Huma Abedin, woman or Rorschach test? It’s hard to tell these days. When it comes to Huma, everyone’s got a theory, and these theories do more to reveal the particular neuroses of their creators than they do to shed light on what she might actually be going through.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd claims that Abedin’s problem is that she is from Saudi Arabia, “where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the planet. Comparatively speaking, the pol from Queens probably seems like a prince.”
Gloria Steinem wonders if their child is keeping her by his dirty-text sending side. On CNN.com, Pepper Schwartz suggests that it is her “insane ambition,” and Jennifer Senior at New York magazine sees Abedin as a woman in love with a narcissist. “Like [Hillary Clinton], she fell in love with a narcissist, someone who looms one-hundred-feet high in his own imagination, and like her boss, she has elected to participate in his delusions.”
All these theories involve a whole lot of projection, but, thankfully, none steer as close to sheer insanity as Andrew C. McCarthy’s thesis over at The National Review. McCarthy paints Abdein as a Trojan horse, a covert Islamic supremacist whose family helped run a journal supported by and Al Qaeda financier and managed by an anti-semitic organization. McCarthy sees Abedin’s “standing by her man” as a necessity for maintaining her cover as she continues her work in support of radical Muslims. McCarthy concludes:
What a racket. The marriage to Huma Abedin, a Clinton insider, enables Anthony Weiner to resurrect a debased career and deflect attention from his psychotic antics even as he continues them. The marriage to Anthony Weiner, a prominent Jewish progressive, enables Huma Abedin to deflect attention from her associations with various Islamic supremacists even as, during her tenure as a top State Department official, American policy embraces Islamic supremacists.
On Fox News show “Hannity’s Great American Panel,” guest Brooke Goldstein made similar accusations. “What’s amazing to me is that we’re spending time debating ‘Shmecklegate’ when Huma Abedin, who has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, who is connected to the chief financier of Al Qaeda, is his wife and has top security clearance,” she said.
Oy, enough! The speculating and projecting about whether she is caught up in Weiner’s orbit of narcissism, or a power-hungry striver herself is reductive and counter-productive. What we should be talking about is who will make the best mayor, not why Abedin is staying.
But this conspiracy talk assuming she has more power than she does sounds a whole lot like the “Elders of Zion,” and is outright dangerous. Us Jews have witnessed what happens when a person or group is perceived to have more power than they actually do and it’s a shade of ugly that nobody should ever see again.
So, everybody, let’s leave Huma alone. Okay?
Oy! Latest Conspiracy Theory on Huma Abedin
Elissa Strauss has written for the Forward over a number of years. She is a regular contributor to CNN, whose work has been published in a number of publications including The New York Times, Glamour, ELLE, and Longreads.