Hillary Clinton’s Career Prior to 1992

The following is just a list of career stops and positions held by Hillary Rodham Clinton from her law school days through the Presidential election of 1992.

I put together this list to see and show the trends and/or focuses of her career as an attorney.

  • 1973 Harvard Law Review, feature article, “Children Under the Law”
  • 1973 First staff attorney for Children’s Defense Fund (founded by Marian Wright Edelman)
  • 1973 Consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children
  • 1974 One of only two female faculty at the School of Law, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • 1975 Married Bill Clinton, but did not change her name
  • 1976 campaign director of field operations for Jimmy Carter campaign in Indiana
  • 1977 Joined Rose Law Firm
  • 1977 Rodham, Hillary; Steiner, Gilbert Y. (June 1977). “Children’s Policies: Abandonment and Neglect”. Yale Law Journal 68 (7): 1522–1531. doi:10.2307/795794. JSTOR 795794.
  • 1977 Co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
  • 1978-1981 BoD, Legal Services Corporation (first woman to chair the board)
  • 1979 Rodham, Hillary (1979). “Children’s Rights: A Legal Perspective”. In Patricia A. Vardin, Ilene N. Brody (eds.). Children’s Rights: Contemporary Perspectives. New York: Teachers College Press. pp. 21–36.
  • 1979 chair of the Arkansas Rural Health Advisory Committee (appt by Bill)
  • 1979 first woman to be made a full partner of Rose Law Firm
  • 1982-1988 BoD and chair, New World Foundation
  • 1983 chair of the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee
  • 1983 Arkansas Woman of the Year
  • 1984 Arkansas Mother of the Year
  • 1985 Created Arkansas’s Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth
  • 1985-1992 BoD, TCBY
  • 1986-1992 BoD, Wal-Mart Stores (first female board member)
  • 1986-1992 Chair, BoD Children’s Defense Fund
  • 1987-1991 Chair, American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession
  • 1988 & 1991 Rated one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, National Law Journal
  • 1988-1992 BoD Arkansas Children’s Hospital Legal Services
  • 1990-1992 BoD, Lafarge

I’m Sick of It All

I have been intensely involved in the political debate in this country for over 45 years.  Protesting the Vietnam war, supporting Dr. King, siding against injustice whenever I could.

I’m sick of it.

I was inspired by JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” I tried.  I failed.

I’m old, and tired, and I just want some peace and quiet.  This is a country that is built on the principle of not giving a damn about anybody but yourself.  And it has all the broken qualities one would expect from that attitude.  Violence, poverty, homelessness, shame.

We have prosperity theology, the assertion that God wants us to be greedy and grasping, pile up earthly treasure, and ignore the needs of those who have less than we do.

We have Christians who preach hate, who defend the wealthy and deny the poor.  We have women who are raped and beaten, who are blamed; and men who rape and abuse, who are excused. An unarmed black man walking down the street is shot dead, for the capital crime of not cringing before a police officer. We have white men, armed to the nines, who laugh and joke with the same police officer who did the shooting.  We have violence paraded as the answer to all social problems; and anti-violence ridiculed as weakness.  We have capital punishment for those too poor to afford a good lawyer.

We have global warming, denied; evolution, denied; equality of rights for all citizens, denied.  We have school text books rewritten, to pretend that slavery was no big deal, and not the cause of the Civil War.  We have the Confederate battle flag, the flag of traitors who tried to destroy America, celebrated as “heritage.”

The most basic elements of human decency, — empathy, sharing, loving, helping, — are ridiculed. Cruelty, avarice, selfishness, are held aloft as virtues.

Earlier today, my younger daughter’s boyfriend was watching the History Channel series, “Vietnam in HD,” which is built around documentary footage and interviews of combatants.  I watched some of it; as always, the old, bad memories resurface. 58,000 dead, 158,000 wounded, 2 million Vietnamese dead. Savagery. Horror. Brutality. Slaughter.

We are no better today, than when I was a teen, listening to Dr. King’s soaring speech on my primitive clock radio.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have learned nothing. The vault is empty, the check is uncashed.

“Pro-Life” or Pro-Life?

