Gender, Race and American Political Development Spring 2020, Syllabus with revisions accommodating “the Pandemic of 2020”

 

 

 

 

 

PSC72009/Hist74900/WSC 81000-10  Spring 2020*Gender, Race, and American Political Development:American Dream or American Dread?

Tuesdays 11:45 AM-1:45 PM until March 10, then remote via Slack (see announcements)

David Waldstreicher 5411.09  Office Hour Tues 2:00-3:00 (remote and by appointment)

Ruth O’Brien 5200.01 Office Hour Tues. 2:00-3:00 (remote, and by appointment)

Course Overview:   This course examines to what extent, in what ways, are exceptionalist understandings of U.S. political traditions a problem or a solution? Do accounts that stress race, or gender, or the confluence of the two, provide a necessary or sufficient theory or counter-narrative of political development? Do frameworks developed in European politics, in critical theory, in postcolonial thought, or in domestic vernaculars comprehend the roles of race and gender, or their relationship to each other, in the political past and political time now? What kinds of analytical scholarship and storytelling have been adequate to the task?  Finally, given the recent resurgence of angry and martial rhetoric at the center of national politics, how might we understand the relationship between the revolutionary or Enlightenment dreams of justice, peace, freedom and progress, on the one hand, and the recurrent dread or nightmare of decline and oppression, as shaping facts of specifically political traditions?

Written Assignments:

•Weekly brief (1-2 pp.) reflections on the readings.

•A term paper of 12-15 pages, due May 8, that may take one of the following forms:

•A historiography or “literature review” that takes as its subject one of the week’s readings and incorporates the recommend readings and possibly others as well.

•A research paper according to the expectations of one’s discipline or the course one is registered for (political science, history, women’s studies etc.)

•A proposal for a more substantial research project. Consult with one of the instructors about expectations according to disciplinary specificities.

A 2-3 page PROPOSAL for term final paper is due on March 31.

Schedule and Readings      

1 Jan. 28 Introduction: a discipline counts: histories (social, intellectual, political, economic, material, cultural); APD meets APT; theories of living and dead thinkers, significant social theory.

2  Feb. 4  Defining Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Concepts: Definition of APD methods (historical institutionalism, regimes, epistemic communities);  APD meets APT;  APT themes, including settler political theory, West/Imperialism, Migration/Immigration

Reading: Stephen Skowronek & Karen Orren, The Search for American Political Development (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004) chps. 1-2; Rogers M. Smith, “Ideas and the Spirals of Politics: The Place of American Political Thought in American Political Development,” American Political Thought 3 (Spring 2014), pp. 126-136; Jeffrey Checkel, Jeffrey Friedman, Matthias Matthijs, and Rogers Smith, “Roundtable on Ideational Turns in the Four Sub-Disciplines of Political Science,” Critical Review, Vol. 28, Issue 2, (2016), 171-202 [Read Rogers Smith only]; Brian J. Glenn, “Louis Hartz’s Liberal Tradition in America as Method.” Studies in American Political Development 19, no. 2 (2005): 234–39.

Recommended: Rogers M. Smith, “Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Hartz: The Multiple Traditions in America,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 87, No. 3 (Sep., 1993): 549-566; Giacomo Gambino “‘Our End Was in Our Beginning’: Judith Shklar and the American Founding,” American Political Thought 8 (Mar 2019): 202-30; Ruth Abbey, “The Political Thought of America’s Founding Feminists, by Lisa Pace Vetter,” American Political Thought 7 (Sep 2018): 671-73; Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (New York: Nation Books, 2016): Chapters 1-4, pp. 1-57; Paul Pierson, “The Study of Policy Development,” Journal of Policy History 17 No. 1(2005): 34-51; Robert Lieberman, “Ideas, Institutions, and Political Order: Explaining Political Change,” American Political Science Review 96, No. 4 (2002): 697-712; Rogan Kersh, “Rethinking Periodization? APD and the Macro-History of the United States,” Polity 37: 4 (Oct. 2005), pp. 513-522; Aili Mari Tripp, “Historical Perspectives in Comparative Politics and Gender Studies.” Politics & Gender 3, no. 3 (2007): 397–408.

