From Coulter to Custer
kf spans the cultural universe.
This Just In: Hillary Avoids Still More Damage! A mere 45% of New Hampshire Democrats call her a "political whore"--or otherwise say they dislike her, using milder language (e.g., "[c]riminal" . . . "megalomaniac" . . . "fraud" . . . "dangerous" . . . "devil incarnate" . . . "satanic ". . . "power freak" . . . "shrew" . . . "Machiavellian" . . . "evil, power-mad witch"). ... Nothing a bit of additional "repositioning" won't cure! ... [You're very proud that, unlike the paper where the original article ran, you get to spell out 'whore,' aren't you?--ed That's value added!] ... 1:32 P.M.
Saturday, August 5, 2006
Hillary Spins the Times: If you're Hillary Clinton, and you fear people might interpret a Lieberman loss in Tuesday's Connecticut Senate primary as trouble for other pro-war Senate Dems, what do you do? Get the credulous New York Times to print your damage-controlling spin on the front page!** Here's the headline:
Clinton Dodges Political Peril for War Vote
Oh yeah? Says who? Anne Kornblut (who owed Hillary one after erroneously reporting that the former First Lady actually said something interesting) claims that "skillful repositioning and adaptation to changing circumstances have enabled her to avoid political damage." Kornblut then outlines Hillary's attempts to make up for her war vote (by "repositioning" and criticizing the Bush administration) but she offers zero evidence that this in fact has enabled Hillary to avoid political damage--at least on the national stage on which Hillary aspires to play. Among the anti-war Democrats I know, Hillary has suffered huge political damage. ... Still, it's impressive that her "advisers" can still make the New York Times jump. ...
P.S.: If Kornblut's point was that Hillary is still a shoo-in to win her N.Y. Senate primary, isn't that because the netrootsy left hasn't targeted her, mostly for reasons that have little to do with the success or non-success of the palliative measures she's taken to detoxify her war vote? (Some of those other reasons: She's more deeply entrenched, she has more fundraising capability, she's won the loyalty of the New York left on other issues, she's reviled by the Right on those other issues, New York's a bigger, tougher state and taking on a Clinton and a former First Lady is a bigger deal than taking on someone who arguably stabbed both Bill Clinton and Gore in the back, etc.)
A few points in defense of "Kaus-ism": As generously labeled by Kevin Drum (using Noam Scheiber's words), this deviant tendency has taken hold among "liberal fogies" who remember pre-Clinton politcs when
the threats to the party (and the country) from the left were as big as the threats from the right. Back then, this group regarded the left wing of the Democratic Party as substantively wrong and politically self-defeating.
Drum concedes this attitude was "arguably necessary" in "the 70s and early 80s," but now it's just those neoliberal fogies fighting their old wars!
Why should anyone even moderately left of center spend more than a few minutes a week worrying about a barely detectable liberal drift in the Democratic Party? Will the tut-tutters not be happy until CEOs make 1000x the average wage instead of the mere 400x they make now and the 200x they made during the Reagan years? How much farther to the right do they want Dems to go? ... [snip]
Worrying about lefties in the Democratic Party when the GOP is led by a guy named George Bush is like worrying about the Michigan Militia when a guy named Osama is driving airplanes into your buildings. The fogies need to get real.
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty.