I've always found Clinton hatred a bit of a baffling phenomenon. At times, I've disliked the political timidity of the Clintons, or thought that Bill Clinton allowed his personal appetites to overwhelm his public duties to the detriment of the country, or felt that Hillary Clinton approached the presidency too much like a middle manager and too little like a director, but I've never gotten the hatred.John Cole has noticed as well.
Christ, I don’t even like her, but I have never seen such an over-the-top effort to trash someone as I have seen launched at Hillary the past few weeks. We have reached the height of absurdity, and the Obama fanboy nonsense is bordering on the unhinged.Now Ezra is primarily talking about Andrew Sullivan's dysfunctional hatred of Hillary.
Which is why Andrew Sullivan's blog has been particularly fascinating this year. Read his liveblogging of last night's debate. Edwards never even makes an appearance. Obama, who Andrew is deeply committed to, hardly even qualifies as a walk-on character. Instead, it's Clinton. It's Clinton and Clinton and Clinton and Clinton. At 9:30 we learn that "Just like Bush, she cannot talk about her own weakness." At 9:50 she "manages to pivot the sub-prime mess to pander to blacks, Asians and Hispanics...Her tone is a little hectoring as well." At 10:57 we learn "You have to understand that she can tell lies almost as well as her husband."And what set John off was Sully's praise for a post by Ed Morrissey where he blamed Hillary for an Obama hit piece by Richard Cohen.
This isn't, mind you, an article on Hillary Clinton. It's a debate analysis. And it's fascinating, because it's the real world thought processes of someone who genuinely loathes Hillary Clinton. Everything becomes evidence of personal cynicism and ambition. Nothing is a slip, or harmless, or just politics. Every word, gesture, and political feint is evidence of Shakespearian levels of cynicism and power-lust. And this belief in the Manichean size of her traits makes her the center of gravity. Her failures are so deep, her appetite for conquest so epic, that everything must revolve around her story.
As I said earlier this is purely personnel and ideology and politics are never a part of it. It's like the issue less Chris Mathews attacks that are little more than name calling. Now I would like someone to explain to me how Hillary is any different than almost every other politician in the race. Has she flip flopped any more than Romney? The answer of course is she has flip flopped a lot less than most of them. Has she tried to avoid offending people by saying as little of substance as possible like Obama? The answer is of course no - you are always pretty sure where Hillary stands. I have made it clear that Hillary is not my first or second choice but she would certainly get my vote over any of the Republican contenders. And about that electability - I'll return to this:
McCain 53 - 27
Edwards 49 - 42
Clinton 48 - 50
Obama 43 - 51
Thompson 42 - 42
Giuliani 40 - 55
Huckabee 40 - 47
Romney 38 - 51