It's Christian Unity Sunday.
Things are about to get very, very nasty, partly because Mitt Romney is hated by Huckabee and McCain--perhaps held in contempt is better term--for attacking them and everyone else and saying anything to get elected. Giuliani knows he has to get nasty with Romney. Romney attracts support from Republicans who hate McCain and fear Huckabee and Paul. Hillary has to tear Obama down. Edwards has nothing to lose and may wish to tear Hillary down. The eventual nominees will then have to attack each other negatively.
So I thought I'd get mine in first. Let's start with two people who lied to me, and anyone else who respected them.
The Clintons have been working as a team for over forty years.
During the course of those years, Hillary Clinton and her husband have repeatedly sought to raise the hopes of those in the shaky coalition that is the American Democratic Party, and around the world, in a sort of baby-boomer soixante-huitard approach to governing. I remember the night that Clinton became President. I sympathised with him, and was in an old converted Church in Oxford with some friends from both campaigns as an undergraduate, sitting up waiting for Ohio to throw its electoral votes to him and to make him President. We ran back to Balliol at 3 am to see George Bush's concession that November, my second in Oxford.
Here is Bill Clinton's record of strong support for the Iraq war and his claim that he 'defended President Bush against the left'. Here is Clinton signing the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Here is Clinton's statement on why he actually did attack Iraq in 1998.
In the balance, Clinton was attacked by the usual suspects for 'not bombing' Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Pakistan enough, even though during his term of office cruise missiles and more fell on all those countries. It is also very credible that he prevented a nuclear threat by Pakistan on India in 1999, which benazir Bhutto had partly encouraged and during which Nawaz Sharif ordered missiles to an armed status.
To be fair to Mrs Clinton, she was more consistent. She voted to authorise George W. Bush to go to war if Saddam defied the UN, which was almost a given. She thought such an approach would have great legitimacy. She subsequently admitted she read none of the intelligence briefings. Not very managerial that. Hillary talked about staying in Iraq for at least ten years in 2003. Her objection to George Bush relates to his managerialism, not his motives.
Bill Clinton famously talked about how black music was to blame for crime, with some justice in 1992; he executed a mentally defective black criminal that year, who had not been mentally defective when he committed his crime; and he cut welfare payments, principally giving the black community some grief. He didn't, however, ever stoop to racism and he and his wife have quite an earnest approach to these things, deeply tempered by their ambition and their political ruthlessness. I think it would be wrong to fall for the attempts of the US media and some in the black lobby to call them racists.
Here is Hillary manipulating the Gennifer Flowers affair, and here is the tale of her drawing attention to George Bush senior's affairs 'off the record'. Ms Flowers, whom I met once and who was charming and had a thing for redheads, now intends to vote for Hillary. Hillary also indirectly attacked Tammy Wynette for standing by her man; subsequently, she found standing by her man won her women's votes. She has recently claimed that the election wasn't personal 'because the country had given her so much' and then cried a bit.
There is an awful lot of stuff talked about how manipulative a woman Hillary is. I called her the usual sort of two faced corporate uber-woman/bourgeois feminist yesterday on this blog. I slightly regret that. The sexism and infantile dislike amounting to fear of women of some American males, which some American women have responded to, must make it very hard to be a woman and to do well in parts of that society without being tough. So let's give her a pass.
In George Stephanopolous's book about his time with the Clintons--he turned traitor on them when they bankrupted his loyalty--there is a charming tale of Bill and Hillary endorsing Catholic churches and then going on and on about abortion all the way home. That sort of grandstanding and delusional self-reinforcement is the sort of thing that annoys me, possibly because it needles me on the things I'm a hypocrite about. Maybe that's what gets everyone about them.
Here are convicted or murdered friends of Bill and Hillary. Vince Foster was a friend of Hillary who killed himself after she behaved badly and shut him out. The remarkable capacity of the Clintons to attract hatred and over-the top depressing paranoia is a feature of their lives and their survival.
Juanita Broddick is a woman who claimed Bill raped her, though she may be lying. For once, the crazily-named 'Capitalism Magazine' gets the tone about right. Paula Jones claimed he exposed himself to her. I know several women active in Democrat politics in the USA who are happy to contemplate the rumours and who in conversation with me have told me things I wouldn't print without a source, but which did make me think.
The fact that even though my friends would contemplate that and still endorse Clinton makes me think too. Monica Lewinsky was much younger than his daughter is now, but he still had an affair that destroyed his second term, partly because he lied about it. Of all the nonsense, this is the most understandable. She was an attractive, no strings sort of a woman and any man would have been attracted; why on earth did he not hold himself back though?
Bill famously took drugs then denied it sophistically by saying he did not inhale. All well and good, except Hillary's campaign have been trying to smear Barack Obama for taking drugs.
The pattern that emerges is of people who play ruthlessly, finesse the truth, are self-absorbed, efficient within highly circumscribed limits, progressive on the surface but of no real importance to any serious social reform.
Therefore, they should not win the nomination. If they do, and McCain wins the Republican nomination, McCain will win unless his own party implodes under him. If Romney wins, a negative, disingenuous cultist will have bought the presidency.
I'm off to the gym, and this is the last post on this sort of thing for a while. i apologise for the length of it.