December 4, 2007
Can the Left move on from Clintonismo?
The biggest surprise of the election season so far is Hillary's low poll numbers among Democrat voters. The same liberal media that were deaf, dumb and blind to eight years of sleaze, from Whitewater to White House furniture (which was carted off at the very end), allowed nothing to penetrate the Left's love for Bill and Hillary. After eight years of co-presidency, Hillary became an instant resident of New York State, and ran for the US Senate, dropping whopping falsehoods ("I've always been a Yankee fan") to the passionate approval of the True Believers.
And yet today, just when Hillary is making her Woman of Destiny run for the White House, Democrats are hesitating.
Mind-reading is not a science. My guess is that there are two big factors. The obvious one is Love for Obama. Obama is an attractive candidate, but he is a rank newcomer on the national scene. Sensible people don't choose a completely untested candidate for the highest office in the land, in a time of war. But liberals don't think that way. They want Anybody But A Republican in 2008. Some of my liberal acquaintances would gladly vote for Mikhail Gorbachev if he only were running.
If you think that "falling in love with Obama" is the wrong way to describe Obamamania, just listen to Maureen Dowd's NYT Op-Ed this week:
"He seems more like a child prodigy. Those enraptured with his gifts urge him on, like anxious parents, trying to pull that sustained, dazzling performance out of him that they believe he's capable of; they are willing to put up with the prodigy's occasional listlessness and crabbiness, his flights of self-regard and self-righteousness. Despite his uneven efforts and distaste for the claws of competition, they can see he is a golden child, one who moves, speaks, smiles and thinks with amazing grace."
Did you hear the violins soaring in the background? "Enraptured, dazzling, a golden child, amazing grace...." If that's not love, what is?
Falling in love with politicians is something of a liberal habit from JFK to Bill Clinton. If you're liberal, you don't vote for a politician but a Savior. It is not how conservatives think, but the enraptured Left keeps doing it. It's kind of like picking a puppy in the window.
Somehow Hillary no longer inspires that unfeigned devotion -- or at least, now there is competition to be the love object of the liberal masses.
The Obama option is one reason for the decline in Hillary's inevitability. The second one might be called "Norman Hsu." It's not that Hsu's appearance in a smelly influence-buying scheme in the Hillary camp is exactly a surprise. We saw at least a dozen Norman Hsu's during the eight years of Clinton in the White House, magical money men with some very odd connections to mainland China, Macao and Indonesia. The liberal media managed to all but censor them out of the news, and to tar and feather as racist anyone who dared to raise questions. Do you notice that Norman Hsu himself has now disappeared from sight?
The Clintons seemed untouchable in spite of their sleaze and dangerous incompetence: Viz., Sandy Berger, Jamie Gorelick, Sid Blumenthal, who are all once again gracing Hillary's Court. Clinton: The Return will be awfully similar to Clinton: First Blood. Bill is still Hillary's political mentor behind the scenes. But suddenly they're not immune any more. When Bill Clinton lied last week about "being against the Iraq war from the beginning," that fact was blazoned forth by no less than the NYT and the WaPo, the twin fountains of truth for the faithful. What happened?
I'll bet it was Norman Hsu. He reminded everybody of Charlie Trie, the Buddhist nuns who were so charitable to Al Gore, and on and on. Previously, the Left had no choice (in their minds) but to support the Clintons. But now the Left gets that sinking feeling, waiting for all the other Hsu's to drop over the next eight years. In the past, the only alternative would be to actually support a Republican, and that is inconceivable, of course. Today, there is a moment of choice.
If Hillary wins the nomination, chances are that the Iron Curtain will slam down again on any unfavorable coverage in the MSM. The Left will go for Anybody But Rudy, Mitt, Mike, Fred or John. They will be in the bag for Hillary, and they will keep that bag tied well above their heads, no matter what. Fox News and the blogosphere may uncover plenty, but
What's new today is a sudden moment of clarity on the Left. For the first time since 1992 there is a real alternative to Clintonismo. For just one flash of a second we can see what Democrats and the media really think. But this moment will be swallowed in the daily flow of events if Obama fails to beat the Hillary Machine.
All in all, it would be better for the country if the Democrats could just move on. The Clintons have pretty well destroyed any respect for the Democrats, they have exposed a party of power-hungry careerists, without a principle in the world, they have made "liberal" a term of contempt, and have shown the party to be blind if not treasonous on national security. If they can't get rid of Hillary (and co-president Bill), if Obama falters or is secretly shafted by the Machine, watch for another eight years of Clintonismo.
Pray for Obama. He'll need it.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com