GENDER: A GOOD REASON TO VOTE FOR HILLARY BUT NOT THE ONLY REASON. Ezra criticizes my earlier post, saying that "insofar as it assumes that gender would be an insufficient reason to support Hillary Clinton." Insofar as Ezra is saying we should never vote for white men, I disagree with him too -- he just isn't saying that, just like I wasn't saying that we shouldn't take candidates' gender or race into account in our voting.
What I do still think is insulting to Clinton is the suggestion that the only reason she has been successful is her gender. Has it helped her? Of course and rightly so. Do I think that she would still be a viable candidate if she wasn't a woman? Yes. She has unique experience in how an executive branch is run, she has been a great success as a senator, and she has a reputation for competence that attracts many people.
Suggesting that one reason people support her is gender is obviously true and, as Ezra so carefully and correctly explained, not a problem. What gets to me is when people like Elizabeth Edwards use that fact to suggest that her campaign is only successful because of identity politics. It denigrates the rest of her accomplishments and it undermines all women who seek public office. It's also obviously false -- or we'd all remember the triumphant presidential campaign of Carol Moseley Braun.