Jewish World Review April 11, 2000 /6 Nissan, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- THE JURY is basically in on Hillary. Pretty much all normal, serious people now think she's a little creepy (even many of those had once loved the concept of Hillary). Only the people who, given the opportunity, would have followed Jim Jones to Jamestown and drunk the Kool-Aid love her. More accurately, they hate her detractors (and almost as much as she does, which is really saying something).
Peggy Noonan's "The Case Against Hillary Clinton," " is for any normal serious person -- especially a Democrat person -- who is still not quite sure what to make of Hillary.
For some, it has been almost too much to absorb: the cattle trades, Hillary Care, the travel office firings, the missing billing records, her denunciation of a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy out to get her husband, and so on (and on and on and on). Noonan's book serves to remind those who find the details overwhelming that it is actually not normal for the president and first lady to be bad, sometimes criminal, people. Not even for Democrats.
Indeed, if Noonan were not famous for being one of Reagan's speechwriters, you would assume she were an unwavering, card-carrying Democrat to this day. She writes warmly, admiringly of Eleanor Roosevelt, President Kennedy, even President Carter. She describes how she had high hopes for the Clintons at the beginning of the administration -- just when the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy was getting itself organized. She writes sadly of the "missed opportunities" sacrificed to the Clintons' alter of self-absorption.
Noonan compares Hillary to Princess Diana, and in describing the "strange paradox" that must infect such narcissistic personalities, she also captures the Kool-Aid drinkers pretty accurately: "You want to be in the picture because it is real and will impress people, but the people you are impressing are by definition people who are impressed by a picture. They are not -- how to put it? -- insightful, bright, sophisticated. Which means you're spending all your time trying to impress people you think, in your heart, are dumb."
As if speaking to a childhood friend from an ethnic, working-class background, Noonan makes the case that the "problem is not that she's a particular kind of candidate, but that she is a particular kind of person."
Noonan continues: "She never had to do the things you did, she never had to do it all uphill, and she is no feminist hero. The Eleanor thing you keep hearing -- Eleanor was a '90s woman in the '30s; Hillary is a '30s woman in the '90s. ... She grew up knowing something her parents had never known and you had never known: a completely secure life. But it didn't make her grateful -- it made her presume."
Because "The Case Against Hillary Clinton" is written essentially as a plea to Democrats, and is so thoroughly steeped in tributes to Democrats, reading the book creates a sunny, happy feeling that there actually are some Democrats who do not put Clintonism over patriotism. There are still some Democrats who love their country.
Consequently, the reaction of some Democrats to Noonan's book does leave one reeling.
As a small, almost irrelevant example, on CNN's "Inside Politics," Bernard Shaw began an interview with Noonan by asking her, "What do you fear most about Mrs. Clinton?" It may have been a coincidence; Shaw has always struck me as an eminently fair and nonpartisan interviewer. Still: Why is it that conservative positions are always characterized as phobias? Why, for example, had Hillary herself -- the woman who raved about an apocryphal Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy that had invented the Monica Lewinsky story -- never been asked what it was exactly she "feared" about Republicans? Why is it never asked of the Clintons what they fear about "right-wing" Republicans?
Shaw continued by asking Noonan if it would "be a crime" if Hillary eventually became president. Why is it never asked, Would it be a crime if taxes were cut? Why were Senate Democrats not asked, Would it be a crime if Clinton were removed and Gore elevated to the presidency?
Think of that! If Democrats in the Senate had merely abided by their constitutional duty,
Gore would be running as the incumbent president right now. But those questions never were
asked. Maybe there are no serious adult Democrats left. Maybe they did all drink the Clinton
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton.
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III