Meet Hillary Clinton

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new essay up at BNR about the Democratic convention and how every speaker was willing and eager to talk about who Hillary Clinton really is, and what that means in the context of decades of narratives about her that have created a caricature we are meant to regard as the "real" Hillary:

It's very common at political conventions to hear from speakers who have benefited from a candidate's policies, but never so many who have been personally helped by the nominee – whether it's Anastasia Somoza, the young disability activist, who has known Hillary since she was 9; or Lauren Manning, the 9/11 survivor who told us of Hillary sitting at her hospital bedside; or the Mothers of the Movement, sharing their painful stories and acknowledging Hillary as the only one who would really listen.

Hillary has made a personal impact on an enormous number of people's lives. And they are showing up for her. They are passionate about telling us about the Hillary they know.

They want us to know her character; not the caricature – and they are inviting us, pleading with us, to see past the decades of false narratives, personal attacks, petty demeanments, and straight-up sexism which have been used to try to discredit and destroy her, in order that we might see the real person. The person they know.

...As someone who has long and zealously advocated for letting marginalized people be the authorities on our own lives, to let us tell our own stories and to believe us, there is some bit of aching irony for me that I am now suggesting listening to other people talk about Hillary, to find out who she is.

But there has never been anyone like Hillary before, and no woman in her position. No candidate has been subjected to such a concentrated, sustained campaign to destroy them, both personally and professionally, before they even secured the nomination.

So listen to the people who speak for her. Listen to every marcher in the parade of intelligent, respected, ethical, and trusted people, some of whom are elected politicians and some of whom are private citizens, telling stories about the Hillary they know.

...And then listen even harder to her when she speaks for herself.

Maybe you will hear that Hillary has some policies with which you disagree. Welcome to the club. The argument is not that you should have no differences with Hillary, nor that she is above criticism; the argument is that she is not the sum of those differences.

That is the treatment to which Hillary is subjected against which I'm arguing – this reductive dehumanization the consequence of which is Hillary being defined, only and exclusively, by her perceived flaws.

Her abundant achievements, her many positive qualities, the enthusiasm of her supporters, the admiration and adoration of her friends and colleagues – these have all been systematically disappeared from the public conversation about Hillary.

If you were reduced to only your worst features, only your failures, and those shortcomings magnified alongside misrepresentations and outright lies about you, and your successes and attributes minimized until some of them were virtually invisible, and all of it was broadcast on an impossibly grand scale for decades, do you think that caricature of you would resemble who you actually are?

What would the portrait of your life look like if your triumphs had been excised? Your qualities turned into points of exploitation?

I bet you would hope that people who had seen nothing but that caricature listened to the people who love you. That they would listen to you.
Head on over to read the whole thing. It's a long one, so settle in. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Open Wide...

Democratic Convention Day Four Wrap-Up!

That sound you heard last night was the shattering of glass.

I again did some live-tweeting of the primetime speakers, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

Here are a few of the pieces we published at BNR last night:

Ginger: Who Runs the World of the Democratic Convention? Black Women.

Me: Wow: Muslim American Offers Donald His Copy of the Constitution.

Susie: Preach: Rev. William Barber Brings Down the House at Dem Convention.

Peter: Awe: Look at the Face of This Woman as Hillary Talks About Making History.

Video Team: [Note: Video may autoplay at link] Jarrett Hill: My American Dream.

Naturally, Hillary Clinton gave a terrific address: Part stump speech, part acceptance speech, part fuck no Trump speech. Below, video of the complete address (and link to transcript):


[Complete transcript available at the Washington Post.]

What can I say? She should be our next president. Not just because Trump is a nightmare human, but because she is the most qualified candidate we've ever had. Ever.

I mostly kept it together through her speech. The moment I just utterly broke down was actually at the very end, when she was standing there on the stage alone in her smart white suit, waving to the crowd, and it struck me: There's a woman standing on the stage, not because she's the wife, but because she's the nominee.

I still can't quite get over it. I hope I never do.

Open Wide...

Open Thread

image of baby horses playing in a field

Hosted by colts.

Open Wide...

Democratic Convention Day Four Thread

Instead of doing Questions of the Day during the conventions, I'm posting Convention Threads, since the big speeches happen in the evenings, and I thought we might all want a place to discuss.

Here is a partial schedule of speakers for this evening.

