Hillary Sexism Watch, Part Ninety-Goddamn-Six

In case you needed any motivation for Assignment: Teaspoon below, CNN—yes, the same outlet currently running the question "Do you agree with Sen. Hillary Clinton that the press has ignored sexism in the campaign?" without a trace of irony, unless their position is: "No, we're not ignoring it; we're fomenting it!"—yesterday featured a panel debating whether calling accomplished attorney and advocate, former First Lady, two-term Senator, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a "white bitch" is appropriate.

[Transcript below.]

It's hard to say what the best part of this exchange really is, aside from the overall awesomeness of even debating on national television in 2008 whether it's appropriate to refer to a woman as a "white bitch." (And I guess I need to point out to the sophisticated and highly-paid CNN political analysts that specifying she's a white bitch makes it a racist commentary, too, if for no other reason than the implicit suggestion there's a special bitchitude reserved for women of color.)

It was charming to see how everyone could so readily agree that Clinton is "very good at playing the professional victim," at least until she gets up close and can stick a knife in your ribs, and I love the naked truth revealed in Castellanos' comment: "It doesn't have to be unanimous." A lot of voters—millions and millions and millions of them, in fact; many of whom didn't even vote for her—don't find Clinton to be "a very abrasive, aggressive, irritating person," but it doesn't have to be unanimous for it to be "true," for it to become uncontestable conventional wisdom that Hillary Clinton is abrasive, aggressive, and irritating. All that needs to happen is for enough people in enough positions of power over the public discourse to state it repeatedly as though it's fact, and thusly it will be. (Just like Bush has always been a popular and well-liked president who had a mandate going into his second term.)

But my favorite part has to be what didn't get said: That this country is seriously fucked to the everloving hilt with misogyny when you can be a woman eminently qualified for the most important, most respected, most difficult job in the entire nation, and one of the most important, most respected, most difficult jobs in the entire world, and still be reduced to a "white bitch" by some wanker on CNN without anyone batting an eye—because, ya know, some women are "named that" for a reason.


Jeffrey Toobin: I think Hillary Clinton is dead right. There was a column in the New York Times not too long ago, where it talked about some of the humor in the campaign, and the punchline was, was a line that, that was, that, that Hillary Clinton was a white bitch. You couldn't say that—I mean, that is acceptable about a woman; you couldn't say the equivalent thing about a man, and I, I mean, about a black person, and I think it's appalling, but I think she's absolutely right that there has been a level of sexism that is—


Alex Castellanos: If I can disagree, I think you're dead wrong. She's dead wrong. And I think she thinks her problem is she's a woman; her problem is she's Hillary Clinton. And some women, by the way, are named that and it's accurate.

Toobin: Well…

Castellanos: So she's, she is a tough lady, tough in politics, that's been her great strength, but, let's face it, she can be a very abrasive, aggressive, uhhhh, irritating person, and a lot of voters, I think, see her that way.

Gloria Borger: Yeah, but a lot of voters don't, you know? And you can't—

Castellanos: It doesn't have to be unanimous.

Borger: Look, I mean she can't blame—

Castellanos: But, look, she's very good at playing the professional victim until she gets up closely—

Borger: Right.

Castellanos:—and then can put a knife in your ribs.

Toobin: I don't—

Castellanos: She is—

Toobin: I don't think she's saying—

Castellanos: There is no weakness in this lady.

Toobin: I don't think she's saying that the whole problem with her campaign is due to sexism.

Borger: Right. She can't say that.

Toobin: And it isn't. Clearly, she had many problems in this campaign. But was there sexism and is there sexism in the coverage of her? You bet.

Donna Brazile: Absolutely. No one would disagree with that. But I would—

Toobin: Well, Alex does.

Brazile: Well—


Brazile: Alex has a problem with this woman. But, clearly, I don't think that's the issue.
[Hillary Sexism Watch: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty-Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine, Fifty, Fifty-One, Fifty-Two, Fifty-Three, Fifty-Four, Fifty-Five, Fifty-Six, Fifty-Seven, Fifty-Eight, Fifty-Nine, Sixty, Sixty-One, Sixty-Two, Sixty-Three, Sixty-Four, Sixty-Five, Sixty-Six, Sixty-Seven, Sixty-Eight, Sixty-Nine, Seventy, Seventy-One, Seventy-Two, Seventy-Three, Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five, Seventy-Six, Seventy-Seven, Seventy-Eight, Seventy-Nine, Eighty, Eighty-One, Eighty-Two, Eighty-Three, Eighty-Four, Eighty-Five, Eighty Six, Eighty-Seven, Eighty-Eight, Eighty-Nine, Ninety, Ninety-One, Ninety-Two, Ninety-Three, Ninety-Four, Ninety-Five.]

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