Clinton Policies Have Hurt Women

Posted on by

Yves here. This post is an indictment of the policy positions that Clinton has taken on issues that affect women.

Another disingenuous element of the “women should vote for Hillary” campaign is that the efforts she’s been touting to prove her bona fides, such as her intent to name a Cabinet withhalf the posts filled by women, is that she’s selling trickle-down feminism. The tacit assumption is that breaking the glass ceiling is an important breakthrough for women. In fact, that is a concern of elite women. As Hillary’s own record attests, and that of women CEOs (Linda Wachner to Marissa Mayer) or women in Congress (Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi are prime examples, as are Republicans like Joni Ernst from Iowa and Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia), women in positions of influence more often identify with members of their class (well off, well educated women) than middle and lower class people of either gender.

Although there is much to be said for the critique in this article, I’m leery of the “feminist values” framing. It reinforces gender stereotyping. And Hillary making her status as a female candidate a prime reason for voting for her preserves all of that cultural baggage. tIn classes as big as men versus women, the differences among the members of the class are greater than the differences between classes.

By Anis Shivani, whose books in the last year include Karachi Raj: A Novel, Whatever Speaks on Behalf of Hashish: Poems, and Soraya: Sonnets (forthcoming June 2016). His new novel is A History of the Cat in Nine Chapters or Less. Originally published at Huffington Post

“I strongly argued that we had to change the [welfare] system…I didn’t think it was fair that one single mother improvised to find child care and got up early every day to get to work while another stayed home and relied on welfare…The third bill passed by Congress cut off most benefits to legal immigrants, imposed a five-year lifetime limit on federal welfare benefits, and maintained the status quo on monthly benefit limits, leaving the states free to set benefit limits…I agreed that he [Bill] should sign it and worked hard to round up votes for its passage…Weeks after Bill signed the law, Peter Edelman and Mary Jo Bane, another friend and Assistant Secretary at HHS who had worked on welfare reform, resigned in protest.” – Hillary Clinton in her 2003 memoir Hard Choices.

Not liking Hillary has nothing to do with her being a woman. It has everything to do with the hypermasculine values she espouses.

Hillary is that rare combination, even in our grotesque political landscape, of a smooth-talking neoliberal with the worst tendencies of a warrior-neoconservative. You couldn’t say that about Bill to the same extent, but there isn’t a regime change opportunity, a chemical or conventional arms deal, an escalated aerial (or lately drone) war, or an authoritarian friend in need, that Hillary hasn’t liked. If we get her, we will only be setting back feminism by decades, because her policies—like welfare “reform”—have always come packaged under the false rubric of caring for women and children. It’s like George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” the rhetorical cover she needs to enact policies, time after time, that erode women’s and children’s standing even as she claims to be their steadfast advocate.

It has been disheartening for me to read some female intellectuals, particularly in the New York literary world, rage against any criticism of Hillary. We are told it’s only sexism that makes us speak. We’d better check our feminist credentials. Are we, who criticize Hillary, misogynists? Then why do we have kind words for, say, Elizabeth Warren?

We’ve had similar criticisms of Condoleezza Rice, Sarah Palin, and Carly Fiorina. Fiorina, for me, was the scariest person running for president this cycle; you felt that poor autistic Ben Carson, if you begged and pleaded with him for your life, just might spare you, but not Carly! Carly even made a virtue of dragging Hewlett Packard down into the pits, which is not much different than Hillary’s indifference to the erosion that occurred in foreign policy during her tenure as Secretary of State, as she failed to move into a more liberal paradigm, insisting on sanctions and other punitive regimes, in countries like Iran, that disproportionately hurt women. John Kerry, once he took over, quickly picked up the dropped ball and achieved diplomatic success on a range of fronts, including climate change, where Hillary had failed.

There is a palpable deficit of feminist values in this country’s politics, after sixteen dark years of war, surveillance, vigilantism, police controls, economic servitude, and debt. To the extent that we can generalize about feminine and masculine values, the country desperately desires—well, two-thirds of it anyway, those besides Trump and Cruz fans—a reinjection of feminine values. That means compassion, acceptance, and understanding for those left behind by misguided economic policies. That means valuing, once again, as this nation has done for the periods it has shone brightest, imagination, beauty, soft-spokenness, and unexpected generosity.

In the early 1990s Hillary did represent, to some limited symbolic level, a change for the better in terms of feminist values—though this certainly didn’t translate into actual policy improvements for women or children or minorities, rather the opposite occurred in policies engineered by the Clintons. Furthermore, one could argue that it was George H. W. Bush who prompted the relative humanization of the 1990s, after the harsh Reagan-era rhetoric, promising a kindler, gentler nation, and aspiring to be the “education president” and “the environmental president.” The elder Bush’s policies were to the left of either Clinton, when it came to immigration, civil liberties, clean air, disability, and many other issues.

The Clintons went out of their way to pursue—often gratuitously—policies that hurt women and children. The reelection seemed safely in their pockets, yet they went ahead anyway with harmful laws on crime, welfare, telecommunications, immigration, and surveillance, legitimizing right-wing discourse that was to bear full fruit in the following decade. It was the Clintons who set the stage for the massive harm that was to befall women, immigrants, the poor, the elderly, and children once they provided liberal cover to social darwinist ideas that had been swirling around in maniacal think tanks but had not been able to make it through Congress.

The Clintons have somehow managed to convince half the sane world that they should be the natural recipients of African-American votes, despite everything they have done, when in power, to erode the economic security of African Americans and other minorities; the false hope raised during the 1990s was that the economic boom, itself a mirage as it turned out, would eventually lead to significant wage gains, but that never happened.

