If you didn’t want me voting with my vagina, maybe you shouldn’t have spent the last year calling me a cunt.”Nadai, in comments at RL.

You can’t really sum it up much more succinctly than that, can you?

(Also summing it up, though not quite as succinctly, is Dr Socks herself, documenting the atrocities.)

Happy freakin’ Election Day. Democracy, you’ve never made me feel quite so ill.

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Too busy. Here, have a laugh.

Y’know, because of the wait times.

[Trigger Warning, as well as Mad Men spoiler for 2.12 ahead. ]

Dear Couch Baron,
I usually appreciate the depth of your recaps – quite often you’ll catch on to something that I haven’t, especially with a show as subtle as Mad Men. However, I was taken aback by this phrase in your recaplet:

Joan’s fiancé is having trouble with her proficiency in bed, and when she brings him into SC, he borderline rapes her on the floor of Don’s office.

There is nothing “borderline”  about that scene; that was flat-out rape. In fact, in the “Inside Mad Men: The Mountain King” clip on the AMC website, Matthew Weiner specifically states that is was intended to have no debate about whether it was violent and that he was forcing himself on her. Something like 84% of rapes are committed by someone the woman knows, in very similar situation to the one depicted in the episode.

This may seem like a small thing to you, but in a world where headlines crop up in national newspapers like “Man has sex with 12 year old” and “Man keeps daughter in cave as sex slave” and bend themselves over backward to not use the word “rape” in situations that are very clearly rape, it bothers me that you could watch that scene and not call it rape, and write a recaplet telling people that what they saw wasn’t really a rape.  Because it was.

Thank you for your time,

[RKMK]

*****

You’re absolutely right, and I do apologize — I write the recaplets very quickly and obviously didn’t give that bit of language near enough thought. I have more than one female friend who’s suffered an experience similar to what was depicted on screen. I’ve asked my editor to change it, and I will certainly make it clear in the full recap that that description wasn’t my intention.

Couch Baron

It’s already been changed on the recaplet  –  and it’s not like I was able to get the Wall Street Journal to issue a retraction or anything, but, hey, teaspoons, right?

… run – do not walk – over to Anglachel to see her post today. It’s a must-read. Here’s a taste, but the whole thing is excellent, and I had trouble picking out which bit to post here:

That female identification with Hillary and later Palin has been dismissed as either irrational (vagina voting) or actually a sign of secret racism exposes the ease with which misogyny is mobilized to try to belittle, badger, and dominate. Its very ubiquity makes it unremarkable and difficult to problematize. Our arguments and explanations on how we perceive our interests to be best served are trivialized as the whines of “bitter knitters” instead of serious challenges by engaged citizens. Insisting that we be heard garners a mix of aggressive bluster and wide-eyed faux-innocence.

Misogyny deniers try to focus on just a few figures, and explain away broad actions as being reasonable responses to these despicable, polarizing broads. No, no, it’s not that we are kicking women down; it’s that Hillary’s a cold bitch! We’d like someone else. But not Ferraro, that racist, shriveled up old hag. And Chelsea is really just letting herself get pimped out. Then we defend teenage sexuality, except for that wanton slut, Bristol Palin, and her bigger slut, the mother I’d like to fuck (MILF), Sarah.But then how to explain the fury expressed at women who do not support Obama?

Go read the whole thing.

Jay Rosen, last August:

Whereas I believe that the real—and undeclared—ideology of American journalism is savviness, and this is what made the press so vulnerable to the likes of Karl Rove.

Savviness! Deep down, that’s what reporters want to believe in and actually do believe in— their own savviness and the savviness of certain others (including operators like Karl Rove.) In politics, they believe, it’s better to be savvy than it is to be honest or correct on the facts. It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere or humane.

Savviness is what journalists admire in others. Savvy is what they themselves dearly wish to be. (And to be unsavvy is far worse than being wrong.) Savviness—that quality of being shrewd, practical, well-informed, perceptive, ironic, “with it,” and unsentimental in all things political—is, in a sense, their professional religion. They make a cult of it. And it was this cult that Karl Rove understood and exploited for political gain.

What is the truest mark of savviness? Winning, of course! Everyone knows that the press admires an unprincipled winner.

But the thing is, it’s not just the press. Matt Taibi, in Rolling Stone, again regarding Rove:

Rove is not a genius, or even very clever: He’s totally and completely immoral… It doesn’t take brains to compare a triple-amputee war veteran to Osama bin Laden; you just have to be a mean, rotten cocksucker.

