“I’ll Never Vote for Hillary!” Yeah, OK.

The latest installment of “The Internet Explodes with Hatred for Hillary Clinton” happened earlier this week, when HRC (whose own record on AIDS research and funding is better than any other candidate) mistakenly said that Nancy Reagan was a lowkey supporter of AIDS research, when Reagan was, in reality, a massive asshole about AIDS in every possible way. Clinton immediately apologized, then apologized again, at length. Yet we’re still seeing a wagonload of “I’ll never vote for her” from progressives, as if her words about Reagan trump (and I’m using that verb deliberately) her actual record on AIDS research and funding. Why?
Clinton’s stellar record on AIDS is ignored while people indignantly attack her for making an inaccurate statement. I like Bernie. I really do feel the Bern. But I see Democrats brush aside things he and other male politicians have done while raining fire on Hillary for the exact same thing– or something much less. This happens all the time. Hillary is flamed for being a “career politician” and an “insider” when Sanders has been in political office for much longer than she has. (Hillary was first elected to political office in 2000; Sanders was elected to his first office in 1981 and his first national office in 1991.) People flame Hillary for speaking in favor of the omnibus crime bill in the 90s when she was First Lady– a position with no political power– but Bernie, as a member of Congress, actually had the power to enact it into law, voting in favor of it despite the fact that many of his colleagues did not.
I’m not here to argue Hillary vs Bernie. I genuinely like them both. I’m here to say that I’m sick of seeing her reviled for the same things people forgive easily when they’re done by men, and that the stakes are too high this election cycle to indulge that or leave it unexamined. If you’re reviling Hillary for saying something racist and stupid in 1994 in favor of a crime bill that turned out to be a very bad idea, but you’re not reviling Sanders for actually using his political power to make that very bad crime bill law, I want you to take a long, long think about why that is. If you’re reviling Hillary for campaign contributions made by banks, but did not revile Obama for the same thing, I want you to take a long, long think about why that is.
Those of us who are old enough to remember what it was like to live under Reagan and the Bushes remember how bad it was. How much better almost everything– including the economy and job growth— got under Clinton and Obama. I lived through it, and I would support half a Snapple as the Democratic nominee rather than go back to the policies of Reagan or (any) Bush.I see people swear up and down their hatred of Hillary isn’t because she’s a woman, or doesn’t stem directly from decades of vicious, lying conservative propaganda— they will swear it!– and then immediately turn around and eviscerate her for something Bernie did (or is) himself, or call her a “crook,” or say nonsense like, “She doesn’t have an honest bone in her body.” Conservative copywriters, whoever you are, I applaud you for your success in taking a complete and total fabrication and successfully integrating it so far into the American consciousness that there are people who agree with nearly every policy position HRC has today, yet will still claim she’s “dishonest.” That’s some impressive chicanery, and I mean that.
We should be closely examining all candidates for office, and balanced, honest criticism of a candidate’s record and policies is crucial. Respectful debate about the candidates is necessary and healthy. But supporting Sanders should not be the same as hating Hillary. Too many people are not debating the candidates and their various records or platforms logically, instead viciously reviling Clinton– often in misogynistic terms– for things they routinely excuse in male politicians. And I have to say, the level of unfocused, irrational vitriol feels an awful lot like what conservatives have been doing to Obama for years.

There’s not a thing wrong with choosing Bernie over Hillary, or disliking Hillary’s current policy proposals. However, the out-and-out hatred we’re seeing from some Sanders supporters (and about which I am hardly the first person to write), bears some serious scrutiny. While the Sanders campaign has made real efforts to deal with the worst of it– the “Bernie Bros” acting as a misogynistic mob, attacking Clinton and her supporters Gamergate style; the “Bern the Witch” controversy– there’s still far too much active hatred, and far too much of it is misogynistic or coded misogyny. Far too much of it stems from willing belief in conservative propaganda about HRC that has been debunked over and over.

I think we all expected it, but I did not expect it from our side.

It’s one thing to prefer one candidate over another. That’s healthy. That’s admirable. It’s another to actively HATE a candidate for doing EXACTLY the same things as the last three men you voted for, despite her liberal record.
Let’s think practically about the election in November.
If Trump gets elected, how many vulnerable people will be hurt, how many programs cut, how bad will the the economy get under conservative policies? How much damage will be done if Trump, an open racist and misogynist, is empowered to command our military, veto bills, and nominate people to the Supreme Court, impacting life in the US for decades to come? Trump exhorts his followers to attack Black protestors at his rallies (“The next time we see him, we might have to kill him,” a follower said  after punching a Black protestor at a rally earlier this week), excuses his followers who attack Mexicans on the street, claims Mexican immigrants are rapists, refused to distance himself from the KKK, supports banning Muslims from even entering the US, advocates killing the families of terrorists, and is openly sexist. Trump is the worst America has to offer.
How privileged do you need to be to imagine that it’s a good idea to risk the actual lives of vulnerable Americans because you “hate” Hillary so much you vow to stay home if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination? How protected from the consequences of a Trump presidency do you need to be to think your hatred of Hillary constitutes, as I saw someone say earlier this week, an “inviolable principle,” meaning, more important than the actual lives of vulnerable Americans? That all applies equally to anyone saying the same about Sanders. (We have yet to see the full weight of American antisemitism aimed at Sanders, and if he wins the nomination, we most certainly will.)
Vote for whoever you like in the primary. But let’s step away from vicious attacks and hatred. Let’s step away from buying into debunked conservative propaganda about Clinton’s trustworthiness. Let’s look at the candidates’ actual proposals and weigh those proposals’ actual strengths and weaknesses. Let’s respect each other’s choices in the primaries.

And whoever becomes the Democratic nominee, the stakes are far, far too high for us to selfishly stay home because we didn’t get our first choice. I will happily, proudly vote for either Clinton or Sanders, and I hope you will do the right thing and join me.

NOTE: The comments for the post are now closed. Thanks for reading Bitter Gertrude!
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85 thoughts on ““I’ll Never Vote for Hillary!” Yeah, OK.

  1. AJ Baker says:

    Melissa – as always, you hit the nail on the head. Every Demo should read this post. I am forwarding it to everyone I know!

  2. I don’t really buy the “for Sanders = hating Clinton” narrative. Dems won’t vote Trump because HRC made an unforced error.

    • slaterpenney says:

      Will Dems stay home instead of voting for Clinton if Sanders is a no go for the Dems?

      • I doubt Dems will refuse in any large numbers to vote for HRC. They will look at the GOP candidate, shrug, maybe hold their nose, kvetch a bit about what could have been, and do it for the good of the country.

      • Democrats won’t.
        I will go back to Plan A, and probably take some of Sen. Sanders support, perhaps newcomers to Dr. Jill Stein.
        Democrats who don’t like that should have found a better candidate, none of whom were willing run against HRC who was sucking all the air, money, and super delegates out of the room.
        So, don’t lose, but if you do, it’s not on us.
        By the way, I say tongue not altogether in cheek, and mostly for the love of the debate potential, “I Like Biden.” I’m going to guess Joe has a good record on AIDS, too.

      • Brenda Faulkner says:

        I cannot tell you how many Berners have said that on FB. In fact, they break in and take over posts about Hillary, by Hillary supporters. Many of them have gone off the deep end, saying vicious things about her and her supporters. I certainly will vote for Bernie if Hillary does not get the nomination. I can only hope that Bernie will have enough clout with his own people to convince them to vote for her if he is not running.

    • Right but they may not vote at all which could hurt the democrats.

      • It’s true that low turnout does hurt the Dems. But there’s a lot of energy and interest in this election, because it can mean taking back the Senate and changing the direction of the Supreme Court. I believe on balance it favors HRC, who btw is not a person I like, but whose policies I prefer over the alternatives.

    • You are very optimistic; I have seen this movie/ movement before, When enthusiasm turns to fanaticism, it takes a long time to turn back into a reasonable person. I do think the think Senator Sanders has fanned the flames of ” the Bern” when it comes to Secretary Clinton. If Senator Sanders was to accidently win the primary, I will certainly support him, and I’m sure Secretary Clinton will too if her record repeats itself. Not so sure about the reverse being true. Senator Sanders, hasn’t displayed many diplomatic skills, through out his career, or during this election cycle. This is the reason I am voting for Hillary in the primaries. I hope she wins.

