Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 12, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

CDS....Question of the day: Why is Andrew Sullivan reduced to a state of semi-coherent frothing when the subject of Bill and Hillary Clinton comes up? I wouldn't bother asking except that over the past week or so this question has been the subject of numerous emails, listserv conversations, and even on Andrew's blog itself. It is a mystery.

I don't know the answer, but here's what seems most mysterious to me. Obviously lots of people suffer from Clinton Derangement Syndrome. That's not news. But over the past couple of years Andrew has practically scourged himself senseless over the fact that he got sucked into the hubristic and self-absorbed neocon dream of revolution in the Middle East. He plainly recognizes the danger of being dragged down into that particular fever swamp. What's more, over the past few months he's argued that one of the biggest problems facing the country is the "Christianist right" and its interminable inflaming of 60s-era culture war politics.

And yet, he's somehow unable to see that his own visceral loathing of the Clintons — who are in truth fairly ordinary politicians — is the product of precisely the same two things that he so reviles in present circumstances. He can see how the toxic stew they bred warped his thinking over the past few years, but not how the exact same pair of pathologies so obviously warped his thinking during the 90s.

But I don't know. Disliking the Clintons for one reason or another: sure, that's easy to grasp. But during the 90s I never got CDS. I just flat never got it. Obviously I understand the explanations that I've read since then, but on a pure gut level it left me mystified then and it leaves me mystified still. For my money, the problem with the Clintons is that they're too pragmatic, too centrist, and too accomodating. Where the white-hot hatred emanates from remains an enigma.

Kevin Drum 12:27 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (152)

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Because they won't admit that God speaks to some on the right and when some on the right tell us what God told us to do they get CDS.By the way Revalations is about Rome and Rome's Army. Sorry but that's just the way it is.

Posted by: john john on November 12, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

I've been thinking exactly the same thing. I always find it ironic that people who turn rabid at the mere mention of Bill or Hillary impugn the mental stability of those of us who don't like Bush *for his policies*. And particularly ironic is that Charles Krauthammer apparently didn't notice this when he first coined the BDS term.

Posted by: Señor Ding-Dong on November 12, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Where the white-hot hatred emanates from remains an enigma.

I'm gonna guess that they were simply the "ordinary politicians" who had the bad luck to be among the most prominent Democrats at a time when the head Brownshirts of the Angry Right -- Rove, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Malkin, et al. -- were really hitting their stride in getting their people all frothed up.

Americans tend to personalize their politics more than other countries. Everything done by an administration is the president's fault, personally. Anything done by another country is often attributed to its leader (e.g., Putin).

The Clintons were the archetypal "Liberals," and since everyone was taught to hate "Liberals," they hated the Clintons.

I wouldn't try too hard to rationalize the behavior of the Brownshirts. THEY aren't rational, so there's no reason their behavior should be.

Posted by: bleh on November 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Just about right Kevin. Things you like, and things you don't like; just like any other politicians. Its not like they criminally politicized the Department of Justice, bankrupted our country, sold our children's futures down the river, turned the US into an international laughing stock, tortured and illegally detained people without charges or court review and affirmatively started wars of personal choice based upon lies and in which hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered. Now THAT is cause for derangement.

Posted by: bmaz on November 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think a better question, given Sullivan's legacy at the TNR and retard politics, is why you bother to pay the least bit of attention to him. I mean, Hitchens is still a great writer. But just what justifies Sullivan having a work visa here?

Posted by: JeffII on November 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I have a brother that explodes at the sound of "Clinton" being spoken within his ear shot. A true physical transformation takes place leaving him spewing profanities through his purple vein popping face.

He was Mr. Liberal in his youth, but right-wing radio and making more money flipped him to the dark side.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on November 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

well, surely in sully's case the misogyny is a non-trivial factor behind his treatment of hrc.

sully generally does not like women, unless they're on the butcher-than-thou model of the iron baroness.

(defending yourself against misogyny by saying that you like thatcher is like defending yourself against racism by saying you love sammy davis junior. it only confirms the charge.)

Posted by: kid bitzer on November 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton said it himself. It was because he won.

I'd have to go a little further and say it was because he was unrepentent baby-boomer, draft-dodger pot-smoker, sex-lover and all the things they said during the 1992 campaign. He enjoyed himself, and to the born-gains, closeted gays and S&M fascist repressed types that make up the GOP that was enough to drive them into derangement.

They infected the rest of the "village" because of they are repressed too.

Posted by: cosmici on November 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Sullivan is too mysterious for me. But, in general, politicians who seem, in a cultural or lifestyle way, to be firmly on the left or the right, but who are fairly centrist in their actual policies, seem to arouse the most loathing. Nixon, Clinton and Bush 2 are the most salient examples. In contrast, Johnson, Carter, Reagan and Bush 1 didn't seem to derange their opponents. Maybe because their opponents feel that the person is a fraud, i.e., "We know Clinton's a liberal, because he cheats on his wife, plays the saxaphone etc., but his actual policies seem to involve welfare reform and bombing Kosovo. He's a fraud."

Posted by: y81 on November 12, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

with the Iraq war, he only had to unlearn a few months of wingnuttery. with the Clinton's, he has to unlearn 15 years' worth. it will take time.

Posted by: cleek on November 12, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Think of it as the Mickey & Casey syndrome: Mickey Mantle was Casey Stengel's great protege. Stengel brought him up from the minors (a little too soon, he had to go back awhile), nurtured him to greatness, hell Stengel was even the one who told him to give way to DiMaggio in center field, which is how Mantle tore up his knee the first time.

You can get an argument about who was the greatest player of all time, but most folks would agree that the player who COULD have been the greatest was Mickey Mantle. But the combination of injuries (which happened TO him) and his drinking (all self-inflicted, if understandable cuz he figured he was gonna die young) meant that Mantle was maybe two-thirds the player he might have been.

Casey never forgave him for it -- and when somebody asked Stengel to name his all-time team, he left Mantle off it.

It was kinda mean -- but I think it's not unlike the way many people feel about the Clintons, particularly Bill: with his talent, he SHOULD have been the greatest President since FDR -- and what did he do?

