The Left-Wing Whitewash begins.
Back during the depressing primary season, HRC became a lightning rod for all that is terrible in a candidate. Accusations of racism, lack of morals, and just about anything else you could think of were thrown at her. Remarkably similar to the loathsome work of hardcore right wing ideologues of the Clinton presidency, some of whom even accused the Clintons of murder, 2008′s Democrats and media “personalities” just recycled the old Republican canards.
So, seeing all that crap AGAIN during 2008 was really depressing – even more so because the left wing picked up where 90′s era Republicans left off and recycled some of the worst anti-Hillary scuz. It was hard to believe. Worse, even though politicians can be expected to treat each other like used toilet paper, the media jumped on in unprecedented ways. (Well, since WR Hearst, anyway.)
Just a refresher [and tip of the iceberg], in case you forgot what it was like or have since decided that not THAT many “reputable” people were involved in Hillary hate:
Today at the Daily Beast, Michelle Goldberg has an epiphany about Hillary. Apparently Hillary isn’t so bad now!!! WoooooHooooo!!!
One year ago today, Hillary Clinton ended her presidential campaign, much to the relief of millions of ardent Barack Obama supporters like me. Throughout the primaries, I had been irritated and then outraged by those who argued feminism obliged women to back her. The possibility that our first female president would be a former first lady promising to continue her husband’s legacy struck me as profoundly dispiriting. During the campaign, her hardball tactics horrified me. So when she made her rousing and gracious speech in the National Building Museum, conceding defeat but celebrating “18 million cracks” in “that highest, hardest glass ceiling,” I was too furious to really hear her.
Goldberg was “horrified” by Hillary’s “hardball tactics” during the campaign, but seems to like them now.
Listening to [Hillary's concession speech] now, though, I can’t help but tear up. I’m still glad I supported Obama, who I think is proving to be a better, defter president than Clinton would have been. Nevertheless, I was wrong to mistake her political ruthlessness for a lack of principle. Just as Clinton proved her skeptics wrong upon entering the Senate in 2001 with hard and diligent work, she is now quietly remaking the State Department. That’s especially true when it comes to women’s rights. As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been the feminist hero of this administration.
Clinton made it clear during her confirmation hearing that women’s rights would be at the center of her approach to foreign policy. “[O]f particular concern to me is the plight of women and girls, who comprise the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid,” she said. “If half of the world’s population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal, and social marginalization, our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity will remain in serious jeopardy. We still have a long way to go, and the United States must remain an unambiguous and unequivocal voice in support of women’s rights in every country, every region, on every continent.”
Bully for Goldberg. If she was horrified by Clinton during the campaign, why does she laud Clinton now? Well, now she feels Clinton is doing “good work.” Fine, I suppose. But for Goldberg to just now realize that Hillary’s tough stances could actually benefit her and other women is breathtaking in its opportunism and condescension. What Goldberg didn’t like against a candidate with no history on women’s issues she now likes against others. While Goldberg didn’t concern herself with sexism during the campaign, she’s obviously back in the “agin it” column.
This was the same unyielding pugilism Clinton had shown against Obama in the primaries, but it was a lot more fun to watch her aim it at the right. It was a reminder that the inexorable sense of righteousness that made Clinton so infuriating as an opponent makes her tremendously valuable as an ally.
What Goldberg didn’t value during the campaign, she values now – even compliments. Goldberg must never have actually listened to Hillary, who promised this kind of work on behalf of women. Goldberg also must have ignored Hillary’s extensive record on women’s issues, believing all that mattered was Hillary’s support of her husband. And if Goldberg bought into the “racism” charge against Hillary, she was even more idiotic. There was never anything in Clinton’s record of nearly 40 years of public involvement to support that charge.
As I write in an upcoming issue of The American Prospect, there are plenty of forces working against the creation of a feminist foreign policy. It may be beyond the scope of any American government to significantly improve the lives of women in anti-American countries on the other side of the world. But Clinton’s commitment has proven fierce and enduring.
