I was born in 1990. Therefore, for most of my life, I have had to live under the veil of Hillary Clinton as “every girl’s role model.” Clinton is undoubtedly very smart and talented. After all, you don’t get into Wellesley or Yale Law school on a fluke. In the wake of the Lewinsky scandal, I was taught that Hillary was a brave “rock” for keeping her marriage together. During her 2008 campaign, the voices of my youth echoed the same sentiment. (“Oh that Hillary, she was the brains in the Oval Office in the 1990s!” “A woman could resolve all our problems!”)
Naturally, I knew better than to think of Clinton as some champion of my gender. As Christopher Hitchens, who wrote my favorite book on the Clinton family (“No One Left to Lie To”), explained: “It’s often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That’s not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him disbarred, was the women. And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton. (For the full background on this, see the chapter “Is There a Rapist in the Oval Office?” in the paperback version of my book No One Left To Lie To. This essay, I may modestly say, has never been challenged by anybody in the fabled Clinton “rapid response” team.) Yet one constantly reads that both Clintons, including the female who helped intensify the slanders against her mistreated sisters, are excellent on women’s “issues.”
“During the Senate debate on the intervention in Iraq, Sen. Clinton made considerable use of her background and “experience” to argue that, yes, Saddam Hussein was indeed a threat. She did not argue so much from the position adopted by the Bush administration as she emphasized the stand taken, by both her husband and Al Gore, when they were in office, to the effect that another and final confrontation with the Baathist regime was more or less inevitable. Now, it does not especially matter whether you agree or agreed with her about this (as I, for once, do and did). What does matter is that she has since altered her position and attempted, with her husband’s help, to make people forget that she ever held it. And this, on a grave matter of national honor and security, merely to influence her short-term standing in the Iowa caucuses. Surely that on its own should be sufficient to disqualify her from consideration? Indifferent to truth, willing to use police-state tactics and vulgar libels against inconvenient witnesses, hopeless on health care, and flippant and fast and loose with national security.”
Anyway, I have had to come to accept that most people respect Clinton, despite the disgusting amount of evidence that paints her as a nefarious opportunist with lies spewing out of her every pore. I have been lulled into a state of submission in my tirade against her since it only brings me frustration in a generation of women indoctrinated to think that ol’ Hillary is a brilliant victim.
Oh, that’s right, the point of this post: I have reason to think that this era is coming to an end. “In Bahrain last Friday,a tired looking Secretary of State declared she would definitely not be running for president in 2012 (no real surprise there), but far more significantly stated that her current role would be “my last public position”. She signaled that she would “probably go back to advocacy work, particularly on women and children and probably around the world.” This was a big step back for a hugely ambitious politician with potentially another two decades of public life ahead.”
I hope that this is true. I don’t care if Hillary Clinton speaks at every graduation I attend, or writes reams of books about rationalizing her rapist husband – clearly I will never bring down her popularity. As long as she does not hold office, I will at least have a few years of peace without having to beat against a tide of Clinton teflon.