Sunday, June 1, 2008

Letter to the NY Times re: Clinton's Kennedy Gaffe

While friends of mine worried that this unstable person would destroy the democratic party in her own pursuit of power, I reassured them that like Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby, she would push it too far, and her campaign would have to be euthanized on the track. I didn't foresee this specific gaffe - only that as her hopes dimmed, the inner sociopath would emerge, and that all but her most committed supporters, people who were dug in beyond all reason would jump ship. The folks at compared her to Reese Witherspoon's Tracy Flick in "Election," but I always felt the far more apt analogy was to Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings." "The ring is mine!" she seemed to say with every outrageous tactic and divisive maneuvering.

It seemed so strange that the NY Times and other mainstream media didn't see what was so apparent to so many. Perhaps Frank Rich saw it, and Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic, but so many others kept saying: "We have two great candidates" no matter what kind of campaign she ran, no matter what kind of vitriol her petty and vindictive advisors and increasingly unhinged husband shouted. The Times endorsed this person, and didn't retract it in the face of so much evidence. And now, it's plain as day, thankfully, but this was there all along.

Whether people out of political correctness due to the historic nature of her campaign didn't want to point out that the empress had no clothes, or whether people were really that cynical about politics to be duped into believing that just about anything goes, it's hard to say. But, and I've made this point many times - just because she's a woman does mean she's not a sociopath, and her supporters do a disservice to the many genuinely wonderful female candidates who will surely come after her by sticking with her this doggedly. Clinton and her supporters are making it more difficult for female candidates to get their due by allowing identity politics to cloud their character judgment. As Martin Luther King dreamt, people will one day be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, and I believe the same thing can be said about the configuration of their chromosomes.

Surely we only want a quality African American candidate like Obama, and just are surely we want a decent female candidate, not just the first available one.

May Clinton's campaign rest in peace, and may we look forward to a female president whose ambition is balanced by decency and integrity.

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