The "Hillary lost because of sexism" meme simply will not die. I keep seeing diary after diary rehashing this subject, with bloggers repeating the same arguments over and over again.
In this diary, instead of engaging in a fruitless attempt to prove or disprove the role of sexism in Hillary's loss, I want to address the appeal and attraction of the sexism meme. Why have Hillary supporters made sexism the primary reason for Hillary's loss? My thoughts:
1. The "sexism destroyed Hillary" narrative has a lot of legs because it's a powerful and convenient tool to accomplish one fundamental goal - to continue to attack the legitimacy of Obama's victory over Clinton.
2. Those who keep using sexism to explain Hillary's defeat simply have not yet been able to accept the fact that she lost the race and that the primary race is over. Finished. Kaput. Done. It's as if in writing these "Sexists destroyed Hillary!!" diaries, they are continuing to make the case to superdelegates that they should realize that Obama won unfairly and switch their votes to Hillary.
3. Sexism has been seized as the "true" cause of Hillary's defeat because it imbues the continuing ugly attacks on the legitimacy of Obama's victory with a false sense of moral superiority. It also has more resonance than the FL/MI "disenfranchisement" meme and the "caucuses are undemocratic" meme. Notice that we don't see many diaries raising those issues anymore.
4. The sexism charge is about creating scapegoats for Hillary's defeat. Most people analyzing what went wrong with Hillary's campaign point mostly to the mistakes Hillary and her campaign made. Except for Clinton supporters. For them, Hillary and the way she managed her campaign are beyond reproach; she did nothing wrong. She lost because Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, Maureen Dowd, the NY Times, Tim Russert, et al, sexists all, had it in for Hillary.
5. The sexism charge is a way of denying and obfuscating the significant role race/racism played during the primary. Obama's race did not matter. Ultimately, Obama benefited because of his gender. Actually, those that argue Obama's race did matter contend, a la Geraldine Ferraro, that Obama doubly benefited from being both male and black. Hence, all these posts noting all those positive stories about Obama in comparison to Clinton, as proof that the media was biased in favor of the black man.
6. People jumping on the sexism charge have done so only as it relates to Hillary Clinton. They don't have very much interest in discussing sexism when it has to do with Michelle Obama, for example. These very same people writing diary after diary talking about sexism in relation to why Hillary lost have written few, if any, diaries about sexism and anyone else but Hillary.
7. Clintonites who see KO and Chris Matthews as sexism personified oddly ignore the person whose sexism probably had the biggest impact on Hillary's campaign - that would be the sexist statements and antics by Bill Clinton, both past and present. That guy almost single-handedly brought down his wife's campaign, and yet, I don't think I've seen a single diary by a Clintonite critically examining Bill's role in Hillary's defeat.
Bill Clinton should be public enemy number one for those who contend sexism defeated Hillary, yet he's getting a total pass. I'm not totally sure why, but my guess is that as long as Hillary is married to Bill, any attack on Bill amounts to an attack on Hillary's judgment, and so that can't be done.
8. Hillary hate gets conveniently conflated with and reduced to misogyny. People can't or refuse to accept the very simple concept that some people may hate Hillary because she's Hillary Clinton, not because she's a woman. It would be just as silly to say that all those people who hate Obama must therefore be racists.