    • Unfortunately, I’ve had a few debates with people I consider friends (still) who have told me point blank they will not vote for Hillary if Bernie doesn’t get the nom, because “She doesn’t have an honest bone in her body.” Verbatim.

      • I understand that, but people will talk like that, and then still get behind the nominee. It happens on both sides. Now that Trump is looking inevitable, look how all of a sudden he’s become magically more acceptable to conservatives and evangelicals. Hillary will get the same benefit from Dems who still don’t like her, but see the alternatives as worse.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more, and have blogged about this myself several times. Personally, I am still on the fence (and it’s getting painful) about which candidate to support in the New York primary in April. Karl Rove must be pretty damn pleased with himself. Ugh.

  4. As a Democrat, I will (like you) proudly vote for whoever is chosen as the nominee. That said, I prefer Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton with a full awareness of Clinton’s qualifications. What Sanders lacks in certain areas, he more than makes up for in what Bush 41 used to call “the vision thing.”

    Clinton’s remarks this weekend (with regard to Nancy Reagan, the events in Chicago, or wondering where Sanders was in 1993 when she was working on healthcare) may well be a sign of campaign trail fatigue from an extremely intelligent and articulate woman.

    Unfortunately, as one ages, those kind of slip-ups happen a little bit more frequently (I’m closing in on 70). Most seniors make such flubs in situations that are far from the media hotbox of a Presidential campaign.

    Instead of anger at Hillary, I feel a great deal of sadness that, in a time of so much political pressure, she manages to *unnecessarily* inflict these kinds of wounds on her own credibility. If you remember her famous ad about “Who do you want to have answering the phone at 3:00 a.m.?” such misstatements weaken the public’s perception of her cognitive abilities in unscripted moments.

    • Jerry newland says:

      Hillary gets the tough questions and has twenty some years history to try to recall in seconds. You too would have some recall problems. She readily admits her incorrect responses. Have you never errors in this way? Don’t just look at campaign error recalls, how about all the good she has done where it counts!

    • dldiener says:

      Echoing what George Heymont is saying here. I’m definitely more of a Bernie fan (in general) but I acknowledge he’s got some shortcomings. We all do. Any of us under that kind of scrutiny would fail, at some point. I am not as big a fan of Hillary. But it has little to do with her being a woman. I agree, though, a lot of the sick hate directed her seems to have a lot to do with just that. I learned quickly which pages I could follow on FB because some of them that were pro-Bernie made me ill (because of their misogynistic tone). I tried to speak into that crap, but no one who’s that convinced she’s evil will listen. So, I just dropped most of them. I also think that both Hillary & Bernie are starting to drop the perfection ball more frequently because this has been a grueling campaign. And pundits are saying it’ll last a while yet. You can hear in their voices that fatigue, and likely some nasty bugs, haven’t left them alone just because they’re out speaking to large crowds. From the start, I’ve put my proverbial eggs in the Donkey-shaped basket. It’s just too scary to think what kinds of policies will unravel or begin under a Republican presidency right now.

    • Ah says:

      So voting for someone who is even older helps how?
      This is some serious concern trolling.

  5. Emily says:

    This is exactly what I believe. Thank you.

  6. karekenj says:

    This is really terrific writing and sourcing. I hope this is spread far and wide. And as you know, I’m all in for Gary, so this isn’t from a political “ally.”

    It just feels like sense.

  7. Maureen Brady Johnson says:

    ME TOO…Ohioan voting for HILARY tomorrow…but you are so very RIGHT….You go girl! forwarding this too!

  8. thank you for this! I appreciate that you put all of these thoughts in one place so succinctly and aptly. I’ve been sparking these thoughts for the better part of a month now, and I’m so grateful that you have them all here! one-stop shopping. I couldn’t agree more with your analysis and of the sheer absurd hypocrisy that is infecting this election cycle

  9. Julie Panebianco says:

    Very well said! Thank you! Forwarded to everyone I know!

  10. chasbelov says:

    Proud HRC supporter in 2008, and when Barack Obama won the nomination, I proudly voted for him. Proud HRC supporter now, and I will vote for the Democratic nominee whether that’s Clinton or Sanders.

    What is sad for me is that politics have become so polarized that I always know what party I will be voting for. I long for the days when I actually had to make a decision whether to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate.

  11. onamarae says:

    Reblogged this on The Other Side and commented:
    Some thoughts on the politics of hating Hillary, without any bashing of Bernie.

  12. If one excoriates Hillary for her comments about Nancy Reagan but excuses Bernie for his comments in support of Fidel Castro — well, that is problematic. To say the least. http://www.curvemag.com/News/Hillary-Clinton-Bernie-Sanders-AIDS-1030/

  13. Nicole says:

    I won’t spend much time on the Nancy Reagan issue, but to argue that Hillary’s comment was simply a “mistake” or a “slip of the tongue” is deeply offensive. Not only was her comment an example of revisionist history, it also insulted the legacy of LGBT activists who were the ones who actually started the national conversation on AIDS.

    My main issue with this article is that it attempts to reduce the complexities of the Democratic race to sexism. This is too simplistic a deduction and it ignores the obvious difference between Sanders and Clinton, which is ideology. Sanders is a progressive, and Hillary is not. To suggest that Sanders supporters’ dislike of Hillary is on the basis of sexism is unfounded. Any look at the polls will tell you that Bernie holds a significant lead among left-leaning female voters under the age of 45. He’s also received far more donations from females than Hillary Clinton. The gap between Hillary’s supporters and Sander’s supporters is not a gendered one, but rather a generational one. Simply put, older voters are more inclined to vote for Hillary than Bernie. As a young, liberal, feminist voter, I can assure you that my intense dislike for Hillary is based on her policy record, not her gender. Thankyouverymuch.

    One argument you make is that if we’re to criticize Hillary for her Super PACs and corporate contributions, we should criticize Obama for the same thing. Guess what. We do. The reason Obama has gotten so little done during his eight years in the White House is largely because of big money in politics:

    “The Great Recession started in 2007, and for millions of average Americans no recovery has come. For most of the years since then, there has been a Democrat in the White House, and those Americans have a right to wonder why the eloquent hero they voted for has done so little to improve their situation. They see that banks, health insurance companies, and Silicon Valley are doing extremely well; why, then, don’t their wages grow? The answer, and the key to Sanders’s success, is staring us in the face: Because the Democratic Party gave up years ago on its historic mission of serving working people.” –Thomas Frank of the New York Times.

    The reason we’re more aware now of big money in politics and its disastrous effect on the American middle class is largely because Sanders has made it a national conversation. Literally has nothing to do with Hillary being a woman.

    I don’t disagree that Hillary faces disadvantages because of her gender. We’ve all seen how the GOP makes pointless criticisms in regards to her clothes and makeup. I don’t condone the “Burn the Witch” expression, and I absolutely do not condone the use of gendered insults directed at Hillary. Although sexism has played a large role in the way the media has portrayed her, that doesn’t mean Hillary should be exempt from criticism, especially from feminists, just because she’s “a woman in a man’s world.” As a woman, I’m deeply insulted that you seem to suggest that sexism is an excuse for corruption. To suggest that Hillary’s disregard for human rights is nothing more than GOP slander is to ignore the facts and insult the countless individuals who have had their lives lost or irreparably damaged as a result of Clinton policies:

    She has expressed support multiple times for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which empowers multinational corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, and the environment. Consequences include lower wages and increased violence against women and LGBT persons.

    She served on the board of Walmart from 1986 to 1992 and “waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers,” two-thirds of whom were women.

    Her campaign has accepted $133,246 from prison lobbyists (yet somehow says she’s going to reform our prison-for-profit system).

    As Obama’s Secretary of State, she presided over the expansion of illegal drone attacks that are estimated to have killed hundreds of civilians. Her advocacy of aggressive military operations in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria in order to strengthen US ties with dictatorships is likewise disconcerting. She also defended Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza.

    Let’s also not forget that she only came out for marriage equality within the last couple of years. I still do not understand how her supporters can brush this aside.

    I also don’t think that her racist rhetoric, referring to black urban youth as “super predators” that need to be “brought to a heel” should be so blithely ignored either.

    The reality is that Hillary’s brand of “feminism” embraces capitalistic green, racism, imperialism, and even heterosexism and transphobia that only caters to a privileged group of women.

