Dear Madam President. . .Really? – by Amanda S. Green
I am taking a step away from Thomas Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals this week. Don’t worry. I’ll return to it next week. As I told Sarah a couple of days ago, this week has been tough, and I feel the need to snark. That’s not possible with Sowell. I started the snarkage Tuesday with a look at some of the excerpts from Sean Penn’s book. But that left me wondering what to snark at over here. I have a couple of books set aside for later commentaries. So I really didn’t want to do them. Then I remembered Dear Madam President, the newly released book by Hillary Clinton’s former communications director, Jennifer Palmieri.
Here’s the blurb for the book:
DEAR MADAM PRESIDENT is an empowering letter from former Hillary Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri to the first woman president, and by extension, to all women working to succeed in any field. By using lessons learned during her experiences with Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and Elizabeth Edwards–to name a few–Palmieri through each chapter creates a forward-thinking framework of inspirational and practical advice for all women everywhere–from boardrooms to living rooms–who are determined to seize control of their lives, their workplaces, and their country. DEAR MADAM PRESIDENT will turn the results of the 2016 election into something incredibly empowering for future female leaders and independent thinkers everywhere.
As a country, we haven’t wrapped our heads around what it should look like for a woman to be in the job of President. Our only models are men. This of course was seen during the Hillary Clinton campaign, and no one knows this better than Jennifer Palmieri. While wildly disappointed by the outcome of the election, Palmieri optimistically argues in the book that the Clinton candidacy and all she experienced on the campaign trail–confusion, admiration, hate, love, acceptance, rejection–can now open the country up to reimagining women in leadership roles. And that is what Palmieri takes on in this book–redefining expectations for women looking to lead and creating a blueprint for women candidates and leaders to follow.
Wow, “empowering”. That means it has to be great, doesn’t it?
But wait, it is a letter to “all women working to succeed in any field” based on “lessons learned during her experiences with Hillary Clinton”, Obama and Elizabeth Edwards. Oops. What lessons could she have learned from Clinton? How not to take responsibility? How to continue to whine about the results of an election more than a year after the fact? How to condemn and undermine women who accused her husband of sexual harassment and worse and yet support all those who accused the current president and other men of the same thing? (Double-standards are loved by Shrillary, aren’t they?) And what about Obama? What lessons could she have learned there? I know! I know! Maybe she wants to teach these women reading her “letter” how to sell out their country and allies. But let’s not jump to too many conclusions. After all, this is only the blurb. Maybe the book actually has some substance to it.
“. . . creates a forward-thinking framework of inspirational and practical advice for all women everywhere–from boardrooms to living rooms–who are determined to seize control of their lives, their workplaces, and their country.” What? Wait! If a man wrote this about a woman’s book, you could just hear the howls of outrage. From the living room?!? How many leadership or how-to books aimed at helping men be better executives, etc., refer to how they should act in the “living room”? In fact, I don’t recall any of them talking about how a man should react or act anywhere but in a business setting. Or is the author talking about in a social setting. Even then, isn’t that sexualizing the woman or at least saying how she socializes needs to be considered in how well she can be empowered? And isn’t that something all the Feminists tell us we shouldn’t do? Or is this another example of that double-standard the Left is so good at applying?
“As a country, we haven’t wrapped our heads around what it should look like for a woman to be in the job of President. Our only models are men.” OMG. There are no words. The writer in me wants to reach through the computer to find the person responsible for writing those two sentences and shake them until their brains run out of their ears. The only problem is I’m not sure they have brains. I don’t know of many women – or men – who haven’t thought about a day when a woman sits in the Oval Office as President. Following the Feminist dogma, it shouldn’t “look” any different for a woman to sit there than a man. Then there is the “only models are men” bit. Sorry, but no. We have other models. They might not have actually made it to the Oval Office but they are models nonetheless. They might be models of what we want or what we don’t want, but they are models. Every woman who has run for office, be it for local dog catcher or President of the United States, is a model. Every man should be as well. Sorry, whoever wrote this blurb, but the sex of the candidate isn’t the main thing most of us look at when deciding who to vote for. I know that doesn’t fit your agenda or dry your tears for Shrillary, but it’s the truth.
So, what about the book?
I’ll admit I haven’t bought it. Nor am I going to buy it. This book is a perfect example of overpricing by traditional publishers. Coming in at approximately 190 pages, the price for the e-book is $12.99. Nope, not gonna buy it at that price. I wouldn’t buy it for half that price. I did, however, download the sample.
The book opens as advertised, as a letter to some unnamed future female president. “Dear Madam President” are the first words you read. Okay, other than arguing over punctuation, there’s not much to snark there. Not that I have far to go before finding something.
“I am not even sure who you are.”
That’s the next sentence. All I can say is I’m glad the author doesn’t know who “Madam President” is. If she did, it would mean she can see the future. Of course, it would also mean she should have been able to see that Shrillary wouldn’t have been elected. If so, she either enjoyed tormenting HRC by encouraging her to run – and lose – again or she thought she could alter the future. Neither is very encouraging, is it? (VBEG)
“I don’t know if you are a Democrat or Republican or something else, I just know that you are out there somewhere. And you need this book.”