You could look it up.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 12, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

why don't you write to him and ask him, Kevin?

Posted by: jayackroyd on November 12, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

the Clintons — who are in truth fairly ordinary politicians —

From Arkansas.

Despite the Clintons' first rate education at the 'right' schools, they are outsiders from the correct class.

Posted by: Brojo on November 12, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Why is Andrew Sullivan reduced to a state of semi-coherent frothing when the subject of Bill and Hillary Clinton comes up?

Bill and Hillary seem to have that effect on a large segment of the population. While I don't have strong opinions about the Clintons either way, I do notice that I generally find people who have that rabid hatred of the Clintons to be the kind of smug, condescending, authoritarian assholes that I dislike. I haven't quite figured out what that means yet.

Posted by: Del Capslock on November 12, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

We're talking about prissy moralizing holier-than-thou sodomite "the leftist enclaves on the coasts may well mount a fifth column" Andy, right?

With all due respect, who cares what Confused Andy says?

Posted by: HeavyJ on November 12, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I can only assume that the Clintons success politically and in governing has driven the hard core extremists of the Grover Norquist, religious right and PNAC crowd crazy. They in turn drive an unending spin machine of anti-clinton hate and lies that infect miost of the republican crowd.

Posted by: kahner on November 12, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Or may just be because Clinton, has sex with women.They just don't do that sort of thing on the right.They find sex with females to be gross and disgusting.

Posted by: john john on November 12, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

"I do not like thee, Doctor Fell ..."

Posted by: RonK, Seattle on November 12, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK


> pot smoker

IIRC President Clinton could not have been much of a pot smoker in his youth, even if he wanted to -- he's had athsma since childhood. The joke is on the smear-artists of the right, 'cause when he said "I didn't inhale", he was mostly telling the truth.

Posted by: joel hanes on November 12, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

But over the past couple of years Andrew has practically scourged himself senseless over the fact that he got sucked into the hubristic and self-absorbed neocon dream of revolution in the Middle East.

Did he ever actually apologize for effectively calling the rest of us traitors?

Posted by: kc on November 12, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

D.C. hates the Clintons because D.C. always hates those kind of people, and Andy hates the Clintons because his tendancy to absorb the opinions of the crowd with which he wants to integrate is far stronger than his reasoning ability.

Posted by: Boronx on November 12, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Where the white-hot hatred emanates from remains an enigma."

I cannot understand why it should remain an "enigma" to you. The deliberate, systematic and well-funded demonization of the Clintons and the construction of the right-wing media-driven Cult of Clinton Hatred by the Scaife organization and others during the 1990s has been thoroughly and extensively documented. It didn't just "happen."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 12, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The reason is simple... They won. In a time when democrats have been woefully inept at politics, they are democrats who managed to actually win the presidency. They are about the only democrats who actually understand modern politics and how to run a campaign, so its no wonder why the venom is directed at them... but, make no mistake about it, the republicans hate them, because they actually won something big... it's not different than why 90% of the country hate the Red Sox and the Patriots... Despite the odds against them, they win every time, and it makes everyone else mad.

Posted by: lord_mike on November 12, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

brojo is right on, as per dean broder: "it wasn't their place."

Posted by: benjoya on November 12, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

IIRC President Clinton could not have been much of a pot smoker in his youth, even if he wanted to -- he's had athsma since childhood.

i assure you, asthma is no obstacle.

Posted by: cleek on November 12, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

The white-hot demonization has never had a public. Never. Bill Clinton was an incredibly popular president, and my bet is, if Hillary makes it, she will be too. That "demonization" is the product of what Hillary correctly called the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." Fundamentally that is talk radio, which is never confronted by the mainline media, and suckers in that media, who take the talk-radio artists as representative of something more than the 28% mouth-breathers.

Drudge does rule the world.

Posted by: David in NY on November 12, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

What you're not noticing are the two problems or mistakes of the Clintons. #1: The FIRST THING the Clintons did was try to take on gays in the military. BIG mistake. #2. Hillary is a strong woman. Period.

All of the attacks on the Clintons, including the very real Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, are owed to the initial poisoning of the well with a search for a decent way to treat gays in the military. I groaned when they started out on this effort because I knew what the results would be. Hatred, hatred, and more hatred, directed against anyone who would try to help queers, pansies, faggots, homos, etc.

Regarding Hillary's strength, she reduces men in positions of power to foaming rage. Granted, they may largely be elite furriners and mouth-breathing right-wingers. I used to work in an office with a well-known economist (well known in the field, probably not to you) who was a very good friend of Taki Theodoracopulos, and this economist dude simply quaked and gibbered and sputtered and shook at the very name of that "dreadful," "horrible" woman's name. He also one day told me about how he was suffering through some terrible diarrhoea. Thanks for sharing!

If only people would spend more time tending to (and keeping quiet about) their tummy problems, and less time hating gays and Hillary, why, there never would have been a George W. Bush!

Posted by: Anon on November 12, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Sullivan might be irrelevant, but CDS isn't. Part of it is what Brojo said -- Bill Clinton just isn't of the right class background, and Hillary is a class traitor for marrying him. But it's all part of the bizarro world in which we're living now, in which:

Bill Clinton is an elitist, and Bush is a regular guy.
Bill Clinton governed as a centrist democrat, but you can get 25% of Americans to agree that he's a dangerous socialist. WTF?
Hillary Clinton is a feminazi who "stood by her man," while Elizabeth Dole stole Bob from his first wife, and is an upstanding conservative citizen.

This nonsense didn't start with the Clintons. Remember Dukakis vs. Bush Sr. in 1988? Somehow the son of a Greek immigrant who became governer (and a pretty good one!) of a populous state was the creature of the elites, while Bush Sr. was "one of us."

Can I please go back to my home Earth soon? I don't like living in Bizarro world anymore.

Posted by: thersites on November 12, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

IIRC President Clinton could not have been much of a pot smoker in his youth, even if he wanted to -- he's had athsma since childhood.