I have a thing about sourcing citations. Whenever I see some cite online, and particularly one that is agreeable, I want to know its provenance. A lot of “quotes” are nothing of the sort; Edmund Burke did not write, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil…” In fact, nobody wrote it. Or said it. It just appeared in the common speech.

We’re all familiar with the Benjamin Franklin trope, “Those who sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

What he actually wrote was:

Those who would give essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.1

It took me a long time to find that source, as I’m not a Franklin scholar. But, until I did find it, I tended to be shy about deploying that particular “quotation.”

Recently, a quotation by Sister Joan Chittister surfaced (or, resurfaced).

But I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking. If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed and why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.2

I am familiar with the Sister, and an admirer. This nugget struck me as something she might have said, or written. But where — what was its source? With the power of Google, I was able to track it down.

Within the context of the interview, this observation makes sense. And, she means what she says. She’s not advocating for abortion (which, come on, would be right out). She’s making the valid point that Christian responsibility does not end at birth. And, the observation makes sense on its own.

What is “pro-life”?

The foundation of “pro-life” is white supremacy. The “pro-life” movement was created by Paul Weyrich and Jerry Falwell as part of a campaign against the forced desegregation of “Christian academies.” 3

The private Christian school was the refuge for the thousands of white southerners who did not want their kids in schools with blacks, and these “white flight” schools mushroomed across the south.

Weyrich was looking for a way to lever Evangelical Christians into voting Republican, and Falwell was looking for a way to keep Christian schools white. Falwell had previously rejected Weyrich’s overtures to get involved in the abortion debate. He changed his mind after Carter announced his plan to get the white flight schools to desegregate.

As late as 1976, the Southern Baptist Conference, hardly a bastion of Godless liberalism, had reaffirmed its long-standing position that abortion should be available for women, “under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” Some notable Evangelical theologians, with distinguished careers, had published and taught varying positions on social issues like abortion, the death penalty, and evolution. As the Falwell-Weyrich Axis gained political power, it purged all the politically incorrect thinkers from the Evangelical ranks.4

The coalition of savvy politico and charismatic preacher was an outstanding success. Evangelical Christians were driven into the political process and remain there to this day. Increasingly, however, the single-issue voters who have adopted the anti-abortion banner have diverged from the (supposed) Christian underpinning of that banner. As Sister Joan so astutely pointed out 15 years ago, Christian duty does not end when the baby takes its first breath. Christ gave us a laundry list of proper behaviors, that has been tossed aside.

Sister Joan emphasizes that

Scripture is not a driving test. Scripture is a challenge to the heart and this moment. Scripture is the whole scripture. But we don’t believe it’s frozen in time.5

The political Evangelical movement has lost that connection to Scripture. Lacking the intellectual strength and moral fiber that comes from thinking, questioning, and agonizing over answers, the heirs of the Weyrich-Falwell Axis have wandered so far from the path, they now advocate for the parental rights of rapers, deny marital rape, and propagate bizarre theories like “women don’t get pregnant from rape.” They curse poor women who have babies; they denounce any government program that feeds, clothes, shelters, educates, those babies.

What’s wrong with the “pro-life” movement is not that its members oppose abortion. Very few, if any, people are “for” abortion. They’re for the right to choose. No, what is wrong with the movement is that its members are not pro-life — not for doing everything in their power to make life on earth precious for each new inhabitant. When that baby is born, it is one of God’s creatures. That was Christ’s message when he walked among us. That’s still his message, today.

  1. Franklin, Benjamin. “An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania.” Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin. Ed. William Temple Franklin. Vol. 2. N.p.: M’Carty & Davis, 1840. 48. Print. 
  2. Moyers, Bill. “NOW with Bill Moyers. Transcript.” PBS. PBS, 12 Nov. 2004. Web. 01 Aug. 2015. <http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript346_full.html&gt;. 
  3. Balmer, Randall. “The Real Origins of the Religious Right.” POLITICO Magazine. Politico LLC, 27 May 2014. Web. 01 Aug. 2015. <http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133.html#.Vbyl2B8Syzd&gt;. 
  4. Balmer, op. cit. 
  5. Moyers, op. cit. 

Hot Lumps

In the beginning, there were hot lumps.  Cold and lonely, they whirled noiselessly through the black holes of space.

Then, they evolved into the NSA, and no longer were they lonely, because they could listen into everybody’s conversations!