Sunday, November 04, 2007

In Defense of Hillary

First, let me state from the outset, I’m for Dennis Kucinich, like I was in 2004. Second, I was for Jerry Brown over Bill Clinton in 1992. I don’t have to agree with or even like Hillary (or the Clintons) in order to defend her (or him) and point out inconsistencies and idiocies of Media. I recall certain commentators who should’ve known better (e.g. Mark Shields) declaring the Clinton Presidency over after the Zoë Baird nomination failed. Apparently, the utter lunacy, the butt-kissing and the sports analogies are still with us.

Although he obviously had a right to pose it, Russert’s question was a loaded one, related to an issue that doesn’t afford an easy lazy simplistic-for-simpletons yes or no answer. Hillary’s response was characteristic, but honest. Honestly imperfect, perhaps. That’s something the stooges of the Corporate Broadcast and Cable and significant segments of Print Media do not understand.

Is the “piling on” and exaggeration of the event in the aftermath of the debates responsible journalism? Are the suspect motivations of commercial news media in such cases to be ignored?

If it was Hillary Bush pre-Iraq Quagmire instead of Hillary Clinton I wonder how many free passes would be handed out. It’s not liberal media bias at the NYT so much as pro-Howell Raines bias. Let’s mangle the message in remembrance and homage to “our exiled leader”! I love the NYT. But it is not always right or true or just.

And where are the assessments of the deeply corrupt American electoral system and Corporate Media’s complicity in that corruption? Skillfully navigating that rigged system as best one can is a sin if caught outright in the commission of relatively minor gaffs. This Sunday morning on ABC‘s weekly political roundtable hosted by George Stephanopoulis, George Will croaked that while Bush could be accused of merely making slips of tongue Hillary was irrevocably excoriated for being overall slippery. And what would lying about War to Congress and the American People be, Mr. Will? And what would you call denying children healthcare (whether they be poor or from families in the increasingly economically distressed so-called middleclass) while this President, his Vice President, his collaborators courtiers concubines and divines and the congressional Republicans (being stingy with other people’s money collected largely from the People’s Republic of the North-Northeast and the Left Coast) receive Government (read: “socialist”) provided healthcare. For chrissakes…

BTW -- You think Hillary was hedging and equivocating and triangulating? If you want to see the master of hedging and equivocating and triangulating check out FDR during his run for the Presidency in 1932. That was a guy who managed to seduce the support of rightwingers, centrists and leftists. And, of course, by or before 1936 with the advent of the New Deal many of FDR’s former supporters such as Father Coughlin, William Randolph Hearst, Al Smith, Huey Long, etc. were amongst his harshest and most vociferous critics.

For the Political Lessons Files: In this life all too many people are envious and untrustworthy. If not about your wealth or health or looks, then about something. Loyalty is a rare commodity. Therefore, prize it, respect it; cultivate and reward it if and when you can find it, or it finds you.

Last things: FDR loved the Press. He took them in. He gave them drinks. He played them for the information-hungry suckers they were. News flash! They still are. So unless your skulls are extra-thick or egg-shell thin or you’re nurturing old grudges, if your calling is politics you’d do well to emulate success, rather than let isolation, out-of-touchness and paranoia bring you down with a resounding crash like it brought down Richard M. Nixon and like it‘s bringing down the Bush-Cheney camarilla and everyone in it.

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