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Readers Ignited by Essay on Hillary's Economics

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Susan Feiner's Women's eNews commentary last week on the economic legacy of Bill Clinton and how it reflects on Hillary Clinton's presidential agenda ignited an intense reader reaction. Read more by the author, her grateful fans and outraged critics.

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Deficit-Hawk Clinton Preens Her Populist Feathers




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Those Opposed Say . . . (cont'd)


This is the most sexist article I have seen . . . We judge Senator Clinton on HER merits, not Bill's . . . She's her own person . . .

Miller Sigmon
Raleigh, N.C.




Hillary Clinton . . . .in response to the U.S. Senate rejecting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill that would have provided American women with the legal recourse to challenge workplace discrimination when it occurs, Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

"I was proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation, which would help deliver on the promise of equality and fairness in the workplace, and I am deeply disappointed 42 of my colleagues did not see fit to pass it. I am particularly disappointed that Senator McCain skipped the vote on this important legislation, and indicated that he would not have supported it had he been there.

"Senator McCain has yet again fallen in line with President Bush while middle-class families are falling by the wayside. Senator McCain would rather pass laws to cut corporate taxes by $100 billion more than pass laws to protect the civil rights of women earning thousands less than their male counterparts. Women are earning less but Senator McCain is offering more of the same.

"As president, I will never waver in my support for equal pay for equal work. I'm proud to be the sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would increase sanctions for violating the Equal Pay Act and provide stronger protections for women whose rights have been violated. I think it's long past time we put equal pay at the top of the national legislative agenda, to demonstrate that as a nation, we value the skill, talent and hard work of every American, including every American woman."

--Shelly Beck
Small Business Owner




Nothing is more disgusting, in my opinion, as a supposed intelligent and educated female using words like Billary to propel the same type of gender bias that has been so rampant in this campaign.

--April Brewster Smythe




Throughout this entire election process, I have been unable to figure out why Democratic leaders are fighting so hard for Obama, an inexperienced, untested, junior Senator from Illinois who has no prior experience before his practically uncontested race for the Senate in 2006.

Or why those same people are fighting even harder to discredit Hillary Clinton, who, even though is another junior Senator, was tested through her husband's exploits during his tenure as president, and since then during her Senate race in New York and again as a presidential candidate during this current election.

The Democratic Party's main goal should be to help insure their candidate will be the one who will beat McCain during the general election process. So why then, do they continue to tell Clinton, and the media, she should drop out of the race and she is harming the Democratic Party when all the current polls show Clinton ahead in a hypothetical match up against McCain and Obama losing?

Obama speaks of change, but all his ideas are the same as Clinton's, so why then the discrepancy? Why does Obama attempt to discredit Clinton, when he is using the same ideas and solutions she has spent years researching? Is he incapable of creating his own plan, or has she developed such a comprehensive plan that none can compare, even with his two years in the Senate supposedly working for these so-called-changes?

For someone whose platform is based on change and against the status quo, I find it odd that he not only echoes his opponent's solutions, but also that he uses them as his own, granting more credence to the establishment he criticizes.

More perplexing is the Democratic Party's stance towards Clinton. The establishment that she has been accused of being a member of--as if experience is a bad thing--has essentially turned their back on a viable contender. While only trailing Obama by about 135 delegates, they are more than ready to count her out of the race and make him the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.

Why?

Why are they ready to throw their support to someone so untested in the political scheme of things as Obama and not support someone who has proven herself time and time again throughout not only her political career, but also her husband's?

This is something that has troubled me since the onset of the primary process. At first I thought that it was because Obama was a refreshing new face to the political arena and was bringing in record numbers the youth vote. But when I realized that Clinton was bringing in just as many new voters (not as young though) I also realized that couldn't be the reason.

Race never entered in my mind, even after listening to the so called racial comments from the Clintons, once put back into context those comments were anything but racial until members of Obama's campaign and-or the media would put their own spin on what was said.

However for a while I was convinced that it was more about gender, not race. Although Clinton is a member of the establishment, she is a woman, trying to break the toughest glass ceiling of all, and the "good 'ole boys" do not want a woman to enter their exclusive club. I still believe that gender plays a major roll in the Democratic Party's attitude towards Clinton, but I no longer feel that is the sole reason.