3. Feb. 11    Settler Political Thought: Land, Dispossession, Revolution, and Empire

Reading: Aziz Rana, “Introduction: Liberty and Empire in the American Experience” The Two Faces of American Freedom (Harvard UP, 2010), 1-19; Jack P. Greene, “The Symbiotic Relationship between Liberty and Inequality in the Cultural Construction of Colonial British America and the United States: An Overview,” American Political Thought 5 (Fall 2016), 549-66; Craig Yirush, “The Idea of Rights in the Imperial Crisis,” Social Philosophy & Policy 29 (Jul 2012): 82-103; Carole Shammas, “Anglo-American Household Government in Comparative Perspective,” William and Mary Quarterly 52 (Jan. 1995), 104-45.

Recommended: Aziz Rana, “Settler Revolt and the Foundations of American Freedom,” The Two Faces of American Freedom, ch. 1, pp. 20-98; Nancy Isenberg,” Taking Out the Trash: Waste People in the New World” and “John Locke’s Lubberland: The Settlements of Carolina and Georgia” ch. 1& 2 of White Trash: The Four-Hundred-Year History of Class in America (Viking, 2016), 18-63; David Waldstreicher, Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution (2004); Peter S. Onuf, “American Exceptionalism and National Identity,” American Political Thought 1:1 (Spring 2012), 77-99

4  Feb. 18  Constituting the Republic

Reading: David Waldstreicher, “The Mansfieldian Moment: Slavery, the Constitution, and American Political Traditions,” Rutgers Law Journal 43 (2013), 471-86; Jan Ellen Lewis,  “What Happened to the Three Fifths Clause: The Relationship Between Women and Slaves in Constitutional Thought, 1787-1866,” Journal of the Early Republic 37 (Spring 2017), 1-46; Joshua Simon, “Alexander Hamilton in Hemispheric Perspective,” The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought (Cambridge UP, 2017), 48-88; Gregory Ablavsky, “The Savage Constitution,” Duke Law Journal 63 (June 2014), 999-1089

Recommended:Sanford V. Levinson, “On the Inevitability of ‘Constitutional Design,’” 48 Arizona State Law Journal 249 (2016); Elvin T. Lim, “Political Thought, Political Development, and America’s Two Foundings,” American Political Thought 3 (2014),146-56; David Waldstreicher, Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification (2009); Max Edling, “Peace Pact and Nation: An International Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States,” Past and Present 240 (Aug. 2018), 267-303; David Brian Robertson, The Original Compromise (Oxford U. Press, 2013).

5. Feb. 25  Settlers: Labor(ing)

Reading:Christopher Tomlins, “Law, Population, Labor” in Tomlins and Grossberg eds., The Cambridge History of Law in America (Cambridge UP, 2008), 211-52; David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (New York: Verso, 1991), chapters 3-4, pp. 43-92; Nancy Isenberg, “Pedigree and Poor White Trash: Bad Blood, Half-Breeds, and Clay-Eaters” and “Cowards, Poltroons, and Mudsills: Civil War as Class Warfare” chapters 6 and 7 of White Trash: The Four-Hundred-Year History of Class in America (Viking, 2016), pp. 135-73; Gunther Peck, “Labor Abolitionism and the Politics of White Victimhood: Rethinking the History of Working-Class Racism,” Journal of the Early Republic 39 (Spring 2019), 89-98; Gordon, Jane Anna, and Keisha Lindsay. “Black on Red: Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth-Century New World Black Interpretative Uses of Native American Political Experience.” The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 4, no. 2 (2019): 324–51.

Recommended:  Barbara Fields, “Slavery, Race and Ideology in the United States” (1990/2011) in New Left Review (1990) or in Barbara Fields and Karen Fields, Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life; David F. Ericson, “The United States Military, State Development, and Slavery in the Early Republic.” Studies in American Political Development 31, no. 1 (2017): 130–48; Dana Frank, “White Working-Class Women and the Race Question.” International Labor and Working-Class History 54 (1998): 80–102; Catherine Carstairs, “Defining Whiteness: Race, Class, and Gender Perspectives in North American History.” International Labor and Working-Class History 60 (2001): 203–6.

