Friday, May 09, 2008


Yeah, I can see why Big Tent Democrat says it's sexist to recommend a blog post entitled "Hillary Clinton: The Psycho Ex-Girlfriend of the Democratic Party," as Michael D. at Balloon Juice and Oliver Willis have done.

But in a way it's odd, because there are certainly male psycho exes, and they can be a lot scarier. (Hillary, as depicted in the linked post, doesn't actually do anything frightening.) I know I've compared the GOP attack machine to an abusive father (e.g., here), and Bush is occasionally written about this way. (Here's a college opinion columnist calling Bush "the bad boyfriend of American politics"; here's a Huffington Post commenter saying, "Bush is like the abusive boyfriend in our democratic relationship. He gets in barfights with random guys, smacks us around a bit, and then says, 'I only do it because I love you.'")

I'm actually surprised more people don't use the term "bad boyfriend" to describe Bush, the way this woman, writing for The New York Times, uses the term to describe various unreliable, irresponsible, BS-slinging contractors working on her house. No, wait -- I guess I'm not surprised, given the relative dearth of big-league female pundits, and the lack of skepticism about men expressed by two of the most prominent ones (Dowd and Noonan).

I do think there's something delusional about Clinton's persistence, but I think there's something far more delusional about Bush's ability to live with himself, knowing how he's spent the last seven years of his life. In an ideal world, we just could say both of these things, no?


...Well, I got slammed for this almost immediately in comments, which I assumed would happen. Aimai has a lot of good points. Go read what she said.

I think what we're seeing from the Clinton campaign is irrational, but it's not gendered -- she's just a powerful person, like a lot of powerful people, who's become a zealot, as have her husband and her many coat-holders of both genders. She -- and they -- just believe the hype about her and Bill. She -- and they -- believes only she can save us from ourselves.

The problem with the "Psycho" post is that it trivializes this, reduces her to a lovestruck girl. She's not that. She's an adult who's lost perspective and who has skills and followers and thus has the power to make a lot of trouble for people who don't share her worldview.

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