But the big speech tonight is, of course, HILLARY CLINTON!

I am aware, as I'm sure most of you are, too, that there are various disruptions planned for her speech. I certainly hope that doesn't happen. I hope that the people who care so much about social justice will consider that they would be disrupting a historic address by the first ever female nominee of a major party, and think about what a truly shitty and ugly and counterproductive thing that would be to do.


But just in case they fail to reconsider, here's a piece, for anyone who missed it, on shouting at the convention: "What's All That Shouting at the Democratic Convention?" Which I hope will make you feel a little better, if you're feeling bad about it.

If that doesn't work, maybe this tweet by one of my best friends about the "Fart In" will!


Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Let's get ready to CELEBRATE!!! WOO!

Open Wide...

Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



Jennifer Lopez: "Let's Get Loud"

Open Wide...

I See You, Donald

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new piece up at BNR about Donald Trump's condescending admonishment to NBC reporter Katy Tur to "be quiet" when she was trying to do her job by asking him serious questions about his calamitous comments on Russian government hackers, and then his absurd subsequent explanation that those comments were "sarcasm."

Congratulations and gratitude to Tur for her persistence in trying to do her job — and do it well.

Donald's response is, first of all, entirely typical of his hostility toward the press. And, as Politico reports, typical of his hostility toward Tur personally: He has previously called her "not a very good reporter" and "Little Katy, third-rate journalist," her cardinal sin being asking hardball questions in an attempt to hold him accountable.

That is, doing what she is supposed to be doing as a member of the press.
There is much more at the link, including a Bridesmaids clip, because why not!

Open Wide...

Photo of the Day

image of Hillary Clinton leaning against a wall backstage at the Democratic convention, she is watching Bill Clinton and Barack Obama standing and talking, and she is grinning
[Photo: Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America.]

I don't even know how to describe how much I love this photo. That is all.

Open Wide...

Dear White Lefty Friends Who Are Too Cool For School

Dear White Lefty Friends Who Are Too Cool For School And Keep Sniffing About The Democratic Convention on Facebook:

I get it. Political Parties are Corrupt, We Need Alternatives, Holding Your Nose for Hillary, Yadda. Yadda.

But can you please stop pretending that there is no significant difference between the rhetoric of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party?

Can you please stop with the nonsense that the Democratic National Convention is full of GOP-style “American Exceptionalism”? Because it is not.

Look, stuff like "greatest country in the world" bugs me too. Because I grew up living in two different countries, and even as a child I had a finely tuned nose for the bullshit of “America is the only free country in the woooorld!” and other sentiments fit mainly for Lee Greenwood songs or the garbage bin. (In retrospect, I think it must have been pretty shocking for adults to be asked “What would you call Canada then?” by an 11 year old. Sorry, grade four teachers!)

But let’s talk context here. We are talking about the diversity of the modern Democratic party. These aren’t people who say the Founders are gods, the 1950s were perfect, and we have to “get back” to that perfection.

When someone like Michelle Obama puts it in context [CN: video autoplays at link] that the White House was built by SLAVES and now there is an African-American First Family living in it, that’s not GOP rhetoric. That is acknowledging the racism that literally built our country. While also celebrating that we have come pretty far.

When I see something like Meryl Streep’s speech, and the video that followed [CN: autoplays at link], the one that included explicit references to segregated busing, to the oppression of queer folk…I am seeing something that would emphatically not be found at a GOP convention. It celebrates activists and activism who struggled and sacrificed for greater justice. The rhetoric in that video explicitly acknowledges the US has become a more perfect union, but is not a perfect union yet. It challenges the listener to pick up the legacy of activists and do more…to expect more.

This is not Republican stuff.

Let’s just quote Tim Kaine (and yes, yes, I know how you feel about him, but seriously just think about this):

Thomas declared all men equal, and Abigail remembered the women. Woodrow brokered peace, and Eleanor broke down barriers. Jack told us what to ask, and Lyndon answered the call. Martin had a dream, Cesar y Dolores said si se puede, and Harvey gave his life. Bill bridged a century, and Barack gave us hope.

Do you really think you are going to find that at a GOP convention? None of those people are above criticism, and Kaine isn’t saying that. He’s saying they all contributed something, and, importantly, they’re not ranked. Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King get equal weight. So do Eleanor Roosevelt and Cesar Chavez. And he trusts that his audience doesn’t even have to know their last names, that “Harvey” and “Dolores” will be as familiar as “Bill and “Barack.”

