“Please tell me what you find odious about Hillary Clinton,” a cousin of mine asked on FB last week. “She might be dull, but odious? Dishonest? Corrupt? I’m really not seeing it. She is smart, educated, qualified, capable, and even tempered. She has spun things her way, because that’s how one gets into office — it’s called politics. But I just see a public servant, one who is genuinely interested in leading the country, for good. The contest with Donald Trump isn’t even a contest, if we’re talking qualifications or character.”
Why is Hillary odious? It’s a fair question, and one that deserves a substantive response. I didn’t comment on his FB thread, as I think the answer requires a great deal more time and thought than the normal constraints of social media would allow.
I also, at the outset, want to clarify that in this post, I’m only going to talk about Hillary’s odiousness. I am not going to compare and contrast her odiousness with Donald Trump’s odiousness. Which one wins the race to the bottom of the slime-coated Pit of All Human Odiousness is certainly a legitimate discussion, but it’s not one I’m going to engage in here. My cousin, and many other Hillary supporters, see Hillary as “smart, educated, qualified, capable, and even tempered,” but they’re “really not seeing it” when Hillary is labeled as odious, dishonest, or corrupt. So I thought it would be helpful, in a Trump-free environment, to make the case as to why Hillary Clinton is odious, dishonest, and corrupt.
We begin with Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who came forward to allege that Bill Clinton violently raped her in a Little Rock, Arkansas hotel in 1978.
All right, many of you have already tuned out. Perhaps you think Broaddrick is a product of the right-wing noise machine, or that her allegation is nothing more than a “discredited and long-denied charge,” as NBC News called it in a Today Show segment on May 19 of this year. It’s curious that NBC would be the ones to claim she has been discredited, as it’s their network that first introduced Ms. Broaddrick into the national conversation. Broaddrick had told her story to five contemporaneous witnesses shortly after the rape allegedly occurred, but she was reluctant to come forward until the Monica Lewinsky investigation unearthed her claims and compelled her to go public.
If you have not seen the segment where she outlines the charges, you probably should take a look before we take this discussion any further.
Go ahead. I’ll still be here when you get back.
Okay, now let me share with you some comments by Caitlin Flanagan, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and a self-described lifelong Democrat who wrote a piece for Time Magazine titled “Why This Democrat Won’t Vote for Hillary Clinton.”
In 1999, she described his visit to her hotel room and the sex he forced on her. I sat in my living room watching her describe that rape and I thought: “She’s telling the truth.” My response was not considered; it was visceral. If it’s possible that one woman can listen to another woman tell her story of rape and just sort of know that she’s telling the truth, I had that reaction.
I’m not a woman, obviously, but I had a similar reaction while watching that video. I am convinced, as sure as I am of anything, that Juanita Broaddrick is telling the truth. Which means I am convinced, deep in my bones, that Bill Clinton is a rapist.
It’s also worth noting that Broaddrick’s accusation is not unique. Rape allegations against ol’ Bubba extend back to a woman named Eileen Wellstone, an English woman who insisted that Bill raped her outside a pub when he was studying at Oxford in 1969. (Bill maintains that the sex was consensual.) Arkansas state troopers came forward to say that they helped arrange liaisons with then-Governor Clinton using state resources, and that Bill didn’t always take “no” for an answer. Carolyn Moffet, a legal secretary in Little Rock during this time period, reported the following incident in Clinton’s hotel room in 1979. (Warning: Graphic description ahead.)
“I was escorted there by a state trooper. When I went in, he was sitting on a couch, wearing only an undershirt. He pointed at his penis and told me to suck it. I told him I didn’t even do that for my boyfriend and he got mad, grabbed my head and shoved it into his lap. I pulled away from him and ran out of the room.”
At least fourteen women have made claims of sexual assault by Bill, and most of these accusations were in the public record long before Bill was president or even a candidate for president. These are not allegations of infidelity. They are allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. In my mind, this makes Bill Clinton unfit to walk my dog, much less serve as President of the United States. Bill Clinton, in the wise words of George Will, “is not the worst president the republic has had, but he is the worst person ever to have been president.”
In short, Bill Clinton is odious. Really, really odious.
If you haven’t tuned out already, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve only talked about Bill, not Hillary. I’m pretty sure Hillary hasn’t raped anybody, and the sins of a husband shouldn’t be laid at the feet of a wife. Or, in the words of my cousin, “many problems people have with Hillary are really problems they had with Bill.”
Okay. Time to pivot here. Because I promised to make the case that Hillary Clinton is, herself, odious, not just that she stood by an odious husband. But the preceding facts need to be in evidence before we can proceed.
So let’s turn back to Juanita Broaddrick. We know what she’s said about Bill. Here’s what she had to say about Hillary when they ran into each other at an event two weeks after the alleged rape occurred:
She came directly to me as soon as she hit the door. I had been there only a few minutes, I only wanted to make an appearance and leave. She caught me and took my hand and said: “I am so happy to meet you. I want you to know that we appreciate everything you do for Bill.” I started to turn away and she held onto my hand and reiterated her phrase — looking less friendly and repeated her statement — “Everything you do for Bill.” I said nothing. She wasn’t letting me get away until she made her point. She talked low, the smile faded on the second thank you. I just released her hand from mine and left the gathering.
She later said, ““I could have passed out at that moment. . . . Cold chills went up my spine. That’s the first time I became afraid of that woman.”