After careful consideration and many long hours of trying to understand the minds of the Democratic insiders, I finally came to a profound understanding. It has nothing to do with how elect-able the Democratic nominee is, or if they are able to repair the damage the United States is suffering. Nor does it have to do with race and gender isn't as major a factor as I once thought.

It does have to do with jealousy--jealousy of the Clinton's dedication to the American people, a dedication akin to President Kennedy and his brother Bobby. Like the Kennedys, the Clintons believe in the American dream and continue to be loved by the American people. Their passion for our country is infectious and in them we see hope for a better future. In them, as with JFK, we see politicians who didn't run for office just for the money or the power, but for the love of the job and the belief that it is a system that can still work.

As a result other politicians are jealous, not only for the life-long dedication the Clintons have, but also for their love of the American people. They know that they will never be able to compare to the Clintons and will never have the insurmountable support and desire that the American people have for that family. Nor will they ever fully have the support of the American People and they know it.

As a result, the political insiders who are intimidated by the Clintons are going to fight for the person that does not threaten their own security. They are going to throw their support to an untested junior Senator who is too inexperienced to dodge the political attacks from the GOP during the general election. They are going to turn an eight-year debacle into 12.

--Nancy Jarvis
Terre Haute, Ind.




Hillary Clinton cannot do anything right. She is damned if she does and same if she does not. Who said "the first rule of feminism was for a woman to be treated as an individual." I never heard that. Did the author make it up - certainly no one is given credit for the quote.

Therefore, it likely follows that I do not agree with the next statement: " So it is quite confusing when an author who is stated to be a leader in feminist economics makes assumptions and bold predictions that Senator Clinton will completely follow in the footsteps of past decisions made by her husband, President Clinton. When will Senator Clinton get judged by her decisions?"

Again, what author said this? And even if so, I thought it was common sense to do things that work - in economics or otherwise. The Bill Clinton years were good for the USA economically. Even if his wife does follow in those footsteps, I never heard that following a winning formula was wrong.

Hillary Clinton has certainly criticized some of her husband's former policies and said changes are need to change and-or update them, such as NAFTA,

I truly think that in many instances, people--including author of this article--are trying to fit the facts into preconceived notions, rather than watching things play out naturally.

What kind of statements are these:

"Hillary and Bill are both "deficit hawks" who believe in "pay as you go," or cutting government spending to the point where it equals government revenue." -- Again, I see no proof, names, dates, incidents mentioned.

"So when Hillary asks Wall Street to police itself, I ask why stop at asking the fox to guard the henhouse? Why not an invitation to dinner?"--This makes no sense to me, it is totally illogical, this especially in light of a bunch of statements with nothing backing them up that supposedly lead to this conclusion.

I resent having to read such things as the above. It's dangerous to give a keyboard to some people. I could just as easily write my opinions, with nothing to back them up, as writer of this article.

Topics jump from one to another, without rhyme or reason and without any facts to back them up. The conclusion implying that Hillary Clinton is wrong to mention the good economic times that took place when her husband was President will somehow lead to the Great Depression and furthermore, that Hillary Clinton is more to blame than anyone else for not acknowledging a fact the writer states is so (again without any proof or fact, clearly just her opinion) is ludicrous.

I see that good old-fashioned cattiness has not gone out of style and women are still willing to bash each other for any reason at all. I dare the writer of this article to blame Obama or McCain the way she has blamed Clinton here for so many things, including not admitting the next Great Depression is at our doorstep. Neither of these two had the opportunity to learn from a leader who put our country into good economic times, as did Hillary Clinton.

What is so wrong with using that experience to help get our country back on track and who is more qualified to do so? No one but Hillary Clinton.

--Cynthia Sinclair




I abhor cattiness. Ms. Feiner's use of the derogatory slang "Billary" is especially appalling considering she is alleged to be a feminist. I found myself wondering how to combine her name and her partner's name, if she has one.

Certainly Ms. Feiner has matured in her own feminism to know that women who have husbands, significant others, mates, partners, the "other half" do not give up their unique individuality because they are in a relationship.

If not, please someone inform her. Senator and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be a gritty, strong and capable individual separate and apart from former President Clinton. Even Chelsea stated she thinks her mother will be a better president than her father was. Two boos and a hiss to Susan Feiner's commentary.

--MaryLou Jones




I support Hillary and think SHE is the best prepared presidential candidate we have had in my lifetime and she is a WOMAN. I would appreciate a more respectful tone from your organization.

