Hillary Clinton: The GOP’s Favorite Democrat
Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers.
August 7, 2007
Officials at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation
have contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Murdoch
has held fund-raisers in her behalf. Lawyers at Kenneth
Starr’s law firm, Kirkland and Ellis, have donated more to Clinton
than they have to all of the Republican candidates combined. In
Bloomberg.com reports that “Large US [law] firms ... are giving
thousands more to Democratic hopefuls than Republicans. Top Wall
Street investment banks and hedge funds are also giving more to
Democrats.” We can assume that most of these donations are going to
the front-runners, Clinton and Obama. And finally, Hillary Clinton’s
appearance last week at the Yearly Kos, was cut short by her
at a fund-raiser at the estate of billionaire, Ron Perlman.
Hillary Clinton appears to be the favorite Democrat of Republican
haves and have-mores.
Why is this so?
The oxymoronic “conventional wisdom” in the mainstream media would
have us believe that these Republicans, assuming a near-inevitable
Democratic victory in 2008, are backing the most likely, and, to
them, the most tolerable, Democratic candidate.
I have a different take on it. The Republicans, far from conceding
the next election, believe that they may have a plausible shot at
winning. But to do so, the Democrats must nominate the weakest and
most vulnerable candidate.
And Hillary is the one. How so?
There are many compelling reasons why the front-running Democratic
hopeful is also the most vulnerable.
Most significantly, among the general voting
population Hillary Clinton has the highest disapproval ratings
of all the Democratic candidates – in fact,
according to a June Mason-Dixon poll, she is the only
candidate of either party of whom a majority (52%) have said
that they would not consider voting. In addition, 42% reported
an unfavorable opinion of Clinton, compared to 39% favorable;
the only candidate with a net negative rating. These are
devastating statistics which are unlikely to change
significantly, since the public is by now well acquainted with
Clinton. One would assume that such statistics would disqualify
a candidate. However, the establishment Democrats who support
Hillary are unperturbed.
Next, “the woman thing.” Though the mainstream
media has scrupulously avoided the topic, the fact that Clinton
is the first woman in US history likely to be the presidential
nominee of a major party must be a serious obstacle to her
election. This is regrettable, and I sincerely wish that it were
not so. But there it is, and the Democratic party will ignore
this reality at its peril. And if Clinton selects Barack Hussein
Obama as her running-mate, with the first black candidate on a
national ticket the “blue” populist resurgence in the South will
be stopped in its tracks and the Democrats will lose every
electoral vote in the South. Jim Crow, while muted, still lives.
Also regrettable, but true.
If Clinton were to be elected and serve two full
terms, at the end of her administration in 2116, two families
would then have occupied the White House for twenty-eight years.
Many Americans are extremely put-off by the very idea of
dynasties and royal families. I know that I am. Millions of
voters, I suspect, would go to the polls in November, 2008 with
this thought foremost on their minds: “this dynasty business
must end, and end now.”
Hillary Clinton is widely perceived to be a
political “weathervane” who adapts her positions and talking
points to shifts in public opinion. Most of the public has had
quite enough of “focus-group politics,” and yearns for a
politician who acts and speaks clearly with conviction and on
principle. In the eighties, voters would say of Ronald Reagan,
“I may disagree with him, but I know where he stands.” And then
they would vote for him. Pop quiz: state in
twenty-five words or less, the guiding principles of Clinton’s
politics. See what I mean? The failure of the Democratic
Congress to exhibit courage and clarity of its convictions, and
its unwillingness to act decisively has resulted in its dismal
public approval ratings – lower, even than those of George Bush.
The public will not look kindly upon similar behavior by the
Democratic presidential candidate.