6. March 3   Democracy in Theory and Practice

Reading:Reeve Huston, “Rethinking the Origins of Partisan Democracy in the United States, 1795-1840” in Daniel Peart and Adam I. P. Smith eds., Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War (2016), 46-71; Andrew W. Robertson, “Jeffersonian Parties, Politics and Participation: The Tortuous Trajectory of American Democracy” in Peart and Smith eds., Practicing Democracy, 99-122; Honor Sachs, Home Rule: Households, Manhood, and National Expansion on the Eighteenth-Century Kentucky Frontier (Yale UP, 2015), Introduction and ch. 5 (pp. 1-12, 120-43); Laura Edwards, “The Legal World of Elizabeth Bagby’s Commonplace Book: Federalism, Women, and Governance,” Journal of the Civil War Era 9 (Dec. 2019), 504-23; John L. Brooke, “Patriarchal Magistrates, Associated Improvers, and Monitoring Militias: Visions of Self-Government in the Early American Republic, 1760-1840” in Peter Thompson and Peter S. Onuf eds., State and Citizen: British America and the Early United States (UP of Virginia, 2013), 178-217

Recommended:David Waldstreicher, “The Nationalization and Racialization of American Politics: Before, Between, and Beneath Parties, 1790-1840” in Anthony J. Badger and Byron E. Shafer eds., Contesting Democracy: Structure and Substance in American Political History, 1775-2000  (University Press of Kansas, 2001), 37-63; Aziz Rana, “Citizens and Subjects in Postcolonial America,” The Two Faces of American Freedom, ch. 2, 99-175; Adam Dahl, Empire of the People: Settler Colonialism and the Foundations of Modern Democratic Thought (2017); Alvin B. Tillery, Jr., “Tocqueville as Critical Race Theorist: Whiteness as Property, Interest Convergence, and the Limits of Jacksonian Democracy” Political Research Quarterly 62, No. 4 (Dec., 2009); Rosemarie Zagarri, Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic (2009)

7. March 10   Settlers: Migrating and Warring

Reading:Jason M. Opal, “General Jackson’s Passports: Natural Rights and Sovereign Citizens in the Political Thought of Andrew Jackson, 1780s-1820s,” Studies in American Political Development 27 (2013): 69-85; Laurel Clark Shire, “Turning Sufferers into Settlers: Gender, Welfare, and National Expansion in Frontier Florida,” Journal of the Early Republic 33 (2013); Anna O. Law, “Lunatics, Idiots, Paupers, and Negro Seamen—Immigration Federalism and the Early American State.” Studies in American Political Development 28, no. 2 (2014): 107–28; Paul Frymer, “‘A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours’: Territorial Expansion, Land Policy, and U.S. State Formation,” Perspectives on Politics 12: 1 (March 2014), pp. 119-144

Recommended: Michael Paul Rogin, “Liberal Society and the Indian Question,” Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian (1975), 3-15; Nicole Eustace, 1812: War and the Passions of Patriotism (2011), especially ch. 1 and 5; Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton, The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000 (2010); Theda Skocpol, Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992).

———————- Remote Instruction begins via Slack

8. March 17 Racial Orders, Mobility, and (Second) Civil War/Revolution/Reconstruction

Reading:Van Gosse, “Racial Orders in the United States, 1790-1860,” Journal of the Early Republic, forthcoming Spring 2020; Gautham Rao, “The Federal Posse Comitatus Doctrine: Slavery, Compulsion, and Statecraft in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America,” Law and History Review 26 (Spring, 2008), pp. 1-56; Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War (2016), Introduction and ch. 2 “Becoming Mobile in an Age of Segregation,” pp. 1-9, 44-75; Amy Dru Stanley, “The Sovereign Market and Sex Difference: Human Rights in America” in Sven Beckert and Christine Desan, American Capitalism: New Histories (Columbia UP, 2018), 140-69.

