American Culture

Hillary and America are going through a bad divorce

I watched this on the news and thought, “She just lost the male divorcé vote.”

That tone of voice and the sarcasm that goes with it is instantly recognizable to men who have gone through a bad divorce (or people who had a mother with a gift for nagging). And their first instinct will be to disengage. I doubt Hillary will ever get them back, no matter how often she switches back to being “nice”.

On the other hand, I think she has locked up the female divorcée vote. There can be a very strong, protective bond between those who have been wronged by someone and are wiling to stand up for one another no matter what. It reminds me of the end of Jerry Mcguire when Cruise busts in on the Divorced Woman’s Club. The exit polls don’t have a divorced category, but I’m willing to bet that there will be a strong split between men and women who have divorced.

Guest Scrogue Djerrid lives in the Greater Boulder/Denver area and is a frequent contributor to some of S&R’s liveliest discussion threads. A father of two, he actively follows politics partially as his solemn duty to remain an informed and involved citizen and partially for the soap opera-esque entertainment. His degree in anthropology lets him view world events and local happenings as cultural phenomena. His favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate.

12 replies »

  1. On the one hand, Clinton has to be able to be a hard-ass, just like her male opponent, and viewed from this angle the tone is more than legit (the question of how tactical it is notwithstanding). However, if we’re talking about how it will perhaps be received by certain segments of the electorate, I suspect you’re right. I’m not divorced, but I have been on the wrong end of this kind of dressing down, and it does affect you at a powerful and entirely non-rational level.

  2. I’m usually the first to cower in the face of an angry woman.

    And I look away when Hillary is on TV. Not her appearance (though she should ditch the Captain Kangaroo suit), but because she’s so controlled.

    This scene was the first time I ever felt comfortable watching her. She was finally being herself. Particularly with the arm-waving. Usually she’s so stiff.

    Still, yes, it made her look bad to everyone but divorced women.

  3. As I told Djerrid when we were watching this, I think this is where her gender will hurt her. If she were a man, folks would just think she’s a hardass. But as a woman, I think they’ll think she’s a shrew. It’ll be interesting what side of her shows up tonight, what with Obama’s “can’t we all just get along?” declaration today.

  4. I didn’t blog on all of this, but I did mention the condescension as she lectured us all from Providence. I wonder who likes to be spoken to in this way? Don’t folks see that this is someone who has power OVER you and not power WITH you? As a feminist, I just think that her approach stinks. I also read a political commentary which describes her campaign as being “top-down.”

    And I commented on the fashion of all the major candidates left and took her to task for dressing like a bumblebee when she has as much cash as anyone to buy good clothes.

    I’m so disappointed.

    And as for those still willing to protect her hard-edged behavior–I’m not going to say there’s not some truth to it, but, come on: She has “35 years of experience” and she’s going to be “ready on day one” to take over the reins of government. When do we trust her to cut her own path and rise above? If she can’t do it now, when will she and who is in a position to do it for her?

    Responsibility, experience. Excuse-making, victimization. Which picture should we be seeing, HRC?


    When Mrs. Clinton was asked about her vote for W’s preemptive war in Iraq in a recent debate she claimed that she voted yes for the bill since she didn’t know how “obsessed” W was about going to war. Either she’s alarmingly inept at understanding American politics in general and the right wing in particular or she’s lying. The Neocons in W’s Administration had made their intentions very clear in a Jan. ’98 letter to Bill Clinton urging regime change in Iraq. See: . Signers included Richard Armitage, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, and Elliott Abrams – the core of W’s hawkish Administration in ’00.

    Additionally, there were numerous articles, essays and op-ed pieces written by Norman Podhoretz, along with writers in the National Interest, the Weekly Standard, mainstream media outlets, along with pressure by think-tanks such as AEI, the Heritage Foundation during that same time period arguing for regime change in Iraq. Those actions, along with other developments, prompted Bill to attack Iraq via Operation Desert Fox in Dec. ’98. See: , , .

    How in the world is it possible Mrs. Clinton was not aware of W’s obsession about going to war in Iraq? Was she too busy flying to those 82 countries she mentions so frequently as First Lady? Or was it like the NEI on WMDs she didn’t read before voting for war; she just didn’t have time to see just what the Neocons were up to? Or does she want to have her cake and eat it too? After all, if the war goes well, she can point to her hawkish side; and if Iraq continues to be plagued by difficulties, which appears inevitable for the foreseeable future (see, then she can point to her Peacenik side. Why is she allowed to fudge the facts so blatantly?

    Are the masses such idiots that they don’t see the truth? Or do they not care? The Iraqi war has been, according to many credible authorities, the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. Why wouldn’t a vote for it demonstrate that, indeed, Mrs. Clinton isn’t as qualified to handle foreign policy issues as she claims to be? Did those years in the White House prepare her to be ready on Day One? The evidence says otherwise. Recently the mystery of Saddam and his resistance to WMD inspections was made clearer on 60 Minutes via George Piro – the FBI agent responsible for overseeing Saddam during his last few months. See: link . Using the American-centric model of analyzing Iraq, Saddam was hiding WMDs in order to attack the U.S. or to sell them to terrorists.

