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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.”

WarOnWoman

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?”

Pure class.

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)

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Former President Donald Trump, left, and former White House counsel Pat Cipollone

On Wednesday evening the House Select Committee investigating the Trump coup plot issued a subpoena to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, following blockbuster testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who said the lawyer had warned of potential criminal activity by former President Donald Trump and his aides.

The committee summons to Cipollone followed long negotiations over his possible appearance and increasing pressure on him to come forward as Hutchinson did. Committee members expect the former counsel’s testimony to advance their investigation, owing to his knowledge of the former president's actions before, during and after the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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Mark Meadows

Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.

But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.

Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.

And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.

After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.

“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.

“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”

Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.

Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.

“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”

Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.

Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.

Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.

As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.

“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.

Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.

Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”

His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.

Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

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