Thursday, November 16, 2006

So why do people hate Hillary so much?

Normally, I’m the one who explains the more reasonable aspects of conservatism. But this one leaves me totally stumped. A conservative UU blogger has named Hillary “Shrew of the year.” I hear constantly about how unpopular she is and how much people hate her.

Um… Why?

To be honest, I don’t understand hating politicians at all. You can disagree with them, but how can you hate anyone you don’t know? Can “hatred” of a national politician possibly be any less shallow than a Junior High School girl’s “love” of Justin Timberlake?

I go back and forth on understanding when liberals say they hate a politician. I’ve heard liberals say they hate Bush for starting a war we didn’t need that killed people and while I think that’s kind of a waste of emotion, I intellectually understand it. I know someone who often says really angry things about Condoleeza Rice because if she’s a Republican, she must have turned her back on her people. (I think this argument assumes that Condi’s “people” are the poor, and I’ve never heard this person criticize a white Republican for abandoning the white Republican’s people, though the person does have plenty of other critcisms of them so I guess the poor aren’t white people’s people. Y’all can unpack this further for yourselves. I know the person is a well-meaning good person, but I’ve never understood that argument.)

But Hillary? Honestly, she’s a little socially conservative for me. I mean, I’m down with “safe, legal and rare,” but criticizing violent video games is a little too soccer mom a position for my taste. She's weirdly conservative on flag burning, was a little too supoortive of the war in Iraq for me to especially like her. Like Bill, she’s basically a populist and populists tend to believe in legislating behavior. But then so do conservatives. We can’t know what Hill is like as a person. That said, I’m confused by the image of her as this ball-buster, because honestly, ball-busters leave cheating husbands. And I think they raise kids who are more screwed up than Chelsea Clinton, who at least on the surface seems like the best behaved and most stable president’s kid of my lifetime.

I get that Hillary is some sort of symbol for bitchy women, but I don’t quite know what she’s actually done to earn that reputation, particularly since her personal life offers a good deal of evidence to the contrary. Can somebody clue me in?



Anonymous said...

I don't know what the deal is with Hillary hate, either, so I can't help there.

Lots of people hate people they don't know, however. I'm sure there are plenty of people who hate Milosovic, for example. And hated Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.

It might be more precise to say the actions of these people were what was hated. It might be that if we met them and had no idea of their activities we'd think they were okay people.

Anonymous said...

There was recently a good one-page article about this in Newsweek or U.S. News and World Report, but I can't find my copy. Basically, when people get to know her, they don't hate her, and she is really good at getting lots of people working together. Some of the "hate Hillary" is just spin -- they just say it a lot. The ones who do hate her, Joyce says it's because they hate an ambitious woman. It's too threatening.
Personally, my only problem with her is she's too conservative for me.

Bill Baar said...

I voted for her husband twice.

My first experience of her was watching her sit next to Bill in an interview with Barbara Walters explaining the Gennifer Flowers episode. I though man she must want to be first lady awfully bad to put up with this kind of public humiliation.

I still feel that way, so while I like her in a way, that raw lust for power is a little spooky.

Gen Abazid knocked her down yesterday. She can be a windbag which I guess happens when one is elected Senator.

via Rumsfeld Fan Club,

Clinton: "Hope is not a method. We've had testimony now for four
years about what 'must be done' -- and it doesn't get done."

Centcomm Commander: "I would also say that despair is not a method."

Anonymous said...

that raw lust for power is a little spooky

Looks like Joyce was right.

Is it spooky because it reminds you of -- W.? of Cheney?

Anonymous said...

by the way, the article I mentioned is in the October 30, 2006 Newsweek, page 74. have a look.

Early Riser said...

I think the "lust for power" meme is correct. Specifically, it appears that she will take any position to increase her chance of becoming president. I would challenge anyone to find one of her public position statements that shows any courage to go against the tide of public opinion.

Most conservatives fear her because they have no idea what should would propose once she attains her goal of the Presidency.

To me, the fact that she hasn't dumped Bill is the strongest indictment against her character.

Chalicechick said...

((Most conservatives fear her because they have no idea what should would propose once she attains her goal of the Presidency.)))

Well, the first Clinton presidency wasn't all that liberal (Hello? Welfare reform?,) so I'm not sure why the second one would be.