    It is not my intention to vilify Hillary. I don’t think she’s evil. I don’t think she’s the whore of Babylon. I think she’s a politician who puts her moneyed interests before the American people–and she’s definitely not the only one who does this. I don’t think a Clinton presidency would be terrible. I don’t think the economic or political landscape would necessarily worsen. But I don’t things would get better either. That’s because a vote for Hillary is a vote for the status quo. She’s said herself that she wishes to continue Obama’s policies, which, as I mentioned earlier, have brought only incremental change.

    Bernie’s supporters are not trying to divide the Democratic Party, as you seem to suggest. We’ve simply found a candidate that we strongly support and are unwilling to compromise our ideological—and even, moral—beliefs. If Hillary supporters are so scared of the consequences of a Trump presidency, then why not support the Democratic candidate who actually has a strong chance of winning in the general election? National polls show Sanders leading Trump by as much as 19 points. Hillary leads only by 6 points. This is because Sanders has cross-party appeal from Republicans and Independents that Hillary, unfortunately, does not. It’s deeply hypocritical that many Hillary supporters refuse to vote for Bernie in the primary, yet then accuse Bernie supporters of “dividing the party” when we express a similar unwillingness to vote for Hillary.

    I would just like to address a few more points of yours:

    “Hillary is flamed for being a ‘career politician’ and an ‘insider’ when Sanders has been in political office for much longer than she has. (Hillary was first elected to political office in 2000; Sanders was elected to his first office in 1981 and his first national office in 1991.)”

    So because he’s held political office longer, he’s therefore part of the establishment? This is an overly simplistic argument. When Sanders was marching for Civil Rights, Hillary was working for Republican Goldwater who opposed Civil Rights. The length of time someone holds office has nothing to do with whether they’re an ‘insider’ or not. The Democratic Party is incredibly establishment, and Sanders was an independent politician. Moreover, another reason Hillary is part of the establishment is because of her Super PACs and corporate contributions. The same can be said for Obama.

    Also, since you’ve already pointed out that Sanders has been in politics far longer than Clinton, let me then use this as an opportunity to pan the “she has more experience” argument, which seems so inexplicably popular among Hillary supporters.

    “People flame Hillary for speaking in favor of the omnibus crime bill in the 90s when she was First Lady– a position with no political power”

    I think you’re underestimating the influence of a position like First Lady. Secondly, she did not so much “speak in favor” of the bill, as she did lobby Congress for it. But I do agree that we should be critical of Sanders’s voting record, as much as we are of Hillary’s.

    “How much better almost everything– including the economy and job growth— got under Clinton and Obama.”

    While the economy has improved under Obama, that improvement has been slight due to wealth inequality in the country. Also, it’s a misconception that the economy was doing well under Clinton. Bill’s neoliberal policies paved the way for our recession during Bush’s administration; the economy under Bill only appeared strong.

    “Conservative copywriters, whoever you are, I applaud you for your success in taking a complete and total fabrication and successfully integrating it so far into the American consciousness that there are people who agree with nearly every policy position HRC has today, yet will still claim she’s “dishonest.”

    Uh, wrong. So wrong. At least for progressives, anyway. This statement might be true for moderates or Republicans, but Progressives disagree with Hillary on the basis of policy. And if you’re at all suggesting that Bernie’s and Hillary’s policies are the same/similar, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, I find it hilarious that Hillary’s supporters constantly criticize Bernie’s policies for being unrealistic yet fail to acknowledge that she’s adopted more and more of those policies as the Dem race progresses.

    If young voters find Clinton distrustful, it’s not because she’s a woman. Here’s an interesting point that is rarely discussed: Older men like Clinton more than younger men. So are you positing that younger people are less enlightened and more sexist than their elders? Because that would be quite a claim.

    While there are handfuls of Bernie supporters demonizing Hillary as a “witch,” as well as other unfortunate names—I’ve seen plenty of nasty, even anti-Semitic rhetoric from Hillary supporters, but I’m not about to generalize them all as anti-Semites, am I?—most of us dislike her for very policy-based reasons. If we find her “untrustworthy” it’s because we find her voting record goddamn untrustworthy. So please stop suggesting that Bernie supporters are a bunch of sexist woman-haters. As a progressive, queer, woman, I can assure you that this is completely untrue.

    • Apk says:

      There are some many untruths in this comment. – fact: hilary was fighting for the rights of poor black school children in South Carolina when Bernie was marching for civil rights, her Goldwater support was as a high schooler from a republican family (who left her comfort zone and went on to fight as a dem for underprivileged her whole life) it’s sooo disengenious and ill informed to use the absurd Goldwater moment – what did you do as a high schooler? The super predator comment was not good but factually it specifically about gang members who had been convicted of horrific crimes, not anything sweeping about young men of color. If you want to write such a long and specific post get the facts correct or it will and should be dismissed as more of the same baseless bashing.

      • Nicole says:

        It’s interesting that you say there are “many untruths in this comment” and then literally only point out two very minor points I made (while disregarding everything else I wrote), but ok. Let’s talk about it.

        I take your point about Goldwater (I don’t really understand why you feel the need to bring up my high school experience–literally has no relevance to what we’re talking about. BTW, I was and still am an LGBT activist). So let’s for the sake of argument say Goldwater was a youthful indiscretion. I never suggested that Hillary hasn’t done any good. I’m already very well aware of her work with underprivileged children, as well as her AIDS record. My point earlier was that her policies have hurt LGBT, poc women, and low-income women, far more than they have benefited them. See above. I also believe her flip-flopping on issues demonstrates a lack of commitment to certain causes, especially LGBT rights, which is a cause I feel very passionately about.

        As for the super predator comment, I’ve heard many people make that point, but I still find her remark very disturbing. She literally reduced (black) human beings to animals. I don’t think that’s ok, whether they’re gang members or not. But, hey, she did say this about 20 years ago, so why not just write it off? If so, can we not also write off Bernie’s Castro comments? That was, after all, 30 years ago.

        In regards to the Castro comments, he technically didn’t say anything factually incorrect. He said he admired their use of universal health care, which is true. Should he have been so casual about the other disastrous outcomes of Fidel Castro’s communism? I don’t think so. I agree that’s where he really went wrong, and he should’ve been much more sensitive about the issue.

        I don’t know where you get the notion that my previous post was “baseless bashing.” Everything I said was based in fact, nor did I resort to any kind of name-calling in regards to Hillary. I even said that a Clinton presidency wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I was only trying to make the point that I disagree with the author’s implicit thesis that Bernie supporters disagree with Hillary on the basis of gender. Nor do I enjoy being accused of dividing the party because I support a candidate who is ideologically different from Hillary. I agree one hundred percent that Hillary and Bernie’s records should be held to the same standard. But for all the errors on his record (1994 crime bill, which he did actually warn Congress about, Castro, etc.) I don’t think those errors add up nearly to all the mistakes on her’s. Which is interesting, because he’s also held political office longer than she has.

      • johnpersico says:

        Good Points APK> Furthermore, the polls do show that a sizable portion of Sander’s supporters are white male. His lead among this group is a large factor in the races that he has won to date. Are we to believe they all dislike Hillary for the reasons noted by Nicole and that no sexism is involved here. Finally, the zealots in the Bernie camp are appalling. When they say they will vote for Trump rather than Hillary, there is no reasoning that can be used with them. Surely, anyone who would vote for Trump deserves Trump and cannot be sincere about wanting to make America a place for freedom, justice and equality.

      • I agree with all of the above, but I just want to clarify the Castro comment. That was completely taken out of context. His comment had nothing to do with Castro itself, but about US interventionism.

        Univision completely misconstrued that clip. They cut it in mid sentence. It was from an interview discussing his recent trip to Nicaragua. At that time,as Burlington’s mayor, he was the highest ranking US official to actually visit Nicaragua during the celebration of their revolution just to see what the heck was going on. Lest we forget that the Nicaraguans actually held an election, but our government didn’t like it so we wanted to meddle in their internal political affairs.

        Q: So you think the notion of a civil war running rife in the country is a misconception?

