New York's junior senator gave quite the stemwinder Monday to a gathering of her most hardcore partisans, a group that calls itself "Women for Hillary." Our former co-president ("Buy one, get one free" — Bill Clinton, 1992) has lately taken strong exception to what she quaintly calls "abuse of power." Given her acknowledged orchestration of the purely partisan firing of the White House travel office
in 1993, it's safe to assume Mrs. Clinton's disdain for political power trips is recently acquired.
Oh, but let's not scour yesterday's dumpster. Instead let's join hands and skip through the meadow of Hillary's recent musings.
"There has never been an administration, I don't believe in our history, more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda."
Smart move, linking "consolidating" with "abusing" power. Hillary's goal is obviously to equate the two. Last time I checked, the political party that controls both the White House and Congress (Clinton: 1993-94; Carter: 1977-80) typically seeks to "consolidate" its power — for instance, by appointing federal judges with views in sync with that political party. What a remarkable concept!
"I know it's frustrating for many of you, it's frustrating for me. Why can't the Democrats do more to stop them [the GOP]?"
Well, shucks. Here's an idea: Democrats, just win back the Senate and the House in 2006, then recover the White House in 2008! That will make it easier for you to "stop them." Dems, don't be discouraged — you've won the White House before. In the past ten presidential elections, you've won exactly three
times. That's counting the two elections where Bill ran as a moderate, and then there's the election where Jimmy won a close race campaigning as a centrist against an appointed Watergate-aftermath-Republican who argued strenuously that Poland was not under the control of the Soviet Union.
So, yes, Dems. You can "stop" the GOP in our time. Clue: Just keep Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi front and center. (OK, I'll admit that last part is sarcasm. I couldn't resist.)
"It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care."
Dear Senator Clinton: Our system of checks and balances appear to be in rather good repair. The president was re-elected by a vote of the people
. The majority party in Congress similarly reflects the outcome of local rituals known informally as elections
. The Supreme Court's current majority was shaped by presidential nominations and senatorial confirmations; please see previous reference to ten previous presidential elections, three of which were won by Democrats, which (quick math) leaves seven Republican administrations to shape the court's current consensus. Which they did. As Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton also did.
Hillary, here's a question. If John Kerry were president, would you want him to make the judicial nominations as George W. Bush has recently made? Or would you prefer that he nominate different individuals reflecting, oh, Kerry's judicial philosophy? Hillary — are you still with me?
"I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing.... It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."
Gosh. I defer to your expertise on these points. And I'm reminded of how much I look forward to visiting the Clinton Library in Little Rock. Has a date been set for the opening of the Paula Jones Exhibit? Or for the debut of the animatronic display that recreates how your Rose Law Firm billing records suddenly appeared on that White House dining table?
Anyway, Hillary — great speech Monday. Just keep moving toward the center on social issues, keep your fingers crossed for a continuing shortening of the nation's collective memory, and like Mary Richards of MJM televsion in Minneapolis (Pop Culture Alert:
1970s sitcom) — you might just make it after all.