Sunday, November 19, 2017

I'm Sure Kirsten Gillibrand Doesn't Want To Lead A War Against Men

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Yesterday I was all excited that Kirsten Gillibrand had boldly endorsed progressive reformer Marie Newman against Blue Dog Dan Lipinski. It was probably the first time I've praised Gillibrand since 2006 when she was first elected to Congress-- with a little help from Blue America. (Watch that Rickie Lee Jones/Squirrel Nut Zippers video we produced and promoted on upstate New York radio for her above.)

But then I looked a little closer at Gillibrand's Off the Sidelines PAC, largely funded by the same Wall Street crooks and corporate monstrosities that have made her the #1 recipient of tainted Financial Sector money in the Senate so far this cycle ($1,368,153). Since 2006 she has accepted $9,093,866 from the Financial Sector, more than any other current members of the Senate other than a couple who ran for president (John McCain and Marco Rubio) plus Schumer, McConnell, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey.

I looked at the contributions Gillibrand's PAC had handed out last cycle-- $172,000-- and couldn't find any pattern to the giving in terms of ideology. She gave to some of the most rotgut conservative Democrats like Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-AZ), Gwen Graham (Blue Dog-FL), Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL), "ex"-Republican Monica Vernon, Blue Dog Gretchen Driskell (MI), Chris Matthews' conservative wife Kathleen (MD), and lots and lots of New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, like Terri Sewell (AL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Katherine Rice (NY), Emily Cain (ME), gun fanatic Ann Kirkpatrick(AZ), Ann Kuster (NH), and Suzan DelBene (WA), but also to a few very strong progressives like Zephyr Teachout (NY), Carol Shea-Porter (NH), Pramila Jayapal, Joseline Pena-Melnyk (MD), Mary Ellen Balchunis (PA), Donna Edwards (MD) and Lucy Flores (NV). All over the map, right? Yeah... except for one thing. No men. Gillibrand only gives to women. Not even one man was good enough? And then I realized she was also  giving to really terrible women candidates in primaries against really excellent male candidates. OK, that's how she plays... nothing to do with how bad Lipinski was at all yesterday after all.

Same pattern of giving this cycle as well... all women-- awesome ones like Haley Stevens (MI), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Katie Porter (CA) and Elizabeth Warren (MA)... and really dreadful crap candidates like Sinema, Kirkpatrick and Dianne Feinstein. Does Kirsten Gillibrand think some kind of a war on men is what's needed now? Is that going to further her transparent goal for the presidency?

Let me acknowledge-- with great vigor and greater enthusiasm-- the entirely justifiable rage women have now, not only at patterns of abuse that permeate a reactionary patriarchal society, but at Trump stealing the election from Hillary and that, in order to actually change things for the better, there may have to be a rational proportionate series of responses-- even a little EMILY's List type affirmative action. I know for me personally, if the woman candidate is better, I support her. If the man candidate is better I support him... but if the two candidates are equally qualified, I'll always back the woman candidate. Why? There aren't enough women in elected office-- and that is primarily because the patriarchal power structure has disadvantaged women as a class. That needs to be made up for.

Friday night, Politico went up with a post by Gabriel Debenedetti, Gillibrand remark on Clinton sends shockwaves through Democratic Party. "Going," reported Debenedetti, "where no other prominent Democrat had before on Thursday evening by declaring that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the New York senator and potential 2020 presidential contender yet again found herself the face of a national conversation with the potential to dominate headlines and divide her party. At a time Democrats are desperate to keep the focus on accusations against President Donald Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Gillibrand’s stand shocked even some of her close allies. They had no inkling that she was planning to make news-- let alone news that would invite questions about her own ties to a political power family that has dominated her party’s consciousness for nearly three decades."
The comment also put new, awkward distance between two women whose careers have been politically intertwined since Gillibrand-- then a second-term House member-- took over Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat upon her ascension to the State Department in 2009.

Yet it allowed Gillibrand to act as the tip of the spear on a position that many Democrats suspect will slowly become more popular in the party.

