January 18, 2008
Hillary's Oedipal ProblemBy James Lewis
If you want to know what a Hillary Clinton Administration would be like, her known history is a pretty good indicator. We know a lot bout the woman who now stands a good chance to become the first radical Leftist President of the United States.
As Hillary's long-hidden Wellesley college thesis states:
Whether Hillary has ever grown beyond her radical past is an open question; she may not know the answer herself. Charles De Gaulle once said that politicians need to lie so much that they can no longer tell when they are telling the truth. Whether Hillary knows when she tells the truth by now is doubtful. You can only play so many roles before getting deeply confused about yourself.
The trouble is that American voters can't know her real beliefs either. That is not an accident, but a result of a lifelong decision to hide her deepest thoughts from the public.
At her radical core, Hillary Clinton is the candidate of female vengeance. Just as Martin Luther King's Civil Rights Movement has turned into its opposite --- the Racial Revenge Movement of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson --- Hillary is riding the Gender Revenge movement, whipped up by ideological feminists over the last thirty years. Our colleges have become incubators for second and third-generation radicals, who spread the fervor of the enraged Left through American culture. Hillary was a star pupil of the Boomer Left in the Sixties and Seventies, the first generation to undergo that radicalization process. Radical indoctrination is not unlike Marine Corps boot-camp, but with the opposite outcome. Marines learn to sacrifice for the sake of the country; Leftists learn to sacrifice the country for their own concept of the greater good.
One of the most revealing facts is that Senator Clinton is surrounded by an inner circle of women only, her Amazon Battalion. Like the Irish in the 19th century, it seem that Males Need Not Apply. She is only able to trust women, having been burned over and over again by the man whose career she rode to power. Hillary needs her Amazon Battalion to control and protect her from men, even those in her own entourage.
Camille Paglia writes,
Those who know Hillary well talk about her rage. Well, she has been betrayed by Bill in the most fundamental way, over and over again. Her sense of betrayal is constantly renewed as another rumor of Bill's latest conquest comes to Hillary's ears. But she must have known that would happen from the very beginning, when they first met in college. Bill hasn't changed one whit since that time. They were certainly well-suited to each other, and they still are a symbiotic couple. So Hillary rage reaches back to her early years before she even knew Bill, growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Sexual promiscuity was of the norm for the Boomer Left in the Sixties and Seventies. A lot of women still harbor feelings of painful betrayal from that time, and that may in fact be the biggest single reason for the rise of man-hating feminism. Yet Hillary chose to marry the most promiscuous hit-and-run male politician of the Left, precisely because of his ability to enthrall men and women and then dance away. He's done it all the time she has known him, and she still decided to marry him. Her need for that kind of man therefore did not start with Bill; it may go back to her childhood.
Hillary's lifelong rage may be rooted in her childhood relationship with her father. According to Carl Bernstein,
But Hugh Rodham was dead by the time Bernstein did his interviews, and he is reporting the memories and impressions of Hillary and her brothers thirty years later.
Yet it must have been a painful childhood. How else to explain her drastic swing in a few years from a Goldwater Girl to a radical feminist? Such total, semi-religious conversions are not coincidental. They are the ways in which humans redefine their identities when they have a deep need to do so.
While Hillary's father was a fervently anti-Communist Goldwater Republican, at Wellesley College, Saul Alinsky, a Marxist radical, became Hillary's father substitute. Switching from a Goldwater Republican to Saul Alinsky was her way of breaking with her real father and rejecting her younger self. She wrote:
Hillary's thesis was titled, "There is only the Fight, An Analysis of the Alinsky model" (italics added)
As she wrote:
What is the "social revolution" Hillary and the radicals-cum-insiders want? Hillary doesn't want to merely make law or implement policy; she wants to re-shape humanity in her own image. She explains:
The Left adores Communists, but covers them up from public view. Alinsky was more willing to tell the truth:
In the Playboy interview, Alinsky also describes his close work with mobster Frank Nitti and Al Capone's gang and his relationship with the emerging CIO and the Roosevelt administration. He describes how he used these connections to make a 1930s deal with then-Chicago Mayor Edward Kelly to deliver a meatpackers' union contract -- one of his earliest "organizing" victories."
