Sunday, February 04, 2007

Grrr, Hillary, Grrr!

I think, for the most part, that I have a pretty good understanding of the fierce, divisive strains of partisanship running through our countries Democratic and Republican parties. I can understand how somebody might find fleeting if vicarious solace via a Limbaugh diatribe or a choir preaching Nation editorial from Katrina Vanden Heuvel. I can understand the Hillary hatred on the right and the Bush loathing on the left. What I don't understand, however, is how anybody can get revved up about reading an upcoming book like Liberal Fascism: the Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton or even begin to actually take it seriously. I find myself wondering, is the author Jonah Goldberg really, honestly making a go of equating the two? Or is this so self-evidently bombastic, so completely over the top that it'd be silly to see if as anything but ironic, Goldberg's tongue planted firmly in cheek?

Speaking of Hillary-hatred, I'm still not sure what to make of her run for president. I know one of the most common concerns on the left regarding her electability is the catalyzing powers of that Hillary-hatred. Just think of all the money the right will raise...think of those commercials that will air reminding us of her cock-sucking husband (and what will his role be in a Hillary White House--are we still getting two for one?) and the fact that she's an uppity woman who thinks she knows everything. I also know that she's made huge inroads toward defusing this animosity, reaching across the aisles and co-sponsoring legislation with notable conservatives and positioning herself as one of the leading hawks in the Senate. I know that she's had everything flung at her and is still standing. She can tap into a giant fundraising infrastructure and impressive brain trust. But a lot of that Hillary-hatred, as Goldberg's book is good evidence of, is knee jerk. It's so embedded amongst certain Republicans with deep pockets and influence that it'll launch every Swiftboat money can buy.

But whatever, I think what concerns me most is the Bush/Clinton dynasty, two families ruling the White House since 1988. If Clinton wins, these two families and their cronies will have ruled the presidential wing and its bully pulpit for over a quarter century. And as Bush II so unfortunately demonstrates, there are dangers to remaining ambivalent toward granting power through heredity.

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