    According to Piro, however, Saddam didn’t want to reveal he had no WMDs because Iraq would’ve appeared vulnerable to Iran, his arch enemy, setting the stage, at least in Saddam’s mind, for an Iranian reprisal. Makes sense if you’re Saddam, which few U.S. policy makers or ideologues thought about in their zeal for regime change. In this regard, Bill Clinton fired the first volley of the Iraqi war, which could’ve, theoretically, erupted into a war in ’98, allegedly to bomb WMDs, which, in hindsight, weren’t there. Saddam, who had no reason to lie to Piro, explained that they had been destroyed according to the stringent U.N. oversight, as Scott Ritter and others insisted.

    To recap for those following at home: 1. The Neocons were aching for regime change in Iraq as well as a major shakeup throughout the Middle East beginning with Iraq in ’98, 2. Bill Clinton had Iraq bombed in ’98, in part to disrupt and at most to unseat Saddam, 3. The PNAC group dominated W’s foreign policy by ’00, 4. 9/11 is the “Pearl-Harbor like event” mentioned in the PNAC position paper that legitimzed American neoimperialism in the Middle East, 5. W sends a war act bill, which rattles sabres and prepares the big guns, to the Senate, 6. Mrs. Clinton supposedly believes W only wants to negotiate with Saddam, 7. The U.S. goes to war in ’03, 8. The first major, meaningful protest by Mrs. Clinton against the Iraqi war is to vote no to funding it in ’07.

  6. When did she have the divorced male vote? Particularly the older generation; just the sight of her shrivels ’em in their Sansabelts.

  7. Responding to sayno2clinton: The answer is she expect us all to have a short memory. Her rhetoric, like George Bush’s, depends on the sleight-of-hand of: look at what I’m shouting about! Don’t think about your own opinions and then ask me about them–I won’t answer you straightforwardly, anyway!

  8. Full disclosure: i prefer Sen Obama…but i am about as far from an Obamaniac as it gets. I see great potential in him; i also see the potential for him becoming Bill Clinton II, half Kenyan bugaloo.

    Sen Clinton, as the clip shows, seems to have become dangerously unhinged. Her matronly lecture with Ted Strickland providing a chorus of amens and “but ‘um go aheads” was distasteful. But the “light from heaven” sarcasm was simply childish. I’ve nothing against sarcasm, but it requires a witty delivery…preferably extra dry. Her attempt was the sort that makes me laugh at her, not with her. I’ve never even been married, much less divorced, and it turns me off.

    There was a point in the debate before last where Sen Obama had that look on his face…the look that every man gets when he’s in a fight with his girlfriend and she starts bringing up all his ex-girlfriends. I’m not quite ready to vote for the “psycho girlfriend” president. But i’m not afraid to vote World Worker’s Party; i did it to Bill in ’96, and i’ll do it again if i have to.

  9. Oops. Remind me to read the whole post next time before responding…

    1. I am a female who has been divorced, although not wronged in the least. Do I still get to share the bond? Am I to be denied my Oprah moment because I lack a sense of injury? Will my vote even count?

    2. I pray that Sen. Clinton has no intention of ever, EVER switching back to being “nice” in order to placate the bruised egos of people who hate her anyway and always will.

    3. I have refused to watch Tom Cruise movies since “Risky Business,” based only on a distaste for the actor. Apparently, all I have missed is insight into psyches I would rather not touch with a hazmat suit and a long pole.

    4. Hectoring, despite the etymology, is still a charge rarely leveled at men, and almost never at powerful ones.

    5. It’s the war, stupid. At least for this nagging bitch it is.

    Hey, is that your ex-wife in the front row there? Made you look.

  10. As a woman, and as a feminist, this makes me wonder, if she can’t handle a competitive campaign, and the issues that need to be addressed in it, with dignity and decorum, how in the world would she handle diplomacy on a global scale? And I do agree in the past she has been too stiff. So which do we prefer the fake Hillary or the Hillary that sounds like an angry mother yelling at her teenager? I say neither. I do fear that Hillary would lend credence to the joke about having a finger on the button every month. I’m all for having a woman president… just not this woman.

  11. Euphrosyne – Yeah, I’m painting too broad of a brush here. My parents have been going through a bad divorce for years now and Clinton’s tone of voice sounded way too familiar. Take that with my sister and mom locking arms while my brother, dad and I are disengaging resonates with Hillary’s polarizing victimization and tone.

  12. Truthfully, Djerrid, though I will defend to the death her right to use that tone of voice, it annoys the hell out of me, too.