This is Hillary's adolescent hero. The pattern of working with corrupt and criminal figures to achieve radical aims also characterized the first two Clinton terms.
Hillary was raised in the Methodist Church, but at Wellesley her new religion became Leftism of the feminist variety. Thus she took an all-American girlhood and transformed it into its opposite, reworking the pieces to chart an oppositional life course. That is a very common pattern in the lives of Leftist radicals, going back to Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin.
Carl Bernstein explains,
I don't know enough about Hillary's mother, but it seems likely that Hillary may be acting out a vicarious rage against her father on behalf of her mother. That would make sense if Hillary's father also hurt his wife, but we have no direct evidence for that. It would explain why Hillary felt driven to marry a sex addict who was bound to betray her over and over again. Hillary's role was to cover up Bill's various addictions, with the wholehearted cooperation of the press, his staff, and the Democrat Party.
Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals is a guidebook for splitting the world into irreconcilable camps of Good and Evil. It is a war manual, with the clear and explicit aim to destroy and defeat the American nation and culture as we know it. People who find making war on their own culture attractive have a deep need to see the world in extremes of good and evil. There are no shades of gray in Alinsky's world, just as there are none in Hillary's. Such people start off with a need to find a lifelong enemy; any rationalizing they do comes after the fact.
As Dick Morris writes,
That is what a revolutionary is, after all -- someone who has declared war to the death on his own society.
Years later, Senator Bill Bradley would tell Carl Bernstein that "At one meeting with Democratic senators, Hillary openly threatened to 'demonize' any member of Congress who opposed her plan...".
Some regimes deserve to be overthrown in favor of something better. But that is emphatically not the pattern of Leftist revolutions. Russia was not better after the Bolshevik Revolution. In many ways it was much worse. Stalin killed far more Soviet people than the Tsars ever did. Likewise, Hitler's revolutionary Germany was not a better place than the Weimar Republic. Pol Pot was a French-trained Communist, and turned Cambodia into hell on earth. The whole pathetic story of Leftist revolutionary regimes in the 20th century is just one murderous catastrophe after another.
One explanation is that radical Leftists are malignant narcissists, who have an aching need to destroy things. They are compulsive iconoclasts --- needing to smash all existing idols and ideals, only to replace them with their own. The public narrative of the Left is always compassion and love, but in the end, the real agenda always turns out to be destroying and oppressing ordinary people in a cycle of failed efforts to control them. Whether it's overthrowing the rich, herding famers into communes, forcing them to produce more for less return, and controlling speech --- it's that need to overcontrol people that quickly leads to terror and mass executions. It leads to gigantic overexpansion of the state at the expense of other human enterprises. Hillary is exactly such a compulsively controlling personality.
Is that record of repetitive revolutionary failure on the Left just an accident? Is it that radicals are just experimenting in country after country, and eventually they'll get it right? (That seems to be the ongoing Leftist fantasy). Or maybe there is something malevolent in the very nature of revolutionary personalities?
The last possibility is always ignored by the Left, but the evidence for malignant narcissism among Leftist radicals is very consistent. It goes back to the first famous revolutionary in Western history, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who gave away his own out-of-wedlock babies to orphanages for the poor (horrific institutions at the time), rather than taking care of them. That is malignant narcissism in a nutshell. Rousseau was the prototype of Leftwing narcissism.
The unconquerable conviction that "I have the answer to all the ills of mankind" marks Leftist narcissism. Marx and Lenin had it; Pol Pot had it; Hitler and Mussolini had it; Hillary and Bill are possessed by it; the whole gang seems to suffer from it.
