Saturday :: May 13, 2006

The Political Monica

by pessimist

Think back to 1998-9. Remember all the vicious slander slung at Monica Lewinsky by all the women for performing a sexual act common between consenting adults? Such language! From women, no less! I wouldn't wish that sort of calumny on Katharine Harris! (Well, ... ) Now think of how much worse the outraged oratory would have been if Monica had been involved with additional male members of the White House staff. Is it not that even a mistress is expected to only have one man in her life? To have more is only making things much worse than they already are?

So what are we to make of Hillary hob-nobbing (I'd use a more appropriate street saying which sounds similar to this, but this is a family political blog) with the likes of Rupert Murdoch, John McCain and Newt Gingrich? Why - she isn't even involved with her husband in this particular menage a quatre!

I think I know what is going on, and if I were Hillary, I'd insist that the men all use protection if they were going to screw me for their own political pleasure!

Back when Alan Greenspan stepped down as Fed chairman, he made a remark indicating that he believes there will be a major independent candidate for president from the nation's political center. Based on what I've discovered looking into Hillary's inexplicable political behaviors, Greenspan isn't a soothsayer, merely a reporter.

We should have all seen this coming!

Forget all the arguments about why a third party can't make it in American politics. This three-party environment is only a transition as the Democrats fade into historical oblivion with the Whigs and the Know-nothings and the Graingers. That's why Hillary appears to be politically whoring around with members of that vast right-wing conspiracy which was making her hubby's tenure so troubled.

Looks like the Good Old Days now - doesn't it?

But I digress.

If anything, Hillary is not stupid and is very ambitious. She knows that there isn't much life left in the Democratic Party, and has been maneuvering for well over a year now (as I will present below) for a seat on Rupert Murdoch's personal 'Fair And Balanced' political party bus.

But there is a price to be paid for buddying with the Band of Blood-sucking Brothers:

One by one over the last five years, to team up on specific projects, she has sought out the most conservative of Republicansmany of whom tried to remove her husband from office just two years before she won her seat, and derided her candidacy when she stepped into electoral politics.

"Her biggest electoral liability is a sense of unease that's even more related to values than her voting record," said Ari Fleischer, who is a former press secretary of President Bush's and is a constituent of Senator Clinton's in New York.

"She is doing her best to tack to the center,
at least on the outside,"
he said.
[F]orging working friendships with former enemies risks feeding into the longstanding criticism that she and her husband place political calculation above all else. Her seeming eagerness to cross party lines — and in particular to work with once-determined enemies of her husband — stands in sharp contrast to the animosity Mrs. Clinton displayed toward the conservative movement at points in her husband's tenure, like the time she identified a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" as the driving force against the Clinton administration.

Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, said that Mrs. Clinton's alliances with Republicans like Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Lott and Mr. DeLay — all driving forces behind impeachment — "seem a little odd."

"[T]he moves raise questions about what kind of image she's trying to create for herself," said David Sirota, who is a liberal political strategist.

Just what kind of girl do we think Hillary is? Let's start at the very beginning - a very good place to start!

It all begins with a 'fact-finding' trip to Baghdad to see how King George's War is going - and to establish the political creds to be a critic of how that war is being run:

A Hillary-McCain Ticket?
February 21, 2005

James Gordon Meek of the New York Daily News has this entertaining story about the mutual admiration between Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain, prompting the inevitable question.
[W]hen asked by NBC's Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert during a joint appearance from Baghdad, John McCain said, "I happen to be a Republican and would support, obviously, a Republican nominee, but I have no doubt that Sen. Clinton would make a good President," McCain (R-Ariz.) said. Clinton (D-N.Y.) returned the compliment and said McCain "absolutely" would make a great commander in chief.

Q: [A] fusion ticket?

"We're both in trouble," McCain quipped.

"Yeah, we're in trouble now. Thanks a lot," Clinton said.

That trouble came quickly:

Sen. John McCain's apparent willingness to pander to the far right in search of support for a presidential bid is disappointing to anyone who held out hope for his centrism.

This caused McCain to reverse course and kiss up to the Republican Radical Religious in order not to lose their support, and Hillary was left to dance alone.

With Russert having spilled the beans, and McCain already under assault (which continues even now), Hillary had to take a new tack:

What do Newt Gingrich and Hillary Rodham Clinton want from each other?

Gingrich has been talking up Clinton's presidential prospects in 2008, to the chagrin of conservative loyalists who once regarded him as an iconic figure. Last month, he even suggested she might capture the presidency, saying "any Republican who thinks she's going to be easy to beat has a total amnesia about the history of the Clintons."

