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    • The NYTimes Reveals More Than It Means
      Watch this video. It’s only 39 seconds. It’s worth it. What’s interesting to me about this video is NOT what Bernie says, it’s the reaction. It’s how genuinely uncomfortable the people interviewing him (The NYTimes editors) are. They really think he’s saying something terrible. Something awkward. Something embarrassing. What is he saying? “I ignore the […] […]
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Rebecca Traister’s Epic Interview

I’m on the road back from NYC but I stopped for lunch and to urge everyone to listen to the interview that Rebecca Traister gave in The Ezra Klein Show. The topic was the sexual harassment #metoo allegations that are accelerating and roiling every public sphere where men hold power.

It’s a long interview so get comfortable. She makes a lot of good points. I’m not always in agreement with her about some topics. I don’t agree that Bill Clinton improperly used his power with Monica Lewinsky. Sorry. I just don’t understand how that worked. There are other things you can get him on that are not Monica related but that interaction wasn’t an abuse of power. She was quite happy with her trophy until she was exposed by Linda Tripp and then had her life upended by Ken Starr. Traister and Klein might want to reevaluate their opinion based on how much harm was done by whom.

I also think we need to draw a line where we hold men responsible for their behavior and how we define bad behavior. There is a danger of going overboard. Traister touches on this briefly. It can’t be overstated. These claims have to be taken seriously, all of them. That is why they shouldn’t be taken lightly and we need to decide what was harassment and what is misperception. Today we are offered two examples: Franken is accused of improperly touching a woman’s butt during an event in Minnesota and Glenn Thrush is accused of making inappropriate passes at young female journalists and then bragging about it. The accusation thrown at Franken sounds like a misperception, the one directed at Thrush sounds genuine. Maybe we need to develop a scale.

She also talks about the impossible place Hillary Clinton was in during the campaign of 2016. But both she and Ezra completely forget that Trump benefitted from the absolutely awful way that the Democratic Party and Obama treated her during the 2008 campaign. There were many feminists who were shocked and appalled by the Rules Committee hearing in May 2008, the harassing of her delegates at the convention, the lack of a legitimate roll call vote. When she was forced to concede with the NY delegation, that, to ME and many others, looked like the equivalent of a rape and humiliation. It was unforgivable. But neither Traister or Klein want to talk about it. And they should because the party lost a lot of working class women over that. Those women went to the Tea Party. Maybe they were wrong and maybe some of them were motivated by race. But the rest of us were just shocked by it, as well as Obama being touted as some feminist gift to women when he was nothing of the sort and Michelle Obama decided to stay home and garden and be Mom in Chief and gave the finger to all the working moms who admired Hillary Clinton since 1992.

Not a peep. But they spent time praising his oratorical skills. Frankly, I never understood that, especially when he was forced to speak extemporaneously. Hillary was brilliant at talking policy on the drop of a hat. Obama meandered through corridor after corridor of prepositional phrases until the listener was lost but was convinced that it wasn’t the fault of the speaker.

Traister says there will be a backlash to the harassment fury. It’s coming. I’m guessing it will be fast and brutal if Roy Moore loses. He deserves to lose for his predatory behavior and his reactionary politics. But if he does, it’s going to ricochet back on the white women of America for taking his scalp. Will there be violence? I wouldn’t be surprised. For sure there will be ugly words in public.

Charge your tasers, ladies.