KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How Clinton Draws Dislike

Columnist Jeff Greenfield, writing in Slate, has put his finger on what about Hillary Clinton irritates some people. He compares Clinton's temperament to Daffy Duck's and Barack Obama's temperament to Bugs Bunny's. I wouldn't have picked those (or any) cartoon characters, but here's the section of Greenfield's piece that I'm talking about:
... Bugs and Daffy represent polar opposites in how to deal with the world. Bugs is at ease, laid back, secure, confident. His lidded eyes and sly smile suggest a sense that he knows the way things work. He's onto the cons of his adversaries. ... Bugs never raises his voice, never flails at his opponents or at the world. He is rarely an aggressor....

Daffy Duck, by contrast, is ever at war with a hostile world. He fumes, he clenches his fists, his eyes bulge, and his entire body tenses with fury. ... Daffy is constantly frustrated, sometimes by outside forces, sometimes by his own overwrought response to them. In one classic duel with Bugs, the two try to persuade Elmer Fudd to shoot the other—until Daffy, tricked by Bugs' wordplay, screams, "Shoot me now!"
What Greenfield is getting at is Clinton's inability to go with the flow. She reacts to people who anger her by showing her anger and by telling other people about it. When kids are teased at school, the ones who can laugh it off and roll with the verbal punches (to use a few clich├ęs)—and even humorously give back what's dished out—are the ones who soon are no longer targeted for picking on. The ones who are stiff and show exactly how angry they are—the way my somewhat rigid 13-year-old son with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder often does—are the ones who continue to be harassed.

Now, that's not fair; it's just the way people unfortunately treat others. I'm not saying that Clinton is incompetent or not intelligent. I'm just saying that this facet of how she handles herself rubs some people the wrong way; many people haven't gotten past the junior high school level when it comes to judging others.

And I don't think that the dislike of Clinton's personality has anything to do with her being a woman.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

A well-written post. Agree with you. I didn't know that attention deficit disorder can be cured untill i came across www.attention-deficit-disorder.net. It took me quite some time, but I've finally overcomed it.

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