March 9, 2008

Monsters and demons.

I've been reading Carl Bernstein's book about Hillary Clinton, "A Woman In Charge," and I was struck by the way she talked to members of Congress about her health care plan:
Mrs. Clinton “tended to view anyone who criticized her plan, even constructively, as an enemy,” Mr. Bernstein writes, adding that much to the dismay of Senators Bill Bradley and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, she advised Congressional Democrats that “the time had come to ‘demonize’ those who would slow down the health care train for some important roadwork.”
These days, her campaign people acted scandalized when Obama advisor Samantha Power called her a monster. I wonder what is worse — expressing the opinion that someone is a monster or exercising power by threatening to cause the public to think that you are a demon. Demons are worse than monsters, it seems, but that's the least notable difference.

49 comments:

Tim said...

"I wonder what is worse — expressing the opinion that someone is a monster or exercising power by threatening to cause the public to think that you are a demon."

I think the answer is self-evident; one is just simple name calling (even if in fact not true, which seems fanciful, given the target); the other is manifestly worse, and may in fact be evil (e.g., Hitler and the Nazis demonized the Jews - NOT that Hillary! is the moral equivalent of Hitler or the Nazis).

P. Rich said...

Monster, demon, amoral sociopath with delusions of absolute power. All same. All Clinton. All the time.

Daryl said...

I think Hillary Clinton is a moderate, pragmatic sociopath/megalomaniac.

She isn't interested in radical plans so much as in BIG plans. Just like Mao used to build GIANT dams in China, she wants super-scale reforms to our system. But not necessarily hard-left solutions. Just BIG solutions, that will turn our lives upside down.

Obama wants to turn our lives upside down, and "transform" America so that "we" (he) can be proud of it again, and he's coming from the left. Hillary is coming from the middle.

Which is worse? A president who is an ideologue or a president who has no governing philosophy? To make the choice harder, both want to make big changes to the country. Neither is satisfied to just go to work, and do their job as president, and oversee things, and keep everything flowing smoothly.

John Doe said...

Where are the brutal McCain posts?!

Neutrality my ass.

Elliott A said...

McCain will have his chance. Basically, Hillary is a despicable human being. You can only hide the true self for so long.

rhhardin said...

Demon is more spiritual.

Trumpit said...

Monster, demon, amoral sociopath with delusions of absolute power. All same. All Bush. All the time.

garage mahal said...

Ann, sounds like that fever didn't break in 10 days eh? First she objects to Chelsea being called a whore on TV, now she objects to being called a monster? What next?

I say no more moping. Comtemplating about monsters, demons, pyschopaths, zombies and even tying them to Nazis by Ace Commentator "Tim", isn't going to do the trick. Clearly this woman [or thing] must be stopped at all costs, have you though of phonebanking or donating? You'd think this necessary Slaying of the Beast would be worthy of at least an Obama bumper sticker [that would fit nicely on the new Audi by the way].

rhhardin said...

A Hillary jigsaw puzzle would be nice, after St. George and the dragon.

The question is who you put on the horse.

former law student said...

Hillary Clinton's basic attitude is "My Way Or the Highway", and she will browbeat people till she gets her way.

Picture of what could be HRC's desk:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vic_acid/1394191046/

Gahrie said...

She's pretty much not posting anything about McCain at all, which makes sense when you consider:

A) She's a lifelong Democrat with an interest in Democratic politics

and

B) McCain is not involved in a brutal (and thus interesting) race for the nomination at the moment.

David said...

Perhaps the politicians are all on Adderall, or perhaps the ones who are not natural assholes (there must be a few) take Adderall just to fit in.

Trooper York said...

"The question is who you put on the horse."

Hillary is the horse. Or the back part at least.

Middle Class Guy said...

It has been part of the Clinton rules to demonize any one who either was against their policies or who they perceived as an enemy. They had people like Sidney Blumenthal do the dirty work.

Of course according to the Clinton political rules, you will not criticize, question, or dare to compete with them. According to their rules, they can do what ever they want to you and get away with it.

Look at how the media has given her a free ride on her experience. They refuse to ask what experience she has. They refuse to verify or fact check her on anything. She complains and bam, Obama is pulic enemy number one to the media.

In effect, we now have before us Hillary Clinton's thirty five years of experience; experience limited to the destruction and demonization of anyone who gets in the way of the Clintons. She is a monster.

Meade said...

Good one, David.

from the NYTimes review:“With the notable exception of her husband’s libidinous carelessness,” Mr. Bernstein asserts, “the most egregious errors, strategic and tactical” of his presidency, particularly in its stumbling first year, are “traceable to Hillary,” including, in large measure, the inept staffing of the White House, the disastrous serial search for an attorney general, the Travel Office brouhaha, Whitewater and the alienation of key senators and members of Congress.

Arguably the most troubling incidents in this book relate to Mrs. Clinton’s handling of the administration’s failed health care plan. The outlines of this story have been told many times before — most notably by the former presidential adviser David R. Gergen, who has suggested that Mr. Clinton failed to take control of the health care initiative because he was unwilling to challenge his wife in the wake of reports suggesting that he had used Arkansas state troopers to procure women.


