Say No to Hillary In '08
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I heard two jaw-droppingly silly things over the weekend. They were:
- Laura Bush for President
- Hillary Clinton for President
While neither suggestion is silly because both are women, they are nonetheless both silly, though for very different reasons.
The Laura Bush endorsement came from the venomous lips of Dick Cheney's wife, Lynn.
"If we are talking about a Bush dynasty, then let's have Laura run for President," Lynn Cheney said on Larry King. Her husband nodded in agreement.
Right. A Stepford Wife becomes leader of the free world and Commander-in-Chief of the world's only superpower. Not likely.
Even the most delusional, power-drunk Republicans wouldn't do something that dumb. Laura ain't exactly Margaret Thatcher. Hell, she isn't even an Eva Peron or Imelda Marcos. She's a librarian.
Lynn Cheney's remark was simply part of an orchestrated effort by Bushites to elevate Laura to the level of Nancy Reagan. There's a history here. Those not familiar with the Reagan/Bush clan feud may find this hard to understand. But these two political dynasties have hated each other from the get-go.
The Bushes were considered and treated as second-class nobles by the Reagans. For example, in eight years in office VP George H.W. Bush and Second Lady Barbara were never once invited to dinner at the White House with Ronny and Nancy. Not once.
Now with their days at the White House ticking down, the Bushites are working feverously to remake Laura. They sent her to the Middle East to soothe growing hatred of America and to be seen making nice to Muslims. The world has not seen anything that silly and condescending since Ronald Reagan flew a chocolate cake and a signed Christian Bible to the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Remember when Nancy Reagan took on drugs? ("Just say no to drugs"). Well, Laura is one-upping Nancy. Laura is America's new "anti-street gang tsar." ("Just say no to joining a street gang.") Laura is getting down in the 'hood with the homeboys and talking straight shit about street gangs. Oh, you betcha.
Enough about Laura. She is no Nancy Reagan, and for that alone she should be feel fulfilled.
Hillary for President?
Jesus H. Christ -- what the hell are top Dems doing playing footsy with Hillary? Do Democrats have a secret death pact we don't know about? If they want to lose a third general election in a row, go ahead, run Hillary for President of the United States of America.
The reasons not to do such a thing are obvious to anyone not drinking the Clintonite Kool-Aid. Let me list just the ones that roll off the top of my not-so-bright head:
- Hillary Moonies cite recent polls showing that likely Democrat voters would vote for Hillary if she ran. Yes, this is true -- but why? The answer is not reassuring. It is because the less voters see and hear of Hillary the more they like her. Which means the converse is true as well. Just get her out on the national campaign trail, on the news every night, in dozens of ads on TV, and in nationally televised debates and watch those poll numbers plummet. I will bet my firstborn on it. Hillary grates on people. Maybe that's unfair. But it's still true.
- Hillary has triangulated herself into irrelevance with her hawkish support for the war in Iraq. She did this in order to show she could be tough, just like a man. All she really proved was that she could be a conniving politician, just like men.
- All's fair in love, war and politics. So expect all that Kenneth Starr variety crap about the Clintons to make a big comeback. I know that Starr and his Dark Side minions failed to prove most of the allegations against the Clintons. But the Clintons' own sloppy ethics provided the very fuel on which the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy ran. If Hillary runs for president the Swift Boat Veterans will be back in a new form, but in full form. They will pound her relentlessly. Unfair? You bet. Go tell it to John Kerry.
- Finally, there's Bill. Imagine Bill as First Husband, rambling around the East Wing of the White House with nothing but time on his hands. How long would it be -- days, weeks, a month? -- before the stories about White House maids getting made began? That's not just a possibility, or even a probability. It's a certainty. Then the nation and the world will be again treated to four years of "Live From the White House -- The Jerry Springer Show!"
I could go on. There are many more reasons not to encourage Hillary to run for president.
Look, I loved Clinton's domestic policies. Hell, I profited from them. They were the best years of my life, financially. They were the best years the nation had seen in decades. The trouble was that Bill Clinton is not one person, but three.
- There's Bill the Brilliant, who balanced the federal budget, built a giant surplus that could have been used to repair Social Security, reformed welfare and kept us out of stupid-ass wars.
- There's Bill the Self-Indulgent who could not resist exploiting the aphrodisiac of power on female targets of opportunity. The Bill that played with the truth, like a cat plays with a mouse. The Bill who faced the world on TV as the bad little boy making lame excuses after being caught red-handed misbehaving.
- Finally -- and more to the point -- there's Bill/Hillary, the package deal. They are co-dependants and mutual enablers. Bill has been president, and Hillary is not a bit interested in vying against Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan for the top slot at the former First Lady Hall of Fame. She wants to be America's first woman president. Even serial marital infidelity, exposed in fine detail to the entire world, could not break the bonds of this union. It's a Bonnie and Clyde quality relationship -- Bill & Hillary vs. (Fill in the blank). Right or wrong, they will go down together, fighting. And they always attract a fight.
As I said, I loved the policies, but by the time the Clintons' eight years were up I was so glad to see them leave. I was exhausted, as were millions of other Americans. Clinton fatigue. Bill and Hillary bring too much baggage along with them.
Memo to Democrats
So, don't do it. I understand why you are tempted. A lot of you top Dems are members of the Clinton White House Diaspora. You got that first taste of power during your days in the Clinton administration. And it was something else --like sticking your tongue into a 220v socket, the rush of your life, and you miss it. Oh, how you miss it. Now you want it back. And you figure that the car that got you there the first time might be able to get you back again. That's why you're furiously squirting starter fluid into the old Clinton jalopy.
Also, you are still listening to the wrong people -- like political consultant (and habitual loser) Bob Schrum. I suspect that Karl Rove keeps a photo of Schrum in his bible and prays for his health every night. Why do you even let the guy in the building? He, and those of his ilk in the party, are the political equivalent of Typhoid Mary. Get rid of them and bring in grassroots people from outside DC. Unlike Schrum et al., they actually know what's going on out here.
Instead of wasting time on Hillary, the Democratic Party, or what's left of it, should be searching right now for inspirational candidates. By the time the '08 general election rolls around, Bush's policies will have created such ruin, pain and embarrassment that voters will be starved for a real statesman. Someone who can do for post-Bush America what Roosevelt did for post-Hoover America.
I don't know who that might be. But the party might want to dip back into its past, since there are so few Democrats in power today that inspire more than a groan. Former senators George Mitchell and Sam Nunn come to mind. Diane Feinstein. Even Gary Hart, who, since his lap-dance with Donna Rice, has become one of the world's top experts on international and domestic terrorism.
There must be others who can rise to this critical occasion. After all, we have nothing less than a nation to save. But if the best the Democratic Party has to offer voters in '08 turns out to be Hillary, they deserve to lose -- again.
Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including "Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a Pulitzer.