Politico recently posted a Hillary Clinton puff piece to its Facebook page, in which a young Clinton supporter aims to convince fellow millennials about how her candidate was “such a boss” in the 1990s. One Facebook commenter was having none of it.
Almost immediately after Politico posted the article, Mark’s comment tearing apart Clinton’s record jumped to the top of the thread, attracting over 150 likes. Perhaps the reason for the comment’s virality is that nothing cited in the comment is factually incorrect. Here’s a point-by-point breakdown:
“Hillary attacked her husband’s rape victims and destroyed them in public”
Last month, the New York Times ran a story about how Hillary Clinton’s swift, aggressive efforts to shush the multiple women accusing her husband of sexual assault in the 1990s present an image of the former First Lady contrary to the feminist icon brand she’s crafted for her 2016 presidential campaign:
“We have to destroy her story,” Mrs. Clinton said in 1991 of Connie Hamzy, one of the first women to come forward during her husband’s first presidential campaign, according to George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton administration aide who described the events in his memoir, “All Too Human.” (Three people signed sworn affidavits saying Ms. Hamzy’s story was false.)
When Gennifer Flowers later surfaced, saying that she had had a long affair with Mr. Clinton, Mrs. Clinton undertook an “aggressive, explicit direction of the campaign to discredit” Ms. Flowers, according to an exhaustive biography of Mrs. Clinton, “A Woman in Charge,” by Carl Bernstein.
Mrs. Clinton referred to Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with the 42nd president, as a “narcissistic loony toon,” according to one of her closest confidantes, Diane D. Blair, whose diaries were released to the University of Arkansas after her death in 2000.
Ms. Lewinsky later called the comment an example of Mrs. Clinton’s impulse to “blame the woman.”
“Hillary Clinton was on the board of Walmart, the nation’s largest discriminatory employer who paid women 70 cents on the dollar”
Between 1986 and 1992, Mrs. Clinton was a member of Walmart’s board of directors. As ABC News reported, Clinton’s years on Walmart’s board were some of the company’s worst, during which the conglomerate squashed workers’ efforts to organize for better wages and working conditions.
“I’m always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else,” Clinton said at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in 1990.
According to the National Organization for Women (NOW), 57 percent of Walmart’s employees are women, but a majority of its managers are men. And in 2001, the company paid women an average of $5,200 less per year than its male employees. NOW also found that to this day, thousands of female Walmart employees are still trying to get the company to pay them equal wages they were denied:
In Dukes v. Walmart — the largest class action gender discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history — 1.5 million female employees accused Walmart of discrimination in promotions, pay and job assignments. The case included 120 affidavits relating to 235 stores. When the Supreme Court heard the case in 2011, it ruled that “[e]ven if every single one of these accounts is true, that would not demonstrate that the entire company operate[s] under a general policy of discrimination.” Today, many of the plaintiffs are in the process of filing smaller suits against the corporation.
“Clinton called single mothers ‘deadbeats’”
As First Lady, Clinton pushed hard for her husband’s bill aimed at cutting welfare benefits to appease white, working-class voters while he was running for re-election. US Uncut has written extensively about how Clinton’s welfare reform disproportionately impacted women and people of color, and that even the black poster women Clinton used as a backdrop at the bill’s signing were harmed by its passage. This isn’t just speculation — Buzzfeed dug up a 2002 interview with the Gettysburg Times in which Hillary Clinton cavalierly referred to welfare recipients as “deadbeats.”
“Now that we’ve said these people are no longer deadbeats—they’re actually out there being productive—how do we keep them there?” then-senator Clinton said.
“Clinton called black men ‘super predators’”
In January of 1996, while stumping for her husband’s re-election in predominantly-white Keene, New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton compared black youth to animals. Two years prior, her husband had signed a sweeping crime bill into law that allocated billions of dollars for new prisons and created the notorious “three-strikes” provision that punishes repeat offenders with harsher jail sentences. In Keene, Clinton used dog-whistle racist language when talking about gang violence, calling them “super predators” and saying they needed to be “brought to heel,” as one would a dog. Watch:
Bill Clinton went on to win the New Hampshire primary with a whopping 84 percent of the vote.
“She and her husband traveled first-class to execute a black man with an IQ level of 70”
Mark is referring to Ricky Ray Rector, whom Clinton executed just before the New Hampshire primary in 1992. Rector had committed two murders, then shot himself in the head, causing permanent brain damage. A judge then ordered Rector to stand trial despite his mental condition. A Yale professor studying the case wrote about how Rector honestly believed he would live to be able to vote for Clinton in the November elections:
That afternoon, after Clinton had refused all final entreaties for clemency, Rector sat with one of his attorneys watching, on a TV outside his cell, news reports of his impending execution, two hours away, intermingled with accounts of Clinton’s travail over the Flowers charges, and he abruptly announced, in a thick mumble, “I’m gonna vote for him, Gonna vote for Clinton.” It had always been his habit to put aside his dessert until bedtime, and after eating his last meal, of steak and fried chicken in gravy, with cherry Kool-Aid, he carefully set aside his helping of pecan pie, to finish later. One of his attorneys had earlier stated that Rector “thinks he’ll be back in his cell on Saturday morning.”
“Clinton said marriage should only exist between people of the opposite sex”
As a U.S. Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton was a staunch opponent of marriage equality. In a televised interview from the capital city of Albany, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked then-Senator Clinton if she would support government recognition of civil unions and gay marriages. Clinton didn’t even blink before saying no, drawing boos from the audience. Her reaction to the boos was simply to smile and laugh.
MATTHEWS: “Do you think New York state should recognize gay marriage?”
Watch the full exchange:
Given the disconnect between Clinton’s record as a First Lady and U.S. Senator, it’s not hard to understand why a majority of voters in swing states say she’s neither honest nor trustworthy. It remains to be seen whether or not she’ll win over women and people of color in Nevada and South Carolina, where Democratic voters will choose between her and Sanders in the coming two weeks.