Women stifled by gender, not by content of columns

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 1:00am

Spiked? Censored? Me? That's what my conservative friends are saying.

I wrote a column last week suggesting it was time for Bill and Hillary Clinton and their defenders to shut up. If the Democrats are to have any chance of winning the White House, they have to move forward, not backward.

The occasion for my column was the new book by Hillary's chief defender, ethically challenged former White House aide Sidney Blumenthal, whose massive partisan attack on Ken Starr is out this week. Hillary's book comes next, with a 1 million copy first printing due June 8.

In the meantime, conservatives are chortling over the fact that 65 percent of all Democrats can't name a single one of the current candidates for the party's nomination.

When the Clintons are out front, sucking up all the available air, and Monica Lewinsky is hosting a talk show, and Blumenthal is hawking books, it's easy to understand why no one's heard of John Edwards or Howard Dean.

Internet maven Matt Drudge, who has had his own run-ins with Blumenthal, and talk-meister Rush Limbaugh picked up on my column as soon as it was released, generating more e-mail to me than anything I've written in years

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