Poor, poor Andrew Sullivan. Hillary Clinton's "bossy screechiness" drives him wild.
She grates on me more with every minute I have to listen to her. And that whole passive-aggressive crap about "throwing mud" and "Republican talking points" drove me once again up the wall.
I love how Hillary Clinton makes Andrew Sullivan drop his erudition like a feeble fluttering fig leaf, and how she drives certain male media figures to near-crazy depths. It's what the marketing pros call "value add" from my candidate. Yeah, I want her to win because she's the strongest candidate among the Democrats and a ready to run the country after the Bush wilderness years (you know my position), but damn ... it's a swingin' variety show out there watching Chris Matthews bluster, and Andrew Sullivan fluster.
Last week, Sullivan (who I admire on other topics) went into full freak when Bill Clinton defended his wife, and the insanely overblown "stiffed waitress" story hit the blogs:
The one thing I learned about them is that they lie. It's reflexive to them; after decades of the lying that tends to infect the households of addicts, they don't have a normal person's understanding of truth and falsehood. They have an average sociopath's understanding of truth and falsehood. They lie about big things; they lie about small things; and they lie about things that are so trivial you can't believe anyone would bother lying about them.
Woo-wee. As old Samuel Johnson put it, people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed. So I'd remind Sullivan that the eight years under Bill Clinton were an American paradise compared to the last seven; he might also come to understand a verity of the political arena he covers: truth is a moving target. For instance, Sullie, did Bill Clinton lie as he coaxed Sinn Fein and the Ulster Protestants to the peace table, and browbeat them into a peace that has lasted? This Irishman is happy he did, even if he had to shade the truth with Gerry Adams a time or two.
Last night had to kill the Hillary haters, because she so clearly dominated the Democratic debate. She smacked Obama (who referred to her as Cheney-lite in recent weeks) and Edwards (who hesitated to commit to endorsing her if she wins the nomination) roundly, and deftly handled the gender issue - which is clearly a strength for her. Tonight, Matthews tried to knock a few chips out of the nearly-unanimous "Hillary wins" verdict from last night - like Sullivan, he is bothered by Senator Clinton's voice. It's "shrill." As in "Shrillary," a close cousin to "Hitlery" in the name-calling swamp of places like Little Green Goofballs and FreeRepublic.
Or, let's face it - "bitch."
That was the name Senator Clinton was called in a public forum with a major Republican candidate this week, an act that received no public correction at all. John McCain once again showed just how far he'd stoop from his once-proud status as truth-teller. “How do we beat the bitch?” asked one supporter. "That's an excellent question," McCain responded.
That was the backdrop when Campbell Brown asked Clinton what she meant by the "all -boys club?" last night. It provided the signature moment. Clinton tilted her head, smiled and just said "Campbell." As in, are you kidding me, girlfriend? And Brown laughed, and everyone got it immediately - every women in the audience and on television, and every man who'd kind of like to see a woman in the Oval Office for a change.
As Jim Wolcott noted last evening, "Hillary seems to be doing a good confident job of speaking for herself tonight" and then he pointed me in the direction of the excellent Anglofille blog, where the ex-pat blogger in residence lets loose fusillade that can only cheer the Clinton camp:
Even though I haven’t been following the coverage closely, if I had to pick the person I’d choose to represent the Democrats, I’d choose Hillary Clinton. Why? Because she’s a woman.
Yes, I know that’s not the “correct” thing to say. Most women I know trip all over themselves to declare that they would never (never!) vote for a woman because she’s a woman, that a candidate’s gender does not influence them at all.
My question is, why the hell not?
With every toss of "bitch" from the Republicans and every "screechiness" from the mainstream pundits, the gender question in this race is pulled relentlessly from the shadows. And that's a good thing. Anglophille's public thoughts mirror private considerations of millions who understand completely Senator Clinton's description of "the highest and hardest glass ceiling."
But I also think the big question for Senator Clinton's campaign is simple: is this loony, desperate bashing the last gasp of anti-feminists and irrational Hillary haters? Or is it just the beginning?
UPDATE: Oh hell, just go read Digby (as usual) - "Yeah, keep it up fellas. The bitches are, like, totally loving it."