Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"ventriloquist for the patriarchy with a skirt and a vagina"

AlterNet, an essay by a centrist Dem who's sick of all the Hillary bashing:

Last June actress and inveterate antiwar activist Jane Fonda soared to the top of a club that boasts millions of charter members. It's the hate Hillary Clinton club. Fonda called Clinton a "ventriloquist for the patriarchy with a skirt and a vagina." The big, crude, tasteless dig at Hillary wallows in the name calling gutter. The most hardline, shrill bash-Hillary Christian fundamentalists haven't stooped that low in name calling. And they've said and continue to say some pretty nasty things about her.

Fonda's quote has been picked up and run with by a legion of conservative website yakkers and bloggers. They have virtually made Fonda a perverse kind of heroine. Her silly broadside loaded up their ammo bandolier and they are firing away at Clinton. The sudden Fonda conservative love fest has stood politics and personalities on its head because Fonda for decades has bordered on being a virtual anti-Christ to many ultra-right conservatives. But Fonda's quote (not her) was redeeming and again tells much about the near clinical Hillary Hatred that those that style themselves progressives and even liberal Democrats froth with.


Clinton's sins are A. She initially backed the Iraq war and has refused to apologize for it ala Edwards or claimed ala Obama that he was a closet anti-Bush, anti-war guy all along; B. She is a clubby good ole girl, deal-making, centrist, Democrat who doesn't shout loudly enough about feminism; C. Is anointed by the big money, Democratic Party shot callers; and D. Is married to womanizer, Bill.

here for the rest.

Strictly speaking, Fonda was quite correct to say that Hillary has a vagina and wears skirts, meaning she's a woman. I think the actual name-calling consisted of branding her "ventriloquist for the patriarchy." But the essay writer kind of blends that standard feminist criticism with the vagina reference and decides it's all very crude. Well maybe, if you think referring to sex organs is always crude, but I think this guy is smarting more over the patriarchy thing. Kind of hits a bit too close to home. That is, Hillary
is a ventriloquist for the patriarchy, or at least for the most muscular arm of it, corporate America.

This guy has no understanding of why so many liberals and progressives are just grossed out by the former First Lady. The excerpted criticisms above of Mrs. Clinton are soft-pedaled and warped. It's not that she hasn't apologized for her Iraq war support: it's that she never really believed all that WMD shit to begin with and very calculatingly supported it anyway in order to shore up her security credentials; that is, she has no problem with lying for political reasons. It's not that she's a deal making centrist: it's that she's a conservative corporatist. It's not that she's anointed by big money: it's that she's a conservative corporatist. It's not that Bill's a womanizer: it's that he's a conservative corporatist.
In short, Hillary comes out of that 90s Democratic strategy circle, the Democratic Leadership Council, that unilaterally decided that the best way to win office in the Republican era was to swerve to the right. To date, the only success they appear to have had with that plan is getting Bill elected, and I don't even think that had anything to do with trying to out Republican the Republicans; Bill Clinton is simply the most gifted American politician of the last fifty years, and that's what got him in and then kept him there. In other words, the DLC's ideas are bad, and they're ideologically turning the party away from its liberal roots.

It's right to hate Hillary because she's death to liberalism. Fuck her. Fonda really should have gone for it and simply called her a great big stinky vagina. She'd have been right about that, too.

Hanoi Jane frolics on an NVA anti-aircraft gun during the Vietnam War