There was a whole coterie of very earnest student government types at G'town who had their whole future government careers already mapped out. When they were at parties, when the joint would come around, they'd put it to their lips so as to fit in as not being entirely uncool, but not inhale, so as to preserve future deniability. Too cute by a half, and unfortunately no one ever believed them - either the "pretend" smoke at the time, or the denials later on. But it is actually much closer to the truth then those who presented this as evidence that Clinton "lied" because he "had" to have inhaled. I know because I was there.

Posted by: Ethel-to-Tilly on November 12, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

The other question is... Why do questions about Sullivan turn so many liberal commenters into raving homophobes? "Sodomite"? "Republicans don't like sex with women"? Jimminy Christmas, people!

Something internet readers cannot be reminded of often enough: You don't know Andrew Sullivan. Or Kevin Drum. Or any of the other people whose blogs you read. You do not know their psychology, their unconscious motives, or anything else about them. Claiming you do only makes you look very, very stupid.

As for Kevin's question: I think Sullivan is easily swayed by charisma. That's why he loves Obama, Bill Clinton, and, initially, Dubya, but has always hated competent stiffs like HRC and Gore (though he's come around on the latter).

Posted by: That Fuzzy Bastard on November 12, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why the white-hot hatred of the Clintons?

It's simple:

In the early 80's during Reagan's first term, Time Magazine had a big article about the impossibility of electing a Democratic President.

They had a big map showing census/population trends.

And the voting patterns of the states with the growing populations compared to the states with the shrinking populations.

And we were all assured that in the future ALL Presidents would be Republicans.

And Reagan was reelected (easily) and Bush I succeeded him.

And it was assumed that Bush I would be reelected.

But, he wasn't.

A Democrat was elected. And that wasn't possible. It was WRONG. He wasn't a Republican and thus had no right to be president.

And then he was reelected. And his popularity never dropped during the Impeachment nightmare.

You can see that it was unforgivable.

Posted by: katiebird on November 12, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

I always have thought that Clinton being the first democrat to follow Reagan had a lot to do with the right wing's hatred for him. For many wingnuts the Reagan administration was heaven on earth, and Reagan the anointed holy leader. When Clinton came, and had somewhat different policies (not different enough for me) but was even more popular than reagan, they saw him as the political version of an anti-christ. The savior had already been here, this heretic could only be in league with the devil.

Posted by: patrick on November 12, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see. What's the best way to Drum up a little sympathy and support for "your gal" who's been in a two week slump. Receiving criticism from all sides: the far left, the near left, primary opponents, the MSM, with only Bill coming to her defense, how can we turn attention away from her problems?
I know, bring in the boogy man, make her a victim of the VRWC, relive the '90's.
Don't ever forget, the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Posted by: majarosh on November 12, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with the last poster, that Sullivan is easily swayed by charisma.

I have CDS too. It's precisely the same sort of reaction that I have toward Brittney Spears: here's an individual who, granted, has some moderate gifts. But rather than being moderately successful, the person turns out to be wildly popular: selling millions of records, or holding a wide lead in the Democratic primary. And this unexpected and seemingly undeserved success creates a strong back-reaction: the music/the politics aren't merely forgettable, they're annoying because they remind one of the artist/politician's basic mediocrity. And so one wants to scream: stop! Stop! STOP! The one is a pure creation of the record industry, and the other is riding her husband's coattails. I don't personally hate HRC, but I have trouble talking about her in ways that don't suggest that she is ridiculously overrated and oversold - pure marketing, pure 'lies'.

Posted by: lampwick on November 12, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: The reason you don't understand it is simple. It's that you're not a centrist yourself, so you can write off the problem with them as mere centrism, as a matter of policy. But to moderates like Sullivan, who don't make your mistake of confounding moderate policy with craven opportunism and the twisted priorities of the eternal campaign, the problem really is one of character and motivation, not policy.

Posted by: Boring Commenter on November 12, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

In the last several weeks, I socialized with three old friends that were raised in Republican families. All three are very intelligent, avid readers and news watchers, and follow politics and international affairs closely.

Somewhere in the conversation with all three, I said (roughly) that I basically liked all the Presidents in my life time (back to Kennedy)before this one.

The words were hardly out of my mouth before all three came back with some variation of "slick Willie". Not a word about his policies, how he ran the government, just a visceral hatred for the man himself. OTOH, not one defended Bush in any way, other than the usual, "we have not been attached since 9/11". A side note, they have the same reaction to Edwards (as Clinton).

As none of these guys are moralistic, or big on religion, or particularly judgmental, I was taken back. Was is their listening to Limbaugh or Hannity? Or the narrative wove by the press? I just don't get it.

Posted by: Chris/tx on November 12, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

> Something internet readers cannot be reminded of
> often enough: You don't know Andrew Sullivan. Or
> Kevin Drum. Or any of the other people whose blogs
> you read. You do not know their psychology, their
> unconscious motives, or anything else about them.
> Claiming you do only makes you look very, very
> stupid.

Sullivan led a very public second life on Internet sex sites for 8 years during and after his TNR stint. Much of what he said (and people who met him said he did) on those sites directly contradicted his political writings. That I believe is the basis for the sexual criticism.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on November 12, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

it's different strokes for different folks:

for the mouthbreathers: it's all that hot college sex that bill clinton had; and the supposed lesbianity of hitlery;

for the repukes: it's all the sex and drugs bill clinton got away with;

for the sally quinn party pal set: tweety can't make up his mind: does he loath bill for the extracurricular sex; or does he want bill to fuck him;

but mostly, what drives the republicans, the american taliban and the sally quinn party pal set absolutely, batshit crazy -- is that the clintons are smarter than they are; don't grovel at the villagers' feet; and bill made it to the highest office in the land on his own political skill. that goddamned arkansas hillbilly. how dare he!

Posted by: linda on November 12, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

My cousin was one who used to absolutely despise the Clintons to the point of apoplexy. Finally, I got really tired of hearing about it, and confronted her by demanding that she explain what it was about them that so set her off. When she mentioned corruption, I asked for specifics. When she told me it ws Whitewater, I told her to explain to me what the Whitewater scandal was all about, spare no detail, please.

