Touchstones, by Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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9 Responses

  1. Van Jensen says:

    I hope this doesn't come across as too angry, Elayne, because I don't mean it that way, but I take pretty serious issue with the identification of Clinton as a "leading" candidate and writing off her RFK comments as reasonable political rhetoric.First, she's not "leading" anything, despite her advisors' continual attempts to misguide the public. She's in serious jeopardy of outright losing to Obama by delegates, and at the very least has no chance of catching him (unless Ickes & Co. manage to seat only the Michigan and Florida delegates that went to her and none of the 50-60 that went to Obama). She keeps claiming she's leading the popular vote, but that's also "Seussian math" (I quote, which requires the counting of voters that shouldn't count (Florida and Michigan) and not counting voters that should (a few states that went to Obama haven't released popular vote counts since, you know, it doesn't factor).The RFK comment was foolish if only because she should have worded it better, but more importantly, it's a completely empty parallel because the primary calendar has changed dramatically since RFK was killed or even since Clinton the First won in '92. Each of them had been campaigning for less than a year (about three months for RFK) when their contest was ended by victory or death. Hillary has been on the trail for a year and a half, and all fair calculations give her literally no shot at winning (again I cite Slate's Hillary Deathwatch).

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      I stand by my phrasing, Van. "A" leading does not mean the same as "the" leading. Clinton is running a close second place, has for awhile. That makes her a leading candidate, unlike the guy I really wanted to vote for (John Edwards) who dropped out before the NY primary.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      Hilary may not currently be "leading," but she certainly has been a "major" candidate and many considered her the "leading" candidate before the Iowa Caucus and after the New Hampshire Primary. I see nothing misleading in Elayne calling Clinton "a leading candidate."That said, I agree with Elayne that Hilary's comment about the death of RFK was pulled whole cloth out of context. I think the media gets bored. It was a slow news day and so somebody decided to pounce on this line and run with it. It's not fair. It's the way the media works.Howard Dean's campaign (and he was a "leading" candidate at one time) was derailed by a single word, "YEEEAARGH!" The Dixie Chicks were blacklisted from country radio and vilified by conservative media for an off-hand remark made between songs at a concert overseas. A remark that nearly 80% of Americans seem to agree with nowadays.The media is fickle and cruel. The public are addle-pated sheep. We're more concerned with Britney's train wreck of a life (and fueling that with our constant vigilance) than the hundreds of thousands dying in Myanmar, China, Iraq, Africa. Whose cellulite was showing on the beach? Who had wrinkled, old man-hands at their movie premier? Who is too thin? Who is too fat? Is Jennifer heartbroken again? Who is the sexiest Olympic Athlete? YEEEAARGH! Has the media coverage of Hilary been unfair at times? Yes. Can that be attributed to sexism? You really can't say. The media is unfair. That's a given. Not all of Clinton's unfair coverage has to do with her being a woman. From my perspective, not much of it has. But that's the problem with racism and sexism. A black man who gets shitty service at the drive-through window may wonder, "Was this because I'm black?" I get to just assume my local Wendy's has a shitty drive-through. Racism and sexism are insidious. It's so easy to misinterpret every slight as being sourced in an "ism." But then again, some "Ism"s IS.Bill Clinton was impeached in a legal/political chess match that dragged on for months. What did that boil down to, lying about getting caught with his pants down with an intern. Clinton lied. His actions were shameful. His Presidency will forever boil down to the punchline of a joke.But lets compare that to a Presidency where high ranking White House officials committed treason by outing a CIA operative. A Presidency where illegal surveillance, torture, rendition, callous ineptitude and misleading the public into war are standard fair. The problem with the current Presidency is that there are SO many scandals, the press can't keep up. And the public has become so NUMB to liars and incompetents that we just accept all this shit as business as usual.I am stunned that a medaled war hero, like John Kerry, could have his character attacked in a campaign against a President who had DWIs, was an admitted cocaine user and whose own record of military service was a shining example of skating through with minimum sacrifice. Bush had a track record of incompetence going back decades! But that's the media. That's the public. We are IDIOTS! Has Hilary gotten a fair shake by the media? No. Is that Barry Obama's fault? No. Did the media scream to get Mike Huckabee out of the Republican race after McCain became the presumptive nominee? Not as loudly as they are screaming for Clinton to bow out. Clinton has earned the right to duke it out, even into the convention if she wants. And Obama has earned the right to be seen as the front runner, the leading candidate. Supposedly, with just forty more delegates, Obama has a lock and can claim to be the "presumptive nominee." Let's see how it turns out. We just have to wait a week.After Teddy's passing (I know, I'm presuming), will the highest ranking political figure in the Kennedy clan be Arnold Schwarzenegger? Maybe I'm too young, but the stench of the Chappaquiddick lingers on the Kennedy Legacy. It's indicative of a sense of entitlement and a disregard for women in general. Maybe my favorite Kennedy is Eunice. Does it matter?Who is YOUR favorite Kennedy? Lets make a list! Who is the sexiest Kennedy? Oh, I know, it's easy to say, "Jackie!" But isn't that SO obvious. Rose was looker in her day. But did you ever see her in a swimsuit? Oh my, man-hands and cellulite! It was scandalous!