"Libidinous carelessness." Now THAT is funny!

Perhaps we do need this "individual grappling with a complex marriage" back in the White House. Maybe it would be cathartic for the entire nation to have the opportunity to wrestle once again with our 3AM demons. And monsters.

AJ Lynch said...

No Ann - the rankings for demons and monsters from bad to worst goes like this:

Crusty the Clown.
Moe Howard.
Wolverine.
Eric Cartman.
Dracula
Any Werewolf of London.
Karl Rove.
Mike Wallace (if you are a corporate puke).
A Raptor.
A T-Rex.
IRS agent.
Cop with Breathilyzer (according to Trooper York).
George Bush (if you are a Lib).
An evangelical (if you are not).
Secular elitist (if you are Bill O'Reilley).
Great White Shark.
SUV Driver.
Cigarette Smoker.

Meade said...

"Libidinous carelessness"

I'm still laughing at that. What a great and useful euphemism:

Did I grope you? Oh you'll have to excuse my libidinous carelessness.

Well, Your Honor, I wouldn't call it adultery. More like libidinous carelessness.

Yes, Monsignor, I do realize that they were only children, barely nine years-old. At least I do realize it now. At the time, they didn't seem that young, due to my, you know, libidinous carelessness.

Kirby Olson said...

What is the best book for getting Hillary's policies entirely clarified?

I read part of Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope today while browsing in a store. On p. 223 he comes out against gay marriage.

Middle Class Guy said...

I did not have sex with that woman. It was just my careless libidinous carelessness.

Tim said...

"...even tying them to Nazis by Ace Commentator "Tim",..."

For some, "misunderstanding" is a manifestation of poor education, for others poor intelligence, and for others still just plain willful mis-characterization. While I'm certain those of us with good faith can discern which of the three is worse, I'll leave it to "garage" to explain which of the conditions applies best to him.

Meade said...

"But Hillary, I'm the President, shouldn't these things be up to me -- strategy and tactics, staffing of the White House, choosing an attorney general, dealing with the Travel Office, straightening out the Whitewater mess, and handling key senators and members of Congress?"

"Oh Bill, silly, it's three in the morning. You're not thinking clearly. Here, I'll try to explain it to you one more time: with your personal careless libidinous carelessness issues, I think we both know which of us co-presidents should be the one who is... in charge."

Gahrie said...

Im kind of surprised more people aren't asserting that these would in fact be Hillary's third and fourth terms.....

Bruce Hayden said...

Another reason that her suggestion that she can work with
Republicans better than Obama is ridiculous. On the other hand, Obama has no track record in that area either. And, I am sure that some Republicans, at least, remember that one of the first things that she did when her husband was elected president was to pull the FBI files of a large number of prominent Republicans.

Somehow I think that working with the other side will become a non-issue during the general election, when running against the Republican leader of the Gang of 14, co-sponsor of any number of bill with the other side, including McCain-Feingold, Kennedy-McCain, etc.

Middle Class Guy said...

garage mahal said...
Slaying of the Beast…



Where is Saint George when we need him.

Kirby Olson said...

The battle cry of the Obamamites comes out of Bob the Builder:

"Can we build it? Yes we can!"

I rather like the guy, but his campaign is driving me out of my mind. Now he's stealing lines from a children's program. Did Bob the Builder authorize this theft?

Fen said...

I think Hillary Clinton is a moderate, pragmatic sociopath/megalomaniac.

As First Lady, Hillary would have the secret service clear the hallways before she would come out of her office. Can't have the proles looking upon Her Highness.

Kansas City said...

Bradley must really dislike Clinton. He was calling them liars over the weekend.

I think Hillary probably is pretty much as bad as people say and would make a poor president. But she has become a better and more engaging candidate.

former law student said...

Did Bob the Builder authorize this theft?

You've never been a community organizer like Barack. Si, se puede! (Formerly, in these parts: Sal se puede! -- Get out if you can!)

Smilin' Jack said...

These days, her campaign people acted scandalized when Obama advisor Samantha Power called her a monster.

Well, that does seem to be going a bit far. Samantha should have settled for calling her a bitch, like everyone else does.

Fen said...

I rather like the guy, but his campaign is driving me out of my mind

Ya know, I actually wish Obama was everything he adverstised. Unfortunately, I see right through him. Thats the curse of Wisdom.

Fen said...

Wretchard at Belmont Club has shrewd analysis:

Political Terrorism

"Only Barone understands what's happening. Hillary has changed the rules, or more accurately, shredded the rulebook. Like Saddam Hussein after US forces took Baghdad, she has no intention of surrendering after the enemy has taken her capital city no matter what it says in the rulebook. Chait and Morris can continue to believe in the political Geneva Convention, but the game has now changed to 'take no prisoners'.

