That Awful Woman
Has there ever been another American politician as reviled and vilified by the Right as Hillary Rodham Clinton? They’ve called her a serial killer, a traitor, a sex-addicted reptilian lesbian, and possibly the feminine version of the Devil (her)self. It goes back a quarter of a century or more, this hatred of the Clintons, back to Bill’s days as Governor of Arkansas. The GOP was all set for President George H.W. Bush’s second term, when this hick came out of the Ozarks and upset their applecart. Not only did they never forgive him, they set out to take him down with faux scandal after scandal: Troopergate, Filegate, Travelgate, none of which turned up much of anything. With Whitewater they’d go all in, beyond the bounds of dignity, but that’s not our focus here.
Hillary wasn’t popular down in Arkansas; not only a Northerner but confident and assertive. She didn’t help herself during Bill’s 1992 presidential campaign. Another candidate, CA Governor Jerry Brown, accused Bill of using his influence to help her career, and on a cable news show she replied: “I suppose I could have stayed home, baked cookies and had teas.” No one remembers that she went on about choosing a career path centering mainly around advocacy for children’s health and poverty issues. No, the Right crossed their eyes and their heads swiveled around like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”
We need to understand the conservative mind in order to grasp the magnitude of hatred they have for that awful woman. Staying home and baking cookies is exactly where women belong, not in business, and certainly not in politics. Women, like children, are to be seen, not heard. So strong, confident, assertive women really chafe their hides. As much as the core of conservatism is racist, their misogyny goes back much further, to Genesis. After all, it’s women’s fault we got kicked out of Eden because Eve listened to that talking snake. There’s a reason it took women fifty years longer to get the vote than black men.
We remember her attempt at health care reform in 1993, which was scuttled by the Republicans. It might have been the first step towards universal health care, but we’ll never know. There was the Whitewater scandal, and she became the first First Lady to testify before Congress. Then there was the Paula Jones lawsuit, and Monica Lewinsky, and on and on, all of which cost taxpayers upwards of $80 million.
The Right probably got distracted from hating her in 2008, due to the presence of an uppity black Kenyan Muslim who would go on to usurp the White House. There were few attacks on her during her eight years in the Senate, but when she became Secretary of State, well, they’d find something. The Benghazi tragedy and the loss of four Americans, including the Libyan ambassador, provided the ammunition, with Hillary in the crosshairs. Thirty-three hearings over two years yielded nothing, and nobody remembered or brought up the 13 embassy attacks during the George W. Bush years, with 60 fatalities, about half of them Americans. Neither did they remember or bring up House Republicans denying the State Department’s request for increased funding to beef up embassy security.
A gaffe of earthquake proportions occurred in September 2015, when House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stepped in it during an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity. He was talking about Republican strategies for winning: “And let me give you an example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.” He just blurted it out, and a week later he withdrew from consideration for House Speakership.
The emails, the emails, oh my God, the emails. This series of investigations only cost American taxpayers $7-8 million. That’s pocket change these days. No one remembers or brings up private email accounts for Bush, Cheney, Colin Powell, and Condoleeza Rice, a few of whom even had private servers. Did she show poor judgment on occasion? Sure. So?
Now the Clinton Foundation is the new Benghazi, and they’re going to ride that pony till it drops. There are all these revelations about pay to play — donating to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for access to the State Dept. Do you know what the Foundation does? It’s a charity group, made up of eleven non-profits that work mainly on issues like global health, climate change, and improving opportunities for girls and women globally. It’s rated very highly for its work on malaria and AIDs medicines getting to poor third world countries. Is it possible that somewhere, someone gained a little edge by greasing the Foundation’s palms? Am I talking about some kind of possible corruption here? Oh my God! When has that ever happened before? Why, the very idea! And did you hear about her emails? New revelations!
Once Hillary was formally the Democratic nominee, out came the heavy artillery. She has permanent brain damage, did you know? That’s what GOP hit man Karl Rove claims (she fell in 2012 and got a concussion). It’s been one of the recurrent themes; she’s ill, therefore unfit for the presidency. Her occasional coughing fits due to pollen allergies has fueled the flames. Even TV’s Dr. Drew — who has never examined her — made a lengthy diagnosis of her condition and medical treatment (his show was canceled the following week). “Does Hillary Have Parkinson’s?” was a Right-wing headline. You see they’re not saying she has Parkinson’s, just asking. It’s an old trick. After the Trump camp jumped on this bandwagon, the hilarious letter from his own doctor resurfaced, and you can read about it next week, in “The Doctor’s Letter.” While we’re talking about foundations, as I write this a story is breaking about the Donald J. Trump Foundation making a $25,000 contribution to FL Attorney General Pam Bondi, just after she said she was considering filing a suit against Trump University. The suit was dropped. I did talk about her emails, didn’t I?
