I’d rather be an elitist than a sadist.*

April 14th, 2008 9:41 pm by Kelly Garbato

One of my least favorite things about presidential elections – aside from the bitter partisanship, the misogyny and racism, the fear of additional conservative Supreme Court Justices, and the loss of my very personhood, of course – is all the dogdamn pandering to the redneck hunting lobby. (C’mon, like anyone took this seriously. Pffft!)

This cycle, it’s Hillary who’s selling out her humanity for the “sportsmen’s” murderer’s vote. Clinton’s comments of this morning, made in response to Obama’s comments of April 6, are what set me off, but in searching for the exact quote on teh internets, I found quite a few references to her Duck Hunter days. (See, I can condemn the misogyny directed at Hillary without blindly throwing her my vagina vote. Nay, nay, nay boiz!)

Here’s Clinton on February 18:

“I’ve hunted. My father taught me how to shoot,” she told a crowd at the Labor Temple in rural northern Wisconsin. “I remember standing in the cold water. It was so cold, you know, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men.

“And they all were playing a trick on me, and said, ‘We’re not going to shoot, you shoot,’ ’cause you know what they wanted to do. They wanted to embarrass me.

“So the pressure was on. So I shot, and I shot a banded duck.”

Awww! Isn’t that special. I think I’ll vote for her, because she’s snuffed out at least one life in the name of sport. She’ll be perfect to take over the war in Iraq!

April 12:

“I disagree with Sen. Obama’s assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about trade and immigration simply out of frustration,” she began, referring to the Obama comments on small-town Americans that set off a political tumult on Friday.

She then introduced a fond memory from her youth.

“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl,” she said.

“You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”

Why be bitter about your lack of privilege when you can assert some privilege over another, more oppressed group. It’s a win-win. Well, win-lose, but that’s what makes it so mofo fun. Human privilege rocks!

Minutes later, in a slightly awkward moment, Clinton faced a question from a woman in the audience whose son had been paralyzed by a gunshot. The woman asked Clinton what she would do about gun control as president.

Clinton touted her husband’s record on gun control during his administration, and said “there is not a contradiction between protecting Second Amendment rights” and the effort to reduce crime.

Noting that many hunters and gun collectors want to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, Clinton referred to her positive childhood experiences with firearms.

“As I told you, my dad taught me how to shoot behind our cottage,” she said. “I have gone hunting. I am not a hunter. But I have gone hunting.”

If it walks like a duck hunter, talks like a duck hunter, and looks a duck hunter, then…it’s a panderer!

And my personal favorite, the one that spawned this post, from this morning:

“I believe that people don’t cling to religion, they value their faith. You don’t cling to guns, you enjoy hunting or collecting or sport shooting,” Senator Clinton said in Pittsburgh, a blue collar town feeling the economic pinch.

“I don’t think he really gets it that people are looking for a president who stands up for you and not looks down on you.”

Short and to the point. You don’t cling to guns and the power they give you over other, “lesser” beings…you just enjoy using them to assert your power over non-human animals in the name of “sport”. And, as illustrated by the mother of the paraplegic? quadriplegic? from April 12, sometimes human animals, too.

Bravo, Hills. Way to pander to the lowest common denominator. Methinks Barack wins this round:

“Shame on her. Shame on her. She knows better. She is running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen. She, how she values the Second Amendment, she’s talking like she is Annie Oakley. Hillary Clinton is out there like she’s out in the duck blind every Sunday. She’s packing a six shooter. Come on. She knows better. That’s some politics being played by Hillary Clinton. I want to see that picture of her out there in the duck blind. You know, come on.”

This is all especially embarrassing, given Clinton’s strong record on animal protection issues. How I long for the day when politicians – particularly otherwise animal-friendly ones – no longer feel the need to pander to the gun lobby.

* Updated to add that there’s nothing “elitist” about Obama’s remarks, and I absolutely do not accept the Republican framing here. On the contrary, Obama is the most workingclass of the three candidates. Besides, ain’t nothing wrong with being “elitist” – would you haters rather have an uneducated, illiterate president? I mean, that’s worked out wonderfully these past 7 years!




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