Recommended: Gautham Rao, “The State the Slaveholders Made: Regulating Fugitive Slaves in the Early Republic” in T. Freyer and L. Campbell eds., Freedom’s Conditions in the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands in the Age of Emancipation (Durham NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2011), 88-108; Kate Masur, “State Sovereignty and Migration Before Reconstruction,” Journal of the Civil War Era 9 (Dec. 2019); Nancy Isenberg, Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America (1998); Carole Shammas, “The Household’s Civil War in an Era of Domestic Bliss,” A History of Household Government in America (UP of Virginia, 2001), ch. 5, pp. 108-44;l Woody Holton, “Equality as Unintended Consequence: The Contracts Clause and the Married Women’s Property Acts,” Journal of Southern History (May 2015), pp.313-340; Laura Edwards, “Reconstruction and the History of Governance” in Gregory Downs and Kate Masur eds., The World the Civil War Made (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 22-45; Aziz Rana, “Freedom Struggles and the Limits of Constitutional Continuity” 71 Md. L. Rev. 1015 (2012); William A. Blair, “Vagabond Voters and Racial Suffrage in the Jacksonian Era,” Journal of the Civil War Era 9 (2019), 569-87.

9. March 24 Manifest Domesticity & Imperialism

Reading:Amy Kaplan, The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture (Harvard University Press, 2005),  Intro and ch. 1; Desmond S. King, and Rogers M. Smith, “Racial Orders in American Political Development,” American Political Science Review 99, no. 1 (2005): 75–92; Carol Nackenoff, “The Private Roots of American Political Development: The Immigrants’ Protective League’s ‘Friendly and Sympathetic Touch,’ 1908–1924.” Studies in American Political Development 28, no. 2 (2014): 129–60; Eileen McDonagh, The Motherless State, Women’s Political Leadership and American Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 2009),  Chp. 6; Mark W. Van Weinen, “W. E. B. Du Bois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and “A Suggestion on ‘The Negro Problem,’” American Literary Realism 48 No. 1 (2015): 25-39.

Recommended:Gretchen Ritter, “Gender and Politics over Time.” Politics & Gender 3, no. 3 (2007): 386–97; Amy Kaplan, “Manifest Domesticity,” American Literature 70, no. 3 (1998): 581-606; Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease Cultures of United States Imperialism (Duke University Press, 1993) excerpts

10. March 31 Regressive Progressives

Reading: Alexander Sanger “Eugenics, Race, and Margaret Sanger Revisited: Reproductive Freedom for All?,” Hypatia 22 (2007): 210-17; Priscilla Yamin, “The Search for Martial Order: Civic Membership and the Politics of Marriage in the Progressive Era,” Polity, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 2009), 86-112; Julie Novkov, “Bringing the States Back In: Understanding Legal Subordination and Identity through Political Development,” Polity, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Jan., 2008), pp. 24-48; Yvonne Pitts,  “Disability, Scientific Authority, and Women’s Political Participation at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century United States,” Journal of Women’s History, 24 (2012): 37-61; Adolph Reed, “DuBois’s ‘Double Consciousness’: Race and Gender in Progressive Era American Thought.” Studies in American Political Development 6, no. 1 (1992): 93–139; 93–139.

Recommended: Dana Seitler, “Unnatural Selection: Mothers, Eugenic Feminism, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Regeneration Narratives,” American Quarterly 55 (2003): 61-88; Thomas C. Leonard, “More Merciful and Not Less Effective”: Eugenics and American Economics in the Progressive Era,” History of Political Economy, 35 (2003): 687-712; Randall Hansen and Desmond S. King, “Eugenic Ideas, Political Interests, and Policy Variance: Immigration and Sterilization Policy in Britain and the U.S.” World Politics 53 (2001): 237-63; Bruce Baum, The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race: A Political History of Racial Identity (New York University Press, 2006); Anna Stubblefield, Ethics Along the Color Line (Cornell University Press, 2005).

