2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Balancing the media’s worshipful coverage of the passing of Christopher Hitchens

Courtesy of Vancouversun.com

In the midst of the tidal wave of worshipful prose from around the web eulogizing the late Christopher Hitchens, I find myself recalling the man’s crude sexist attacks on world-renowned female leaders such as Mother Teresa and Hillary Clinton, not to mention his earlier slanderous assault on the entire Clinton family

Just to balance the media's glorified coverage of the drunken atheist’s death, I’m re-publishing my post of Nov. 25, 2008 titled Rebutting Christopher Hitchens’ Latest Vilification of Hillary and Bill Clinton:

Responding to Christopher Hitchens’ attack in his post at Slate on Hillary Clinton is an unwelcome distraction this morning from preparations for Thanksgiving dinner.

I’ve managed to ignore Hitchens over the years and actually had to review his background to remind myself where such a depraved distortion of Sen. Clinton’s character and qualifications for the position of secretary of state was coming from. A quick glance at his Wiki entry was all it took.

At Slate, Hitchens writes:

In matters of foreign policy, it has been proved time and again, the Clintons are devoted to no interest other than their own. A president absolutely has to know of his chief foreign-policy executive that he or she has no other agenda than the one he has set. Who can say with a straight face that this is true of a woman whose personal ambition is without limit; whose second loyalty is to an impeached and disbarred and discredited former president; and who is ready at any moment, and on government time, to take a wheedling call from either of her bulbous brothers? This is also the unscrupulous female who until recently was willing to play the race card on President-elect Obama and (in spite of her own complete want of any foreign-policy qualifications) to ridicule him for lacking what she only knew about by way of sordid backstairs dealing. What may look like wound-healing and magnanimity to some looks like foolhardiness and masochism to me.

Where to begin?

1. “The Clintons are devoted to no interest other than their own.”

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton are known throughout the world for their lifetime efforts on behalf of human rights.

Over the past eight years as a U.S. senator, Hillary Clinton has earned a reputation for her in-depth knowledge of the important issues facing our government, her dedication, her compassion for those in need, and for her ability to work across the aisle.

As for Bill, today the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation addresses climate change, HIV/Aids and Malaria, childhood obesity, sustainable development in Africa, and economic opportunity for all.

2. “A president absolutely has to know of his chief foreign-policy executive that he or she has no other agenda than the one he has set.”

Here again, we have a male chauvinist commentator assuming from the get-go that as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton will be assuming the role of a subservient, dutiful wife constrained from expressing her honest opinions and best judgment in fulfilling the responsibilities of her position.

3. “a woman whose personal ambition is without limit”

Why must we repeatedly remind chauvinists like Hitchens that only women continue to be criticized for being ambitious.

4. “This is also the unscrupulous female who until recently was willing to play the race card on President-elect Obama and (in spite of her own complete want of any foreign-policy qualifications) to ridicule him for lacking what she only knew about by way of sordid backstairs dealing.

Note how perniciously, Hitchens uses the word “female” to describe Sen. Clinton. Would he have pointed out the gender of a man he was attacking, as in “this is also the unscrupulous male?” I think not.

And just who was playing the race card, Mr. Hitchens? I recommend that Mr. Hitchens view the video of Obama’s national co-chair Jesse Jackson, Jr.’ s tirade against Sen. Clinton the day after she won the New Hampshire primary.

Time after time Princeton historian Sean Wilentz debunked the Obama camp’s egregious attempts to smear both Bill and Hillary Clinton as racists. In an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wilentz wrote:

‘“Obama's backers, including members of his official campaign staff, then played what might be called ‘the race-baiter card.’ Hillary Clinton, in crediting both Lyndon Johnson as well as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the Civil Rights Act in 1964, had supposedly denigrated King, and by extension Obama. Allegedly, Bill Clinton had dismissed Obama's victory in South Carolina by comparing it to those of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the 1980s. (In fact, their electoral totals were comparable — and in the interview at issue, Clinton complimented Obama on his performance ‘everywhere’ — a line the media usually omitted.)”’

When pinned down during the Las Vegas debate, Obama made clear – after most of the damage had been done – that along with the rest of the world, he was well aware the Clintons were not racists.

5. “What may look like wound-healing and magnanimity to some looks like foolhardiness and masochism to me.”

That could be due to your jaundiced, bigoted view of reality, Mr. Hitchens. As one who essentially hates women from the misogynous depths of your soulless being, you could not be expected to be aware of the fact that Hillary Clinton is already widely respected among the majority of world leaders.

Incidentally, it occurred to me the other day to imagine the roles were reversed and President-elect Clinton were attempting to find an appropriate slot in her administration for Barack Obama. With Obama’s thin resume, we have to immediately rule out the vice-presidency; an apprenticeship in the Chicago Daley machine and experience as a community organizer just doesn’t cut it. He has no background whatsoever in health care, economics, or any other domestic policy area. And as far as foreign policy goes, he went on a road trip abroad last summer to meet world leaders for the first time.

In response to Obama’s repeated attempts to justify his dearth of experience by identifying with Abraham Lincoln, a little reminder might be appropriate: the world is a lot more complex than when Honest Abe was president.

Neophyte Obama will indeed be fortunate to have the experienced Hillary Clinton on board as secretary of state.

2 comments:

  1. Thank goodness someone finally said it. I refused to read or watch Hitchens after 2008. Was a fan prior to that, but, what a disappointment he turned our to be. Hope the man rests in peace, but beyond that, nothing nice to say for him.

    freespirit

    ReplyDelete