        Bernie: “Oh god…it absolutely…it’s the same thing, they never learn. You may recall way back…when was it..1961 they invaded Cuba and everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world. That ALL the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro. They forgot that he educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society-you know, not to say Fidel Castro and Cuba are perfect – they are certainly not – but just because Ronald Reagan dislikes these people does not mean to say the people in these nations feel the same way. So they expected this tremendous uprising in Cuba – it never came – and if they are expecting an uprising in Nicaragua they are very very very mistaken. ”

        I encourage you to watch the entire 24 min interview. It shows just how brilliant and insightful Bernie is when it comes to foreign policy. He perfectly illustrates the problem with US interventionism. I honestly believe Bernie is our only chance at achieving relative global peace. He seems to be the only one who gets it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1xrAv9cMqI

        And you know who, after multiple foreign policy blunders, doesn’t get it? Hillary Clinton.

    • kbquinn says:

      did you miss the part where she said “vote for whoever you want in the primary”?

      • Nicole says:

        Yes, she’s so kind to give me permission. *cue eyeroll*

        As stated before, my problem with this article is the implicit thesis that Bernie supporters are sexists women-haters who are dividing the party.

        And again, the difference between Bernie and Hillary cannot be simply reduced to gender–it’s about differing ideology, and Hillary’s flip-flopping on very important issues is not an ideology I support. If she’s given the nomination, I mind find myself reluctantly supporting her, or I will vote independent.

    • Billy says:

      You know that feeling of embarrassment you get when someone has been accurately accused of something and then they become defensive and overcompensate with lots and lots of words? Yeah, I just got that feeling reading your reply, which pretty much proves the original bloggers point.

      • Nicole says:

        So the original poster is allowed to write a lengthy post, but when I do the same, that makes me defensive? Great logic.

        I addressed every point I felt was important, and my major underlying thesis was that I disagree with Hillary for policy-based reasons , not her gender. And if you actually read what I wrote, you would see that I agreed with the original author that irrational name-calling toward Hillary is not something I condone. Moreover, I agreed that both Bernie’s and Hillary’s records should be held to the same standard.

        Even though the author says she is not bashing Bernie supporters, her implicit argument is that we’re all a bunch of women-hating sexists. That is something I over and over again and it’s very offensive, not to mention untrue.

      • caltonbolick says:

        Well yes, the original poster can write a lengthy post, because IT’S HER BLOG.

        Your implicit assumption that you have some sort of right of reply is amusing, but irrelevant.

    • PHMadison says:

      Unlike the other respondents, I agree with most of this post. I’ll vote for Hillary in November if she’s the nominee, but here’s the question I have about her as a politician:

      What Hillary’s campaign makes me wonder – and I don’t have an answer to this – is whether she is such a pragmatic, centrist, ideologically flexible politician because she has faced gender discrimination throughout her life. And if so, is that a good reason to vote for someone that you disagree with on an ideological level — because it’s not her fault that her instinct is to take the politically expedient position every time?

      I agree that, under a President Hillary, the ship of state will more or less continue in the direction it’s already heading. Gay rights advancing, the war on drugs being incrementally abandoned, women’s rights going left nationally but right locally, Wall Street being left to their own devices with no oversight, foreign policy continuing to be a combination of trade deals and execution-by-drone, and racial progress advancing at a tragically slow pace. That’s still much better than a regressive future under a President Trump or Cruz, so I will support Hillary if she’s the nominee.

      Maybe Hillary’s approach to politics is the result of decades of gender discrimination…and maybe Bernie’s commitment to progressive ideals has only been possible because he didn’t face that kind of discrimination. But even if that’s the case, at the end of the day, young progressives – the next several decades of the American Left – would like to see a president who shares their beliefs and priorities. Is that fair? No, definitely not. But do we advance gender equity more by electing a centrist woman or a progressive man? Nobody on the left was supporting Fiorina or Bachmann…so where’s the tipping point? Is it simply having the letter D after one’s name, regardless of policy?

    • Petra says:

      I agree with everything you’ve said. I am black and Christian and I always vote democrat. The reason is simple: there are obvious things about the democratic party I don’t agree with, principles that don’t fall into line with my faith, things I’m not going to get into right now, but I figure this: If you’re going to err, do it on the side of love.

      The modern democratic party has been pushing certain agendas for the love of people and their freedoms, not like the Republican party which is pushing their policies for the sake of a privileged few.

      I said all of that to emphasis that although we come from different places, we pretty much believe the same things: Hilary cannot be trusted.

      She has proven herself to be a liar over and over and over again. I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her. She did a horrible job as our Secretary of State and people want to make her our President? Really?

      As far as I’m concerned, she’s a female Trump, but almost worse. You know why? Because she has pulled the wool over so many people’s eyes. She’s sly, sneaky and knows how to play the system. If she gets into that office and effs it up, that’s going to set women back so far you might as well start planning what meals you’re going to be cooking for the next 50 years, because that’s what all the bigots and haters are going to want: For women to get back into the kitchen. That’s what irrational people do and depending on how bad Hilary does, her actions are going to be put on us all.

      I cannot in good conscious vote for her. It has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her track record.

      So, if Bernie doesn’t win, I’ve already told my family that I’m not voting. If she gets into office, okay, she’s the lesser of the evils. But I’m not voting for her because when she starts effing up–which she will–I can proudly say that I didn’t cast my ballot for her.

      • eeway2b says:

        You say “It has nothing to do with her gender” immediately after giving a gender-based reason of not voting for her (i.e. making women look bad). Would you have said the same thing about President Obama? We can’t vote for him because if he gets into that office and effs it up, that’s going to set blacks back so far? Because that what all the bigots and haters ALREADY say about him.

        So you say you actually almost prefer Trump even though he is an ACTUAL known misogynist who is almost certain to set women back because there is a likelihood Hillary will be less than perfect. That’s like saying, “Well I might stub my toe, so I may as well cut off my foot”. Bigots and haters don’t need Hillary to screw up as an excuse to demonize women. They already do.

      • Sophia says:

        This is an honest, genuine question. I totally get the desire to be able to say someday that you didn’t vote for her. But what are you going to say if someday your kids or grandkids ask you if you voted against “President Trump”?

        I hear and appreciate all the things you are saying. It has absolutely crossed my mind that if she messes up, it will be way worse for women because we share a sex with her. But just for me personally, that fear is not enough to justify allowing Trump to win the highest office in the land, so I will vote for whomever wins the Democratic nomination.

        I’m also curious as to why you say she was a “horrible” secretary of state. (I admit I’m not an expert so this is also a genuine question.) Is that just because of Benghazi? By many accounts, aside from Benghazi (and by some accounts even including Benghazi!), she was inconsequential at worst. When she first stepped down, lots of people were (rightly or wrongly) saying how amazing she was. Now, compared to Kerry, she definitely is a little lackluster. But I wouldn’t go so far as to call her “horrible”. (I’ve purposely left out the email stuff because regardless of where you fall on that particular issue, I’m not sure there’s a convincing argument to be made that that affected her performance as secretary of state.)

      • Petra says:

        Hello, Sophia. I like answering genuine and honest questions. 🙂

        This is where we differ: You think Hilary is the way lesser of the evils, but I don’t. I think Hilary is a Trump in disguise. If you look at all the things she’s said and done, and strip away the Clinton name, then ask yourself would you vote for a person like that, the answer would be a resounding no, at least, that’s what my answer is.

        As far as her being a horrible secretary of state, it wasn’t so much her actions, which could very well be plausible, but it’s the way she dealt with them. One thing that I like about Obama is his cool head under pressure and if in reality, he’s a raving lunatic, then we will never know because when he gets in front of the camera he has his stuff together.

        Hilary fired at any and everyone that asked her the wrong question. She’s doing that now in these elections. When pressure is applied, she breaks. She stepped down because it was too much, but now people want to elect this woman as our President? If you couldn’t handle being Secretary of State, then how in the world are you going to be Commander-In-Chief? Is being the leader of the free world somehow less stressful than being the secretary of one country?

        But it’s more than that. it’s the dodging the questions about her ties to big money, it’s about her calling my people “super predators” and then trying to ignore it. This country in in crisis and if we’re not careful, it will become a caste system like India. College is already practically unaffordable, and that’s supposed to be the path to social mobility. What if she enacts yet more legislation that hurts those on the bottom rung. Is she going to ignore that too?

        People are already feeling the squeeze, realizing that the American dream is nearly dead and we need to stop it before it can continue. Hilary IS big money which is why she refuses to release her transcripts. She’s not going to help the poor and the rapidly diminishing middle class. Her husband didn’t either. She won’t help societal minorities, because she’s already told us what she thinks about us.

