Since the 2012 presidential election, politicians and pundits from both sides of the aisle have discussed Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 run as if it is already a certainty. Most millenials–and future 2016 voters–are too young to know much about the political history of the Clintons, especially the former first lady’s personal record in government. But seeing as PACs like “Ready for Hillary” are already spending millions in efforts to rouse Hillary supporters, a brief look at her disturbing past is necessary, especially for those who yearn for another Clinton in the White House.
As Katie Pavlich, author of Assault and Flattery, puts it, Hillary Clinton is “America’s most famous enabler of abusive powerful men”–the most significant of those men being former President Bill Clinton. Although many new voters are too young to remember much at all about Bill Clinton’s presidency, anyone remotely clued in to politics knows about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the president’s subsequent impeachment. As it turns out, however, Lewinsky wasn’t the only object of President Clinton’s unsolicited affections, and while her husband preyed on women left and right, Mrs. Clinton passively stood by for the sake of the couple’s political power.
First there was Gennifer Flowers, a television reporter who began seeing a married Clinton in the 1970s, long before he sat in the Oval Office. According to Flowers, she became pregnant with what she insists was Clinton’s child, and when she informed him about the situation, Bill responded with money, offering to help pay for her abortion. Flowers was, apparently, the last of Bill’s consensual partners, as allegations of sexual assault began to emerge in the 1990s. A clerk named Paula Jones came forward, claiming Bill Clinton demanded oral sex from her during a conference in a hotel. Next, Clinton campaign volunteer Juanita Broaddrick told of how Clinton asked to meet with her in her hotel room for what was supposed to be an innocent conversation over coffee. Things took a darker turn, however, when Clinton reportedly raped her. And finally there was ardent Clinton supporter Kathleen Willey, who alleged the president sexually assaulted her just outside the Oval Office, pinning her against a wall as he violated her.
Now, why is Bill Clinton’s infidelity and record of abuse relevant to a conversation about Hillary’s 2016 run? After all, you might be thinking, what happens in someone’s marriage should be private, and as long as Hillary supports pro-female public policy, what’s wrong with supporting her for president? In fact, shouldn’t we feel sorry for a woman who was so publicly betrayed? Isn’t she brave for sticking by her husband when times were tough and the whole world was watching?
The truth is Hillary’s silence enabled her husband to use the power and protection of his office to victimize and abuse innocent women. In fact, her silence represents not only a disregard for common decency, but also for the laws she and her husband swore to uphold. According to Flowers, Hillary was fully aware of her relationship with Bill, but the only action she took was to join in with the Clinton media cronies who slandered and undermined every single one of Bill’s accusers. Her silence eventually turned into active denial and aggression, prompting her to call the sexual assault victims “trash” while blaming their allegations on “a vast right-wing conspiracy.” I would think any proud feminist or pro-female Democrat, especially one who believes in a Republican “war on women,” would find such victim-shaming and hostility abhorrent.
What’s worse is Hillary’s devotion to her criminal husband served a purpose: she profited from Bill’s shameful behavior, both financially and politically, and knew that keeping quiet would serve her own interests rather than those of her husband’s victims. Hillary’s entire career is essentially the result of her position as the former First Lady; it’s highly unlikely she would have achieved a place in government without that title. Her political success has much more to do with who she married rather than what she had previously accomplished on an individual level–a fact of which I’m sure she was well aware. She wasn’t about to let these “trashy” women toss a wrench in her political ambitions by tarnishing her husband’s good name.
Thus, when you look at Hillary Clinton, you’re not seeing at a courageous victim or a champion of women’s rights–you’re looking at a selfish woman who willingly looked the other way when integrity and justice demanded otherwise.
Of course, Hillary’s habit of aiding and abetting criminal behavior didn’t end in the 90s; although the mainstream media failed to report most of it, a multitude of sex scandals plagued Hillary’s failure of a State Department. In 2013, a leaked memo from inside the department revealed that Howard Gutman, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, routinely ditched his duties to pick up prostitutes and even minors in a public park. Although his actions were well known by members of his security detail, “senior State department officials squashed” the investigation–perhaps that’s because Gutman is a major Obama fundraiser. In another instance, U.S. Consul General Donald Moore reportedly solicited sex from employees in his office, and even fraternized with Naples call girls while on the job. A different U.S. Embassy official was caught trading visas for sex, and the memo even suggested members of Clinton’s personal security detail would regularly engage prostitutes while abroad.
When asked about this gross misconduct–which undoubtedly posed a threat to national security–Clinton and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki borrowed a line from Obama’s teleprompter, with both women claiming “ongoing investigations” were taking place and the guilty would most assuredly be “held accountable.” Hillary left her position without punishing a single person, and even now–well over a year after the scandals broke–the perpetrators have yet to face any consequences. I guess they were just more “phony scandals,” unworthy of legitimate government action.
If Hillary’s tolerance of rank abuse isn’t enough to make you throw yourself off of the Clinton bandwagon, then consider her many other failures as Secretary of State. Because Hillary and the President fooled themselves into thinking relations with Russia could be “reset,” the U.S. has allowed Russia’s power to flourish virtually unchecked for the past six years, producing virtually no response even when the Russians reneged on treaties and expanded their military power. Iran continued to develop its nuclear weapons capacities, largely without consequence–unless, of course, you count weak UN resolutions and ineffective U.S. sanctions. Meanwhile America’s relationship with our closest Middle Eastern ally, Israel, gradually deteriorated as Clinton and Obama failed to provide Israel with solid, unwavering support in its conflict with the Palestinians. Indeed, in her new memoir Hillary displays some very anti-Israel sentiments, calling disputed regions Judea and Samaria “occupied territories” and echoing John Kerry by suggesting that Palestinians would be relegated to “second-class citizenship” (i.e. apartheid) under an Israeli state. And then, of course, there was Benghazi, where Americans died because of Clinton’s inaction in response to desperate pleas for help and security.
Even Hillary’s own supporters, such as this panel on ultra-liberal MSNBC, can’t name a single significant accomplishment as head of the State Department:
More recently you may have seen Clinton making the rounds on primetime television networks, promoting her new book while attempting to answer “tough” questions about her time as Secretary of State. In interview after interview, such as this one with NPR, Hillary cited “restoring U.S. leadership” and repairing America’s “battered image” abroad as her primary accomplishments. Most polls, however, don’t support that claim. According to these Gallup polls, foreign approval of American leadership steadily dropped from 2008 to 2012, dipping to a low just as Hillary was leaving her position. Interestingly, approval ratings did bounce back slightly once she was replaced; somehow I don’t think that was a coincidence.
At this point, nothing is certain; Clinton may run for president, or she may not. Once the 2014 midterm elections are over, however, the media will undoubtedly turn its attention to 2016. If you find yourself in a voting booth two years from now, staring down at “Hillary Clinton” on the ballot, stop and think about the kind of future our country would have if she became president. Remember not only her abysmal political record and frank disregard for the rule of law, but also her equally deplorable and dishonest character. Whatever your politics, ask yourself if you really want someone with so little integrity–someone willing to lie and lie again for the sake of her own wealth and influence–holding our nation’s highest office.