On the sexism of interrupting Hillary Clinton

CNN has been tone-policing the shit out of Bernie Sanders for manhushing your abuela during the debates. I feel like a dipshit for even briefly falling for this critique as somehow being a sincere effort at constructive criticism. Given CNN’s history of dyscivic symbiosis with a rogue’s gallery of establishment politicians and wonks, including the Clintons, it’s nigh impossible that this countermanhushing of Bernie was anything other than sleazy concern-trolling. It’s unbelievable that the motives of anyone on CNN’s chitchat panels not avowedly associated with the Sanders campaign has upstanding motives vis-a-vis Sanders and his supporters.

Even so, it’s possible that these critics are wrongheaded and malicious but factually correct. Maybe these interruptions do in fact have a net negative effect on Sanders. Maybe they’re too forward and pushy for a Democratic electorate that wants its nominee to play civilly with others. But for the love of whatever common sense the good Lord may have given us, Sanders will not be putting off significant numbers of voters for the sole reason that he told a woman to be quiet. That’s one of CNN’s recurrent category errors, along with “Hispanics” and “black voters”: the assumption that all human clashes come down to who has a ding-dong and who has a cootie hole. It’s conceivable that voters will watch Sanders interrupting Clinton and find him untenably rude. It is not conceivable that they will find him sexist. He is not telling the proxy of all womanhood to be quiet; he’s hushing Hillary Rodham Clinton, a former First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, US Senator from New York, and Secretary of State.

Think about this for a second: is Bernie Sanders possibly the only American who would sometimes like Hillary Clinton to shut the fuck up? Of course not. The number of Americans seconding this motion in a national meeting would be deafening. If he’s being rude, he’s only being rude to an exceptionally divisive national politician. One of the reasons Hillary is so divisive is that she has an exceptionally ugly reputation for mistreating the help: firing a career White House tech support guy for being gracious enough to help Barbara Bush set up her home e-mail, going on the war path against the Travel Office, telling Secret Service agents to get fucked, that kind of thing. Leaving aside Vince Foster, mostly (I don’t always assign federal police agencies to investigate suspicious deaths, but when I do, I prefer the Park Police), and Whitewater, i.e., her possible involvement in the murder of a disfavored aide and her proven involvement in barely-legal racketeering, she has a god-awful reputation as a vicious shrew among people who have worked for or around her in career positions. Sanders isn’t hurting his popularity among Secret Service agents and their kin when he does his meshuggah’s cover of Your Lips Are Movin’ on that woman. This is a Republican crowd, to be sure, but some of them must be thinking, hey, even if I don’t like this guy on the policies, at least he has the balls to stick it to that bitch. Meghan Trainor’s popularity would rise, too, if she wagged her finger at Hillary instead of her audience. The establishment favorite and coronation-angler spews out bogus shit again, and meshuggah groans with baritone disapproval again, suggesting or sometimes saying outright that she’s full of shit. This is pretty restrained compared to “congenital liar” (William Safire in the nineties) or “Hillary for Prison 2016” (a widely admired lawn sign flown by a householder on Long Island).

If Hillary is a proxy for anyone, it’s probably for stuck-up, entitled, supercilious bitches. There are unfortunately Americans who admire such evil women, and who admire their manly counterparts, but these are dwindling as the full scope of the destruction wrought by the yuppie project is revealed to the nation. Hillary is the socially climbing office terror who should have been fired years ago but probably has dirt on HR; Bernie is the eccentric guy from across the street who sometimes runs his mouth about goofy shit but never really bothered anyone. Fewer and fewer Americans have or believe that they have a prayer of achieving a fraction of Hillary’s success. Behavior like hers is always something that is tolerated mainly as a cost of doing business with power players, the idea being that you have to be in it to win it, and the game includes exposure to people who are downright toxic and evil. That worked in 1985, and even in 2005, but we’re deep in the Second Great Depression now, and that bitch don’t hunt no more. Not enough graft is being spread around to enough players. The rising tide that once lifted all boats, or at least enough boats, is now drowning people.

