Monday, November 05, 2007

Changing The Frame

Continuing the theme of Hillary's great escape from her self-generated "trap" of a week ago, John Podhoretz is the latest conservative pundit to have all those memories of the bad, old days start to re-surface:

It is widely assumed, on both Left and Right, that Hillary Clinton and her campaign made a grave error by responding to the criticism of her performance in last Tuesday’s Democratic debate by complaining of a “pile-on.” Bill Kristol, for one, called it a “foolish overreaction.” I’m not so sure. Whether intentionally or not, Hillary managed to change the terms under which the debate has been discussed in the days since. In its immediate aftermath, the debate was seen as a referendum on her policy slipperiness, and one in which she did not come off well. Now, however, the discussion of the debate has become something quite different.

What we’re talking about now is the extent to which it is fair to criticize her.

Or "playing the vagina card," as I like to call it. Rush Limbaugh less colorfully casts it as "You can't be mean to the girl." It is the double-edged hypocrisy of feminism, the ideological one-way street, the philosopical having-cake-and-eating-it-too that "roars" out one side of the mouth that women are "powerful" and "invincible" and are entitled to compete on an equal footing with men in any endeavor, and blubbers out the other side that if men take them up on that proposition, the rules of chivalry and "weaker vessel-ness" must still apply. There's no other way to describe 1984 Donk veep goattress Geraldine Ferraro's whine-echo in today's New York Times, or Linda Hirschman's thinly-veiled TNR smear of Tim Russert (aka the man who refused to curtsey before the Queen) as a "Nazi" for the unpardonable sin of asking her Nib a couple of tough but entirely fair questions.

If it were anybody else, this doubling-down on a losing hand would be compounding PR disaster. But this is Hillary Clinton, and so it has accomplished what the Clinton Machine wanted: "pivoting the conversation to a topic more to Mrs. Clinton’s liking than her own failings in the eyes of Democratic primary voters."

Stupidity in the hands of the Clintons is virtuoso audacity. And it ALWAYS works. A reality that is beginning to dawn on J-Ger as well.

UPDATE: BTW, don't get too hot to trot about the announcement that Mrs. Clinton is going to release the records of her "experience in the White House" as first lady. All that is is the standard Clinton PR technique of releasing only the parts that make the candidate look good when needed (and perhaps a few minor pecadillos as an innoculation) and stonewalling on the rest until after the election is in the can.

Besides, really, with all the fundraising scandals that have sprung up like funny mushrooms around her campaign already, to no measurable detrimental effect, what could possibly be in those Clinton Library papers that would be any worse, much less erode her unstoppability in the slightest?