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Beth Broderick Headshot

She Stoops to Conquer

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Girl rage ...it's all the rage. Hillary Clinton and her supporters have won exactly 10 delegates by assaulting their opponent with the kind of tactics that warm Karl Rove's heart. Ah the sweet victory of vitriol. These folks really will say anything, do anything to win and that is why they lost me long ago. I don't take to being threatened, so all you gals who are reading this and sharpening your knives can just save it. If the Hillary Clinton campaign is an example of true feminism then I hereby and happily hand over my membership. I am not one of you.

The whining, spitting, savage God awfulness of Hillary's campaign can only be seen as bad intent and that is not good for anyone, not for women, not for democrats and not for the Country. We must turn the page on this kind of politics or risk being thrust into a dark age that will fill us with longing for the simple stupidity of the past eight years.

It was embarrassing to hear Mike Huckabee aver proudly that the Republican contest has been more civilized and more productive than its opponent and to have to admit that he is right. This will come back to haunt us in the general election and deservedly. The Democrats are doing it again, standing in a circle and shouting "Fire!!!!" The McCain camp must be giddy with delight. Hillary's repeated claims that she can take a punch, get down and dirty and fight the Republican attack machine do not hold up. In actuality she fights like a girl in middle school... breaking down in tears, spreading stupid hateful gossip, claiming that she is being picked on by the boys and stamping her feet when things don't go her way.

All of this talk of the fight misses the larger point that most of us are tired of fighting. We are weary of partisanship, worn out by the petty bickering and hate-mongering. This weariness has no party affiliation. It is felt by Democrats, Independents and Republicans in equal measure. We are tired of being hated and even more tired of hating.

So, for the record I am not a "Hillary hater". I did not vote against her because she is a woman, I did not vote against her period. I voted for Barack Obama because we desperately need a new direction and it is time to set a new tone. It is time to take the gloves off and speak to one another with civility I for one could use a good dose of inspiration. I do not think it is silly or empty to want to hear from our leaders that yes we can come together and yes we can dream again. Call me crazy but I'm for hope.

In recent days as her campaign smeared and jeered, Hillary was quoted as saying "This is the fun part". This begs the question ... fun for whom? It was certainly not fun for the Democratic Party to see the blood of our own on the walls. Maybe Bill's pal George Bush Sr. got a kick out of it. The rest of us... not so much. A lot of us just got kicked. Hillary's campaign manager Terry McAlluffe said he was just kidding when he stood in a room full of donors and warned "You are either with us or against us". I didn't get the joke then and it is even less funny now. The specter of a democratic party deeply divided by these high jinks is just not any fun at all.

These are serious times and we must hold ourselves to a higher calling if we are to unite this country and face our future. The contest between Barack Obama and John McCain holds the possibility that we can conduct a civilized conversation about how to shape that future. The Republicans wisely chose a candidate who is not overly combative. He is notoriously committed to fair campaign practices. McCain is no angel , but he has proven that he can forgo partisanship for the greater good. When he co-authored McCain/ Feingold he was taking aim at the very "attack machine" that Hillary claims readiness to fight. Ironically that legislation is what made it possible for the small money behind Obama to topple the big money Clintons and that folks is CHANGE.

Neither, Obama or McCain have any love of swiftboating, they will both strive to stay above the fray, though they will not always succeed. This could make it possible for the people to actually choose their own leader. For the first time in recent history it will be mankind over political machine. Hillary did not lose because she is a woman. She lost because she did not believe this was possible, she did not believe in change. She has been running so hard, raging so loudly that she was simply not listening. The American people have spoken. She can mud wrestle all the way to Pennsylvania, but it will only further sully her legacy as the first serious woman candidate.

A lot of very good very smart women support Hillary, but a lot of very good very smart women did not. It is time for us to unite and heal this divide and then the fun part can begin in earnest. She keeps saying that 'she can take a punch" It's time to prove it ... you got knocked down Hillary ... take it like a woman.