Monday, August 25, 2008

What about us? Women cry foul and are swinging to Big John McCain -- "do you blame us?"

The delegates may go to Barack, but the votes will go to McCain.

Here's why:

from Radio Netherlands, and right on target.

Mad women

Why some Hillary supporters will vote for John McCain
By political editor John Tyler

The Democratic Party's Convention which is expected to nominated Barack Obama as the party's presidential contender opens in Denver on Monday. Obama has picked Delaware Senator Joseph R Biden as his running mate. Not all Democrats are happy about Obama's nomination, however.

Many supporters of Hillary Clinton say they will not vote for Barack Obama, and plan to sit out the election in November. Others go even further, saying they will vote for Obama's opponent, Republican John McCain. Are they just sore losers, or is there something else going on?

Clinton's presidential campaign energized many people in the women's rights community. A woman had never climbed so high in American politics, and no presidential candidate had put such a priority on women's issues. An example from her Obama endorsement speech in June:"To build that future that I see, we must make sure that women and men alike understand the struggles of their grandmothers and their mothers and that women enjoy equal opportunities, equal pay and equal respect."

New York Congresswoman Caroline Maloney was an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. While Mrs Maloney now supports the Democratic Party's likely nominee, Barack Obama, she understands why so many women in the Democratic Party are still unhappy: "It showed a great level of sexism and when you saw the great hope and then the sexism and the misogyny in our culture, it was really upsetting to many people."

Backsliding. Maloney points to backsliding, especially in the last 8 years, in a number of areas affecting women, including abortion rights, birth control, equal pay for equal work, and domestic violence. She, like many others, thought Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign would be a chance to turn things around. But the opposite happened, says Marcia Pappas of the National Organization for Women, one of the main women's organizations in the US. Clinton's loss in the Democratic Primary, and reactions to her campaign, only reminded women of their own inequality.Many felt the treatment of Clinton was a microcosm of how women are treated in general.
----Hillary was criticized for the way she dressed, for the size of her ankles, and for not being sufficiently warm or feminine. One male pundit even said she reminds all men of their first wives. And in the end, a man with much less experience got the job, something else many women identify with. According to women's activist Marcia Pappas this culminated in a rage. ----Hillary supporters are saying: if the Democratic party isn't going to denounce that kind of behaviour against one of their own, how are we to respond? For many women their response is: a vote for McCain.

Support for McCain: There aren't any hard figures on how many Hillary Clinton supporter's will go so far as to vote for John McCain (pictured left). But the internet is full of Hillary supporters rallying support for McCain. Caroline Cook is one such voter. Isn't it against her interest - as a woman interested in equal rights - to vote for John McCain? She said:
"That is precisely why I'm voting for John McCain. Well-behaved women rarely make history. I want to send a message to the Democratic Party from women. When you disrespect us, when you deny an overqualified candidate, there will be repercussions." The last two US presidential elections hinged on relatively few votes in crucial swing states. This year's election could turn on women who feel shut out by the Democratic Party. Then again, some still hope for a miracle. Hillary's name will be read out during the nominating process at the convention in Denver, and her votes will be counted. The delegates to the convention are not legally bound to vote for either candidate, they can change their mind at any time... We'll know more in a couple of days.

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