Thursday, November 01, 2007

Greatness Skips a Generation...or Eight...

Mike Reagan is the son of Former President Ronald Reagan, seen here in this file photo dreaming about Phil Collins.

Mike has some amusing insights he'd like to share with you about the candidacy of HilRod Clinton. It comes in the form of "advice" Mike's handing out to Democrats. Why would any Democrats possibly take advice from a guy who spasms with glee at the very passing mention of a Republican victory in 2008? No particular reason. He just likes seeing his name in print.

Listen Barack Obama, John Edwards and all you other soon-to-be also-rans, lay off Hillary. She's well on her way to winning the nomination and we don't want anything to stand in her way, especially attacks on her character and integrity that might sidetrack her on the way to being your party's standard bearer.

So leave her alone, let her cruise her way to the nomination so we Republicans can have the pleasure of dissecting her in the general election campaign.

Reagan's column reads exactly like one of those comic Onion faux editorials, in which a joke is set up and then repeated/embellished for several paragraphs. In this case, the "joke" is that Republicans secretly (but not so secretly) hope for a Clinton victory in the Democratic primaries because they think they can destroy her in a general election, and Reagan will go ahead and essentially rephrase this point over and over again until he mercifully meets his mandatory minimum word count, so he can go back outside and finish building that fort or playing that game of freeze tag or whatever the hell he was doing before he started banging away hopelessly at his keyboard in an ultimately futile attempt to formulate a coherent argument. (Run-on sentences...they're fantastic!)

And she is about as dissectible as a politician can get, starting with her health care reform fiasco, her sleazy involvement in the White House travel office firings, her use of private detectives to smear and harass the women who accused her husband of sexual misconduct, and her most recent campaign finance shenanigans.

I'm genuinely anyone still swayed by this stuff? Any American over 25 is going to remember the last time a Clinton was in charge and Republicans were screeching over Travelgate and Whitewater and a whole bunch of other bullshit that no one really bothered to take in or understand. (The only thing anyone actually got upset about was the BJ, and even then no one gave a shit except Lucianne Goldberg, Ken Starr and Jay Leno.) I sincerely hope this is the Grand Republican Plan for 2008, Mikey.

Step 1: Get Clinton the nomination
Step 2: Bring up extremely uninteresting, incomprehensible, decades-old scandals
Step 3: Profit?

She'll most likely be running against Giuliani, a cousin-marrying New Yorker who's just wild about abortions and teh ghey. Maybe Mike should be more worried about his side's prospects than smearing Hillary. Who, lets face it, is not exactly a stranger to being smeared and is still around.

Want a sample of her negatives? Here's a bit from Ana Marie Cox's blog a year ago last August: "The Boston Herald reports on what 'ordinary, grass-roots Democrats' think about Hillary Clinton: 'Lying B**** . . . Shrew . . . Machiavellian . . . Evil, power-mad witch . . . The ultimate self-serving politician. . . Criminal . . . Megalomaniac . . . Fraud . . . Dangerous . . . Devil incarnate . . . Satanic . . . Power freak.'"

I'll be honest...There's a few of those perspectives on Hillary with which I agree. (Anyone who seeking political power with HilRod's drive and ferocity for this long would have to be a self-serving Machiavellian power freak. ALL ADJECTIVES, by the way, that apply to every major Republican candidate.) Were Mike a more insightful, less hacky writer, he might stop and consider how wretchedly disgraceful his own party must be for Democrats to consider voting for a satanic, evil, power-mad witch opponent. But naturally, he doesn't go there.

I know you Democrats don't want to do us Republicans any favors, but just this once let us have our way. Give us the opportunity to give the Republican attack machine another shot at Hillary Clinton. Let her coast to victory in the primaries. Then we'll take it from there.

Andrew Sullivan, always one to jump on the Hillary Hatred bandwagon, chimes in approvingly in a post titled "A Message to the Dems," as if Mike's misogynist diatribe were actually intended to provide genuine, non-ironic advice. It's fairly obvious from Mike's seething hatred of all things Clintonian and Sullivan's constant harping on her candidacy that they're afraid she's going to win. If you really thought your party could destroy Clinton in a general election, you'd shut up about it and make Democrats think she was unbeatable. A-duh. (In Sullivan's case, he just seems to loathe Clinton to an unnatural degree, somewhat similarly to the way I loathe Zach Braff. Of course, I cop to my irrational hatreds; Sullivan wants his to guide geopolitical events for the next eight years.

I think, dead-eyed stupidity aside, what bothers me most about Mike's column is its assumption that politics is and can only be about smearing ones opponents and playing dirty tricks. This election is about nothing NOTHING NOTHING for him other than winning. He doesn't even pretend to give a shit about the troops or the war or the economy or the education system or Social Security or even abortion and prayer in school! There is no agenda, only his team and the other team, and the goal is to drive them into the ground. To ELIMINATE them, really.