11. April  7  New Deal Emoting or New Deal Buy Body Building

Reading:Ira Katznelson, Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (New York: Liveright, 2014),. Intro & ch 1; Ruth O’Brien, Workers’ Paradox: The Republican Origins of the New Deal, Ch 1; Lisa McGirr, The War on Alcohol, Prohibition and the Rise of the American State (Norton, 2016), excerpt; Theda Skocpol and Kenneth Finegold, “State Capacity and Economic Intervention in the Early New Deal,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 97, No. 2 (Summer, 1982), pp. 255-278; Jessica Wang, “Imagining the Administrative State: Legal Pragmatism, Securities Regulation, and New Deal Liberalism.” Journal of Policy History 17, no. 3 (2005): 257–93.

RecommendedCathy J. Cohen & David R Mayhew in “A Discussion of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time, By Ira Katznelson,” Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 3 (2014): 708–13; Margaret Weir,“States, Race, and the Decline of New Deal Liberalism,” Studies in American Political Development 19, no. 2 (2005): 157–72.

Spring Recess

12.   April 21 Intertwining, embedding the CRA and the creation of the EEOCt

Readings: Ira Katznelson, “When Is Affirmative Action Fair? On Grievous Harms and Public Remedies,” Social Research, Vol. 73, No. 2, (Summer 2006), pp. 541-568; Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development 1960-1972 (Oxford University Press, 1990), Chp. 5 or pp. 125-152; Sarah Staszak, “Institutions, Rulemaking, and the Politics of Judicial Retrenchment,” Studies in American Political Development 24, no. 2 (2010): 168–89; David A. Hollinger, “The Disciplines and the Identity Debates, 1970-1995.” Daedalus 126, no. 1 (1997): 333-51; David A. Bateman, Ira Katznelson, and John Lapinski. “Southern Politics Revisited: On V. O. Key’s ‘South in the House,’” Studies in American Political Development 29, no. 2 (2015): 154–84.; Gloria Anzaldua, “This Bridge Called My Back” in This Bridge Called My Back: The Gloria Anzaldua Reader (Duke University Press, 2009), excerpt; Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, Back Women, Rape and Resistance, a New History of the Civil Rights Movement From Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, ​ prologue or pp. xv-xxii.

RecommendedIra Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co., 2005); S. Taylor, “The Body Is Not an Apology” (2013, March),  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7lKPdh_y-8  ; 

13. April 28 Righting the Right under the Civil Rights Many Movement

Reading:Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton University Press, revised ed. 2015), selections; Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (Simon & Schuster, 2016), Lewis Powell memorandum excerpt; Kundai Chirindo, “Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Approaches to the Obama Presidency,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 19 No. 3 (2016): 491-504; Jill Lepore, The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party and the Battle for American History (Princeton University Press, 2010), Prologue; Stephen M. Engel, “Developmental Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Politics: Fragmented Citizenship in a Fragmented State,” Perspectives on Politics 13, no. 2 (2015): 287–311.

RecommendedThomas B. Edsall, Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power (New York: Basic Books, 2006); Ruth O’Brien, Out of Many, One: Obama and the Third Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), Chp. 3 and Epilogue; Andrew Marantz, Anti-Social, Online Extremists, Techno-Utopias and the Hijacking of the American Conversation (2019), (Identity Evropa) Chps. 12 and 27; Mark, Neven “Nixon Loyalists, Barry Goldwater, and Republican Support for President Nixon during Watergate.” Journal of Policy History 29, no. 3 (2017): 403–30.

14. May 5 Trump: A Departure?Reading: Students brainstorm readings

*Subject to Revision

Will Gretchen Carlson Give Back?

j108111  Twenty million ain’t bad.

As we congratulate sexually harassed former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, I hope she can carve off a million or so and start a free-speaking foundation for women, or at least give a few talks at free-thinking public institutions like the City University of New York (CUNY). A foundation for the non-marginalization of women speaking freely about politics! After all, look at what the Koch brothers did with three million.

Not that there aren’t already those organizations. It’s  just they don’t seem to have much impact or many thought leaders, other than the ones who are, as they say in England, news readers — the face of the news, when women need much more to be in the news (or at least behind the scenes in the editorial rooms, deciding which pretty men to put outside to read the news), not just influence it.