The longtime Clinton ally’s answer to the New York Times' question neatly encapsulated how Gillibrand has placed herself front and center on the dominant issue of the day, even if it forces a debate her own party is uncomfortable confronting. And it highlighted the political dexterity that her critics and rivals often deride as opportunism: A former conservative Blue Dog House member, Gillibrand has reinvented herself as a leading progressive [ROTFLMAO-- sure she is, Gabe] and face of the Trump resistance ahead of a potential presidential run.

"I admire her for speaking out and for being really honest and blunt and brutal about it, even when it comes to Democrats and even when it comes to President Clinton," said longtime Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, a former Hillary Clinton aide.

But, Cardona said, Gillibrand's fight is far from a straightforward one even within the party: "President Clinton is beloved."
So was Al Franken... but no longer. And perhaps he doesn't deserve to be. Perhaps Gillibrand can have a party free on men altogether. That seems brilliant... but unfair. She only wants a party without men who have oogled women or who have jerked off while talking to one on the phone once or committed some other sin against women. This is so touchy but, apparently, we're going to have to deal with it. Many men-- most men?-- are pigs and they're going to not do the kind of crap Bill Clinton and Al Franken did. Is what Franken did a political death sentence? It shouldn't be-- unless the voters of Minnesota think it should. I know one thing for sure... if I had to pick between Al Franken or Kirsten Gillibrand (or Kyrsten Sinema), I'd pick Franken any day of the week. I was never a big Bill Clinton fan but when Gillibrand was asked by the NY Times if he should have stepped down, after the consensual sex he had with another adult, she said, "Yes, I think that is the appropriate response."
A handful of aides to both Clintons declined to comment for this story, citing the political danger of weighing in on such a delicate matter between influential figures in the party. But Philippe Reines-- a longtime aide to the former secretary of state-- lashed out at Gillibrand on Twitter.

“Ken Starr spent $70 million on a consensual blowjob,” he wrote, referring to the investigation into Bill Clinton. “Senate voted to keep [President Clinton]. But not enough for you @SenGillibrand? Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat. Hypocrite. Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck.”
I'm sure Gillibrand is aware that Bill Clinton was impeached for his crime. But that's not enough for her? Nope. This is a topic Democrats are going to have come to some consensus on-- and fast. I can't imagine a Democratic senator having a PAC that only gave money to men. Can you? Of course not; it's a ridiculous concept. There's probably a difference that needs to be recognized between what predators like Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Mark Foley and Roy Moore do and what Al Franken and even Bill Clinton are guilty of. But I would say that if Gillibrand and her single-minded friends keep this up, it will play right into Steve Bannon's hands and crash the anti-Trump wave real fast and do what otherwise looks impossible: keep the Republicans and Donald Trump in power.

And by the way, Gillibrand was once the poster child for the NRA in New York State and the voice of ugly, vicious xenophobia and racism against Hispanics. Should we dredge that up to and drum her out of the party? I don't think so. Is it as bad-- or worse-- than what Franken did? Make up your own mind.

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5 Comments:

At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, we definitely should NOT “drum her out of the party.” If we did, it would be widely misinterpreted as a defense of the Clintons—and of Clintonism, which is neo-liberalism on steroids. You know how well that would play in states that used to be industrial powerhouses.

And there’s no need to expel this erstwhile “poster child for the NRA in New York State” and “voice of ugly, vicious xenophobia and racism” because, after this episode, I’m sure the Clinton faction will see to it that she’ll never be the party’s presidential candidate.

 
At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what you might call a 'single-issue' briber, trowelling money only on women candidates regardless of quality.

 
At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm almost inclined to drop the current disaster that is the US government on women. One of two things will happen: they will either do a better job than the Old Harassers Club has done, or they will show that they can't do any better and not have anything to say.

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:27, excellent point. Not enough had been made of the fact that fucking WOMEN were the demo that elected that predator piece of shit over the other piece of shit.

 
At 1:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHITE women should be blamed for Trump. Latina, Asian, & Black women were overwhelming for Hillary both in the primary against Sanders & against Trump.

 

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