Hillary and Bill are obsessed with that Napoleonic sense of total certainty. That's how Hillary had the breath-taking gall to cobble together a centralized plan for one-seventh of the US economy, the entire health-care sector. In today's 13 trillion-dollar economy that would be almost two trillion dollars per year -- more than the Gross Domestic Product of Italy. Think of the mind-boggling presumption needed to believe that one person can dictate that much economic activity in minute detail. But Hillary was determined to dictate how many doctors would go into each specialty, how many would be assigned to rural areas and inner cities, and what racial composition would be demanded for medical school admissions. That kind of rock-hard belief in one's own divine rightness is deeply irrational.
But that is exactly what the Left continues to believe: Hugo Chavez thinks he can do it today in Venezuela. Unless she has suddenly learned shattering humility in last seven years, Hillary Clinton is still very much in the Hugo Chavez mold.
Radicals consider their own rock-hard convictions about knowing the answers in life to be proof of their compassion. But they never seem to consider that they could be wrong. El Jefe Fidel Castro has been experimenting with the poverty-stricken people of Cuba for the last fifty years, and he still hasn't quite gotten it right. There are still a few bugs in the system, even after many thousands of Cubans have fled the island floating on rubber tires and jury rigged car bodies. That kind of absolute certainty is not a product of adult reasoning with a realistic amount of humility. It is the opposite of the scientific attitude; rather, it's the missionary certainty of Algore the Prophet, who can predict global warming a hundred years from now with a devout sense of certainty in his own righteousness.
Charismatic Leftists manage to convince lots of other people that they have all the answers. That is Bill Clinton's talent, to make people fall in love and surrender to him. His clique of followers -- Sandy Berger, Madeleine Albright and the others -- all seem to share the delusion of his greatness. Hillary is not nearly as charismatic as Bill, but teamed up with Bill she can swing an awful lot of clout.
So Hillary came out of her teenage years as a classic Leftist radical: Utterly convinced of her own rightness, entirely prepared to split the world into Good and Evil, and knowing with more-than-human certainty that other Americans were the incarnation of Evil.
Hillary was attracted to Saul Alinsky presumably because she had an emotional need to split the world in exactly that way. It helped her to navigate the 180 degree flip from an anti-Communist upbringing to the pro-Communist New Left.
It is common for teenagers to find father and mother substitutes to bridge the passage from childhood to independence. Parent substitutes can be personal -- a teacher, mentor, an older friend or lover. Or they can be idealized figures we may never meet -- movie stars, philosophers, politicians, sports heroes. When young girls today scream to see Barack Obama, they are showing their emotionally attachment to an imaginary hero. The same goes for the emotional Hillary fans. Deep down, the Left doesn't operate by reason, but by appealing to very primitive emotional needs. Conservatives tend to be more skeptical, more aware of human fallibility, and more willing to judge by experience. We rarely fall in love with politicians, and certainly not when we know nothing about them. In the presidential race, conservatives are doing skeptical job interviews; liberals are looking for love in all the wrong places.
What's so extreme about Hillary's growing up was the totality of her transformation from Goldwater Girl to Alinsky Radical. She turned her entire upbringing upside-down in only a few years. In her own way and own political sphere she is very much like Adam Gadahn, aka "Azzam the American", Osama Bin Laden's adolescent convert, who constantly preaches the death of America. Gadahn has found his substitute father in Bin Laden or Zawahiri, whose greatest goals in life are to destroy America and civilization.
Alienated adolescents are suckers for the black-and-white certainties of Islam or the Left, just like in an earlier age they fell for the Communist Party and the Nazis. Young, ungrounded people have a hard time with the ambiguities and dilemmas of real life.
The shaping of Hillary's adolescent identity was amazingly black-and-white. She had one real father, whom she loved as a young child and hated as a teenager. Then she learned to adore the political opposite of her real father, Saul Alinsky.