Political science remains one of the most female-unfriendly disciplines in the social sciences. We’re happy to have Gretchen speak for us. I promise no “I told you so’s” if/when she addresses students at the Graduate Center of CUNY about the conservative nature of this subject (read neotribal/patriarchial, etc.). After all, we’re the only public university in town, and we happen to have more women faculty than in the discipline nationwide.

Hopefully, Gretchen won’t pick one of the old Ivies after reading Nancy Wise Malkiel’s book about higher education in the United States, appropriately titled Keep the Damned Women Out.

Fox’s Ailes Is Better at Chasing . . .

imgres   TellingStories   imgres

Here’s a picture that won’t surprise you. By picture, I mean read the lawsuit. A sample: “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you would have been good and better and I would have been good and better.”

What I mean by “better” is more effective in hiring, targeting, harassing, and then firing their loyal women announcers (who undoubtedly don’t believe in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, protecting them from discrimination, until it “suits” them).

http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100171860

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2941030-Carlson-Complaint-Filed.html

Let’s Face It, Where’s Barack?

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A tragedy for us all, though we are not all equal in tragedy.

How does one explain this graphic murder to anyone? Can we hope to stop the killing of our fellow American citizens by state actors hired and funded (in part) by the sovereign American nation-state? This is a question for one national leader — who I used to think did not lead from behind.

 

