One step forward, two steps back?

I haven’t really revisited politics much since the election and so neglected to mention how cool I think this is:

Madame Secretary (via Shakesville)

It is disappointing that human rights seems to be taking a back seat to the economic, climate, and security ‘crises.’ I think they should all stand on equal footing as they’re all deeply interconnected. But I think she also knows that.

Clinton is honored in Korea “for opening a new era in women’s participation in public affairs through her political involvement as a candidate of the Democratic Party for the U.S. presidential election and her faithful service as lawyer, professor, first lady, senator, and Secretary of State that led to her extraordinary contributions to the cause of human rights and the protection of the interests of women, children, and the family.”

As supportive as I came to be of Obama, I didn’t vote in the primary. I would have been happy to see her as the Democratic candidate but didn’t feel compelled to get 100% behind either Clinton or Obama at that point. I’d like to hope that informed people would vote on issues rather than isms, but asinine things like this make me doubt it. Seriously, would that question even cross your mind in regard to any random bunch of male politicians? It’s not that a female politician’s personality isn’t fair game or a topic of potential interest and criticism, but why not expand the offerings? With whom among Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton, plus say, Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and John McCain would you feel most comfortable leaving for one day your (hypothetical if need be) child – or hell, even your dog? If it’s supposed to be a question of trust, which is what we should want to have in our leaders, does that not imply that we should elect more women if we see them as more trustworthy?
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11 thoughts on “One step forward, two steps back?

  1. suntzusays says:

    To be a pain: It might be appropriate to wonder whether trust is like many other categories of behavior in that we should decentralize it. Ie, our society trusts women with parental type duties or men with business decisions. Naturally this is a problem where it follows gender and racial biases because if an individual presents good parental “instincts”, financial acumen, or some political advantage, it shouldn’t matter who they are beyond these marketable skills. Hell, if I knew a bonobo who was good with money at the moment, they’d be getting a few calls for financial advice (there were experiments on currency trades with great apes and they seem to get the concept of trade, though like most humans failed to grasp long-term cost implications). Conversely, it makes no sense to trust someone with our children for a day and automatically transfer this skill to running any political administration. Expertise and trust are best used in a compartmental state. I guess either our media or our public is still prey to the imperative questions of expertise given voice by Socrates and Plato if that’s at all to be taken as a useful question.

  2. suntzusays says:

    And speaking of human rights and China, you following the plight of the Uigers at Guantanamo?

  3. Not a pain. I agree with what you’re saying, trust in one area isn’t necessarily transferable to another. I’m on a Hillary high and yet disgusted with the all but sanctioned sexism posed by the poll. It’s not raising nearly the hubub over the chimpanzee-who-wrote-the-stimulus-bill cartoon. Not that I want to argue whether sexism or racism is more ‘accepted.’ I don’t think that’s a useful debate at all.

  4. I’ve heard a few pieces on NPR but haven’t listened with any focus. That’s the Muslim Chinese sect, right?

  5. suntzusays says:

    Yes it is. They have several innocents at Guantanamo(and they’re known innocents, the Bush administration admitted they’re innocent) We can’t release them back to China because they’d likely be incarcerated and tortured. But nobody else wants them either because the Chinese will put diplomatic and economic sanctions on them if they take them. Naturally enough it’s not a good idea to offer bounties to detain people.

  6. Nobody including the US? So they’re just in limbo?

  7. suntzusays says:

    They’re in limbo. There was some sort of court ruling that their habeus status wasn’t enough to release them (partly because we’re supposed to send them back to China). Congress can address this by specifically passing a law to release these specific prisoners (there are 17 I think) into American soil, but I don’t expect them to get around to it right away. I’m not sure Obama can release them by executive order actually because of their funky status and because there are some mild Constitutional issues from habeus cases (thank you Gov Bush for the entire mess…).

  8. That’s fucked up. I hope Congress can deign to do the right thing sooner than later.

  9. Andrea says:

    just to answer the question: I would trust my child to Michelle Obama, out of the women, and my child to none of the men. Billy boy and Barack would do fine but it would be damaging to their careers to be in the same room as a female child not their own– I can hear Rush’s proclamation of indecency now, Dubyah would be outsmarted instantly, my daughter despises Dick Cheney and McCain, and oh, who was left? My dog now… everyone but Dick Cheney can handle a dog….:)

  10. At least you didn’t vote for the cheater! God I was so mad about that when I found out. Who CAN you trust these days? I’d trust my nonexistent children to me.

  11. Yeah, he was always just a tad too slick for my taste. I try to be informed of the facts, but I do usually get a pretty good gut feeling about politicians, too.

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