Poor and minority women and children were drastically hurt by the welfare bill the Clintons so enthusiastically pushed through Congress, and likewise all the policies, from trade to student aid, they pursued in the name of fiscal responsibility, cutting the deficit and the debt, and playing by Wall Street’s tune. On neoliberal disciplinary virtues (which in Hillary’s mouth are twisted in a rhetoric of “empowerment”), she’s little different than Milton Friedman, the greatest post-war popularizer of the “free market” mythos. “Personal responsibility,” separating the virtuous from those deserving of sanctions, is as much a credo for her as it was for Reagan, as it was for Barry Goldwater.

The global IMF and World Bank consensus, the regime of structural adjustment to make developing countries fall in line with the dictat of bankers in the developed world, reached the peak of its authority during the 1990s (even Reagan hadn’t been as effective at legitimizing the paradigm in the developing world). The so-called “Washington consensus” was, and remains, a nihilistic retort to any type of redistributive policies poorer countries might wish to pursue to uplift their people. Is cutting education and health care and utility subsidies, in the name of balancing budgets to the satisfaction of the global banking elite, a feminist value? Yet no one is more responsible than the Clintons for making the withdrawal of government from public services worldwide gospel—at least until some Latin American countries finally started breaking away from the imposition in the 2000s.

Though she still likes to present herself as a fighter for women’s and children’s rights, let’s keep our sights on Hillary’s actual record.

When Central American refugee children started streaming over the southern border a couple of years ago, Hillary was quick on the mark to condemn these poor souls to death and oppression. In a 2014 discussion with Christiane Amanpour, she refused to say that she would allow unaccompanied minors fleeing violence to stay in the country, insisting instead on the “message” of deterrence that had to be sent to prevent others from thinking of seeking refuge in the U.S.

Though Bernie Sanders didn’t use this example during the last Democratic debate, when it came time to tighten the screws on bankruptcy laws, making it harder for poor people—often women—to escape the burden of unreasonable debt, Hillary was there to do the big financial institutions’ bidding (the law eventually passed Congress in 2005).

She has always been late to the scene, and adopts a placating rhetorical stance, on any cutting-edge progressive issue, from gay rights to drug legalization to doing something about mass incarceration, even if her policies (such as the “defense of marriage”) have explicitly promoted the regressive attitudes in the first place. She likes to show up, once someone else has done the job, to pick the credit, as she did when she eagerly stood with New York governor Andrew Cuomo for passage of the $15 minimum wage, something she was opposed to in principle at the national level; in any case, incrementally lifting the minimum wage to $15 in different states, in three to five to seven years, is already too little too late.

The huge affection shown for Barack Obama in the first six months of 2008 was because he came across—rather disingenuously as it turned out—as embodying feminist values. He enunciated an ethics of compassion we had sorely missed during the macho Bush years. All that changed as soon as his nomination was secured, and after June 2008 he had no further interest in holding anyone accountable for the vicious hypermasculine deeds of the preceding eight years.

Hillary has always undercut feminism by selectively appropriating hyperfeminine tropes when it suits her politically, undermining the ideal of the equality of men and women, including emotional equality. She calls up the tears when necessary, for example in the 2008 New Hampshire primary, to get sympathy. The entire subtext of her sixteen-year-long positioning for the presidency seems to be, I’ve paid my dues, especially in terms of the emotional costs, so I must have my turn. This is not a particularly empowering feminist message. Likewise, to keep repeating the one million miles she traveled and the 112 countries she visited as Secretary of State seems a throwback to the prefeminist notion of backbreaking work for its own sake. She was there, she may not have a record to point to, but she sure showed up and worked her butt off to be physically present everywhere!

I desperately wish to see a female president. It happened long ago in many other nations, some of which are not even “developed” countries by our reckoning. Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and many others did it a while ago. Yes, it would be wonderful to have a female president, but it turns out that this time it’s Bernie Sanders who comes closest to representing the feminist values of caring, trust, understanding, compassion, peace, and yes—love.

If only, for a single moment in this campaign, Hillary had showed some humanity, a momentary break from her constant triangulating and having it both ways, thinking she’s obligated to always give a confusing double-edged answer to every question! She didn’t do it on her 2014 book tour either, which told me she had learned nothing from the way her 2008 campaign failed to resonate with voters looking for feminist values.

She is a severely compromised candidate, because the way she articulates her policies jars so badly with what we expect of an ethics of caring. It is jarring in the same way that Condi or Carly were, and it is a particular contrast to Bernie’s soft side on full display at rallies and in debates, and to Obama’s softer side (at least until the summer of 2008). I don’t believe the country will only accept a female president if she’s dressed up in patriarchal regalia; this is yet another way Hillary has long been undermining feminism, by making us believe that actual feminist values are simply not palatable for public discourse at the national level.

Eileen Myles (a poet whom I like a lot, and who in fact wrote in praise of my first poetry book), recently wrote a defense of Hillary, because “wouldn’t you want…[a vagina] sitting on the chair in the Oval Office?” Indeed, Eileen, I couldn’t agree more, and I respect you for your lifelong commitment to equality, but may we please get a vagina that doesn’t have a patriarchal mind attached to it?

We who support Sanders are not BernieBros. Please don’t demean us by calling us that. It is not about hating Hillary’s gender. It is about our own desperate desire for feminist values.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Pavel

    Ask the women in Libya what a great “feminist” job Hillary did there in turning it into a failed state.

    Or ask the mothers of 500,000 Iraqi dead children what they think of Hill’s BFF Madeleine Allbright, that noted “feminist” what they think of Bill Clinton’s Iraqi sanctions (supported by Hillary).

    Or ask the women of Saudi Arabia how much they appreciate the Clinton Slush Foundation taking millions of donations from the Saudi royals and their cronies, and getting the world’s biggest arms deal subsequently. Weapons that are being used with US military assistance to commit genocide in Yemen as I type this comment.

