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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Enough to make you weep

Hillary Clinton, Politics

Having raised at least one reader’s ire by pointing out that the Republican candidates at the last debate looked old – really old, and tired, and, had I been even more honest, waspish, and, well, not very healthy—I’m in a mood to re-offend.

By 8:30 am, I was already fed up with hearing the pundits analyze Hillary Clinton’s unexpected triumph in New Hampshire.

It’s the tears, they said, to a man or woman. The main bone of contention: did that wateryness work for her or against her? With this, Hillary finally bested Britney Spears in the circle of unfathomable public interest.

For a brief while, Hillary got emotional enough to mist over and say “Ain’t I a woman too. . .? “ oh wait: that was Sojourner Truth. Clinton said, through exhaustion and frustration, of course I care, and I’m afraid of our country losing ground. (Close enough, anyway.)

Criminal psychology professor Aubrey Immelman told WPR listeners this morning that Clinton’s personality profile showed her to be high on domination, narcissism, and something else related to taking personal responsibility—all characteristics that normally are considered positive in a president. But not, apparently, if he’s a she.

The tears came from her being thwarted, the professor assured the audience.

A listener chimed in to rant about Clinton’s mood swings and how, well, you really can’t trust this woman to do the hard work on account of those mood swings. Those of you who've heard Clinton faulted for being rock steady, or who have heard something like this before about any generic woman, will shake your heads.

“Really, she shows no emotionality on our scales,” Immelman responded. “Actually, George Bush had the highest rating there.” But no matter: the damage of the mood swing label was done.

Maureen Dowd brought to bear all her own amateur high school psychologist credentials in today’s "Can Hillary Cry Her Way Back to the White House?"

She became emotional because she feared that she had reached her political midnight, when she would suddenly revert to the school girl with geeky glasses and frizzy hair, smart but not the favorite. All those years in the shadow of one Natural, only to face the prospect of being eclipsed by another Natural?

For the first time, I find myself longing for some pure, unadulterated, Ann Coulter mean-girl nastiness, uncouched in psychobabble. It's always worse when the bad behavior comes from your side.

For clearer heads, it often helps to head across the pond. Michael Tomasky of the Guardian Unlimited provides the best analysis of what happened in New Hampshire:

Clinton won by a little more than 6,000. So - again, in the space of just 24 hours - a huge number of voters, thousands of them, changed their minds. Why?

I think it was mostly a rebellion by women voters against the media. Most major media outlets had written Clinton's obituary and could barely conceal their joy in doing so. And voters, especially women voters, said: not so fast.

I've seen this happen before. In the fall of 2000, she debated her opponent in the race for the New York senate seat she won that year. The opponent, Rick Lazio, strode over to her podium and wagged his finger in her face. The media loved the moment, thought Lazio looked tough and declared him the winner.

But over the next couple days, it emerged in polling that people, especially women, thought Clinton had won the debate. The media missed what had really happened, and reported with glee on Clinton's alleged comeuppance. And they helped drive voters, mostly but not wholly women, into Clinton's camp. She took a lead in the polls after that debate that she never relinquished.

Yep. That’s about it. If you don’t want to be surprised, you might stop underestimating women. We just might know where the biggest manipulation is coming from.

Even those of us on the Obamarama just might get so tired of the stupidity and nastiness that we start thinking again about what really makes someone an insider.

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