Are we really sexist for not supporting Hillary?

I believe the author considered and dismissed the question of just how Bill Clinton would be received, were he actually running for office again. You can place me in the category of one of those who was glad to be able to look back at Bill Clinton with the hazy, gauzy lens of history. Having that man back has tossed those fond memories aside, only to be replaced full force by all of the unpleasant recollections from the Clinton presidency.

Like how it was on his watch that Lani Guinier and Zoe Baird were thrown under the bus: the first for actually believing that the AAG for Civil RIghts should actually have the nerve to do someting in that role, the second for making the cardinal sin of paying for child care under the table to an "illegal alien"(other nations have paid child care as a right; why not us?). Bill Clinton never met a liberal principle that he would not sacrifice for his own political gain; that is the definition of the DLC-group he created: "Don't worry about electing me, if you tell me about a liberal goal that you do not like, I will abandon it."

So he left the campaign trail in '92 to execute a mentally retarded black man (thereby proving that he was "tough on crime"); he bought into Reagan's "welfare queen" rhetoric and tossed mothers off the dole and placed them into dead-end jobs (who remembers that Michigan mom who left her son in the care of her brother, so she could go to work 50-miles away - thereby allowing her drug dealing brother to let her son get his hands on a gun that he then took to school and shot a classmate with?); he told labor not too worry about their jobs with NAFTA, that free trade would bring them jobs (how many cars do GM, Ford and Chrysler actually build in this country anymore? how many will they build in 10 years?); and how many liberal politicians did Bill Clinton help get elected to Congress (none, in fact he lost control of Congress for the first time in more than half a century - how damaging has that been?).

And to top it all off, he paraded through the White House like he was the leader of some personality cult, enticing young girls with his charms and then pointing his accusatory finger at us when he was caught.

So that is the historical Cllinton, the one we thought we were safely past and now here he is back. Today, he tells us that he was against this war in Iraq from the beginning (news to us, we never once saw him say that in public); today, he tells us that Obama's position against the war is a "fairy tale" (taking one of the view liberal voices against the war and tarnishing it - all in the hopes of elevating yet one more "tough" politician); today, he tells us that Obama cannot possible win outside of South Carolina (as he is the black candidate, just like Jesse Jackson); and he builds on that last point to say that there is no way a black candidate can win the general election (this, from the man given the honorary title of being the "first black President").

Bill Clinton has cost Hillary Clinton this election, as he cemented the movement of black voters away from his own wife. Perhaps it is too far back to remember now, but Obama was losing the black vote in most polls, even after he had spent 12-months on the campaign trail. It was the Clintons' who campaigned hard in Iowa and then when they lost complained that "caucus rules are unfair"; and then they built on that disrespect by claiming that South Carolina did not count either. It was those two actions: telling black voters that a win by a black candidate in a white state like Iowa was invalidated by the nature of a caucus along with the statement that a win by a black candidate through the support of black voters was invalid on its face - that drove black voters away from our initial support for a candidate we used to view with some degree of fondness. Those actions by Bill Clinton (with the passive support of his wife, who has never rebuked him, much less controlled him) drove a wedge into the Democratic electorate (blacks on one side; white women on the other) and left the choice in this race up to whom white men would decide to support.

Is the reason for some of that white male support for Obama sexism? Perhaps so, perhaps not. But answer this question: is sexism found within men who are not also racist? I tend to believe that if someone is sexist, they are more than likely also racist and vice-versa and that most folks who hold those views have left for the Republican party many years ago.

Obama talks to these divisions in a much better manner than I ever could; in his response to the firestorm over the comments of his pastor, he showed his ability to see and recognize the point of views from both blacks and whites; I think his career in the Illinois Senate and the influence of all the women around him (is it not clear that his mother is still his lodestar?) shows that for him it is not an either/or choice between men and women. I would ask each of us to give him the benefit of being the sort of trusted advisor our country needs at this particular inflection point in our history.

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