Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hillary Derangement Syndrome

That's what I imagine the likes of John Aravosis will be accusing us of if we independent and reality-based bloggers continue criticizing the Hillary Clinton nomination for Secretary of State.

Here's ABlog's, or at least John's, attitude in brief: Candidates lie about eachother all the time during campaigns. They're too cowardly to own up to it. It's a fact of life. Obama and Hillary have made up. Get over it. This is the way things are, this is the way things always will be. It's not as if we have freedom of speech or anything.

If you can bear to read the 70+ comments at the end of that thread, you'll note my contributions mixed in with a couple of snotty reactions from Aravosis who suggested that I become a Republican (Setting up the perfect response: I have no intention of jumping ship and switching loyalties, a trait peculiar to A list bloggers who happen to be of Greek descent. Of which I am neither.). One even said I was a Republican. Yeah, that'll happen when Michael Vick gets hired as a spokesman for Purina.

But what Aravosis and others who are strenuously trying to love Hillary aren't seeing is the big picture, the most important reasons for our opposition to Hillary's nomination. And they go far, far beyond Hillary being mean to Obama during the primary and caucus season. Although it can be said that Hillary went far beyond the pale in raising the horrifying specter of Obama getting assassinated and even sending out her flacks to prevent a certain pro-Obama Las Vegas food workers union from caucusing at their workplace on the incredibly dodgy argument that it gave them an unfair advantage.

It even goes beyond Hillary's warm and cozy ties to India and her defense contractor stocks that she and Bill had to quickly jettison in May of last year. It goes beyond Hillary and her even cozier relationship with lobbyists because now it isn't so much of an issue.

It's a question of character.

It's a forgone conclusion that, unlike Barack Obama, who was savvy enough to sense a national mood and played his hand at the perfect time, Hillary never considered the US Senate as anything more than a springboard for her presidential ambitions. Even in the epicenter of national politics, Hillary Clinton stands head and shoulders above other Beltway politicians in terms of ruthless, ravenous ambition, unscrupulousness and moral blindness.

It's about the almost incestuous relationship between Obama and Clinton. Despite the Democratic primaries getting personal and bitter, Obama can't quit this woman. It's as if he sincerely believes that he cannot effectively run this government without Hillary. There is something about this nomination that doesn't feel right, like an old man showing up at a nightclub with a girl young enough to be his granddaughter and then trying to pass her off as his granddaughter. I also cannot get past Obama and Clinton sneaking off hand in hand so they can play with their Bilderberg Group playmates. I cannot get past the fact that they both belong to the Council on Foreign Relations, a neocon-infested think tank that's been writing our foreign policy for the last several decades.

Maybe Obama is trying to keep Hillary where he can keep an eye on her for the next four years, knowing all too well that no sitting Secretary of State has ever run for President (especially during a re-election year). Maybe Obama is thinking that he cannot win re-election without Hillary's support base.

And while I'm on the subject of Obama, Hillary's nomination is also a referendum on his own character. Aravosis and others like him are bending over backwards trying to make Obama's every decision sound in some way miraculous, even spinning his campaign rhetoric and its very disingenuousness sound as if it's perfectly acceptable business as usual.

So, if we can dismiss whatever Obama said on the campaign trail, why should we believe what he'll say in three to four years? And why should we believe him in between elections?

What does it say about a guy whose entire campaign platform seemed to revolve around the word "Change" then keeps the same place-holding Defense Secretary and moves to install the ultimate Washington insider for a job for which she's plainly unqualified?

And high stakes diplomacy is not a game show nor is the State Department a board game that can be given away as a consolation prize when you don't win the vice presidency.

But any reservations on Hillary is disloyalty. Obama loves her now. So should we. If you're not with us, you're against us. Maybe you're one of them.

Gee, where have we heard that before?

I think the near-maniacal, lockstep devotion to Obama, which is eerily similar to the kind we've been seeing for Bush over the last eight years, is born out of an unwillingness to accept that perhaps we've elected another president who may have to be criticized from time to time when he doesn't represent our pet interests. And Obama cannot, of course.

But criticizing Obama for his choice of Secretary of State, while we may not be able to affect the outcome, is still our right. The last time I checked, Mr. Aravosis, the First Amendment was still (in theory) alive and kicking. Criticism of Obama is not disloyalty to the party nor to the country.

Mark Twain would've had the last line when he said, "I support my country 100% of the time and my government when it deserves it."


At December 2, 2008 at 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great piece.

At December 2, 2008 at 11:53 PM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

dude, remind me to never piss you off.

p.s. talked with the animal, he's down, looking forward to reading the pages to boot.

At December 3, 2008 at 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Rogers: I am not a member of any organized party—I am a Democrat.

I'm just saying...

At December 3, 2008 at 6:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called Kool-Aid, JP. Aravosis wants you to drink it! Have a sip -- everyone on the team does. Sure, you think the first sip is bitter. But then you keep drinking, and stop thinking...

At December 3, 2008 at 7:36 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

MB: Oooh, I like animals. Especially New Animals. Tell Eric I said Hi.

At December 3, 2008 at 9:28 AM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

It's amazing how the goopers were derided for their lockstep mentality under the Bug Man, for example. Jealousy? Who knows, but to see it expected on "this side" is ridiculous.

Apparently, we're not allowed to criticize until after Obama is sworn in because if we all march in time, the Jonah Goldbergs and corporate media won't be able to point out just how fractured, I mean, non-pragmatic, we are.

At December 3, 2008 at 11:25 AM, Blogger Pryme said...

Nice take on the situation.

I see Obama's selections as a test: can he really control the various personas and egos? Is he Alpha enough? We all know Bush wasn't.

I think the problem everyone on the left has is that each person has their own interpretation on what Obama's "change" actually means. I've embraced and continue to endorse Rachel Maddow's version; but to each their own.

I agree with Kaplan though: Gen. Jones (in combination with Obama) should be enough to keep Clinton in check. That, and her desire to go down in history as doing/being something important (which won't happen if she's being a constant thorn).

At December 5, 2008 at 9:44 AM, Blogger daveawayfromhome said...

I'm quite sure that one of the conditions for Hillary to back off at the time of the Convention was that she would recieve some sort of high level position should Obama win the Presidency. Well, he did and she's collecting her "reward". In the end, the Democrats are still politicians, and there's the usual power struggles and favor swapping going on behind the scenes that result in situations that are far from ideal. This one I'm not so worried about, though I'm not thrilled with it.
The behind the scenes arrangement I'm interested in is why the Democratically controlled congress didnt shoot for impeachment of Bush, or at least Cheney. What political gamesmanship was being played out there, and what kind of favors were exchanged (or hidden)?


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