There's an interesting piece in the NYTimes by Judith Warner, about how Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was, basically, kicked in the slats during the course of this disgraceful campaign just for being a woman.
People who wouldn't dream of mocking Senator Obama for his color think nothing of mocking Senator Clinton for her femaleness. Just take any piece of "humor" tossed Hillary's way over the past year by adolescent pissants like Letterman or the Fox toxic waste dumps, change "woman" to "black," and listen for the myriad hissing of indrawn breaths round the world.
There are still millions of people who think that a woman must be twice as good as a man before they'll grudgingly allow her to achieve half as much. And people who think that black people are OWED something like, oh, you know, the presidency, just because of the color of their skin.
Well, guess what, they're ALL wrong: the men (and, sadly, many women) who listen to Hillary Clinton and titteringly think about vaginae dentatae and castrating bitches, and the no-neck rednecks of both genders who look at Barack Obama and sullenly think about forty acres and a mule.
It's still okay to trash women. Pretty much every man alive does it, or has done it. It's okay to trash black people too, at least in some circles of this racist midden of a country, but it's now a bit LESS okay. Gosh, what progress we've made. We should be very proud.
It's NOT okay, however, to think that something as big and serious as a presidential nomination should be automatically given to Obama just BECAUSE he's black, or to Hillary just BECAUSE she's a woman. Which is what the swooners on both sides seem to think.
Fellow Amerikans who would have a huge problem savaging Obama for his weird ears or goofy gait or, indeed, pleasant color (because that would be RACIST) have NO problem savaging Hillary for her hair or her pantsuits (horrible, yes, I admit) or her double-X chromosomes. Racism, no, or at least not so much as it used to be. Sexism, hey, party time!
(Gosh, ARE those chromosomes double-X? You know, I can never remember. Oh, right, must be because I'm a WOMAN! And only have an IQ of 151! And Hillary's is 125! Wow, I feel so...butch.) [rolls eyes so hard she sees the back inside of her skull]
I look at Barack Obama and see no "there" there. No man of judgment or statesmanship, no seasoned politician (which doesn't ALWAYS have to mean hack or greedhound or lying sack of crap), but Obama the Elflord, drifting around, talking golden oratory to his groupies, having nothing to back up the verbal currency but egotistically believing his own hype (Jim could tell him a thing or two about that...), seeing himself as King.
The Lion King, not Dr. King...
I'm no huge Hillarite, either, y'understand. She's lied, she's backtracked, she's backstabbed, and she comes with the Big Dick wrapped around her neck like an Arkansas albatross. (And you can't tell me he didn't sabotage her deliberately on more than one occasion...out of jealousy or just spite that she caught him with his pants down and now he can pay her back...)
But she knows the wicked game, and she plays it well. Except, of course, during the campaign, when she listened to idiot advisors and made bad choices and shot herself in the foot so hard and so often that no one should be surprised she limped to the finish the way she did. Still...
Barack's no Sportin' Life, but he's no Malcolm X either. I am reminded of nothing so much as Woodstock, where easily led idiots wanted so badly to feel themselves a part of something Big and Important that they autohyped themselves into it.
Well, kids, Woodstock wasn't all that, and neither is Obama.
I would be thrilled to the core of my yellow-dog Democrat heart if the administration of President Obama turns out to be not the second term of President Jimmy Carter but the first term of President Robert F. Kennedy (upon whom be the peace of the gods, this his fortieth year to Valhalla...). I do not expect to see it, but if it so comes to pass, I will be the first one to admit it.
Therefore, come November, I will hold my nose (and my double-X's), suspend judgment and the shriekings of 151 IQ points alike, and vote for Barack Obama and whomever he finagles into sharing the ticket.
Because the administration of President McCain must simply NEVER be allowed to happen.
But I will do it as a triumphant Socrates self-awarely drinking the hemlock, not as a defeated Hillarite resignedly drinking the Kool-Aid.
I believe with all my heart and soul that a woman can, should and must be president. Likewise that a black person can, should and must be president. I also believe that neither of these two prize pseuds deserves the job. But the alternative is far, far nastier.
So, come on, everybody, sing out! "Hillabama! Oh don't you cry for us!/ Just get out there and throw McCain/ Right off that Freedom Bus!"
And may we all live to see it.