In 2004 Democrats supporting John Edwards, Wes Clark and even Howard Dean – the “Deaniacs” – supported John Kerry at the end of the nomination process. All Democrats fell immediately into line. There was Democratic Party unity.
The 2004 primary was a relatively respectful contest. There was some degree of animosity between the Kerry and Dean campaigns. The ugliest controversy during the primary was when Robert Gibbs (now with the Obama campaign) helped air an advertisement morphing Howard Dean’s face with the face of Osama Bin Laden. The ad also attacked Dean’s lack of experience.
But early in the 2004 campaign season it became clear that John Kerry (who in late 2006 was forced to mortgage his house in order to finance his flagging campaign) would be the nominee and even the formerly hostile “Deaniacs” embraced the Kerry campaign.
In 2004 Big Media was not able to force feed their candidate of choice to Democrats. Big Media beat up on all Democrats and was a bit tougher on Howard Dean. But, Big Media was not able to control the process and Big Media did not lead an assault on one particular candidate. In 2004 Democratic? Party leaders did not join Big Media in an assault on one candidate, her supporters, and voters in states that would vote for her.
In 2004 there was Democratic Party unity. In 2004, Democrats recognized 50 states. In 2004 there was no Obama to race bait. In 2004 there was an all male candidate field.
In 2008 there will be no Democratic? Party unity. Democratic leaders have driven their women constituents off a bridge and left them there to drown.
* * *
Recently Marie Cocco published a short list of some of the overt misogyny. But as ugly as the misogyny, has been the silence of Democratic leaders watching a woman and all women being drowned:
I won’t miss reading another treatise by a man or woman, of the left or right, who says that sexism has had not even a teeny-weeny bit of influence on the course of the Democratic campaign. To hint that sexism might possibly have had a minimal role is to play that risible “gender card.”
Most of all, I will not miss the silence.
I will not miss the deafening, depressing silence of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean or other leading Democrats, who to my knowledge (with the exception of Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland) haven’t publicly uttered a word of outrage at the unrelenting, sex-based hate that has been hurled at a former first lady and two-term senator from New York. Among those holding their tongues are hundreds of Democrats for whom Clinton has campaigned and raised millions of dollars. Don Imus endured more public ire from the political class when he insulted the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
Would the silence prevail if Obama’s likeness were put on a tap-dancing doll that was sold at airports? Would the media figures who dole out precious face time to these politicians be such pals if they’d compared Obama with a character in a blaxploitation film? And how would crude references to Obama’s sex organs play?
In 2007 and 2008 there has not been one single debate to discuss issues of paramount importance to women. There was 1 forum to discuss gay issues. There were debates geared to Latinos. There were many many debates and fora to discuss issues of concern to African-Americans. In one single day in Iowa there were 2 events geared to the African-American population.
But not one debate was ever held this entire election cycle to discuss issues specifically of concern to women. Not one debate was ever held this entire election cycle to discuss issues from the perspective of women. Not one debate.
Women are the workers in the Democratic Party. Women are the ones who volunteer and make calls and answer mail and send out mail and organize the vans and do the work that keeps the Democratic? Party running. Yet not one debate was considered in forethought or afterthought to ask women what they thought and to ask women what they needed.
The vile Ralph Nader used to denigrate gay and women issues as “gonadal politics”. It appears the Democratic? Party has become a gonadal party – women only needed in the back of the bus, in the kitchen – working – but no place at the table.
Obama has been a lead gang-banger in the misogyny parade:
Meanwhile, Obama had to apologize for his “sweetie” crack. But this was not an isolated incident. Remember, this was the candidate who used phrases like “when the claws come out” and “when she’s feeling down periodically she launches attacks” in reference to his opponent. When language like this is part of the vocabulary of a candidate (one who is so exquisitely articulate), it is worth asking if there is something going on here.
Something is going on. The women of ancient Greece forced peace on the peloponnese by withholding sex. Women in 2008 will force respect, not by whining, but by a demonstrable show of force and strength.
Women in 2008 will not withhold sex. Women in 2008 will withhold votes.
No whining. No votes.
Part III, tomorrow.