Never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so aineffectively╣ I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership not tied to the mistakes and policies of the past.
- Richard Nixon, 1968We hear a lot of happy talk and rosy scenarios, but because of the administration's strategic blunders ╔ and frankly the record of incompetence in executing ╔ you are presiding over a failed policy.
- Hillary Clinton, addressing Donald Rumsfeld, last week
Hillary Clinton has taken an enormous amount of abuse over the years from some very bad people, but her basic problem is that shes deserved all of it.
It never should have happened this way. Hillarys real destiny was to destroy American progressivism forever, taking the Democratic Party down with her, but an unlikely alliance of unwitting male conspirators screwed things up along the way by making her into the first great martyr of the mass-media age.
First among these were Rush Limbaugh and the other rightist media clowns of his ilk, who burned up the airwaves for over a decade furiously miscasting Hillary as a kind of pompous, castrating Trojan Horse of liberalism and socialism. They sold Hillary as the Satan of the conservatives unwritten political Bible é an icy, polysyllabic creature from the north bent on installing costly, intrusive, and frankly lesbian government programming in place of the God-fearing southern male as the ultimate authority in the American home.
These morons cranked out a virtual Mount Everest of hysterical Hillary merchandise(Buy a Stop Hillary! Political Infant Creeper for just $12.99!) and sold herrelentlessly in the media as a kind of evil socialist asteroid hurtling inexorablytoward earth (Hillary Endorses World Government! Hillary Linked to Marxist-TerroristNetwork!). The whole thing was so childish and overdone that even I felt sorryfor her for about five minutes once.
The other conspirator, of course, was Bill Clinton himself. By screwing everything that moved and especially by publicly engaging, with the irritatingly wide-eyed and much younger Monica Lewinsky, in the kind of weird and interesting sex most older career women only experience inč fading memories or at exorbitant per-hour rates in third-world vacation locales, Bill turned his wife into the ultimate martyr for modern feminism. Hillary was educated, driven and accomplished, a super-woman who brilliantly matched wits with CEOs and senators on live national television, and what did it get her? A one-way trip to the sexual scrap-heap, followed by a late middle age lived out as an unsmiling promilitary curmudgeon with a fast-rusting vagina endlessly haunting the Sunday morning news magazine shows, with nothing left to look forward to but the questionable rewards of power and ambition, and a thicker neck every year╣ Hillarys life story, in other words, spoke to the deepest fears of the modern liberated woman, who by the turn of the century was beginning to have serious doubts about what was waiting for her at the end of the rainbow.
All of which theoretically made her an interesting and tragic figure, but as it turned out, Hillary is neither interesting nor tragic. The life story that made her so compelling in the nineties is being subsumed in the 21st century by a larger cyclical drama of American politics, in which shes chosen to play a rank-and-file soldiers role.