Wow! She is certainly sure of herself and her so-called wisdom, isn’t she? She doesn’t know who this future president is or what her party might be but, by golly, she knows that this unnamed and unknown woman needs her book.
“I wasn’t sure how to address you in this letter. Doesn’t madam suggest you are married?”
So, she is a Washington insider and wasn’t sure how to address the “president”? She’s worried calling her “Madam President’ refers to her marital status. Hmmm, am I the only one who remembers Condi Rice? I do believe she, an unmarried woman, was addressed as “Madam Secretary” and no one thought it meant she was married. Oh, wait, I see now. This is all a set up for the author to get to what she really wants to say.
It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, so long as you can do the job.
So, despite years of being told it shouldn’t matter what a candidate’s sex is, it really does matter. I’m confused. Which is it? Oh, wait. I know. It matters if the candidate is Democrat. Then we should vote for her because of her sex. That’s what Shrillary’s been telling us this past year plus. She’s harped – and like a harpy—on the fact all the women who voted for Trump were weak and couldn’t vote in any manner except how their husbands told them. They were traitors to their sex. They were jealous of her, a successful woman.
Obviously, the author of Dear Madam President agrees. Worse, she wants us to listen and follow her lessons.
Nope, not gonna happen.
You will bring an entirely new perspective to the office. You will expand our nation’s comprehension of what it means to be a leader. In its best moments, your presidency will give us a more fully realized sense of leadership—one that combines the best qualities of women and men.
OMG. Pardon me while I laugh hysterically. How many years of women’s rights is this gal going to push us back? An “entirely new perspective”? Why? Just because someone does or doesn’t have a penis? How in the hell is that going to expand the nation’s comprehension of what it means to be a leader? And what the fuck is “a more fully realized sense of leadership”? Is she really telling us a woman will be a better leader simply because she is a woman?
Given all the gains women have made in the last one hundred years, having a woman president may not seem like that big of a deal. It is. Step back and look at it from the arc of human history. It is still a revolutionary concept for a woman to be in charge. All of our models for a person in power, and certainly for the American president, are based on men.
I swear, I’m glad I didn’t buy this book. I’d have already launched it against the wall and we’re not more than four or so pages into it. The above quote has to be one of the most asinine I’ve read in a long time. “It is still a revolutionary concept for a woman to be in charge.” I guess she’s forgotten about Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May, Angela Markel, Indira Ghandi, Golda Meir and Benazir Bhutto to name just a few. [And in the arc of human history everyone from Hatshepsut on down to Empress Matilda, Queen Elizabeth, Catherine de Medici on to those people you named. These people believe the arc of history has an arrow because what they know about history is jack and sh*t. – SAH] That doesn’t take into account female governors, members of Congress or other world parliamentary bodies.
I guess they don’t count because their very existence negates the basis for her book – that we have no such role models and need the author’s “insight” in order to become the best woman and leader we can be.
I could go on. I could talk about how the author claims they tried to remove Shrillary being female from the political equation during the election and how that removed, according to the author, half of Shrillary’s humanity. Yes, you read that right. According to the book, HRC was only half-human because they didn’t let her play up the fact she was female. Funny, I don’t remember her ignoring the fact she was female. Do you? In fact, I seem to recall how she pointed out how that made her better qualified. She never failed to overlook a chance to be seen as part of Bill-and-Hill or as mother or grandmother. If you’ve read her book, you’ll see how she made a conscious effort to connect to women because she was female. So either Palmieri was taking part in another Clinton’s candidacy or she is deluding herself – or trying to delude us.
And this is the book being touted as the one we, as women need, in order to be successful in a man’s world. This book that tells us we didn’t have any control over our lives and how we were perceived until Saint Hillary took to the national stage and ran for the presidency. What an insult, not only to each and every woman who has strived to be the best she can be for not just years but for centuries but to each and every woman who ran for political office before HRC. It is in insult to Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president. It insults Geraldine Ferrarro, the first woman to run for vice president on a major political party ticket. It insults Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and all the others who ran for office before HRC ever thought about it. Not that they care, but it also insults Sarah Palin who first ran for and won the office of governor of Alaska and who later took to the national stage. Of course, if Palmieri were to discuss Palin, she’d have to discuss how her own hero, HRC, took to center stage to attack Palin. Where was her loyalty to her gender then?
So no, I’m not going to use this as a handbook to “empower” me as a woman. A handbook should be well researched and historically accurate. It shouldn’t have me wanting to throw it through the window – unless I am in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and the book might take out one of the walking dead and give me time to reload the real weapons. Since neither is the case, I will delete the sample and go find the brain bleach. The only thing I can say is that, one chapter in, it isn’t as bad as HRC’s book. But that just means I’m damning it with faint praise.
Until later. (I promise we’ll get back to Sowell next week.)
[OMG, the reading masochist is at it again. If you want her to do more slice and dice snarkage, hit her pourboire jar. – SAH]