Gingrich proceeds to buff the fluff about Hillary's qualifications:

Gingrich says he has been struck by how pro-defense Clinton has turned out to be at a time when other Democrats have criticized President George W. Bush's decision to go to war against Iraq. He chalked that up to her experience in the White House, where her husband had to deal with national security. "Unlike most members of the legislature, she has been in the White House," Gingrich said. "She's been consistently solid on the need to do the right thing on national defense."

What, Newt? She was involved in White House decision making? I thought Joe Scarborough recently felt that she should stick to baking cookies?

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough devoted an entire segment of Scarborough Country to purported housekeeping differences between First Lady Laura Bush and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), asking whether Clinton neglected housekeeping because she was "too busy trying to play assistant president."

So what gives, Newt? At the time the tale of Newtie and Hilly sitting in the political tree came out, arch-conservative columnist Cal Thomas asked Newtie-poot "Are you for real?"
May. 18, 2005

This is the kind of politics that has deepened cynicism and put off voters in recent years. Cynics are already saying the entente between Clinton and Gingrich is about positioning – she to seem more moderate; he to appear less abrasive and “extreme.” Both are believed to be in training for a presidential run in 2008.

[P]eople will never trust her motives because they think she wants to be president and rule the world. Democrats held similarly hostile views about Gingrich when he was speaker.

This is where it gets interesting, kiddies:

Let’s see what Gingrich and Clinton can do
and judge them on the results, if any,
not on their motives and personalities.

You have just witnessed the creation of the 'centrist' third-party ticket for 2008.

The quiet firestorm from both sides erupted, but only a few noticed.

First, Hillary gets tied in with the beleaguered McCain on immigration - quickly becoming a third-rail issue. And from the wrong-wing Free Republic magazine, Newt takes his shot after being slammed for courting Hillary:

Newt Gingrich Defends His Alliance With Hillary Clinton

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton teamed up at a May 11 press conference with one goal in mind -- to get Congress to pass, and the president to sign, a health information technology bill.

Gringrich told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly that the bill's sponsors (Reps. Patrick Kennedy, a R.I. Democrat, and Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican) said if he and Sen. Clinton appeared together at the press conference, they'd get a lot more publicity for the bill they both support.

As for the suggestion that Sen. Clinton is using Gingrich to show that she can work with conservatives, Gingrich said, "If Hillary Clinton is willing to support a good, practical, common-sense [bill], than we should take her support."

Again, kiddies, this is where it gets interesting:

Gingrich noted that adopting a positive image
helped Republicans take back the House of Representatives
in the 1994 midterm elections.

The Republicans already HAVE the House - and the Senate, and the Supreme Court, and the Federal judiciary, ...

So just WHO is Newt positioning to benefit from his actions? I suggest that the beneficiary is a third-party group of incumbent 'centrists', people like Snowe and Collins, Chaffey, maybe (yes, it's a stretch!) Hagel and Spector, among others. There would be Democrats interested in such a political position as well, I just can't bring any to mind right now (besides Hillary). I'll let you readers make your nominations in the comments.

As many have pointed out, it isn't necessary to take over the Congress through sheer numerical superiority. Controlling the balance of power is all that is needed, and the Northeast Senators (and Representatives) could form that pivot, taking power away from the GOP, but not giving it to the Democrats.

Who would want such a 'Fair and Balanced' and 'centrist' political organization, ready, willing, and able to do the bidding of a corporofascist suprastate's leadership?

Hayman Island is a resort off Queensland, Australia, to which Rupert Murdoch flew Tony Blair in 1995 for the annual conference of his right-of-center media megalith, News Corp. It was a crucial step in the complex and surprising negotiation between the two men that would boost Labour’s Mr. Blair up the little stoop and through the door at 10 Downing Street two years later. Alienated from John Major, Britain’s then Prime Minister, in 1997, he directed his Thatcherite British tabloid, The Sun, into an energetic campaign for the post–Hayman Island Mr. Blair. The paper helped deal the British Conservative Party a blow from which it has not yet recovered.

Is the same about to happen to the Republican Party? 90% of Americans in support of a third party, so why wouldn't a canny businessman - whose lifeblood is polling - not want to take advantage of what is clearly an opening for the advancement of power and control?

If, like many of his most partisan critics, you consider Mr. Murdoch a hard-core ideological rightist, then his fundamental Republican loyalty is probably not in dispute. And to some of his Republican allies, it’s equally unthinkable. He seems to be, James Fallows wrote in a long Atlantic magazine profile in 2003, "a dealmaker and not a conservative purist."