Clinton and her managers apparently believe that
the winning votes are to be found in a presumed “center” between
establishment (e.g., Congressional) Democrats and the
Republicans. Thus they have swallowed the kool-aid served up by
the GOP-lite Democratic Leadership Council and the beltway
pundits. In fact, as poll after poll testifies, overwhelming
public opinion concerning Iraq, the “war on terror,” the rule of
law, economic justice, health care, minimum wage, public
education, government regulation of commerce, environmental
protection, campaign finance reform, etc.
is “outside” and to the left of both parties. The
failure of the “official” Democrats to recognize the public
mind, accounts in large part for the public contempt for the
While the mainstream media and the Republicans
have been uncommonly gentle with Clinton – one might say
suspiciously gentle – when the conventions are over and the
campaign begins, the GOP and the media attacks will be brutal.
And Clinton will be an especially vulnerable target. As we well
know by now, GOP campaign themes have no necessary grounding in
fact – witness Al Gore and “inventing the internet,” and John
Kerry’s encounter with the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”
Hillary Clinton can be expected to be overwhelmed by a barrage
of malicious rumors and innuendos
While Hillary Clinton is clearly not the people’s
choice (cf. The Mason-Dixon poll above), she is most assuredly the
media’s choice. Democratic candidates such as Dennis Kucinich and
Bill Richardson, whose views on Iraq, economic justice, and health
care most closely coincide with public opinion, are relegated to
“the second tier” – not serious contenders. And who decides this
allocation? Not the public – there have been no primaries yet. Of
course, the media decides. Early poll numbers largely reflect “name
recognition.” And the media repeatedly prints and broadcasts the
names that are “recognized.”
It is clear today that Hillary Clinton has been pre-selected by the
media as the Democratic nominee, with Barack Obama and John Edwards
as the runners-up.
As The Independent of the UK reports, “the nomination as matters
stand is Ms Clinton’s to lose.” If, in fact, Clinton is the weakest
and most vulnerable of the Democratic candidates, the mainstream
media has once again served the GOP well.
Swanson correctly observes, “there is a pattern well established
in this country of the corporate media working very hard to nominate
Democrats destined to lose.” We saw this “pattern” at work in 1972,
when the most formidable Democratic candidate, Maine Senator Edmund
Muskie, was sandbagged by a phony letter attacking Muskie and his
wife. While the letter originated with GOP dirty-trickster, Donald
Segretti, the media inflated Muskie’s emotional response to it,
fatally damaging Muskie’s candidacy. The GOP and its media allies
then worked behind the scenes to promote Senator George McGovern, a
WW-II war hero who was defamed as a weak-willed “peacenik.” In
the 1972 election, Richard Nixon won forty-nine states.
Among official Democrats, and in the liberal and progressive blogs,
there is widespread talk of when, not if,
the Democrats regain the White House in 2008. They correctly
perceive a nationwide disgust with the unconstrained greed and
lawlessness of the Bush/Cheney administration, and of the six years
of total compliance with this villainy by the Congressional
Republicans. These cheerful Democrats are confident that the GOP
record assures a substantial victory in the 2008 election.
They forget that despite recent revelations of GOP finagling, the
Rovian machinery of election fraud and massive disenfranchisement
remains essentially in place. The “black box” paperless touch screen
voting machines, built and secretly programmed by Republican
manufacturers, will once again count and compile more than a third
of the votes of the 2008 election.
Nonetheless, as we discovered in 2006, overwhelming public support
of the Democrats can overcome a Republican “fix.” And this time, the
public has been alerted to the GOP's electoral shenanigans.
Accordingly, the Democrat’s prospect for victory in 2008 should be
excellent, unless the party once again finds a way to snatch defeat
from the jaws of victory.
It appears that they may have found that way in the “front-running”
candidacy of Hillary Clinton
Copyright 2007 by Ernest Partridge
Ernest Partridge's Internet Publications
Conscience of a Progressive:
Partridge's Scholarly Publications. (The Online Gadfly)
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field
of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at
the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He
publishes the website, "The Online
Gadfly" and co-edits the progressive website,
"The Crisis Papers".
His e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org .