#MeToo: How Not To Apologise With Hillary Rodham Clinton

(this article was a medium exclusive)


The return of Hillary Rodham Clinton, former secretary of state and the queen of both unfortunate events and horrible timing.

Just minutes before President Donald J. Trump delivered his State of The Union address last Tuesday, the former Democratic rival released an elongated, piss-poor Facebook statement in response to a New York Times article revealing she shielded a sexual harasser from workplace termination during her 2008 presidential campaign — the sexual harasser being longtime faithful adviser Burns Strider.

According to journalists Maggie Haberman and Amy Chozick, speaking to three seperate campaign officials, an unnamed coworker under Strider was repeatedly sexually harassed during her work for the Clinton campaign, being subjected to shoulder rubs, forced kisses on the forehead and emails in a sexually suggestive nature.

The journalists confirmed that the co-worker filed a complaint with Clinton’s former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, who then approached Mrs. Clinton and urged Strider to be removed — a decision that was rejected by Clinton who refused to take action on the victim’s behalf.

This was all before the 2016 presidential campaign when Strider was fired from Clinton’s SuperPAC Correct The Record for the exact same kind of sexual harassment allegations eight years later.

The ship has sailed on the man’s plausible deniability when it comes to repeat behaviour confirmed by all sources, including Strider himself (who, of course, downplayed his own actions). “I didn’t consider it excessive,” Mr. Married man Strider said, speaking to laughably horrible news blog BuzzFeed, “but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t to her.”

Initially, all Clinton could muster as a response was a message emulating the likes of President Trump —a short, nonsensical tweet:

“A story appeared today about something that happened in 2008, I was dismayed when it occurred, but was heartened the young woman came forward, was heard, and had her concerns taken seriously and addressed. I called her today to tell her how proud I am of her and to make sure she knows what all women should: we deserve to be heard”…

…the neo-feminist icon neglecting the inconvenient truth that she, in fact, was the one who wouldn’t listen in the first place.

Since she began riding the waves of the #MeToo movement, in spite of the allegations made during the Bill Clinton rape scandals and her connection to Hollywood sex pervert Harvey Weinstein, people demanded a comprehensive response regarding her gross misuse of power — which we got at quite an awful time… just seconds before the president took the congressional podium for the address.

“Thoughtful of Hillary to post this at a time when we can all give it our full attention,” tweeted New York Magazine editor Margaret Hartmann, “news dump” cried CNN, calling out the former Secretary of State out for attempting to bury the story just before the next news cycle was about to hit, with voices over at Vice and The Daily Beast noticing the same strange observations I did — Hillary Clinton can’t fucking apologise.

“Here are a few words that usually appear in apologies,” began Daily Beast editor Erin Gloria Ryan, contrasting Clinton’s actual apology on her illegal use of an unencrypted private server to store classified information, “sorry, regret, mistake and I apologize. Here are a few words that don’t appear in Hillary Clinton’s [harassment] statement — sorry, regret, mistake, and I apologize.” And I kid you not, all of them are missing in her piece.

Clinton gave the standard faux-personal responsibility cliches of “if I had it to do again, I wouldn’t,” but she couldn’t put her political hat down for one second. In this novel, which is essentially her book “What Happened” if all the Clintonian-contextualising was boiled down to the still lenghty 1500 words, she plays completely defensive. She continued:

“I did this because I didn’t think firing him was the best solution to the problem. He needed to be punished, change his behavior, and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe.

I thought both could happen without him losing his job. I believed the punishment was severe and the message to him unambiguous.”

She doesn’t pull the bandaid off like Louis C.K. or coming out as homosexual to muddy the waters like Kevin Spacey. Instead, Clinton plays the strong woman card to defend a moment in time when one strong woman made the other girl weak in the company of a confirmed creep. To call it an apology is being overly generous, in my view.

As jokingly pointed out by ReasonTV’s libertarian pundits Andrew Heaton and Sarah Rose Siskind, who reviewed Clinton’s non-apology post-electoral lose book What Happened, “Hillary appears to be suffering from early on-set I.D.D. —Introspection Deficit Disorder. The book spends alot of time taking complete ownership of how her actions are all your fault.” And she does just this with the same journalists who verified this story over at the New York Times, calling them out in an all too similar way to the “fake news” decrying president:

“Indeed, while we are revisiting whether my decision from a decade ago was harsh enough, many employers would be well served to take actions at least as severe when confronted with problems now — including the very media outlet that broke this story. They recently opted to suspend and reinstate one of their journalists who exhibited similarly inappropriate behavior, rather than terminate him. A decade from now, that decision may not look as tough as it feels today.”

As explained by Vice’s Eve Peyser, what she’s referencing is the New York Times’ own scandal in their decision not to terminate reporter Glenn Thrush, the man accused of sexual misconduct by four women over a five-year period, alleging he both groped and kissed them against their will — allegations he has since denied on his own deleted Facebook post with other employees, both male and female, rallying to his side, according to The Atlantic.

It’s the kind of gross whataboutism we find so frequent in the Hillary Clinton circles. If you mention the allegations against Bill Clinton, you’re accused of supporting the pussy grabber in chief. If you mention her illegal use of an unencrypted private serve to store classified documents, you’re given counter-articles of how Trump and his campaign do the same reckless behaviour. You mention Hillary Clinton’s history of abuse and the infallible queen dart your eyes away. It’s pathetic, and to steal from the words of Peyser, “petty and vindictive, incomparable and irrelevant.”

But alas, Clinton is no stranger to faux-strength and immoral actions. To echo Gloria Ryan, a real show of strength isn’t through deflection, obfuscation, false equivalence, playing the friend who didn’t stab you in the back in a time of need. It’s rather simple, actually. Just admit your faults, genuinely, and say that cathartic word: “sorry.”

Thanks for reading!

Bailey T. Steen is a journalist, editor, artist and film critic based in Victoria, Australia, but is also Putin’s Puppet on occasion.

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