This is a story told in chunks but they all flow into one another. I hope.
I remember as a teenager my dad took me to hear Julian Bond speak. Why yes, I was raised right, thank you. After his talk JB told the audience he would be happy to take questions provided they did not begin with the words, "isn't it true that...". People who begin their so-called questions with "isn't it true that" either want to give a speech, and have the speaker agree with them, or they want to argue. Julian Bond did not want to do either one.
So I was reminded of Julian Bond when I heard recounted a talk given by a visiting professor in the "Women and Religion" teaching program while I was at Harvard Divinity School in the 80's. Visiting Professor talked with a group about her research in women and religion in American Literature. When it was time for questions the woman in charge of the talk (and also the teaching program so she was sort of the visiting professor's boss) got the ball rolling:
"Isn't it true that the Women's Movement in the '60's was the greatest thing that ever happened to you?"
Okay, you're going to think I'm making that up. But that is how the visiting professor parphrased it to me, verbatim.
Visiting Professor says she replied that she was really not involved in the women's movement. She was involved in the anti-war movement, pretty heavily, and while that's not a conflict with the women's movement...well, at least it wasn't in the '80's.
Woman in charge persisted. "But the women's movement gave you permission to take your place in the anti-war movement, right?"
That clanking sound you heard in 1987 was my then-overplucked eyebrows hitting the ceiling. Anyone who knows the history of the '60's knows that women getting treated like shit in the anti-war and civil rights movements helped instigate a lot of anger which was turned positively and forcefully into women's rights activism.
The hostess of this academic shindig was not interested in historical fact or the anti-war movement. She was interested in advancing the cause, her cause, and possibly even a good cause, at the expense of everything else.
Then last night...a library book award dinner thingy. One of the head librarians was there, and I was sitting next to her husband, a charming old southerner who stood up when a lady did, etc. Librarian, an otherwise very cooth white woman in her sixties, was gobama Al-obama mo'bama dang!
Husband said, "yes, we're a mixed marriage."
Me: You're a Republican?
He: A proud one since I was five years old.
And inside I'm screaming, Oh sweet Jeebus rock candy on a stick.
But then I figure, I'm already sitting here pretending all kinds of things so why not pretend to be nice? He's beyond hope, not trying to convert me, and too old to matter, so I keep my charms about me. There was actually still a Republican race going on during the Alabama primary so I ask him politely how he cast his ballot.
"I voted for Hillary."
And inside I'm screaming, Oh sweet baby Jeebus rock candy on a stick.
You did this because...
Wife: Oh yes, he wants McCain to run against Hillary.
He: But I don't like McCain. Not a bit.
And inside I'm screaming, Oh sweet baby Jeebus Holy Ghost rock candy on a stick.
And then I had another big swig of that luscious Italian Valpulciano Red and I stopped caring altogether. And I don't care about what Taylor Marsh thinks about nuking Iran or expanding NAFTA either. Because I don't think she's thinking about that at all when she says things like the last three sentences of this post.
Please, Ms. Marsh, woman to woman, you're driving me to drink more red wine than is healthy.
One more thing. Under no circumstances do I give Obama a big ol' pass on anything. I agree with those who say he is deliberately vague on issues. I despise his "reach across the aisle to Republicans" mumbo-jumbo. He is the fourth candidate I have supported in this election cycle. And I won't vote for a third party candidate or support draft movements or any other silliness come November. Should she be the nominee, President Clinton will get the Hell blogged out of her right here after I vote for her. And just try to stop me when I get "uppity" about the Beltway Democrats. Sigh.
And I don't want anyone thinking I don't want a woman President. I certainly do. I'd like to vote for this one, for instance, and maybe after she gets eight years of White House experience, I'll have my chance. I wonder whether then she'll get Taylor Marsh's undying and unending support.
And while I usually keep my comment thread policy as liberal as my politics, don't nobody talk trash about Michelle.