Some long-term observers of Mr. Murdoch see a logic to his flirtation with Mrs. Clinton. "It makes perfect sense," said Nicholas Wapshott, the long-time New York bureau chief for Mr. Murdoch’s Times of London, of the notion of an alliance between the two. "Although Rupert is widely assumed to be an ideological creature solely of the right, the fact is that he’s a businessman before he is an ideologist, and he likes to be with a winner."

Especially if 'the winner' is one's own creation:

For the 74-year-old native of Australia, an embrace of Mrs. Clinton would be only the latest in a long string of daring and (mostly) winning political plays. "Rupert has respect for her political skills and for the hard work that she’s done as a Senator," said an executive vice president at News Corp., Gary Ginsberg.

"They’re both probably about as canny as each other, and they’re about as inscrutable as each other," said Mr. Wapshott, who was at The Times of London when Mr. Murdoch arrived in 1980. "They are very similar—both hard-nosed characters. They would understand each other perfectly. Absolutely perfectly."

Mr. Murdoch has retained a key advisor to Mrs. Clinton, Howard Wolfson, [and] friendly noises have emanated from the New York Post’s editorial page.

During the 2000 campaign, the page warned that "to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton is to affirm double-dealing and deception." Since then, while the editorial board hasn’t let up on Mrs. Clinton entirely, it has also offered regular praise.

In February, a Post editorial stated: "Credit where it’s due: Sen. Hillary Clinton seems to have it about as right on Iraq as any Democrat with national political ambitions can be expected to at this stage of the electoral cycle."

And last week, the editorial page directed its ire elsewhere, at one of Mrs. Clinton’s likely challengers next year, Richard Nixon’s son-in-law Edward Cox.

'Slick' Willie is right in the middle of the campaign to put Hillary in the White House in her own right:

[T]he Clintons and Mr. Murdoch get along quite a bit better than the partisans on either side might expect. Mr. Clinton toured the Post’s newsroom in January 2003. He has lunched alone with the senior Murdoch, and this June he delivered a recorded tribute at the birthday party of the former Republican operative who runs Fox News, Roger Ailes. [T]here’s little question that the Clintons would like to see Mr. Murdoch in their camp....

Clearly, such a move would be to offset the then-high popularity advantage [Zogby, June 23, 2005] that rival John McCain (someone who has also been disappointing supporters by pandering to his political enemies of late) held as of that time. Something important had to have come between Hillary and McCain for the Clintons to turn on him so soon after that broadcast bacchanal in Baghdad that I cited above. Getting Murdoch on board would certainly aid that effort.

But what's in it for Murdoch? Brooke Gladstone of On The Media asked that question:

BROOKE GLADSTONE: To put Murdoch's potential political pull into some context here, what happened for Tony Blair after he got cozy with Murdoch?

BEN SMITH [author of The Odd Couple '08]: Murdoch had been a great devotee of Margaret Thatcher but didn't like the way John Major, her successor, [and] the British conservatives had treated her. [H]is crusading tabloid, the Sun ... started serializing Blair's personal essays and endorsed Labor in the 1997 elections, crusaded for them [, and] are widely thought to have perhaps provided the margin.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And do you know what Blair gave him in return for his support? A few regulatory breaks, perhaps?

BEN SMITH: Yeah, Blair's communications policy was helpful to Murdoch's new TV interests in cable and satellite.

That's the opportunity. The Clintons are the means. What's the motive? Remember, Murdoch's own execs call him 'a businessman'. What is it that a successful businessman is always after?


Business has been very good for News Corp. lately, so much so that reports that Murdoch might buy back as much as $6 billion in outstanding shares, limiting public 'interference' in his expansion plans, which includes buying into, an online job search engine, and - the bane of parents of all school-aged children -

Such ownershihp would give Murdoch direct access to real-time data the government couldn't match, freely provided by job seekers and school kids (alone the most prized advertising target group!). Such information would lead to the wielding of vast economic and political power, and if you doubt me, check in with Lord Acton.

Murdoch knows more about the mass-mind than the government does, because it has been his job to condense the public into the least-common denominator in order to create the largest possible markets for his media outlets, be they print or electronic. Any of you recall the heat he took (like he cared!) over the cheesecake content ofThe Sun's Page Three? As long as it raised the circulation of The Sun, who cares what anyone thought!

The low-intelligence level of most Fox Network programming is of no concern either, with broadcast television's Friday ratings rising as the economy goes into decline due to reduced consumer confidence and lower consumer spending.