She couldn't. Then how, I asked, can you logically consider someone to be guilty as charged, when you haven't really the slightest sense of what those charges are or even should be. It was the beginning of her long road to recovery from CDS.

There are two books that I highly recommend for recovering CDS patients: The Hunting of the President by Joe Conasan and Gene Lyons, and David Brock's memoir and mea culpa, Blinded by the Right.

Both provide compelling 50-yard-line views to the very soul of anti-Clinton hysteria, in large part by explaining -- in rather remarkable and chilling detail -- its calculated origins in the demented heart of right-wing Arkansas politics, and its cynical adoption as a campaign policy at the highest levels of the Bush family's incestuous political machine and an opportunistic Republican Party.

To understand what was inflicted upon the Clintons in the 1980s and '90s will allow one to finally comprehend and truly consider the corrosive effects that such politics of personal destruction has had on our democratic system.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 12, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Where the white-hot hatred emanates from remains an enigma.

It is just the evil that possesses the Right. Shakespeare had the same problem depicting where evil comes from. Why does Iago hate Othello? He's always switching reasons. The Clintons could die tomorrow but the evil will still remain in the Right. Just like Iago.

Posted by: Bob M on November 12, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Your question is a good one, Kevin, but the Sullivan-hate I see in so many of the comments is misplaced. Thousands of prominent conservatives feel personal loathing of the Clintons. The only reason we're more aware of Sullivan is because he discusses it frankly, which most of the others don't.

Unlike the rest, Sullivan is aware that his loathing is not entirely rational, and he frequently shares his introspective thoughts trying to understand where the feeling comes from. He's not just nurturing his hate; he's working through it, and it'll be interesting to see where he ends up.

By the way, I think Fuzzy Bastard's observation about charisma is an interesting point. I wonder what Andrew would say to that.

Posted by: mdl on November 12, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

If we're talking about Clinton Derangement Syndrome, we really should mention the recent mutation, Clinton Derangement Syndrome(Liberal). There seems to be a contest running between lefty and righty sites over who can dump on Hillary more. They don't seem to realize that the 95% of the population in the middle seem to think another term or two of Clintonomics is the best idea they've heard in years.

Posted by: ArkPanda on November 12, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Commenters above noting that the fact Clinton took the executive branch, which the goopers had come to regard as "theirs," explains about 95% of the CDS.

I can only imagine the mess from exploding heads we'll see when Hillary waltzes in in 2009. It's my favorite thing about her. Seriously, ER's across the country better be ready for a tidal wave of myocardial infarctions on election night 2008.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 12, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

With Sullivan, his hatred of Clinton is joined by a fawning perspective of Obabma as the hope of all hopes. Sullivan excuses away all politician-like behaviors of Obama and refuses to see where Obama (or at least his rhetoric) is quite naive. (On the latter, see http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/11/12/barack-obama-in-iowa-or-oz/)

Taken together, Sullivan's approach implies a view that media criticism is fair. In this faux fair world, the Clintons were slammed because they truly were special in their poor character and Obama is praised because he really is a knight in shining armor who can bring us to the promised land where there is no "hyperpartisanship." With the press fair and just, we need not ask who has worked awfully hard to undermine a whole series of Democratic candidates and elected officials.

Posted by: fas on November 12, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton was hated because he was getting blow jobs and CDS sufferers weren't. Hillary was hated because everyone else was busy giving or getting shit for the dearth of blow jobs in their life. Bill and Hillary troubled themselves with neither giving or getting shit for a dearth of blow jobs, a pernicious preoccupation of 99% of everyone in a relationship.

Posted by: steve duncan on November 12, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I can see certain parallels between Clinton and G.W. Bush in terms of how they illicit passionate dislike from idealogical opponents, but the one big distinction I see is whereas people who hate Bush can point to a staggering record of failure and incompetence (9/11, Katrina, Iraq war, Social Security, etc., etc.) the worst the Clinton haters come up with is vague generalizations about his "forgettable" and "annoying" politics as posted above by Boring Commenter. Oh, and the whole blowjob thing.

Posted by: Del Capslock on November 12, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I am also bemused by Sullivan's total fixation on the Clintons. I initially started reading him many years ago because I was looking for a blog with which I usually disagreed but was honest and straightforward. Sullivan fit that bill and still does. No one out there is more willing to post really good counter arguments to even his most dearly held positions. And yes, he eventually conceded the error of his ways on Bush and Iraq and did issue very public apologies. That said, I wonder if his need for moral certainty and righteousness doesn't overcome his rationality from time to time. Iraq and Hillary certainly fall into that category. I get the odd feeling that Andrew, could he vote, would march in there and vote for Romney over Hillary because she leaves too much wiggle room in her condemnation of torture. Overlooking the fact that Romney condones it.

Posted by: MarkedMan on November 12, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

---------------
Eric Alterman
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020408/alterman

Andrew Sullivan cannot have an easy life. A Catholic gay man who is also HIV positive, his political views have led him to attach himself to a party, a movement and a church that believe him to be practicing an abomination. Influential Republican power-brokers blame America's sexual tolerance for the attacks of 9/11. The military he reveres is kicking gays out at a rate unseen since the presidency of Ronald Reagan--another Sullivan hero. And his church offers a warmer embrace for pedophile priests than for honest homosexuals.
[...]
Beyond the confines of his bathroom, Sullivan's singular obsession appears to be the crushing of any hint of democratic debate about the war. His campaign began with a now notorious London Times missive warning his fellow patriots: "The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts...may well mount...a fifth column." Called upon to defend this vile slander of inhabitants of the very city that suffered the attack, Sullivan named four writers who, he determined, "were more concerned with what they see as the evil of American power than the evil of terrorism, that their first response was to blame America." Among the myriad problems with this answer was the fact that at least one of the four--me, as it happens--supported the war and much of the patriotic reaction the attacks inspired.
--------------

Nah, I don't see no reason to despise Sullivan there. "Fifth column". Um hm.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on November 12, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton stole Bush 41's second term. That's where the hatred comes from. The hatred started the day the election was over.

