Electable: Why America Hasn’t Put a Woman in the White House . . . Yet Book Review

Over the last half a century or so, there has been a shift in regard to women and politics. Many nations across the world have had at least one female in the highest office in the land. Except for one….the United States.

Electable: Why America Hasn’t Put a Woman in the White House…Yet, by Ali Vitali was published last month. Dissecting the events of the 2020 Presidential election, she examines how it was both history-making and business as usual. Though there were a good amount of female candidates (Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, etc), Joe Biden still ultimately won the Democratic nomination.

She also deconstructs previous elections (the 2008 and 2016 Presidential elections to be specific) and how both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were viewed by the press and the voters. As usual, the questions of “likability” were applied unequally. The qualities that were questionable or just plain wrong in terms of the female candidates were brushed off as completely fine for their male counterparts.

Throughout the book, Vitali asks two important questions:

  1. When will we finally be able to say “Madame President” in this country?
  2. When will women and men truly be equal, both legally and socially in the US?

This book is an important and vital read. It is a reminder of the fact that the glass ceiling is still intact and how far women still have to go. Given our present political circumstances (i.e. Roe V. Wade being overturned in June), we need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask why only a man can be President.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Electable: Why America Has Not Put a Woman in the White House…Yet is available for purchase in bookstores.

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Feminist Political News: Kathy Hochul Wins NYS Democratic Primary & Hillary Clinton Was Right

For most of human history, women have been ignored or thought to be crazy. If only we had listened to, the world might have been a different place.

Last week, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul won the Democratic Primary. She will be running against Republican challenger Lee Zeldin.

Barring any major problems or scandals, I will be voting for her in the general election in the fall. Her goal (unlike other politicians who shall remain nameless in this post) is to help and protect the citizens of this state. Her signature on recent gun control and reproductive rights legislation tells me everything I need to know about her values. She also, unlike her predecessor, has the temperament to work with the voters and legislators at every level of government.

Back in 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost to you know who in the Presidential election, I (along with millions of other Americans) was devastated. Instead of moving this country forward, we were torpedoed back into an era that many believed were in the past.

It has become clear that she was right. We were warned but refused to listen. Now we are on the verge of losing everything we hold dear because many of us believed the lies of you know who and his minions. If only we had listened…..

P.S.: Who else thinks that Cassidy Hutchinson is a hero? She will go down in history as a woman who stood up for democracy and the rule of law.

P.P.S: A ten-year-old girl was raped in Ohio. The result of the rape was a pregnancy. Because she was a hair past the deadline in which she could get an abortion in her state, she had to travel out of state to end the pregnancy. This is exactly why Roe v. Wade needs to be codified as a nationally enforced law. No one with a uterus should be forced to carry their rapist’s child. Especially a child.

Both/And: A Life in Many World Book Review

It’s easy to think that we know someone famous based on the headlines and the soundbites coming from the press. The reality is that we don’t know them at all.

Huma Abedin‘s memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, was published last November. Born to Muslim Pakistani and Indian immigrants in Michigan, she spent her formative years in Saudi Arabia. Taking a job with the Clinton administration in the late 1990s, she has worked for Hillary Clinton for more than two decades. She is also known for her troubled marriage to Anthony Weiner, a politician whose fall from grace can only be described as brutal.

The reader is taken on a journey across the world and across the spectrum of local, national, and international politics over the last few decades. Abedin’s tale is that a woman who has broken boundaries, redefines what it is to be American, and that of a survivor who has thrived in spite of the dark times in her life.

This book is so good. Abedin leaves nothing off the table, telling her story in an emotionally honest and open manner. Her narrative is nothing short of inspirational.

The part of the book that was the most challenging for me as a reader was the scandal that broke up her marriage and opened the door to he who shall not be named. It is akin to a rollercoaster that had no off switch. Given what was being thrown at her, she could have easily taken to her bed and soothed her grief with food or alcohol. Instead, she took it one day at a time and got through it with her head held high and her courage intact.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Republican Fuckery: MTG’s Gazpacho Comment & You Know Who’s Burning Documents

When it comes to the United States, we want to believe that the people who work at the highest levels of our government are good faith actors, even if we do not agree with them.

