Saturday, April 5, 2008

Race, Feminism and the Truth According to Hillary

An article I ran across that originally was printed during HRC’s senate campaign in 2000. Yes, it was a while ago, but sometimes we need to be reminded of things, especially when race and gender are playing such important factors in this year’s Presidential election, and since HRC can’t seem to remember the difference between a true story and a false one.


These Charges Are False – Reel No. 857

July 18, 2000

At least you could print what John Rocker said. The latest in a long list of “false” (subject to later revision) stories circulated about the Clintons comes from Jerry Oppenheimer’s page-turner State of a Union, in which he reports that Hillary called one of the people working for Bill Clinton a “f-ing Jew b-tard.” The Clinton era was once again charting new ground in television standards!

The World’s Smartest Woman did not respond to the charges by saying, “I might well have said that, but those obviously aren’t my feelings, people sometimes use ugly words when they’re angry, I’m sorry if I used those, but please judge me by my record and not by some childish tantrum I threw twenty-six years ago.”

No, what Hillary said was that it was a lie put out by her political opponents:

“You know, there’s a history of these kinds of charges coming from the people in question [author’s note: the other charges were all eventually proved true, even if it took a full federal investigation], and they’ve been false in the past [author’s note: only the denials, the excuses and the defamatory charges against the Clintons’ accusers have turned out to be “false”]. They’re false now [author’s note: that’s what she said last time]. And I don’t know what the reason behind it is, but it didn’t happen.”

For the record, I personally did not go ballistic over some baseball player’s (printable) remarks to Sports Illustrated. I personally thought that O.J. cutting off Nicole Brown Simpson’s head was worse than Mark Fuhrman using the N-word. But even stipulating that the charges aren’t career-ending – Hillary is the one who has now put the veracity of the charge at issue. Did she say it or didn’t she?

The most persuasive evidence that Hillary said it, of course, is that she denies having said it. And if that’s not enough for you, America’s most famous perjurer, President William Jefferson Clinton, denies it too.

The New York Times ran a lead editorial on Hillary’s “current complication” – as the paper called her anti-Semitic slur – titling it “Mrs. Clinton’s Credible Response.” The Times evidence that Hillary was telling the truth is that she opposed the Vietnam War and tried to get President Nixon impeached. This is normal New York Times logic. But even weirder, the editorial sportingly stressed that Ms. Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy gave “a passionate, almost teary response to the allegation of anti-Semitic language.” Huh? A Clinton denial is supposed to mean something now?

When did we make the transition from treating a Clinton denial – subsequently discredited or retracted – as just so much necessary political filler because “anyone would have lied in those circumstances” to suddenly treating it as truth because the Clintons said it? Wouldn’t anyone have lied about using the phrase “f-ing Jew b-tard,” too – particularly if that anyone was running for a Senate seat from New York? Why do we keep considering each successive denial by the Clintons as if it occurred in a vacuum? It’s as if we’re living in an eerie Twilight Zone episode in which no one can remember what happened yesterday.

It’s not as if Tipper Gore stands accused of saying “f-ing Jew b-tard.” We’re talking about Hillary. Hillary the lamp-throwing harpie whose warm Southern charm was widely credited with costing her husband his second race for Arkansas governorship and whose concern for the little guy resulted in the Travel Office bloodbath. Curiously, neither Hillary nor her husband disputed that she had used the phrase “f-ing b-tard.” But they insist Hillary would not have alluded to the religion of the f-ing b-tard. Even when cursing like a sailor, she’s ethnically sensitive.

And just by the way, there are three witnesses to the particular charming utterance of Hillary’s: Paul Fray, the campaign manager of Clinton’s failed 1974 congressional bid and target of the slur; Fray’s wife, Mary lee, who was in the room at the time; and a third campaign worker, Neil McDonald, who was standing outside the room. Fray’s wife said Hillary shouted so loud “it rattled the walls.”

Other witnesses, from Dick Morris to the Arkansas state troopers, corroborate similar statements from the Dragon Lady. Their track-records on truth-telling are somewhat more impressive than those of American’s Most Famous Perjurer and his wife. By now, the troopers have been completely vindicated on even their most bizarre charges against the Clintons. Trooper Larry Patterson has said he heard Hillary use the phrases “Jew b-tard” or “Jew boy” or “Jew MF” on numerous occasions – “four, five, six times.” Instead of a War Room to put out “bimbo eruptions,” Hillary may need a War Room to put out Hebraic-slur eruptions.

Conforming to pattern, Hillary’s accusers came under a swift attack. Clinton flacks Lanny Davis and Gail Collins showed up for work with long research packets on Hillary’s accusers. This was especially striking in Collins’s case, since, generally, she avoids including facts in her columns. But even Collins was bursting with information about the little-known Frays. As with the Clintonian denials themselves, we’re supposed to pretend this is the first time we’ve seen a rapid-response team smear witnesses against the Clintons. The rapid-response team’s denunciation of the Frays are starting to blend with earlier denunciations of Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, the Travel Office employees, and Elian’s “Miami relatives.” All witnesses against the Clintons are: trashy people looking for publicity, have a minor criminal offense in their past (such as drunk driving or shoplifting), once sent nice letters to the Clintons, have a bitter relative somewhere who doesn’t much care for them and will say so on the record, and are part of a right-wing conspiracy to bring false charges against the long-suffering, completely innocent Clintons.

I must say, I’ve been looking forward to this moment for years. You may have forgotten this, but back in the pre-Clinton era, sexual harassment was bad. It was bad even if it was just smutty remarks and there was only a single spurned woman who claimed it happened. But then Clinton was caught doing it, and it turned out sexual harassment really isn’t such a big deal. Women lie about these things all the time, everybody does it, and a real woman would have slapped the lovable rogue and walked away. Groping your female employees also used to be bad. But then Clinton did it, and Gloria Steinem announced on the New York Times op-ed page that the new standard is: The boss gets one free grope. Rape also used to be bad. But then Clinton was accused of rape by a credible woman with four corroborating witnesses. Clinton didn’t deny it, and only 18 percent of Americans polled said they thought the accusation was probably not true. But no one cared, the country wanted to “move on,” so I guess rape isn’t such a bad thing now either.

The single accusation that remained a career-killer was to be accused of using an ethnic slur. Even cutting off a white woman’s head wasn’t so bad if the cop who found the evidence against you was accused of having used the N-word almost ten years earlier. That’s why I’ve been waiting and waiting for one of the Clintons to be caught using an ethnic slur. Now there’s nothing you can’t do.


Yes, written by You Know Who. Isn’t she amazing?

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