Posted by: bob on November 12, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I still say it is because he has sex with women.

Posted by: john john on November 12, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is really just a general comment on the media and even the general public rather than Sullivan specific: There are people who we expect to act like adults, people who we expect to truly lead. Clinton and many Democrats fall into this category. And then there are cartoon characters that aren't really held to any discernible standards. Giuliani and talk radio. The Public gets angry with the adults but not the cartoon characters. The Media castigates the adults, but don't bother asking anything meaningful from the cartoons. It's why, when the Republicans controlled the Senate, the slant was about how the Democrats weren't able to stop them. And now that the Democrats have the majority, it's about how the Democrats can't do anything about the war, or about torture. Always about the Democrats. Because deep down, we all know they are the adults.

This would be in no way troubling, except for the fact that the voters seem to have no trouble in pulling the lever for the cartoon characters.

Posted by: MarkedMan on November 12, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

They hate the Clintons because they made more of themselves without the approbation of the Villagers than the Villagers thought was right and proper. Bill was a poor boy born to a working class family who pulled himself up by sheer determination and wouldn't allow anyone to condescend to him. The Villagers say they love that sort of Horatio Alger story, but they don't. It reminds them too much of their personal failures. Yes, yes, they are big, important "opinion makers," but how shallow that seems compared to being a policy maker who doesn't care what the Villagers think of him. I have to say, it seems to drive the British members of the Village especially crazy. Maybe they were hoping that, having gone to Oxford, Bill would allow himself to be their special pet, and they were disappointed when he wouldn't. Or maybe, like many British expats, they were hoping that they would seem like the smartest and sexiest ones in the room simply by virtue of their nationality, and were disappointed to find that a hick from Arkansas was more successful at getting the American public to drop its knickers.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on November 12, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

> And yes, he eventually conceded the error
> of his ways on Bush and Iraq and did issue
> very public apologies.

When a public figure has been as utterly, colossally wrong as Sullivan was about the unprovoked invasion of Iraq, Bush, Cheney, the neocons, and the "stir the beehive" theory and he realizes it, the thing for him to do is to issue the apologies, take a vow of poverty, and go volunteer at the local Mother Theresa Home for Lepers. NOT to resume his career as a pundit and public critic of others.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on November 12, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Sullivan is a self-hating gay guy. He can't understand that conservatism is antithetical to gay. You are either gay or conservative, and you can't be both. If you try to do both, you write the kind of meaningless bullshit seen sooooo often at Sullivan't blog.

Posted by: POed Lib on November 12, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Accommodating has two m's.

Posted by: a pedant on November 12, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK
Where the white-hot hatred emanates from remains an enigma.

Yep, me too. I’ve wondered the same thing about Christopher Hitchens.

The interesting thing is that there are usually hard and fast clues that someone does indeed suffer from CDS. Most of the CDS-infected buy into the Whitewater crap. Sure sign of irrationality.

Posted by: little ole jim from red state on November 12, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

I think what much of this discussion misses is that the genesis of CDS was somehow genuine. It was anything but. Clinton hatred was carefully manufactured. The right are the masters of trumped up outrage (see the recent "outrage" over the Move On Patreaus ad as just one example). Such "outrage" was manufactured about Clinton very early in the primaries in 1992.

From there the derangement grew and took on a life of its own. The cynical spewers of false outrage repeated the same false charges so many times that hordes of conservatives actually began to believe what they were hearing, so that after years of this, certain people were never going to change their minds. Bill and Hilary were just evil, because, well, they just were and everyone knew it!

This hatred involves nothing special about the Clintons. I think people on the left often fail to see this so it can't be repeated often enough. The right wing media machine will manufacture this kind of hatred or scorn about any successful Democratic politician--especially at the presidential level.

In the past 40 years there have been two democratic presidents and one almost president. How amazing that one of these was a pathetic failure in over his head (Carter), the next inspires drooling hatred and was nearly hounded out of office (Clinton), and the third (Gore) is (to most right-wing insiders) a national joke who believes his own lies.

Rest assured, the next Democratic president, whether Clinton or not, will inspire wild-eyed hatred or eye-rolling contempt from a solid 30% of the population, and smart left-leaning commentators will scratch their heads and ask, what is it about President Jones that inspires such hatred?

Posted by: Rob Mac on November 12, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Accommodating has two m's.

Posted by: a pedant on November 12, 2007 at 2:16 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So does hamm sammich (twice!).

Posted by: steve duncan on November 12, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Obama, Edwards, "boys"? F.U., Bill.

"It's a great time to be a Democrat," Bill Clinton told more than 800 students and supporters at Trident Technical College. "Even though those boys have been getting tough on her lately, she can handle it."

Posted by: lampwick on November 12, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I do think that CDS is born of the same frustrations that initially drove BDS.

In both cases, the thing that made it very, very hard to deal with Clinton/Bush was that their popularity wouldn't go down, no matter how outrageous their actions might have seemed to partisans opposed to them.

Clinton escaped the jaws of Whitewater, and of impeachment, and his popularity remained fully intact.

With Bush, for years his popularity and credibility was sky high, even though his behavior was contemptible.

The sense of impotence underlies the quantity and quality of emotion. Red Sox fans until 2004 knew too well what this was like, whenever they would see the Yankees steal another decisive victory against the Sox.

It's of course hard for us to understand CDS, because we never experienced the frustration of the right over Clinton's ability to escape "proper punishment."

And I think it's fair to say that those of us on the left don't experience the same level sputtering frustration nowadays with Bush as when he was popular, and have now settled instead on a more determined and deliberate disgust over what he is and what he stands for.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 12, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I used to share an office with a young republican type. It was like a sitcom - all I had to do was say "Hillary Clinton" and he'd explode like a Tex Avery cartoon.

I repeatedly asked him to explain this reaction, but he became effectively speechless on the subject. He just couldn't express why he hated her so much.

So I conclude that "derangement" is the appropriate term. There is no "reason" (in any sense of that word). They've just decided they hate her and that's it.