    Sorry to be so caustic so early in the thread, but it drives me insane when HRC claims to care about women and children and gun control, but only apparently within the USA borders. And not even successfully there!

    1. Pat

      Can we just leave it at “claims”, it doesn’t matter where you live, if your existence or way of life has to be destroyed to elevate Clinton it doesn’t matter what your gender is, race is or sexual orientation is. Anything other than that are mere ‘claims’ by the Clintons, all of them. If you happen to get some crumbs in their wake, consider yourself lucky – even if it is your pantry they just ransacked.

      1. scott 2

        So you think Hillary will do for women what Obama has done for blacks? Sounds like a good Trump campaign slogan to me.

  2. Nick

    “Not liking Hillary has nothing to do with her being a woman. It has everything to do with the hypermasculine values she espouses.”

    I agree that the framing here is off. The use of the term hypermasculine really just means power-hungry and controlling. It would be healthier and more constructive for the discussion to use those terms instead of associating them with a gender. A child (regardless of gender) who displayed the same traits would never be called hypermasculine, even though it describes exactly the same behavior.

    In my experience, whether it is a question of racism or sexism (which clearly both exist and are clearly problems), an even bigger question is the one of class/power/privilege vs. poverty. Hatred toward immigrants is rarely about the immigrants themselves, but the fact that they are poor, and often seen as “stealing” jobs. Yet wealthy (and especially educated) people from wherever it may be are more often than not welcomed with open arms. The intolerance is based on what they lack in social status, not on what they are.

    Had Elizabeth Warren been campaigning against Clinton, she would easily have had my vote.

    1. Bruce

      So Hillary is to condemned for not behaving within cultural defined stereotypical roles of how a woman should behave. Its ok for men to have a softer side, but not ok for women to have a harder side. Yea I don’t want a vagina attached to a patriarchal mind either.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    “Hillary is that rare combination, even in our grotesque political landscape, of a smooth-talking neoliberal with the worst tendencies of a warrior-neoconservative.” Right, her record as sec of state is very bad. Libya did not need to be destroyed, for example. Someday after the tell-all books and taped conversations have been published, I’m guessing we will see Obama would have been more of a peacenik if he didn’t have all these advisors imploring him to destroy countries and maim people. His first mistake was choosing Hill as sec of state. Giving her a path to the presidency on a silver platter. And she’s screwing that up, too, like everything else in her life.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      I don’t think he chose her for State. I think those were the terms of the deal they made at the convention. Along with the DNC’s guarantee she would be the nominee this year. Because that’s how the sausage gets made.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Obama a closet “more-of-a-peacenik,” except for his “bad choices in advisors?”

      He and his posse already have all the help they need in creating the mythology that supports his bullshit Legacy Narrative. “Just a poor little community organizer, out of his depth in the trickery and stratagems of the Imperial Capital — a Boy Emperor, ruled by the Dowager…”

      That is one wild guess about what the smokescreen generators and manufacturers of consent will documenably “produce” when it comes to a “legacy” for that man, all right…

      And what ever happened to GWB? Has fallen right out of public perception, and only really angry teeth-gnashers are even going on about Cheney and all the rest of the Establishment going way back before the Dulleses and Prescott Bush and on and on…

  4. ms57

    HRH HRC, over time, has become a master at bending the truth into a lie. Her running now as a feminist is galling because it is so self-serving and disingenuous. But another, perhaps even stronger, example of this same ability to bend the truth concerns African-Americans. The welfare bill is one example; the crime bill is another. Yet, African-Americans have supported her across the country.

    HRC is a neo-liberal in economic outlook and a neo-con in foreign policy. No one succeeds in large institutions, whether corporate or political, without internalizing the values of those institutions. She has no interest in the fundamental changes needed in the country. She is a careerist and an institutionalist, and will govern as such.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      As Harry Shearer pointed out via e-mail, and I neglected to include in my intro, Clinton supported Andrew Cuomo (corrupt and past his sell-by date) over Zephyr Teachout, a charismatic progressive with some serious intellectual work on anti-trust and corruption as a law prof, in the last NY gubernatorial primary. Teachout got over 33% of the vote spending all of $250K on her campaign, and Cuomo had to do serious ad buys to fend her off (my recollection is a big number like $11 million, and I need to turn in, so I hope readers will correct my memory if needed).

      So Hillary’s sisterhood BS operates only if Hillary is the beneficiary.

      1. ScottW

        Hillary would never support Teachout, or anyone like her, because the Clintons are Exhibit A of Teachout’s definition of corruption–using public office for private gain. No one has done that more “successfully” than the Clintons. And Hillary supporters, buying into the Citizens United conservative majority’s requirement of quid pro quo corruption, signal the death of either party trying to take special interest money out of politics.

      2. Dwight

        Teachout probably got more than 33%. There is little reason left to trust U.S. elections, and of course New York elections could be rigged if necessary. Teachout as governor of New York, and Sanders as president, would have too much power to prosecute the banks.

  5. lyman alpha blob

    She isn’t all that concerned even with elite women breaking the glass ceiling, or perhaps more specifically with women breaking into elite-hood.

    If she were, she would have been supporting Zephyr Teachout’s gubernatorial campaign in what she touts as her home state. Instead she was for corrupt Cuomo all the way.

    She’s not about women, she’s about neoliberalism.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hah, great minds work alike, I was just commenting re Zephry when you were!

      But Zephyr is not elite per Hillary’s standards. She is a law prof only at Fordham, a law school for what Australians would call “battlers” as in working/lower middle class types seeking upward mobility, plus she comes from a seriously granolahead family. Elite per Hillary’s crowd is elite schools, either by training or later affiliation (Warren broke into that cohort despite not going to the toniest schools) or spending enough time in the Beltway to get hooked up with the right think-tanks and validators.

