The often disagreeable these days but sometimes amusing Christopher Hitchens gives us this, The case against Hillary Clinton. Simply put, the big irony is that Hitch feels sold out because Hillary has backed away from her one-time embrace of Neoconservatism and its favorite product, the Iraq war, for the crassest of reasons: to shore up support in the Iowa caucuses. Anyway…
Hitch on Hillary’s experience:
One also hears a great deal about how this awful joint tenure of the executive mansion was a good thing in that it conferred “experience” on the despised and much-deceived wife. Well, the main “experience” involved the comprehensive fouling-up of the nation’s health-care arrangements, so as to make them considerably worse than they had been before and to create an opening for the worst-of-all-worlds option of the so-called HMO, combining as it did the maximum of capitalist gouging with the maximum of socialistic bureaucracy. This abysmal outcome, forgiven for no reason that I can perceive, was the individual responsibility of the woman who now seems to think it entitles her to the presidency.
I had a brief discussion with some colleagues around the proverbial water-cooler… the discussion was about “experience” among the Democratic candidates, and how Barack Obama had “less” than his rivals. I pointed out that with the old hands Richardson, Dodd and Biden gone, this is utter nonsense: although Obama was never First Lady, counting his time in the Illinois State Senate, he was actually an elected official longer than either one-term senator John Edwards, or early second term senator Hillary Clinton… ah, details, details.
I will simply say what I have often said: Senator Clinton, and Senator Clinton alone, is the only Democrat remaining in the field (and I include Kucinich and Gravel in that) with even a chance of losing to any of the Republicans (and that only to McCain or Romney, should one of them get the nomination).
The fact is, the Bill Clinton era was a relatively happy time for America… we had a lot of Japanese money propping up our internet bubble, we had competent managers on the Clinton team keeping us out of financial crises and out of large scale Asian ground wars and humongously insane deficits… but while competent, they were ultimately soulless, and less popular than they now pretend they were. (Compare and contrast this guy.) They couldn’t even get their (far worthier) successor elected to office. The “Clinton legacy,” tainted as it was by tawdry and trivial personal scandals, even ended with a final pardon scandal as he left the building! The opportunity was laid wide open for the Bush Administration to merrily squander our nation’s financial might and moral standing, and quite probably its military power, in just seven years of total incompetence and venality. Which he did, with a vengeance.
The only “good news” is that Bush has pretty much also destroyed his own party’s brand name, and a Democrat– any Democrat– will likely be elected. But the irrational visceral hatred many have toward Senator Clinton which may mobilize otherwise unmotivated Republican voters (think of her having sex with Janet Reno over Vince Foster’s body in a black helicopter… or don’t!) coupled with the very real distaste (of some… well, me, anyway) for endless political dynasties (at least twenty four years of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton), for more “triangulation” (we won’t even talk about the current race-baiting and dirty campaigning against another Democrat) or for the fact that Mrs. Clinton’s “accomplishments” really do consist of little more than being married to Mr. Clinton… should give one pause.
Don’t get me wrong: I will support her if she gets the nomination. But we must admit that she is a glaringly weak candidate. The fact that just days ago, she was so close to elimination, and the fact that she still can’t seem to put this one away, despite her humongous advantages in name-recognition, fund-raising, party-establishment support and her famous and allegedly popular husband campaigning for her, all speak volumes about her ultimate vulnerability. And Hitch’s point on her supposedly “greatest accomplishment”… should not be taken lightly.
This has been… “Hillary runs into a Hitch.”