Dear George Clooney, Shut Up

Dear George Clooney, you may look cute in a tuxedo, but when you open your mouth, you lose me. And those who compare you to Cary Grant don’t remember the real thing. You aren’t even original. You are just one in a long line of Democratic men offering post-election criticisms of HRC. You clearly didn’t feel that way when you hosted a gala fundraiser for her at your home.

Let’s look at your quoted beef. According to you “she didn’t up her game.” She didn’t inspire you, and that of course, that means she didn’t inspire anyone. I think a legion of women in pink pussy hats would disagree. World-wide participation in the march has been estimated at over 5 million marchers, the majority of whom were inspired by the candidacy and words of Hillary Clinton.

You didn’t find her speeches inspiring? I have heard her speak, and I was so inspired that I actually ponied up the $250 for the dinner I’d attended free because my husband was the pro bono photographer. I couldn’t sit there with my meal knowing I hadn’t contributed to the Democratic Party in my township, Brookhaven (in Suffolk County, New York.) In 2003 we weren’t thinking of HRC running for the presidency; we were so proud of her work in the Senate on our behalf, even if we didn’t agree with one or two of her most important calls. I can’t think of any politician or person I have ever completely agreed with, though my infant, nursing children did seem to hold all of my positions, but not for long.

You wanted soaring rhetoric. Hm. Soaring empty rhetoric? You wanted her to make promises she couldn’t deliver on? Okay. And suppose she had. Suppose she had risen to the oratorical heights that shake your timbers, you mean to say that the press wouldn’t have reminded her that the presidency is not a popularity contest? That soaring rhetoric does not a leader make, something our electorate must discover over and over again. Besides, the jury has already returned on the question of whether or not Ms. Clinton is a good speaker. Her commencement address when she was graduated from Wellesley got featured in Life Magazine in 1969. I agree. Pretty uninspiring.

I’m just curious. Did you parse Al Gore’s loss almost a year later? Comment on his wooden delivery or the brown suits he wore on the advice of Naomi Wolf? Did his loss mean Wolf was wrong or did the Supreme Court do Gore in? Oh you didn’t? I’m not surprised. Is there a female speaker who does inspire you besides your wife? (I’m just guessing here about your wife, but I imagine she does a fine job in court.) Oh, Michelle Obama? Hm. You don’t find it, well, a little distaff to give an entire speech about “taking the high road?” Women have been telling each other and everyone else to do this since the advent of patriarchy. You be the judge of whether or not we’ve been successful, and if you find that rhetoric exciting. In her book, What Happened, HRC tells us that the Obamas gave her this advice. Perhaps Michelle isn’t a role model for HRC as compelling a figure as she is. For my money, she isn’t Hillary whose accomplishments in the world are so long you just want to giggle after reading them.

Here’s what I think is going on. There has been a relentless line of male Democratic politicians criticizing HRC while she was just a candidate, starting with Joe Biden. You didn’t think you were being original did you? And this lack of support had nothing to do with her loss. After all, it can be embarrassing in front of the other guys to have a girl as the captain of your Little League team, especially when she strikes out at the end of the ninth of a tied game. Boys never do that.

Oh wait. She didn’t strike out. She garnered three million more votes than her opponent. That’s pretty uninspiring, I agree.

Not only is she a girl, but she is a mommy too. And when kids hurt, they blame their mommies. It’s always Mommy’s fault. It’s so much easier to blame mommy than Russian hacking, gerrymandering, voter suppression, broken voting machines, unfair voting practices, understaffed polling places, unconscionably long lines that underserved working people who had to get back to the job, and an antiquated electoral college system devised for the sole purpose of putting guys like Trump in power.

A systemic analysis would show that any Democratic candidate was up against a system that money could easily manipulate to produce a result, and the final Comey letter is most often cited by statisticians as the most unfortunate circumstance. Comey’s action was actually illegal, and there’s a case to be made that the results should have been invalidated, and it was suborned by people like Guiliani. Dirty tricks is the Republican Party’s middle name.

If you want to be inspired, you should have been in Greenwich Village last night where the fledging American Women’s Party took Hillary’s ideas forward into action. Co-founders Mia Brett and Maya Contreras met online in a millennials secret Hillary group Ms. Brett co-administrated and were so deeply inspired by the speaker you dismiss that they are now devoting their lives to realizing HRC’s goals. Women are taking similar action all over the country.

What’s that? You’re not inspired by losing? Yeah, I agree. It’s a bummer. I don’t like it either, but turning on a candidate attacked by two rival constituencies, Trump’s and Bernie’s (who couldn’t have better engineered her loss if he tried) seems to misunderstand what happened. Believe me, it was not the lack of fervor of her speeches. You guys are scared while Trump is throwing around his incendiary rhetoric, revolted by his racism, and angered and embarrassed by defeat. I get it. I am too. Several years of working at a Women’s Crisis Center showed me that when men feel bad they attack a woman. Textbook. But believe me, no matter what they think, it doesn’t enhance even one of their reputations, nor does it add to the luster of the depressingly long line of men who feel it necessary to have offered these post-election attacks.

Perhaps you haven’t considered that one day your daughter Ella may read these remarks. She is going to face misogyny you can’t even imagine, and recently young women have told me the most painful misogyny they experience is the unconscious dismissal by their fathers. They carry this around with them forever. She’s a baby. You can still clean up your act. And please tell all your friends to do so, too. Don’t you think your celebrity could be better used so that instead of attacking the politician many of us (it doesn’t have to be you) find the most inspiring of our lifetimes, you talk about the imminent threat of war and even nuclear war in North Korea? Even if you are right about HRC, and I obviously don’t agree that you are, this is old news. The possible destruction we are facing is not, and is the topic that you should be directing the conversation toward. Now that I would find manly.