Penn: Women are sexist

Disclaimer: This diary is focused on debating general election (GE) strategy. I hope this thread will not regress into ad hominem attacks on any of our strong liberal candidates for President.

Mark Penn on Hillary Rodham Clinton's electability:

"Republicans are not prepared for the loss of a substantial group of Republican women voters ... even in the South," he said. "I think you're going to see as much as 24% of Republican women defect and make a major difference nationwide in terms of, I think, the emotional element of potentially having the first woman nominee. And that that actually will be a major unexpected factor here that will throw the Republicans for a loop."

Let's consider this statement...

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Invisible Sexism, Little Information, Taint Political Coverage

Erica Jong, one of my heroes, has written a powerful remembrance of "It Was Eight Years Ago Today (But It Seems Like Eighty)," a record of the skewed journalism of the 2000 election that failed to properly inform voters about the choice between Bush and Gore, the subsequent disastrous eight years of Bush rule, and what -- if any -- lessons were learned, even by female journalists, about not merely opining or being cleverly catty, but about actually REPORTING and INFORMING the voters.

Here are some key snippets on the failure of journalists to do their duty, as well as the sexism in the current campaign:

You'd think that after eight years of Bushwa, we'd look deeper at the candidates and what they read, what they think, what they've done all their lives. You'd think we'd notice that Hillary was always for kids and mothers and flex time and family leave. You'd think we'd notice that the people of New York State hated her at first as a carpetbagger but then fell in love with her because she did so much for them -- even in the formerly Republican areas upstate. You'd think we'd notice that Obama is extremely promising as a leader but a bit unseasoned. You'd think we'd notice that the press is anointing him without much inquiry while enthusiastically smearing HRC. You'd think we'd notice that electing a new face is not as important as looking at thirty-five years of passion for civil rights, women's rights, the Constitution. You'd think we'd mistrust the press a little more because the press just loved smearing Al Gore before he was a Nobel-ist. He was always very smart. Do we need the dynamite factory to validate our perceptions? Apparently.

Even today, Alessandra Stanley, covering the rather dull amity and politesse of the Democratic debate of January 14, 2008 (politeness is always dull to our hyperbolic press) for the New York Times, said that Hillary was "using niceness as an ice pick." The other candidates, Obama and Edwards, were just polite. They were merely nice.

This sexism is still invisible to us -- especially when it comes from women writers. It's just Ms. Stanley's opinion that Hillary uses niceness as an ice pick, but her opinions are not on the opinion page.


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Matthews: "It's not obsession." Really?


Sen. Hillary Clinton: "I don't know what to do with men who are obsessed with me. I honestly have never understood it."

[...]

Chris Matthews: "It's not obsession."

If you have ever watched an episode of Hardball on MSNBC, you may find Chris Matthews' above statement a bit suspect...

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The Reading List

In case you hadn't heard, the Washington Post is manhandling their production workers, having refused to give them a raise in the last five years and planning to raid an employee-funded pension plan. The Post claims to have been ravaged by losses and declining circulation, though their parent company is raking in the dough.

Pandagon: Racism can be far more subtle than "having a Klan robe in your closet," a point it's important to keep in mind as racist language is steadily mainstreamed. The SS Oral Roberts University is sinking fast, rats are departing, televangelism at 11. Gratuitous tasing continues to be popular with the nation's police forces. The belief that women's natural lot is suffering is alive and well and hurting someone you know.

The Unapolagetic Mexican: Before Nezua headed off for his MTV training, he compiled a list of his greatest hits for folks to peruse. The Lakota declare liens on US government holdings on land they've now claimed as sovereign territory, having announced withdrawal from all treaties with the US government. How to respond to a hate crime. Should it really cost $48,000 to forget a form? Immigration will now be allowed to sedate deportees for no other reason than a history of not wanting to be deported.

Driftglass: Happy Surgeversary, Drifty recommends a gift of Paper. Much to Rudy Giuiliani's chagrin, the old 9-11 magic can't pay staff salaries. Mitt Romney, he's here from downtown.

Suburban Guerrilla: The media loves McCain and so is naturally prepared to overlook the way he's getting ready to cheat Tribal governments of royalties they were defrauded of by the Dept. of the Interior. College isn't the solution to everybody's problems, something for which I can very much vouch just at the moment. Where the DLC stands on universal healthcare.

Wampum: The people no one is talking to, no one worth writing a news story about, anyway.

American Street: A strategic look at the false alarm of Hormuz. The pros and cons of a very cheap car for the Indian market. Rating them below even Soylent Green, a federal court declares Guantanamo detainees non-people.

Seeing The Forest: How taxes drive the economy and buy services people want and need. Social Security being attacked as welfare once again, in case it was unclear that the right wing still wants to put an end to the government program that keeps many people's elderly parents on a non-cat food diet. Don't be too quick to assume that Huckabee won't connect with voters.

Hullabaloo: They pay this guy to talk. The delusion of progress in Iraq continues to be as attractive as its goals are elusive. Huckabee and the murderer who was formerly 'just' a rapist. A review of There Will Be Blood. Lastly, just how traumatic was 2007 for you?

La Chola: How ADD feels from an 'insider.' A round up of blog reaction to post-election violence in Kenya.

The Carpetbagger Report: Huckabee's obsession with getting vertical. The Medicare Advantage rip-off of seniors sounds worse all the time, now revealed as being sold by fraud and limiting choice of doctors.

Group News Blog: We do all remember that Iraq can make it's own explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) to blow stuff up, right? One can perhaps marvel that even the Matthews backlash hasn't taught the Beltway that sexism isn't funny, that is, if it doesn't just make you unspeakably ticked off.

Media Matters, et al: I have spoken with people of general goodwill who, in frustration and fury, have pointed out that Chris Matthews is aged and large, and I would ask them to reconsider giving in to the typecasting temptations of speaking as do the would-be fashionistas of the piranha political press corps. Is there not ample evidence that Matthews is a misogynistic gloryhound who grossly subsists on osmotic testosterone infusions? Is there not sufficient material to suggest that the sense of disorientation created by living in the modern world has him trying to reimpose the comforting gender hierarchy of his grade school days, wondering who his daddy is, expressing regret over his never-tested heterosexuality, or any number of weird neuroses he may be disturbingly projecting onto the political stage? Friends, neighbors, citizens, if you find yourself moved to declare to the heavens and all about you that, "Sweet Jesus, I hate Chris Matthews," please put some elbow grease into your tirade. All I ask.

Does Chris Matthews have a problem with women?

Crossposted at DailyKos

Does Chris Matthews have a problem with women?

Using overtly sexist language, he has referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as a "she devil" and compared her to a "strip-teaser." He has called her "witchy" and likened her voice to "fingernails on a blackboard." He has referred to men who support her as "castratos in the eunuch chorus." He has suggested Clinton is not "a convincing mom" and said "modern women" like Clinton are unacceptable to "Midwest guys." He has called her "Madame Defarge" and "Nurse Ratched."

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