Deborah Lipstadt: Stanley Fish nails it ... "Hillary hatred" is just like antisemitism

Roundup: Historians' Take

I have, by and large, kept this blog free of political matters. [I did blog about Ron Paul's antisemitism and racism.] The past few weeks I have been marveling [depressingly so] about the attacks on Hillary Clinton.

They ranged from comments about her dress, ankles, laugh, and singing ability. She's too liberal. She's too much of a hawk. She cries in public. She doesn't show emotions.

Even the noted and well-respected [deservedly so] commentator, David Gergen, spent time talking about the "shrillness" of her voice.

When I wondered has ANYONE talked about a male candidate's dress, voice, laugh or any other personal characteristic?

Then there were the comments that she is "too political." Well how, I wondered, could one get to this point in American political life without being "political"? Do you really think Barack Obama could be running for President after just arriving in the senate were he not a savvy politician?

Then this morning I read Stanley Fish's New York Times blog about Hillary hatred. As I read I rejoiced. He articulated exactly what I had been feeling for these past weeks.

He nails it in the final paragraph when he notes that the attacks on her are just like antisemitism, they are irrational in the extreme. That does not mean you can't criticize her. Of course you can. It's the contradictory nature of the attacks which are striking and which illustrate they have nothing to do with reality.

Antisemitism is equally contradictory in nature [Jews are leftists, Jews are capitalists; Jews are pushy and work themselves into places they don't belong, Jews stick together and don't mix with others...and so on and so forth].

As I have said here before antisemitism and, for that matter, racism are prejudices. The etymology of the word tells it all: pre-judge, i.e. don't confuse me with the facts I have already made up my mind.

And so it is with antisemitism, racism, sexism, and, now, Hillary-ism.

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Stephen Cipolla - 2/16/2008


Stephen Kislock - 2/14/2008

When you have Nothing to say or Reason with Call the them antisemitic.

Mr. Clinton, is a Neo-Con, and like former democrat Liberman, a Hawk. Vote for war once and lose my support, I do not care what your Religion or heritage!

mark safranski - 2/13/2008

This was one of the more special-pleading pieces I've seen in a while. Being against Hillary is now the moral equivalent of racism and anti-semitism ? What ? Doesn't any of Hillary's political behavior over the last three decades have anything to do with her unpopularity ? Even among fellow Democrats ?

If this is typical of the reasoning of Clinton supporters and their tolerance of alternative viewpoints, then we can all be thankful that Hillary's chances of getting into the Oval Office are rapidly diminishing.

Alan Rockman - 2/12/2008

Oh Plueeeze, Missy Lipstadt.

David Irving and David Duke are one thing - Hillary is quite another. Those of us who hate her do so because she is a LIAR, she is a COWARD, she doesn't like Jews, except the Libs of your variety and those of George Soros.

(speaking of Soros, when are you going to put him in the same dock with Irving? The guy either collaborated with the Nazis - or paid them off)

We despise Hillary because as a woman - a powerful one at that, she allowed her husband to pervert the first office of the country; she turned a blind eye towards all of his peccadillos - and possible rapes (ask Anita Broderick or Kathleen Willey if you think Paula Jones is trailer trash or Gennifer is a ditz).

She has swallowed the whole Left, blame America, criticize Israel bait hook, line and sinker. If she couldn't or wouldn't have the courage to divorce a serial rapist and draft dodger who didn't have the cojones to go after Bin Laden but knew how to bomb innocent, pro-American Serbs, then how will this cuckolded shrill shrew deal with Ahmedinejedad?

I have my own opinions about the other Democratic Liar and Coward, but I'll save that for Missy Lipstadt's further excuse. For now I'll say the guy sure isn't a Frederick Douglass by a long shot.

David A. Gerber - 2/9/2008

I have a great deal of respect for
Deborah Lipstadt, who showed great courage and determination in her battle with David Irving. Since Professor Lipstadt demonstrated on that occasion that she really understands antisemitism, I can't believe that she isn't having us on here in making this essentially silly comparison.

Stephen Cipolla - 2/9/2008

Alonzo Hamby is right on the money. The perspective that is missing in Lipstadt's and Fish's trivial nonsense about Hillary Clinton might be informed by some political realities.

Like her husband, Hillary Clinton will abandon the liberal / left wing of the Democratic party and become very comfortable with the language of neo-liberalism in global economic affairs.

She is mute on most issues of importance to the poor in the international community. She is seemingly oblivous to the obvious fact that expansion of "free" markets to poor countries has only made the lot of the impoverished worse off than they were when the Soviets existed.

Anti-semitism? Racism? Sexism? Even the most elementary analysis shows the differentiation.

Anti-semitism? Irrational hatred of all Jews due to their status of being Jews.

Racism? Irrational hatred of all non-whites based on their non-whiteness.

Sexism? Irrational hatred of all women based upon their status as females.

"Hillaryism?" Irrational hatred of --uh- one woman running for the political office her husband held not so long ago. So recently, in fact, that most Americans actually remember her.

The irrational hatred shown by many people (men and women)toward Hillary is a wholly predictable but especially egregious form of sexism. Any women running for president in the US is going to face some degree of disgraceful, disgusting display of ignorance and bigotry. Hillary Clinton is getting more than her share.

The reason is sexists have had many years to scrutinize her every word, action, and wardrobe selection. They are more practiced and better prepared to vilify Hillary Clinton. The racists have not had nearly enough time to work on O'Bama.

But, there are real, solid policy problems with Hillary Clinton, as there were with her husband, who first lured support from them, and then betrayed America's poor with his welfare "reform" and shafted American workers with NAFTA. I fear that his wife will do worse.

The thing that makes me angry about the sexism toward Hillary is that it will enable her to write off other more substantive critics as sexist. Far more troubling, it will scare her off of the very issue of sexism, because of the predictably furious response of America's sexist bigots, both subtle and not so subtle.

Alonzo Hamby - 2/8/2008

Stanley Fish has made a lucrative career out of saying silly things for a long time. Why does a serious historian like Deborah Lipstadt do the same thing?

Anti-Clintonism is not anti-Semitism. Believe it or not, critics of Hillary are not necessarily Nazis.

For goodness sakes, Ms. Lipstadt, grow up.

Lisa Kazmier - 2/8/2008

Well, the more I view her the more I cannot stand her nor the "inevitability" candidate riding her husband's political coattails to the throne. And I mean throne. Our republic is becoming either a fascist state and/or a manipulated monarchy alternating Bush and Clinton.

Dr. Lipstadt, I think maybe you should devote some analysis to things like Mitt Romney equating being a Democrat to being a terrorist as a stiffling of dissent (business as usual for the GOP) and also as to how it seems all criticism of the coronation of Hillary are somehow wrongheaded. I'm not defending the triflings of the MSM. They'd rather talk about stoopid crap vs. anything substantive, so Hillary's dress and such is perfect fodder for the crowd who can't cover Anna Nicole or Brittney enough. But please don't try to insinuate that legitimate distaste for Clinton does not exist by equating all disgust with anti-Seministism.

John Gorentz - 2/8/2008

All those words, in this article and Fish's, and not one example of a contradictory criticism of Hillary Clinton.

It's hard to believe there aren't any, but one would think a few words could be spared to give an example.