Monday, June 13, 2016

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 6/10/2016

"Shields and Brooks on ‘anticlimactic' Clinton victory, Trump's ‘moral chasm'" PBS NewsHour 6/10/2016


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including Hillary Clinton's becoming the first major-party female presidential candidate, Clinton's commanding win in California, Sen. Bernie Sanders' role in the election going forward and why the mainstream GOP's opportunistic pivot toward Trump is untenable.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  A historic week for Hillary Clinton.  Bernie Sanders stays in the race, but pledges his support.  And Donald Trump’s campaign tries to recover from a stumble.

That brings us to the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Welcome to you both.

So, let’s talk a little bit about the history.  It took, what, just 240 years, but we do now have a woman as the nominee for President of a major political party.

Did you feel the history, David, this week?

DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times:  Weirdly not.  Maybe I’m a chauvinist or something.

But, you know, obviously, the transformation of the role of women is the biggest event of our lifetime.  It’s the biggest transformation after thousands of years of human history to getting closer to equality on that front.

But Hillary Clinton, it was so long in coming, it didn’t, to me, feel like the big seismic shift, frankly, the way Barack Obama felt in ’08, I think because she’s such a familiar figure and because the social trend has been gradual in coming, that it didn’t feel like sort of this huge, momentous breakthrough moment.

And I think it’s in part because — and this maybe speaks well of the situation we’re in — it wasn’t like a feminist tide.  It was a tide of her own grit, a lot of issues, the Democratic establishment.  If you polled Sanders voters vs.  Clinton voters, Sanders voters were more likely to think there was structural discrimination against women than Clinton voters.

And so she rode on the tide of merit, on issues, but not necessarily a feminist tide.  And so this particular event didn’t feel a seismic opening, at least to me, that, say, the Obama did — thing did.


MARK SHIELDS:  I’m a feminist.


MARK SHIELDS:  No, Golda Meir is my guide on this.  The only woman prime minister of Israel said, “that women are better than men, I cannot say, but what I can say is they certainly are not worse.”

And I think we have come to that point of equality in our politics.  I have to confess that, 32 years ago, when Geraldine Ferraro was named by Walter Mondale, I was emotional.  I thought of my mother.  I thought of my wife.  I thought of my daughter.  I thought — it was just very in large part, I think, because — David said it — it was such a surprise.  It was such a pioneer.  And this has been.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  This was less of a…

MARK SHIELDS:  This was.  And Hillary Clinton has been a formidable, significant political figure and actor for 25 years.

And — but there was genuine emotion in that hall.  You could feel it if you watched it, when she accepted that nomination, and she obviously reciprocated it.  But it was done not just as a sisterhood-is-powerful campaign.  It was a political campaign and it was an effective one.

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