I wrote about sexism and Clinton back during the 2008 primary, when she was facing some pretty nasty coded attacks from the Obama campaign. At the time, I was trying to be very careful to criticize her policy positions without saying things that would be generally offensive to women.
Yet when I think about why Clinton herself is so particularly offensive, it is a fact about her that the author of this latest piece seems simply to ignore: her and her husband's spectacular corruption. They have vastly enriched themselves through a set of "speaking fees" given by corporations, banks, and governments who either had business before Secretary Clinton or expect to have business before President Clinton. When I say "vastly enriched," I mean that the amount of money is truly incredible.
Mandatory financial disclosures released this month show that, in just the two years from April 2013 to March 2015, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state collected $21,667,000 in “speaking fees,” not to mention the cool $5 mil she corralled as an advance for her 2014 flop book, “Hard Choices.”Bill Clinton's totals since leaving office, just for speaking fees, are over a hundred million dollars according to the first of the two sources I just cited. Much of that money, as much as three-quarters of a million dollars for a speech, came from foreign governments and corporations while his wife was Secretary of State.
Throw in the additional $26,630,000 her ex-president husband hoovered up in personal-appearance “honoraria"...
She is a corrupting influence, too. Her presidential ambitions stand on the concept that the Department of Justice won't accept an FBI recommendation that it indict her for her numerous and manifest violations of the law. And, indeed, it seems likely that they won't -- top Justice Department officials have invested $75,000 in her career by donating to her political campaign this year. What do you suppose those officials expect to receive if President Clinton is elected? High public postings, obviously, from which they will more than recoup their donations. They'll have earned it, not so much for the cash donation as for the 'payment in kind' they will have provided if they succeed in blocking her indictment.
Is there some lurking sexism in the depths of my subconscious that allows me to look on the Clintons with horror while ignoring similar transgressions from others? I don't know -- is there anyone else in government who has personally profited to this degree off the sale of their use of the American office with which they were entrusted? How can we compare such peerless individuals as these two?
UPDATE: David Brooks says it's because she works too darn hard. Maybe she needs better creases on her pants, too.