Posted by: craigie on November 12, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK
There are two books that I highly recommend for recovering CDS patients: The Hunting of the President by Joe Conasan and Gene Lyons, and David Brock's memoir and mea culpa, Blinded by the Right.

Thanks, Donald, and allow me to loudly second that recommendation, especially the first one. Great research, great book.

Posted by: little ole jim from red state on November 12, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

y81: But, in general, politicians who seem, in a cultural or lifestyle way, to be firmly on the left or the right, but who are fairly centrist in their actual policies, seem to arouse the most loathing. Nixon, Clinton and Bush 2 are the most salient examples.

In what universe are the Bush administration's policies even remotely centrist, jackass?

Posted by: junebug on November 12, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

In general, you have to understand the dynamics of partisanship at least in part as being similar to rooting for teams. I'd even claim that for some partisans on both sides this is the best way to grasp their behavior; their actual appreciation of the underlying issues is often quite meager.

Clinton kept winning, always defeating the elaborate and cunning attempts to pull him down.

It's enough to drive any fan crazy.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 12, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Huh, is it because he raised taxes on the rich?

Posted by: elmo on November 12, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I can think of nothing better than someone at the head of the executive branch who is pragmatic, centrist and accommodating. It's like a dream!

Posted by: Mina on November 12, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

They've just decided they hate her and that's it.

Whereas those accused of so-called "Bush Derangement Syndrome" -- a dishonest right-wing trope intended -- not without some success -- to render criticism of Dear Leader somehow beyond the pale -- can point to an ever-longer list of Shrub's mendacity, incompetence, corruption, and authoritarianism as perfectly valid reasons for objecting to him and his loathsome cabal of neocon and corporate shills stinking up this country for the last eight years.

Posted by: Gregory on November 12, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Sullivan is a self-hating gay guy.

Couldn't disagree more. He pimps himself regularly & shamelessly. I've never read anyone who holds himself in quite such high regard.

Posted by: junebug on November 12, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Just incidentally:
The "not accepted in D.C." hypothesis gets some added credibility from the fact that the same thing happened with Carter.

Posted by: Winston Smith on November 12, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, I lied. Hitchens beats him like a redheaded stepchild on that one.

Posted by: junebug on November 12, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody ever said fools were rational. People who don't think, can't be rational. Reality has no place in their thought processes.

Posted by: Grouchy Cowboy on November 12, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Why is Andrew Sullivan reduced to a state of semi-coherent frothing when the subject of Bill and Hillary Clinton comes up?

Monica. That should have been Sully on his knees in the Oval Office and he's never forgiven Bill for (not) stiffing him. Hillary's a woman. For Sully, what's not to hate?

It's a Sherlock Holmes moment.

Posted by: TJM on November 12, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I think its coming from Gorver Norquist who wants to limit Dynasties in government, after supporting one no less.

Posted by: Ya Know.... on November 12, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's the difference between realizing you were wrong on something that lends itself to objective facts (such as what a fiasco the Iraq war has been) and realizing you were wrong (or at least overheated) about something you feel on a visceral level that defies logic.

As for where that hatred stems from, I think you put your finger on it in the last paragraph: They're pragmatic. They get things done. Maybe not in the way those of us who are more progressive Democrats wish they would, but still, they do get things done. That, and the fact they come from relatively humble backgrounds (especially Bill), drive the right crazy. They'll never hate wide-eyed idealists the way they hate hard-headed Democratic pragmatists.

Posted by: sullijan on November 12, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Monsieur Kevin
Oh god thank you thank you for your post on CDS since I too have been in daily Angst struggling to understand it and good to know am not alone and cannot talk to friend who suffers from extreme case of CDS. If I tried to discuss her illness with her we would ruin lunch and our friendship as I know I would become more rabid over my anti-CDS symptoms and general hatred of Repukeans. Will read the book on the Hounding of the President by Lyons et al maybe that will help.

grassy mucho!

Posted by: Mellors on November 12, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't a good part of CDS just a successful product of clever pyscho-manupulation by the right wing think tanks. They seek to identify the people who are most likley to be current/future threats to rightwing dominance, and undertake clever long term programs to destroy their reputations. They don't do this with facts and policies. These are easy to defeat, as they engage logical thinking. The psyco-manipulation is meant to insill a negative emotional response at the mere mention of the name. For instance conditioning listeners to expect that whenever they hear Hillaries name, they are about to be reminded of something they find unpleasant. Very similar to the constant repetition of Saddam Husein, and OBL before the Iraq adventure. They conditioned our brains to know that when you heard Saddam, seconds later OBL would be mentioned. Our brains work on correlations, not causations, and they skillfully exploit this fact.

Posted by: bigTom on November 12, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

HeavyJ: "We're talking about prissy moralizing holier-than-thou sodomite ..."

Anon: "What you're not noticing are the two problems or mistakes of the Clintons. #1: The FIRST THING the Clintons did was try to take on gays in the military. BIG mistake. #2. Hillary is a strong woman. Period."

steve duncan: "Bill Clinton was hated because he was getting blow jobs and CDS sufferers weren't."

Poed Lib: "Sullivan is a self-hating gay guy."

john john: "I still say it is because he has sex with women."

On second thought, perhaps CDS is truly freudian in its underlying origins, in that people who generally subscribe to rightist ideology tend to similarly express an unhealthy prurient interest and concurrent pathological fear in almost all things sexual in nature.

Clearly, this psychological pathology has manifested itself in a whole host of socio-political public issues, which range from women's equality to civil rights for homosexuals, from adult-oriented video entertainment to sex education in public schools, and from Ken Starr's ribald legal briefs about oral sex in the Oval Office to Rep. Heather Wilson's weepy congressional vapors over her teenaged son's glimpse of Janet Jackson's left tit during a Super Bowl halftime show.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 12, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

The only way I've ever been able to make sense of CDS is to attribute it it large part to the Right Wing Noise Machine. For several years, my wife and I socialized with a neighborhood group of largely Southern military families who were as decent as could be in nearly all respects, even about race. But bring up the Clintons and several of them would literally lose control of themselves. In the argument that finally led us to stop talking about politics in this group, one of these people yelled, "Well, what about all those people they had killed?" Realizing that they genuinely believed, on the basis of hate radio propaganda, that the Clintons were responsible for having White House staff executed, I realized there was no point in reasoning with them. It also helps explain why they don't think Bush is all that bad. After all, if the last President had his own staff executed on occasion, what's the big deal about a little rough interrogation?