As for her marriage, my guess is that she and Bill have some sort of "arrangement." Kinda kinky, but not all that morally objectionable to me. My guess is the Roosevelts had the same deal.


Ps. Though I think Kim was a little confrontational on the point, it is interesting how a lust for power is unbecoming on a female politician but expected on a male politician.

Bill Baar said...

Clinton was as Liberal as it's going to get.

I can't imagine Cheney going on TV and talking about his wife's infidelities. It was really a unique moment. I can't think of anything that compares to it.

FDR had romances, Clinton had sex... there's a difference.

Chalicechick said...

Well, the person in the best position to know what Clinton did would be Monica Lewinsky. If I’m remembering the Starr report correctly, she said they were involved for nine months, during which they had sexual contact six times, and at least once Clinton made her stop before he had an orgasm. (I like to trot this out as evidence that Clinton is likely not a sex addict. Even known an alcoholic who drank six whiskies over nine months and spit one of them out?)

They spoke regularly on the phone, sent each other notes and gifts. She said “I love you,” but he didn’t say it back.

As far as I know, the only difference between this and FDR’s romances is that the media let FDR get away with romancing so he was able to take vacations with his mistress and such, so I’m not making the distinction you are.

Personally, I’d rather my spouse had a meaningless fling than a romance anyway. Wouldn't you?


Anonymous said...

I don't know why Hillary not leaving Bill is some sort of indictment against her character. Could it be that they actually ... love each other? I think what is disconcerting to many people is that Hillary and Bill seem at times to live almost separate, public lives. People are so accustomed to seeing a male politician with a wife who is happy to walk in his shadow. We still have a hard time in this country imagining that two competitive adults married to each other can pursue their career ambitions without it resulting in complete domestic failure.

In any case, Hillary is in a unique position: how many former first ladies have run for major political offices?

Joel Monka said...

It's hard to make the case that hatred for Hillary comes from a conservative fear of ambitous and powerful women when they idolize women such as Condi Rice, Maggie Thatcher, Dixie Lee Ray, Ayn Rand, Anita Bryant, etc. I think 90% of the "hatred" is spin from the Hillary camp, to dismiss the opposition.

But it is true that there is some real hatred of her out there, and like all hatred, it stems from fear. The fear comes from the belief that she is a true believer, not a pragmatist/opportunist like her husband. It is thought by many that she does not seek power for power's sake because of a character flaw like her husband, but that she seeks power because she really intends to use that power to transform society to her vision of the common good- and they don't like her vision.

Early Riser said...

I've never understood how Clinton's affair with a subordinate gets a pass. I though conventional wisdom was that there is no such thing as a consensual relationship when an executive couples with an executive.

Also, the 'lust for power' complaint is lodged against Bill just as often as it's applied to Hill.

Chalicechick said...

The man was impeached.

How on earth is that getting a pass?


Bill Baar said...

Clinton just seems a guy out of control.... a recent quote from Ashton re Clinton and Demi Moore...

Former US president Bill Clinton tried to 'hit on' actress Demi Moore, her husband Ashton Kutcher has said.

Kutcher, the star of the hit MTV show Punk'd, told chat host Jay Leno that Clinton made eyes at his superstar wife during a recent function.

Kutcher said although the three were all sat at a table next to each other he felt like "the invisible man".

It's too late in the day to add the link but google around and you'll find it...

Clinton just a guy who can't hold back...not at all like FDR, Eisenhower... he's pretty unique I think with this appetite; for a president... maybe Kennedy the closest to him.

I voted for him twice. I wrote a letter to my Rep AGAINST impeaching him.

But I still feel betrayed. I've always been creeped a bit that Hillary puts up with it...

I'm not a Hillary hater by any means (most of the Hillary haters I know are Cindy Sheehan fans)... but I think Clinton is still philandering big time and it's something that will cost her the candidacy.

When he was still Prez, a local Chicago TV station had a Clinton look alike, and a very good one, stand on the platform in Union Station greeting commuters.

Pols often to that in Chicago. There were two guys pretending to be secret service agents with him so it looked very convincing.

The Clinton imitator was saying hi and shaking hands and when an attractive women walked by he asked her for a date. The look on her face was priceless and the news guy back at the station (this was a live feed in the am) broke down laughing uncontrolably.

Kind of like Borat... funny, but when you reflected on what it meant for the country, a really sad moment.

Anonymous said...

