It would be a shame to see the Democratic primary race descend into the sort of food fight we‘ve lately witnessed from the GOP.
One would think that there are enough differences on policy between the candidates so that hyperbolic characterizations might be set aside. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case.
When the candidates begin to show a little strain, the media is right there to stir the pot, dangling ‘he said/she saids’ and hoping for a strike. All too often, they are rewarded with a juicy bite of red meat that keeps them coming back for more.
Bernie Sanders was finally provoked into suggesting something which I am sure he regrets: that Hillary Clinton might be ‘unqualified’ to be president, based on a series of regrettable decisions from her political career. He was responding to a leaked Clinton campaign plan of attack on Sanders described as “disqualify, defeat, and then reunite (the party).”
It was a war of words with a candidate who is extremely capable of dishing it out herself. Neither came out of the exchange smelling like a rose; however, it is Bill Clinton who ought now to be apologizing for his implication that somehow Bernie was being sexist in his remarks.
Of course, he was not; Bernie was simply hitting her on the issues in response to her campaign’s implication that he might not ‘qualify’ as a real Democrat.
It is an insult to women everywhere when a man such as Bill Clinton cries ‘wolf’ as he has in this case.
Sexism is a very real and pernicious obstacle that women deal with every day. It is not a false flag of political convenience to be trotted out whenever a female candidate is exposed to criticism for her policies. Most female candidates use the accusation only rarely, and even then, judiciously. They recognize the damage done to legitimate outrage when sexism is invoked without cause.
Certainly Bill Clinton should be the last man on earth to challenge Bernie Sanders on his feminist credentials. I have the impression that he still doesn’t ‘get’ that he is the very embodiment of sexism for many American women.
It is a mistake for the Clinton campaign to let Bill off the leash. He made a hash of her campaign against Obama and he may just do it again if somebody doesn’t send him on a long vacation.