Posted by: DCBob on November 12, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

They've become socially acceptable scapegoats. Never undersestimate the power of people with high social status telling the broad public that is is ok to hate such and such. The elite media and key republican leaders have been telling America that it is ok to hate the clintons for a long time

Posted by: Northern Observer on November 12, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

BDS - it is based on the actual deeds of the man.

CDS - it is based on the fact that the Big Dog was a runaway success on the substantive issues and that he was and still is a real pussy magnet.

So it's facts and deeds vs the fact that Bill Clinton was a man who laid pipe.

And why does it always come back around to hating consensual heterosexual practices with Republicans? They're going to hate anyone who has a healthy sex life. They only admire and understand repressed sexual dysfunction and deviancy--hence, the popularity of Rudy Guiliani vs Fred Thompson, who made the mistake of having a trophy wife Republicans could be envious about.

I'll take Clinton's family values over the family values of any Republican out there.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 12, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq war propaganda push was a litmus test which differentiated liberals from those who are blind to fascism.

Sullivan still can't explain how he was so blind to the obvious bullshit propaganda put out by the Bushies. I emailed him on it once, and his reply is that he attributed it to a lack of trust of liberal critics.

Not much insight there.

Posted by: Nick on November 12, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I don't care WHO Sullivan sticks his dick into. Really. It's just that you can't be gay and conservative.

Posted by: POed Lib on November 12, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

MarkedMan> There are people who we expect to act like adults, people who we expect to truly lead...And then there are cartoon characters that aren't really held to any discernible standards. ...The Public gets angry with the adults but not the cartoon characters.

This seems plausible to me, if only because it neatly sums up why so many people worldwide foam at the mouth over US policies, yet nearly give the whole ME, China and Russia a pass.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on November 12, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

CDS comes from different places for different people.

One group hates them because Bill temporarily solved the problem of Reaganomics (unending deficits) and even worse he destroyed Reaganism, ie. "government is always the problem" with an effective administration (best in my 50 years) even while being continuously attacked by Starr et al.

I agree with others here that another reason, the reason he's called "Slick", is his wrong side of the track roots. My guess is that Sullivan's problem is the latter.

Too bad for them. Not. Almost makes me want HRC over my several other higher priority choices.

Posted by: dennisS on November 12, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

As far as Hillary Hatred goes, it's easy to understand why so many men hate her: She's a strong, intelligent woman.

It's stunning how many men are so insecure that a woman like that scares the bejesus out of them.

As someone who's had some incredibly strong women in his life, I like a woman like that. Keep the mousy little wallflowers the hell away, thank you very much.

For others, though, not so much. Maybe in another generation or two that crap will stop and women can be strong without being labeled a "bitch."

Personally, I don't like Hillary because she's too centrist. In my perfect world, Russ Feingold would be president.

**sigh**

Posted by: Mark D on November 12, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, well maybe Andy see Bush with a dress on when he see Hillary. After all, we must think the Repug Party from keeping Clintons from lauching the Iraq war first and before Bush did it. Yes, Bill Clinton was all about WMD and pre-emptive war too.

Hillary says we'll still be in Iraq until 2013, a whole 8 years longer, even as she says she'll end the Iraq war.

But then again Bush said he was a uniter and not a divider too.

Sorry, but Hillary is looking more and more Bush in drag.

Posted by: Me_again on November 12, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton said it himself. It was because he won.

Cosmici nailed it up at the top. Does anyone remember the Repuclican interviews on election night 1992? My whole impression was "These people don't want to accept this outcome." Their dream of a permanent Republicann Presidency was shattered. The last 15 years have proved that out.

Posted by: tomeck on November 12, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0's got it. Clinton's teflon popularity made him the roadrunner to the GOP's Wile E. Coyote.

Vice versa for Bush 2 and the Dems until he got down to the low 30's.

Posted by: goethean on November 12, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Raging bareback AIDS-infested homosexuals like Sullivan go loony thinking about a virile, handsome, heterosexual like Bill Clinton. In fact, that would explain the hatred of Clinton by so many of the closet queens on the right. It's kinda like penis envy...

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on November 12, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's just that you can't be gay and conservative.

Certainly you can. But you'll be thrown under the bus every time if your party relies on Christian fundamentalists & homophobes in order to win elections.

Posted by: junebug on November 12, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Whereas those accused of so-called "Bush Derangement Syndrome" -- a dishonest right-wing trope intended -- not without some success -- to render criticism of Dear Leader somehow beyond the pale -- can point to an ever-longer list of Shrub's mendacity, incompetence, corruption, and authoritarianism as perfectly valid reasons for objecting to him . . .

First, agree with Gregory. BDS is a right-wing trope that liberals should resist placing in the lexicon. It turns valid revulsion patriots feel for this worst president in U.S. history into a joke psychiatric condition.

Second, Sullivan's problem with HRC and Clinton himself is mysterious to me. Oddly enough, I don't know hardly anyone with CDS. Like Kevin, I must be immune. I genuinely liked Clinton during the 90s--was the first at the school busstop in Bethesda, Md., to say he was going to win the nomination and had a Clinton bumper sticker on my car.

Regarding HRC, I want to like her for this election cycle but happen to like almost all of the other candidates more.

Sully does seem, however, to have a visceral dislike for her. But I don't think he's deranged. He's just a writer, and HRC's missteps trip a trigger with him, and he writes about it with a bit too much abandon. All he needs is a more aggressive editor who realizes that repetition and bile are not all that winsome in a blogger. Sully should concentrate on his natural gift for bitchiness. As he said, that's what sets most of the really good blogs apart from the others.

