A commenter just asked me whether, in the light of the recent revelations about Hillary’s e-mail and donor machinations, I still thought she was a good candidate.
Even before that, I was coming around to thinking: No, she’s not.
Three reasons: she’s a baby boomer (so am I, and I’m sick of us; I suspect the culture is too); she’s dynastic (what, another Clinton running against another Bush?? Groundhog Decade!); and she’s half of a corrupt political couple.
I have no patience with “It’s time for a woman president” arguments. Sexism can’t be fought with sexism, and preferring and promoting someone simply because “it’s time” for their category to be represented is as sexist or racist as barring or demoting them for same. If their category can’t come up with a good candidate this time around (for reasons that most certainly include persistent sexism in the culture as well as the malign influence of money on politics), it is extremely patronizing to put forward someone you otherwise wouldn’t want in the office. What’s more, it does the category more harm than good, because it leaves an opening for the other wing of sexists/racists to blame a mediocre performance on the category rather than the individual.
I thought it was a mistake to elect Barack Obama primarily for the reason that “it’s time we had a black president,” even though that was a moving milestone and created a glow of emotion and self-congratulation that lasted for a brief honeymoon before it was time for him to start governing. The only thing that would have been not-racist was to judge him on his merits. Which are? He can be very eloquent, he’s intelligent to the point of being cerebral, he’s deliberate and calm, somewhat removed. I didn’t think he had an executive temperament; didn’t have enough zest for wading in and getting hands-on. That assessment, whether you agree with it or not, has nothing to do with his “race.”
I also don’t buy that the Republican obstructionism against Obama really has anything to do with his race — although politics being an “all’s fair” game, Republicans have been perfectly willing to enlist the racism of some of their constituents in the effort to defeat and discredit him. No, Republicans want to do as much damage as they can to his record because he’s a Democrat, and they want the White House back. People seem to have forgotten that Republicans also detested and did their best to destroy Bill Clinton, who, despite being “the first black president,” was, last I looked, white, all the way down to Slick Willie (no, I didn’t get a look at that).
That said, I’m entirely the wrong person to listen to about politics. I have nothing good to say.