Barone's key insight is that both Hillary and Obama are now in a position to hold the entire party hostage unless their ambitions are served. "Both candidates have an incentive to attack on grounds that will weaken the other in the general election, as Clinton has already started to do with her 'red phone' ad." In other words, Obama can win the nomination, mayhap -- but Hillary can make sure he wins only at the cost of a subsequent loss to John McCain. If Obama wins in Denver, the Dems lose in November. The Hillary Way or No Way. Osama bin Laden would understand the strategy perfectly."

PatCA said...

It's hard for me to believe she yells "f*** you" at Secret Service guys or "let's demonize this guy" but I guess where there's smoke there's fire.

I wouldn't vote for her anyway, but I just can't believe this prim, grim wonk lets it rip in that way.

Daryl said...

Ya know, I actually wish Obama was everything he adverstised.

Do you mean the bipartisanship, or do you mean the radical left-wing "change we can believe in"?

Because the way I see it, bipartisanship (i.e., compromising with Republicans before making big changes) would necessarily result in the "change" being watered down.

And Obama's whole appeal is that he's going to go whole hog. He's supposedly something new and different. If his radical supporters thought he was actually going to compromise and provide a series of half measures, they wouldn't be cheering for him.

So which is it? Bipartisanship, or big, big "change we can believe in" that will allow us to be proud of America? He can't have it both ways.

Fen said...

I just can't believe this prim, grim wonk lets it rip in that way.

Her book on the West enabling genocide is actually very good.

But her comments on her Euro-tour make me question if she wrote that book.

Samantha Power: I am nothing like Dr Rice!

Baby, you're not even in the same weight class.

garage mahal said...

Wolcott muses.

"If only returning to the womb were a viable escape option from Hillary's taloned deathgrip!"


She's in it to win!
Demonic Monster Terrorist! She hasn't broken any rules yet, but we can *only* imagine!

Fen said...

Because the way I see it, bipartisanship (i.e., compromising with Republicans before making big changes) would necessarily result in the "change" being watered down.

Very good point. Unity and Change are opposing forces. You can't usher in great change AND compromise with those who stand against your policies.

Wish I was a History prof. Can anyone think of leaders who have managed great change with compromise? Post Rome... Maybe Bismark?

Fen said...

Oh. Obviously, Jesus Christ.

Who else?

AJ Lynch said...

Fen:

You are right Hillary is going to rip the party apart if necessary.

I saw one of her super-delegates (Gov. Rendell) today on the news and he was asked if he would accept the caucus method in a Michigan re-vote. He quickly answered "no"...because they are undemocratic and unfair to elderly, workers and others. Each group he named btw was a Hillary demographic.

These party minions of the Clintons realize their careers are over if Obama wins, so they are pulling out all the tricks. It will make the Florida 2000 Gore v. Bush look like a walk in the park.

Tim said...

"These party minions of the Clintons realize their careers are over if Obama wins, so they are pulling out all the tricks. It will make the Florida 2000 Gore v. Bush look like a walk in the park."

Exactly right. Blue on Blue. It is too much to hope for, yet here it is. Excellent.

Meade said...

Fen: "Can anyone think of leaders who have managed great change with compromise?"


TR -- led Progressives from both parties through trust-busting and conservationism

Churchill -- led all-party government in liberation of Europe

Reagan -- led Republicans with "Reagan Democrats" out of U.S. malaise and Cold War

former law student said...

Ya know, I actually wish Obama was everything he adverstised. Unfortunately, I see right through him. Thats the curse of Wisdom.

Before you lay claim to Wisdom, a question: Have you seen through W. yet?

Also, the "prim grim wonk" is HRC, not Samantha Power.

Meade said...

Prediction: 100 years from now, history will show that G.W. Bush, with bipartisan authorization, took the lead in using military force to turn back and eventually defeat radical Islamist terror and preserve Western Civilization.

AJ Lynch said...

Meade:

Won't take that long.

From Inwood said...

Are "inept" monsters worse than competent monsters?

If you demonize your "enemy" do you make him an inept demon or a skillful one?

Is there such a thing as demonic carelessness?

PatCA said...

Oh, I meant Hillary was the prim wonk!

Trooper York said...

AJ Lynch said.....
"Cop with Breathilyzer (according to Trooper York)."

Dude I have no fear of that. I don't know how to drive and have never driven a car in my life. That's what cabs are for.

Trooper York said...

But Hillary does scare me. Like the nuns I had in grammer school. It's going to be a four year stint in detention if she wins.

On the other hand, Barack might be fun. I love puppet shows.

rcocean said...

Hillary doesn't scare me, but my God having to listen to that voice for 4 years!

The hectoring, the nagging, the shrillness. Men hate her voice, and I'm all man. B. Hussain Obama OTOH has a soothing voice and his wife is a hoot. In terms of policy, there isn't a dime worth a difference.

So give us Obama, he's liberal but interesting.

Michael said...

rcocean: So give us Obama, he's liberal but interesting.

Yea, "Vote for Obama. He doesn't have your FBI file...yet."