It’s a Vast Anti Woman Conspiracy

I’m reading Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness — and Liberalism — to the Women of America, by Myrna Blyth (published in 2004). While the book is a teensy bit dated (it’s not that old but it’s about politics and the media, so it was dated three months after it was written), it’s been interesting.

Especially the bits about Hillary. Myrna reminds readers that nobody much liked Hillary before Bill cheated on her. Before he bestowed the mantle-of-perpetual-perfect victim and object of pity upon his wife, Hillary had the lowest poll numbers of any First Lady in polling history. During interviews in 1996 she tried to keep quiet during joint interviews, looking adoringly at her husband, and murmuring approvingly. She was not an asset to his husband political career then, and she recognized that she needed to start keeping quiet.

One Pew Poll in ’96 found that most of us thought she was ‘strong, dishonest, intelligent, smart- and a word that rhymes with rich.’ I’d concur with that. A common complaint of voters was that they hadn’t voted for Hillary, but she acted like she’d been anointed.

Her poll numbers went up when her husband got caught committing adultery and lying about it under oath. Myrna and I both find it very telling that she claimed that what made her ‘dumbfounded, heartbroken, and outraged’ wasn’t that he was a cheating pig, but that he’d lied about it. If my husband cheated on me with a 20 year old young chickie from the office, the fact that he lied about it would be the least of his worries. Can you just see that conversation unfolding?

She: “Honey, did you cheat and commit adultery with that flirtatious and bodatious babe?”
He: No, honey, I did not.
She: Honey, really, have your broken your marriage vows and betrayed me and our family by violating the seventh commandment?
He: Baby, no way. I did not break the seventh commandment with that woman.
She: Swear in court?
He: I do so solemnly swear, under oath and everything.

Later all fire breaks loose when Chippie Baby breaks down under oath, confesses, and produces physical evidence to boot.
And so at home, all fire breaks loose when:
She: How could you do this to me? How could you do this to our family? How could you betray us this way?
He: Um, sorry baby. I didn’t mean to cheat. I just got carried away with an inappropriate moment. It don’t mean nothin’. I won’t cheat again.
She: CHEAT? Who cares about that seventh commandment and fornicating stuff? I don’t care about you cheating. I am just dumbfounded, heartbroken, and outraged that you would LIE to me about it. It doesn’t break my heart a bit if you cheat, nor does it outrage me. Just always tell me the truth about it.

Does that ring true for you? Me, neither. And does this seem like ancient history to you? Well, I don’t think so, for reasons that will follow.

Her protests and heartbroken outrage just strike me as self-serving, hollow, and deeply insincere. Nonetheless, the media joined in the national pity party, and Hillary’s ratings (and positive media coverage) skyrocketed, probably propelling her into that Senatorial seat.

But first, she appeared on the Today Show where she uttered these famous lines:

But I do believe that this is a battle.
I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings.
This is—the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.

You an also watch the video if you like.
Less well-known is this part of the exchange:

LAUER: Let me take you and your husband out of this for a second. Bill and Hillary Clinton aren’t involved in this story. If an American president had an adulterous liaison in the White House and lied to cover it up, should the American people ask for his resignation?
CLINTON: Well, they should certainly be concerned about it.
LAUER: Should they ask for his resignation?
CLINTON: Well, I think that—if all that were proven true, I think that would be a very serious offense. That is not going to be proven true. I think we’re going to find some other things. And I think that when all of this is put into context, and we really look at the people involved here, look at their motivations and look at their backgrounds, look at their past behavior, some folks are going to have a lot to answer for.

Of course, those charges were proven true, unlike Mrs. Clinton’s charges, but I am not aware that she has ever stood behind her words that if that the President had lied, that would be a very serious offense.

In response to a question about how Chelsea was handling this (a question I do not think appropriate in the context), Mrs. Clinton said:

… you know, since she was 6- years-old, I have know, both because—I think my husband’s personality and his kind of gregariousness and his—as well as his political ideas really do engender very deep hostility.
So I was telling Chelsea when she was a child that this is going to happen, and it’s very unfortunate. I honestly wish if people had political differences, if you don’t like his stand on something, fight it out on that. Don’t try to destroy somebody personally.
So I have told her that this is the kind of things that would happen, and she has seen many, many examples of it in her very short life. So it’s not a pleasant experience, but it’s given her sort of the grounding to be able to see what this is and get through it.

Do you really believe that she honestly, sincerely believed it was her ‘husband’s personality and his kind of gregariousness’ that were the problem? Me, neither. And don’t you find that little dash:

and his—as well as his political ideas

very freudian?

It’s hard for me to believe it, but that strategy really worked for her. While she always said she wasn’t some Tammy Wynnette standing by her man, that is exactly what she played in the media, and it was wildly successful for her.

As Myrna Blyth puts it, “”Liberals have always needed victims to enact their policies. In essence, liberals tend to see the world victim first because it helps them define themselves (and other liberals) as such obviously caring people. It is also a simplistic way to contrast themselves with others, especially those uncaring hard-hearted conservatives. Just as important, liberals need victims and encourage groups, especially women and minorities, to feel victimized because ti gives them their power base. The Clintons were at their political best creating victims, sympathizing with victims, and ultimately becoming victims themselves.”

I’m not sure she can carry off the victim role long enough to make it to the White House, but it’s something to watch out for.

You wont’ have to watch long. Here she goes again:

In an interview with ABC News’ Cynthia McFadden to air on this evening’s “Nightline,” Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., says it’s tougher for her to run as a woman than it is for her male opponent.

Asked why she thinks so many women may be feeling sorry for her, Clinton said, “I think a lot of women project their own feelings and their lives onto me, and they see how hard this is. It’s hard. It’s hard being a woman out there. It is obviously challenging with some of the things that are said that are not even personal to me so much as they are about women.

“And I think women just sort of shake their head,” Clinton continued. “My friends do. They say, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is so hard.’ Well, it’s supposed to be hard. I’m running for the hardest job in the world. No one has ever done this. No woman has ever won a presidential primary before I won New Hampshire. This is hard. And I don’t expect any sympathy, I don’t expect any kind of, you know, allowances or special privileges, because I knew what I was getting myself into.

“Every so often I just wish that it were a little more of an even playing field,” she said, “but, you know, I play on whatever field is out there.”

You know, only Democrats are able to vote in most of these primaries (possibly all of them, I don’t know which states have open Primaries). And the last I checked, more women than men were Democrats. But she doesn’t think it’s a level playing field.

It’s always somebody else’s fault, poor dear. And I just don’t think that kind of whining deserves a seat in the Oval Office.


Updated to note: “the Clinton camp had authored memos on how to deal with President Bill Clinton’s serial infidelity as early as 1992.”

But the Lewinsky scandal came out later, and it was around 1996 when Hillary was publicly blaming that scandal on the vast rightwing conspiracy.

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