Monday, October 31, 2016

Susan Faludi on Hillary Hatred

Great piece by Susan Faludi ("How Hillary Clinton Met Satan" NY Times, 10/30/16), putting Hillary hatred into sharp historical perspective.

First, she notes, the right-wing hated and reviled both Bill and Hillary (1992), much, as in my view — bear with me for a bit —  the Germans hated the Weimar Republic, which they saw as utterly and essentially un-German, absent roots in German life or tradition (monarchy, authority, militarism, volkisch mysticism, all that German stuff.). For them, Weimar was an implant, imposed from without due to a defeat in war, and needing removal.

I am not proposing that the United States is in anyway as shaky or tentative as the Weimar Republic was from the very outset. Nor am I suggesting we are reeling from anything like the shattering defeat Germany suffered in World War I.


For the Freikorps, then the Nazis, Weimar, to apply the terminology of Islamicists — another stretch, I know —  was the "near enemy." Europe and the Soviet Union were the "far enemy" and would be dealt with once Weimar was gone, and a proper sort of Reich installed.

Heil Hitler.

The United States hasn't lost a World War. But we were beaten and humiliated in Vietnam, leading the right to focus its beam of hatred on the Clintons as if they were implants, imposed from without. That "without" happened to be a significant within, the sixties — the anti-war, feminist sixties.

For the right, Reagan and Reaganism represented the real America, and therefore, as per Faludi, "Clintonism had to be delegitimized. . . . This led first to an attempted legislative coup in 1998 and then to a judicial coup in 2000."

Now Bill is gone or keeping, mostly, to the shadows, as he should. That leaves only one Clinton, and she attracts the concentrated fury of the right as even Obama didn't. Hatred for Hillary on the right knows no bounds; you can't even get accused of racism for hating her.

On the other hand, virulent sexism slides by.

Faludi writes:

The left needs to acknowledge what the right has long known: that it’s a fiction to think we can move on beyond the brawl of the 1990s without settling it — and settling it requires helping Mrs. Clinton triumph once and for all against the calumnies that were created to define her.

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