PITY THOSE POOR, POOR
First it was Bill. He just wanted a little lovin’ from some big-haired women. And what happens? His Willie becomes a national obsession.
We all know the culprits – that nameless, and oh-so-vast right wing conspiracy. I guess I was part of it, even though I’ve never voted for a Republican, oppose capital punishment and virtually all American wars, and believe in using governmental tools to redistribute wealth to the poor. Yeah, I’m pretty right wing.
Anyway, right wing or not, I must have been part of the “conspiracy,” because I was mad at Willie. I blamed him for selling out liberal causes with his ambition-inspired triangulation. I blamed him once again because despite having basically promised that if we elected him he’d behave himself, and despite having later been sued for sexual harassment, he chose to get hummers from a young intern. Silly me, but I considered that reckless, deplorable conduct.
Willie’s wild rides – or if you believe his testimony, his pattern of hitting triples, but refusing to head for home – were perhaps the single biggest factor that elected George W. Bush. Al Gore, apparently another member of the “vast right wing conspiracy,” was so disgusted with his boss that he decided to campaign without him, essentially giving up the advantages of incumbency. In the closest of elections, that was all W needed to win
And then what happened after the Supreme Court selected our new President? We conspirators expressed our outrage at Willie for pardoning a fugitive, who happened to have given him lots of money. We thought that was a blatant misuse of the pardon power. Clearly, we weren’t being rational. Perhaps it was our “obsession” with Willie that clouded our judgment.
Now, here we are, 6 1/2 years later, and you’d think we conspirators would have found a new obsession. But no. We’re still insane when it comes to the
Hill is a sharp cookie, fortunately for her, and she recognizes an obsession when she sees one. I can’t count the number of times during the past several months when she’s pointed out how utterly Hill-obsessed the Republican candidates are. They can’t stop mentioning her name. Truly, it’s like a mantra. And surely, their pathology has caused her to fear for her life, as one of those crazies is liable to go Postal at her expense. (My bet is on Romney. He’s the one who put the family dog in a crate on the roof of his car, and you know how most murderers start by torturing animals.)
Before Halloween week, poor Hill had a lot on her mind, wondering exactly which “obsessed” GOP candidate might finally lose it. But on October 30th, in a debate in
And only one night before Halloween.
Watching that spectacle, I was thinking back to A Clockwork Orange, and that scene when Billy Boy and his drugees were having their way with that weepy young devotchka. Fortunately, our hero, Little Alex, came to her rescue and helped her escape. But in Philly, there was no escape for poor lil’ Hill. One after another, her rivals demanded that she answer questions directly and decisively, and she … well, she did her best … but how’s a girl supposed to think clearly when everyone around her is obsessed with bringing her down?
And only one night before Halloween.
Part of the problem was that Tim Russert. He kept asking her follow-up questions, as if he had a right to know what she was really thinking, or to at least figure out the logic behind the answers she gave. Clearly, he’s also part of the vast right wing conspiracy. But after the debate was over and everyone had a chance to get a good nights sleep, a little sanity was allowed to emerge. ABC News ran a big story about a video that called out Hill’s rivals for breaking the rules of political combat. According to a statement that Hill approved, "With each attack, Senators Obama and Edwards undermined the central premises of their candidacies. The sunny speeches and rosy rhetoric that once characterized their remarks has now been replaced by the kinds of jabs one typically sees from candidates desperate to gain traction in the polls."
Imagine that – Obama and Edwards are so desperate they’re actually demanding that Hill answer questions. Some gentlemen! Now it’s true that Hill started a piling-on of her own last summer by ridiculing Obama’s statement that he’d talk to our enemies. But that was different. That wasn’t a bunch of men piling on a woman. That was only a bunch of white people piling on a black man. If you can’t understand the difference, just ask all the semi-educated women who are supplying Hill her big lead in the polls. They’ll tell you why what Obama is doing now is inappropriate, whereas what Hill did this past summer is just shrewd politics. For starters, Hill never said that she was nice, but Obama did, and we should hold him to that standard, right?
To be serious, I don’t know where we’re going next with this campaign, but at least it feels like a campaign now and not like we’re watching a bunch of old horses perfunctorily heading back to the stables. The October 30th debate, for the first time in months, reminded me that there’s actually a position being contested. Edwards, in particular, deserves praise for scoring debater’s points against
Also, I can now safely conclude that no matter how reasonable the provocation, whenever her rivals blast her, Hillary Clinton will play the victim. And she will play the gender card.
Perhaps that strategy will work with her core group of fans, but it only makes me even sicker of her than I already was. The truth is that few people are truly “obsessed” with Hillary Clinton. Men are usually obsessed by attractive women – and by “attractive,” I’m talking about personalities more than looks. In fact, far from being obsessed, the Republicans like to talk about
Why do they consider
They used to call it the divine right of kings. For Hill, it’s the divine right of ex-first ladies. Or maybe it’s just another case of dyed-blond ambition. In any event, Hill is one woman who will say and do whatever it takes to get elected – except give a direct and honest answer to a question. If you want straight-talk, I think you’ve come to the wrong political process.