Sullivan reprints this email to him, which calls him out on his irrationality toward Clinton. I don't want her nominated, but I simply do not get the Clinton hatred displayed by the Andrew Sullivans and Chris Matthew types in the media establishment. To Sullivan's credit, he hears the criticism and promises to amend his ways. Here's the emailer:
I see you quote with approval Maureen Dowd's column on Clinton's tears. Every day you tell us how much we need Obama's reasonable, fresh, high-minded vision of unity, and every day you pour gas on the fire by elaborating, just like Dowd, all of your personal resentments about Clinton and her husband. You know all about how selfish and arrogant they are, you know they pressure people, pull levers, and operate a merciless machine, you know their motives, their hidden motives, their secret motives, and even the ultimate motives behind all their other motives. Is such intimate knowledge standard ethical equipment for a journalist? Do you see no contradiction between the qualities you praise in Obama and the very different qualities you display yourself?
How do you help him when you charge, over and over, that any Democrat who prefers Clinton must be addicted to political poison or just plain dim?
I'd like to see Obama president myself. I want to vote for him. But I know that if you take all the bad the Clintons have ever done and piled it up in a heap, it just doesn't equal one month of the horror of the current administration. Are you a deeply self-deceiving man, or just a deeply cynical one? Do you people in the media take no responsibility for the poison of the last fifteen years? How do you expect to change the air in Washington when you sit down on Sunday morning with Chris Matthews and smile at his pathological hostility? And Dowd --- who in politics appears more troubled and sick than this sad woman? Don't you notice these things? Do you think we don't notice? How is this journalism? And how in God's name does it help?
It's one thing to say that she should be given the same rough treatment that every candidate has to deal with, but here's the difference between Hillary and other candidates. She's the first woman ever who has a realistic shot at being elected. Women are more than half of the electorate. Women in general for good reason feel as though they have been unfairly treated by bullying men and catty mean girls like MoDo.
It doesn't seem to have been a force to date, but the gender identity politics angle to this election could very well play a much larger role in the dynamics of this election than I, at least, have considered. It wasn't an issue before Iowa because Clinton was the front runner. If she becomes the embattled underdog, women will understandably start to identify with her more deeply. Women understandably feel themselves to be underdogs by definition. Underdoggedness could very well be a solidarity builder with a constituency that embraces half the electorate. Am I off base in thinking this is an important aspect that has not bee discussed?
I didn't mention it in the earlier post, but that "Iron my shirts" jeer almost certainly stirred latent resentments and a helped to create a bond between women voters and this historic female presidential candidate. The kind of nutty commentary coming from the likes of Sullivan, MoDo, Matthews, Paglia, and others isn't much different in terms of its effect in stimulating widespread resentment among women. It's not about whether Clinton handles unfair treatment well or poorly; it's about the resentment that unfair treatment will provoke in a unprecedentedly vast constituency in the electorate. There are those women who would never vote for her under any circumstances and there are those who will vote for her no matter what. It's a question of that middle female voter who likes Obama, but doesn't see that much difference between him and Clinton. Trigger her resentment and she has a reason to vote for Clinton.