If that’s Lee Greenwood –level GOP arglebargle, then I am Abe Lincoln’s tall stovepipe hat.

Look, party conventions aren't academic conferences. Yes, we should be critical, and think critically. Yes, we should be alert to the dangers of nationalism and hyper patriotism. But there is also a time and place for celebration and rousing the troops. And in the end, that’s a big part of what a party convention is all about.

The Democratic Party of the United States is not perfect. It contains people you fundamentally disagree with, it contains people I fundamentally disagree with, above all it is a political party that exists to get shit done. That means it will always have to be less pure than you and I in our ivory towers.

But when you look at the party convention floor and there’s an ocean of faces of so many different colors, and when you hear references to the freedom to love as a fundamental right, and you see the women crying at Hillary Clinton’s nomination, then maybe, just maybe, you could stop complaining for a minute about how both parties are basically alike and how the Democrats “sound just like Republicans.”

Because the Democratic National Convention is evidence that there has been a sea change in where the voting power is in the United States. And that? That is something worth celebrating.

Open Wide...

In the News

My time continues to be tight because of convention stuff, so let's continue to crowdsource this! Please feel free to use this thread to share news items of interest you've seen in your travels 'round the web today.

(As always, please be sure to add relevant content notes. Thanks!)

Here are a couple of links of interest:

Clinton Campaign: Trump Needs to Guarantee He Won't Leak Before Getting Briefed.

Trump Said He Would Bring Jobs Back to the Country; He Just Quietly Hired 78 Foreign Workers.

NARAL President Tells Her Abortion Story at the Democratic National Convention.

North Carolina GOP Mistakenly Attacks Kaine for 'Shameful' Marine Pin That Honored His Son.

Chelsea Clinton Blasts the GOP Platform's Support for Gay Conversion Therapy.

Beyoncé Leads MTV's VMAs Pack with 11 Nominations.

Open Wide...

Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound lying on the couch with a pillow tucked under his chin, looking at me
This dog, lol.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

Open Wide...

LOVE

This video aired at the Democratic convention on Tuesday night, but I only saw it late last night. So, in case you missed it, too, here it is!

Actress Elizabeth Banks and a bunch of her celeb friends (many of whom I don't recognize, because I'm old and haven't lifted my head from my laptop in fully one million years at this point) got together and made a video of an a cappella performance of "This Is My Fight Song" for Hillary Clinton. And it's pretty great!


Video Description: A bunch of people create a performance of the song using only their voices to recreate the sounds of absent instruments, percussion, etc. They are each pictured singing in their own "box," with a solid colorful background, and all the different boxes pop up and disappear and reappear onscreen either individually or in combination with other people in their boxes.

Banks posted it on Facebook with the note: "We believe in Hillary Clinton. We love the sound of the first woman president!"

ME TOO.

Open Wide...

An Observation

Anyone who is watching this Democratic convention is seeing just a ceaseless parade of intelligent, respected, ethical, and trusted people, some of whom are elected politicians and some of whom are private citizens, telling stories about the Hillary Clinton they know.

They are saying, each of them, how profoundly decent a human being she is. How caring and loyal and steadfast and hardworking and kind and determined and talented and indomitable.

And still there are people watching this convention who stubbornly believe that Hillary Clinton is a monster.

It's one thing to believe she's a liar, despite all evidence to the absolute damn contrary.

But, at this point, to maintain that opinion of Clinton, you are necessarily asserting that every one of the speakers at this convention is a liar, too.

Suffice it to say, that seems unlikely.

Open Wide...

Democratic Convention Day Three Wrap-Up!

HOT DAMN. The hottest of all damns. That was quite a convention night.

I again did some live-tweeting of the primetime speakers, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

There were a lot—and I mean a lot—of amazing moments last night, but GOOD MAUDE did I ugly cry so hard when President Obama finished his indescribably extraordinary address, and Hillary Clinton surprised us by walking out onstage to greet him, and they gave each other the biggest, squeeziest hug. LET'S ALL JUST WATCH THIS OVER AND OVER FOREVER.

