Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Chutzpah -- This Time About the Clintons

Rich Lowry's latest column on Bill and Hillary Clinton is an extraordinary display of wilfull blindness. He and his fellow right-wingers have spent the last 15 years foaming at the mouth with rage at the Clintons as a wild-eyed left-wing radicals. Now Lowry has actually looked at Hillary and found her to be "[a] centrist-oriented Democratic politics that is pragmatic and economically literate." The only problem -- he can't give up 15 years worth of rage at her and, inexplicably, all those years of unrelenting vilification has left her embittered. He just can't handle her resentment.

Imagine that! Bill Clinton hewed center; he belonged to the DLC; he offended much of the Democratic Party's liberal wing; he was the very model of moderation. As a reward, he reaped the hatred of the Republican establishment that was outraged that any Democrat would dare usurp their god-given right to the White House. Right-wing pundits reviled Clinton as a wild-eyed radical; foundations spent vast sums smearing him; a special prosecutor dedicted himself to bringing Clinton down; conspiracy theorists spun the wildest rumors about him; private militias trained in the woods for armed rebellion against his government. And Lowry still can't forgive the Clintons for any of this.

But what's really unforgiveable about the Clintons is that they did not take this lying down. Lowry is outraged that, when smeared, they hit back:

Throughout the 1990s, their attacks were directed at people who were vulnerable by virtue of their status as allegedly self-interested women accusing Bill of misconduct, or as conservative politicians hated by the press, or as special prosecutors whose work was distasteful to the public.
Translation: When Paula Jones sued for sexual harrassment, Bill Clinton defended the case. When Newt Gingrich took control of Congress and promptly overreached himself by passing a lot of unpopular measures, Clinton had the audacity to veto them and win a showdown with the Republican Congress. Worse yet, popular opinion sided with Clinton. And special prosecutor Ken Starr's attacks on Clinton merely boosted his popularity, while making Starr look mean and vengeful. Lowry calls this a "politics of personal destruction" (although he conceeds that the game was played "on both sides.")

In short, after spending 15 years slandering Hilary as a radical, Lowry suddenly realizes that she is not, and that her views aren't so bad after all. But politics of the 90's were so nasty, what with all those attempts to bring the Clintons down that he just can't forgive her for it.

Maybe I should make a new category of chutzpah, because Lowry's is impressive.

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Blogger SteveJ said...

"In short, after spending 15 years slandering Hilary as a radical, Lowry suddenly realizes that she is not, and that her views aren't so bad after all."

What are Hillary's views? Does she have core values that don't morph based on the polls?

6:25 PM  

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