To a number of women, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the face of American feminism. She wears that proudly. So it’s rather noticeable now, with her ordination as the Democrats’ presidential candidate, that her theme has switched to championing for the “common folk.” Hillary is going to continue carrying the torch for Bill’s “I feel your pain” message.
Those of us not blinded by Hillary’s appeal are working hard trying to mesh her message with her actions.
Hillary claims she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001. Maybe that’s why they took so many of the furnishings with them. It begs the question of how they garnered a mortgage loan for a $1.995-million New York home – before leaving the White House.
Poverty was not long for the Clintons.
The William J. Clinton Foundation (now the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation) began in 2001. From the short time frame, it appears the Clintons were not encumbered with that pesky, time-consuming Lois Lerner IRS probing.
The money flooded in. Foreign governments including Kuwait donated and Norway and Saudi Arabia each gave between $10 million and $25 million. At home, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave more than $25 million along with AIG, Citigroup and Barbara Streisand’s foundation.
Celebrity and business donors are one thing, but foreign governments are quite another – especially when those governments practice omnipresent abuses of civil rights, especially those of women.
Notably, donations kept pouring in after Hillary became Secretary of State in 2009.
The Wall Street Journal reported there was a ban by the foundation for foreign gifts in 2009. Not to be confused with any kind of ethics, the ban was not a total one; an allowance was made for her to accept some donations “after receiving the approval of State Department ethics officials.” Contrarily, no approval was sought when the foundation took $500,000 from the Algerian government in 2010.
With Hillary’s candidacy now official, the foundation’s spokesman, Matt McKenna, explains that all is well. While he claims the Saudis didn’t give any money in 2009, he then says the list doesn’t specify who donated amounts in any one year; just over a period of years.
After all of McKenna’s double-talk about who-knows-who-gave-what-when, the disclosure “nevertheless complies with the memorandum of understanding the Clintons reached when Hillary Rodham Clinton took the secretary of state post.”
That’s so Clintonesque.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported the Saudis are still giving, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Germany Oman, Australia and Canada (which promotes the Keystone Pipeline’s construction).
Kirk Hanson, director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at California’s Santa Clara University, said: “Now that she is gearing up to run for president, the same potential exists for foreign governments to curry favor with her as a potential president of the United States.”
While the Journal said ethics experts believe the foundation’s original ban should be reimposed, one must wonder, with all of the wiggle-room and the fact the foundation doesn’t follow the ban’s text anyway, why put up the front?
The second complication for Hillary is her close relationship with countries that abuse their citizens in general, and women in specific.
Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow women to drive a vehicle; supposedly women have now been afforded the vote this year. We’ll see.
The Washington Post reported that on gender-gap issues, and per the World Economic Forum’s 2013 report, Saudi Arabia ranks “ahead of Mali, Morocco, Iran, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Syria, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen,” and women’s rights abuses “are by no means limited to North Africa, West Africa or the Middle East, though that’s where we tend to hear such stories most frequently.”
In Yemen, women are considered only “half a witness.” A 2005 Freedom House report said women are not “recognized as a full person before the court,” and “women can’t testify at all in cases of adultery, libel, theft or sodomy.”
Yemeni women cannot leave their house without the husband’s permission. There is an allowance for emergencies such as hastily going to the aid of ailing parents.
In Ecuador, abortions are illegal unless you are deemed an “idiot” or “demented.” The politicians are rethinking the harshness of those words; they’re thinking of changing the term to “mentally ill.”
Saudi Arabia and Morocco are among many countries that do not protect women as victims of rape. Instead, they can be charged with crimes. Women are punished for leaving the home without male companionship or for being alone with a male not related to them – and they had better not become impregnated.
Amina Filali, 16, killed herself when the Moroccan government tried to force her to marry her rapist so he would be cleansed of his crime. This week, a 25-year-old Pakistani wife was beaten, doused in gasoline and set on fire because she didn’t get her husband’s authorization to leave the house to visit her sister.
Honor killing is their creed.
Hillary has a vast, gaping divide between her professed “rah-rah, women” stance and her actions — befriending female abusers.
It looks like Bill and Hillary share the same level of respect for women.
Photo credit US Secretary of State