At least according to Madeleine Albright.
Last week, there was a Hill story about an organized pressure campaign on Elizabeth Warren, designed to shame her into openly supporting Hillary Clinton rather than the person who fits better with her New England socialist lifestyle, Bernie Sanders. This week, there’s word that Clinton surrogate Madeleine Albreight has damned Bernie’s feminist legions to Hell for their gender apostasy, openly declaring that they’ll be chewed alive by Satan himself in the 11th circle if they don’t wise up and get on the Clinton bus.
“Just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” Albright — who was the first-ever female secretary of state — told the audience.
Gloria Steinem, who stood in for Hillary on Real Time With Bill Maher, also called out her fellow feminists for undermining the first female candidate with a real chance of occupying the Oval Office, saying that, while Bernie Sanders makes a lot of good points, the only reason women are flocking to his rallies is to meet men.
Steinem later apologized, but the damage is already done: these days, if you’re sporting ladyparts and not voting with them, you’re obviously a traitor to the cause. Women cannot have their own reasons, their own individual ideologies, or their own ability to discern a candidate of choice for themselves.
So far, it’s at least possible to rationalize that those feminists who forgo Bernie Sanders, who is genuninely more in line with their positions on core issues, are looking for a more widely acceptable candidate, one who could win a general election, and one who does not look as though his pants were purchased at a Goodwill and never cleaned. After all, while her policy differences with Sanders might be clear to those of us with an objective viewpoint on such things, Hillary will never openly admit it, so there are no real, compelling, public reasons to draw a distinction.
But what happens when there are? Saturday night, Marco Rubio managed to rescue an otherwise miserable debate with a great answer on abortion, noting that his pro-life sensibilities would allow him to support only broad abortion restrictions. In his answer, he accused Hillary Clinton of supporting abortion until the moment of birth. But Clinton, addressing Rubio’s statement, appeared to confirm what he’d said, though she’d said before that she would support some restrictions on third-trimester abortions. That puts her at an extreme position, one that most Americans don’t agree with, but one that radical feminists no doubt support. So what does Hillary do? If she walks back her answer, she risks alienating the feminists she’s managed to recruit. If she doesn’t walk her answer back, she proves Rubio right, and her appeal with moderates and independents will suffer.
It’s a tough call. Hillary Clinton will likely ignore it now, but can she ignore it forever?