Kathleen Parker

Trying to leaven the NOW-NYS remarks, the president of NOW-New York City, Sonia Ossorio, countered with a more respectful take on Kennedy's endorsement, recognizing that people "share differences of opinions." Then, national president Kim Gandy went another step, recognizing Kennedy's work for women's civil and reproductive rights.

When feminists quarrel, is it still a catfight?

Pappas may have accurately expressed what other feminists feel. They've snuggled up to Kennedy and other men, including Bill Clinton, whose behavior toward women wouldn't be tolerated were it not for their usefulness in pushing through legislation demanded by women.

Now that a woman aims for the highest office -- in fact, the woman whose husband betrayed her and countless others -- they feel they have a right to expect more for their investment in iniquity.

With so many women scorned, Hell will need an annex.

But such thinking reveals an ugly truth about feminists and identity groups in general. They don't want what's best for the country; they want what's best for them. NOW wants a woman not because she's the best candidate, but because, by damn, it's their turn.

Hillary, too, might have expected more from her old Democratic chums, but she's a pro and a woman accustomed to emotional and political compromise. Thus, at Monday's State of the Union address, she did the mature thing and extended her hand to Kennedy and apparently to Obama, who was standing next to the Massachusetts senator.

A widely circulated photograph shows Obama turning away, sparking debate about whether he was snubbing Clinton. Obama has said he was merely turning to speak to someone else, and Clinton has left it to others to interpret. While Kennedy gets blasted -- and Obama is characterized as snubbing the former first lady -- Clinton assumes her very best role: Victim Above the Fray.

She knows the high road will take her further, as it has before. But should she win, the boys who forgot their manners had best start practicing their curtsey.

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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