It’s instructive, in a really disgusting way,  to see the sorts of people who remain in Hillary’s camp, especially the younger ones. I receive Facebook updates from one of these, a woman whom I find pleasant enough but simply do not trust. She does some kind of think tank policy shit in Washington, probably because she’s exactly the sort of person who is too fucking devoid of common sense and engagement with normal people to be allowed anywhere near the levers of policy. I assume that her salary ultimately consists of some sort of misappropriated federal money, although I’ve never had the interest or the stomach to really look into it.

A couple of vignettes pursuant to this woman still stand out to me. One is that she was one of the least eloquent, least thoughtful members of the student government. More vividly, I recall a party at which I had written a quotation from a stupid Russian short film on a white board on her door and she corrected the grammar. The specific line was, “My est’ ochen’ ploho govirit’ po-russki.” Literally, “We there is very badly to speak Russian.” It had to be that gibberish-stupid to get the point across: the film was about two derelict Russian boys trying to jump bus fare by pretending to be Italians, until one of them bragged about catching a fish that amazed all of Paris. “You know, Paris, the capital of Italy.” I was floored that this woman thought anyone present at the party actually spoke Russian that badly. I watched her erase it and rewrite it as “we speak Russian very badly.” Anyone with a lick of sense would have figured that it was a reference to something (in this case, to a film that had been shown in a Russian class that a number of those present had attended).

A slightly off-topic but revealing anecdote involved her college boyfriend, who coached Boys’ State conferences. He said that he had had to veto mock legislation decriminalizing marijuana. This was bullshit. Milton Street introduced exactly that sort of legislation when he was in the Pennsylvania State House in the early 1980’s. It went nowhere because Pennsylvania is only intermittently capable of self-government, but he tried. They don’t tell you about this in the news articles, that the guy used to be serious. They got it through in Colorado recently, over the Brenda Jorrett-grade lecturing of their Main Liner governor. Milton Street was decades ahead of his time for legalizing the doobie snacks. Today, he’s a few years behind in going to Colorado and saying, “Hey, Hickenlooper, admit it: You still sing ‘Fly Eagles, Fly’ in the shower on game days.”

This dude from the Boys’ State conferences was a censorious Republican. His girlfriend, originally from Mother Russia, was a censorious Democrat, and still is one. It’s worth noting that I’m homeless and she is not. She appears to actually think that she and other affluent, connected women face significant discrimination for being women, while I, with a penis, spend three or so nights a week sleeping in my car. I’d be a bit surprised if she is not this fucking stupid, self-absorbed, and self-important.

She and her mother and grandmother caucused for Hillary. It’s likely enough that she had substantive reasons for supporting Hillary, such as an abiding belief in this country’s need to be governed by technocratic monsters. Like so many other people I knew or saw around campus at Dickinson College, she’s a walking argument that Mao wasn’t wrong about the edifying effects of compulsory agricultural labor, just excessive. Probably half the workforce  in Washington should be impressed into chain-gang labor on a tobacco plantation. Instead, they’re making policy for the rest of us.

Fuck, I shouldn’t call these wankers a “workforce.” I’m the one who did vineyard stoop labor today. Canada isn’t the only country that could use more New Brunswick farm kids, and if you think about it, the worse-than-useless assholes probably do less damage in the arts than they do when they encrust government. Maybe Canadians should be thankful that Ottawa is such a boring-ass capital city and Gatineau is no Alexandria. If these places didn’t suck, people might want to move there. Washington has summer weather as notoriously bad as Ottawa’s winter weather, and that hasn’t done much to spare the United States.

North of the border, Schitt’s Creek is #CanadianContent. Down here, it’s what we’re up, especially if the Clinton machine has bought off all the superdelegates and locked up the nomination, as some have claimed. I’d trade everyone I know from Dickinson who has gone into federal and perifederal policy positions for Kevin Vickers, and I wouldn’t even insist on returning Bieber as part of the deal. I’ve known some really, seriously fucked up people who have secured minor power around Washington, people I’d hardly trust as code enforcement officers. And, as I said, fuckheads do less damage in the arts. You can change the station if the Other, Unmentionable Justin comes on the air. That’s a lot easier than dealing with HRSDC, I have to assume based on the website.

T. Clement Douglas, pray for the Lord’s servant Bernard in his battle against the evil witch.


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