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sábado, 3 de febrero de 2018

Hillary Clinton’s ‘apology’ reveals her big secret: she doesn’t care until she’s caught

On the 26th of January, the New York Times exposed Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of sexual harassment claims against Burns Strider, a senior advisor of her 2008 presidential election campaign. On that same day, she issued an explanatory response, via Twitter, which many thought inadequate.

Four days later, after collecting her thoughts and studying her audience,  she tried again, this time in a lengthy post on Facebook. Attempting to apologize, Hillary expressed such sentiments as “If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t,” but forgot the three most important words of all: “I am sorry.” 

It seems that Hillary still does not know how to take responsibility for her wrongdoings. Or perhaps she isn’t really sorry.

Let’s look at the evidence.

First Attempt

Upon learning that the Times was going to release an article detailing her mishandling of sexual harassment allegations within her 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary immediately took to Twitter.

In an attempt to exonerate herself, she said:

She added that she called the victim “to tell her how proud I am of her . . .”

These messages were quickly deemed inadequate by the public, which questioned their sincerity. Why?

First, Hillary, despite exhortations from her staff to do so, did not fire Strider. Instead, she docked his pay and ordered that he undergo counseling, which he never did.

Second, Hillary has a certain history regarding sexual abuse claims, from which a pattern of enabling seems to emerge. Remember that she attacked those accusing her husband, former president Bill Clinton, of sexual abuse, and continued to accept large monetary donations from Harvey Weinstein, despite likely knowing about his sexual predations.

Take two

After recognizing that she bungled her first attempt to free herself from blame, Hillary tried again, on Facebook.

She spent much of her time attempting to explain why she did not fire Strider:

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.

I also believe in second chances. I’ve been given second chances and I have given them to others. I want to continue to believe in them. But sometimes they’re squandered.

The inadequacy of this reasoning was exposed not long after.

Strider was allowed to continue his job on Hillary’s campaign in 2008. Then he moved on to Correct the Record, a Super PAC that regularly defended Clinton, where he was fired for sexual harassment. In other words, Strider was allowed to continue in his ways because Hillary did not adequately address the problem 2008.

In the Facebook post, Hillary went on to state that “If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t.”

The glaring omission from this rather prolix “apology” was her failure to say “I am sorry,” or to even take responsibility.

We can’t go back, but we can certainly look back, informed by the present. We can acknowledge that even those of us who have spent much of our life thinking about gender issues and who have firsthand experiences of navigating a male-dominated industry or career may not always get it right.

The females working under Hillary during the 2008 presidential campaign, notably campaign manager Patti Solis-Doyle, didn’t seem to have this problem. Solis-Doyle was one of the women who recommended that Strider be fired.

This past week, Solis-Doyle did something that Hillary has failed to do in either of her apologies: state that she is sorry and regretful that she could not do more. She even went so far as to say that Hillary made the wrong decision.

Not buying it

Hillary’s failure to apologize was just one of the many criticisms of her attempted apology. Another is that, rather than focusing on the victims, she solipsistically spent the entire 18 paragraphs talking about herself.

Yet others continue to question the first statement:

The most important work of my life has been to support and empower women.

Hillary added fuel to the fire of these critics this past week when she read an excerpt from Fire and Fury at the Grammys. Fire and Fury, you’ll remember, is the apocryphal text of Michael Wolff, an author who recently slandered UN ambassador Nikki Haley, by saying that she had an affair with President Trump.

Wolff’s smear campaign was a gross example of the worst kind of sexist rumor-mongering that has long been decried by feminists as an obstacle to empowering women in the workplace. But don’t expect an apology from Hillary for her virtual endorsement of the book anytime soon.

The truth tends to be simple, clear, direct, elegant. Hillary’s response was anything but – it was a lengthy and oblique exercise in rationalization, which seems to suggest that she is not really sorry for her actions, but rather, sorry that she got caught.