Saturday, March 29, 2008

The End of an Era?

While providing hours of entertainment, the Democratic presidential campaign is beginning to reveal something that I thought would never happen. Are the Clintons finally toast?
During the 90's, Bill ran as a centrist DLC member who wasn't going to shake things up too much, even though he would have liked to. Gays in the military? After the disastrous introduction, it settled into the perfectly unsatisfactory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Throw in welfare reform, which he opposed until he knew it was going to pass with bipartisan majorities, and which he promptly trumpeted as his idea, and you have someone who was always so quick to exploit a situation to his advantage. Even if it meant compromising on his principles. Okay, that may not be true, since I am not even sure that he has any principles besides winning.
But the height of chutzpa, had to be the Lewinsky business. When the story first broke, his polling told him that if he admitted it, he would have to resign or he would have been impeached. But by dragging it out, he was able to get enough people outraged at Republicans for noticing that the emperor had no clothes, and somehow conveyed the idea that lying under oath was just about sex, so it was okay. Never mind abuse of power, perjury, or just plain fecklessness, his political jujitsu made his prosecutors the bad guys.
He could only do this with the complicity of the main stream media. Their unwillingness to ask questions that they knew would result in embarrassment offered a shield of invincibility that could not be broken. In fact, I sometimes wonder why the whole Superdelegate group isn't populated by the media, since their impact has been so great in protecting Democrats.
But that aside, I assumed that Hillary would benefit from the same protectionism that Bill had enjoyed. Now, there is no way that Hillary is as astute as Bill in being able to manipulate people, but surely, Bill wanted back in the White House so much, he would do anything to make her get there. If he is, it isn't working any more.
Mark Steyn has a good commentary on the present Hillary situation. I keep waiting for her to start complaining that Obama is a part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that has been haunting her and Bill since they first emerged as the power couple of Little Rock.
Without the power that Bill used to wield, the Superdelegates just may not hand her the election like she expects. The problem for the Democrats though, is that I don't think that the "Smartest Woman in the World" is going to pick up on that until the convention.
After she is denied that which she feels is rightfully hers, there are two possibilities that come to mind. First, she withdraws gracefully, goes on to win the Senate Majority leader position, and carries water for the Obama Presidency.
Sorry, it's hard to type that while rolling on the floor, doubled up with laughter.
The other possibility: She uses every tool in her toolshed to defeat Obama. That way she will be in a good place to go again in 2012 without all the unpleasantness of a Carter-Kennedy feud.
In my lifetime, there have been some impressive achievements. The Space Age, Viet Nam, Watergate, Reagan, the end of the Cold War, the end of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamo-fascism. Now I get to add to that the exposure of the hypocrisy of the Clintons.
Aren't you glad to be alive to see it?

3 comments:

Mark T said...

It's rather comical that you regard Vietnam and Reagan as "impressive achievements".

Steve said...

Reagan is easy. I am sure that you have to be old enough to remember ol Jimmy. He was the catalyst that made me stop being a Democrat. And Reagan was the man who changed us from the moroseness of the Carter years (remember, disco was started then) and gave us a reason to be optimistic.
I know that on your side Reagan is considered an anathema. But that was because he won.
The Viet Nam achievement, is that it was the first time we really lost. Korea may have been a stalemate, but we ran away from Viet Nam. That is what I meant.

Mark T said...

Ah, you were being cryptic. I get it now.