      In Hillary’s world view, Zephyr is dangerous because she is a rabble-rouser with a great media persona and smarts. Only neoliberals are welcome in Hillary’s club.

      1. Schnormal

        It really can’t be repeated enough that in supporting Cuomo over Teachout, Clinton threw her support behind NY state’s corrupt, all-male triumvirate over an inspiring and viable progressive feminist candidate.

        As WNYC reported last year, the “three men in a room” model is “a paternalistic system – there has never been a woman in the room – that takes a sort of “Father Knows Best” approach to governing: The governor, the Assembly speaker and the Senate Majority Leader meet behind closed doors to make decisions for nearly 20 million New Yorkers.”

        But look on the bright side — two of the men in the room have since been convicted of federal corruption charges. If the email scandal lands Clinton in jail, we’ll at least have “Two men and a woman in a cell” — equality with conviction!

    2. allan

      Clinton also didn’t support Donna Edwards in the MD Senate primary.
      Because nothing says `breaking the glass ceiling’ more than a white male apparatchik like Chris Van Hollen.

      1. nycTerrierist

        “There’s a special place in hell…”

        don’t tell Madeleine Albright!

        1. Lambert Strether

          Ha. Parallelism of great minds.

          I suppose, to a bourgeois feminist, the non-bourgeois or even somewhat declassé woman isn’t really a woman.

          And so, no support for Teachout or Edwards.

        2. Lapsed_Lawyer

          I get the distinct impression Hillary’s already got a prime piece of real estate picked out in that “special place”

  6. Adam1

    If Hitler had been a women would it have been anti-feminist of one to resist his policies or to appose him? A true feminist position is to recognize that women are just as capable of making informed political choices as anyone else and should be allowed to do so without imposing any expectation upon them of who is the best candidate regardless of the candidates gender.

  7. mike bohinc

    Yeves Smith long rambling bumbling discourse of boring analysis on Clinton is telling.
    It tells me Smith hates Clinton because she is a NeoCon.
    Yet in the last 25 years Clinton has never advocated for or started a war of invasion.
    And that fake NeoCon label ignores “poltical tough talk” by a woman establishing herself as capable of being the nation’s 1st female commander in chief is just basic political necessity.
    Anyone with a brain can see it.
    But not Yves.
    Sorry, you do not impress me with your long analysis, which is boring and long winded, saying nothing but you love Bernie Sanders.
    Yet you never explain how free college and free medicare for all will be paid for with a $19T Debt and a 105% Debt to GDP Ratio. Very forgetful of you. Like Sanders just blowing smoke up our ass.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, I do hate Clinton because she is a neocon, but that is not my biggest reason. My main reason is she’s corrupt. I’ve hated her since her commodities trading scandal.

      Did the Syrian moderates tell you she hasn’t started any wars? She is responsible for the invasion of Libya, as even the pro-Hillary New York Times described in detail, how she got a host of hawkish generals to box in Obama, who called Libya the mistake of his presidency, basically criticizing Hillary in code. And she advocates a no-fly zone in Syria, which means shooting at Russian planes that are protecting the air space of their client state. That would amount to staring a war.

      Better trolls, please.

      1. Arizona Slim

        The commodities trading scandal merited a lot more attention than it got.

        I mean, come on. The lady made a killing on those trades. It was the kind of killing that would have been hard to achieve without insider trading.

        1. sid_finster

          She didn’t use insider trading. What happened was her broker would enter two identical trades, one long, one short. The winning trade was assigned to HRC, the loser to the entity making the payoff.

          Flatly illegal, BTW.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            No, it was worse than that. That’s only the cover story.

            This story is first hand. A top trader I know was asked to look at the trading records by 3 Congressmen. He said no way were her results the results of actual trading. Hillary always traded at the best price of the day, meaning her broker allocated her the best price of all the trades he has executed. Even when I saw Citibank ripping off its clients in FX in London, they constructed a scheme that gave them plausible deniability and guaranteed they’d get the best price only 5/6 of the time, more than enough to win plenty big over time.

            He said the other two traders the Congressmen conferred with told him similarly that it was impossible that her trading results came from bona fide trading.

      2. Lapsed_Lawyer

        A) And, please, let us never forget her vote to authorize the war in Iraq, about which she made an impassioned speech on the floor of the Senate full of nothing but Bush administration talking points and lies.

        B) Sorry, Yves, but these are the best trolls they got. Sad, isn’t it?

      1. Fool

        Haha. They’ve been cropping up everywhere on the internet. It’s all about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

    2. Chris

      In the hope that you’re not one of the paid PR flacks running cover for Mrs. Clinton, Mike, ill engage with some of your assumptions

      You pivot from an admittedly male centric critique of HRC’s feminism to trashing Sander’s proposals? Is this more of the poll tested nonsense that gave us, “If we broke up the banks today, would that end racism?”

      Hillary’s role in disastrous foreign escapades of the last decade and her bellicose support of Israel is enough to earn her a Neoconservative label. It has nothing to do with being CiC. If you know any active duty, enlisted, or officers, you’ll probably hear opinions from them that are ardently pacifist in nature. That is likely one reason why Hillary’s popularity among the military is so low. For goodness sake, if we had followed the advice from her staff and her office we’d be in open war with Russia because of a no-fly zone in Syria.

      Has she ever formally started a war? No, but since she’s never been in the military or acted as CiC, your points about advocating or starting a conflict are the worst kind of strawmen. Here are better questions – Has she accepted a tremendous amount of money for weapons deals that were used in war? Yes. Has she supported the US in increasingly tenuous justifications for war all over the world? Also yes. Yet you make it sound as if corruption in the service of annihilating civilians in the middle east is a virtue.

