Roads Not Taken (Women’s Equality Day Edition)

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I was looking (unsuccessfully) for a version of John Stewart’s “Wingless Angels” when I ran across this. And it reminded me that I’d meant to post something about Rebecca Traister’s nicely observant NYTimes essay:

In the worst of the Democratic primary campaign in 2008, the angry end of the thing, when I had become a devoted Hillary Clinton supporter and was engaged in bitter arguments with people with whom I often agreed, I used to harbor a secret fear, the twin of my political hope: I worried that Hillary Clinton would win her party’s nomination.
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This possibility scared me because I knew, with a furious surety, that if she went on to win the presidency, I and the handful of other Clinton supporters in my privileged, mediacentric, Obama-drunk circle would be forced to spend the next four to eight years hearing the words “We told you so,” spoken at various accusatory pitches. Every time she made a compromise, lost a battle or started a war, those of us who had — often shamefacedly — proclaimed a preference for her would have to answer for it, and more profoundly, have to answer for the dream we dashed. We would have to apologize to the world for robbing it of an imagined Barack Obama presidency.
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Three years after that intense and acrimonious time, in a period of liberal disillusionment, some on the left are engaging in an inverse fantasy. Almost unbelievably, they are now daydreaming of how much better a Hillary Clinton administration might have represented them…
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Rather than reveling in these flights of reverse political fancy, I find myself wanting the revisionist Hillary fantasists — Clintonites and reformed Obamamaniacs alike — to just shut up already.
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I understand the impulse to indulge in a quick “I told you so.” I would be lying if I said I didn’t think it sometimes. Maybe often. But to say it — much less to bray it — is small, mean, divisive and frankly dishonest. None of us know what would have happened with Hillary Clinton as president, no matter how many rounds of W.W.H.H.D. (What Would Hillary Have Done) we play.
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The empirical choice between Clinton and Obama was never as direct as those on either side made it out to be; neither was obviously more equipped or more progressive than the other. The maddening part, then and now, is that they were utterly comparable candidates. The visions — in 2008, of Obama as a progressive redeemer who would restore enlightened democracy to our land and Hillary as a crypto-Republican company man; or, in 2011, of Obama as an appeasement-happy crypto-Republican and Hillary as a leftist John Wayne who would have whipped those Congressional outlaws into shape — they were all invented. These are fictional characters shaped by the predilections, prejudices and short memories of the media and the electorate. They’re not actual politicians between whom we choose here on earth…

Barring unthinkable tragedy, President Obama will be the Democratic candidate in 2012. As a Democrat, and a sane person, I will be voting for him. So, I suspect, will his current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. But I don’t regret supporting Clinton during the 2008 primaries, and nothing that’s happened since then has convinced me I should be ashamed of my choice.








Odds and ends

I need to do some work this evening, so I’m going to do throw everything into one post:

  • Reader Brendan is looking for a home for a cat he found!  The cat is very cute and sounds well-socialized.  If you live in the City of Brotherly Love, consider it if you can.
  • A fashion question: how firm is the no seersucker after Labor Day rule?  I am going to New York the Friday after Labor Day and would like to wear my seersucker jacket.
  • Is Jon Gruden the worst announcer in NFL history?







Reader video

Reader P sends in a video about his big, fat gay wedding.

(The embed of this crashed my computer twice so I took it down, you can watch it at the link above.)








Because Animals and Food are Never Bad Things (RUS edition)

So John’s gone galt because of some sniping from the comments…but I am made of sterner stuff.

I sincerely believe that readers of this blog can multitask:  maximizing outrage, frothing at the mouth, and fainting in coils (yup, that’s Professor Tortoise to you…;) whilst simultaneously kvelling over the kind of cute that would make a Hello Kitty addict gag….and gluttonizing-by-proxy.  So here’s my contribution to the genre:

So there’s my RUS — a rodent of unknown species, caught on the fly (amble) whilst hiking in California’s uninhabited quadrant a week or so ago.  ID anyone?  (Why yes.  I am no naturalist.  Why do you ask?)

And as for all those (one person?) complaining of an excessive focus on the pleasures with which we seduce our taste buds?  Then I won’t tell you about last night’s seared salmon (from the best fishmonger in the Boston area, IMHO — New Deal Seafood) in lemon-mustard sauce, nor the black bean/grilled corn salad and the sautéed kale; nor will I mention that one of the best decisions in my life was to marry a former pro chef (at good to excellent restaurants).

My wife and I tend to spend one good dinner planning the next night’s gastronomy, so perhaps this could be a “how I’m going to eat well this week” open thread.

Cheers all.








Open Thread

Figured we could use one. I won’t tell you what I had for dinner or what the pets are doing or what I will watch tonight on tv because that deeply upsets some people and detracts from the quality of this blog.