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"'There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other."

A quote I blogged here, in February 2016, which I'm reading now as I review my posts with the Madeleine Albright tag.

Albright died today at the age of 84. Here's the NYT obituary, "Madeleine Albright, First Woman to Serve as Secretary of State, Dies at 84/She rose to power and fame as a brilliant analyst of world affairs before serving as an aggressive advocate of President Bill Clinton’s policies."

The obituary does include the women-in-hell quote:

In 2016, Ms. Albright again supported Mrs. Clinton for the presidency. At a campaign stop for the New Hampshire primary, Ms. Albright told a crowd, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” The line went viral. She had used it previously without objections. But some voters now found it offensive, taking it as a rebuke to younger women who supported a Clinton rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

An ardent feminist, Ms. Albright apologized in an opinion article in The Times. “I did not mean to argue that women should support a particular candidate based on gender,” she wrote. “But I understand that I came across as condemning those who disagree with my political preferences. If heaven were open only to those who agreed on politics, I imagine it would be largely unoccupied.”

"Democrats are winning more college-educated white voters and fewer non-college white voters, as pollster shorthand puts it, and Donald Trump supercharged this trend...."

"[T]he sorting that educational polarization is picking up... puts Democrats at a particular disadvantage in the Senate, as college-educated voters cluster in and around cities while non-college voters are heavily rural.... This is why Shor believes Trump was good for the Republican Party, despite its losing the popular vote in 2016, the House in 2018 and the Senate and the presidency in 2020. ... Shor has built an increasingly influential theory of what the Democrats must do to avoid congressional calamity.... To avoid it... they need to internalize that they are not like and do not understand the voters they need to win over.... Democrats should do a lot of polling to figure out which of their views are popular and which are not popular, and then they should talk about the popular stuff and shut up about the unpopular stuff.... [O]ne difference between 2016 and 2012 is that Romney was complicit in making economics the center of the campaign. Like Obama, he preferred to argue over tax policy and spending cuts and was plainly uncomfortable talking about immigration or race. He ran, self-consciously, as a former management consultant who would govern on behalf of America’s makers rather than its takers. Trump descended a golden escalator to call Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. What was Clinton supposed to do?"

"The case against [Michael] Sussmann centers on the question of who his client was when he conveyed certain suspicions about Mr. Trump and Russia to the F.B.I. in September 2016."

"Among other things, investigators have examined whether Mr. Sussmann was secretly working for the Clinton campaign — which he denies.... A spokesman for Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, who has the authority to overrule Mr. Durham but is said to have declined to, did not comment.... The accusation against Mr. Sussmann focuses on a meeting he had on Sept. 19, 2016, with James A. Baker, who was the F.B.I.’s top lawyer at the time... Because of a five-year statute of limitations for such cases, Mr. Durham has a deadline of this weekend to bring a charge over activity from that date.... Mr. Baker, the former F.B.I. lawyer, is said to have told investigators that he recalled Mr. Sussmann saying that he was not meeting him on behalf of any client. But in a deposition before Congress in 2017, Mr. Sussmann testified that he sought the meeting on behalf of an unnamed client who was a cybersecurity expert and had helped analyze the data. Moreover, internal billing records Mr. Durham is said to have obtained from Perkins Coie are said to show that when Mr. Sussmann logged certain hours as working on the Alfa Bank matter — though not the meeting with Mr. Baker — he billed the time to Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign."

"Trump wasn’t elected because Clinton was cordially detested. What American presidential candidate since George Washington hasn’t been?"

"She was dull on the stump. But if dullness were politically fatal, the entire American political system would have been in the cemetery with President Harrison since 1841. (He gave a two-hour inaugural address in freezing rain, then caught a cold and died a month later.) Clinton’s 'popular vote' victory was and is inconsequential. America, since its founding, has had a devolved system of voting for the president that eschews nationwide first-past-the-post to give more obscure regions (our Scotlands) a greater say than weight of population would allow. She and Trump knew the rules. The cheating would have been different in a different game. Russian electoral interference was doubtless factual but doubtfully culpable. I’ve spent time in Russia. The idea that the Russians could fine-tune America’s enormously complex machinery of election is … I’ve driven Russian cars. And there’s no use blaming Trump’s election on the rise of populism. 'Populism' is an epithetic catch-all in use whenever the ideas popular with the good and the great aren’t popular.... America is what you get when you turn a random horde of people loose in a vast and various space. Some came here on the make, some on the run, some were dragged here involuntarily as slaves, some were chased here by poverty, oppression or bigotry and some were here already and were defeated by disease and demographics until they became foreigners in their own country. The bunch of us have never got along...."

From "Trump v Biden: PJ O’Rourke on why this US election is the craziest yet/Why on earth isn’t Joe Biden set for a landslide? The inimitable political commentator takes a ringside seat at the election circus" by (obviously) P.J. O'Rourke writing in the Times of London.

"The white man’s path is a rut for the rest of us" — writes a privileged white woman...

.... Jennifer Palmieri, in a newspaper owned by a white man (The Washington Post, owned by mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos).