The last few years have proven us wrong.

Last week, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene misspoke when she referred to Capitol police as Gazpacho police. Gazpacho is a type of soup.

“Not only do we have the DC jail, which is the DC gulag, now we have Nancy Pelosi’s Gazpacho Police spying on members of Congress,”

What she meant to say was Gestapo. In Europe during World War II, they were the undercover arm of the police and were known for not being subtle or gentle in doing their job. I would love to laugh at her, knowing that this is not the first stupid comment she has made and it will likely not be the last. But I can’t. Once more the inappropriate use of Holocaust imagery is being used in a way that at best is misunderstood and at worst disrespectful.

In other news, he who shall not be named is accused of violating the Presidential Records Act. It requires all outgoing Presidential administrations to transfer all documentation to the National Archives. In a move that surprises no one, he is accused of taking boxes of classified documents to his home in Florida and destroying other paperwork along the way.

I don’t know about anyone else, this screams that he has something to hide. When someone is innocent of the crimes they are being accused of, they act in a certain manner. When they are guilty and know that they have done something wrong, they do anything and everything in their power to hide the evidence. The hypocrisy and silence from the right compared to the accusations leveled at Hillary Clinton during the last days of the 2016 Presidential election says it all.

Just another day of Republican fuckery in America.

The Comey Rule Review

Politics is a strange push pull of personal needs vs. the needs of those who voted for you. It would be easy to say that you became a politician to serve the nation and your constituents. The harder aspect of the job is ignoring your gut instincts for prestige and press.

The Comey Rule premiered last year. Based on former FBI Director James Comey‘s 2019 book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, Jeff Daniels steps in the role of the man whose held the fate of the 2016 Presidential election in his hands. The 4 part miniseries follows two different and important narratives in recent political history: the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the four year tenure of you know who in the Oval Office.

The discovery that Clinton used personal servers for government business sends Comey and his staff on a year long search to discover if anything untoward was located within her emails. When they come to the conclusion that it was just a mistake by the former Senator/Secretary of State/First Lady and her staff, Comey is torn as to how to proceed. He could keep it within bureau, or make a public statement. His wife, Patrice (Jennifer Ehle) and those who work under him advise Comey to not say anything to the press or or public. But, as we all know, he chose to bring this information into the light.

When a certain reality show star and businessman is elected President (played by a fantastic Brendan Gleeson), Comey does his best to do his job. But when it becomes clear that the new leader of the free world is underqualified, he knows that this man is different than any other who has held the role.

I loved this series. Combining news clips with scenes based from the real James Comey’s book, it is tense, dramatic, and reveals an aspect of the 2016 election that only a few at the time were privy to. If nothing else, it is a reminder of how important the separation of powers is and how democracy if not tended to as it ought to, can quickly disintergrate.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Comey Rule is available for streaming on Netflix.

Impeachment: American Crime Story Review

Back in the late 1990’s, the impeachment trial of then President Bill Clinton was everywhere. His affair with Monica Lewinsky and the scandal that followed could not be ignored. One would have to be either living under a rock or under a certain age to at least not catch a whiff of what was coming from Washington DC.

The third season of the FX series, American Crime Story, focuses on the whirlwind that surrounded the Clinton administration following the rumor that he had an extramarital affair with Lewinsky, who was then an intern in her early 20’s. Clive Owen plays the former President. The four main female players are Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein), Hillary Clinton (Edie Falco), Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson), and Paula Jones (Annaleigh Ashford).

What I like about this series is that it takes the sexism that was part and parcel of this this entire affair and turns it on its head. Nowadays, Clinton has been politically lionized in some circles for what he did while in office. But it is easy to forget that his reputation was that of a hound dog who was not above forgetting his marriage vows. The focus is not on him, but the women around them. Depending on the sources, Lewinsky (who is one of the producers of this season), Clinton, Tripp, and Jones are either mocked, ignored, or vilified for their behavior during this period. Instead of being portrayed as 2D stereotypes, these women are fully rounded characters and finally allowed to tell this story from their perspective.

