Regarding senator Todd Akin’s statement: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Down below on the street, people started to notice the smoke billowing from the 8th floor. One of the bystanders observed a bolt of cloth come flying out the window and hit the pavement. Instinctively, he remarked that Harris was trying to save his best material. As the people on the street moved closer, out flew another bolt. It was then that the realization hit them that it wasn’t bolts of cloth at all but bodies plummeting to the pavement below.
Within three minutes, the Greene Street stairway became unusable in both directions.Terrified employees crowded onto the single exterior fire escape, a flimsy and poorly-anchored iron structure which may have been broken before the fire. It soon twisted and collapsed from the heat and overload, spilling victims nearly 100 feet (30 m) to their deaths on the concrete pavement below.
Though I have always been the one to pick the sick puppy in the litter and the short geeky kid for kickball, I thought for once backing Clinton meant I was choosing the front-runner. But I no longer have confidence that she is going to win this primary.
Today I did a google search for “reasons to vote for hillary clinton” (but without the quotation marks) and the overwhelming majority returned links on reasons not to vote for Clinton. Two of the responses given in one blog that strove to come up with reasons to vote for her were tragically typical:
IF SHE WILL HAVE SEX WITH ME, I WILL VOTE FOR HER—hey, bill aint nailing her now?
None. No joke. Seriously. She’d be the prettiest president we’ve ever had. I only say that because I’m hetro and she’s the only woman ever. She’s not hot. At all.
I went to a brunch on Sunday with a bunch of liberals, most of whom are voting for Obama because he gives more rousing speeches. They believe that since voters vote based on feelings, the candidate that inspires more feelings will win more moderates. So even though they personally claim to be well-versed on the issues and above the whole idea of supporting a candidate based on
appearances, they will be making their vote based on appearances.
And many blog posters seem to think it is disgusting that one would support Clinton for her gender. Yet Obama’s supporters like him because he looks and talks pretty.
For all the hair-clawing and dirt-throwing, their positions are pretty much identical (should this be surprising in a democracy where the candidates’ positions are based on branding, marketing and polling?).
For example, the issue I care about most is global warming. So I looked up their positions on the environmental site, grist.org:
Clinton’s position: Supports a cap-and-trade system to cut U.S. emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Supports raising standards to 40 mpg by 2020 and 55 mpg by 2030. Supports “clean coal.” Supports coal-to-liquid fuels if they emit 20% less carbon over their lifecycle than conventional fuels. Calls for 60 billion gallons of homegrown biofuels to be available for use in vehicles in the U.S. by 2030. Calls for getting 25% of U.S. electricity from renewables by 2025. Proposes a $50 billion, 10-year fund that would invest in renewables and other energy sources.
Obama’s position: Supports a cap-and-trade system to cut U.S. emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Supports raising standards for cars to 40 mpg and light trucks to 32 mpg by 2020. Supports “clean coal.” Supports coal-to-liquid fuels, but has qualified that support, saying they must emit 20% less carbon over their lifecycle than conventional fuels. Calls for 60 billion gallons of biofuels to be produced in the U.S. each year by 2030. Calls for getting 25% of U.S. electricity from renewables by 2025. Calls for 30% of the federal government’s electricity to come from renewables by 2020. Proposes investing $150 billion over 10 years in R&D for renewables, biofuels, efficiency, and other clean tech.
Wow. They’re exactly the same. The only difference is that Obama supports nuclear power, and won’t say he doesn’t support coal-to-oil, both of which are big negatives to me (the latter he can’t back down from because his home-state Illinois is a big coal producer).
Many see the big conservative push against Clinton as a reason not to voter for her.
They believe that moderate conservatives would rather not vote than support Clinton. I think this argument is bunk. The reason there is a big anti-Hillary movement is because, as former first lady, she has been the target of right wing think tanks for years. What they are dishing at her now is the worst they can come up with. All her skeletons are long out of the closet, and the closet is looking pretty clean. Obama, on the other hand is a relative newcomer to the scene. But as soon as he is chosen, those same “swift boat” vets will be targeting the good muslim. They are already confusing his name with “Osama” on Fox News. You can count on them to villify him the way they have tried to villify her for years. And yet she is still very popular with half of the country. They said she couldn’t get elected senator and yet she swept to victory both times.
