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« It's That Time Of Year Again | Main | Hit 'Im Again »

Gluttons For Punishment

Christopher Hitchens wonders why anyone would want to once again place the ongoing and corrupt soap opera that is the Clintons back at the center of our national politics.

What do you have to forget or overlook in order to desire that this dysfunctional clan once more occupies the White House and is again in a position to rent the Lincoln Bedroom to campaign donors and to employ the Oval Office as a massage parlor? You have to be able to forget, first, what happened to those who complained, or who told the truth, last time. It's often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That's not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him disbarred, was the women. And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton. (For the full background on this, see the chapter "Is There a Rapist in the Oval Office?" in the paperback version of my book >No One Left To Lie To. This essay, I may modestly say, has never been challenged by anybody in the fabled Clinton "rapid response" team.) Yet one constantly reads that both Clintons, including the female who helped intensify the slanders against her mistreated sisters, are excellent on women's "issues."

Poor Bill. All those people always lying about him.

[Update a few minutes later]

Is Obama the new Bill Clinton?

In some of the most unfortunate ways, the Barack Obama phenomenon — that swell of adoration that lifted him up in Iowa to practically deposit him in the still-occupied White House — is cut frighteningly close to the Clinton mold. In particular, the fetishization of image and lack of conviction are all too familiar. Forget the talk of Bill Clinton having been the “first black president.” If Barack Obama wins in November we may best understand the coming age by thinking of him as the second President Clinton.

I first became suspicious of Obama’s charms when I found myself praising the Illinois junior senator without so much as a data point’s worth of evidence. “Unlike Hillary,” I heard myself say, “Obama at least believes in something.” It occurred to me, at once, that I had no sound reason for uttering this. And I was disturbed. The effortless oratory; the vast, glassy smile; the whole kinetic promise of the boy wonder rising — I’d been suckered.

Not me. Of course, I was always immune to Bill Clinton's supposed charisma as well.

Also pointed out are two key vulnerabilities that a smart Republican (if there is such a thing) could attack:

In this Wednesday’s New York Sun, Robert Samuelson singles out Barack Obama for failing to address the coming income transfer from young to old that will leave today’s American children overtaxed and underserved. Obama is not alone in having no plan of attack, but as Samuelson observers, “The hypocrisy is especially striking in Mr. Obama. He courts the young, promises ‘straight talk,’ and offers himself as the agent of ‘change.’ But his conspicuous omissions constitute ‘crooked talk’ and silently endorse the status quo.”

But there’s much worse. On July 20, 2007, the Associated Press reported “Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.” Forget the immediate depravity of such a pronouncement. The most disturbing and, not coincidentally, most Clintonesque aspect of the story is that Obama’s statement came a week after the New York Times’ landmark editorial calling for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, genocide notwithstanding. This deference to popular opinion over humanity represents Clintonian moral calculus of a chilling potency.

I continue to believe that a Democrat in the White House next year is by no means a lock, regardless of who the nominee is. People forget that Clinton himself would never have been elected in 1992 without the help of Ross Perot. And he never got a majority of the popular vote.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 15, 2008 06:52 AM
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