Several years after graduating from Wellesley, Hillary served as a newbie lawyer on the Senate Watergate Committee. There she was able to pursue her personal hate object, Richard M. Nixon, the Darth Vader of the Left. Nixon was precisely right in saying that by allowing the Watergate burglary "I gave them a sword" which they used destroy him. His Leftist enemies stabbed him to death with that sword, and just to ensure that he stays buried, they periodically bring out their swords and dance around Nixon's grave. That is why we always hear new details about the terrible things Nixon said on those Watergate tapes. Somehow we never hear about LBJ's Oval Office tapes, or Jack Kennedy's. The editor of the Washington Post at the time, Ben Bradley, famously said that he "never had as much fun" as when he was destroying Nixon. Think about that.
Watergate was the great Oedipal victory of the Sixties Left. It was revenge for Richard Nixon's successful anti-Communist campaign. The New Left thereby avenged the political defeat of the older Left, including Saul Alinsky himself. That is also why the Hollywood Left needs to constantly remind us of the "horrors" of Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee five decades ago, even though Soviet archives have shown that McCarthy and HUAC were pretty accurate. Stalin's spies did indeed run all over the US government in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. They stole atom bomb secrets, and thereby initiated the near-lethal nuclear standoff of the Cold War. But these plain historical facts are constantly covered up by the Left. They cannot tolerate them. Yet in today's Hollywood, the powers that be exercise a blacklist against conservatives that is less public but every bit as nasty as the reign of Joe McCarthy, and far more effective.
Saul Alinsky and Richard Nixon were the opposite magnetic poles that defined Hillary's ways of splitting of the world between idolized Good (the radical Left) and demonized Evil (Republicans). As far as we can tell, she has not changed much in that respect. Bernstein calls her "rigid, secretive, combative, deceptive and angry."
Dick Morris worked with Bill and Hillary for a number of years, and talks about how different they are. Bill is the natural seducer. Hillary is the all-or-none love-'em or hate-'em personality, a "splitter" or "borderline personality," in psychiatric jargon. They represent two varieties of narcissism, manipulative personalities who utilize other people as objects for love, lust, hate, and power. Together the Clintons make up a kind of folie-a-deux, a two-person cult. From that point of view, they are incapable of true empathy and compassion. At Ron Brown's funeral, Bill famously went from yucking it up with his buddies to crocodile tears in just a few seconds. It's a sort of talent, a "gift" if you will.
The classical Leftist claim is to love humanity in the abstract (while hating grubby people in reality); the Bill-and-Hillary twinset is very much like that. All of Hillary's loudly proclaimed compassion feels phony -- except to the victim class, which adores it. Pseudo-compassion is complemented by an impulsive need to scapegoat hate figures. It was Hillary who instantly decided that General Musharraf was personally responsible for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and said so in public to score political points with Democrats. It was grossly irresponsible, but such impulsive striking out against military hate figures fits her persona.
Hillary's compassion is a very public phenomenon, always timed to score political points. George W. Bush visits with wounded soldiers, and cries when the dead come back from Iraq. But he always does it in private, completely shutting out the press and photographers. Real emotions are undermined by any public display. There are no honest tears when politicians use them to score points. George W. Bush still knows who he is because he has preserved his private space. Hillary and Bill have lost track by now. They can no longer tell what's private and what's political. That may be one reason why they must rage at their enemies in private; it's the only way they still know who they really are.
Bill Clinton's political style is rooted in the segregationist politics of his mentor William Fulbright and the racist Dixiecrats. The segregationists had a very particular style -- they all came across as good ole' boys and rarely said anything bad about Blacks -- directly. Everything was done by hints and insinuations. It was called "segging." Bill Clinton does exactly the same thing, except that he's flipped sides. He does his segging against conservatives, always insinuating that they are evil, racists, sexists, and so on. It is an intensely malignant style, designed to slander human beings as irredeemably evil. That malignancy has come to be the Clinton mode, the "politics of personal destruction." For Bill Clinton, it also reflects his mother's class envy of poor Southern whites against the rich and favored. Clinton's compulsive need to score sexual triumphs has some of that quality of hostility and denied aggression.