      And then you finish with some hoary old statements on the debt and GDP ratio? We already spend that much on other priorities, and after tax expenditures on health care and such are enormous. Are you honestly saying that we shouldn’t try to do things differently when we spend more than any other developed country on healthcare and get worse results than countries that spend less than we do? The fact that you and other people who support Mrs. Clinton continue to support a failing status quo beggars belief.

      The audience here is comprised of people who really want to learn and are very capable of analyzing data. Your statements don’t hold up under even casual examination. Stick around and you might learn why the evidence shows Hillary’s positions have no merit.

      1. Lapsed_Lawyer

        The fact that you and other people who support Mrs. Clinton continue to support a failing status quo beggars belief.

        As Lawrence Lessig wrote about her in regards the 2008 race,

        She saw the job of the president to be to take a political system and do as much with it as you can. It may be a lame horse. It may be an intoxicated horse. It may be a horse that can only run backward. But the job is not to fix the horse. The job is to run the horse as fast as you can.

    3. Roger Smith

      Ahem… notice how this article is not written by Yves, only introduced by.

      Better Trolls please, indeed!

    4. Emma

      Dear Mike,

      If you wish to both provide and validate another perspective on Clinton, then do so without the confusion and emotional clap-trap of your ‘kihl-anointed lashes’. Keep your mental-masturbation for a cluster-f**k elsewhere, thankyou very much.

      Instead, I’ll suggest that neither you, nor Yves, nor even the MSM have discussed in any sufficient detail what it’s all about. You see, it’s not a man thing or a woman thing. It’s not a hate thing or a love thing. It’s not a misogynist thing or a feminist thing. It’s not even about the idealized patriarchal structure of neoconservatism.

      It’s about leadership. And Hillary Clinton is not a leader. Not a good leader. Not a good leader at all. Not one many of us ‘”with a brain” unlike your lack of one Mike, would allow or expect our children to emulate. To put it bluntly, I have no respect for anyone who gets what’s left of his/her morals cut off for $600 at Bergdorf Goodman.

      For me it really became apparent last year when Putin was outed for the Russian athletes doping scandal. The smash n’ grab for first-prize, eh?! At around the same time, the so-called League of Conservation Voters endorsed Hillary Clinton. Despite the fact Bernie Sanders had a far higher lifetime rating with members, the life and soul of the group. Many members were justifiably upset at this arrogant and undemocratic blowoff. They refused to be doped by a ‘Doper In Chief’. Some even cancelled membership to switch allegiance to other organizations. An admirable stand because they actually had standards. Just the way, for example, Nina Turner the former Ohio State Senator has had along with Tulsi Gabbard, an Army Veteran and Hawaii Rep. who resigned her post as Vice Chair of the DNC.

      Now Mike, you’re right to assume that Hillary Clinton could be the first female Commander in Chief. But only if it’s about deception and delusion, and from the oval office she so covets too. She’s in no way a front-line type. And would undoubtedly not be after one, two, or three tours of duty, lost limbs, and PTSD with suicidal tendencies. You see Mike, real leaders, indeed, good leaders, are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to preserve the well-being of others. That is, life. Just like Malala Yousafzai. Besides, as Secretary of State, just which of Hillary Clintons foreign policies is more a disaster? Is it Benghazi? Syria perhaps?

      From a geo-political perspective, in matters of defense and national security, leaders undoubtedly have to push those moral boundaries appropriately and be prepared to go to war. Just not with your own citizens. But Hillary Clinton seems to think not. She’s more protective of her Goldman Sachs speech transcripts than she is with national security secrets. So Mike, when it comes to experience for the post of Commander in Chief, Hillary Clinton does indeed irrefutably have experience. Just like Dr Mengele. Personally speaking, I’ll take the experience of Dr Redfern, the father of Australian medicine, anyday over the experience of Dr Mengele.

      Many of us are fully aware that being that first female Commander in Chief doesn’t mean it should be all about Lords Modesty and Lady Chastity either. But I don’t think Hillary Clinton, or even Bill Clinton for that matter, have any boundaries at all. Remaining married to a former President who is simply not content to screw around in X number of extramarital affairs but flies off to private islands in the Caribbean, in the company of pedophile buddy Jeffrey Epstein, and with under-age girls, is not the most savory thought any decent man or woman can take out to cream tea, if you get what I mean Mike.

      So yes, many Americans and non-Americans around the world would love to see a first female Commander in Chief, a first female POTUS. But when some men and women really think about it, they’ll pick a self-raising pancake flower over a spoilt soufflé . And it’s just too incredibly insulting, and demeaning, to expect these very same people to still support and legitimize a sham that is the relish of the DNC today.

      1. Monica Oclander

        Wow! Superb! An inspiring and well-informed response. Chapeau! Thank you.
        A 72-y.o. woman who wishes for more and better for the people of her adopted home.

      2. roonie

        Gonna use this… excellent: “She’s more protective of her Goldman Sachs speech transcripts than she is with national security secrets. ”

        Well spoken.

    5. Vatch

      Yet in the last 25 years Clinton has never advocated for or started a war of invasion.

      Wrong. She voted for the invasion of Iraq in the Senate:

      Here’s the text and description of H.J. Res 114:

      Sanders voted against it when he was in the House of Representatives:

      1. Lapsed_Lawyer

        Ah, but she’s admitted that was a “mistake”!

        Frankly, I’ll take someone with the courage of foresight over someone with merely craven politically tactical hindsight any damn day of the week.

  8. Michael C

    The sad thing it that the Democratic Party establishment fully supports and desires HRC to be its candidate. If that is the best it can do, then why is one a Democrat anymore. The party has no core, no soul if you will. It comes out ever more clearly as I watch the undemocratic systems it uses to make her its candidate, and it comes out in Clinton on the campaign trail every time she opens her mouth and exposes the disconnect between heart and mind. I cannot do the lesser evil any longer.

