Saturday, May 26, 2007

The insufferable Hillary Clinton

Someone said that one could form a "Hillary Clinton Book of the Month Club." Maybe it should be Book of the Week. I don't plan to read any of them, but enough information is now on hand to make clear why the Clintonessa is infuriating.

She is bpth self-righteous and opportunistic. There is a place for both in our political system. but not combined in one person. Among others, Woodrow Wilson and Ralph Nader have been consistently self-righteous. Ever reluctant to grant the cogency of any opposing political view, these individuals stick to their guns. The are not trimmers.

Then there are the pragmatists in politics, of whom Franklin Roosevelt was the supreme example. A story (possibly apocryphal) says that one morning he was visited by a group of Protestant pastors, who compained about growing Catholic influence. "You're absolutely right!" the president exclamed. "I'll exert every effort to curb this menace." An hour later, a Catholic group came calling. They complained that Catholics were ignored and discriminated against. "Right you are," said Roosevelt. "I will do everything I can to correct this great wrong."

Despite this opportunism, Roosevelt was a very effective president.

Because of she combines two incompatibles, self-righteousness and opportunism, a Hillary presidency would be a disaster. A political cartoon was telling. In one panel Hillary says "If I had known then what I know now I would not have voted to authorize the Iraq war." "What is it that you didn't know then?" says the interviewer. "I didn't know that the war would be unpopular."

Hillary's self-righteousness was again on display the other day when she vehemently refused to answer a question about how she would vote on the current war authorization bill. In the end she voted against it, a safe vote since she knew the bill would pass and "our troops would be supported." I don't believe for a moment that Hillary would end the Iraq war if she became president. She admits that she would keep 50,000 troups there--a number easily revised upwards.

And all of her prevarications she serves up with liberal helpings of self-righteousness.

Winston Churchill observed that one can always trust the Americans to do the right thing--after they have exhausted every other alternative. I am hoping that we will do the right thing and reject Hillary for the Democratic nomination. Nut alas there may not be enough time for the slow-witted American public to come to this realization.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1994, the nation was on the precipice of finally adopting a universal social health insurance. The President anointed his wife to take charge of the task.

Hilary and her aid Ira Magaziner sequestered themselves (not unlike Cheney and the oil barons) behind the White House barricades to devise the new program. No public hearings. Just one-way input permitted by Hilary.

The boondoggle she and Ira released scared the nation silly. Rather than start with the hugely successful Medicare program, at least as a template, she and Ira drafted the most arcane, labyrinthine, and obtuse "policy proposal" in decades.

I agree that Hilary is hugely opportunistic, but she lacks judgment in those opportunities. HilaryCare is just the first of her blunders. Her relentless support of Iraq, lest her vote for authorization be questioned, is again emblematic. I'm surprised she did not blame that vote on a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, as she did her husband's philandering and perjury.

As flawed as hubby was, he had the smarts (and some very bad behaviors), and despite his flaws, he could lead even in crisis. No one has approval ratings in 60% and is simultaneously being impeached. Even his decision to take the bj off the Oval Office must have seem prudent and decent, lest the Chief Executive be seen as sexually harassing one of his underlings, is oddly showing some judgment. (That the Republicans missed this obvious fact, proceeded with impeachment on the perjury charges for an offense unrelated to his chief function, only made more farce than sense.)

It will be only with immense reservation that I vote for Hilary. But apparently, I am not alone. Opinion polls consistently report that 45% of the electorate would never vote for her. If the Democrats cannot read those polls, they deserve to lose. A 6% margin is too thin for a President Hilary, unless it's one of the current crop of Republicans (Ron Paul, excepted). Then, we'll watch the political equivalent of Chicken, with two despised forces speeding toward destruction unless one diverts. Would Hilary have the courage to stay, or divert? I don't trust her judgment to decide either way.

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