Misogynistic attacks on Hillary Clinton have been the norm for as long as she’s been in the public eye. From her fashion sense to her hairstyles to her public displays of emotion, endless criticism has been leveled at the former First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State that few male politicians have had to endure. Sadly, the sexist shade isn’t only thrown by those on the right, nor is it limited to men. Male or female, right or left, Hillary always seems to be in the crosshairs of those who make comments about her that they’d never make about a man. Welcome to “The War on Woman.”
The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, whose longstanding obsession with the Clintons borders on stalking, began her latest teen diary — er, op-ed column — with a question she would never aim at a male candidate: “Is Hollywood really ready to give a 67-year-old woman a leading role in a big-budget production?”
Wow. Ageism and sexism in one sentence! Way to go, Mo! But then she veers off into all-too-familiar territory:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has echoes of various classic movies: “Single White Female,” with Hillary creepily co-opting the identity of the more trendy Elizabeth Warren; “My Fair Lady,” with Hillary sitting meekly and being schooled on how to behave by tyrannical Pygmalions (Iowa voters); “The Usual Suspects,” with Hillary’s hoodlums, Sidney Blumenthal and David Brock, vying to be Keyser Söze; and, of course, “How to Steal a Million,” a caper about a heist plotted by a couple that doesn’t need the money.
Oh, Maureen. Half the time you’re portraying Hillary as a “chilly, scripted, entitled policy wonk,” until it suits you to pretend she’s a bumbling bumpkin who has no skills—either social or political—or experience, and would never amount to anything without men pulling her strings. But Mo takes it even further, into really catty territory, by quoting a known misogynist, speculating about something that’s none of anyone’s business:
Sipping vodka at the Chateau Marmont, Bill Maher said he was not concerned, noting: “Who could have less to do with Bill Clinton’s sex life than Hillary?”
That brings us neatly to our next display of idiocy, this time from former Maryland governor and recently announced Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.
Playing right into the hands of the entire GOP field, O’Malley dragged out the tired old “dynasty” trope:
Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton. Well, I’ve got news for the bullies of Wall Street—the presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families.
Sorry, what? A grand total of two Clintons have held public office. So are Bob and Elizabeth Dole also a “royal family,” then? And are we really to believe that Bill Clinton—15 years after leaving office—would be in a position to “pass the crown” to Hillary in 2016? He’d have to have pretty long arms to pull that one off.
But this attitude also completely discounts Hillary Clinton’s long career of public service, independent of her husband, and casts her in the role of “wife inheriting power from her husband” (again, with 15 years having passed since the husband last had any power—while the wife has been a senator, a presidential candidate and the world’s top diplomat in the intervening time period).
You could throw this accusation at Laura Bush if she were running for president. You can certainly throw it at Jeb Bush. Both are members of an actual political dynasty, and neither has done much in the political arena. But Hillary Clinton? No. She has earned her stripes in equal (if not greater) measure to her husband, and if she wins the presidency, it will not be because he was elected to the same office 24 years earlier.
Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton provides remarks on “Development in the 21st Century” at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC January 6, 2010. (State Department photo / Public Domain)