Watch for Fox to move the American Idol finals to Friday nights to take advantage.

But this got us off the path I blazed, even if it was necessary. So Rupert is backing Hillary for US Anchorwoman - er, Vice-President. Why do I say VICE-President? Because of two basic reasons.

The first is that while the American voters are much more favorably inclined toward a female Chief Executive, that day a woman actually wins the seat isn't here yet.

May 05, 2006 -

If the results of a poll taken by The Tennessean mean anything, Hillary Clinton should pack up her campaign bag and focus on keeping her Senate seat. The question asked was, "Do you think Americans are ready to vote for a female president?"

The possible responses were:

* "Yes,"
* "No"
* "Yes, but not Hillary Clinton."

The survey shows that, at least among the respondents, 22 percent said "Yes" and [22 percent] said "No," while the remaining 56 percent chose the third option.

This seems to indicate that while nearly 80 percent of respondents believe some woman candidate would contend for President, even in the next election, an overlapping 78 percent would not support Hillary for that post.

Think what you will of the Clintons, I don't believe that they are as likely to ignore political realities nearly as much as Bill's Adopted Bu$h Brothers do. There would be several reasons why Hillary would accept being VP on a third party ticket. Not the least of these would be the possibility of running as the incumbent in 2016, by which time America could be ready to accept a female in the lead - even her - especially with the help of News Corp. I believe that Hillary's ambitions will take the bait and run with it. VP it will be.

But who does she run WITH? Who would have the creds with the conservatives to offset Hillary's negatives? Who is media-savvy, knows how to use the medium for maximum benefit, and is strong enough to stand up to a strong woman?

This Guy [MOV file]

Does this statement not carry the overtones of a campaign speech?

I’m prepared to defend a very aggressive anti-terrorist campaign, and I’m prepared to defend the idea that the government ought to know who’s making the calls, as long as that information is only used against terrorists, and as long as the Congress knows that it’s underway.

Think of all the issues this statement addresses in just a short statement! It's a pledge to defend both the nation and the civil liberties being trampled on to allegedly do so. It's a pledge also to keep the elected representation of the people 'involved' so that there is 'oversight', whether there really is or not. It's very clever.

Now extend such brevity (which too many voters interpret as decisiveness) and triangulation to all the other issues facing America that Bu$hCo has bungled, add in News Corp's extensive media base of newspapers, television, and now the Internet, and you have a winner on your hands.

But I said there was a second reason why Hillary would accept the second seed spot. This means taking a detour into the media, and has to do with the current theories of news presentation.

While male news anchors are decining in number, for decades White male anchors dominated the role - and are still considered the best choice for now, Katie Couric not withstanding.

But that attitude is crumbling rapidly, as even Muslim Al Jazeera has named a female anchor, Ghida Fakhry, to their Washington DC broadcast center. Ms. Fakhry is reported to be a very accomplished journalist, which had to be the reason Al Jazeera was willing to face potentially great discontent with their choice, even if she is only seen by viewers in America.

Ghida Fakhry
What? No hijab???

The point is, returning to the topic, that women are finally being accepted into positions once culturally denied them, and that is going to eventually include national executive office. No one's ambition is more tuned in to that opportunity than Hillary.

Her biological clock is running down (THAT biological clock probably stopped a while back) and she's not getting any younger. The idea that she might have to settle for being the first female VP in American history isn't thus an unpleasant prospect. It isn't the presidency, but if she has to settle, it's close enough. She's still in the books, and the chance to complete her journey to the top isn't closed off to her, just delayed.

But whoever gets into the White House next is going to have my sympathies if not my support. The ravaging effects of the damage done to this nation in the name of enriching the wealthy are begining to emerge, and the destruction of both international diplomatic respect and the myth of an unlimited and much-feared military powerhouse are soon to become evident even to Red State Christians. It isn't going to be easy task to reverse the wrong course we've taken. It's going to hurt - badly - and for years.

The next leadership is going to need the cooperation of the American people. But the selection of a Newt/Hillary ticket doesn't fill me with a lot of hope. Both are ear-deep in corporate sludge, supporting almost all corporate-friendly initiatives to the detriment of the people they are supposed to be serving. I have serious doubts about who such and administration would be serving, and toward what ends. Naked ambition in both top officers, with little else to support their characters and abilities, isn't a reassuring trait

I've been wishing for a third party since 1980, when I voted for the principle of a third party in the person of John Anderson. I'm just not too pleased with the corporofascist one I appear to be getting 26 years later.

I guess this is proof that one must be careful for what one wishes, for one just might get it.

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