  2. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    The Democrats need something very impotant – a united front going into the coronationconvention. As of right now, Hillary has made it clear that she will keep fighting right up to and into the convention if she has to. Bill didn't clinch the nomination until June, but he did indeed clinch it. He had a number of weeks as the presumptive nominee, and when the convention started it was again mere formality, with the reading of the votes nothing more than an opportunity for the American public to hear the name Clinton, followed by cheering, repeated fifty times.It doesn't appear that is going to happen this time. No matter whch of them gets the nom, he other is gonna have an asterisk floating above their heads in a lot of eyes. Large numbers of voters have said they will cross the aisle, or stay home altogether should The Other Candidate get the nomination. Then there's that maddening idea that the only way The Other One could get the nom is bacause this is a (whichever)ist nation, and we've made no progress in 200 years, yadda yadda blather blather.For years we've bemoaned the fact that we never getanyone we want to vote FOR, just someone we want to vote AGAINST. Well, we got what we asked for this time, twice, and we're STILL bollixing it up.I'm with The Bobs in their song "Democratic Process", I believe Presidential selection should be based on our dental records. I just got my bonding touched up.

  3. Martha Thomases says:

    In fact, it was clear as early as April of 1992 that Clinton was going to be the nominee. It was unlikely that the math would allow any other candidate to overtake his lead. Just like Obama.Ever since his victory speech in Iowa, I've held my breath every time Obama gives a speech in public. Not just because the man can talk (and he's inspirational), but because it's so easy to imagine that shot ringing out. Maybe it's because 1968 is still so vivid in my memory, but I fear for the good ones. When I met her in 1992, I liked Hillary a lot. She's smart, and she's sharp, and she cares about people, especially kids. However, her vote for the war made it difficult for me to support her for president when there are other candidates who either didn't support the war or have apologized for their vote.

  4. Mike Gold says:

    Clearly, Clinton has indeed suffered some abuse from the media — if she had a dollar for every time she was referred to as "Hillary" or "Mrs. Clinton" in the same sentence as "Senator Obama," then she wouldn't be over $30 million in debt.However, when it comes to her own comments it is no longer possible to give her the benefit of the doubt. She persistently misrepresented her record on experience, she engaged in shameless race-baiting (the candidate of working white men — you know, like those in Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas and South Carolina??), she flip-flopped on how to count the votes virtually every week, she lied to us about her experiences "under fire" in Bosnia… to name but a few. When it came to her comments regarding Bobby Kennedy, a reasonable person not associated with any campaign (which eliminates RFK Jr.) would have to take her at her word — the words she actually spoke, four times on four different occasions — the last being days after the last of the Kennedy brothers was diagnosed with terminal cancer.What concerns me more, though, is her growing recklessness as it became clear she could not win under the very rules of the Democratic party which she had previously supported. Senator Clinton's statements over the past few weeks bordered on some of the mindless but on-message comments from George W. Bush. More articulate and better delivered, but lacking in the one thing we most want to see in a candidate this year: truth.

  5. Rick Taylor says:

    Ten bucks sez Elaine's next column is about comics.Just a guess.

    • Russ Rogers says:


    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Hah! So what you're saying is, I can make an easy ten? :)I have no idea what my next column will be about. I do want to review Suburban Glamour, but then I wanted to review Miki Falls and that never came about. I usually wait until Sunday rolls around and then start to panic about my subject matter… ;)