"There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!"
- Madeleine Albright, speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton's candidacy
Can you imagine a male candidate for president, Democrat or Republican, applauding and laughing raucously when endorsed by another man, who declares to the crowd, "There’s a special place in hell for men who don’t help each other!" I can't. Such a mistake would be fatal. But then I also couldn't imagine two PBS "NewsHour" journalists, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, moderators of the Democratic debate on Thursday, failing to ask Hillary a single question about the State Department subpoena served upon the Clinton Foundation. Was this "feminism" or "sexism" at work, or just journalistic ineptitude?
In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "My Undiplomatic Moment," Madeleine Albright yesterday attempted to explain away her controversial "special place in hell" comment supporting Hillary's candidacy. Albright wrote:
"However, I do want to explain why I so firmly believe that, even today, women have an obligation to help one another. In a society where women often feel pressured to tear one another down, our saving grace lies in our willingness to lift one another up. And while young women may not want to hear anything more from this aging feminist, I feel it is important to speak to women coming of age at a time when a viable female presidential candidate, once inconceivable, is a reality."
Maureen Dowd, however, will have none of this. In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism," Dowd writes:
"The interesting thing about the spectacle of older women trying to shame younger ones on behalf of Hillary is that Hillary and Bill killed the integrity of institutional feminism back in the ’90s — with the help of Albright and Steinem.
Instead of just admitting that he had had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and taking his lumps, Bill lied and hid behind the skirts of his wife and female cabinet members, who had to go out before the cameras and vouch for his veracity, even when it was apparent he was lying.
Seeing Albright, the first female secretary of state, give cover to President Clinton was a low point in women’s rights."
Any discussion of Hillary and feminism, however, would not be complete without mentioning the millions of dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation by Saudi Arabia, a country which whips and imprisons gang rape victims.
And then there is also that small matter involving Hillary's tweet on November 22, 2015:
"Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported."
Which was followed by Juanita Broaddrick's tweet on January 6, 2016:
"I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away."
With a little luck, all of this talk about Hillary's candidacy will be rendered moot when the FBI weighs in with a recommendation concerning the use of her home server for sending and receiving top secret government communications (including emails exchanged with President Obama, who claims he never knew that his secretary of state was using a private server). Further afield, my guess is that if Hillary is forced to withdraw from the race: a) no one will ever again pay her anything approaching $500,000 for a speech (although maybe she could make a paid guest appearance on "The Biggest Loser"), and b) her marriage to Bill (of convenience or inconvenience) will end within a year.
By the way, it is fast becoming apparent that Elizabeth Warren was wise not to endorse Hillary. Two days ago, in a Boston Globe article entitled "Why Elizabeth Warren can’t endorse Hillary Clinton," Eric Fehrnstrom wrote:
"Stumping for Hillary Clinton before the Tuesday vote, Madeline Albright delivered her now-famous 'special place in hell' warning to women who don’t help other women. If the Clinton campaign was sending a not-too-subtle message to Senator Warren, they’re going to have to wait a long time, maybe until hell freezes over."
Hell, however, could freeze over if Hillary - a narcissist, not a feminist - runs against Donald Trump, also blindly enamored of himself, in November, which is not so far off.
Stay tuned . . .