Kind of like Poe and Anabelle Lee, I love Molly Ivor's writing with a love that is more than love. She's smart and incisive and kind and she writes from the place that we all want to believe that we have within us where genius and learning come together with smarts and wisecracking and a great love of life, and I could read her dissertations upon the phone book, if that's what struck her fancy for writing.
Supporting Hillary on liberal blogs for the past year or so has been an interesting experience. Lots of folks who somehow managed to get right behind John Kerry, his "I was for the war before I was against it" and his vote for the war notwithstanding, started off this primary season full of screaming hatred for Clinton because she voted to authorize the war. To be clear, she was wrong to vote that way, just as Obama has been wrong to vote to continue funding the war every time that vote has come up since he's been in the Senate. But there's been, IMHO, a different tone, a demand that she, far more than Kerry or Obama or Edwards or anyone else, should somehow crawl through broken glass with ashes on her forehead and that nothing she said was somehow "enough."
I've watched people who insisted that they were for Edwards because he was more progressive than Clinton (fair enough) switch directly to Obama when Edwards dropped out of the race (not so fair). Obama is less progressive, and far more willing to adopt the kind of shit-on-the-liberal tactics that many liberal bloggers used to disparage, than Clinton. Forgive me for perceiving a different organizing principle behind the behavior.
And so we who look at this primary season as another example of systemic prejudice often have reasons for doing so. Dismiss them as personal or petty if you like, but don't pretend that we are emotional and you the disinterested arbiters of what is and is not fair game. I have been accused of everything from willful stupidity to “vaginal solidarity” over these last weeks. It's insulting and demeaning, and intended to be so, as much as major opinion pieces on how dumb girls are and how Hillary should just climb on the Obandwagon. I've always said that it's not the sexists who get to define what kind of speech and behavior is sexist, what kind of office behavior is harassment.
I'm going to try to only say this once. I've got concerns about Obama. The notion that we're "one America" is bullshit. The idea that there's some grand level of compromise between me and the people who want to turn this country into a theocracy is bullshit. The notion that you can "reach across the aisle" to people like Grover Norquist and John Boehner is bullshit. They've explained as clearly as they possibly can that they view bipartisanship as date rape and that they intend to be the rapist, not the rapee. The notion that the details of policy don't matter as much as just getting a bunch of people excited about "change" is bullshit. The notion that "we worship a mighty God in the blue states" and that I'm supposed to want to vote for yet another candidate who puts out campaign literature saying that he's "called to serve" against a sacristy background is bullshit. And, as a proud member of the "anti-war left," I'd like to invite Mr. Obama to bite my ass.
I hope that I'm wrong. I'll be as quick to say I was wrong, come the Obama presidency, as I will be to say, "I told you so." But I'm tired of reading on liberal blogs that Obama is engaged in some form of Matrix-like ju jutisu whenever he adopts Republican talking points and concedes the battle ahead of time to the Republicans, while Clinton is bullheaded and dumb for not just giving in. It would help if those same liberal blogs hadn't spent years beating (correctly, IMHO) on vichy Dems. The level of nastiness and glee at Clinton's demise can have, IMHO, only one explanation. I'd be lot more impressed if the Obama supporters that I know spent more (aka almost any) time explaining which of his positions they like and less time shitting on Hillary Clinton.
And, so, if, as it looks like tonight, the nominee is Obama, I'll vote for him, as, I believe, will Hillary Clinton. It's possible, although not likely, that he'll realize that he has fences to mend with the feminist community ("You're likable enough" is not something that I'm likely to easily forget when I'm being asked to open my checkbook. Just sayin') and that, by November, I'll be more enthusiastic than I am tonight. But, as Molly says:
Indeed, it seems that Senator Obama will be the candidate, not because of (or in spite of) my vagina, but because of his ground game. I respect that. But I also ask respect for my position, for my experiences. Win with grace, not with sneers at old ladies who have repeatedly been told that it wasn't their turn yet, only to be told that sorry, their turn has passed by. That's about as alienating as you can get. I don't think his followers are shallow—at least not most of them—but many are rudely dismissive and do not seem to know whose framing they're adopting.
My favorite episode of the Sopranos is the one where the psychologist tells Carmella, "Whatever you do, you can never say that no one told you."
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."