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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Letter to Geraldine Ferraro

Today, La Casa de Los Gatos is marking the effort to get American troops out of Iraq with a fast. Bear with us, we're bound to get a little cranky.

We also decided, in light of our shift to the Obama side of the spectrum, to write to Geraldine Ferraro about her remarks to John Gibson of Fox News.

You can view the clip of the interview here. Over at Politico (no link) Ben Smith's piece on the story brings out the rightwingnuts, racists, misogynists, and other loonies. TPM features an interesting discussion on Obama and Clinton.

Dear Mrs. Ferraro,

I have always been an avid supporter of yours. I was so proud when you were selected as the first woman vice-presidential candidate, and so sad when you and the presidential candidate lost.

Similarly, I have always been an avid supporter of your friend Mrs. Clinton. I thrilled to her speech at the UN Conference on Women. I fought back against all those who dumped on her during her years as First Lady.

When she decided to run for President, I was confident she would win. So confident that I didn't even bother looking at Senator Obama. So confident that I felt I should go with my deepest political convictions, which are significantly more progressive than Mrs. (now Senator) Clinton's, and support Dennis Kucinich. Because Senator Clinton would win anyway. When Rep. Kucinich dropped out, I began examining the positions of each candidate. Regrettably, that is when Senator Clinton began losing my support. Senator Clinton is a foreign policy hawk, and I do not agree with her positions on health care, lobbyist money, labour issues, and the direction of the Democratic party. Unfortunately, the thing I most dislike about Senator Clinton is how she has repeatedly appealed to the worst instincts of her fellow Democrats. And when you made that unwarranted, and unconscionable remark about Senator Obama, insinuating that if he were not a black male he would not be able to run for President, I'm sorry, but you, and Senator Clinton by extension, completely lost any shred of respect I have had for you, along with my support.

You're implying that those of us who might not be white are voting for Senator Obama only because he is also not-white. You couldn't be further from the truth. Regrettably, I have, in large part, switched my support to Senator Obama because he is not Senator Clinton. Not because Senator Clinton happens to be female, but because Senator Clinton thinks Democratic voters should vote for her Republican rival John McCain instead of the potential nominee Senator Obama; because Senator Clinton thinks it's OK to appeal to race over substance; because Senator Clinton tries to terrify America, as George Bush twice did, by hinting at terror lurking in the shadows; because Senator Clinton thinks it's OK to take lobbyist money "because lobbyists are Americans too," disingenuously refusing to notice that lobbyists act in their professional interest first and foremost, and that trumps the common interest of Americans; because Senator Clinton (like you) implies that white people, and women of any colour, are traitors to their own demographic if they vote for a man who is black. This is unacceptable to me. As a staunch feminist I am well aware of the degree of misogyny that continues to persist all these years after women first won suffrage. But calling out the attack dogs of NOW on feminists who don't vote for Clinton, and appealing to divisive identity politics, as you have done, only serves to show that women - and especially white women - are no better than white men and will not hesitate to use any means to win power.

I understand that you have received hate mail over your comments. Please realize that this email does not fall into that category. I do not hate you or Senator Clinton. But I am deeply disappointed in both of you. Especially because, by your initial words, and your subsequent responses, you have shown that you care less about healing the deep divisions in this country and among your fellow Democrats and women, than you do about helping to elect someone who has failed to show herself worthy of election.



Caveat: The letter has been edited slightly for clarity since it was sent. It was early in the morning, and the brain was a little fuzzy at the time.

For what it's worth we would like to add here that we will fight the misogynistic tone of many of the Clinton-bashers. She is no better and no worse than most of the men in the power struggle. Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, and Chris Dodd did not play dirty, but all the others did, and Clinton should be judged just as they are judged. She is doing exactly what John McCain does when he allows his attack dogs to smear Clinton and Obama and then steps out of the shadows with a half-assed apology when it should be obvious from the attack dogs' resumes that they will attack. At least in Clinton's case, many of the people doing her attacking for her would not be obvious attack dogs and may well have spoken out of turn.

Most important, we would like to warn our fellow progressives, liberals, Democrats, and anyone else who loves this country: a lot of the feeling that is being whipped up against Clinton is done with the intent to divide. Let us not fight each other. There are real enemies out there. John McCain is just a tool of the wealthy elite who would like to keep siphoning off our tax dollars while grinding us under crushing debt, freezing our wages, and throwing our loved ones into the meatgrinder of Iraq.

Those are the people we need to fight. We need to keep focused on the situation of the nation. Our country needs us to be clear and recognize that this is a long battle for the well-being of us all. Never take your eyes off the prize. The prize is not the Presidency, or the success of partisan policy. The prize is the survival of the nation itself.

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Stumble It!


At 12:49 PM, Blogger Dean Lee said...

Hi there!

You've got some really interesting content here on your blog. I actually just found you through digg. It's a wonder your articles don't get more votes!

I've actually been having the same problem with my own blog, It seems like it's impossible to make the front page unless you are a top user or a site that already has tons of traffic. I've actually heard that these sites do all types of things to get more votes.

The only chance us little guys have is to work together, so I've been working to set up a networking group of like minded bloggers. Nothing illicit, just a group of friends to network with and exchange the occasional Digg or Stumble. I've heard this is crucial for getting any real traffic from these sites.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, we'd love to have you as a part of our group. Just email me back at with your email address and I'll give you the details.

Look forward to hearing from you soon!

Warmest Regards,


At 4:05 PM, Blogger Chuck Butcher said...

A well thought out and considerate letter. If you haven't visited my site there is a picture of a fur faced white guy - me. I work in the construction industry and live in one of the whitest places in the US. I am an Obama supporter by default, and my problems with Hillary Clinton date back years, based on her actual behavior, not the made up junk.

I don't find Hillary's behavior either more or less acceptably because a female is engaging in it. I simply don't like it. People make assumptions that a woman is excluded from the same type of take no prisoners politics that men have engaged in or that the vicous behavior of 90s Republicans means the victim was innocense itself.

A candidate that can credibly run for President has operated in and flourished in a deeply flawed system and society, they are politicians and need to be looked at carefully. I am certainly deeply disappointed that the first credible woman candidate happens to be this one. What is most distressing is that someone who could be a model of female success in a male dominated endeavor is being this kind of model. However this election turns out, we need to be searching dilligently for good models and promoting the as such. At the same time making nasty politics a dangerous and unattractive alternative.

At 4:23 AM, Blogger Sandy-LA 90034 said...

PC - I wish I could be as articulate as you are (coherent? what's the word for being able to write clearly?).

I have been dismayed and disappointed with the way the campaigns have been going. My gut reaction to Hillary has been the same I was getting from Bush! She's playing his game and I don't like it. I just can't believe how all this is playing out, especially in a year when we all need to pull together. Obama has my respect and my vote. Every week brings more information about why Hillary does not deserve to be the candidate, whatever her gender or color.


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