    1. Zorba

      As I have been saying for years, stealing a quote from I can’t remember who, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.”

  9. John Wright

    I’ve mentioned before, pushing women to support HRC for gender reasons may lead to the same “buyers remorse” for female HRC supporters that pushing blacks to support Clarence Thomas (“he’s one of us”) did.

    Of course, given the scale of the job and the neocon opportunities for Clinton if in office, Clinton’s deleterious effects could be far worse for her female supporters than Thomas’s votes have been for blacks.

    Maybe she’ll borrow his “high tech lynching” line to refer to her social media detractors?

    HRC is the new Clarence Thomas.

  10. Norb

    Spreading the message of love and compassion requires that people act in a loving and compassionate manner. The neoliberal message will have to be unlearned one soup kitchen, free health clinic, and work program at a time.

    Race to the bottom policies will produce an environment that polarizes the citizenry. We are driven to stark classes of rich and poor, but more importantly, the complementary values of compassion and exploitation are laid bare.

    The struggle of good over evil- nurturing vs domination- is being brought into sharp focus.

  11. DWBartoo

    I had the very good fortune, as a young boy, to encounter, and be much influenced by, a number of genuine feminists, including my grandmother, my father’s mother, who actually knew, from experience that women could, indeed, do, as well as any man, those things which build up society and enhance human existence. She was adamant in her consideration that true feminism stood agaiinst patriarchal violence and control, that too many aspects of our society were, and are, deliberately destructive, by design and intent, of conscience, of community, of principle, and of humanity. She and other such feminists would be thoroughly disgusted at the notion that “feminism” apparently now means simply that women be “in charge” of the ruthless killing machines and the efforts to reduce the populace to “learned helplessness”.


      1. DWBartoo

        Indeed yes, bowserhead, yet this election season has revealed the true “sentiments” and allegience to the neoliberal camp of many, from Krugman to Steinem … and Clinton is not, as some have alledged, “a modern-day Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor”.

        My point is that language is much perverted and designed, increasingly, to manipulate the emotions and understanding of “the herd”, to obscure the true nature of what is being done in the name of the “precariat”, the “precarious proletariat” (Edward Bernays would be very pleased, one imagines, with both efforts).

        “Liberal” and “progressive” are fast (for a long time, actually) becoming meaningless terms, unless we are to imagine that merely thinking the “right thoughts” and saying the “right” things, without any action, has “merit” and substance. Incrementalism suggests comfortable complacency and a desire to protect one’s own wealth and standing on the self-serving basis of a presumed meritorious and responsible “position”.

        One might even examine the term “democracy” with more than a cursory and approving glance, to determine if such really exists. Either it does or it does not, a “limited democracy”, which is no democracy at all, renders the act of voting, for example, to nothing but the legitimization of the continuiing ripoff.

        To rebuild society, trust among humans must be built first. However, a perverted language and the presumption that it is acceptable that äll “public servants” lie, or euphemistically, engage in “agressive deception” is hardly the hallmark of an enlightened understanding or philosophy, and not the foundation of a principled and humane society.

        Our species has reached point of existential question. the critical decisions cannot be allowed, any longer, to be left to be made by the very ones, the pathological elite, the spoiled brats, who have cynically brought us to this place. History, if we are honest, is the essentially sorry and appalling record of the behavior of the spoiled brats … and the consequence for the rest of us.

        Simply put, the choices the spoiled brats offer are; either cooking life off the planet with the carbon chain … or freezing life off earth with a nuclear winter.

        The ONLY alternative is that another choice, an informed choice, be made BY the many and that will require the clear understanding, unsullied and un-bullied, of the many … and words, that mean something, rather than nothing, will very much matter in that endeavor.


        1. Ray Phenicie

          The terms liberal and progressive, as you correctly point out, have been much besmirched. To Discover However that happened would take us on a long and winding journey which we could discuss all day; one ‘liberal’ was for example Lyndon Baines Johnson who very peculiarly brought us both the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and the escalation of the Vietnam war. Read To Move a Nation by Roger Hilsman to see how when the President’s advisors changed so did the foreign policy. JFK preceded him with the famous lie about a ‘missile gap’ but yet is remembered for some of the most stirring rhetoric to ever waft across the ears of millions. Adlai Stevenson lied straight into the faces of millions and the United Nations Security council about the U-2 spy mission and days later faced the embarrassing revelation of a wrecked U-2 and a captive Gary Francis Powers.

          There are men and women who represent what Liberal Progressives are all about. Paul Wellstone, Henry Wallace (FDR’s vice president who was turned out to pasture in lieu of Harry Truman-the world would be vastly different today had Wallace remained the Democratic party’s choice for VP in 1944) and Eleanor Roosevelt are some outstanding examples of progressives who espoused Social Liberalism. Adlai Stevenson was Eleanor’s protege so I don’t know what happened to him when he joined the Kennedy Administration. I fear a similar chemistry change with Bernie Sanders who has already announced he supports Obama’s every move in the Middle East. There’s a YouTube video of him on Charlie Rose’s show; it’s very chilling.

          Somehow when people in power start moving into the realm of foreign policy much strangeness and ‘down the Rabbit Hole’ scenarios appear; some of which I have already alluded to. (What’s that movie where the incoming President is shown a power agreement that obligates him/her to align all policy along certain lines?) There’s a coterie of power elites located in the Pentagon , Langley, and Foggy Bottom that keep us from ever having a true liberal in the White House. Not a conspiracy theory here just the facts showing that our government is perennially militaristic no matter who sits behind the Resolute Desk.

