By Peter Daou and Tom Watson
Writing for Politico, Jack Shafer explains why he thinks “Being a Clinton apologist is a hard life.”
Which got us thinking: what must it be like to be a die-hard Hillary hater? Obsessing over one of the most accomplished and resilient public figures on the planet? How depressing and demoralizing is it to latch onto fabricated scandal after fabricated scandal, only to have every one fade away?
How frustrating is it to expend so much time and mental energy bashing, bashing, bashing, only to have Hillary come back stronger than ever?
And how awful is it to be on the wrong side of women’s history, to help reinforce the gender barrier that prevents women and girls from realizing their full potential?
We’re not talking about fair-minded critics and principled political opponents. They have every right to disagree with Hillary and to dislike her if they're so inclined. We’re talking about haters, people who have a pathological need to savage Hillary. People who make an industry of their hate.
Think of the self-righteous rants on Morning Joe, the seething vitriol of Maureen Dowd, the feverish swamps of rightwing trolls. Think of the reporters and pundits who mindlessly repeat Rove-funded frames and narratives, hoping to taint Hillary’s public image, to sully her character. Think of the Republican and conservative operatives who have tried in vain for more than two decades to silence her.
Read the terms they use to describe her, which we've chronicled in painful detail:
“Machiavellian, Lovecraftian, slithering, monstrous, imperious, musty, petulant, paranoid, stale, scornful, regal, devious, deceitful, abnormal, acting all innocent, disingenuous, egregious, crafty, sketchy, seamy, Faustian, robotic, queenly, suspicious, unsavory.”
Then look at this beautiful and happy picture of Hillary and understand why we pity those who devote their lives to verbally assaulting someone who never did anything to harm them and whose biggest sin is simply being who she is, a woman of pride, joy and power.
It must be a miserable thing to be driven to demean and diminish a woman who has achieved so much and who has fought for human rights, justice, equality and fairness.
Perhaps it is because Hillary has come to represent every woman that she is the target of so many who are threatened by the power and promise she embodies.
Whatever the reason, we are proud to be on Hillary’s side and not on the side of those who are consumed by envy and hate.
Peter Daou and Tom Watson founded #HillaryMen to provide actionable analysis of the 2016 campaign focusing on the gender barrier in U.S. politics. Peter is a former senior digital adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a veteran of two presidential campaigns (Kerry '04 and Clinton '08). Tom is an author and Columbia University lecturer who advises companies and non-profits on social activism.