        So, to answer your question. I will explain to my children that Hilary is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that voting for her would be compromising my principles. I’m not in a habit of being hard on people, and I’m not. BUT, when you’re running to be the leader of a country, your record must withstand the scrutiny and hers definitely does NOT.

    • Susan says:

      Couldn’t make it through your whole diatribe, which was longer than the original article. Sorry. I found myself stumped by the assertion that Obama got “so little” accomplished because of big money in politics. Actually, he created the National Commission on Responsibility and Reform, banned gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch, created more jobs in one year (2010) than had been created during his predecessor’s eight years in office, had had a record 64 consecutive months of overall job growth and 71 consecutive months of private sector job growth, cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), and that is just a small selection of accomplishments … not to persevering with his campaign to so referring to “gay” marriage and having same sex marriage referred to only as marriage and approved in all 50 states, improving the treatment of soldiers, ending the Iraq war, ridding us of Osama bin Laden (you know, the guy who masterminded 9/11), and pushing through the Affordable Care Act – all in spite of a largely Republican congress who were directed to vote against anything he recommended, good or bad.

    • Josh says:

      You can argue it all you want, but the fact remains that *a* source of the anti-Hillary sentiments is sexism. And you brush off the repeated point that many of the attacks on HRC are the result of accepting years conservative propaganda.

    • ALS says:

      As a young, progressive woman, I see STAGGERING sexism in this race — not from all Bernie supporters certainly, but pretty clearly from within his camp of supporters, and not just the fringe. Enough sexism that I think other Bernie supporters should be speaking up against it. Surely, removing sexist rhetoric from the debate between democratic candidates won’t result in simply handing the nomination to Hillary if Bernie is in fact the better candidate, right?

      The sexism is there, and is is meant to be divisive. The author’s very clear point is that we see faults that that are shared by all of our candidates as completely inexcusable coming from Clinton. We are willing to ignore very good, very real things that she has accomplished in favor of bringing up the “minor” points about her high school activities and choice words from the 1990’s (by the way, if these points are as minor as you claim below, why do you insist on listing them? Why are the majority of memes about those points rather than her actual voting and policy record?).

      THIS PIECE OF WRITING IS ABOUT THE RHETORIC SURROUNDING THE CAMPAIGN. It, as the author clearly states, is not about “Hillary vs. Bernie,” or about weighing their respective policies specifically against one another. That’s another article, many articles. This one is about how, when we see moments where both candidates got it wrong, and moments when Bernie actually had more power behind said “getting it wrong,” we crucify her while giving him a pass. I cannot wrap my mind around how other young women cannot see sexism as a major factor in this election season, when the language used to criticize her is TEXTBOOK misogynist trope. The only thing I can think is that many young women still think of sexism largely in terms of sex, physical objectification, attractiveness, etc. It gets way deeper, subtler, and far more insidious than that. Elizabeth Warren could tell you about it.

    • Calton says:

      “I’ve seen plenty of nasty, even anti-Semitic rhetoric from Hillary supporters”

      Prove it.

    • thanks for taking time for this. i didn’t read it all, but the paragraphs I did read made me happy you were here.

    • FarmerDJ says:

      Nicole, You are obviously very articulate and intelligent. It’s gratifying to know that there are young women who understand the issues. I think we are seeing the worst that can be brought out in people, during this election cycle. As a conservative lesbian (which is not an oxymoron), I have watched in horror as this election cycle unfolded. There is no one in the GOP that I would even consider electable. The GOP would destroy this country trying to turn it backwards and eliminating the civil rights of so many. So that leaves the Democrats. Yes, Ms. Clinton is a first rate liar. So is every other politician in national office. I bet that if we spent the millions investigating Mr. Sanders that the Gop has spent mucking raking Ms. Clinton, we would see his lies too. I would just ask, if Mr. Sanders doesn’t get the nomination, please support Ms. Clinton. It’s that simple. We cannot allow the GOP to win this election.

    • Jo says:

      I disagree. I don’t think this incredibly well-written article is attempting to reduce the complexities to sexism at all. You should not deny that Hilary is being held to a double standard. What the writer has said is “VOTE” – don’t tear apart the person who is not your preferred candidate and behave in such a horrific manner. We’re better than this. Have a civil discourse and accept the fact that nobody is perfect. The question for me becomes which imperfect candidate do I want so close to the red phone?

    • Matt says:

      “It’s deeply hypocritical that many Hillary supporters refuse to vote for Bernie in the primary, yet then accuse Bernie supporters of ‘dividing the party’ when we express a similar unwillingness to vote for Hillary.” For all the thought and effort that went into your post (agree or disagree), how in the world do you manage to so wildly miss the point of the debate? The post is about the importance of the supporters of the losing Democrat to vote for the winning Democrat against Trump because of the real and dramatic consequences of a Trump presidency. Hillary supporters aren’t voting for Bernie in the primary because THEY ARE HILLARY SUPPORTERS. ‘Dividing the party’ comes into play when those on the losing side decide their hurt feelings are more important that the lives of those who will suffer under Trump. Even if you grant every point in your comment, if you really think Hillary will be just as bad as Trump you’re crazy.

    • sassypants says:

      I think you wrote an excellent reply to this post. It was reasoned, logical, not hyperbolic, and I appreciate your point that your reasons for preferring Bernie Sanders are not related to sexism. It takes a long time to respond thoughtfully to blog posts, and I appreciate the time you took to do it. I agree you have every *right* to a lengthy response, and in fact, blog authors tend to enjoy and benefit from sincere, thoughtful engagement with their writing. In that spirit, I hope you will give fair consideration to some of my points.

      First, let me say that if I were in my 20s, I would probably have shared your enthusiasm for Sanders over Clinton for many of the reasons you mention. I don’t mean to belittle idealism as youthful or naive, but as a married woman, now 42, and a mother of children ages 9 and 6, while also managing a law practice, my perspective has indeed changed.

      For instance, you point out Hilary’s time on the board at Walmart. I am aware of Walmart’s horrific labor practices; I never shop there, out of principle, and I have nothing nice to say about them. Nevertheless, I view Hilary’s time on the board there as an asset, or at worst, neutral. Not as a negative. This is because I have now served on Boards, not corporate boards (rather, the Public Interest Law Group and Western Center for Law and Poverty, and Elimu- a nonprofit focused on education in Africa), and I have an appreciation for the real difficulties in reaching consensus and influencing a group even in the contexts of those left-leaning groups. I also understand the prestige and career opportunity involved with serving on the Board of a major corporation – I’ve never been offered that opportunity, women rarely are. When I think about a young Hilary Clinton who joined Walmart’s Board of 15 men as the only woman– when she also had a law practice and a six year old Chelsea at home–I am much more impressed by the fortitude and the work ethic it must have required to add this obligation onto her workload. After going to a women’s college myself, I had sort of a backlash against Feminism with the belief that we were in a new phase, a new wave, that didn’t require much sensitivity to “women’s issues.” But now, having worked in all-male environments (with success), I am reluctant to admit that the tide is definitely against you, especially when you are the only woman. Moreover, while she was on the Board at Walmart, she did champion issues that are important to me, achieving modest success. She is famously recalled as announcing at her third board meeting: “You can expect me to push on issues for women. You know that. I have a reputation of trying to improve the status of women generally, and I will do it here.” And she did push on these issues. She also pushed, with even more success, for environmental reforms, causing Walmart to set up an environmental advisory group, which led to many pro-environmental changes, such as building stores with skylights to reduce the need for electric lights, in-store motor oil and battery recycling programs, and reduced packaging. In addition, her relationship with Walton (Walmart founder) helped her to get support for a corporate tax she pushed as First Lady of Arkansas, which overhauled education in AK. She was not as much of an advocate for unions as she could have been at that time, though I don’t think there is any indication that she was anti-union, just that she “sat on the sidelines.” One woman can only do so much, however, and I don’t think it’s fair to essentially blame her for Walmart’s poor labor policies, when she was only on the board for 6 years and has since rejected support from Walmart of any kind, even returning a $5000 donation from them.

      RE: “Her campaign has accepted $133,246 from prison lobbyists (yet somehow says she’s going to reform our prison-for-profit system).” That’s not that much money in the scheme of things, and your comment requires us to presume that HRC is simply sold to the highest bidder, yet- her donors come from all walks of life. This is worth a blog post on its own, but I get incensed by the cherry-picking of her donors and the concomitant presumption that she does the evil-doing of distasteful donors, yet (implicitly) does nothing for the charitable organizations, the teachers, the Children’s Defense Fund or any of her other unassailable donors.

      As Obama’s Secretary of State, — she also visited more countries and promoted the rights of women and children more than any other secretary of state – even making a global post for gender relations. She was instrumental in restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba and in the sanctions that eventually led Iran to the table re: nuclear arms. She was also successful with PBO in getting Osama Bin Laden. Also- Sanders too supported military operations in Afghanistan and Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza.

      Bernie also came out only for marriage equality recently. Prior to that, like HRC, Sanders was pro civil unions- not marriage. You say you “still do not understand how her supporters can brush this aside,” but you don’t even seem to know that about Sanders.

      Her rhetoric about “super predators” was horrific, but once again, she was talking about gang leaders and newly-introduced tactics that were harming- first and foremost- the Black community, which largely supported the Crime Bill (that Sanders also voted for). And- not that two wrongs make a right- but have you heard Sanders’ talk about immigrants taking the jobs of Americans? And are you aware of his shipments of nuclear waste to Latino communities? And what about the fact that VT has 20x national average of Blacks in prisons, many of whom are shipped off to the private prisons he supposedly opposes. I don’t mean to demonize him, but his record is not as perfect as his supporters seem to believe.

      The reality is that Hillary’s brand of “feminism” is far superior to Sanders brand of “feminism” or racial equality, which is, let’s face it, in words only – not deeds. IN fact, I think he has not hired people of color (not sure about women) as staffers during his long tenure in Congress, whereas she has a great record for doing so. Even now, her campaign staff is much more diverse.

      Your point is taken that there are legitimate reasons to prefer Sanders over Clinton that are unrelated to “sexism.” Nevertheless, the tendency of the masses to more readily accept Hilary Clinton as a two-dimensional, inauthentic, LYING politician, and to gloss over Sanders’ shortcomings and inconsistencies does seem to be enmeshed with deep-seated societal mores that give men, particularly white men, much more of a free pass. Point in case– this Goldwater nonsense when – before voting age, after reading a biography a teacher/mentor had given her- she briefly worked on Goldwater campaign- as a high schooler! Yet, Sanders (1) did not VOTE until he was 40, (2) has NEVER had a full time job other than being a politician, which was not until he was 40, (3) has enjoyed a role as an agitator that (a) no woman his age could have made a career out of, and (b) is much easier than building coalitions and drafting meaningful legislation, which requires compromise, something that he seems to reject on principle but which is a huge part of the presidents job; (4) voiced support not just for Castro but also for the Sandinstas (whom he actually visited in Nicaragua) who took over the government, not by election, but by force, kidnapping and murdering cabinet members, and they later resorted to enforcing curfews on the citizens and TAKING OVER THE MEDIA so that there was no free press, and (5) Sanders himself had advocated a government-controlled media in decades past. And the list goes on and one for our side of the aisle. The man is a powerful speaker, and he seems like a benevolent person, and much of what he says I agree with, but he has faults too, and it is not unreasonable for a progressive to genuinely prefer Hilary Clinton’s achievements and qualifications as better suited for the Presidency and more likely to result in actual (even if incremental) change.

  14. evelynjeanpine says:

    As an old person (like both Hillary and Bernie, both of whom I admire), I look at so many rooms and places in San Francisco and see the empty chairs of people who died of AIDS. I remember very clearly those early days when Reagan and Nancy — both show people, by the way — couldn’t get the word AIDS out of their mouths. I remember their “dear” friend Rock Hudson, dying his hideous death, and the Reagans were still silent — and obstructionist about health and research funding for AIDS. And I think back on how that silence killed so many people. And it makes me sad that Hillary Clinton somehow –when she and her team wracked brains for something kind to say about Nancy Reagan after her death — couldn’t remember that Nancy encouraged (probably at her astrologer’s prompting) Reagan to take Gorbachev seriously and talk with him or something else — but instead had to forget about all those poor guys who died denied because the Reagans were so manipulative, fearful, and cruel.

    That doesn’t excuse anybody’s sexist rant against Hillary, but I do think, for some of us this forgetfulness about LGBTQ history, San Francisco history, is disturbing but most of all very sad.

    I do agree Hillary takes tons of crap for being a smart, competent, caring woman.

    But I do really miss those guys and had a deep and angry response Hillary’s comments.

    • Linda says:

      Everyone was fearful of AIDS in those days. Not a Reagan fan, just one who lived through it. In those dark, early days, they did not know a lot about it–what caused it how it was (or, more specifically wasn’t) spread, exactly. Those were scary times, so as far as I’m concerned, they get a pass on that.

      • Jeremy Kareken says:

        Not sure they get a PASS, but I certainly understand genuine ignorance during the 80s more than I understand enforced and willful ignorance now.

    • LynneM says:

      The American response to AIDS in the 80s was VERY similar to the American response to ebola in 2015. Fear, panic, loathing, victim blaming/shaming. There continues to be a huge misunderstanding of science and an understandable deep and abiding fear of diseases that kill the majority of the people who catch them.

      Please also recall that science — especially genetics — was MUCH less advanced in the 1980s than it is today. Despite the fact that the first recorded case of HIV was in 1959, the discovery of the viral cause of the disease wasn’t made until 1983 (around the same time that a scientist figured out that stomach ulcers are actually caused by a bacterium (H Pylori) rather than stress). Unlike ebola, which kills quickly, HIV takes years or decades to inflict its horrible damage, which was a likely contributor to the glacial response on the part of policymakers, researchers, and epidemiologists to HIV.

      As far as Hillary’s trustworthy numbers are concerned — I completely concur with the author. Decades of fruitless investigation after investigation conducted by hostile GOP congresses has done its work. The most recent perfecters of the smear campaign are Karl Rove & company. They managed to get rid of Ann Richards — one of the most talented and wonderful women ever to hold office (they started a whisper campaign that she was a lesbian, in addition to attacking her on her alcoholism and whispers of former drug use — their candidate, of course, had at least 2 DUIs and cocaine use under his belt). The tactic is, of course, to take a candidate’s core strength and attack it so relentlessly that it becomes a liability. Clinton has been a true advocate for people of color, women, children, the sick, of education — and as a result should have earned the undying trust of those she has helped. However, if you attack the trust, you can negate all the good works. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/opinion/article/Rove-s-dirty-tricks-Let-us-count-the-ways-1246665.php

  15. Peebee says:

    Most of this is very reasonable, but I will take serious issue with your characterization of what you started the article calling her “mistake.” Mistakes are “I left the house at 8” when you left the house at 8:23, or “I spent $50 at the store” when you spent $56.22 or “it’s 10 miles away” when it’s 12.8 miles. On a policy level, they’re things the Washington Post’s FactChecker gives one or two Pinocchios to or Politifacts calls “mostly true.”

    Then there are the things you say that you know are whoppers, but you just don’t really care, like virtually everything out of Trump’s mouth, and half the things that the other Republican candidates say to try to compete with him. Those are not mistakes, they are lies.

    And then there are things someone says that cannot help but impact your judgment of someone’s basic competency to handle that with which they’re entrusted. In other words, you’re flunking the 101-level stuff when defending your Ph.D dissertation. What comes to mind for me is my elementary school teacher, who, when “aquarium” was a spelling word we were supposed to learn, subtracted points from my grade because I didn’t spell it “acquarium.” (She’s the same teacher that assigned writing out dictionary words by hand for disciplinary purposes, starting with words like “and” or “the.”)

    To anyone who was alive then, involved in any way with HIV/AIDS advocacy, or knew someone who died during the Reagan years, this rises to the level of either deliberate falsehood or complete and utter incompetence. After the second apology, I still don’t know why it happened, so I can’t say which. These were remarks prepared in advance, which had to have been vetted by more than one person. They reference a time during which she was a lawyer and First Lady of Arkansas. And if she was enough of an expert on health care to later try to formulate federal policy, she had to have been familiar with the policy endeavors of her husband’s presidential predecessors.

