Susan Bordo’s book “The Destruction of Hillary Clinton” (and an extract published in the Guardian), has been discussed extensively on DKos previously here, here, here and in several other less heavily commented diaries.
Sarah Jones has a review of the book up at TNR which is worth a read.
Susan Bordo is right about one thing: Sexism is real and Hillary Clinton has been subjected to it. The spectre of Hillary-the-nasty-woman is persistent and familiar—but it’s only one of the many reasons Clinton lost her latest White House bid. The story of her defeat is a complicated one, encompassing rising anti-establishment fervor, campaign error, and yes, prejudice. But you wouldn’t know it from reading Bordo’s new book.
Sarah goes on to comment on various aspects of Bordo’s book, including the:
- scapegoating of millennials
- unwillingness to acknowledge Clinton ran as a pragmatic realist and knowingly took positions to appeal to Republican voters turned-off by Trump
- claim that Monica Lewinsky “has steadfastly insisted that there was nothing abusive (or even disrespectful) about Bill Clinton’s behavior.”
- attempt to minimize the “super-predator” speech by claiming it was about “older drug dealers”
- studious disregard for “moments when the candidate seemed to misread the public mood—such as her repeated claim that “America is already great.” ”
And yes, she addresses Bordo’s focus on tweets by “Bernie Bros” (a pejorative invented by Clinton partisans as a sequel to 2008’s “Obama Boys”):
To Bordo, rude Twitter users prove Sanders’s inadequate commitment to the left. Bordo never asks if her one-sided framing is evidence that she lives in a bubble, and what a telling oversight. Female Sanders supporters would have told her that Clinton backers are also guilty of online harassment—and that the label “Bernie Bro” has been deployed to erase the very existence of left-wing women, drowning out valid critiques of Clinton’s platform.
Bordo’s book is having its fifteen minutes, and perhaps we should perhaps just let that pass.
If it weren’t for this observation:
It crystallizes an emerging tendency in liberal discourse: the notion that critics of Hillary Clinton are either trolls or naive children. […]
Destruction offers no real lessons for Democrats. It’s a hagiography, written to soothe a smarting party. That is precisely why they must ignore it: There is no path forward that does not account for past mistakes. Hillary Clinton’s destruction was at least partly her own making, and if Democrats want to start winning elections it’s time they saw the truth.