I feel pretty much the same about her as you, but if she decides to run in 2008 I will be very pissed at her. She has to know she cannot win with so many people who detest her, especially if a more moderate Republican like McCain is her opponent. Democrats really need to learn how to not shoot themselves in the foot.

Anonymous said...

I'm exactly with you in being down with "safe, legal and rare," and being annoyed with Hillary's willingness to toss out the 1st Amendment. The thing I don't like about her on a personal level is that she kind of rode her husband's coattails, and she really didn't need to. I think she could have been a success on her own, and I guess I wish that she had done that instead of putting his career first. That's probably unfair, but it's sort of my gut-level mean-feminist reaction to her: You sacrificed your career to support your husband's, and then had to sit by when he embarrassed you (because I think they likely do have an "arrangment," but such arrangements usually have a component of discretion, and screwing the help in the Oval Office is not discreet) so you could have your shot.

Also, I have to admit that the Republican version (Elizabeth Dole) did it better. Even before she married Bob, she'd been appointed to the FTC, and after their marriage she was Secretary of Transportation and then of Labor. No sitting around waiting for him to finish his career. (Though in fairness, Bob Dole was older when she married him than Bill Clinton was when he became president.)

Anonymous said...

The lust for power, heaven forbid every politican right to the elected school board has a lust for power maddness. You must have people running who want to control the rudder of the ship or you will have chaos.

People hate or dislike Hillary because she is a pushy female--that does not understand that only testorone monkeys can lust for power. Being female she will be too emotional and probably cry at crucial times.

Pick a leader because they respect and understand what is good public policy. Free our leaders from industrial lobbyists and let's get down to what is the right thing to do. It is not always the American viewpoint that is correct for everyone. Male or female--vote for the best leader not the one that fits a certain profile.

Anonymous said...

I think that most people “hate” Hillary for reasons that they can not logically point out to anyone other than those who agree with them. “Hate” her? What has she done? I think that one thing is certain that Bill Clinton’s presidency was the most investigated in US history. The subterfuge was effective because it worked to destroy the credibility of both the Pres. and his wife. Coincidence? We have other “respectable” Dem. voices in gov’t who have abandoned logic and careful analysis in favor of a “message.” They have worked to dissolve this race into a race about race…and, of course, gender. Honestly, do we care if the president wears stilettos or favors southern cuisine?

As far as a race about “firsts”, I don’t think that Hillary really cares about the whole one small step for women, one great leap for mankind as the Obama camp. You can’t turn your head without another reference to MLK or stump by some black official on what this means for black America. For crying out loud, we nearly guillotined a man just a few months ago because he said “nappy headed ho’s” and now we are all about “firsts”. I think the first “first” in the racial issues within this country would have been when “nappy headed” was as acceptable as “cracker” but you know that this is certainly not the case.

Hillary has less invested in being the “first woman” than does Obama being the “first black” because Hillary does not need to rest on the message of “firsts”; she is running on substance, experience and a proven track record. Obama on the other hand has nothing but the “making history” propelling his run. He has a long tiring speech that spellbinds the disenfranchised and uninspired citizenry to a cause that he really has no experience to cure. But, rather than having the class and integrity to step aside and allow a seasoned politician with a proven track record to begin working on this nation’s difficulties, he has transformed into a classic pedagogue spouting a litany of platitudes and promises. Gee, have we ever seen these characteristics in another administration? Warning signs?!

I don’t think that Dems really “hate” Hillary, but rather, they just don’t like or trust themselves. The fact that Dems in leadership positions have allowed these past 7 years of numerous occasions of deceit to go completely unaddressed is absolutely cowardly. Think back to when we nearly impeached a president for a ***&** in the Oval Office. How could people like Ted Kennedy and fellow alums just sit back and let this administration trudge forward aimlessly while treading (read stomping) on all of the civil liberties that once made this a unique and powerful country? There is an old adage that you can’t really love someone else until you love yourself: apply this adage to most Democrats.

Dems in general have become weak, lazy, disempowered thinkers and “lovers” when it comes to politics. I for one am embarrassed that I spent as much time thinking that they would be able to really figure out that they are their own worst enemies. I think that if Hillary loses this one, she and Bill BOTH need to pack it up and go on the lecture circuit. What is the point of being a loyal, committed civil servant with a proven track record if that is actually something that can be used as a form of liability instead of reliability. Good grief.