The cast is fantastic. Owens disappears under a prosthetic nose and a southern accent. Feldstein gives her character the breadth and depth that she finally deserves after being a punchline for twenty plus years. Paulson’s Tripp is sort of an anti-hero. The viewer may not agree with the decisions she made, but we learn more of her than the headlines portrayed back then. For their parts, Falco and Ashford are equally good, trying to hold their own in a world that does not do them justice.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Impeachment: American Crime Story airs on FX on Tuesday night at 10PM.

Telling Dr. Biden to Change Her Name is Wrong

In 2020, what should good for the goose should also be good for the gander. Unfortunately, sexism is still alive and well, stating that there are one set of rules for men and another for women.

Last Friday, Joseph Epstein, a writer with the Wall Street Journal wrote an op-ed suggesting that Dr. Jill Biden drop the Dr. from her name.

This is a textbook definition of sexism. If she was a man, the suggestion would never be considered. But because she is a woman and married to the President-Elect, she has to (according to Epstein) choose between her career and her marriage. If that was not enough to make my blood boil, he referred to her as “kiddo”.

Anyone who has earned any sort of degree can attest to how much work and effort is needed to claim it as your own. To have earned the title of Dr. (regardless of whether one practices medicine or not) requires multiple years of commitment. Not only is the question demeaning to Dr. Biden, it is demeaning to the millions of women around the world who have earned advanced degrees and can call themselves Dr.

Dr. Biden is not the first political wife to have to choose between her marriage and her career. Decades ago, Hillary Clinton changed both her name and her image to ensure that her husband could keep his job.

What it comes down to, for me at least, is that feminism is a movement that is still needed. We just needed a kick in the literal pants to be reminded of that.

Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump Book Review

The intelligence community is supposed to be non-partisan. Regardless of who is in office, their job is to protect the country. But like anything politically based these days, it is hard to be non-partisan.

Up until a few years ago, FBI agent Peter Strzok was just doing his job and minding his own business. Then you know who was elected and he was pulled into the whirlwind. Agent Strzok’s memoir, Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump, was published in September.

At the height of the 2016 Presidential election, the allegation of possible Russian interference and questions about the contents of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton‘s emails added to the growing tension. It was Agent Strzok’s job to investigate both. He concluded that not only had Russia helped you know who to win the election, their reach into the White House was deep. When his private conversations became public, he was fired after decades of service.

This is not one of the better books about the current state of American politics. Instead of just jumping into the meat of the book, he took his time. The problem is that while it was readable, I would have preferred to just jump into the climax of the narrative.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

200,000 Reasons to Vote for Biden and Harris

Anyone who has ever started a new job will attest that it takes a while to learn the ins and outs of the job. No one, regardless of how much previous experience they have, knows everything on day one.

Back in 2017, when you know who started in the position that he has now, someone told me to give him a chance. Then and now, I am a Democrat and was devastated that Hillary Clinton had not won the election. But a small part of me hoped that he would grow into the job.

Nearly four years later, the opposite has occurred and over 200,000 Americans are dead from Covid-19.

Everyone who has died was loved by someone. They were someone’s parent, sibling, child, spouse/partner, etc. Six months ago, they were alive. Today, they are dead because of the careless and egotistical man whom we refer to as President of the United States.

They are 200,000 reasons to vote for Biden and Harris in November.

#BidenHarris2020

Hillary Documentary Review

To be a woman in the public eye (especially in the political world) is akin to walking a tight rope. You must appear to be feminine and live within the confines of what is acceptably “female”. But, if you are emotional, critics will make the accusation that your emotions are taking over. On the other hand, if you are are so called “bossy”, you are labelled as aggressive and a b*tch.

Hillary premiered on Hulu earlier this year. This four part documentary series followed the lives and career of former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Telling Mrs. Clinton’s story, the creative team wove in interviews, news clips and images to give the viewer a perspective on it’s subject that few have had up this point.

I enjoyed the documentary. In pulling back the curtain, the viewer is introduced the whole person, not just the image presented in the media. If there is one thing I admire about Mrs. Clinton is that she keeps going. Given the number of times that she has been knocked down, it would have been easier to stay down. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, she has become an icon, a hero, and a role model for women for generations to come.

I absolutely recommend it.

Hillary is available for streaming on Hulu.

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