Political Animals
The Woman Problem

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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PREVIOUSLY & ALWAYS
I'm just sick of it all, that's what's going on. I am sick to death of the bullshit, and the egos, and of the men... I am sick of the men. Just one time, just once, I would like to accomplish something in this city without having to spend all of my energy navigating the shortsighted, selfish, self-involved and oh-so-fragile male egos that suck up all the oxygen in this town. It makes me so sick, Douglas. So sick I could puke for days.

...I'm running for President.

2 YEARS AGO THE PROVERBIAL

"People," a journalist suggested, were "starting to wonder" about "Mrs. Hammond" and her "so-called Woman Problem.'" See if you can spot the point where Bud's response goes irrevocably south.

"Nonsense! Elaine Hammond has done more for women than any candidate in the primary. She's championed women's health issues for thirty years, she rallied for Justice Nash's appointment to the Supreme Court and she's been speaking out on domestic abuse since law school. And that's not to mention her work in Illinois -- where by the way she's the governor, Mike, not Mrs.. Now let me ask you a question: Why is it, when most people ask about my wife's Woman Problem, they don't tend to have a vagina?"

A better question: Why, when 50 percent of the population has one, are the dudes in charge so uncomfortable with the word? The only Woman Problem has ever been that they exist.

Advisor Barry: "So the former President of the United States just said vagina on TV..."
Elaine: "Big deal, Barry."

Except you don't need a poll to know that the people in charge -- much less voters -- in America don't want to hear the word. It's like saying the name of the victim over and over in a homicide trial. It makes it human.

Douglas: "Except that in this particular case, he's a known horndog. It manages to remind everybody of what makes him a liability to you now, and why he makes you look weak. They rerun every lascivious thought of you, every time they called you a frigid bitch, every time they imagined you pulling that woman's hair, all the parts of the story they enjoyed most the first time around. A vagina is not just a vagina, it's her vagina."

The question was whether this was a recoverable error or whether Bud was melting down. Was this is about ego, with Bud subconsciously sinking his ex-wife's campaign, or was it just the other side of the coin of his electability and charm? Was he pushing into overdrive to keep Garcetti from his eventual win? Doug assumed (because it's Doug's prerogative to always assume) that his dad was fucking up. Elaine took it breezily, because she'd seen him say worse and do worse. But when everybody was leaving, she held Douglas back.

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Political Animals

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