Dear Hillary: You know the drip, drip, drip of accusations, gossip, unsubstantiated "news stories," oppo research (they will always find something new, but by the time it's discounted, the damage will have already been done), critical code words flung about, being Maureen Dowd's favorite whipping boy, and general naysaying is not going to stop.
You know, that's just how politics is played these days. You know, that's just how the media will keep writing, calling it reporting. You know, that's just how powerful men, who fear a woman being the most powerful person in the world − powerful men of every kind and political persuasion − will keep talking, pretending otherwise by saying they are "just being realistic."
You know you need a new playbook, to jump right past all this mess into the hearts and minds of the women voters who can elect you POTUS. (You know, too, it's women who elect Democratic presidents.)
So, while you haven't asked, I've volunteered and written that new playbook for you.
From the Yiddish of Brooklyn, it's titled: Enough Already: (I've Had It Up to Here.) Yup, it's the playbook of tough Brooklyn girls who get it done. Say, Janet Yellen, Nicki Minaj, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, along with their honorary home-girl-from-another-borough, Sonia Sotomayor.
Sometimes, New York girls just scream out loud: enough already. I know 'cause I grew up there. And, having lived in Chicago for many years, I know you Chicago girls can, too.
Enough already with:
Being deferential. Good manners don't deter naysayers. That's because having good manners is antithetical to their credo: to catch you off-guard and make you defensive. That can never be mannerly. Time for you to give them some of their own medicine. That killer letter to Dean Baquet about his lousy reporting about your email was a good start. To the point, taking no prisoners, telling it like it is; it rocked him back on his heels, no doubt.
Next time something similar happens, how about raising your own voice − not your staff's. Your legitimate anger and hurt, your personally speaking truth to power, will make women sit up, take notice, sympathize and count you in their corner. After all, lots of women have had the rug cut out from under them once they got close to the seat of power. And, speaking of power: enough already with
Talking about women's issues but not about women's power. Power changes things. Forget prayer; forget planning; forget policy. It's having power that makes a difference. Make it clear to those women voters what your having POTUS power will mean. Make it clear that a woman having POTUS power has never been more needed than it is today, when there is such a widespread, fervent campaign to destroy women's fundamental power: the ability to control their reproductive destiny. Make it clear that this is a war against women, not some idle issue debate: that it is a battle to render women powerless. Make it clear to women voters you won't have it. Make it clear to women voters that your first presidential act will be using your POTUS power to push the women-haters aside. And, speaking of women's issues, enough already with
Issuing policy agendas in August, expecting them to matter. If today's Donald Trump surge is proof of anything, it's proof that facts and policy issue proposals matter to no-one in August but a few political reporters and editorial writers trying to earn their keep. Yes, your proposal about paying for college tuition was a big (and good) deal. But Donald Trump's continuing success, despite repeatedly making the most misogynistic comments imaginable, is a much bigger (if sadder) deal. In fact, speaking of misogyny, enough already with
Ignoring misogyny. It won't go away. And, it's not funny. Call it when you see it. Tell us women voters you will fight against hateful, sexist talk − no matter who says it − and, while you're at it, condemn the wife beaters, rapists, sex traffickers and others who prey on women. In fact, speaking of condemnation, enough already with
Being polite. Remember that "you're likeable enough, Hillary," comment? You know that was planned; that President Obama's handlers knew American voters aren't looking for likeable; that the imputation of "likeable" is polite, which is good, but weak, which is bad. You know (and he knew) voters are looking for tough. (So, that's what President Obama claimed for himself with that put-down.)
But, you're tough, too. The American people have said they are ready for a woman president, and they know you're the most likely one. And, they aren't foolish enough to think that a woman president won't need to be tough. So, show us that side. Show us how you will protect us. Show us how you will never back down. Tell us how you will condemn our enemies when you need to. Raise your voice when you tell us. In fact, enough already with the
Ms. Nice Guy with a sense of humor in the face of hatefulness. Is Angela Merkel Ms. Nice Guy? Is Dilma Rousseff Ms. Nice Guy? Is Queen Elizabeth Ms. Nice Guy? Not hardly. Not when something else so much more important matters.
You know, Hillary, I know these rules won't work every time. But I believe adopting them will keep your spirits up, and show women voters what they want in their woman POTUS. Besides, and alas, they are needed rules for today, for this rough and tumble, fed up, mean-spirited and un-thoughtful American public. Time to give those shoveling it out some of their own medicine.
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