    Then shortly after she said this, she resurrected the theme that Chelsea Clinton floated a month or so ago….”where was Bernie on health care?” The very first thing I ever learned about Bernie Sanders, beyond his name and the fact he was an Independent from Vermont, was his advocacy for universal health care. I was a baby lawyer working on the West Coast — she as First Lady was at the center of power. There’s all the photographic evidence that he was right there with her, but more than that — it’s a completely basic indisputable fact that universal health care has been an issue he’s promoted throughout his political career. And there’s now proof that he worked with her until she wouldn’t go as far as he wanted and she stopped returning his calls. So does she have such a thin grasp of history that she truly doesn’t remember (which might portend Reagan-level dementia) or is she deliberately misrepresenting history? Or completely giving herself over to her communications staff while shutting out the policy staff?

    These aren’t mistakes that you can apologize for that are essentially meaningless. They are either signals of a lack of basic competency when trying to sell herself as the most qualified candidate, or a craven willingness to rewrite history to suit her political narrative. They have nothing to do with her gender or decades of Republican attacks or likeability. I’ve remained neutral so far and planned to decide right before my state’s primary, which is still over a month away, when it would was projected to be all but over (and may still be). I fully expected to be supporting HIllary by now, after Bernie pushed her a little more to the left and she fleshed out and responded to some areas that concern me. I don’t hate her. But I’m both completely baffled and filled with sorrow that I might have to vote for someone I’m no longer convinced is qualified to hold office.

    And given that I live in a state where she may win relatively easily without my vote, I am sick of hearing that if I don’t vote for her, I’m in essence voting for the Republican, which given the Electoral College, simply isn’t true. In any case, until she’s the nominee, she needs to make a much better showing if she doesn’t want the level of opposition from Bernie supporters that she’s getting. Because not all of them are sexist or Republican tools.

    • sassypants says:

      You make a lot of good points, and you do so very competently. I too was shocked by her statement about Nancy Reagan. My uncle – and closest confidant- contracted HIV in the late 80s and died of AIDS in 98. Virtually all of his friends from that era died also, just before the life-saving “cocktail” was discovered. That said, I don’t think it’s fair to reduce her candidacy to this blunder (or the one about Sanders). I’m inclined to believe that in looking for something to say she was (1) thinking more about Nancy’s post-Reagan-presidency involvement in the fight, when, as I understand from an article that had run in the Advocate, she did come around on AIDS, and (2) that Hilary Clinton wasn’t as likely as the rest of us to conflate Nancy’s politics and personal achievements to her husband while he was President. Also, with respect to Sanders’ presence on Healthcare, I think you forget a third alternative, which is that she may not have placed the same level of importance on Sanders’ support as a newish independent member of the House from the tiny state of Vermont– as Sanders himself did (as evidenced by his saving a photo of them together). I’m sure she was working with much bigger players at that time and his involvement was not that influential or memorable to her. I’m not saying this is an awesome excuse, but I think it’s more likely than (1) she knew Sanders supported her healthcare efforts, and thought- what the fuck- I’ll just pretend he didn’t in public speeches-and Internet be damned- no one will discover the real truth–ha ha ha, or that (2) she experienced a Ronald-Reagan level of dementia in forgetting the pivotal role that the important house member from Vermont played in holding her hand and “standing behind her” while she pushed for healthcare – how could she forget? – She couldn’t have done it without him. I think my proposition is most likely and that when she said– where was he? She didn’t necessarily mean that he didn’t ever “voice support” for her, but that he wasn’t in the trenches with her, integrally involved in the complex, nuanced problem of healthcare, taking the active role that she was all those years ago. In fairness…

  16. CanAmFam says:

    Thank you for an incredibly thoughtful, rational piece. I am tired of people excusing Bernie for saying or doing things (ie supporting Castro who persecutes LGBT) while attacking HIllary, who has apologized profusely for her mistake AND has the best track record on this issue.

    Does it effect her ability to govern? No. We’re democrats. Let’s be adults about our justifications.

    The last three posters are great examples of the irrationality of Democrats you write about. It’s frustrating.

  17. Jennie Israel says:

    THANK YOU. Yes. “and I would support half a Snapple as the Democratic nominee rather than go back to the policies of Reagan or (any) Bush.”

  18. Carroll Smith Sandel says:

    Thank you for this very thoughtful examination of the reaction to Hillary from many Bernie supporters. I am confounded by the unwillingness of those reviling Hillary to be realistic about how our government works. While I am glad that Bernie has identified the problems of students needing to take out huge loans for their college educations, that the trade deals crafted in the ’90’s have not helped our manufacturing workers, that the big banks need our continued vigilance, I would be more confident of his ideas being converted into meaningful laws if he once talked about the need for his revolution to extend to electing Congressional representatives who support his vision. When Bernie casually dismisses concerns about the reality of his promises, he looses credibility with me. The Affordable Care Act and the Dodd Frank bill were passed when the Democrats were in control of both the Senate and the House. I am beginning to feel as though Hillary gets punished for having solid plans and ideas. It is more and more difficult to not find sexism in how her candidacy is treated not only by Bernie supporters but also by the media. When I hear people say they do not feel Hillary is qualified to be president, I have to admit I have those same feelings about Bernie.

  19. Melissa says:

    Anyone commenting to argue with this post is obviously missing the point.

  20. Amoret says:

    Reblogged this on Amoret BriarRose and commented:
    “I’m not here to argue Hillary vs Bernie. I genuinely like them both. I’m here to say that I’m sick of seeing her reviled for the same things people forgive easily when they’re done by men, and that the stakes are too high this election cycle to indulge that or leave it unexamined. If you’re reviling Hillary for saying something racist and stupid in 1994 in favor of a crime bill that turned out to be a very bad idea, but you’re not reviling Sanders for actually using his political power to make that very bad crime bill law, I want you to take a long, long think about why that is. If you’re reviling Hillary for campaign contributions made by banks, but did not revile Obama for the same thing, I want you to take a long, long think about why that is.”

  21. BJDPhoto says:


    I’m more than a little annoyed that we even have to make this point in 2016, but it just goes to prove that some Democrats and self-proclaimed Progressives’ long term memory isn’t as strong as they think. Throwing a tantrum, and by extension throwing the country to Trump and Paul Ryan’s congress would be unforgivable political malpractice.

    This election is ours to lose. The Tea party is exploding from the chest of the GOP like an alien. All we have to do is pop some popcorn and enjoy the gory spectacle. At no other time in the history of progressivism has it been more important for us to be united against an obvious evil. Let the GOP self-immolate; we’ll own the high road.

  22. Don says:

    Hilary is very qualified and probably I will be able to vote for her in the final hour. It would be so much easier to suck it up if she stood for more than political expediency.

  23. P.Lazaro says:

    This is simple, if you don’t vote for Hillary, Donald Trump will win…

  24. It’s a fixed system that Bernie supporters are fighting against in this. That stretches across media through the same corporatism that drives our government’s policies. She happens to be the candidate running within that fixed system when Sanders decided to run…when Sanders’ run is popular, emotionally potent and when this run is desperately needed to help right the course we’re on.

    Hillary is a great choice – just like Obama’s been great or like her husband was pretty good – within the broken system. Yes, she’s the best one running, if we’re to go on ‘as usual.’ But Sanders is taking on the fundamental issues of money influencing government policy. So many of our most pressing issues today extend from that one issue.

    Those who have been bought out and nurtured within the same system – which has been proven by political scholars to serve only the best interests wealthy elite – will never be able to bring the fundamental changes it needs. So the only argument it seems to fall back on is always – ‘It’s Hillary – or else.’ Sure, I won’t vote for Trump. That doesn’t make it a democracy though.

  25. Dan Cohen says:

    Hera hear!

  26. Josh says:

    Yes, yes, and yes!

  27. joftius says:

    If we’re going to start placing blame on people for not voting for Hillary, we should first address the even bigger question of why people are not voting- full stop.

    (1) They don’t believe they actually have a meaningful choice because the two-party system is a cruel joke.

    (2) They don’t believe their vote matters, e.g. because our electoral system is complete bullshit with rules like winner-takes-all, electoral college, etc.

    (3) The political establishment prefers lower turnout because it’s easier to manipulate, so they haven’t exactly made it easy to vote. Arcane registration processes, understaffed polling locations and hour-long waits, somehow actually running out of ballots, sometimes Bill Clinton shows up and blocks access, etc. The 18-29 age demographic made up 19% of Dem voters in Michigan but only 16% in Ohio… perhaps because the primary was held during spring break.