Clinton's political style has not changed. Only the objects of his scapegoating have. He is still claiming to be a good ole' boy while slyly spreading racial distrust and division.
Hillary is Bill's best student. She's a lot clunkier in her political hints and insinuations than he is, but they share that black-and-white view of their enemies. Like all radical Leftists, they are convinced that they, and only they, represent the higher good of humanity. To belong to their clique you first must believe that delusion.
Sandy Berger is a good example of a Billary follower who fell on his sword out of loyalty to ensure the Hillary Succession. It was crucial for Hillary's career that Bill's administration should escape any blame for the 9/11 fiasco; that was the job of the 9/11 Commission, and that is why Jaimie Gorelick had to be one of its members. The Commission was stacked to absolve the Clinton Administration of any blame for its many national security failures, thereby clearing a path for Hillary to take off in her run for the presidency. As a reward, all those old Clinton loyalists are now on the Hillary team. She may still decide to dump them, but not before the election is in the bag.
So what kind of Hillary Administration can we expect? The aim of the hard Left is to lock in total power. The European Left has largely succeeded in that, and we can see the results right in front of our eyes. The means used by the Left is to stack the bureacracy and the judiciary, and if possible, the legislative branch and the media. The Left will also push through international treaties that supersede congressional legislation. International treaties are underhanded ways to change the Constitution.
For example, in law school Hillary published "Children under the Law" in the Harvard Educational Review. That article ridiculed the antiquated notion that families should be seen as
Dick Armey was more candid:
Author Barbara Olson put it this way:
A good chunk of the Federal bureaucracy hates George W. Bush and loves the Clinton Succession. That is why the CIA and the Pentagon drop national security stink bombs in the New York Times and Washington Post to undermine the War on Terror. They're not against war as such; they hate Republicans who attempt to lead the nation at a time of war. At least some of those bureaucratic enemies were planted there in the reign of Clinton I. They are due to be promoted for their Leftist militancy in the Clinton II Administration.
In itself, a Hillary presidency already violates in spirit the constitutional two-term limit. As a symbiotic team, a Hillary administration would be a continuation of Bill's eight years. In American history the customary limit of two terms goes back to George Washington, and was only violated when FDR ran for his third term. After that the 22nd Amendment made it impossible for the same person to be president for more than two terms; but the Constitution says nothing about entangled married couples. The Clintons and their followers are copying the European pattern of a lifetime, tenured professional political class of the Left.
Leftists are the best examples of lifelong Oedipal rebellion. The rest of humanity goes through an adolescent phase of rebellion and outgrows it. Leftists (including Nazis) transform their adolescent rebellion into a lifelong commitment to subvert whatever exists. They hate religion, mores, customs, accepted sexual identities, law-abiding behavior, earning a constructive living, being loyal to families, all that bourgeois stuff. Instead, they romantically fall in love with themselves, and become enemies of society. In power, their impact is amazingly destructive, even the "soft socialists" of Western Europe, who have now managed to import millions of radical Islamists determined to slaughter Western civilization. That is not an accident either. Importing radicalized masses is a standard move on the totalitarian Left.
One source writes:
Hillary knows exactly how to present herself to the public, and we will never know the truth until she is firmly in the saddle, our first compulsively Oedipal President, who is fanatically convinced that "everything must be different!" That was, of course, the Nazi creed. It is not an ideology but a compulsive personality trait.
Camille Paglia has it pegged:
Dick Morris and Eileen Gann wrote*
With the Hillary Succession, America may be about to stumble into the darkest abyss in our national history.
* These words were mistakenly attributed to Camille Paglia when the article was first published. We regret the error.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/
Portrait of Hillary by Otto Veblin