Friday, February 23, 2007

Oh, to have the power of Clinton

I read on a message board this morning that someone told her/his mother about the horrific conditions at Walter Reed Hospital, and the mother concluded that such a thing could not possibly be true, that--you guessed it--Hillary Rodham Clinton had made it up to embarrass George W. Bush.

As though Bush needed Clinton's help with embarrassment.

This can be considered a silly anecdote, of course, but I think it reflects the belief of a lot of people: They either still think Bush is some kind of god, or they acknowledge that he has "made mistakes," but he is still superior to the evil Clinton, and that anyway, we should all "respect" the president. I don't think anyone should automatically respect anyone, but in this case, he isn't even the legally chosen president.

The degree of projection is scary. Bush, Cheney and the gang who sail with them are possibly the biggest liars in the history of the country, but anyone who points out the state of the nation or the state of the lies is "making it up." I am, to some extent, an apologist for Clinton, though I do not agree with many of her votes. But the heartless, cruel attacks heaped on her when her husband was president made me sick. And if it is easy for the right wing to hate Bill Clinton, how much easier must it be for the right wing to hate a female?

I do not care at all for Bill Clinton for many reasons, but the significant irrational hatred of him has always fascinated me. I recall a client sitting in my office, practically popping a blood vessel as he talked about how much he hated Clinton. He wagged his finger in the air and did a poor imitation of the "I did not have sex with that woman" speech. "Wow," I said. "You must have really hated JFK and Nixon." He stared blankly at me. "One was a drug addict who had sex with over a dozen different women a week, and the other was an alcoholic who beat his wife." He changed the subject.

The power attributed to Sen. Clinton is an awesome thing. I bet she wishes she really had it.


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