The Status Quo

Last night, following the debate, I watched a lot of supercool punditry, but this moment really stood out to me. It wasn't strictly the worst moment, and, Jake Tapper said a lot of great things last night, but.

CNN's Jake Tapper: Look, this is an election where many people think it's a change election. President Obama still has very high approval ratings, but people don't like the direction of the country right now. And usually after eight years of one party in power, the White House switches. So, in many ways, this has been Donald Trump's to lose. He's the Republican nominee, coming in; he, without question, represents change. And it's hard to imagine how Hillary Clinton represents anything beyond Washington and power in Washington and, dare I say, status quo.
Y'all. There has never been a woman president in the history of the nation. 227 years. Not a single woman. But it's hard for Tapper to imagine how Clinton represents anything but the status quo. I mean.

I imagine his response would be to say he's only talking about her politics (as though erasure of her womanhood isn't a political issue in and of itself), but even that isn't accurate. Clinton is running on the most progressive Democratic platform in history. Which is a change in the status quo.

And I don't say that as a slam on President Obama! To the contrary, his presidency has facilitated and made possible much of the progress we see in the current platform. And even he has noted that Clinton will build on his legacy. Will progress, as progressives do.

The point is that she's not running on maintaining the status quo, but on building on the progress Obama has started.

No matter how you look at it, this contention is crap. But it's especially crap because it totally disappears and treats as utterly irrelevant the potential of a historic presidency, which significantly upends the "status quo" for women.

And, you know, that matters.

Tapper, although I know a lot of people disagree with me, tends to be among my favorite pundits. I generally think he does a great and fair job. So I'm not singling him out because he's bad: To the contrary, I'm highlighting this because I have a lot of respect for him.

Even the best of pundits are ignoring the historical significance of Hillary Clinton's candidacy, and it hurts my heart.

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