Yesterday, in the aftermath of comments from Madeleine Albright ("There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!") and Gloria Steinem ("When you’re young, you’re thinking: 'Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,'"), Ruth Marcus declared in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Hillary Clinton needs to figure out how to talk to women — and fast":
"Feminism doesn’t mean imposing a moral obligation on women to vote a certain way. It means trusting them, not demeaning them, when they choose the candidate they like best, male or female. Even if their mothers disagree."
Marcus's opinion piece followed on the heels of Frank Bruni's New York Times op-ed entitled "Feminism, Hell and Hillary Clinton":
"Clinton’s gender indeed matters. Just as you couldn’t properly evaluate Obama’s arc without factoring in race, you can’t see her accurately without recognizing that she’s a woman of her time, with all the attendant obstacles, hurts, compromises and tenacity.
That informs — and, ideally, illuminates — her perspective. And her presidency would carry a powerful, constructive symbolism that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.
But those are considerations among many, many others in taking her measure and in casting a vote. To focus only or primarily on them is more reductive than respectful, and to tell women in particular what kind of politics they should practice is the antithesis of feminism, which advocates independence and choices."
Well said, Frank.
Gail Collins's "contribution" to the debate over Albright's and Steinem's remarks? In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Hillary, Bernie and History," Collins concludes (my emphasis in red):
"It took almost 40 more years before a woman won a major presidential primary. That was, of course, Clinton in 2008 in New Hampshire. She didn’t win the election, but she was so credible, and finished so strong, that the nation came away believing a woman in the White House was a completely normal idea.
If the younger voters who are flocking to Bernie Sanders don’t share their elders’ intense feelings about needing to elect a woman president right now, it’s partly because Hillary Clinton helped create a different world. So no matter what comes next, everybody’s a winner."
Hillary "helped create a different world"? Yeah, right. No mention by Collins of the acceptance by the Clinton Foundation of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, a country which whips and imprisons gang rape victims.
And no mention by Collins of Hillary's tweet on November 22, 2015:
"Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported."
Which was followed by Juanita Broaddrick's tweet on January 6, 2016:
"I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away."
In addition, there's the small matter of Hillary's honesty as perceived by the American electorate. As reported by Chris Cillizza in Washington Post article entitled "Hillary Clinton has a major honesty problem after New Hampshire":
"Hillary Clinton has an honesty problem.
That point is driven home hard in the exit poll following Clinton's 22-point drubbing at the hands of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. More than one in three (34 percent) of all New Hampshire Democratic primary voters said that honesty was the most important trait in their decision on which candidate to support. Of that bloc, Sanders won 92 percent of their votes as compared to just 6 percent for Clinton."
Bottom line, Hillary Clinton has proven that female politicians can be just as despicable as male politicians. Collins writes:
"Strong as the emotions are in the Clinton and Sanders camps, both sides have to feel sort of chipper when they look over at the Republicans, who are engaged in something between professional wrestling and Godzilla Versus Rodan."
In fact, the real battle between Godzilla and Rodan will arrive if Hillary is nominated by the Democrats and runs against Trump in November. And in this case, no matter what comes next, everybody’s a ... loser.