I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Hillary Disease

Nothing makes blindly partisan Republicans swoon with dizziness and irrationality more than Hillary Clinton. Entire academic disciplines could be sustained just by studying the incomparably intoxicating effect she has on so many of our otherwise sensible (and not so sensible) fellow citizens.

Yesterday, Hillary issued a typically Clintonian statement which purported to state her position on the war in Iraq but which actually staked out every position, and therefore, no position at all. Of course, the fact that she even has to issue a statement in order for us to know her position on this somewhat prominent issue says a lot in itself. Well-orchestrated maneuvers like these show why, in the mold of her husband, she is simultaneously the most formidable and the most soul-less Democratic politician around.

John Rocket at Powerline knows he has to say something about Hillary's Iraq statement and he knows it can't be anything good. That presents a real problem for our intrepid Power pundit because Hillary's statement has an overwhelmingly pro-war odor to it, which, among other things, refuses to repudiate her pro-war vote or to advocate troop withdraw. As intended, this makes it exceedingly difficult for Bush-worshipers to use the statement to attack her.

But John does not disappoint. He reaches deep down into the Hillary insult cliche barrel and digs this out:

There is a certain sourness in the position Clinton has staked out: the war was a mistake which I voted to authorize only because I didn't know the facts; ever since, it has been bungled horribly; nevertheless, we have no choice but to see the mistake through to the bitter end. It smacks, somehow, of the purse-lipped, take-your-medicine feminist First Lady of the early days of Bill Clinton's presidency.

If there is a Non-Sequitur of the Year contest somewhere, Rocket John should start planning his victory party now. John (who uses a Rocket as his symbol, placed above his buddy who calls himself "Big Trunk") cannot escape the piercing image of Hillary as power-hungry feminist. He sees this Hillary everywhere, so that even her rather standard, hawkish prescription for Iraq -- which, as John notes, almost completely mirrors Bush's views -- "somehow" becomes a reflection of her evil, emasculating feminism.

It's only 2005. The level of madness that Hillary's candidacy will inspire once she actually announces that she's running is truly scary to contemplate.

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