Today I received an email from a group calling on me to sign a petition that will be sent to all of the major media outlets in the country. The petition focuses on the media’s coverage, specifically an op-ed piece by Maureen Dowd in the NYT, of Hillary Clinton’s little teary-eyed spout of emotion last Sunday. Here is a portion of the petition:
Your organization's focus on punditry over journalism is perverting our democratic process. And the misogyny that was unleashed by a feeding frenzy on the video of an exhausted Clinton tearing up at a small New Hampshire roundtable of voters was just the tip of the iceberg. Whether we agree with Clinton on the issues or not, the media's (and indeed your organization's) assault on her candidacy based on gender is unacceptable. So too is biased and uninformed commentary on the minority status of other candidates (Obama's ethnicity and Romney's religion, to name just two).I will be the first to admit that portions of Dowd’s column are crude and sexist, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that her argument, however crudely presented, is dead on correct.
Please don’t get me wrong I am all for personal emotion and compassion in politics. I think that if our politicians were more emotionally connected to the people that are actually effected by the decisions they make, instead of being connected to special interests and the accumulation of even greater power, that our country and our governmental policy would be in a much better state. I completely and whole-heartedly support honest outpourings of emotion in politics, and I think every politician could use a whole lot more emotional attachment to the issues.
I would even have felt some empathy for Hillary Clinton and her outpouring of emotion if I for one second thought it was remotely genuine, but the fact is I don’t.
At best the only genuine outpouring of emotion that was demonstrated in this small New Hampshire café last Sunday was simply a self-realizing act on the part of Hillary Clinton that her dreams of power may soon be over. Add to this a good amount of self-pity and you have all the ingredients you need for a good tearjerker accompanied with some coffee and a crowd of people.
At worst it was a calculated act on the part of the very skilled Clinton political machine.
Where was this emotion when she enabled the president to carry out an unjust and illegal war in Iraq that thus far has resulted in the deaths of 3,921 American service men and women, as well as the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians?
Where was this emotion as she vehemently defended this decision on the campaign trail?
Where was this emotion as she spouted her hawkish rhetoric towards Iran, which may lead to even greater death, destruction and heartache in the Middle East?
Where was this emotion during the summer of 2006 as she vehemently supported Israel’s right to perform whatever atrocities they wished on the Lebanese people, including the utilization of cluster munitions on women and children?
Hillary Clinton is a politician who strives on making politically calculated and convenient decisions, even when those decisions relate to such important issues as War & Peace and Life & Death. So I am sorry Hillary that I don’t buy for one minute that your little emotional breakdown was related to anything besides your own political self-interest.
By the way Hillary, since your little tearjerker on Sunday nine more U.S. service personal have died in YOUR Iraq war. Maybe next time you will show a little emotion and cry about that, just make sure that it takes place at a politically convenient time while the cameras are rolling.