This would be analysis of the nomination contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by Drake Bennett is fatally flawed for many reasons. The first among those is its reliance on a mishmosh of behavioral sciences for its would be explanations of how voters are voting. I’ll get to that in a minute but it’s impossible to analyze anything about Hillary Clinton without taking the foremost fact of her political life into account.
Bennett ignores the sixteen year campaign of hate against Hillary Clinton by the media, fundamentalist religion and the known, well-financed campaign of lies and vilification by the likes of billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife and Jerry Falwell. No lie was left untold, including accusations of murdering one of her close friends, Vince Foster. Every non-issue was inflated into a criminal conspiracy. And this hate campaign used every single aspect of sexism in its war against Hillary Clinton. Her enemies are the purveyors of sexist stereotyping in this issue. Pretending that her potential supporters and not her enemies are the real story of sexism in this nomination contest is to continue to do their work for them.
Hillary Clinton’s success in overcoming the wall to wall smear campaign against her on the basis of her own competence, dear Drake Bennett, “journalist”, is the most salient fact of her political career. To ignore that in favor of social science of who knows what validity, renders your piece useless. To deny that she still has to answer for the invented “Clinton era scandals” such as “Filegate”, which the corporate media won’t ever admit was no scandal at all, should be enough to impeach any would be ‘journalist’.
In order to concentrate on the psychobabble instead of the facts it is necessary to do what just about no serious voter does, it transforms two distinct individual candidates into generic abstractions for the purpose of inventing reasons for how people vote. People who vote in primaries and caucuses tend to be a lot more rational than this journalistic fiction would have them.
I’ve talked with scores of Democratic voters and have heard one after another say that they would love to vote for Hillary Clinton, some of them torn over the chance to put a vastly competent and accomplished woman in the office, but who are afraid that she can’t overcome the years and years of the well financed hate campaign against her.
The media hates Hillary Clinton. You get the feeling that for many of them it is not a matter of disdain for her history or even her personality. For most of them it is a matter of being seen to repeat the received viewpoint of their chosen class. A "journalist" who refutes the lies about Hillary Clinton? How many of them are there as compared to those who pass on lies about her? Well, you don’t do so unobserved. Did you think that Democrats who like Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama can’t tell who is going to have the more hurdles to clear before they can assume office?
Don’t forget where Democrats have been. We saw the corporate media go after the Clintons hammer and tongs on behalf of their wealthy owners and advertisers. We saw an objectively clean administration, as compared to Reagan’s and the Bushes, mired in a series of phony scandals promoted by the Republicans and every media organization from FOX to C-SPAN and NPR. We saw Al Gore have the presidency stolen from him by one of the most corrupt actions ever taken by a Supreme Court for clearly partisan reasons. And we saw John Kerry likely denied a victory by a corrupt election process in Ohio and other states all with the compliance of the biased media. We have your number, we know that our candidate will have to overcome the press.
I’ve talked to people who didn’t stand up for Clinton in our caucus who are fully aware that she has the longer record of achievement and that, against high odds, triumph over the character assassins. She was elected to the Senate after one of the longest and most aggressive media campaigns in modern history. But that campaign is continuing and none of its lies ever falls on the weight of massive refutation.
One woman I talked with was in tears because she knew she was giving up the best chance of seeing a wonderfully qualified woman as president during her lifetime. She had every confidence that Barack Obama is an excellent candidate who will certainly be better than any Republican and that a Democrat must win this election and assume the office. She decided to stand up for him only because she made a rational decision, taking the continuing campaign to demonize Hillary Clinton into account. I have also talked to men who have made the same decision on exactly the same rational basis.
No one in the media should be allowed to hide behind a bunch of social science mumbo-jumbo in order to deny their part in Clinton's possible defeat for the Democratic nomination. If the United States is deprived of having someone as accomplished and competent as Hillary Clinton for president, it is because of the corporate media doing the bidding of her enemies.