Response to Zelda Bronstein

Response to Zelda Bronstein

Ever eager to see progressives detach themselves from the pair of miscreants in the White House, I welcome Zelda Bronstein to the growing circle of feminist Hillary-haters. But I do so only with grave misgivings. Bronstein has failed to sample my own vast oeuvre of anti-Hillary writings, and the one article she cites she maliciously spins in a pro-Hillary direction. To set the record straight, my career as a Hillary-ologist goes back to the summer of ’92, when I attacked her in Newsday for her Stepford-like transformation in the wake of the great cookie-making scandal. This was followed by numerous bitter—some would say vicious—assaults on the First Lady for setting back the cause of health reform by another decade or so. “It takes cunning to devise a health plan that both liberals and conservatives can deeply hate,” I wrote in Mirabella in 1996, “and it takes arrogance verging on malice to do the devising in such profound secrecy that any small-d democrat, liberal or conservative, has to hate it before it even sees light.”

Bronstein seems only to have read a 1995 essay on Hillary I did for Time—and she doesn’t seem to have read it too carefully. I did not advise Clinton “to stiffen her spine and ignore her critics” (myself being, as I saw it, prominent among them). I was writing to criticize her wuss-like response to the news that Newt Gingrich had called her a “bitch”—which was to invite Gingrich and his mom to tea. Better, I said, to accept that venerable label with pride.

The oeuvre continues with the aforementioned article in Mirabella, where I suggested that Clinton spends much of her time in a Valium-like trance of denial and went on to assail her status as a feminist role-model. To again quote myself:

. . . Hillary is not under attack for being a strong, independent woman with ideas. One, she’s not a strong, independent woman. And two, there are no ideas—at least none she has ever expressed with any clarity or held on to with firmness and conviction. The flak she draws may be 60 percent right-wing spite, but the rest is fully earned.

Most recently, I published an article in the LA Weekly (the issue distributed at the Democratic convention) revealing what actually went on in Clinton’s conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt. For those who missed it, the article sheds new light on the Hillary’s loathsome combination of narcissism, vanity, and obsessive self-pity.

Have I called her a sociopath—a criminal, or an enemy of little children? Not yet, though if she continues to cover up her Catherine de Medici-like role in the White House and to stand by the man who wrecked welfare, that may well be my next step. But will Bronstein be listening?

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima