|Good reading matter
||[Jan. 28th, 2008|11:11 am]
Parag Khanna in the NYTimes Magazine, writing about the end of American Hegemony|
This article articulates one of the things I've been ranting to people about for the last year or so -- the fact that America is done as a world power. Part of the reason for this comprise geopolitical trends that the US has no control over. A big part of it, though, is George Bush's policies both domestic and foreign, which are tone-deaf and brain-dead. I won't take the time to rant on Bush's failings (again) but I will repeat myself (and others): worst president ever.
Surprisingly there was a very well-written column about the Clinton(s) campaign in the Daily Iowan, that summarizes quite well all my objections to Hillary Clinton.
Maybe Republicans were right.
I am too young to vividly recall the political battles of the 1990s. My memories of the 1996 presidential election are few and nonexistent for 1992. I remember reading about the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. Most of all, I remember feeling a dislike for Republicans. These aren't exactly mature political thoughts.
Much has been made about the visceral hatred from the Republican Party toward the Clintons. They were investigated countless times, with little result. They were loathed for any number of transgressions, and the right wing did everything in its power to undercut the Clinton presidency.
Until very recently, I had considered all of this a product of the irrational, hyper-partisan streak of today's GOP. The Clintons, however, are far from saints themselves.
You see, they're doing their best to alienate many core Democrats through their misinformation - read: lying - campaign about Sen. Barack Obama. Obama, who has been praised by countless nonaligned individuals as running a clean and honest campaign, has been subjected to blithering, dishonest assaults in recent weeks.
Following Obama's massive victory in South Carolina, it remains to be seen what the Clintons have in store. There is no doubt whether they'll continue their deceptive tactics into the near future.
These are the people who brought you the infamous line, "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is." How anyone can find them trustworthy is incredible - they will do anything, or say anything, for power.
It would be an understatement to say Hillary Rodham Clinton has reinvented herself on the campaign trail. In the early stages of the campaign, she refused to apologize for her war vote - a stance that won her some respect from me. Now, she is appealing to the most left-wing elements in the Democratic Party and advocating rapid withdrawal.
Indeed, her website says she will direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff, her secretary of Defense, and her National Security Council to "draw up a clear, viable plan to bring our troops home starting with the first 60 days of her administration." Not only is this insane, but she doesn't believe it. Nothing in her record demonstrates any willingness to disown this war - a war she and her husband supported from the very beginning.
The Clintons are frustrated by Obama's performance. Bill Clinton has repeatedly snapped at reporters, and the two have both deliberately misinterpreted a statement Obama made about Ronald Reagan. Rather than argue that Clinton had been a transformative political agent similar to Reagan - which simply isn't the case - they lied and stated that Obama supported Republican ideas.
This coming from the presidency that declared the era of big government "over," and that supported the Defense of Marriage Act, and initiated "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and that sided against labor again and again in free-trade deals.
But now they're outraged, because Obama has dared to challenge their legacy. Yes, Clinton was a tactically successful president. But anyone who argues American political ideology during the 1990s shifted away from the Republican mold either wasn't paying attention or works for the Clintons.
The Clintons have sat out the last eight years, biding their time for this moment. There have been plenty of chances to be legitimately outraged, but it seems apparent their pollsters didn't think anger at the excesses of the current administration played well politically. They care only for themselves - not for the good of the party and certainly not for the good of the country.
The presidential election this November should be a cakewalk for Democrats. The only way for Republicans to have a shot is to give them what they most want - another shot at the Clintons. If Rodham Clinton becomes the nominee, the Clinton machine will have slammed the door shut on the Democratic Party's greatest orator, most inspirational figure, and future.
I don't consider it fun when Democrats attack Democrats. Negative campaigning stinks, period - but intra-party feuds are downright disgusting. The Clintons will do anything it takes to save their legacy. But in the process, they are writing a negative future for themselves, their party, and their country.
E-mail DI columnist Andrew Swift at: