Hillary Clinton breathed new life into her “girl power” campaign when she complained last week in a New York Magazine interview about latent sexism. According to Mrs. Clinton, she’d encountered people at campaign events who told her “I really admire you, I really like you, I just don’t know if I can vote for a woman to be president.”
Yeah—said no one ever. It’s as if someone said to her “You’re awesome, I love you, but I’m just too sexist to check the box next to your name.” We’re supposed to believe that sexism is now so pervasive that even her supporters are affected. I’m sorry, but I’m not taking Hillary’s word for it.
But she wasn’t done fishing for pity. “Unpacking this, understanding it, is for writers like you,” she told the interviewer, Rebecca Traister. “I’m just trying to cope with it. Deal with it. Live through it.” Oh, okay. So now Hillary wants a medal for bravery too. It must be hard remaining stoic in the face of all the imaginary slights she is forced to endure on a daily basis.
Her anecdote has got to be one of the most self-serving I have ever heard, just too perfect to be genuine. Stories like this one cast her as the underdog taking on the sexist establishment. Who would ever guess that she is the establishment and arguably the most powerful woman who’s ever lived? Poor Hillary, she’s up against tough odds; you know, with the Democratic superdelegates lined up to vote for her and corporate America bankrolling her campaign.
In order for her candidacy to be a notable “first,” Hillary Clinton must be seen as smashing through the proverbial glass ceiling. Otherwise, where’s the accomplishment? The solution is to invent sexism where it doesn’t really exist; hence the invented quote she relayed to New York Magazine. She’s trying to turn the 2016 election into a test of how far we have progressed as a nation in terms of women’s rights. If she loses, America fails the test. It’s basically the Obama con job all over again, using sex rather than race.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have an election about issues for once? There was a period of time, just two short weeks ago, when it seemed that the Clinton camp was going to dispense with the identity politics and start talking about policy. Her campaign’s internal polling indicated that the “girl power” sales pitch wasn’t as effective with women as they had hoped and that a lot of men were turned off by it. Reporter Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller noticed that Clinton had dropped the most blatant references to her sex in stump speeches. It should be noted here that the momentary lull in divisive identity politics seemed to be entirely pragmatic. In other words, Mrs. Clinton stopped playing the woman card because it wasn’t working, not because it was irrelevant, gimmicky, or just plain wrong. For a brief moment she took the high road—but not because she wanted to.
If the New York Magazine interview is any indicator, the sex-based campaign is back like Freddy Krueger. I guess when all you’ve got is the woman card, you just keep playing it over and over again. Every moment she spends discussing the historic “first” that awaits us if we just have the courage to elect her is a moment she doesn’t have to spend talking about her email server, Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, the Lolita Express, her speeches to Wall Street execs, or her voting record.
None of those things matter, you see, because she’s a woman. She’s getting a lot of help sweeping her past under the rug from the likes of Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House. In April 2015, Pelosi was asked if Clinton’s vote for the Iraq War automatically disqualified her from the presidency. Pelosi said no, which puts me in the awkward situation of agreeing with her. I would have voted yes as well. As an Iraq War vet myself, I have always believed that the cause was right even if the execution was bungled, and the outcome—which is still very much undetermined—may not be what was envisioned at the war’s beginning. Pelosi, however, was unrelenting in her criticism of the war, calling it a “grotesque mistake.” Apparently the mistake was not so egregious that it would call into doubt the judgement of those who voted for it—or at least not the liberal Democrats among them.
Pelosi’s incoherent response to the question of Hillary’s fitness to be commander-in-chief suggested she’d enjoyed a three-martini lunch that day: “Again, Hillary Clinton has been a strong — she comes to this, yes, as a woman. That happens to be that she’s a woman. She’s so qualified. She has had great national security experience as a member of the armed services committee and secretary of state. For these and so many reasons she’ll be one of the strongest, best prepared people to enter the Oval Office in a long time… A war vote is a vote that everybody makes on the basis of what they think know, what they believe, who they trust. There’s a large number of people who supported the war. The consequences have been terrible in terms of what it meant to our veterans and the rest of us, but no. The answer is no. I don’t think it should disqualify her. What’s important is what it would mean to elect a woman president of the United States. It’s a very major consideration. A very qualified woman to be president of the United States. Not just that she is a woman.”
Well of course not just because she’s a woman. Because she’s a liberal Democrat woman.
But let’s unravel what Pelosi’s saying. Apparently Hillary has a great record on national security—except for the biggest national security vote of her life when she signed on to a “grotesque mistake.” But no matter! The important thing here is that we elect a woman, regardless of her voting record. Girl power!
Like a one trick pony Mrs. Clinton knows how to portray herself as the victim of sexist men. During the 2008 primary fight, two mysterious hecklers at a rally in New Hampshire interrupted Hillary Clinton with cries of “Iron my shirt!” How very convenient. Just when Hillary was about to toss out the #waronwomen canard, a couple of male pigs materialized to get the conversation started. “Ah, the remnants of sexism—alive and well,” said Clinton. To which she added: “As I think has just been abundantly demonstrated, I am also running to break through the highest and hardest glass ceiling.” The crowd lapped it up.
Her message was clear: A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote against the patriarchy. This kind of appeal serves to get the ladies riled up at the sheer injustice of it all—which they would have every right to be if the incident weren’t faker than a three dollar bill. It makes some women (and men) want to run out and vote for Hillary as an act of defiance against the boys’ club that toils night and day to hold her back.
As if any further proof was needed that the hecklers were plants, a New York Daily News reporter followed them to their cars. When one of them was asked about his motivation he replied, “I just don’t think a woman should be president”—which is really weird because he had a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker on his car.
For the remainder of the campaign, Hillary is going to stick with what she knows—identity politics. She’s come so far and the future’s looking bright for her. Only two things stand between her and the White House—the FBI and a very weak candidate named Donald Trump. From now until November—and likely for the rest of her political career—Hillary Clinton will do nothing but play that tattered woman card, ceaselessly and without shame.