Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not a Monster ?

This sounds rather monster-like to me:
It’s alive! We thought it might be over but some of us never dared fully believe it. Last week was like one of those moments in a horror movie when the worst terror recedes, the screen goes blank and then reopens on green fields or a lover’s tender embrace. Drained but still naive audiences breathe a collective sigh of relief. The plot twists have all been resolved; the threat is gone; the quiet spreads. And then . . .

Put your own movie analogy in here. Glenn Close in the bathtub in Fatal Attraction – whoosh! she’s back at your throat! – has often occurred to me when covering the Clintons these many years. The Oscars host Jon Stewart compares them to a Terminator: the kind that is splattered into a million tiny droplets of vaporised metal . . . only to pool together spontaneously and charge back at you unfazed.

The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy. You can’t escape; you can’t hide; and you can’t win.
He later notes that he wakes up in a cold sweat at the thought of them. Me too. And he recounts in one place all the horrible - totally avoidable - and horrible because the way the Clintons operate takes attention and energy from real policies.
The Clintons live off psychodrama. They both love to push themselves to the brink of catastrophe and then accomplish the last-minute, nail-biting self-rescue. Before too long the entire story becomes about them, their ability to triumph through crisis, even though the crises are so often manufactured by themselves. That is what last week brought back for me. The 1990s – with a war on.

Remember: Bill Clinton could have easily settled the Paula Jones lawsuit years before he put the entire country through the wringer (Jones sued Clinton for sexual harassment alleged to have occurred while he was governor of Arkansas).

Recall: Hillary Clinton could have killed what turned out to be the White-water nonstory at the very outset by disclosing everything she could (the scandal centred on a controversial Arkansas property deal).

Consider: the Clintons could have prepared for primaries and caucuses after February 5 – so-called Super Tuesday, when 24 states held their presidential nomination vote – as any careful candidate would. They chose not to do any of these things. Not because they are incompetent. But because they live to risk.

Read the whole post here. It's worth it.

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