Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Richard Cohen returns to the politics of personal destruction, accusing Hillary Clinton of lacking the character and spine necessary to be President for failing to denounce MoveOn.org's "betray us" ad against General David Petraeus.

"Yesterday, Clinton announced her health-care plan. Good for her. But you never had any doubt, did you, that she was going to have one -- and a plan for everything else. The issue with Hillary Clinton is not whether she's smart or experienced but whether she has -- how do we say this? -- the character to be president. Behind her, after all, trails the lingering vapor of all those gates: Travel, File, Whitewater and other scandals to which she was a party only through marriage. In a hatless society, she is always wearing a question mark."

What a nifty paragraph. First, he manages to dismiss her health care announcement with a sneer about Hillary (like Al Gore in 2000) actually being smart and having plans and ideas about what to do about important issues of the day should she become President. Cohen writes like the disgruntled, lazy slacker in the back of class (oh let's imagine he might have a name like George W. Bush) who resents the fact that the smart kids actually do their assignments on time and maybe even do more than the bare minimum required.

Clinton had no more obligation to denounce MoveOn's anti-Petraeus rhetoric than Bush had to denounce Swift Boat Veterans. Even less actually since clearly Clinton's campaign wasn't connected to the MoveOn thing - but the Bush/Cheney campaign was very much involved in the Swift Boat slanders.

As for those scandals... Whitewater was a deal where Bill and Hillary Clinton lost money on real estate speculation. That's what Republican politicians and their MSM lackeys can't stand - actually LOSING MONEY on a supposed insider deal. Ask George W. Bush about that, where his share in the profits from the sale of the Texas Rangers baseball team far, far exceeded his share in the purchase of the team (oh and Bush was only invited to join the consortium in the first place because Poppy was Vice President). THAT'S how Republicans do business.

But somehow, that little bit of insider trading, Bush's failure to complete his cushy Vietnam War era National Guard service, his driving arrests (and heck, if you want to look at scandals-by-marriage, Laura Bush's automobile accident that killed her friends) didn't make his character insufficiently pure to be President.

As for the character he has displayed WHILE President, I think it's safe to say that with the possible exception of Rudy Giuliani, neither Clinton nor any of the other leading contenders to succeed Bush in 2009 will have a hard time bettering Bush in not lying to the American people and not shredding the Constitution and not being lazy and incompetent and not appointing the Vice President from Hell.



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