          But the terms themselves still mean much and the philosophy behind social liberalism is sound as well as inspiring. Bernie Sanders clearly espouses this thinking and actions and will, if elected, be our best hope that the ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ scenarios will have played themselves out.

    1. Alan Bickley

      An interesting and welcome note on the manifestation of feminism in the past. Like other social and cultural movements, feminism resembles the tide; it asserts itself, and then it recedes, only to reappear when conditions summon it. My mother prospered in her 20s in that first two decades of the 20th century, only to be brought back to earth by the conservatism of the 1920s

      1. DWBartoo

        Ebb and flow.

        Alan, your poetic, and realistic, grasp of the course of deliberate and conscious social and cultural movements is much appreciated.

        One wonders, as humans are increasingly encouraged not to trust each other, indeed to fear the “other”, especially if there seems “difference”, whether we are about to get official encouragement to “believe” that essential “human nature” is nasty and brutish? I raise this point considering that Harvard and Yale psychologists have recently suggested that those who are outraged at the destructive behavior of others are merely seeking to advance their own social standing (at no real effort or cost to themselves) and ought simply be seen as seeking the limelight in a most destructive and ineffectual way. One wonders, further, whether those Harvard and Yale psychologists are in any way discomfitted by Mitchell and Jessen, or whether they consider that psychology is better suited to manipulation and control than healing and helping?


      2. SomeCallMeTim

        Hillary came in with the high tide of 60s feminism – overwhelmingly white and upper middle class or ‘better’, with no hint of knowledge of / interest in concrete issues affecting most women. There was discussion of whether men could be feminists, but women were assumed to be unless overwhelmingly proven otherwise, like Phyllis Schlafly or Marabel Morgan.

        1. DWBartoo

          Well said, SomeCallMeTim; an elitist “feminism” that was not essentially humanist, at heart, merely, in a very real sense, opportunistically parasitic and, essentially, the same old same old, just good ole gurls acting like good ole boyz. And Hillary is determined to prove one of the “toughest”.


        2. Elizabeth Burton

          I remember being incredibly frustrated by the clear indifference of the Second Movement Feminists to anything affecting poor and working-class women. They were too busy raising Cain about language to work for adequate child-care support.

    2. ladycurmudgeon

      This is an important conversation and I think gets to the root of why so many women who consider themselves feminists dislike Hillary so much. Yes, she’s corrupt and her policies are damaging in so many ways but it’s also more personal. Those of us who remember when 2nd wave feminism started felt a sense of hope that if women were in the room when the decisions were made, that the world would change for the better. We had a naive belief that naturally women would bring the “feminine” values of cooperation, compassion, empathy, nurturing, and peacemaking to the public sphere. Instead, we have seen upper-class women twist themselves into monsters like Hillary and struggling working-class women tricked into becoming “warriors” for the oligarchy. We’re now supposed to celebrate that women can be as vicious and greedy as any man. When the picture of them watching the bin Laden killing were published and Hillary had her hand over her mouth I hoped maybe she still had some humanity left. She rushed to dispel the notion, claiming she had allergies. I gave up all hope after that. I think she has killed everything good in herself to fulfill her one blinding ambition. And in her mind, that is feminist.

      1. ladycurmudgeon

        It feels like a personal betrayal. I think that’s why so many people not only disagree with her but just really dislike her. Her unfavorable ratings are through the roof.

      2. Laocoon

        I agree. I’ve never liked Hillary, even though most who know me (a Seven Sisters grad from the same era) assume I’d be a zealous supporter. I see her as a type that I couldn’t stand in college, and time hasn’t changed my opinion.

        Yves really nails it here about the elite feminism. There’s a phony veneer that elite feminists carry. It’s sincere to them but doesn’t connect with outsiders. Given the hollowing out of the middle class, the distance widens.

  12. cnchal

    . . . recently wrote a defense of Hillary, because “wouldn’t you want…[a vagina] sitting on the chair in the Oval Office?”

    But couldn’t that vagina be just as much of a dickhead as all the previous penises sitting on the chair in the Oval Office? And, is being a narcissistic or psychotic dickhead a mental condition which attracts them to the job, also a disqualification?

    In case anyone doesn’t understand, narcissists view other people as objects to be manipulated, used and abused at their whim. It is clearly at the point where the country is seen as an object by it’s political leaders, much to the detriment of normal people.

    The choice has come down to narcissist, psychopath or normal person. Guess which one is normal?

    I’m a Bernie bro.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    Agree wholeheartedly with Yves that the idea of “feminist values” serves only to reinforce gender stereotyping. There is really only one important issue that separates the genders–reproductive choices–and men should just butt out. It’s none of their business and their feelings on the issue should be considered completely irrelevant.

    One thing these so-called feminists don’t seem to understand is that if gender alone is a legitimate reason to vote FOR a candidate, it is also a legitimate reason to vote AGAINST a candidate. It’s a double-edged sword.

    True equality will never be achieved until a candidate is considered independently of gender. That’s what makes this constant carping on “sexism,” “misogyny” and, yes, vagina references so destructive. It only serves to perpetuate the very attitudes that “feminists” purport to abhor.

    And in the case of clinton, this emphasis on gender is particularly destructive, because it seems that these gender warriors are willing to do and say anything in defense of what can only be considered an indefensible record.

    1. nycTerrierist

      “One thing these so-called feminists don’t seem to understand is that if gender alone is a legitimate reason to vote FOR a candidate, it is also a legitimate reason to vote AGAINST a candidate. It’s a double-edged sword.”

      Well put!

  14. perpetualWAR

    What is more anti-feminist than the shaming of women for not supporting Clinton that has been conducted by Albright and, more horrifyingly, Steinem? I am embarrassed by their blatant attempts to shame women, especially young women, into believing that supporting a war hawk is somehow anti-women.