Broaddrick believed Hillary was threatening her. And there is every reason to believe that assessment was correct.
Every time Bill has been (literally) caught with his pants down, Hillary has come to his rescue. When the audiotapes of Bill with his mistress Gennifer Flowers surfaced, it was Hillary who stood by his side to denounce Flowers and give cover to Bill. (Both were lying, which Clinton was later forced to admit under oath.) When the Lewinsky affair surfaced, the first person to go to the press was Hillary Clinton, who insisted that there was nothing to the charges other than the efforts of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to bring her husband down. Multiple people close to both Clintons have stated that it was she who led the effort to destroy the “nuts and sluts” – Hillary’s phrase, not mine – who came forward to denounce her husband.
So it’s not just that Hillary was an “enabler” in the sense that she was wearing blinders when her husband strayed. It’s that she proactively went after the victims of his sexually predatory behavior to shame them into silence, to make them hurt until they went away.
That’s odious. And that’s why lifelong Democrat Caitlin Flanagan “won’t vote for a candidate who helped ‘destroy’ the credibility of women who came forward to report that they had been preyed upon sexually by a powerful man.”
There’s also the matter of Hillary saying that “[e]very survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.” She even made a video to this effect. I can’t even link to it, because it makes my stomach turn.
Really, Hillary? Every survivor? Then why doesn’t Juanita Broaddrick have a right to be believed?
It’s not just right-wingers who find her credible. Shortly after Donald Trump reminded America of Juanita Broaddrick, Vox.com – not a house organ of the right-wing conspiracy Hillary was talking about – wrote a thoughtful piece titled “The rape allegation against Bill Clinton, explained.” They referenced Hillary’s statement about how survivors deserve to be believed and concluded that “[t]here’s no easy way to reconcile that view with her allies’ dismissal of Broaddrick’s allegations.” They also maintain that “the allegation is serious, and should not be easily dismissed.”
It’s also noteworthy that the NBC has quietly scrubbed the May 19, 2016 statement that Broaddrick’s charges have been “discredited” from their website. It has not been discredited. It should not be easily dismissed. Yet Hillary is applying one standard to all survivors of sexual assault except those sexually assaulted by her husband. No, those are women who should be smeared and debased.
My cousin also mentioned dishonesty and corruption, insisting there’s nothing there. That’s simply not accurate. Hillary is demonstrably and provably dishonest, even about things she has no decent reason to lie about. Why did she repeatedly tell people she ran for cover getting off the plane in Bosnia to avoid sniper fire? (Video has surfaced proving that she stayed on the open runway for a greeting ceremony that lasted over an hour.) She told the four families of those killed in Benghazi that their loved ones died because of a spontaneous demonstration spurred by an anti-Islamic YouTube video, and that she would put the filmmaker in prison. Hillary now says that she said nothing of the kind and that all four families are lying. (Although she did put the filmmaker in prison, even though he had nothing to do with the Benghazi attacks, and Hillary knew that from the outset.) She lied repeatedly about her email server, and then she lied when she insisted that the FBI Director said she didn’t lie. There’s plenty more where that come from.
Put simply, she is a first-degree liar. This isn’t just off-the cuff misspeaking or ignorance. She lies with premeditation, in cold blood.
Is she corrupt? Well, you tell me. Do you believe that all the six/seven-figure donors to the Clinton Foundation with business before the State Department got favorable responses from Clinton’s office when she was Secretary of State out of sheer coincidence? Do you believe she turned $1,000 into $100,000 in cattle futures virtually overnight because she “read the Wall Street Journal?” I don’t. I think she’s demonstrably the most corrupt person to run for office in the history of the republic.
Of course, you can look at all this and roll your eyes and say, “Really? Benghazi again? He’s even bringing up that old saw about cattle futures? Give me a break. Old news. Right-wing smears.”
I wrote about this before on my blog when I described the “Clinton Discount.” I noted that whenever a new scandal emerges, the Clintons, especially Hillary, begin a process of “tirelessly grinding away at the nation’s patience” until what was shocking at the outset is old news after the electorate is exhausted. It was genuinely troubling to the vast majority of voters in January of 1998 that a president might have been having sex with an intern in the Oval Office. But the story became tiresome and boring by August after eight long months of stonewalling and rationalizing. Eventually, the grind ran its course, and the nation’s standards were permanently lowered in the process.
See, by August, we all knew that everyone lies about sex, that everybody does it, and that a middle-aged president carrying on with a barely-of-age intern wasn’t anyone’s business but Hillary’s, even though such behavior in the private sector would have gotten any CEO fired. (I say “would have gotten” because, post-Clinton, those standards don’t exist anymore.)
And who led the grind to the point where the abhorrent became acceptable? Hillary. Even more than Bill. It was Hillary out front at the beginning, Hillary guiding strategy mid-grind, and Hillary providing cover at the end. And now the nation no longer expects a president to be straightforward, faithful, or even honest under oath as long as the economy is in good shape.
I cannot vote for her. And no, I cannot vote for Trump, either.
I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will want to argue with me as to why one is way more odious than the other, but in my mind, both of these odious people have crossed a line of basic human decency that makes such comparisons utterly worthless. Both should be shunned, spurned, and cast out of polite society. My conscience will not allow me to sustain or support either of these horrible human beings, even in the smallest degree.
Could I change my mind and vote for Hillary to stop Trump? Only if Juanita Broaddrick gives me the okay.