Reinhard's Ridiculous Hillary Hatred

Jon Perr

These are difficult times for Cro-Magnon conservatives like the Oregonian's David Reinhard. After all, in November his beloved Republican Party was trounced both nationally and here in Oregon. President Bush is now only slightly more popular than the Ebola virus, with the nation, including many in his own party, overwhelming opposed to his surge/augmentation in Iraq. Making matters worse, Democratic presidential campaign announcements from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton utterly drowned out Bush's feeble State of the Union address.

Faced with this grim reality, Reinhard instead turned to the preferred genre of conservative commentators - fiction. In a predictable piece of Hillary hatred, Reinhard on Thursday offered Oregonian readers a sophomoric send-up of Senator Clinton's "let's start the conversation" Internet-based campaign strategy.

In his pathetic parody of a mythical Hillary appearance of the Oprah Winfrey show, Reinhard delivers all the usual right-wing bogeymen. He dredges up Monica Lewinsky and Ken Starr and mocks the failed Clinton health plan blocked by the GOP. He guffaws at imagined pandering by Senator Clinton to African-American stereotypes ("Good to be with you, sister girlfriend"). And referring to the use of a "soft filter lens," Reinhard harkens back to Rush Limbaugh's 1992 description of then 12-year old Chelsea Clinton as a "dog."

That Reinhard resorts to the device of a made-up conversation to attack Hillary Clinton should come as no surprise. As Stephen Colbert told the White House Correspondents Association last May, "reality has a well-known liberal bias." Still, a quick comparison with the actual conversations of George W. Bush is quite illuminating.

In just the past two weeks alone, the rhetorical incontinence of President Bush has reached new levels of national embarrassment. Standing tough behind his failed Iraq policy, Bush "the decider" comically restated "I'm the decision maker." On January 14, the President acknowledged "using bad language like, you know, 'bring them on' was a mistake". And on January 16th, while allowing that "death is terrible," President Bush praised the wartime sacrifices of the American people, declaring "They sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night." No wonder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn't take much comfort in President Bush's assurances the Iraq escalation would succeed "because I told them it had to."

And that's just recent history. The self-proclaimed "war president" of February 2004 could not admit to a single mistake he had made when asked just two months later. As Osama Bin Laden remained secure in his Afghan mountain redoubt, Bush flip-flopped on the subject of the man he once "wanted dead or alive," announcing in November 2002 that "I truly am not that concerned about him."

Even with a presidency defined by scripted events, paid pundits and invitation-only campaign rallies, Bush himself couldn't help but stereotype African-Americans while selling his Social Security privatization scheme during a staged "town hall" meeting. "Another interesting idea," President Bush crowed, "is a personal savings account...which can't be used to bet on the lottery, or a dice game, or the track."

On the merits, there is much to debate about Hillary Clinton by friends and foes alike. Many who generally like her (this writer included) believe that the staggeringly high disapproval numbers of such a polarizing figure would doom Hillary Clinton - and the Democrats - to general election defeat in 2008. As for her leadership style, her campaign prowess and positions on health care, Iraq and more, people of good will can debate what she will really do and what she really believes.

But not David Reinhard and his amen corner on the right. The same conservatives that decry the supposed "Bush Derangement Syndrome," that intense and growing dislike of President Bush now shared by most Americans, apparently become completely unhinged by the former first lady.

Unlike Reinhard's ridiculous Hillary hatred, Americans' disdain for President Bush is rooted in reality.

Comments

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    The most ridiculous thing about that column, and about the GOP loathing for Sen. Clinton, is the bit about "how's your marriage?". It's always insinuated, of course, that Hillary should have ditched Bill, that she still should ditch him, ad nauseum. I'm wondering what it is about the idea of reconciliation that is so repugnant to the Party of Traditional Family Values. Of course this is the same party that spawned, for example, Newt Gingrich, who served his dying wife with divorce papers. Not quite sure what's either traditional, familial, or valuable about that, but I'm sure some troll can enlighten me.

