Tuesday, April 12, 2016

America apparently isn't ready for a woman president

Hillary Clinton is running for president again, which means the usual suspects are ready to manufacture sexism from whole cloth to gain an advantage for their champion.

You may not be aware that when Senator Bernie Sanders called Hillary Clinton “unqualified” last week, he was speaking in "hidden codes" and launching a "gendered attack" on her by using a word that is a "subtle, pernicious form[ ] of sexism." It not only was unfair to Clinton's "impeccable resume," it served to do nothing less than "suppress women's political ambition." Women politicians, you see, are "more qualified" than male candidates based on their terms of political service, yet they face a constant struggle to prove their qualifications to others and themselves.

The charge is utter nonsense, of course. Numerous male Republican candidates have been attacked in this election cycle as unqualified and that's among the lesser charges. One was compared to a child molester; another was continually branded as "low energy"; another was ridiculed for sweating during a debate. One has been called a "draft dodger" for obtaining student deferrals during the Vietnam War.

Does Clinton have an "impeccable resume"?  Put aside the whole email scandal, the Benghazi lie, and the other-worldly fabrication about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire, Clinton's "qualifications" for being president are based on the fact that she served in the Senate and in the cabinet with little to show for it. One of her most fervent supporters, Sen. Diane Feinstein, couldn't name a signature accomplishment of Clinton's while she was in the U.S. Senate. The State Department's own spokeswoman couldn't name one tangible achievement of Clinton's as Secretary of State. Clinton herself had difficulty mounting a coherent response to a question about her accomplishments.

And while Donald Trump's success as a businessman is often minimized because he inherited a large sum of money from his father, somehow it is off-limits to suggest that Hillary Clinton's political career was made possible by her marriage to a charismatic U.S. president.

When Hillary stands in front of very sensitive microphones and shouts at the top of her lungs as if she's screaming at a guy with a jackhammer, it's "sexist" to point that out--because each of the 20 male candidates who've run for president in this election also shout like loons. Actually, I take that back: none of the male candidates have done that, at least not on a consistent basis the way Clinton does. No matter. Why let the facts get in the way of a good gender harangue?

It's going to be a long seven months until the general election. Anyone daring to criticize Clinton--no matter how appropriate the criticism--will be attacked, marginalized, and silenced by being branded as "sexist." Media pundits will walk on eggshells to avoid giving the sexual grievance industry ammunition to call them women-haters. Bernie Sanders has already walked back his statement. The sexual grievance industry doesn't care that it's bullshit--they want to get Hillary elected so they'll play the gender card as much as possible.

Which raises the bigger question: I have been "ready" for a woman president for as long as I can remember, but is America? Apparently not. We can't be electing a president who is immune from criticism solely because of her genitalia. When the people who control the public discourse transmogrify legitimate criticism into sexism--who insist you can't call an unqualified female candidate "unqualified"--that can't work.

There is one ray of hope. Donald Trump's incredible popularity is, at least in part, a reaction to this sort of inane political correctness (full disclosure: I am not a Trump supporter). Most Americans who don't live in the rarefied Northeast Corridor--to use an Amtrak analogy--are fed up with being reduced to vile caricature by the thought police on the left. They think America has been taken over by a bunch of bullies who worship at the altar of group identity politics, and they've had enough of it. It is my guess that the old guard feminists who think they can trot out their usual "sexism" tropes are in for a rude awakening this election cycle. That would be a good thing for America. And maybe then, America will be ready for a woman president.