Anticlimactically, and antiseptically Hillary Rodham Clinton, announced the long anticipated formation of her Presidential Exploratory Committee. Bathed in soft light and looking deceptively relaxed in a tastefully appointed sitting room, she officially launched her effort to retake the dynastic throne of American Imperial power from the most venal and corrupt regime to preside over the executive branch of our government.
This moment in American politics would never have been possible without the complicity and mendacity of the Bush dynasty. Their lust for power, subversion of the electoral process, and manipulation of divisive social wedge issues is without compare to any regime in the last century. They have managed to steal the Presidency from the American people and place it in the service of their plutocratic and imperial designs in a manner, which has polarized the nation and the world as never before.
Over $20 million in book advances and $29 million in speaking fees have placed the Clintons at the pinnacle of the American class structure. They are uniquely positioned to benefit from that status to reap the benefits of 30 years of catering to wealth and corporate power. As previously quoted, Michael Parenti has opined that “American capitalism represents more than just an economic system; it is an entire cultural and social order, a plutocracy-that is, a system of rule by and for the rich-for the most part.”
Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, Hillary has said “I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote. I have had many disputes and disagreements with the administration over how that authority has been used, but I stand by the vote to provide the authority because I think it was a necessary step in order to maximize the outcome that did occur in the Security Council with the unanimous vote to send in inspectors.”
The war on Iraq is just another in a long line of resource wars intended to cement our economic, political and military hegemony by controlling the second largest oil reserves in the world. Supporting it is a Machiavellian calculation meant to maintain political viability for a Presidential bid.
The political persona of Hillary Rodham Clinton is, in my mind reminiscent of Richard Nixon. They share the same bedeviling complexity, intellect, dogged determination, and unmatched ability to polarize the American people. The fear and loathing they have collectively engendered is identical and their methodical pursuits of the presidency are eerily similar.
Theodore White’s classic series of books on the “The Making of the President” began in 1960 and they continued in 1964, 1968, and ended in 1972. His 1968 volume is particularly instructive in framing the political environment facing Nixon, and now, Hillary.
“[Hillary] is neither a conservative nor a liberal; [she] is a centrist. And it was, retrospectively, as a centrist that [she] faced the succession of tactical problems which presented themselves in [her] takeover of the [Democratic] Party in .
The situation was clear as early as January of the year: The country was torn, the consensus of [Bush] had dissolved, the administration had lost the confidence of the American people, the apparently hopeless war went on. The situation insisted on alternative national leadership. Historically and practically, the alternative had to be a candidate of the [Democratic] Party. But the [Democratic] party was also split. How, then, to capture the [Democratic] Party? More specifically-how was [Hillary] to capture the party without tearing it apart.”
… “Cherishing [Hillary] as they did, the [Democratic] leaders cherished victory more. The object of politics is to gain power; and in this year of opportunity they could not afford to squander the chance on a [polarizing] loser. Thus, the first tactical problem of the [Hillary] camp was to erase… “the loser’s image.”
This was accomplished in the same manner as her first foray in New York: with overwhelming force. Her 2006 campaign was an arrogantly lavish, imperial crusade to crush her GOP opponent and to slay the image of a loser. Her 67% landslide victory was a personal triumph and the perfect talking point to deflate naysayers fixated on electability.
The United States is a hopelessly right-wing super power that reserves unto herself the prerogative of ruling the world and crushing those that stand in defiance. It needs a ruler that understands this inconvenient truth and Hillary Rodham Clinton relishes the opportunity to wield that enormous, tyrannical power in her own right, for her own ends. In furtherance of that goal, she has assembled a disciplined team of political mercenaries charged with creating a war machine tasked to advancing her candidacy ruthlessly and efficiently.
Politically, Hillary resembles the Borg Queen of Star Trek the Next Generation. She leads a race of cybernetically enhanced humanoids more machine than human, which is bound together by one ideologically neo-liberal consciousness dedicated to the destruction of any democratic constituency group by forcible assimilation into the Clinton Democratic Leadership Council collective. Senator Clinton’s campaign mantra could easily become: resistance is futile.