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    As for her leadership style, her campaign prowess and positions on health care, Iraq and more, people of good will can debate what she will really do and what she really believes...

    Beyond debate, by one and all, is that Hillary does not support campaign finance reform.

    I would also argue, though I suppose it is debatable, that she is in hock up to her eyeballs...

  • Caelan MacTavish (unverified)
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    Poor Reinhard.

    When all of his issues are in the toilet, he has to make up something to get mad at.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    The thing that is ironic (not a good word for Republicans) is that Hillary is closer to their world than the dread Demmy left. It may have escaped a columnist of his stature, but the Left falls all over itself trying to get away from her.

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    The thing that is ironic (not a good word for Republicans) is that Hillary is closer to their world than the dread Demmy left.

    I think the more ironic thing is that so much of the Demmy left actually believes this.

  • Bruce Miller (unverified)
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    Poor David Reinhard is increasingly pathetic and increasingly irrelevant. I don't understand why The Oregonian keeps him on board when it can get the same canned right-wing pap from any number of syndicated columnists for a fraction of the cost. Unless they feel it's imperative to have their own token fascist on the editorial board.

    PS: I'm no Hillary fan.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    Anybody who helps in the battle to keep Hillary from winning the Democratic nomination can't be all bad.

    "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

  • LT (unverified)
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    Doretta, exactly who is the "Demmy left"? Is it a small group of activists? Is it people who look for actual issue content in campaigning and how open candidates are with the general public? Is it someone who prefers actual combat vets like Sens. Webb and Hagel over Clinton and Lieberman using sound bites to explain their views on Iraq? Is it those who don't see value in "triangulation"?

    Time to ditch the labels and talk seriously about what is actually going on, rather than just the soundbite stuff we see too often from too many politicians.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    If you want to see another perspective on Hillary, check out today's New York Times. Frank Rich's editorial about Hillary is every bit as critical as the Oregonian.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    Maybe by Demmy left she means the progressives that are willing to throw their vote away on a 3rd party candidate so they can sleep at night. I just wonder how they sleep when they realize their issues will never see the light of day with Republicans in office because they had to vote for a Nader like candidate.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    Maybe by Demmy left she means the progressives that are willing to throw their vote away on a 3rd party candidate so they can sleep at night. I just wonder how they sleep when they realize their issues will never see the light of day with Republicans in office because they had to vote for a Nader like candidate.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    willing to throw their vote away on a 3rd party candidate so they can sleep at night.

    Well, sleeping at not is not to be disparaged, I would think.

    As for the throwing-away claim: what exactly is it that makes the present two-party system (some would say scam) in the US set in stone? Other Western democracies have seen major party realignments in recent time: look no farther than Canada for one example, with the realignment occurring with the last decade.

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    Not my coinage but I assume it means the leftish wing of the Democratic party. I don't see a need for an exact definition but I wouldn't define it as only the most extreme element.

    You don't have to be a big fan of Senator Clinton to recognize how ridiculous it is to claim she's closer to right-wing Republicans like Reinhard than to the bulk of the Democratic left.

    But then, I once had one of those Demmy lefties, in a discussion about his leaning toward voting for Nader, tell me that he didn't realize there was much difference between Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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    lin qiao, more than just the Party of Traditional Family Values feel that Hillary ought to have dumped Bill. Or rather that she would have except that staying with him represented a means of acquiring power and that was more important to her.

    Chuck raises an interesting point. How many on the Left know, for example, that she was served on the Board of that paragon of anti-unionism: Walmart? Unions tried to raise the issue when she first ran for Senate, but she refused to be engaged on the subject.

    Garret, I wonder how many progressives who might prefer a 3rd party candidate would sleep when they realized their issues would never see the light of day if a DLCer got elected with their votes?

    It's easy to create a Straw Man using the rightwing as the alternative. But how soon we forget that Bill Clinton (whom I voted for and don't regret it) made a number of promises to progressives only to take a very different tack once in office. "Don't ask, don't tell" springs to mind rather easily...