“Forces working against the creation of a feminist foreign policy” would have to include Goldberg herself. Outside of appointing Hillary herself, Obama’s record to date on women’s issues is scant. Except for using the whole “she’s on the rag” argument during the primary anyway. See Obama use that argument for Hillary’s being a tough opponent at about time 1:15. (BTW, this was definitely a sexist comment. In her 60s, Hillary is likely past menopause. So,this dog whistle is also against women in general. Replay whole video for tasty reminders of last year’s Hillary hate-a-thon.)
And during his much lauded Cairo speech, Obama’s weak defense of women in general was limited to issues of wearing the hijab. Others will say that was a symbol for all feminist issues, but Obama certainly didn’t drive the point home by mentioning, oh, honor killing, acid attacks, unequal pay, or anything like that. He deliberately chose a weaker issue rather than one of life and death.
Goldberg seems to realize she might have been off the mark on Hillary from the jump.
To her supporters, no doubt, this has been obvious all along. After all, she electrified feminists across the world in 1995, when she spoke at the U.N.’s Beijing Women’s Conference and declared, “[W]omen’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”
But she excuses her lack of imagination by saying “but Hillary stood by Bill Clinton,” implying that Hillary should have made another choice when it came to her own family. And Hillary, according to Goldberg, threw people under the bus.
After all, she put her own ambitions aside for decades to be a political wife, and when her husband’s mistresses threatened his ascent, she took part in trying to silence or discredit them. As first lady and later as the first serious female presidential candidate, she put on and discarded so many personas that it was hard to figure out who she really was.
Nice of Goldberg to completely disrespect Hillary’s choices for her life when empowering women is supposed to be about giving them choices. And she must not know Hillary spoke on women’s issues long ago as the first student commencement speaker at Wellsley. (Goldberg does not disclose she has written for “traditional” women’s publications like Glamour as well as more “meaty” ones like The New Republic.) Also interesting to remember there are very few old friends of Obama to even interview. He’s thrown so many under the bus that even his grandmother was called, by implication, a racist. Still, Goldberg thinks everything has worked out for the best.
. . . I underestimated her. Freed from the pressure of campaigning, her best self has emerged. I’m still happy that she pulled out of the race a year ago. But I’m even happier that she’s become a leader anyway.
This article is the same half apology one sees frequently about any topic. You know, “I’m sorry I called you a bitch, but you made me do it. I know I shouldn’t have done that, but. . . ” Not really an apology at all, the writer both congratulates herself for supporting Obama against a “hardball” female candidate and for recognizing those very traits she deplored in Hillary are now proving quite useful.
I expect we’ll see more of this. As Clinton continues her SoS work, it is likely that many pundits who excoriated her earlier will now say something along the lines of “I was right to hate on her earlier, but look how she’s grown into SoS! Way to go girl!!” Or how about “you know, I always knew Hillary wasn’t ready for the presidency, [too tough, too female, too something] but isn’t the lady crackerjack in a lesser job!”
What could be more condescending or fake? Hillary’s record was there to be read all along. Goldberg just didn’t want to vote for her regardless of it. Now she wants to jump on the bandwagon and claim support for Hillary as she makes a strong push for women’s rights from the position of SoS. Too bad Goldberg didn’t bother to make that connection earlier.
Goldberg was not objective earlier, but now she wants it both ways. She wants to feel smart for making “the right choice” in Obama, but she also wants absolution for her half mea culpa on Hillary. It’s just a little too late.
Watch for this to continue. Democrats will continue to “come around” on Hillary and expect happiness and light for their condescension. Pundits will continue to “reassess” Hillary and decide she “has what it takes.” Worse, pundits may say Hillary has “changed” and claim she now represents what they wanted her to all along. A metaphorical pat on the head for the chick. Well, she had “what it takes” all along, fools. You just didn’t want to see it. That’s sexism.