    (4) The most vulnerable people are often the ones not voting, probably for the above reasons. For example, http://www.electproject.org/…/demographics/CPS%20educ.png — So this anger about privilege is a little off the mark

    (5) Sanders is actually drawing in more new voters into the democratic process. Many of the people who are disillusioned for the above reasons are voting for the first time in their lives now because they see Sanders as a meangingful choice. This is especially true in the states that have had higher youth turnout this year than even in 2008, like Nevada.

    (6) The Democratic and media establishments are perfectly happy keeping their primary race out of the news in order to protect their chosen candidate. They initially scheduled only 6 debates and intentionally put them on days nobody would watch. Many people don’t even know that Sanders is still in the race, despite the fact he’s had far more support than the contenders to the republican front-runner. Meanwhile, interest on the Republican side is fed by constant idiotic coverage of a fascist, helping him because this is just fun for them.

    If you want to be angry at privileged people not doing their part to stop the dangerous far right, why not take aim at the Democratic and media establishments instead of disenfranchised voters?

    • joftius says:

      Here’s Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS: “Donald’s place in this election is a good thing,” he said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.

      “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,”

      “Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun.”

      “I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going”

      The disenfranchised voter staying at home is not the enemy. This man is the enemy.

    • wren11 says:

      Thanks for this lucid analysis!

  28. Cat Rymer says:

    Reblogged this on Cerebral Lunch Break and commented:

    So much this. Legitimate, thinking, caring, liberal democrats, some of whom I personally know and like, dislike Hilary *because* she is a woman and DO NOT KNOW this is why they dislike her. That’s what ingrained cultural bias looks like. Not knowing you’re being misogynistic doesn’t change the fact that you are. If your explanation for dislike of Hilary runs in the direction of her being “too establishment”, “untrustworthy”, or “not likeable”, then you might as well just say you think she’s bossy, shrill, and should smile more. You dislike her because she’s a woman, not because she’s a bad candidate.

  29. Exactly, Gertrude! Thank you!

  30. It baffles me that no one seems to recognize what an uphill battle Hillary Clinton has fought because she’s a woman; how she’s vilified because of it, and–as women do–always apologizing for things that men routinely do without even inviting a reaction, much less having to apologize. I hope that Obama made America better for African Americans, and that Hillary Clinton makes this country better for women. Because let’s face it–it sucks for us!! Let’s face something else: she is the toughest by far at the podium in this race. She takes criticism with grace and responds with wit. I’ve seen Bernie shake with anger, Trump spew obscenities and obsess over attacks about the size of his fingers, and Rubio go on the offensive like a boy in a schoolyard (Cruz elicits no feeling from me and Kasich is just lovely). But Hillary–she’s smart, she’s solid, and you can’t rattle her! It’s not even up in the air for me.

  31. NedS says:

    If Hillary wins I will not “stay home” but vote for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. I might add that I voted for her in the last presidential election too. (and for gov. of MA)

    I do not hate Hillary but do not like many of the positions she has / had. A big one is the death penalty. She said she agrees with Sen Sanders that our justice system is rigged against people of color and yet she is okay with that rigged system putting people to death.

    • tdraicer says:

      >I do not hate Hillary but do not like many of the positions she has / had

      The election isn’t about your political purity. There is no candidate in history who hasn’t supported bad policies or made bad decisions. If you can’t accept that and don’t care what damage Trump or Cruz can do in the WH, then vote for whomever you damn please. But stop parading your self-righteousness before the rest of us as if we are supposed to stand and applaud.

  32. berinaberrry says:

    Well stated…
    I am yet to feel who should be President…

  33. lane says:

    If Hillary want’s Bernie’s supporters, she needs to earn them. Her speeches may be leaning to the left, but that does not mean that she will actually follow through. I think we need to propose a pledge- forcing her to support issues on education, campaign financing, banning tracking, etc. before any of us switch our votes. Do not make it easy on her. We worked too hard to settle for no change.

  34. sukatra says:

    All 100% on point. I am tired of having this argument with people who say they’ll never vote for HRC. They are acting like children – either they’re just tantruming in the moment for drama’s sake and in the end they’ll do the right thing, or they are truly selfish and thoughtless and really don’t care about the principles of fairness and equality their candidate espouses. It’s exhausting.

  35. EcoCatLady says:

    To me, the whole “Bernie or Bust” movement is the perfect illustration of what’s wrong with liberal politics. Here’s the deal – politics is ugly, and in a very fundamental sense it is a game of compromise. Progress is not made by stubbornly refusing to accept anything that doesn’t completely live up to your ideals. Change is slow, it is painful, and it often requires accepting much much less than you want in order to inch things in the direction you want to go – or sometimes just to keep them from sliding too far backwards. But by refusing to “play the game” the only things liberals accomplish is to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Take, for example, what has happened with the Obama presidency. People came out of the woodwork to vote him into office – they wanted change and rightfully so. But then, when he didn’t wave his magic wand and fix everything in his first two years in office they got pissed off and turned against him, claiming he “didn’t live up to his promises.” Well, I’ve got news for you people, the president is not the king, he cannot simply make declarations and he (or she) cannot pass legislation. So when liberals turned on Obama and allowed congress to fall into Republican hands, they basically ensured that he would not be able to “live up to his promises” because at that point, his only ability to influence legislation was through the veto.

    So do I think Hillary is the “perfect” candidate? Not by a long shot – but the truth is that NO candidate is perfect, and those who would refuse to support her in the general election out of some sort of misguided sense of idealism do real damage to the progressive cause. Taking one’s toys and going home is not “making a statement” – it’s abdicating your responsibility as a citizen. If you think that there is “no real difference” between Hillary and the Republicans, well congratulations – that is a position only a person of great privilege can afford to take. So maybe you’re comfortable throwing millions of folks under the bus so that you can sit back and wallow in some sort of smug self-righteous anger, but I, for one, am not.

    • I find it interesting that nobody is talking about the seriousness of the vacancy on the Supreme Court. As Democrats this should be of the utmost of concern. Ginsberg is 83 and Kennedy is almost 80.

      Anyone who is concerned about LGBT rights, women’s rights, Roe V Wade, civil rights, voting rights, minimum wage, and my favorite–Citizens United (anyone for getting big money out of politics?) should be thinking seriously about their SELFISHNESS if they are considering staying home if Bernie doesn’t win the primary. You have to vote!

      If you don’t get it, think about it! SCOTUS Justices can serve 30 years or more. Remember, Chief Justice John Roberts was only 50 when he was appointed. That’s a long time to have Conservative policies dictating our civil rights.

      Fortunately, President Obama has nominated a centrist, Federal Justice Merrick Garland, to fill the current vacancy. Unfortunately the Senate, under Mitch McConnell, is unwilling to fulfill their constitutional duties and even consider anyone Obama presents, saying let’s let the people decide. It’s not up to the people. That’s not what the Constitution says. It’s up to the President and Congress. Besides, the people decided when they gave Obama two terms.

      Balance is key–5-4, not 6-3 or worse 7-2. God forbid an Evangelical Religious Right President gets to nominate a judge or 3. What ever happened to separation of church and state?

      Get out and VOTE no matter who is on the Democratic ticket!

  36. LadySalieri says:

    As far as I’m concerned, at this point anything OTHER than a vote for the Democrat candidate is a vote in favor of another two decades of a 5-4 conservative Supreme Court. Even if Hillary had actually committed every last misdeed that ten years’ worth of politically-motivated witch hunts have failed to prove, she will STILL be the person who puts the balance of interpreting our Constitution in someone who won’t erode our civil rights.

  37. janerizzo says:

    Great article. I am blown away by how many republican talking points Sander’s supporters use against Hillary. Too many people do not research candidates, and let the media (who creates & benefits from conflict), shape their views. It’s shocking to me because I remember how many times Hillary has been on the side of children, and women’s rights. Fought for universal health care. And I mean fought. Republicans were horrible. She was there for the Gulf war veterans that congress tried to blow off. She made sure the first responders of 911 got the help they needed after they suffered from respiratory issues. She has been on the right side of gun control. As a victim of gun violence, I am so grateful that although she probably has not suffered this particular trauma, she doesn’t back down from the NRA. The list goes on and on. She has accomplished so much.
    I like what Sander’s has to say, but his list of accomplishments just aren’t there. He argues and participates in the discussion, but that isn’t enough.

  38. Jrmz says:

    To me is simple, I will vote democrat no matter who the candidate is. My advice to some of you is *stop acting childish and be responsible*. I don’t want a republican in the WH, period.

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