Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hillary's survival strategy

A Response to Joan Walsh, on Salon:

I too speak as a one-time admirer and supporter of Hillary. That stopped after the multiple fiascos of the early years of the first Clinton Administration.

The current pattern of behavior is, sadly, all too reminiscent of an earlier pattern of dissembling in order to clean up after Bill's numerous sexual escapades. Hillary was all too ready to do in other women, misused and thrown away by Bill, when they threatened the unquenchable Clinton ambition. I've never understood, after this unsisterly behavior, how self-respecting feminists can continue to support her.

I've also profoundly troubled by the way "loyalty" works in Clintonland. If anyone who has previously served the Clintons as a loyal retainer finds appeal in other campaigns, he/she is quickly labelled a "Judas." Yet for the Clintons, loyalty works up, and not down. Recall the Clintons' trashing of Lani Guinier when she became a political liability. Under the bus with her--despite a lifelong friendship.

We've seen too much of such demands for loyalty as the principal virtue in politics (in place of competence and principle, not to speak of obligations to the American people and the Constitution), going back to Nixon and continuing through W. At least W shows a modicum of loyalty back down (see Libby, Scooter).

We deserve better. I think Obama offers our best chance of getting it.--The Wise Bard

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