[Content Note: Misogyny.]
On Twitter, @GraciousKY sent me the link to this unfathomable article by Nathan J. Robinson: "Unless the Democrats Run Sanders, a Trump Nomination Means a Trump Presidency."
Robinson's basic thesis is that Hillary Clinton would be destroyed by Donald Trump in a general election because Trump's personal attack style of campaigning makes her his "dream opponent," given the long history of controversies, scandals, conspiracy theories, accusations, and lies Clinton has weathered, even though most of it is garbage.
Naturally, Robinson generously recounts all of the "fodder" Trump would have to use against Clinton—as well as explaining that she "is neither the best campaigner nor even a skilled one. In fact, she is a dreadful campaigner."
Basically, the argument is: Decades of misogyny means Trump will use misogyny against Clinton, so she should move aside.
That seems fair.
Meanwhile, Robinson argues: "There's only one real way to attack Bernie Sanders, and we all know it: he's a socialist fantasist out of touch with the Realities of Economics."
This is flatly inaccurate.
Seven months ago, Aphra_Behn wrote an incredible, thoroughly researched, four-part series on Sanders background: "Looking for Bernie." I have oft referred to the series as the vetting on Sanders the media has refused to do.
When she was working on the series, she uncovered a number of things about Sanders' personal life, and his family's personal and professional lives, that are of a similar nature to things which have been used to discredit presidential candidates in the past.
We talked about those things. And we did not publish them in this space, because we don't believe they are relevant or fair game.
But the notion that they don't exist is utterly foolish. And even if they have not become mainstream media fodder, that doesn't mean Donald Trump can't and won't find them and use them.
And it will not be the the eleventieth time that people are hearing about them, unlike whatever Trump lobs at Clinton. It will be the first time. And the first time that Sanders is obliged to respond to them, without the ready-made deflection of "same old tired partisan attacks" that Clinton has deservedly earned the right to use.
I don't think one can say with certainty who would definitely fare better against Trump's attacks in a general election. We can have opinions, but we should not pretend to be oracles.
What I do know, however, for an absolute fact is that it is contemptible in the extreme to suggest that Clinton's having been subjected to a decades-long campaign of rank misogyny and personal attacks should serve as a disqualifying factor for the presidential nomination, just because the likely Republican nominee will carry on the tradition.
If never having been obliged to navigate repeated discrediting attacks cloaked in vicious misogyny is the standard by which a female candidate's fitness is judged, we will never have a female president.