Where does Palmieri get the identitarian authority to speak for a group called "the rest of us" against "the white man"?

To her credit, she begins by showing her awareness that she really doesn't have the authority:
A few years ago, I would have dismissed as unhelpful the notion that I was a woman struggling to succeed in a man’s world. I thought I was doing great. I was working in Barack Obama’s White House. Hillary Clinton’s election as the first female president seemed to be on the horizon and....
Palmieri was Hillary's communications director.
But I no longer see it as self-defeating to call myself an outsider in a man’s world.
She'd have been an insider if Hillary had become President. But she's not saying she is an outsider, just that it's to her advantage — not "self-defeating" — to call herself an outsider.
Instead, I think the self-preservation of all marginalized people demands it.
All marginalized people need you — extremely privileged white woman — to call yourself an outsider. Their "self-preservation" depends on you claiming to be one of them?
Patiently waiting for things to improve has served only to sustain the very systems that keep women and people of color from obtaining real power.
Systems! You were communications director and your candidate lost. That's why you don't have power — and it would have been immense and real. Because your campaign fell short, you now posit "systems" that are holding you back in the same way they hold back women in general and "people of color." What were the "systems" that held back "people of color" when you were working in Barack Obama’s White House? Or do the "systems" come and go depending on whether Hillary Clinton blabbered about "deplorables" and didn't go to Michigan?
The white man’s path has turned into our rut.... This is, by definition, a man’s world, and we must declare our independence from it.... None of us should suffer from imposter syndrome, but if you are someone other than a white man, you are not wrong to feel like you are operating in a world built for somebody else.... There is nothing more we need to prove.
The time for establishing your proposition with evidence is over, she's saying. So convenient.
The problem is the man’s world no longer works for us. It’s time to blow it up. Man’s world, we’re just not that into you....
Oh, good lord. First, a bomb threat to the world. (Metaphorical:  It’s time to blow it up.) Then a coy witticism that acts as if the group containing all the women is in a relationship with the world and is turning the world down. (The cultural reference is "He's Just Not That into You.")
Real change lies in us all sticking together. It is marginalized populations divided against each other that prop up the old patriarchy.
And there you have it, people of all non-white minority groups. You need to get together with all the women, including the most privileged white women, who will be happy to speak for you in the white-man-owned pages of The Washington Post.
And we can say it aloud...
It's not for me to say, but I hear it in the wind...



What is she/we saying aloud?
And we can say it aloud: I am proud to declare that I...
If it's "we," why is it immediately "I"?!
And we can say it aloud: I am proud to declare that I have been a woman struggling to succeed in a man’s world and even more proud to declare my independence from it.
She wants to be the spokesperson for 70% of Americans. And she's proud of her ambition. But is anyone impressed?! It seems like a power grab to me — a privileged white woman making a big obvious move, and I think it's inconsistent with identitarian politics. Is she proud to declare her independence from identitarian politics? She seems to want to use it — but only to designate 30% of the population for some sort of destruction — "blow it up."

***

This is the first time I'm using the word "identitarian" on this blog (using it myself — it appeared a couple times before, inside of quotes). So I spent some time looking it up. It's in the OED. Interestingly, it had a completely different definition at one time: "A person who believes that seemingly unrelated people or things are actually the same." What a great thing to have a word for! But that's obsolete.

The word today means — as a noun — "An advocate or supporter of an ideology or political agenda specific to his or her particular social, racial, or religious group, nationality, etc." and — as an adjective — "Of, relating to, or characterized by an ideology or political agenda which seeks to defend or promote the interests of a particular social, racial, or religious group, nationality, etc."

The OED pointed me toward the usage of the word in this 2007 essay about theater:
It is hard to know whether that claim [that it should not be revived] can be made about “Radio Golf,” the August Wilson play that advances what is arguably an outmoded model of racial politics. “Radio Golf,” set in 1997, eight years before Mr. Wilson died, serves as the coda to his 10-part epic about African-American life and betrays a deep nostalgia for the ethos of the late 1960s. In the play Mr. Wilson regressively casts his lot with the identitarians of that period, who saw assimilation as the great potential undoing of black culture.
So... in 2007, it was considered nostalgic to oppose assimilation!  Identitarianism was a 60s thing. You have to keep track of the past and the way the past was thought about at different times in the past. You've got to know the history of nostalgia! But wait 13 years or so and the thing they're calling "regressive" and "deep nostalgia" may reemerge as just what we need lots more of today.
The story revolves around a yuppie mayoral candidate’s refusal to allow the demolition of an old house belonging to an elderly relative, one that stands in the way of a huge urban renewal project involving the construction of a Whole Foods. Prosperity is the enemy here, Tiger Woods a symbol of evil. History and soul are the virtues to be prized above all.

“The masses want leaders who are educated as well as trustworthy,” the African-American social critic Albert Murray wrote in the late 1960s, disparaging that popular point of view. They don’t see middle-class blacks as “tokens,” he argued; “they regard them as people who got the breaks — or were able to make the most of the breaks.” The rise of Barack Obama makes “Radio Golf” interesting if off-putting theater because Mr. Wilson’s perspective, in effect, demands that we greet the arrival of people who have made the most of their breaks as a cause for concern rather than victory.
The rise of Barack Obama... remember that? Those were the days... the days when Jennifer Palmieri's career path was swooping upward.