But her chances are starting to look pretty grim. If Clinton wins, I will be out there campaigning for her. I will, for the first time in years, feel like there is a candidate running that really represents me. But right now it looks like I will be getting a chance to catch up on my Sims2 skills. At least in the virtual world a woman can rule.
When I lived in Atlanta, I was sitting at the bus stop when I got into a conversation with a man who stands on the side of the road holding a sign for a living. Things quickly turned to who we would and wouldn’t support in the coming election. I wish I could remember his exact words but, just as the bus was arriving, he said something along the lines of: “Even if she is a woman, I would vote for Hillary.” No, I think it was even worse, he said something like, “Hillary’s the only woman I would vote for.” And he said it like it was a compliment, a concession of goodwill! As if being a woman were some kind of handicap that he couldn’t support except in the most spectacular and generous cases. I had half a mind not to get on the bus but instead to pick a friendly argument with this man, to waste half an hour of my day standing around on the road while he was getting paid minimum wage to prop up a sign that reads “CELL PHONES.” Sense got the better of me, but it was this man who sealed my decision of who I was going to vote for in the upcoming primary two years before people where even whispering the name Obama.
The very idea that there are still people out there who think that women are inherently unfit to command is a shock and an outrage. Putting this up to the obvious litmus test of black-white race relations, (as contentious as race is in this country it is always the easiest marker) there is no doubt he would be deeply offended if I responded that the only black person I would vote for is Oprah. Perhaps this outrage goes without saying. Yet the fact that people still think this way emphasizes how much we deeply need a woman president. We need to erase all doubt that this is a woman’s job as much as a man’s.
Most people I have spoken with are disgusted with the idea that I might vote for Hillary because she is a woman, as if they were voting strictly on issues. But they’re not. These people are hard-core lefties and if they really voted on the issues they would be backing Kucinich or Richardson. And, yes, I would love for Obama to win the race and become the first black president.Â But I am still bitter that African-Americans got the vote more than fifty years before women. This is not to say that black folks didn’t face terrible oppression an addition to voter discrimination (I have no wish to play Opression Olympics). It is only to say that it is time for a woman president. While it is a shame that a minority group that makes up 13.4% of the population has never been represented in our nation’s highest office it is absurd that a group which makes up more than half the U.S. population has not held the title.
As a little girl, I never thought that I could be president one day. I could dream of being a senator or a governor but president was simply not an option. *Clinton articulated this argument brilliantly October 22 during an appearance in front of the Washington State Democrats at Benaroya Hall. “There are two groups that inspire me to keep going,”Clinton said. “One is women in their 90s who come to my events… They all say something like, ‘I’m 95 years old. I was born before women could vote in this country and I’m going to live long enough to see a woman in the White House.’ The other group is the children who come… I see a parent lean over to a daughter and say, ‘See, honey? In this country you can be anything you want to be.’”
Hillary Clinton is an exceptional woman, not only because she has political savvy and the skills to lead the free world but because she looked at what Bill did on a day-to-day basis and thought Heck, I could do that. And a nation full of people are looking at Hillary, sign-holders and execs alike, and they aren’t seeing the ultimate glass ceiling. They see her standing on the other side of it and they are ready to hand her the vote. Maybe it won’t shatter the glass ceiling but it will certainly make a mighty splinter. Additionally, women candidates usually sprinkle their staff with more women which means more women in leadership positions all the way down to the campaign volunteers.
If liberals can admit that not having had a woman president is in fact an impediment to having a woman president, perhaps they can see where this will benefit all democrats. A woman president means more women will see politics as their arena and enter the playing field, which will disproportionally fall to the party that supports women’s rights, childcare, the impoverished, gun control, and a sensible foreign policy. Because let’s face it, most women are not Ann Coulter. This is true for other “minority groups” but women are not in the minority. If the democratic party can bring more women to politics then they are fleshing out not a quarter or a third but fifty percent of their ranks.
