The new biography about Hillary Clinton by Carl Bernstein promises to be an unflattering portrait. There is no surprise in this. Such have been written in the past. The difference is in the source. Carl Bernstein, of Watergate/All the President’s Men fame, is no neocon or conservative of any other kind. So why are the liberals (including former Clinton supporter David Geffen) trashing their own?
It would be a long business to lay everything out, but here are some ideas:
- It’s not about electability. Hillary may be polarising, but she has a formidable machine behind her that is capable of destroying just about everything that gets in its way. She is electable. The Republicans know this.
- It’s not about ideology. Hillary is the true leftist of the Clinton pair; Bill is an opportunist, a product of a culture that doesn’t know what the meaning of the word ideology is.
- It is about control. The central problem the left has with the Clintons is that, when the latter get in power, it is their agenda that gets forwarded, not that of their myriad of special interest groups. In some ways they are like Stalin: outside of the USSR he was the embodiment of communism, but inside he had no problem liquidating many loyal communists (including Leon Trotsky, who was hounded into exile and then murdered.) The left still believes that, out there, there is a true believer who will carry out a pure ideology (even when they have different priorities on what that ideology is!)
- It is about a rivalry, one between the Clintons and George Soros. Barack Obama is Soros’ man, a "Manchurian Candidate" of sorts. Combined with the excitement he has created with the many disaffected in his own party, and you have the scenario for a real contest, which is what we have now.
In the 1990’s the left stuck with Bill Clinton over his many lies about his scandals. The whole Monica Lewinsky business, for example, destroyed feminism’s credibility even as the feminists stuck with Clinton. Now the left is having second thoughts. But they should be careful: it’s fun to see the Clintons have a contest, but there’s no guarantee that the Soros-backed alternative will be an improvement.