There have been around forty anti-Hillary books published. In early August, The New York Times’ list of hardcover nonfiction bestsellers listed three anti-Hillary books in the top four. #1 was Crisis of Character by former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne. #2 was Hillary’s America (also a film) by Right-wing hack Dinesh d’Souza. #4 was Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary.” Morris was a White House political adviser to Bill Clinton until he was exposed in a scandal involving a prostitute, the sucking of toes, and other unsavory details. He was fired, and he’s never missed an opportunity to slag the Clintons ever since.
That’s not all. Another book, Partners in Crime supposedly deals with all the corruption within the Clinton Foundation. The author’s name, Jerome Corse, may be familiar to some. He’s the guy that cooked up Swift-Boat Veterans For Truth in 2004, in which a bunch of supposedly former G.I.s accused Vietnam hero John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, of cowardice and faking injury. It was the Right’s answer to truthful allegations that George W. Bush was a deserter while serving in the Texas National Guard. Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, Peter Schweizer (2015), is still floating around, too.
Have you heard of the Clinton body-count? It was started in 1993, after Deputy White House counsel Vince Foster committed suicide. It allegedly numbers around 90 now, that the Clintons have had killed. This conspiracy theory was given new life after three DNC operatives mysteriously died between July 10th and August 2nd, just before and just after the Democratic National Convention. It does sound highly suspicious. One of them, Seth Rich, a data analyst, was shot in the back on a Washington, D.C. street at 4:15 AM. Police said it was a burglary, but nothing was taken. Hmm.
Meanwhile, Trump supporters sport T-shirts saying “Trump the Bitch!” or “Hillary Sucks But Not Like Monica” And Trump has just hired David Bossie as his Deputy Campaign Manager. Until then he was President and Chairman of Citizens United, which put together the 2008 hit job, “Hillary: the Movie,” which led to a disastrous Supreme Court decision. So you can expect things to get even uglier, if that’s possible. Infowars, or as I call it Conspiracy Theory Central, is Alex Jones’ baby, and he constantly touts the latest anti-Hillary bilge. The Alt-Right Drudge Report does the same, as does Breitbart News. Here’s a recent headline on which Jones and Drudge collaborated: “Video: Here’s the Proof That Hillary Clinton is a Mass Murderer,” wherein they disclose “the Clinton Trail of Death.” Speaking of Breitbart, their chief, Steve Bannon, is now Trump’s Campaign CEO, whatever the hell that means. He already has campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. It’s not nice to criticize someone’s appearance, but Bannon looks like he could be the deadbeat son of Jabba the Hutt.
It hasn’t been easy for me to defend Hillary, but these spurious attacks are mostly without any substance whatsoever. There are plenty of actual problems I have with her. I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her, and she’s a large woman and I’m an old man with a bad back. I don’t like that she’s a hawk. As Secretary of State she backed escalation of the war in Afghanistan, pressed Pres. Obama to arm Syrian rebels while advocating air strikes against Assad’s forces in Syria, and backed intervention in Libya. She has argued that Obama’s Middle Eastern foreign policy lacks aggressiveness. But if you look back at her early work and also her record in the Senate, there seems to be a progressive in there trying to get out. This may be magical thinking on my part, but it’s just possible that Bill has been dragging her back to the center. FDR wasn’t a progressive, either, till he was pushed that way (largely by Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins).
She’s been called Wall Street’s favorite Democrat, and not just by Republicans. In contrast, no American banks will even deal with Trump (he’s currently using Deutsche Bank and Putin-friendly Russian oligarchs). She exemplifies the Establishment candidate, but at least she knows how everything works in Washington, D.C. And as she said recently, she’s the only one standing between us and the Apocalypse.
You know, back in 1998 when she talked about a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” I think she might have been on to something.
UPDATE: As we go to press, Hillary Clinton had a dizzy spell during the 9/11 anniversary commemorative, and the optics look bad if you see the video. The Friday before, she’d been diagnosed with pneumonia and advised to take a few days off, but she tried to power through it. The Truthers immediately jumped on it. The theory goes that she’s at death’s door, so there is a Hillary body double. That’s goofy, because if that was her double at the 9/11 event due to Hillary’s condition, and the double becomes ill, too? See how it goes?