That is EXACTLY why I loathed Hillary. She smeared the victims of her husband's predatory behavior. Don't call her a feminist icon.
Hilary Rosen explains her continuing support for Clinton:
Hillary's campaign is still going for every woman who has spoken up in a meeting and was greeted with silence only to have a man say the same thing and be praised. It endures for the mothers who are taking care of their children and their parents and their home and has no time to take care of herself. It endures for women who are so scared to see her fail because of what it may say about their chances in life. And yes folks, it resonates for all the women who have seen the younger guy come along and get the promotion even though she has worked in the company loyally for years.
It is also true that every woman who has ever claimed sexual harassment, who has stood up to powerful men who have abused authority and power for sexual gratification has every reason to hope that Hillary Clinton loses. She enabled and allowed every one of her husband's serial acts of abuse against women less powerful than himself. And smeared the victims for good measure.
On a related note, Sullivan is exactly right in his commentary to Hendrick Hertzberg fascinating piece at The New Yorker about his friendship with Chris Matthews. Hertzberg was prompted to write because of this great Matthews television moment when Matthews humiliates a Republican moronic talk show host.
He reminences about his long friendship with Matthews from the 70s (along with a great picture). And notes the one time he and Matthews politically disagreed. Guess what it was: Clinton's behavior. Well, I'm with Matthews (and Sullivan).
First here's what Hertzberg wrote:
Here's Sullivan disagreeing with that:
In my opinion, Chris went kind of haywire during the Clinton years. I have my own theories about why. Theory one: he and Clinton are too much alike. Same age, same size, same crazed gregariousness, same gift of gab, same manic energy, same thirst for attention, roughly similar political views and non-élite backgrounds. (A similar this-town-ain’t-big-enough-for-both-of-us dynamic, this one focussing on rival good-ol’-boy personae, poisoned the relationship between Howell Raines, then the editorial page of the Times, and Clinton. In my opinion.) Civil wars are always the bitterest.
Theory two: it had something to do with the difference between Irish Catholic and Southern Baptist views of sin and forgiveness. As many people noticed at the time, the Lewinsky brouhaha drove not just Chris but also Michael Kelly, Tim Russert, and Maureen Dowd completely round the bend. For the Catholics, sins are to be confessed in the privacy of a closed booth to a priest who is the bottom rung on a ladder of long-established authority that runs upward through the hierarchy, the Pope, the saints, and only then to the Supreme Judge of the Universe. Forgiveness is administered via prescribed rituals sanctified by centuries of uninterrupted use. For low-church Protestants like Clinton (and Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker), confession usually comes after you get caught, is noisily public, and is so bound up with high-profile damage control that its sincerity cannot be assumed. Forgiveness comes from a chaotic combination of constituency politics (be the constituency a congregation or a party) and one’s “personal relationship” with Jesus, a notion Catholics find as creepy as Protestants find Marianism. The sloppy, sappy, self-indulgent theological and personal indiscipline of it all—that’s what R.C.s can’t stand. Anyway, that’s my theory, offered with this caveat: I’m not sure I know what I’m talking about.
My one disagreement with Rick: hating the Clintons is not reducible to some strange atheist idea of what a Catholic's idea of forgiveness is. The reason so many people who were brought up in a traditional Catholic household loathe the Clintons - Dowd, Kelly, Russert, Matthews, Sullivan, et al. - is because we were taught the difference between right and wrong, and taught to believe it matters.Well, I'm neither Catholic or Irish, and my hatred for the Clinton is also animated by what my parents taught me was the difference between right and wrong. Turns out my parents are not the purists I am. But then, neither of them were ever hit on by a political pig nor smeared by a resentful woman as a result of some man's behavior.
And I like Matthews - because of his principles, but also and more importantly because he ACTUALLY listens to the answers to the questions he asks and follows up - unlike his boss Russert who is so full of himself he off thinking on the next brillant question he's concocted instead of listening to the bs answer he is getting. For example, in his recent interview with Obama on Meet the Press, Russert never asked the obvious question - why did you join Trinity Church in the first place and what kept you there.
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