--Gayle




Wow, I was so disappointed in the subject article. Why has Ms Feiner aligned herself with the male-dominated MSM by evaluating Senator Clinton based on her husband's presidency? It's unfortunate that she chose not to balance the article with an analysis of the other candidates' policies. Ms Feiner missed a rare opportunity to explore the many wonderful facets of the first viable female contender for the White House.

--Claire Stepleton




Please don't disrespect Hillary Clinton . She is a leader on her own. She has the experience, the knowledge and the compassion to be president. What's wrong with the prosperity of the 90s? Maybe it is one of the solutions to the present economic problems.

There are lots of solutions to the worst economic problems we Americans face now. Maybe some are in your articles and once elected she will have a lot of expert advice, including yours. But we believe that she will work hard to solve the economic problems of the Americans especially the working class. Please don't destroy the chance to have the best and the first woman president.

--Alma Evangelista




Hillary Clinton is her own person. As an intelligent individual, she will have the foresight and judgment to be a president that will make the best decisions for our country. No doubt she will solicit her husband's advice and will be smart to do so. She can make the tough decisions.

--Linda Francis
H.C., Ind.




Why would you write such an unintelligent and misogynistic article? Since when do forward-thinking women evaluate other women in terms of their husband'ss work? How progressive of you. It's about her. She's earned it. Let it be about her.

The entire opinion piece is incredibly ill-informed and flawed logic. I'm really embarrassed for you.

--Jordan Pascucci




What a hateful woman Susan is. Her article is so hateful that she sees nothing good about Hillary or Bill Clinton. She surely must be a Barack Obama supporter; they are all hateful just like Reverend Wright.

--Gloria Leurck




I was disappointed with your recent column about Senator Clinton in which you used the disparaging term "Billary," which holds the obvious implication that since Hillary is married to Bill, she has lost her ability to think and act on her own.

While I have come to expect (with great disappointment) such demeaning language from many of the talking heads on television, I was surprised to see it used by a woman who holds the position of 'Director of Women's Studies."

I am left wondering if you have ever referred to Senator McCain as "Jindy" or Senator Obama as "Mirack."

Even beyond the disrespectful and sexist term "Billary," your article offered little insight into Senator Clinton and her own positions on important issues such as health care and the economy, and instead gave us insight into your deep and obvious distaste for Senator Clinton.

While you have every right to form an opinion, good or bad, about Senator Clinton, I do expect all journalists to refrain from using the dehumanizing tone and sexist language that is apparent in your article.

Senator Clinton has her faults, and I have no problem with any journalist calling her on them, but I do ask that it be done with the same respect you extend to other candidates. Please remember that "Billary" is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a former First Lady, a sitting US Senator, and a current candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

Growing up, my father pointed to strong woman such as Indira Ghandi and Hillary Clinton to show his three daughters that we could achieve anything we wanted. And while knocking on doors for Senator Clinton, I have met more than one little girl who has expressed her hope that Hillary wins so that she could be president too. Senator Clinton's candidacy, like Senator Obama's and Senator McCain's, means something to many of us.

All I ask is that critique her with the same level of respect that you show the other two candidates.

With all of the obvious sexism in the media, I expected balanced coverage of this campaign from Women's eNews and I have been disappointed.

--Nikita Barai




How can someone using your platform say that Hillary would do what her husband did!!!!! President Hillary Clinton will be her and OUR own woman!!!

--Carolyn Ryals




I could touch on a variety of points but the overall tone of this article is way off base.

She is suggesting that Hillary herself and as a partner to Bill Clinton is bad for women's rights and opportunities.

What???

Notably, she cites a balanced budget approach as bad because it eliminated government jobs that are not subject to fair market conditions and protect women. As a taxpayer and someone who has worked with the federal government for years, there are hundreds of thousands of "do nothing" jobs in the federal government that could be eliminated to reduce waste.

The United States is not a welfare state and the goal is to teach women to fish, not provide charity with our tax dollars at every turn.

I am in my late 30's. My mother, a schoolteacher, took me to ERA rallies in the 70s and

I'm a first generation capitalist. I KNOW what it is like for women out in industry today. I also volunteer with young women in the foster care system. They need access to education and healthcare not welfare to reach their potential. I digress.

--Jennifer Loy, next wave feminist

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