Is This Really The Replacement We Want?

Regular readers know that I am a critic of the Bush administration for any number of failings, perhaps most importantly its flaunting of the separation of powers and its attempts to avoid scrutiny by hiding behind the war and calls on patriotism.  In this post, aimed mostly at the drift in the Republican party, I threw in this  observation:

in response to a Republican President thought to be over-reaching,
secretive, and overly fond of executive power, they seem ready to
nominate Hillary Clinton, who may be one of the few people in the
country more secretive and power-hungry.  Anyone remember how she
conducted her infamous health care task force?  I seem to remember she
pioneered many of the practices for which Democrats tried to impeach
Dick Cheney this week.

Q&O links an article from the National Review which goes further on Hillary:

If grumbling about a basketball story seems excessive, it's also
typical of the Clinton media machine. Reporters who have covered the
hyper-vigilant campaign say that no detail or editorial spin is too
minor to draw a rebuke. Even seasoned political journalists describe
reporting on Hillary as a torturous experience. Though few dare offer
specifics for the record--"They're too smart," one furtively confides.
"They'll figure out who I am"--privately, they recount excruciating
battles to secure basic facts. Innocent queries are met with deep
suspicion. Only surgically precise questioning yields relevant answers.
Hillary's aides don't hesitate to use access as a blunt instrument, as
when they killed off a negative GQ story on the campaign by
threatening to stop cooperating with a separate Bill Clinton story the
magazine had in the works. Reporters' jabs and errors are long
remembered, and no hour is too odd for an angry phone call. Clinton
aides are especially swift to bypass reporters and complain to top
editors. "They're frightening!" says one reporter who has covered
Clinton. "They don't see [reporting] as a healthy part of the process.
They view this as a ruthless kill-or-be-killed game."...

It's enough to make you suspect that breeding fear and paranoia within
the press corps is itself part of the Clinton campaign's strategy. And,
if that sounds familiar, it may be because the Clinton machine, say
reporters and pro-Hillary Democrats, is emulating nothing less than the
model of the Bush White House, which has treated the press with thinly
veiled contempt and minimal cooperation. "The Bush administration
changed the rules," as one scribe puts it--and the Clintonites like the
way they look. (To be sure, no one accuses the Clinton team of outright
lying to the press, as the Bushies have done, or of crossing other
ethical lines. And reporters say other press shops--notably those of
Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards--are also highly combative.)

The only quibble I have is the distinction that Hillary is not lying, but Bush is.  That seems, at least to this libertarian, to be a silly statement.  There is no reason to believe Hillary is any more or less mendacious than GWB.  Though I will say, with the right audience, Hillary can be surprisingly honest and open about her aims:

10/11/2007:  "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all."

June, 2004:  "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common
good," she told San Franciscans in June 2004. As first lady, she said:
"We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what
is best for society."


  1. Thibodeaux:

    National Review? TNR = The New Republic.

  2. nicole:

    most importantly its flaunting of the separation of powers

    If only!! I think you meant "flouting".

  3. JoshK:

    I'm nto a fan of Hillary, I'm pretty much deciding between Ron Paul and Gulianni, but I think you have to allow Hillary that it's reasonable to run as tough a campaign as possible and to beat up the media as much as she can. That's what I would do if I ran a campaign.

  4. Matthew Brown:

    Hilary hasn't had a chance to be caught in a really big lie yet. You can only do that once you're elected and have power. I also think she's less likely to put her foot in it than Bush is; she's more naturally controlled than him, although that also makes her less appealing a person to those that care about surface impression.

    I do have to say, though, that Hilary as President would be exactly what those who supported Bush in his power-grabbing, authoritarian, executive-privilege ways deserve - an object lesson in why not to set precedents and to remember that everything that your own guy gets will also be available to his other-party successor. Not great for the country, though.

  5. scraphoops:

    "It Takes a Village." That book scares me, because she really believes it. She believes the collective should be allowed a say in your upbringing, and if she is elected president say goodbye to Mom and Dad. I am of course exaggerating, but not by much. Also, in the 7 years she has been a US Senator I have not found a single female (single meaning 1, not not married, huh?) who likes her. If they are counting on the female vote I think they will be very disappointed.

  6. Josh:

    If only!! I think you meant "flouting".


    Also, given your experience with the press, it hardly seems surprising that Clinton would want to keep them on a short leash. Journalists are often lazy and will print the silliest things without bothering to understand or check up on facts.

  7. ErikTheRed:

    The main difference between the Republicans and Democrats is that when the Republicans rape me, they throw on a tiny bit of lube first.

  8. bobby B:

    Holy carp, you had me hyperventilating there for a second!

    National Review saying " . . . outright lying to the press, as the Bushies have done . . ."?

    Phew. TNR, not NR. Ha! hold my Brain; be still my beating Heart.

  9. bobby B:

    Holy carp, you had me hyperventilating there for a second!

    National Review saying " . . . outright lying to the press, as the Bushies have done . . ."?

    Phew. TNR, not NR. Ha! hold my Brain; be still my beating Heart.

  10. Greg:

    I think the whole thing is funny.

    Dems and the left build a myth about how
    stupid Bush is, then nominate Kerry.

    Dems yowl about the "secretive," "dishonest,"
    "manipulative," "abusive of the constitution"
    Bush and then look like they might nominate Clinton.

    Damn, but that's funny.

    This silly season may provide more fodder for the comics
    than the last several combined.