The reason Rove continues to survive is the same reason that Johnnie Cochran was called a genius for keeping a double-murderer on the golf course — because this generation of Americans has become so steeped in greed and social Darwinism that it can no longer distinguish between cheating and achieving, between enterprise and crime, and can’t bring itself to criticize winners any more than it knows how to be nice to losers. He survives because an increasing number of Americans secretly agree with Rove’s vision of rules, laws and “the truth” as quaint, faintly embarrassing rituals that only a sucker would let hold him back.

Rove’s comeback is evidence that the attack on our civic institutions in the Bush years wasn’t an isolated incident, something we can pin on a specific group of now-deposed politicians. It’s a trend, a thing that grows in direct proportion to our greed and ignorance.

All throughout the primaries, especially after the cries of WWTSBQ? started up, I kept reading comments about how Hillary lost the campaign because she failed to appreciate the importance of the caucuses. Obama was declared a “superior” candidate because he’d “gamed the caucuses” – an argument which sounded, to my ear, exactly as convincing as “his branding iz rilly cool! omg widgits!“, which is to say that it was shallow and vapid and barely an “argument” at all. Game strategy does not automatically make one a superior candidate. For one thing, the kind of strategy that’s involved in creating, passing and implementing beneficial legislation is an entirely different animal than the kind of strategy one needs to implement in an campaign. They both take a level of sophistication and finesse, but the similarities are actually rather limited. Stripping away all the extras, campaigns are about (or are supposed to be about) gaining political support for your ideas and platform and the direction you want to take your constituency. Each person who votes for you gives you power, sure, but I think it’s reasonable to say that a vote won on persuasive argument is a tad more valuable and dependable in the long run than one won by manipulation. Which brings us to today’s post at Reclusive Leftist:

It’s an eerie experience reading through the thousands of incident reports from caucus participants all over the country. Eerie because almost everyone assumed that the problems they were reporting were unique to their own caucus, merely the result of local miscreants. No one grasped — how could they? — that what they were experiencing was part of a nation-wide pattern.

The pattern is the same, from Washington to Texas, from Iowa to Nevada, from Maine to Minnesota: Obama workers arrive early at each caucus place and take control of the premises and the process. Hillary supporters are intimidated, told their names aren’t registered, even physically barred from the site. Busloads of mysterious strangers arrive and cast votes for Obama. Sign-in sheets disappear; voter tallies are falsified. Over and over and over again, the pattern is the same.

How did this happen? Simple. The Obama campaign spent the entire year prior to the election planning the whole thing out. They saw an opportunity to game the system and they took it. At “Camp Obama” training centers, Obama campaign officials schooled volunteers in the fine art of stealing caucuses. And I have to hand it to them: they did a great job. When Obama points to his campaign as evidence of his executive experience, I’m inclined to agree. He’s definitely proven himself to be an executive-level criminal.

So, to recap: being shrewd, practical, well-informed, perceptive, ironic, ‘with it,’ and unsentimental in all things political” does not only describe journalists, but could be easily applied to the base of the Obamacan movement, the so-called “creative class.” The American public, in general, has become “so steeped in greed and social Darwinism that it can no longer distinguish between cheating and achieving, between enterprise and crime, and can’t bring itself to criticize winners any more than it knows how to be nice to losers” and “increasing number of Americans secretly agree with Rove’s vision of rules, laws and “the truth” as quaint, faintly embarrassing rituals that only a sucker would let hold him back.” And Obama, the Hopey Changey Saviour Candidate, proves his “worthiness” by gaming the system… and the crowds roar.

“It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere or humane.” Not to repeat myself or anything, but we’re all doomed.

Via Echidne of the Snakes:

Yes, the misogynist boys of the blogs are still there, bonding over their hatred of Hillary Clinton and other women. Yes, they are a blight on the leftist blogosphere, they ARE the exact equivalent of the racists in putrid bloom on Republican blogs. The big difference is that they are damaging OUR effort to push the agenda of progressives, liberals and leftists. By attaching themselves like toxic limpets to Barack Obama, they are creating a problem for his campaign. Clearly their boy bonding is more important to them than his winning the election.

They need to be told to shut up and, since they don’t have very long attention spans, don’t care about the damage they do to the left and can’t be reasoned with, they need to be told to shut up repeatedly. They don’t hear women’s voices, they need to be made to hear them.

They divide us, weaken us and give our enemies ammunition to use against us, and most topically, they damage our candidates. They must be made to feel uncomfortable, they need to be inhibited, they need to be given cooties.

Sexism has to be made an unacceptable form of expression just as racism and homophobia does and that depends on us calling them on it constantly. You can depend on them using the “I was being ironic” dodge when you do, don’t fall for that one. Since the word has been stretched out of any coherence, irony is now the lowest form of humor, it is the last refuge of bigots.