    This country has sunk so low. It’s time to stand on our principals and vote for the only candidate, Bernie, who intends to support policies that will elevate us all.

  15. Radical

    Not sure why Yves suspects that a “feminist values” framing reinforces gender stereotyping. The term, feminist, does not denote gender; as noted by the author, Anis Shivani. And, in reference to a comment about a preference for the substitute “humanist values,” it bears noting that feminist philosophy is notably different from humanism.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Huh? “Feminist” is female. The idea that women are more inclusive, nurturing, etc. while men are domineering, IS gender stereotyping. I know plenty of domineering women. Start with Elizabeth Warren.

      I’m offended at that characterization. You see it all the time in the workplace with how women self-censor their action. A male boss can just tell a subordinate what to do. Most of the time, a woman will ask, and often ask in a hesitant way, as if she doesn’t have the right to direct his activities.

      More generally, the characteristics stereotyped as being female, such as being passive, irrational, emotional, weak, are also seen in mental health diagnostics as indicators of poor mental health. So accepting and promoting female gender stereotying (stereotyping works, most people feel compelled to live up to their gender roles) not only lowers women’s power to act (standing up for yourself is masculine) but it also may contribute to poor mental health (women suffer from depression at a higher rate than men do).

      1. DWBartoo

        Yves, it has long been my consideration that it was women who “invented” agriculture, arguably, as this is but my opinion, the most important and perhaps wisest of all humankind’s inventions. It may well be that the observation and thought that attended the development of agricultural intuitiveness and mastery was but the result of primitive gender stereotyping, the men being off, all gussied up, for war and whoopie. No doubt, every single one us, on the continum of gender, are both defined and limited by societal (society being simply how individuals, within a group treat other members of that group), cultural, and even tribal thought-patterns, learned, one assumes, from the very moment of each of our births. No doubt as well, each and all of us may manifest sublime understanding in one moment and plodding, thick-headed, even arrogant non-comprehension, in the next. If we are to survive, as a species, long enough to discover the immensity of what we do not know, even about our “selves” and especially what this world might look and feel like if human potential, in total, were permitted to blossom, where ever we might, individually, be along any perceived continum, conscious awareness and a sense of shared humanity, even of the fact that we are more alike than different, and that “difference” is not to be feared, but actually appreciated, treasured, even, then conscience, courage, and tolarance are required of all of us, as well as sympathy, empathy, and as much humanity as we may muster … and that is what I have come to value, in women and in men, during my admittedly short and very temporary, though much appreciated, experience as an observer of the human condition. Being alive is a rather wonderful thing, perhaps all beings who experience it have some inkling of that. Those humans who are unable to grasp the significance of this possibility, beyond their own “ambition”, ought not be permitted to destroy everything to assauge their own little fears and social pathologies.

        ; -DW

  16. allan

    U.S. plans new wave of immigrant deportation raids

    U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters.

    The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.

    As mentioned in the post above, many of these women and children fled the violence in their homelands caused by US policies, like the coup in Honduras supported by Clinton in 2009. Maybe someone should ask Gloria Steinem how this fits into her view of Clinton as Wonder Woman.

  17. Ray Phenicie

    The topic of gender identity and how it is defined is fraught with minefields; trying to piece together what is known of ‘feminist philosophy’ is much like trying to glue disparate pottery shards together in the hopes of constructing a vessel. Here are some stereotypical ‘masculine’ traits exhibited by HRC”
    (1) restrict emotions
    (2) avoid being feminine
    (3) focus on toughness and aggression
    (4) be self-reliant
    (5) make achievement the top priority
    (6) be non-relational
    These are taken from a website on the psychology of men, particularly in relation to what is termed gender role strain. Anyone attempting to fulfill the stereotypical roles liste above (there are others) will run afoul of their basic human nature that drives us all to be kind, rational, loving, emotive, caring thoughtful creatures.

  18. Russell

    All I know about the Clintons that matters I saw of them in Haiti. I don’t separate them. They sure can say things well.
    My life has been shellfish he’ll He’ll when it was shellfish when I was taken in by dishonesty.
    Long tale and long tail.
    Around are stereotypes that are not true. People don’t do nuance.
    So let’s not even try.
    You see the unit that is Bill and Hillary Clinton in Haiti. It is their stage. They are there but not there. Appearing apart from all people who make a good background.
    Anyway at best with them in the White House again we get to be Haiti.
    As I said, gender here goes past my consideration.
    P.S. spellcheck in the Fire defeated me,. So get a laugh where yah can some times.

  19. Minnie Mouse

    Hillary is the Carly Fiorina of the Dems, the non-technical CEO who cannot get enough of firing women “geeks” or replacing them on the spot with (mostly 20 something male) H-1Bs. Economic globalism uber alles you know. It is all in the name of cute warm and fuzzy engaging diplomacy after all. How feminine to do a number on your own!

  20. From Australia

    Hillary is no more than a whore for the elite, if that’s what you want to call these filthy scum-bags. Not only does Obama deserve a bullet in the head as recently suggested, so does this murderous BITCH!
    I say FUCK-OFF to both of these scum, and to the IMF and UN also, they are ALL there to increase their own little nests full of lies and deceit, and for POWER OVER THE PEOPLE. Please, if anyone here is within spitting distance of these ass-holes, please spit on them for me and my country (which has also been hijacked by the US cock-suckers)
    And that is exactly what they are! So shove that up your data-base NSA (cock-suckers too)

    This is all about installing a One World Government under Obama, and key hardware and policies are progressing as fast as they can, so I would suggest to Americans to either leave the US or be enslaved along with your sons and daughters, for the next 100 years!

    PS Dont bother coming to Australia, this country is now US property!

Comments are closed.