Beast Banner October 2007
ISSUE #120
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Features

ArrowThis BEAST in Science
Our guide to mind-boggling presidential illusions! You won't believe your eyes!

ArrowGhostbusters
Democrats cross streams in Turkey
Allan Uthman

ArrowYear of the Rat
A campaign 2008 diary
Matt Taibbi

ArrowAll About the Benjamin
Canada boots CodePink leader
Ian Murphy

ArrowDuh, Hillary is a Woman
The inevitable vadge in chief
A Monkey

ArrowCritical Massimo
A chat with Massimo Pigliucci, godless heathen

ArrowSo Sleazy an Ad Man can do It
The evolution of product placement
Steve Gordon

ArrowParty Poopers
Rehab for Grand Old Perverts
Rich Herschlag

ArrowSome Brief Thoughts on Abortion
Proffesor H. T. Muttonchops

ArrowInterview with Ron Hawkins
Lowest of the Low frontman is surprisingly un-stupid

BREAKING NEWS:

ArrowPastor John Hagee Launched on Iranian Nuclear Facility

ArrowBritney Spears' Mitochondria Descended from Bacteria

ArrowDan Jumbo Threatens Local Wildlife

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Freaky Sci-fi Reality

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews

ArrowActual Movie Review: The Darjeeling Limited
Matt Cale

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - Letters

 

Duh, Hillary Is a Woman


"... And do you know what the difference between a demographic and a political base is?"

"Yeah," I said. I didn't see where the conversation was going, but I didn't challenge it because I had already been embarrassed a few times in this phone call with a totally disgraced and nearly forgotten former titan of DC politics. He was Jimmy Carter's Karl Rove; at one point in the '80s half the Democratic Senators were his clients ... and at some point his coke problem got way out of hand. Now he lives in his Bel Air mansion like Gollum: mulling over the past, sitting in the dark with cable news on, gnawing on take-out pizzas with those nasty anchovy fishesss, my precious.

He still follows politics though, and he was trying to explain to me why I shouldn't spend a minute of my time thinking about the 2008 election. "Admittedly, a hard thing to do," he said. "But Hillary Clinton is going to win every single fucking thing, and if you can shut up about poll numbers and take a calm look at the number of women out there who are eligible to vote, you'll accept this."

His argument is that a big chunk of the female population -- the political guru estimates 30% -- who would otherwise vote for a male candidate whose views more clearly match their own are going to drop their issue politics and vote for a fellow woman, Hillary Clinton. It's the same phenomenon that gets the 40-odd black members of Congress elected -- huge numbers of blacks voting for blacks because they are black -- and the 360-odd white members as well.

And this really simple phenomenon, voting for people who look like you, is going to turn John Edwards and Barack Obama into pure smoke. If Hillary were some nobody woman politician like Barbara Mikulski or Carol Mosley Braun, this kind of advantage doesn't come into play. But if you're nationally known, accepted by the press as "serious," and have an idiot army of 20% of registered Democrats who "love the Clintons," and another 10% who say they'll vote for you solely because you're the "most experienced for the job," then you're going to win it all, because you're a woman on top of it.

I brought up examples that ran counter to the politico's argument: How to explain Jesse Jackson winning the 1988 Democratic primary in 98% white Vermont? Why isn't "Latino" Bill Richardson polling better in California?

He told me I was being an idiot, and didn't grasp the significance that Hillary is the first "legitimate" female candidate in American history. "Black presidential candidates would win landslide elections if 51% of the country were black. But if you know anything at all, sex trumps race, and if there¹s a woman like Hillary running in a 51% black America, she'd get 2/3 of the female vote."

I made this phone call a few months ago. The total obviousness of Hillary's imminent victory has sunk in since then.

But I'm not ready to accept it as part of my outlook, in the same way that I know that it's established thinking among biologists that half of all species on Earth will not be here in 100 years if we keep consuming like locusts, but I don't let it get in the way of my "quality of life." In the case of the 2008 election, it means that I still read campaign journalism under the assumption that some scandal could change the course of events.

The 2008 election is going to be the most boring, inevitable, transparently choreographed crawl to a wholly unexciting outcome you've ever seen in your life. And it will answer the burning question of whether America is ready for its first female president.

 

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