No levity tonight, boys and girls. In fact, girls, you may be excused if you like; it's the boys that Spot wants to talk to.
A lot of you—that is, a lot of us—have some explaining to do regarding our treatment of Hillary Clinton.
Aw, c'mon Spotty, isn't she the most calculating woman you've ever seen? Besides, she's a candidate for president! And you have to admit she is pretty tough, too; she can take it.
Grasshopper, whether she can take it or not is not the issue; this is about you, not her.
What do you mean by that?
This is about your sense of fair play and your willingness to treat everyone, even a girl, equitably.
Well, we do that!
Sure! It's just that there are so many other people—ok, most of them are men—out there for whom she is such a polarizing figure; we just can't support her for president. It affects her electability; it's not because she is a woman; well, directly, anyway.
So, in other words, the fact that there are so many misogynists, sexists, and male chauvinists out there that you adopt their attitudes vicariously?
Of course not. I guess. But you have to admit she is calculating.
Spot is not aware of any cases in the history of the United States where someone ran for president by accident. Are you?
Would you even want a president who didn't seem to really want the job? The British sense of amateurism has its place, but not in the presidency of the United States. Don't you think that she is qualified to be the president?
Yes, she's qualified. But she's such an insider, such an establishment inside-the-beltway kind of a candidate.
Who is telling you this, grasshopper? Is it Senator Obama, or (former) Senator (and vice presidential candidate) Edwards, or perhaps Congressman Kucinich?
But she has the support of the Democratic Leadership Council; they're the ultimate insiders and we don't think they're very progressive.
Hillary Clinton is the first really serious woman candidate for president in the history of the country. Do you think that the first woman president or first minority president we'll ever have will win as a quixotic outsider?
Well, probably not.
Hillary Clinton would not be a serious candidate if she was not an insider. You can take it from Spot that the first woman or minority president in the country's history will be a party insider. Which is why Hillary Clinton will almost certainly beat Barack Obama for the nomination.
Okay, we don't like some of her policy positions.
Now we're getting somewhere. Which ones? And compared to whose?
We'll have to get back to you on that, Spot.
All right. But Spot has a little reading for you to do while you reading policy positions. It's Bob Herbert's column in the New York Times today, Politics and Misogyny.