Despite all this, I am the only woman I know (and I know a lot of feminists) who is openly backing Clinton. These are people who have made very convincing arguments in favor of affirmative action (which, contrary to popular opinion, primarily benefits women). But if you are working in an office with ten men on staff and that office has gender parity by-laws then they will consider only qualified women for the job. Well the office of the presidency has had a tired string of 42 men in the position. So the only question I must ask myself is, is Hillary Clinton a qualified candidate for the presidency?
And I think the answer to this is obvious. Though they may not like Guliani, no one is questioning whether the Mayor of New York is qualified, though Clinton held the higher position of New York senator. She is a far more appealing candidate than Kerry ever was and half the country was in line to back him. Let’s get real: a good chunk of the people joking about supporting comedian Stephen Colbert aren’t really joking. The very thing that many lefties don’t like about Clinton, her ability to give the canned, moderate answer to every question, is a sign of her political aptitude. Yes, she talks like a politician, and it’s because she knows how to appeal to both voters and party leaders. She is not the perfect radical candidate but she is an ideal moderate candidate. Americans can imagine her handling delicate diplomatic situations, something that was woefully assumed of lesser men that held the office.
If other voters want to plaster their cars with the latest liberal white guy for president, I respect that. For once, there are many fantastic candidates on the primary ticket and I will support whichever one wins it. I am in the minority in voting with my vagina and that’s okay. But please don’t roll your eyes. If there had never been a male president, you can bet men would be indignantly towing penis placards outside the oval office. “It’s about time!” they would shout; and I’m not too shy to say the same.
For the first time since Roe V. Wade, the federal government is upholding a ban on a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. This ruling by the Supreme Court is described as a ban on “Partial-birth abortion” and reproductive freedom advocates point out that the wording of the ban is ambiguous. It can be used to prevent women seeking abortions as early as thirteen weeks into a pregnancy.
Keep in mind that the time-table on pregnancy is deceptive. A woman’s period is hardly like clockwork and many women will not test for pregnancy until after the first or second week. Then it sometimes takes several
weeks for her to come up with the money as abortions aren’t cheap. This is particularly true in the case of teenagers who are afraid to tell their parents that they are having intercourse. Scared teens in denial represent a significant portion of abortions.
The other issue that NARAL and the ACLU seem most upset about is that the stating of the law says nothing about exceptions to protect the health of the mother.
While I think these are both important points, the pro-choicers have already lost this debate by accepting the premise of their opponents.
I have worked in an abortion clinic so I like to think I know a little bit about this subject. If you take only one thing away from this post to pass onto others, let it be this: â€œpartial-birth abortionâ€ is not a real description of a medical procedure but a media strategy of the fundamentalist movement.
The average American has this idea that partial-birth abortion is when a woman goes into labor and then instead of having the baby the doctor kills it. It is logical for people to assume this, what else would such a word describe? And this is exactly what the right wants you to think. But we already have a word for that: infanticide. And no one likes infanticide.
The procedure that is described as partial-birth is when the fetus is pulled through the birth canal. It is in no way part of the process of giving birth nor is it any indication of the amount of time since conception.
Moreover, just to settle this issue, I want to explain exactly how it is determined at which point it is no longer acceptable in this country to terminate a pregnancy. A pregnancy is considered past that point of no return when it can be kept alive outside of the womb with all of the benefits of medical science. If it wouldn’t be possible for us to keep it alive should it come into the world, it is not considered a viable being and may be terminated.
I think this is fair. And clearly infanticide, or what average Joe thinks of â€œpartial-birth abortion,â€ does not fall into this category.
We are facing world-wide population problems and though Americans don’t reproduce as rapidly as other countries we do consume more. We cannot blithely continue to pretend that humans should be having as many babies as possible, despite what the Bible says.
Otherwise, where does one draw the line? Dear readers, is there a better way to determine that a fetus is a living thing, other than this ridiculous Catholic notion that every sperm is sacred?
The fact of the matter is that abortion isn’t going anywhere. Women have been independent for too long to let other people tell them what they can do with their own bodies. Whether future abortions will be performed in a sixteen-year old’s bathroom with an unbent wire coat hanger is another issue.