The Presidential Primary and Caucus selection process is rigged to benefit the acceptable establishment frontrunner(s). Anybody who hasn’t been under a rock for the last 25 years understands this. I have actively watched and participated before I was able to legally vote. I remember reading USA Today religiously every Tuesday at twelve to track Jesse Jackson’s progress in the Primaries. At sixteen, I remember pointlessly canvassing neighborhoods in Nebraska for Jackson.
At twenty, as a member of a group of Young Democrats, we campaigned for Bob Kerrey, our U.S. Senator in the South Dakota Primary. The event was a forgettable appearance in the dead of winter. The venue was a barn in the seeming middle of nothing on the outskirts of a town whose name I have forgotten. New Hampshire was over and everyone skipped Iowa because of Iowa Senator Harkin’s candidacy. Three candidates attended, Bill Clinton, Bob Kerrey, and Irvine California Mayor Larry Agran. If someone had told me that two Presidents were in the room, I would have said they were Bill and Bob, not Bill and Hill.
The place was packed to the rafters and the Kerrey contingent was tasked with walking in front the hay bales in front of the podium with Kerrey’s banner from right-to-left as he was speaking. After finishing, we children sat down on the floor. Bill was the last to speak and as he ended, we all rose to our feet. Instinctively, he busted a move toward me with his hand outstretched, catching me off-guard as the cameras flashed all about. I looked and felt ridiculous, clad in overalls with a sweater, and played out Jheri curl, cut to make me look like a black Gumby. I should have known then that Daddy Bush was toast.
Before that, I had been in the midst of the crowd as Agran spoke and spied Hillary listening attentively. She wore her tresses long and shapelessly, pulled back with a black headband. Hillary is a small woman and she looked like a white AKA attired in a black, green, and pink skirt suit. She listened in a way that conveyed power and authority. Her 60 Minutes moment had already made her famous as the ultimate political wife.
There are formidable obstacles to her success and one mainstream contender in the way: Barack Obama. He is being led around by the nose by a rump group of DLC dissidents. They think they have a winning vehicle to ride to imperial power, but, as Bill said to Hillary as quoted in “The Agenda”, “We’re going to keep on going,” he said to her one day. “They’re never going to stop us.”
Indeed, as Susan Estrich, author of “The Case for Hillary Clinton” has written, “The rules have done just what they were supposed to. Since 1980, the candidates with the most money, the best organization-the ones who were supposed to win-have indeed won.” What I didn’t know about the Clintons back in the day was the depth of their political experience and their knowledge of Presidential politics from the ground up. After having run Texas for McGovern in 1972, lost a race for Congress in 1974, and gotten Bill elected Attorney General in 1976, Hillary ran Indiana for Carter’s campaign the same year and was appointed to the Administration. Two years later, they were Governor. Ain’t nobody currently in the running that can rival this couple’s political acumen or organization. Nobody. They have been at this for damn near forty years and they’re good at it.
There is no device or subterfuge that they haven’t utilized to gain or maintain power. Impeachment was essentially about the GOP’s realization of the Clintons collective talent. They had to be besmirched and tarnished in order to seize the Presidency back again. When common sense fails, as it often does in our right-wing society, they will extend a sop to our baser instincts like executing a black, brain-damaged man, or launching a cruise missile strike on a Sudanese Aspirin factory to strike at the terrorists harboring fictitious chemical weapons. Thus, executing the classic “Wag the Dog” scenario.
According to Joe McGinnis, author of “The Selling of the President 1968″, “Politics, in a sense, has always been a con game. The American voter, insisting upon his belief in a higher order, clings to his religion, which promises another, better life; and defends passionately the illusion that the men (and women) he chooses to lead him are of finer nature than he. It has been traditional that the successful politician honor this illusion. To succeed today, [she] must embellish it. Particularly if [she] wants to be President.” Hillary’s media team, like Nixon’s will create a skillfully managed and focus grouped assault on our senses.
We will be inundated with Mother Hillary who cares about children. We will be inundated with Warrior Hillary who votes for a bogus war and retracts her support when public opinion turns. Lastly, we will be treated to Professor Hillary, who will inundate us with wonky and incremental initiatives that taken together, don’t seem very threatening but intelligent and moderate.
The end result of this will be the election of a President, along with another forgettable white Vice President dedicated to the same focused grouped policy mush that allows the status-quo to remain intact. Resistance may be futile, but we must try anyway.