Saturday, October 20, 2007

Big Mama's Listening

Anybody who's surprised by the same Hillary Clinton that decries the NSA terrorist surveillance program on "civil liberties" grounds having overseen an ongoing illegal wiretapping operation as part of her husband's political machine before and during the first Clinton administration, stand on your head:
In their book about Clinton’s rise to power, Her Way, Don Van Natta Jr., an investigative reporter at the New York Times, and Jeff Gerth, who spent thirty years as an investigative reporter at the paper, wrote: “Hillary’s defense activities ranged from the inspirational to the microscopic to the down and dirty. She received memos about the status of various press inquiries; she vetted senior campaign aides; and she listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.

“The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill,” Gerth and Van Natta wrote in reference to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. “Bill’s supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.” ...

Gerth told The Hill that he learned of the incident in 2006 when he interviewed a former campaign aide present at the tape playing. He has not revealed the aide’s identity. Clinton’s campaign has not disputed any facts reported in the final version of his book, which became public this spring, he said.

“It hasn’t been challenged,” said Gerth. “There hasn’t been one fact in the book that’s been challenged.”
I gotta admit, that surprises me. It isn't the Clinton MO to leave damaging exposes and their authors unscathed. Indeed, it's remarkable that Van Natta and Gerth continue to draw breath, much less not exist in a state of financial, professional, and personal ruin. Where, at the very least, are the dismissive toss-offs of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" having "assimilated" two new "drones"? Could it be that the old grey mare is getting soft in her old age, and maybe a tad wiser in realizing that enough time has passed since those days that the American people won't care how many laws her Nib broke back then? Hell, they didn't care even at the time - why would today be any different? After all, as Admiral Morrissey notes, Her Way came out four months ago and hasn't exactly torn up the best-seller lists, at least until this latest little infusion of publicity. Factor in that by this time, Clinton exposes are a dime a dozen, and perhaps their Machine's complacency is not entirely un-understandable.

Then again, they may know something we don't - that the 2008 election fix is already in, and they'll have plenty of time to dish out retribution after the future Ms. Rodham is so securly entrenched in power that it'll take a revolution to get rid of her - and I don't mean figuratively.

One might encapsulate all of the above under the expression, "letting her reputation proceed her." That would certainly does much to explain why her tomato can "rivals" for the Democrat presidential nomination aren't pulling out all the stops to try to reel her back in, and why the Demectorate wouldn't heed them if they did:

When Hillary Clinton first appeared on the national scene in 1992, and abrasively quipped about baking cookies or Tammy Wynette, a lot of rank-and-file Democrats defended her.

Whitewater, the cattle futures, the disappearing and reappearing billing records - on every scandal, most grassroots Democrats came to her defense, and insisted she was the blameless victim of a partisan witch hunt. When health care reform went down in flames, they had to overlook her faults. Chinese fundraising? Renting out the Lincoln Bedroom? Time and again, they looked at emerging facts - or perhaps the proper metaphor is closed their eyes - and declared, "it is not her fault, she has done nothing wrong."

Finally, the women: Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Monica Lewinsky: on each of them, grassroots Democrats told themselves, and the rest of the country, that the charges were false, that this wasn't the public's concern, that each and every one of the tawdry tales was a puritan smear job of the right-wing conspiracy....

Now, these same Democrats are supposed to be persuaded when Obama or Edwards brings up the pardon of Marc Rich? They're supposed to turn on her because one of them reminds them of disappearing White House silverware?

Declaring that Hillary Clinton has done nothing wrong is as instinctive as breathing to many Democrats now. Nominating Obama or Edwards over Hillary now would invalidate all of those defenses over the years. It would mean her critics had a point all these years, and they cannot concede that core belief they've held close to their hearts for a decade and a half.

Democrats aren't just supportive of Hillary Clinton's rise to the presidency: they're emotionally and intellectually invested in it.

J-Ger is absolutely right. It's why all the keystrokes that have been poured into speculation about Hillary "being in trouble with the nutroots" and her nomination "not being a sure thing" have never failed to generate a hail and hearty guffaw on my part. Everybody knows that this was part of the deal sixteen years ago - the "Blue Plate Special" that Medusa announced on Sixty Minutes after Super Bowl XXVII concluded. Everybody knows that this was why she hooked her broom to Mr. Bill all those years ago, and put up with all his crap ever since. For Hillary Clinton, absolute power was always the payoff for a lifetime of scheming and plotting and scandal. It's why she had his political opponents wiretapped, it's why she signed off on the huge influx of ChiComm funny money, and it's why she probably had to be restrained from going Lorena Bobbitt on him when he dribbled his way into impeachment.

I simply take it one step further. Does anybody really believe that Hillary would settle for securing the Donk nomination in 2008 but leave victory in November up to chance? I sure as heck don't. That's why I've said ever since January of 2001 that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president of the United States. One way or another, whatever it takes, she will simply not allow any other outcome. And she's got the power to make it stick.

Those who think that her "high negatives" mean she can't win a general election are in for a rude awakening: they will have no say in the matter.

The Florida Insurrection in December 2000 was a seat of the pants coup de tat, which is why it failed - and at that it didn't fall short by much. Suffice it to say, this time, "fate" will have nothing to do with it.