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February 21, 2007

President Hillary?

There's been a lot of talk of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton running for President in 2008. I know there are a lot of people who don't like her for various reasons. Personally, I'll probably vote for her just because I'd love to see the next President be:

  • Female
  • Not Republican
  • Not Named "Bush"

In all honesty, I'll vote for anyone the Democrats have because I see them as the lesser of two evils when going against the Republicans. (And as much as I'd love to vote for a third-party candidate... it ain't gonna happen in '08).


A lot of people think America isn't ready for a female President (although this year did mark the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi... so maybe we're more ready than people give us credit for).


As much as I'd like to see a woman as President, I wouldn't vote for a female candidate just because she was female. I'd have to agree with her on some/most of the big issues ("big" to me at least). So, from my liberal standpoint... I do support a lot of Clinton's platform.


According to Vote Match, Clinton supports a woman's right to choose; civil/human rights (including issues related to women, minorities, and homosexuals); environmental efforts (including attempts to stop global warming and air pollution); federal funding for health coverage; gun control/safety; funding for public schools; and more treatment resources for drug addiction related crimes.


So in my humble opinion, we could do much worse for our President than her (and we have done much worse). However, there is still one issue I might have with her -- and it's probably not what you think.


During her tenure as First Lady, Clinton - wife, mother, lawyer, politician - was touted as a role model for all modern women and feminists. She stood as a symbol of female empowerment. However, she also stood by her husband who cheated on her. Now I don't think that Bill Clinton's sex life had anything to do with his presidency. I think he was completely justified in lying about his "encounter" with Monica Lewinsky, because we should never have asked him about it in the first place. It wasn't our business.


However, it did become our business (even if it didn't deserve to be). I would never condemn Bill Clinton as a President for his actions with Lewinsky, just as I would never condemn Hillary Clinton as a Presidential candidate for staying with her unfaithful husband. However, I might condemn her as a "role model for women".


A good Senator? Sure.


A good Presidential candidate? Why not?


But a good "role model" for women of all ages... I have to say yes and no. A woman in a position of power has to be a role model to women, but Clinton can also be painted as a victim.


Now I don't know the private details and nuances of their relationship, so I won't pretend I know why Hillary stood by her husband. Was it out of love? Was it out of duty? Was it out of power-seeking ambition? What I do know is that staying with a man who doesn't respect you or treat you right (and that includes infidelity) makes you a victim. I don't say this in an insulting way, for so many of us have been there, including me. Whether or not Bill Clinton respected her/treated her well... is up for debate.


Maybe they had some sort of "open marriage" arrangement, I don't know. What I do know is that to the public - based on the information we were given in the news - Bill cheated, Hillary stuck around anyway. I'm still on the fence about this issue. And I'd hate for anyone not to vote for her because of it. However, I do have to worry about what message this sends to young women. I almost wish we knew more about what happened, but as I already said... it's not really our business. However, our business or not... we've already seen enough to wonder.


In Laura Ingraham's book The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in all the Wrong Places, she writes:


She owes everything to Bill. For all her feminism, Hillary has never learned to stand on her own.


Now I probably disagree with 99.9% of that book, but that one line stands out a little. Did Hillary use the power that Bill's presidency gave her to her benefit? And is that good or bad? Would we respect her more if she'd left her lying, cheating husband and went on to become Senator of New York on her own? Would she even have been able to do that? Would it have been better if she sacrificed her chances at being Senator (or President) for the sake of her self-respect?


I guess we'll never know.


Either way, I'll still probably vote Hillary in 2008 (if she makes it that far). It's worth it enough just to see Bill Clinton as First Lady.



3 comments:

R said...

Their marriage could not be more about convenience if they installed a Slim Jim rack and a slurpee machine at the foot of their bed.

Nothing wrong with using the "cover" of marriage - but being absolutely dishonest about it for the length of time that they have been - indicates some potentially troubling issues.

I also wonder about anyone who is betting on the "average" liberal's ability to swallow the story or being too enamored with other views or too stupid to care as troubling on an entirely different set of levels.

Anonymous said...

"Their marriage could not be more about convenience if they installed a Slim Jim rack and a slurpee machine at the foot of their bed."

Are you privy to some information the rest of the world (excluding Bill, Hillary and their immediate family/close friends) is not?

"Nothing wrong with using the "cover" of marriage - but being absolutely dishonest about it for the length of time that they have been - indicates some potentially troubling issues."

Way to miss the point of the post. That being that their private marriage has NOTHING to do with her potential to be a good president. Our current president appears to have a "picture perfect" marriage and we can all see what a GREAT job he is doing.

Sarah Long said...

In the days before reality TV completely invaded the landscape of American prime time television, we passively watched as the Republicans spent ungodly quantities of our tax dollars to prove whether or not Bill C got his dick sucked by someone other than his wife- an act arguably as common to the oval office as the State of the Union Address. American voyeurism inevitably gets its fix one way or another, and Trent Lot and the boys preyed on this, our relentless collective unconscious.

We all knew Bill Clinton was a whore when we voted for him. Remember the countless affairs that surfaced during his campaign? And then there was that popular black and white image of Hillary holding Bill's hand on a plane while on the campaign trail, amidst all the hullabaloo of his past affairs. It was OK for her to stand by her man back then...
If we are going to mull over this massively publicized international embarrassment of a witch hunt as this case was in our history, lets condemn ALL the witches, and add that any intern who agrees to receive weekly vaginal cigar insertions by Mr. Prez is maybe a little ambitious herself (and what is she doing with her career now? Get on the ball, Monica!! Time is money, baby!!!)

The bottom line is, I could care less how many times and by whom the President, whomever she or he may be, receives oral sex. I would assume having numerous choices and opportunities in that matter would be one of the perks of being The American Alpha Dog.

Now we want to debate over whether or not Hillary Clinton is a victim for standing by-or near-her man (or whore)?

This discussion is about whether or not we want to allow ourselves to embrace a powerful female political figure's choice to unapologetically refuse to comment on her husband's whoresome tendencies. I know the personal becomes political, etc., but let's at least attempt to raise the watermark, people.