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Doretta, Others have jumped in to defend my comment, but I'll note this, you use my quote and then bring up the right wing, not what I wrote - REPUBLICANS.

    You want it plainer? triangulating corporate whore, along with a good sized chunk of DLC. I don't like BushCo lite. If she wins the Primaries, I'm not sure where I'll stand. If you really think big business needs some help, make sure to push Hillary along. It's early days, I've landed in no one's camp, but that's a camp you won't find me in. Plutocracy stinks, we've got it now, and she's a part of it. Sure, I like Dennis Kucinich, he's got no chance, but he's the smartest one of the bunch and his presence will push the dialogue and include some of us.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    lin,

    I think its important to realize that while a major realignment may happen one day its not going to happen now. I think a 3rd party candidate can be successful on a local level and even statewide. I can assure you that a 3rd party has no bleeping chance on a national scale. If you're going to vote for someone other than whomever the Dem nominee is you're basically doing exactly what the Repubs want. We have to consider that we have had 8 years of a right wing wacko nominating judges, destroying social programs and trying to establish an oligarchy or theocracy...I'm not sure which one he's going for. Yes we do need to work towards ridding ourselves of this winner take all philosophy that make's someone like Bush think that when he wins an election with 52% of the vote he has a ton of political capitol because of it.

    The electoral system marginalizes votes in states such as Montana or North Dakota. It's not fair for them and we should get rid of it. That being said you have to recognize that its not going to change before 2008. I probably won't work for Hillary in the primaries but if she is the Dem nominee you bet your ass I'll vote for her. I'll keep voting for the Dem nominee as long as we have a winner take all system. In a national election a 3rd party candidate is a waste of a vote the way it is set up. We have a 2 party system right now so pick one.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    It is eye opening to read on this blog that people who presumably represent the most liberal (oops progressive) 1% of America would vote for Hillary (bomb the brown people) Clinton because we must "pick the Democrat".

    Hopefully we won't face that choice, but if we do, I encourage you to remember that if you choose the lesser of two evils, you have still chosen evil.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    According to Kevin, more than just the Party of Traditional Family Values feel that Hillary ought to have dumped Bill.

    A question for Kevin: If you ever have problems with your spouse or partner--if you relationship is really troubled--do you want your 300 million fellow Americans telling you how to deal with your problems? And I don't mean your therapist; I mean John Q. Public.

    It would be easy to go on at length about this, but I prefer to keep it short and sweet: Since when it is anyone else's business how Bill and Hillary Clinton deal with their marital problems?

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    David Reinhard is like the Cathy comic - I read it once a year and then get pissed off because that's 5 minutes of my life I can never get back.

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    lin,

    I actually don't disagree with the gist of what you're saying. If you followed my earlier link then you know that the linked post wasn't by me. I simply offered it as anecdotal evidence that such views of Hillary are by no means restricted to the GOP as you had implied.

    That said, it seems to me that for those so inclined, the circumstances of their actual marriage is but a symptom of an underlying issue which they object to.

    Personally... I dunno. I see both sides of her marriage issue. But I would never predicate whether or not I'd vote for Hillary upon that one issue... or even partially on that one issue. I just think there are vastly better reasons for not wanting her in the White House than that one.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Davey (Cut and Paste) Reinhard is the bounce-back clown of the Big O's op-ed page.

    The harder you hit him, the faster he bounces back, and the worse he writes, and as a former network newsman, I know [email protected] writing when I see it. Yikes!

    The good news is that Davey has a darling daughter (apple of his eye!) who is just three short years from being draft material -- aka body bag filler.

    If Davey REALLY believes in the war, he'll send his darling daughter off to fight, with her tattered Bible in hand, but from what I hear, Mrs. Davey wears the pants in that family, so it's not going to happen.

    The good news is Reinhard makes David "Bobo" Brooks readable. Most days.

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    Hey BlueNote... Only 8% of respondents to the BlueOregon buzz poll expressed a preference for Hillary.

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