I propose that the randomly chosen day, October 18, 2008, should be “Tell Sexist Blog Boys To Shut Up Day”. Having no organizational talent, spreading the word will depend on others. I hope the habit takes and they are made to feel our anger with them.

Personally, I think every day should be “Tell Sexist Blog Boys to Shut Up Day,” but this works for me too. I doubt the blogger boiz will care – I mean, it’s just the wimminz, being all bitchy and whingey, like alwayz! – but, in my opinion, telling them to shut up en masse is an intrinsically satisfying endeavour. If it feels good, do it, etc.

And ask him how many bright, young, politically-engaged women he thinks have read about the Palin porno or the Palin sex doll, or read the other twenty-four entries in the Palin Sexism Watch, or the fourteen entries in the Michelle Obama Sexism Watch, or the zomg 111 entries in the Hillary Clinton Sexism Watch, or any of the other thousands of bits of misogynist swill about which we’ve not written at Shakesville, just this election season, and how many of them have thought, “Well, maybe politics isn’t the place for me after all,” because we require of our female politicians a skin so thick they’re not meant to care when it’s reproduced in vinyl for the singular purpose of being cum on by men who quite possibly can’t even locate the US on a map.

Melissa McEwan, Shakesville

Do me a favour, will ya? Read the following:

For Clinton, only one road in Albany remained blocked. Hendon and Trotter, two leaders in the women’s caucus, had both been in the Senate for four years before Clinton’s arrival. They represented two of New York’s destitute neighborhoods, and they repeatedly accused the newcomer of failing to understand the issues of the inner city. She cared more about her career than her constituents, they said. Hendon once told a newspaper that Clinton was so ambitious she would like to run for “president of the world.”…

Hillary’s friends encouraged her to stand up to Hendon and Trotter, but she refused. Not her style, she said. And why sink to their level? When Hendon ridiculed Clinton, her standard comeback was a dismissive shrug and a wave of her hand. Ah, Rickie, you’ve always got something to say. “I never would have called her a fighter,” Hendon said. “She used the silk gloves, and I used the iron fists.”

The tension between the two Senators peaked on June 11, 2002, after Hendon made an impassioned speech on the Senate floor urging her colleagues to preserve funding for a child welfare facility in her district. It was, Hendon remembers, “basically the most emotional speech of my life, and I was pulling out all the stops.” Every Republican still voted against her. Every Democrat voted with her — except Clinton and three other members who made up a faction known in Albany as “liberal row.”

Incensed by those four votes, Hendon walked across the floor and confronted Clinton, who explained by saying “something about fiscal responsibility,” Hendon recalls. A few minutes later, after Hendon’s proposal had lost, Clinton stood up and asked to have her previous vote changed to a “Yes” for the record, saying she had misunderstood the legislation. Her request was declined, and Hendon stood to criticize Clinton for political maneuvering.

Infuriated that Hendon had embarrassed her publicly on the Senate floor, Clinton walked over to her rival’s seat, witnesses said.

“She leaned over, put her arm on my shoulder real nice and then threatened to kick my ass,” Hendon said.

The two women walked out of the chamber into a back room and shoved each other a few times before colleagues broke them apart, Hendon and other witnesses said. Clinton and Hendon never talked about the incident with each other again, but they reached an awkward understanding. Hendon stopped teasing Clinton; Clinton started voting with Hendon more regularly. Hendon now supports Hillary Clinton for president.

Now, consider the story. What’s your reaction? That as a Democrat, Hillary failed to vote to preserve funding for a child welfare facility? That she failed to thoroughly understand the legislation – due to either a petty personal grudge or failure to read it in the first place – and then flipped on the vote when confronted? That she was so angry at being embarrassed that she threatened to kick a political adversary’s ass, which lead to actual physical violence, an actual catfight? Ask yourself: would you have drawn this same conclusion?

I suppose the right can spin this incident as a bug instead of a feature, but to me, this is jaw-droppingly intelligent politicking.

Is it possible the US could have a president that isn’t a hot-headed fool, that is slow to anger, and even when angry expresses only the exact amount needed to advance their purposes? A president who patiently builds friendships and coalitions, even with natural political enemies? I suspect there are very few people who read this site who would disagree that – policy disagreements aside – this is exactly the type of character traits we’d like to see in a president.

Be honest. Would you?

Now go read the original. Isn’t gender bias fun?

Between McCain channeling her on HOLC and Obama channeling her on health care and energy, and the fact that she’s goddamned Hillary Rodham Clinton, I declare the junior Senator from New York the winner of last night’s presidential debate.

Those yahoos on the stage? Mere pretenders to the throne.

edit: Heh. masslib seems to agree with me. Mindmeld!