Which brings me, finally, to this post from right-wing haven Wizbang. Blogger Kim Priestap makes a very silly point in response to an experiment over at Democratic Underground, in which two liberal bloggers tested out waterboarding one another to gain perspective on the ongoing debate about the practice. Kimmy argues that, if these guys were voluntarily waterboarding themselves, it can't be torture, as if people being tortured had the option of stopping when it got too unpleasant.

Like I said, just silly. Not worth a blog post, really. I bring it up only because of the comments from Wizbang readers.

Scrapiron, the FIRST TO COMMENT, says this:

"Let me bring a half inch hammer drill and some bits and show them what torture is. Bet they won't want a do over."

He's fantasizing here, just to summarize, about drilling bits into his political opponents to prove a silly point.

Anon Y. Mous says:

"I'd like to prove that electric shock is torture. First, I'll need a few volunteers from the DU."

Yeah! That'd show 'em! is good? Bad? That two things that have nothing to do with one another can't both be torture? I don't even know any more...

Here's commenter Mike's torture fantasy:

"Maybe next time, in an effort to illustrate the "we're no better than they are" moral equivalence argument, they'll decide to try burning the skin off each other's back with a blowtorch, or gouging each other's eyeballs out with a rusty screwdriver. Or at least the tried-and-true car battery to the genitals. I wonder how many times they would subject themselves to that one."

Ouch. He's been listening to some Method Man lyrics.

Seriously, unless you're Bret Easton Ellis, you have no business even writing a sentence like that. Who are these sadistic fucks and is there a way I can guarantee that I never run into them outside of the Internet? I mean, aside from staying out of Alabama and Texas.

Here's a comment that isn't isolationist but just...I it for yourself...

god, foreigners are envious.

PJ O'Rourke did a riff explaining why foreigners acted like jerks in a desperate attempt to be noticed by americans: he compared it to the wild longings of a 13-year-old boy frantic to get the attention of a magnificent 24-year-old babe.

not a bad analogy. foreigners will of course angrily deny this. "we're GLEDD we don't hevv as much money and powwair as you stupid americans! we LAHK being impotent and ignored!"

Foreigners? This guy's making SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS about the entire world population that doesn't come from the USA. (And you just know he pronounces it "furr-ners".) It would be hilarious if I didn't sense that 80-some percent of my countrymen felt the same way.


Peter L. Winkler said...

Hillary, Giuliani, or any other potential match-up and all the partisan mud slinging is just a diversion. Here's why. And, btw, Hillary is fairly wallowing in special interest campaign contributions. Edwards and Obama have criticized her repeatedly and she doesn't deny it. You should take a look here:

GimmeDaWatch said...

Didn't they officially ban water-boarding? How is there still a debate about this? How was there ever a debate? Torture is unconstitutional and violates international law. I don't really see alot of grey area here. If something is soooo unpleasant/painful/traumatizing/
disorienting that a guy's going to give
you vital, secret information just to
get you to stop, that's by definition torture.
How is this not blatantly obvious
on its face to everyone?

Anonymous said...

Hilary is a terrible choice, but that doesn't change the fact that she will be the next president. Forget about whether or not enough people will vote for her--there's only one reason she'll be elected: she's a Clinton. If our current president "won" (TWICE!) what makes you think it will be any different this time around? Considering the top 1% own nearly 40% of the wealth and, as my man, Aristotle, wrote, "when the men of property have the government in their hands", we got an oligarchy, dude. We have so much in common with the Greeks and Romans, it's pretty scary. The American empire cannot sustain itself, and I think all the warning signs of its impending demise are there. As David Simon, creator of "The Wire" and general genius said, "instead of these Olympian gods, indifferent, venal, selfish, hurling lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no reason—instead of those guys whipping it on Oedipus or Achilles, it’s the postmodern institutions...those are the indifferent gods." Oh, and while we're on the subject of predictions, we will invade Iran. And you can quote me and put this on a record. We will invade Iran, Iran, Iran.

Anonymous said...

sweeping generalizations right? never done that eh?

Lons said...

Last Anonymous Commenter, just so we're're defending that guy at the Free Republic who said this?

"god, foreigners are envious. PJ O'Rourke did a riff explaining why foreigners acted like jerks in a desperate attempt to be noticed by americans: he compared it to the wild longings of a 13-year-old boy frantic to get the attention of a magnificent 24-year-old babe. not a bad analogy. foreigners will of course angrily deny this. "we're GLEDD we don't hevv as much money and powwair as you stupid americans! we LAHK being impotent and ignored!'"

Really? And in order to defend that statement, you're calling me a hypocrite? Really? Even if I were being massively hypocritical (and I'm pretty sure I never have made sweeping generalizations about all foreign people in this way, so I'm not sure the charge sticks), how would that make this ludicrous ignorant twaddle any more acceptable? Really? Care to elaborate?