Asking that we “get over it” when Joe Biden insults Hillary Clinton is a knife that cuts both ways. Given that we’re in the middle of Constitutional crisis via the Trump *Presidency*, why is former VP Biden given a pass to join the pile-on by disparaging Hillary Clinton? Why are we humoring him instead of firmly telling this #olderwhitemale to “get over it” and let go of his ego while we resist this dumpster fire of an Administration? Ponder the jaundiced perspective that says women are supposed to be forgiving and “just let him talk” while Mr. Biden puts nails in the coffin of any woman who would step up to be President while he postures with self-serving untruths. Yes. I’m angry. Mr. Biden’s comments were careless, disrespectful and most of all, incorrect.
Former VP Joe Biden was a loyal soldier to President Obama for eight years and for that he deserves our deep appreciation. I have long wished to write an article thanking him for his steadfast service, yet Biden’s insistence that Hillary was the “wrong candidate” while he was “the right one”, and that she “never really knew why she was running” is, sadly, bruised ego twaddle. All of which compels me to write an article of a different kind. This is tough because I have great sympathy for Joe Biden’s personal tragedies. Yet this cannot stand. And, no, I will not just “let him talk” at the expense of our first ever woman nominee.
Despite horrifying, irresponsible media coverage, Russian interference, GOP smear, a rogue FBI Director breaking protocol to trash her, and a media that let Trump go with little vetting while granting him $2 Billion of free airtime, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million and Got. More. Votes. Than. Any. White. Male. In. History.
Take that in.
Then recall that VP Biden is a lifetime pol, the ultimate insider. He was a Senator for 36 years and VP for 8. So while he has long experience, his recent comments force us to take a closer look at his prior presidential runs and record. He had to end his first presidential run in 1987 because of plagiarism. His second run in 2008 garnered him 1% of the vote at the Iowa caucus where he placed fifth and then dropped out. This is the man who authored the 1994 Crime Bill (Hillary was excoriated for it, though as First Lady she had no vote. Both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden voted for it.) There was Joe Biden’s poor treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Then there was his vote for the 2005 Bankruptcy Bill (“The bill made it nearly impossible for average families to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection)”. By the way, Mr. Biden also voted for the Iraq War Resolution, although to this day, no one seemed to mind, unlike the excoriating treatment Hillary received for the same. Not to mention, Mr. Biden is older than Hillary and has suffered two brain aneurysms.
Last but not least, VP Biden is prone to “rhetorical flourishes”, as President Obama put it. The gaffe-tastic VP would likely have blurted out more than a few humdingers as the focus of the national spotlight in an endless election campaign. He would have also faced an even higher hurdle than Hillary in holding the White House for Democrats for a 3rd term since, as President Obama’s VP, there was zero daylight between them and he would be hard pressed to argue otherwise.
Yet once again, we have yet another #olderwhitemale who cannot resist the opportunity to say that he would have done it better than the woman. Despite a red-faced pundit class hungry to distract from their reckless coverage by blaming Hillary (which Mr. Biden has chosen to capitalize on), she ran an effective campaign offering great policy prescriptions and a strong message bolstering the economy, sexual and racial equality, education, criminal justice and immigration reform.
Unlike every single male candidate we have EVER seen, Hillary Clinton’s campaign trumpeted women, people of color, LGBTQ and the disabled. She trumpeted families and the need to all of us to work together to empower our economy and bring us to 100% productivity and participation. Why is that something that should be ignored or disparaged as “the wrong message”?
While women’s issues are always pushed to the back burner, Senator Barbara Mikulski noted, “Every issue is a woman’s issue.” Until we honor that truth, we’re not going to see a change in the amount of women’s representation (19%) or our ability to have female leadership in America.
No. We shouldn’t “get over it”.
If women, people of color and LGBTQ were allowed to have equal voice in this country, we would have been spared #TrumpRussia and all that goes with it. And while we know its #NotAllMen, 69% of white men chose Trump.
Furthermore, those most often telling us to “move on” are those who most resemble the talking heads on TV and in Congress. If your voice or visage is being represented (even if your politics are not), a paradigm shift may not strike you as vital. As a woman in the work force for 40 years, watching a bunch of #olderwhitemales espousing about my life choices or bloviating about what should be important to me is about as useful as pissing up a rope.
Joe Biden’s disparagement of Hillary Clinton overlooks this and minimizes the importance of a candidate who centered the needs of those not typically represented while also maintaining that men would have an equal place in that power structure.
As long as we forgive and continue to “let him talk” when Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders use Hillary Clinton as their punching bag, we are saying that the needs of the majority of our population can best be addressed by #olderwhitemales, who, you will forgive me, have repeatedly proven we are seen as an afterthought.
I was never more proud to vote for, and work on behalf of, a Presidential candidate not because she’s a woman, but because Hillary Clinton was and is prepared, experienced, strong, erudite and championed all of us.