Do American Men (between the ages of 18 and 39) Need Rights?^

YingYangSymbol-1no bullyinI’m talking about the 5 percent  — The Donald’s Fans; or I suppose within the Democratic party Joe’s fans; and then those who are not very political or partisan — that is, the number of people in the United States who are not protected under federal civil rights legislation is very small.  It is around 5 percent.
Contrary to how we view civil rights in the affirmative action mindset, most people are in one protected class or another.  There are civil rights protections  for women, children, persons of color, persons of certain ethnicities in different locations (including Italians in New York City) persons with disabilities, persons who are pregnant, persons with predispositions to genetic diseases and illnesses, persons over the age of 39, and persons who are LGBTQers.
The best political line I heard this February was not in House of Cards but in Downton Abbey. Dowager Countess Grantham Maggie Smith said something poignant to the effect that: “Men don’t have rights.” What Julian Fellowes, creator of the series, really meant was that SLAMs and SCAMs — or, in the American context, men between the ages of 18 and 39 — don’t need rights.*
You don’t have (or need) rights if you control the social, economic, and political processes, as the aristocratic class in England did until their Empire’s end.
Even acknowledging the existence of rights puts you in the kind and self-deprecating column, which goes a long way when you want to claim you even understand the need for rights. (That’s code for ahh shucks, SLAMs and SCAMS realizing they are gonna have to share and can’t bully everyone off the playground.)
All identity politics (including Hillary) is first about power, not rights or duties, let alone obligations (the latter, being cultural, social, economic, political and legal, are more comprehensive than a combination of duties and rights). The group that has the power to make the rules does not need rights.
So any time any group starts belittling rights (e.g. conservative commentary on the Selma march, and about using its 50th anniversary to honor the civil-rights movement by marching), beware. And any time any group starts reversing rights, beware. Reversing rights is simply the conservative way of hitting the less powerful the hardest where they live.
Look what happened to Frank Underwood (FU) when First Lady Claire Underwood stood her ground. House of Cards raised many issues this season that involve women, power, and violence — and the season spoiler is: Who will come out on top?
As is the case with most TV shows, it ends with a strand of three — three women – 1) Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel), FU’s rival for the 2016 Democratic bid; 2) FU gets Rep. Jacqueline Sharp (Molly Parker), who betrayed Claire by backing out of sponsoring legislation against violence against women in the military; and 3) Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan), the call girl FU used to engineer a debased and debauched no-nothing SLAM member of Congress. FU’s fixer and enforcer, season three’s Chief of Staff, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), obsessed with protecting the religious, demure, repentant-lost-call-girl, finally comes to Chief of Staff senses when she nearly beats him to death. He beats her back, taking his”right”-ful position as FU’s Chief of Staff after not only digging the grave all by himself, but putting the religious and demure Rachel in it personally after she almost tricked him out of it one last time. Will FU do Claire in; or does Claire control the upper hand to do an FU (making Claire a proxy for HC’s humiliation during BC’s impeachment)?
When groups belittle and reverse rights for protected classes — those who did not historically control the entire political process — and/or reverse rights, there can be only one reaction — violence or the threat of violence against women and all protected others.
When the GOP pokes Hillary, along with all the not-so-properly-blue men who retreat from the Democratic party, she should not react. HC has learned what my boys learned on their very first playgrounds — and that’s that you have to stand there and take it, protect your friends and especially your brother, but don’t poke back. Stand your ground.
And of course this means releasing great reports for CSW, the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Hillary must. But this does not mean that HC is framing herself, does it?
Is HC launching her campaign with Women’s History Month? I doubt it was more than a trial balloon now that she’s faced the full blowback while giving her email speech from the UN podium.
Hillary wouldn’t dare do that officially, any more than Barack Obama relied on Black History Month. Obama has to speak for everyone, which pretty much sums up the main frustration of the Obama presidency.
While women account for 51 percent of the population, there is a much stronger argument. But HC knows better than most the perils of being a “first.”
We are now set up for season four (the finale in February 2016) with three women and one ghost while Downton Abbey devolves turns into a feel-good prime-time PBS soap opera with one Dowager Countess making us feel good about how women have collected their “rights.” Don’t think so. No matter what: On February 27, 2016, the new season of House of Cards will set the tone for Hillary’s run against whatever GOP candidate has emerged by February’s end after Iowa: New Hampshire; Colorado caucuses, Minnesota caucuses; New York; Utah; Nevada caucuses; South Carolina; North Carolina; and Michigan have been decided. Prof. #RuthOBrienGC*
^This is reprinted since the Weasel Zippers deleted it from all sites but one.  So, from this I conclude it had “Idea Impact”
—————————–
Ruth and the dowager countess are correct that if you have privilege (from the Latin for “private law”), you don’t need rights. Custom is stronger than any legislation — until it isn’t. And by the same token, when a privilege decreases or disappears, rights that were created specifically to oppose it should decrease or disappear as well.
To be sure, some privileges don’t go away. People with disabilities, by definition, require accommodation, and they have a right to it (though as my favorite political scientist has pointed out, the best solution is to make “disability rights” universal by recognizing that everyone is a member or potential member of this protected class). Women need more restroom space in public places than men do, and should have it written into the building code; no amount of consciousness raising will change this.
By contrast, consider the Voting Rights Act. When Congress passed it in 1965, the Selma march had taken place just a few months before, and the official ballot symbol of the Alabama Democratic party still contained the slogan “White Supremacy.” Things changed greatly over the next few years, and in the ensuing decades, and now in much of the South, black voter-turnout rates exceed those of whites. Yet the VRA’s burdensome pre-clearance rules and other bureaucratic requirements are still in effect in nine entire states and assorted localities (including New York City) because those places had voting problems back when LBJ was president. And there’s no serious chance that the VRA will be repealed anytime soon: The Democrats won’t let it happen, because that would require admitting that it isn’t 1965 anymore.
And the Republicans? They oppose repeal too, not only because they would be portrayed as racist, but because the VRA effectively mandates the creation of heavily black and Hispanic districts for Congress and state legislatures, to ensure the election of black and Hispanic officials. This isolation of non-GOP voters in a handful of districts works in the Republicans’ favor. The best estimates are that if congressional districts were drawn in a race-neutral fashion, the Democrats would have a dozen more seats.
In other words: If an identity group relies on rights, it will get what the rights require — and nothing more. The best way to eliminate privilege is to make rights universal and apply them equally to all. Editor #FredOBrien**
*House of Cards Season 3 Spoiler alert
**Frederic O’Brien are entirely his own, not reflective of Ruth O’Brien.org CUNY Politics Professor views or those of any campus of The City University of New York(CUNY)