Hillary Clinton walks onto the stage to the sound of roaring applause, pointing at President Obama. (In another angle, it was visible that he was pointing back at her, and they were both grinning broadly.) As she walks toward the President, she stretches her arms wide. They embrace each other in a warm, extended hug, rocking back and forth. They pull apart and look at each other. The President says something to her; it looks like, maybe, "Now you've just got to win." She rests her head on his shoulder and they both look full of emotion. They walk to the edge of the stage, waving to the crowd, his arm wrapped around her shoulders.
I'm never going to recover.

President Obama has passed the torch to his friend, Hillary. Tonight, she gives her address. And then we head to November.

Open Wide...

Open Thread

image of fluffy yellow baby chicks

Hosted by chicks.

Open Wide...

Democratic Convention Day Three Thread

Instead of doing Questions of the Day during the conventions, I'm going to be posting Convention Threads, since the big speeches happen in the evenings, and I thought we might all want a place to discuss.

Here is a partial schedule of speakers for this evening.

All I can say is that I hope every single single at the Democratic convention tonight makes this point:


Because it needs to be made. Again and again and again.

Open Wide...

Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



Stevie Wonder: "I Wish"

Open Wide...

Quote of the Day

"He's completely unqualified to be president and would be a menace if he were to get there. I do wish more prominent Republicans would step forward and say that."Dr. Eliot Cohen, State Department counselor during George W. Bush's second term (and organizer of the open letter from a number of Republican national security leaders denouncing Donald Trump) on Trump's unfathomably reckless comments today.

I also wish more prominent Republicans would step forward and speak as bluntly as Dr. Cohen. In fact:

Open Wide...

Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt asleep on the couch with the tip of her tongue hanging out
Sleepy puppeh.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

Open Wide...

In the News

My time continues to be tight because of convention stuff, so let's continue to crowdsource this! Please feel free to use this thread to share news items of interest you've seen in your travels 'round the web today.

(As always, please be sure to add relevant content notes. Thanks!)

Here are a couple of links of interest:

[Content Note: Misogyny] Roundup of Newspapers That Illustrated Hillary Clinton's Nomination with Pictures of Her Husband.

Clinton Running Mate Kaine Endorses Repeal of Hyde Amendment on Abortion.

So We Counted All the Women and People of Color at the DNC and the RNC…

Obama Chooses Historic Jackson Park as Library Site.

Searches for 'Donald Trump Treason' Spike Following Russia Comments.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Aide: Trump 'Will Not Be Releasing' Taxes.

[CN: Violence] Would-Be Reagan Assassin John Hinckley Jr. to Be Freed After 35 Years.

Philae Lander: Farewell Messages to Philae as Life Support Ends.

Open Wide...

What Donald Trump Just Did Is Tantamount to Treason

At a press conference earlier today, Donald Trump said: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens."


This is utterly gobsmacking. As is most of the media's lack of concern in covering this story meaningfully. I have been tweeting about it, and I've Storified those tweets for anyone who wants to read them.

I also have a new piece at BNR about it: "BIG: Former CIA Director Says Trump's Loyalty to U.S. in Question."
This comes in the context of increasingly alarming connections between Donald, his campaign co-chair Paul Manafort, Russian hackers, and Russian lenders with ties to Putin.

...We cannot state this any more plainly: Donald is an existential threat to the United States. He cannot be elected president.

Further, in saying that Russia will be "rewarded mightily by our press," Donald is openly acknowledging – and exploiting – the media's demonstrated hatred of Hillary.

It should utterly chill members of the media that Donald is (understandably) assured he can exploit their hatred of Hillary to collude with a foreign government.

...This is the man the Republican Party chose as their nominee. Is the Party of Reagan going to sit idly by while their candidate suggests that foreign government hackers should infiltrate the U.S. government?

If so, the entire party has abdicated all pretense of allegiance to this nation.

And if the national media can spend months hammering Hillary for her emails and give Donald a pass for this, then they are openly trying to elect him.
Meanwhile, in other fucking alarming news: "Buried news today: Trump would consider recognizing Crimea as legally part of Russia."

Every new day brings fresh evidence that Donald Trump is, quite literally, running on a platform of being Putin's puppet.

Is our media going to wake up and address this with the gravity it deserves? Is the Republican Party going to do something about the traitorous dirtbag they chose as their nominee?

TRUMP MUST BE STOPPED. That is not hyperbole. This is grim.

Open Wide...

Back |