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Grand Theft Autopilot


Hillary Clinton. I may not make it through to 2008 if Sen. Hillary Clinton appoints herself titular Democratic Party nominee. And she clearly has.
See, I’m going to have to vote for her. I’m a Democrat. And I’m going to have to support her candidacy. ‘Cause I happen to share her gender and, yeah, I’d like to see this country elect a woman president and, honestly, she can probably win. As my conservative friends say: No one ever made any money betting against Bill and Hillary Clinton. No one. Except, my conservative friend reminds me, Roger Clinton.
But those are the only reasons to support her and, honestly, they’re not good enough.
‘Cause after the former First Lady gets into the West Wing on an official-like basis, I’m going to have – we are going — to have to listen to all her Clinton-esque BS – that’s redundant, isn’t it? – about how she’s really a Liberal or a Centrist or a believer in the meaning of politics or whatever baloney she and the husband cook up to satisfy all their funders and supporters. The Clintons are Corporate Democrats. They run their campaigns like they’d run – if they’d gone into business, not politics – a big huge corporation. In an age of Big Media and Big Corporate Planning, that was a great strategy. But it’s out of touch – way out of touch – with where the party should be going in the future.
So after Hillary gets elected, we’re going to watch her ignore the development of a sound foreign policy for this country – just like her husband did – and we’re going to have to squirm and protest as she tries to figure out how to be a “free market” Democrat while placating the unions and ignoring the impact of globalization on U.S. foreign and domestic policies. And I’ll have to listen to her twaddle about making abortion “rare” – you know, conservative Republicans have kind of taken care of that if you’re young, poor and happen to live in the ‘wrong’ state – and birth control more available. Or listen to more crap about how a video game – one of a well-know and well-established series built for young adult men whose tastes dominate the video game business – should be banned, amended or have its sales restricted. Only someone as out of touch as the grandma who bought the thing for her 14-year-old could worry that Grand Theft Auto was for a child. You see what I’m saying?

I’ve written plenty in this space about how I believe former president Bill Clinton cynically hollowed out the Democratic Party’s agenda to serve his own aim. That aim being to win and keep the presidency. I think he’s responsible – almost entirely – for the party’s fascination with strategy and it’s willingness to cut corners in the name of winning. The idea the “good” people can have bad, flawed and corrupt strategy to defeat the “bad” people isn’t just politics – playing to win and all that – it’s hypocrisy. That Democrats embrace this strategy should make us all hang our heads in shame.
Now make no mistake, I think former President Bill Clinton is a gifted – truly, genius-level gifted — politician and I think his smarts stand a good chance of electing his wife. Because, when you look around the Democratic Party, there just isn’t anyone else who’s ready to run the kind of campaign the Clintons can and will run. They’ve made sure of that. No one else has the money, the connections, the contact or the sheer willpower that comes from an overwhelming desire to not only make history but to clear and clarify a muddy and soiled record of their first attempt.
The only hope I’ve got is that somehow – some way – Sen. John McCain actually finds a way to run as the Republican nominee. It’s a Quixotic race: McCain can’t become the party nominee unless he wins state primaries and state Republican parties are run by conservatives just as Democratic primaries are run by unions and activists. The idea that McCain can call upon those legions of moderate Republicans wanting their party back or that he’ll run as a third-party candidate are pipe dreams. He won’t leave his party and he’s got almost no shot at mobilizing moderates.
On the plus side, McCain’s got as clear a field as Sen. HRC does in her party. Florida Governor Jeb Bush may well think about running and he’ll do well in Republican primaries, particularly in the South. But Jeb’s got a big problem: Terri Schiavo, particularly his over-the-top call for an “investigation” of the night, 15 years ago, when Schiavo collapsed. Schiavo – people regardless of party are appalled by that case – also takes out Sen. Bill Frist from consideration as a serious presidential candidate.
Now, I’m not going to support McCain. His support for the war in Iraq is enough to make me think he, too, doesn’t really understand this new world we’ve so violently entered. But at least there’s something genuine about McCain, something spontaneous and, well, principled. He’s funny and he’s got almost nothing to lose. He’ll run a great, fun marvelous campaign and it stands a much better chance of capturing the new, networked reality of our daily lives. You don’t, after all, see Sen. McCain ranting and railing about “Grand Theft Auto’s” effect on children, now do you?
I can’t say any of this about Hilary Clinton. I want to. But I can’t.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 11:22 AM | Permalink

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