An Apparent Failure of Logic

About Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein says:

“Each one of them represents a different constituency, and the constituencies are knocking heads at the present time. . . . There are women all over the country, and particularly in my state of California, who feel that she hasn’t been treated fairly. . . . They want her to stand tall.”

Um, huh? Maybe I missed something, but how does “[being] treated fairly” have anything at all to do with how good a candidate you are? (And what exactly does “stand tall” mean in this context?”) Leaving aside the allegations implicit in Feinstein’s statement that there has been unfair treatment and that it is because Clinton is a woman—the truth of either is irrelevant on this particular point—being treated unfairly by others, regardless of the reason, says nothing of one’s own qualities and characteristics as they pertain to the job of being President of the United States.

This kind of thing annoys me because huge percentages of people who rightfully decry unequal and unfair treatment of women nevertheless time and again demonstrate this kind of fuzziness in their thinking. If “women all over the country” support Hillary Clinton solely because “she hasn’t been treated fairly”—which is what Feinstein appears to represent in her statement—then they fail to recognize the difference between remedying discrimination against women and feeling upset that a woman did not win.

In other words, if Feinstein or anybody else could demonstrate that Clinton was treated unfairly and that she was treated unfairly only because she was a woman and that without the unfair treatment she would have clinched the nomination, i.e., that irrational sexist discrimination was the only cause of Clinton’s failure to win, then they would be rightfully upset.

Otherwise, what they feel has nothing to do with discrimination. It is the same thing we all feel when our favorite candidate doesn’t make the cut. There’s no need to wrap it up in some politically and socially charged issue. Your favorite didn’t win. That’s politics. Move on.

Maybe Feinstein isn’t making those claims. And I don’t think anybody really believes that the only reason Clinton has not won the nomination is because she is a woman, and that it has nothing to do with any of her other qualities or characteristics. Furthermore, if anybody does believe that, I am curious how they would prove it, apart from polling the people who have voted in the Democratic primaries and finding that the people who voted for Obama did so not because they believed he was a better candidate, but because they believed that Clinton was a worse candidate because she is a woman.

That little problem of proof is, in my opinion, insurmountable.

Maybe Dianne Feinstein meant something else (or nothing at all—she is a politician) by her statement, but it sure strikes me as one of those bizarre, irrational things that routinely come from the mouths of feminists.

Anyway, I am still waiting to hear any good reasons why Clinton supporters should not support Obama in November. As I’ve said before, all this talk about division in the Democratic Party seems ludicrous to me. Does anybody really think that Hillary Clinton’s supporters want to let John McCain win in November?

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