The 2008 presidential campaign is barely starting (of course, for Hillary it never ended) and I’ve already had it up to here with the maternity pitch. I really don’t care to hear whether Grandma Nancy or Nagging Hillary want to justify their ambition for power on children – in fact I find it despicable – for a number of reasons:
For starters, my reasons are personal:
I was childless for many years. All the while I held a variety of jobs and did not use fertility as an excuse or as a motivator for my professional performance because doing so is not professional. Indeed, I didn’t bring up the matter at all, unlike many of my female coworkers, who brought up every detail of their private lives particularly but not exclusively when in the company of other women. After my son was born I chose to be a stay-at-home mom, which in this town is frowned upon by the very people (mostly women) who are staunch Hillary supporters. Now I’m in the absurd situation of hearing those same women bragging about how Nancy and Hillary are so great because of their children.
(BTW, to this day no man, no matter how liberal, has opined to me that it was wrong of me to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m sure the average guy can tell I’d verbally tear him up one side and down the other if he dared. I’m happy to say that a few men have expressed support of my decision, including two stay-at-home dads.)
Then there’s the political reason,
Strategists say that talking about motherhood is reassuring to voters, some of whom are still uncomfortable with women in powerful jobs. It also helps create a narrative for their lives that connects them to mainstream and traditionalist voters.
“Raising children is certainly something both have in common with millions of Americans, and parents everywhere worry about their kids’ future, so why not talk about it?” said Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter. “It’s really no different than talking about a military record or experience in running a business – it gives voters a sense of who you are.”
The difference, Ms Cutter, is that those politicians are using their children for political profit. While obviously you find no problem with that, some of us find it reprehensible. As Betsy puts it,
I prefer the candidates who draw a line of privacy between their families and their political aspirations. And now when we’re at war, I’m more interested in how these candidates propose to keep us safe than I am with how they juggled motherhood and a political career.
And then there’s Hillary. As I pointed out last month, this is a woman whose marriage of convenience is a subject entirely out of the “conversation”, and whose ghost-written book proposes that the state (i.e., “village”) is responsible for children. Not that this is new tactics for the Clintons: Thinkin’bout Stuff remembers the 1992 “town hall” residential debate, (emphasis added)
I remember thinking, at the time, what a great move this was to try to move away from a real debate to an emotional discourse which clearly favored Clinton over Bush (with Perot being more entertainment value, and likely spoiler, than serious candidate). Clearly, we were not looking for a leader, we were looking for a daddy who would take care of us. Essentially this highlights the difference between the theory of Socialism (as opposed to the stark reality) and Capitalism… with Socialism (again in theory), daddy government provides for the people; with Capitalism, the people are given the opportunity to provide for themselves. So if you can frame the debate so that the only way to win is to show how much you care for us and will take care of our needs, the Socialist candidate wins. Of course this whole Socialism thing falls apart unless you have good Capitalists to grab the money from to support the Socialist agenda.
Hillary Clinton did not get where she is today by being a person of integrity, honesty and courage–she got there by riding on the coattails of her charismatic husband; and by shrewdly altering her opinions to accommodate the prevailing political winds. And, oh yes, by ruthlessly destroying whoever got in her way. And even her base is able to recognize this about her, although she is extremely careful never to dirty her own hands. Like the Hamas and Hezbollah gunmen who shield themselves with innocent women and children, Hillary and her spouse have always had a ready supply of useful fall-guys (recall Vince Foster’s suicide or Sandy Berger’s recent archival exploits, for example) to take responsibility for their misdeeds.
That is why candidates like Obama are so attractive: because this same voting base that once adored Hillary now find her too too obvious and coarse, and have swung over to the unknown, tabula rasa candidate on whom they are able to project their own fantasies without any intrusion by harsh reality.
Expect to see the lovely Hilary, whose grandiosity and ambition matches that of her philandering husband ounce for ounce, lash out unmercifully toward anyone who threatens her political ambitions; but definitely not at Islamic Jihadists–unless it happens to be politically expedient and popular to do so. As the campaign progresses, her views will move ever leftward to accommodate whomsoever she decides she needs to co-opt in order to achieve her ambitions.
Right now, it is smart for her to play both sides–to speak toughly, and carry a little stick, so to speak. (The “mommy” alternative, I suppose, to politically incorrect paternalism)
Not as an alternative – simply the other face of the same coin. Pateralism, schmaternalism, it all comes down to more government control.
Expect much more of this from the “Mommy party”.
It’s only the beginning, folks.
Awwwww, poor Hillary. Grabby husband that’s sure to be a liability one way or the other, only $14 mil in the war chest, cameras pointing away from her. And she even forgot (?) to include a flag in the background of her “annoucement” video. No flag? What’s up with that? Surely it’s not any anti-American sentiment, is it?