"The 'blue wall' is reforming in the Rust Belt."

Writes Lara M. Brown, the director of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, in The Hill.
In 2016, President Trump broke through Hillary Clinton’s “blue wall.” He won three states that Democrats had carried since the 1980s: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin....

[N]ow, less than four years later, all three of those states have shifted again and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is leading Trump....

According to Pew Research Center’s analysis of the exit polls, [Hillary Clinton] earned only 37 percent of the white Catholic vote.... As poorly as Clinton did, the largest percentage point decrease for a Democratic candidate occurred between 2008 and 2012, which suggests that white Catholics had “soured” on Obama’s presidency before Trump declared for the presidency. Clinton should have seen this coming...

While it remains unlikely that Biden, a Catholic, will be able to pull a majority of white Catholics towards the Democratic Party in November, were he to garner 45 percent of their votes, it seems likely that Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin will again be colored blue....

The wall that Trump may have erected by November is not along the country’s southern border, but a blue one across the Rust Belt.
First, "were he to garner 45 percent of their votes" — I just have to note the use of that word, "garner."

Second, I've said it before, and sometimes I think I'm the only one who feels this way, but "Rust Belt" is an offensive term. On November 9, 2016, I wrote:

Suddenly, the place where I live isn't called the "Blue Wall" or the "Fire Wall" anymore. It's: "Rust Belt."

When we ceased to operate to generate power for the Democratic Party, it was back to the old insult.

If you call us the "Rust Belt," you are saying our time has passed, that we once prospered because there was manufacturing, but it's gone and it's not coming back. That's not what Donald Trump said to us when he campaigned through the Midwest in 2016. Where is the optimism?

"No. You can not base your life on frowning and glaring at others literally behind your shades and think you are making a positive impact on lives."

"Just like the met gala is a ridiculous, outdated event that does no good except for advancing privilege. I hope we begin to understand how many generous, kind people there are in the world and that those are the individuals we should be celebrating."

The second-highest-rated comment on "Can Anna Wintour Survive the Social Justice Movement?/A reckoning has come to Bon Appétit and the other magazines of Condé Nast. Can a culture built on elitism and exclusion possibly change?" by Ginia Bellafante (NYT).

The first-highest-rated comment: "It's kind of rich when a newspaper that oozes white privilege and credential worship, prints endless real-estate stories about zillion-dolllar properties, and covers celebrities endlessly in its style magazine and arts pages goes after Anna Wintour."

The NYT is going after Anna Wintour — not because she said anything arguably racist or got caught in blackface or anything like that, but simply because she is powerful and imperious and because, apparently, Vogue is a fashion magazine.

They also have this quote from André Leon Talley, "a black man and longtime former editor at Vogue": "I wanna say one thing, Dame Anna Wintour is a colonial broad; she’s a colonial dame. I do not think she will ever let anything get in the way of her white privilege."

A colonial broad, whatever "colonial" is supposed to mean. As for "broad"... it's a blatantly sexist word, but sexism was last year's concern. This year it's race, and for some perverted reason, we can't concern ourselves with both at the same time.

She is literally a "Dame" — I'm reading that at Wikipedia, where I also learn that she lives in Greenwich Village, rises before 6 a.m., "rarely stays at parties for more than 20 minutes at a time and goes to bed by 10:15 every night." For lunch she eats "a steak (or bunless hamburger)" but years ago it was "smoked salmon and scrambled eggs every single day." She wears sunglasses all the time because they are "actually corrective lenses" but also (as one acquaintance says) "you know, really, armour."

Politically, she's a big supporter of Democrats. They say if Hillary Clinton had won, Anna Wintour would have become the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. And now, look what she gets. The NYT coming after her for nothing. You can't devote your life to fashion for the sake of fashion in the Social Justice Regime.

ADDED: From "Anna Wintour Isn’t Going To Cancel Herself/Vogue’s editor is now promising to do better for Black employees and readers. Does she not realize that she, largely alone, had all the power all along?" (BuzzFeed News):
Wintour has built her entire career on the foundation of fetishizing white-woman meanness... Wintour’s persona isn’t just of a boss that’s tough to please, but of a woman boss who’s just as awful as a man could be. It’s an earlier, less PR-optimized incarnation of the Nasty Woman/Girl Boss modus operandi: the idea that being authoritarian or contemptuous at work is feminist, because if men get to do it, why can’t women?

Wintour embraces a version of femininity that says you have to be skinny, white, elegant, aloof, and rich..... Wintour found power in being icy, while third-wave “feminist” bosses learned to hide their harshness behind public displays of feminist solidarity.... 
Feminism is so last year. This year is all about race. Wintour is white, so she's out.
The Trump lawyers' "Fight" montage is devastating and — if you're not bent on getting Trump convicted — hilarious.A pithy montage of incitement hypocrisy."The white man’s path is a rut for the rest of us" — writes a privileged white woman...

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