than Carter for example...


That is the point Beldar is making.

Fen said...

Echo. If I had to choose from last night's crop, Hillary would get my vote. She's the only one up there who has balls.

SteveR said...

OK Roost: let me try to explain:

First is has nothing whatsoever to do with her accomplishments, her visibiliy and not very much to do with her time as first lady of the US. As the first lady of Arkansas and with a husband prone to wandering whe became suspicious and took great care to guard information, her husband and discourage problem causers.

As we saw when Bill first took office, there were some poorly handled issues (e.g. Travelgate and Filegate) which I think were more the result of poor habits developed in Arkansas than any true criminal intent.

Holding down Bimbo eruptions, finding missing billing records on a copy machine, the whole pathetic Vast Right Wing Conspiracy plea, these are not just the creation of vicious opponents.

Not a complaint but rather an observation of what she has to overcome. I have no problem with gaining power, it happens all tbe time and has to happen, but technique matters.

Perhaps the phrase "hiding in Bill's shadow" is inexact but clearly she was not a solo act until 2000 and still struggles to balance the Bill factor.

Balfegor said...

reminds me of that honest one liner from that great Roman leader, Caligula (J/K about the great part). It went something like:

'Let them hate us so long as they fear us.'

That would be ODERINT DUM METUANT -- everything is better in Latin allcaps.

Balfegor said...

Holding down Bimbo eruptions, finding missing billing records on a copy machine,

The billing records issue is truly bizarre, and -- I think -- strongly suggestive of Hillary Clinton or someone close to her outright concealing material subject to a subpoena. Clinton says she doesn't know how they got from where they were supposed to be (the offices of the Rose law firm, down in Arkansas) to where they actually were (the private quarters of the White House in DC). But honestly, isn't that kind of laughable? In most situations, where someone's records cannot be produced, because they have gone missing, and then turn up in that person's own house, we conclude that they are the ones that moved them.

I don't think she should have been hit with obstruction of justice (and she wasn't, as far as I know), since Whitewater and the other related investigations didn't turn out to be all that significant -- smoke but no fire -- and the records, as eventually disclosed, don't seem to have concealed any additional wrongdoing. But it's still slimy.

Not that Clinton II isn't still my preferred Democratic candidate.

Simon said...

Sarge, I didn't watch the debate, but I find it pretty hard to believe that anyone other than Joe Biden thinks Joe Biden is fit to hold public office of any kind.

Pogo said...

Joe Biden's smile flicks on and off like a cheap motel sign, instilling neither warmth nor confidence, but wariness, and the frequent urge to check one's wallet.

Tim said...

If the "surge" continues to progress on its current arc, the Hillary!'s and other Democrat candidacies for president won't much matter in '08.

Fen said...

If the "surge" continues to progress on its current arc -

Nope. Remember, the surge is a failure:

"The surge has basically been chasing the terrorist and criminal gangs around the suburbs of Baghdad, or even into northern or western Iraq. This has taken its toll. Time spent in flight cannot be spent planting IEDs or killing people. Putting all these guys on the road, also makes them more susceptible to capture. A lot of important terrorists have been captured this way. The chief liaison between al Qaeda headquarters and al Qaeda in Iraq was nabbed, as well as many mid-level terrorist cell leaders."

"What most of the troops, and Iraqi civilians, notice is the lower level of violence. Since the surge offensive began four months ago, Iraqi (military and civilian) deaths have declined by more than 50 percent, and American casualties are down by over a third. U.S. troops are still taking the lead in moving into hostile areas, and being exposed to ambush and IEDs. But U.S. tactics and training have made enemy efforts much less lethal. This has helped demoralize an increasing number of terrorists. Many are tired of killing Iraqi civilians, and the increasing difficulty at getting at American troops. Look at this from the Iraqi perspective. In a very good month, Iraqis make a hundred or more attacks a day on American troops, and kill, on average, about four of them. While the terrorists make a big deal out of every American killed, they know that most of their attacks were not only failures, but got a lot of their buddies killed. On average, 10-20 terrorists die for every American killed. This has been going on for years, and an increasing number of Iraqi fighters are demoralized and quitting. Many either become informers, or surrender and speak freely. This is resulting in fresher intelligence, and raids that are catching terrorist cells preparing for operations, and in possession of weapons, bombs and incriminating documents"

http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/iraq/articles/20070724.aspx

It'll be fun to watch the Left tack on this one.