So, who is really Scapegoating Hillary??Posted: October 17, 2012
I’ve been pretty chagrined at blog and media responses to some Daily Mail Gossip article suggesting that there was some kind of finger-pointing binge between SOS Clinton and POTUS on the Benghazi tragedy. It features the side show of a cat fight between UN ambassador Rice and Secretary Clinton just for that added dash of NeoCon porn fantasies. It also smacks of right wing tropes and sexism. Already, we discovered the WSJ sat on an interview–later to be ‘scooped’ by CNN–where Hillary clearly stated she was taking full responsibility for any lax in security and for any mistakes in conveying information made by the State Department. So much for that right wing vision of Clinton as victimized and disgruntled! Ever the team player, Clinton had already fallen on the sword when the WSJ let the tropes be flung. Last night, the President took responsibility saying that as Commander in Chief he was ultimately responsible. Does this sound like the behavior of two people trying to shift blame to each other or bristling at the other’s attempts to shrug responsibility?
We didn’t write about the Daily Mail article here because it smacked of speculation and right wing wishful thinking. Today, Salon‘s Joan Walsh writes “How Hillary Clinton Is Sending the GOP to New Heights of Psycho-Sexual Rage“. Her thesis is this that “right wingers can’t appraise our first black president and his female former rival in anything other than the most degrading gender stereotypes”. I agree. Just as the right wingers were gleefully shouting that Obama and Rice were throwing Hillary under the bus and that Hillary was not going to stand for it, Clinton had given that WSJ that interview that they sat on that would’ve basically put that entire canard to rest. So much for the complete Foxification of the WSJ. It’s no longer just the editorial page that can’t be trusted. I’m also glad to see Walsh take on Jennifer Rubin who should be swiftly fired from WAPO for perverse tweets that are essentially slut slamming.
It turns out Clinton had already told the Wall Street Journal that she took responsibility for the security problems exposed in the attack almost a week ago – but the paper declined to share that information with the world, saving it instead for a forthcoming profile. Proving that was terrible news judgment, if not a deliberate effort to withhold information that might undermine the right-wing story line that Obama and Joe Biden were scapegoating Clinton, the WSJ published the remarks last night, after CNN’s interview ran.
“I take responsibility,” Clinton told the Journal’s Monica Langley. “I’m the Secretary of State with 60,000-plus employees around the world. This is like a big family … It’s painful, absolutely painful.”
As clear as Clinton’s statements were, the right immediately used them to bash Obama . Fox’s Steve Doocy claimed Clinton was “falling on her sword for the administration,” while Laura Ingraham insisted she jumped “on the grenade the day before the debate.” CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote on his RedState blog: “Doesn’t the buck stop with Barack Obama?”
But the award for most unhinged reaction goes to the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin , who took to Twitter to unleash a psycho-sexual tirade against Clinton, Obama and even the former President Clinton. “First Bill humiliates her and now Obama does.. Hillary no feminist, more like doormat,” Rubin wrote. She went on: “yeah once you take your Yale law degree and go to Arkansas you basically are putting your career in the hands of others.” When Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted in reply: “Sick. Mitt mouthpiece jumps shark,” Rubin shot back: “so is Obama going to hide behind her skirt Tuesday night? Why would the president let Hillary end her career in disgrace?”
It’s been clear for a while that the Clintons and the Obamas drive the right to surreal heights of psycho-sexual anxiety. They can’t decide whether, with her Benghazi statement, Clinton is somehow emasculating Obama by taking responsibility that should be his, or being abused by him.
I would like to add that some of the worst offenders of these tropes are also supposed Hillary supporters who are featured in this Buzz Feed article today on Dead-Enders. You’ll recognize a lot names–many that I’ve been purging from my tweeter and face book stream for some time–because the hatred of Obama and nearly rabid dog hatred of anything related to Islam. It has spilled into some pretty revealing sexist slurs of Hillary and racist slurs of Obama. Thankfully, our past associations with people that I full admit to personally, severely misjudging is no where to be seen in the article.
But, back to how banging this drum on Hillary and Benghazi is really, really sexist. Jennifer Rubin is an angry hack who has no place in mainstream journalism.
Let’s unpack the assumptions here.
- If your husband cheats on you it makes you less of a feminist.
- Hillary Clinton obviously doesn’t bear responsibility for ensuring that ambassadors have sufficient security despite being secretary of state — it’s safe to assume that she didn’t mess up somehow.
- She was just covering for Obama, who actually bears responsibility.
- Covering for him makes her less of a feminist, and akin to a doormat (even though she’d have obvious selfish and ideological motives for doing so).
- Bill Clinton’s actions toward his wife and Obama’s behavior toward his subordinate are analogous.
Rubin managed to pack a lot of inane assumptions into that one tweet! In doing so, she demonstrated the very double standard that ought to call her feminist credentials into question. In every presidential administration, appointees “fall on their swords” in ways large and small. Male appointees are described as good soldiers when they do this for the president they serve.
But a female appointee? For Rubin, a woman doing the same thing is a weak doormat who forfeits the title of feminist. It’s a charge Rubin breezily makes while dredging up the fact that, years ago, Clinton got cheated on, itself a cheap shot that is irrelevant to the controversy at hand. Rubin’s been defending her tweet. She ought to accept censure for her mistake and move on.
President Barack Obama assumed responsibility Tuesday for the deadly terror attack in Libya last month that killed four Americans just hours after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to shoulder the blame for any mistakes the administration made.
“She works for me,” the president said in New York in his second presidential debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. “I’m the president and I’m always responsible, and that’s why nobody’s more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do.”
So, again, what do you believe? The latest right wing conspiracy theory featuring harridans Rice and Clinton?
The Mail piece features the delicious but extremely dubious claim that Clinton is still gunning for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who backed Obama over Clinton in 2008, and is thus making clear to reporters that the White House, not the State Department, was the source of Rice’s early claim that the attack was inspired by the same anti-Islam movie that was driving protests elsewhere in the region.
“State Department sources have said that Clinton has never forgotten that Rice, who served in her husband Bill’s administration, was an early supporter of Obama,” Harnden reports breathlessly. “Rice has ambitions to take over from Clinton if Obama is re-elected but the Benghazi debacle could scupper her chances.” In fact, the two women became allies on the decision to intervene in Libya, and the idea that Hillary Clinton would talk directly to Toby Hernden to settle an old score with Susan Rice is straight out of the fervid fantasies of Clinton-haters everywhere. Harnden claims that Clinton’s supposed “announcement of State Department dissent” from Rice and the rest of the Obama administration “could help protect Clinton during 2016 presidential run.” In the end, for the right wing, it all comes back to the Clintons and their ambition.
Is any one besides me getting tired of the never-ending CDS and hyped-up ODS now being turned into kind of supposed pantomime “October Surprise”? It’s like some kind of hyper-sick form of disco dancing on the graves of four American public servants. The Romney campaign is so freaking desperate they’ve got surrogates out spouting some of the worst stuff I’ve ever heard. But, remember, it’s all the fault of those grudge-holding, ambitious Clintons and the impossibly incompetent,lazy, and “foreign” Obama. Who can be so stupid not to see this stuff for what it is? It’s fricking right wing jerk-off porn for Neo Con Tools. Any supposed Clinton fan that falls for this is pretty stupid, imho.