Thursday, November 20, 2008

Send Not To Know for Whom the Nape Bristles - Updated

Just when I’m musing about taking down my shingle, a few more sick fuckfaces stumble into in the waiting room…

The Times reports today that “some in the Obama camp are bristling at what they see as strategic leaks by the Clintons aimed at boxing in the president-elect and forcing him to offer the post" – i.e., Hillary’s prospective nomination as Secretary of State. There seem to be two outrages prompting said bristling. First, Bill was asked about it, at an unrelated event – asked about the extensively pimped “investigation” into his dealings (which was, in fact, leaked and then bloviated upon with outrage in the Times and across the shrillosphere) – and he said he'd do whatever they wanted. Second, Hillary sought to understand her proposed role and scope of authority.

So let’s get this straight. “The Obama camp” did talk quite a bit to reporters, anonymously, about how supposedly serious the issues surrounding Bill's activities were – deliberately spreading the meme that there's something unsavory in the Clinton Global Initiative (which makes sense when you understand what a racist he is). And yet they’re the ones “bristling” when he reacts to this by saying in public – the nerve! – that he’ll agree to all their conditions… or any further conditions they come up with.

And on point two, we pick up no seismic evidence of bristling when exactly the same things are done by Tom Daschle (his own possible conflicts, his wife's continuing role as a lobbyist, and his insistence on real power to shape healthcare policy). Not to mention, of course, that these people have been working actively behind the scenes and anonymously to their pals in the Clinton-hating press to exclude Hillary herself – the obvious leader in America on universal healthcare – from a leadership position on healthcare.

Let’s stipulate that Bill Clinton is what to manage. Without doubt, he will not go gently into that good night. But grown-ups would see him mostly as a huge asset, not mostly a problem. These people are supposed to be up to managing the world – and their sensibilities are so delicate and their equilibrium is so unsteady that they can't manage this?

Who are the leakers here? Who are the pimps? Who are the enablers? Who’s the prima donna? Who are the grown-ups? Who are the practitioners of the old politics and the “new”? And whose follicles of moral outrage deserve to stand on end?

Update: I am prompted to a further thought by Anglachel's new rumination on what Hillary's appointment as SOS would mean -- to the world, to America, to the State Department and to the new Administration. If Obama actually extends the offer to her, that would be a highly significant act, for all the reasons Anglachel states. It would obviously demonstrate his own lack of infection by CDS, and his own self-confidence. And the fact that it would also, deliciously, explode the brains of the Army of the Undead (scroll down to "Bimbo Eruption")... well, that would be a tasty boat of gravy for those turkeys. (Not the least of it would be denying the alliance of the Clinton-hating press and "the Obama camp" their dearest wish... at the hands of their own love object. Nice.)


harpie said...

CDS is pernicious and as Bob Somerby noted today, has gone viral.

Viruses are transmitted by blood sucking insects.

The disease these parasites spread is causing US great harm.

David Berger said...

Holder-Daschle-Napolitano-Hilary?-Emanuel... isn't the Obama administration starting to look an awful lot like what a Hilary administration would look like?

Falstaff said...

Yep. And of course, the only thing that matters -- the only thing that ever matters -- is whether the Harpy in Chief herself (no offense, harpie) has been banned.

Derek said...

A single sentence in a much broader Times piece ("Some in the Obama camp are bristling at what they see as strategic leaks by the Clintons aimed at boxing in the president-elect and forcing him to offer the post") is the entire point of your umbrage. While it was only "some" who felt this way, I don't blame them. It's bad form -- and bad precedent -- to campaign for a cabinet position and if that's at all what she's doing, then I find it bad form.

But I don't think she is. As I think I said elsewhere (in an exchange from which, uh, I recognize some of your contributions verbatim in this post! Very green: reduce, reuse and, especially, recycle. Hell, we all do it.) I think most or all of the leaking is done by the noisy, noisome clan of Clinton hangers-on (Lanny Davis chief among them, but there are enough others that he doesn't deserve all the blame). I hope, if she becomes Secretary of State, that ends. It has too. I don't see Hillary's cheerleaders that worried about it. But I think it will sink her, if it doesn't get fixed. Unfortunately, if she's Secretary of State, it will also sink the country.

But I respect Hillary Clinton immensely, so I expect and know that leaks will be plugged. Lanny Davis doesn't (yet) have the security clearance to hear her reflections on Middle East negotiations once she's SoS, for one thing.

Beyond that, however, it seems somewhat churlish to perseverate on the Obama transition team expressing its frustrations with the challenge of Bill Clinton as the wildcard. Or was Hillary Clinton's whole appeal only because her bona fides were really all about him? I personally didn't think so, but criticism of him can't always equal criticism of her, otherwise she has no agency. I recognize that "CDS" isn't gender specific, but it would be to her credit if the media (and, uh, certain bloggers) could distinguish between their faults AND their strengths. To that point, in fact, an excellent Falstaff blog post would be an outline of where his strengths are contrasted with her weaknesses and, more relevantly, vice versa. Anything less really IS misogynist.

Maybe we're just not advanced enough as a species to create the mental Venn diagram that give Hillary Clinton enough points in her own field, a shared set with her husband, and her husband's own points in his field. But that's what I've wanted to see since Day 1 of her entrance into public life.

Don't get me wrong: I think I could come up with something along those lines myself. And I will be very, very sorry to see her resign her seat -- as one of my two representatives in the U.S. Senate to become Secretary of State -- although I'm feeling magnanimous enough to the nation and the Obama Administration to allow it to happen. (I'd have have felt equally magnanimous if she'd declined State but said yes later to SCOTUS.) My gripe -- not too differently than yours, albeit a mirror image -- is with her supporters, not with her. "What does Secretary of State mean for her involvement in healthcare reform?" "What would Secretary of State mean for her run in 2012 or 2016?" Talk about a cult!

Falstaff said...

Derek -- Uh, James Joyce took notes from conversations that wound up in "Ulysses," y'know... (He probably took notes from his fever dreams that wound up in "Finnegans Wake.")

But the main point is that this Times article was not an isolated example -- even from the Times. Surely you noticed that the blogosphere, the Clinton-hating cable channels and the whole Village were abuzz with this "soap opera" of their own making. There is no convincing evidence that Hillary's people were leaking or behaving in any inappropriate way. In fact, since we can now see that Obama's offer to her was real, and her ambivalence about it real, it doesn't even make sense to argue that said people were trying to force Obama's hand. It is quite obvious that there were people on Obama's team who didn't want her to become SOS, and that their view was shared by many in the media (whose votes and column inches, as Christopher Hitchens and Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan were quick to point out, were motivated this cycle primarily by a desire to kill off any vestige of "Billary"). Together, these allies were doing everything they could to derail the nomination. It is to Obama's great credit that he overrode/ignored/marginalized these people from his team -- as, in fact, he seems to be doing more generally. Good for him. I can't wait to see all these people's heads explode, along with the hateful jerks on MSNBC and elsewhere -- not just at the decidedly Clintonian, "old politics" caste of the Obama Administration, but at the position of actual power being occupied by head-spinning Linda Blair herself.

As far as parsing the differences between Bill and Hillary is concerned -- sure, that's a worthy topic. It happens to be tangential to this post, but it's a good topic nonetheless. In fact, I have commented on it in the past -- on what the election and its aftermath would mean to their marriage, connubial and political. But, again, fodder for another place and time...

Sorry, but I'm not feeling very churlish here. If you think so, especially after my Update... if that's ill-humored... well, I can only wonder at those who persist in declaring that some of their best friends are Hillary Clinton...