Today the indispensable Peggy Noonan says something that needs to be said about Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign. First, she sketches the careers of Golda Meir, Indira Ghandi, and Margaret Thatcher. She summarizes:
Great women, all different, but great in terms of size, of impact on the world and of struggles overcome. Struggle was not something they read about in a book. They did not use guilt to win election -- it comes up zero if you Google "Thatcher" and "You're just picking on me because I'm a woman." Instead they used the appeals men used: stronger leadership, better ideas, a superior philosophy.
You know where I'm going, for you know where she went. Hillary Clinton complained again this week that sexism has been a major dynamic in her unsuccessful bid for political dominance. She is quoted by the Washington Post's Lois Romano decrying the "sexist" treatment she received during the campaign, and the "incredible vitriol that has been engendered" by those who are "nothing but misogynists." The New York Times reported she told sympathetic bloggers in a conference call that she is saddened by the "mean-spiritedness and terrible insults" that have been thrown "at you, for supporting me, and at women in general."
Ms. Noonan observes that it is insulting, it is manipulative, it is not true, and:
It is prissy. Mrs. Clinton's supporters are now complaining about the Hillary nutcrackers sold at every airport shop. Boo hoo. If Golda Meir, a woman of not only proclaimed but actual toughness, heard about Golda nutcrackers, she would have bought them by the case and given them away as party favors.
It is sissy. It is blame-gaming, whining, a way of not taking responsibility, of not seeing your flaws and addressing them. You want to say "Girl, butch up, you are playing in the leagues, they get bruised in the leagues, they break each other's bones, they like to hit you low and hear the crack, it's like that for the boys and for the girls."
Meir and Gandhi and Mrs. Thatcher suffered through the political downside of their sex and made the most of the upside. Fair enough. As for this week's Clinton complaints, I imagine Mrs. Thatcher would bop her on the head with her purse. Mrs. Gandhi would say "That is no way to play it." Mrs. Meir? "They said I was the only woman in the cabinet and the only one with -- well, you know. I loved it."
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Labels: Hillary Watch, Politics, Sex