Posted by: paxr55 on November 12, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think it had to do with the timing.
The Soviet Union had collapsed. Our arch-enemy defeated. History was over. With the US unthwarted by MAD and Soviet nukes, rule of the United States was tantamount to ruling the world.
GHWB had just demonstrated that the New World Rulership could muster worldwide unity to deal devastatingly with any rogue state. The Republicans were all set to become the Lords of Creation.
But Bush I screwed up on the economy, and Bill Clinton got to sit on the World Throne.
That's why they went after Bill the way they never had before: the stakes were immeasurably higher. And what was worse that not only was he utilizing the mystic Power of the World Throne well, he was making people happy with the economy!

The problem with the Presidency since we became a world Power was that the power was always circumscribed. We couldn't just go out and form our World Empire--we had to act like adults when we'd rather act like greedy arrogant violent ten year olds.

That, I think, was why they savagely went after Clinton and Gore, why they demonized him as they'd never demonized s persident/vice president before. They had to have that power.

Of course, with unfettered access to the government of the only remaining superpower in the world, they managed to wreck the military, ruin America's standing in the world, and destroy the economy. They've got a moron sitting on the World Throne, and a world which is, more than despising us, is beginning not to be afraid of us.

Because (and maybe this is the worst of all for them)--they're beginning to realize that they're stupider than Bill Clinton.

Posted by: pbg on November 12, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dear god ... what the hell is it with all the homophobic comments on this thread?!

I don't recognize a few of the names, so I'm wondering if they're just trolls.

But some of the others are regulars and it's just disgustingly pathetic.

What the hell is wrong with you people? Seriously. What the fuck?

Posted by: Mark D on November 12, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Raging bareback AIDS-infested homosexuals

Could you stop it with the sickeningly homophobic remarks, ass?

There's plenty not to like about Sullivan; if what strikes you as important is that he's gay and HIV+, then you're more despicable than he is.

We're suppsoed to be the party of tolerance and rationality--start acting like it.

Posted by: rea on November 12, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

"don't know hardly anyone"?

And I used Preview and everything!

This was an edit on the fly of "I don't know anyone. . ." which I wanted to modify slightly.

Plus I'm packing and burning DVDs. Urgh.

Posted by: paxr55 on November 12, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Mark D: "[W]hat the hell is it with all the homophobic comments on this thread?!"

I think it's the writer's personal insecurities about such issues.

Near the chilling climax of Roman Polanski's landmark 1974 film noir, Chinatown, when L.A. political heavyweight Noah Cross (John Huston) is finally confronted by private investigator Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) with the fact that Cross sexually assaulted his own daughter and fathered her child, he nonchalently replies with purposely understated menace, "You see, Mr. Gittes, most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and the right place, they're capable of anything."

Truer words were never put to celluloid.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 12, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, ignore Sully, they are all sexist pigs. The rethugs could not beat Bill and his wife even tho millions upon millions were spent to trash them. Democrats too are acting like rethugs. Edwards and Obama are using the rethugs talking points to attack Bill and his wife. Then you have pigs like bloggers Kos, Chris Bowers etc..and those are joining in the party too. They are all pigs really.

Posted by: bob on November 12, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Having seen so many people quickly adopt the latest right-wing talking points as their own cherished and long-standing convictions, I vote for manufactured outrage.

People are easy to manipulate, especially if you own the media.

Posted by: Joey Giraud on November 12, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

BDS, CDS, whatever.

This is why Inkblot should run in '08.
Hard to see anyone (excepting maybe Domino) getting IDS.

Posted by: optical weenie on November 12, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Truer words were never put to celluloid.
Posted by: Donald from Hawaii

Donald, are you saying the Andrew Sullivan is Angelica Huston's brother?

Posted by: JeffII on November 12, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think we're getting close to really satisfactory answers on this question, and it's a very important one. If HRC can't bump her likability index forward, she is going to lose the 2008 election, probably handily and almost certainly to disastrous effect.
It won't stop those afflicted with HDS, but from a coldly political viewpoint, I think Hillary could pick up a couple percentage points among the noncommitted just by losing some weight. Her inner circle, Bubba notwithstanding, is probably too cowed by her to suggest it, but I think a diet and exercise regimen would not only make her more attractive, but also would be good for her overall temperament, confidence and campaign endurance. The effort such a regimen requires would also humanize her to potential voters. I myself don't care what a candidate looks like, but most of the men running for president have far more vanity than HRC, and for good reason: They know it helps.

Posted by: beejeez on November 12, 2007 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

I think the main reason why the Republicans hated the Clintons was jealousy. Even though they claimed to be morally indignant about Bill's sex life, I think that was one of the things they were jealous of. When you put aside our society's attitudes about marriage and fidelity, it's actually quite impressive the way Bill Clinton has managed to have both a successful marriage and many affairs on the side. The Republicans and religious conservatives weren't going to admit they felt this way, of course, so they covered up their jealousy with fulminations about how supposedly "immoral" he was.

I think Bill's monumental charisma made them jealous as well. As for Hillary, I think the hatred is mainly because she's the antithesis of what they believe a woman should be--she's powerful, assertive, and successful in her own right.

What disappointed me about the Monica Lewinsky scandal the most was that I felt Bill never truly stood up to the Republicans. I personally hate being told what to do, and I would have gone ballistic if the Republicans tried to pry into my sex life. I wished he would have said, when he was asked about Monica: "I'm not answering questions about my private life. You're not gonna tell me how to live my sex life. I'll live it however the fuck I please."

I understand that he didn't say this because he didn't want to cause needless trouble with Hillary, but in hindsight, it would have been better to say it because Hillary, of course, found out anyway. I think people would have respected him for taking a stand--not just for himself, but for everyone's right to privacy.

Posted by: Lee on November 12, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

If HRC can't bump her likability index forward, she is going to lose the 2008 election, probably handily and almost certainly to disastrous effect.Posted by: beejeez

On what grounds do you base this at this point? Giuliana may very well be dust in the wind as the Kerik trail unfolds, and HRC is ahead of him is most state polls already. As to the rest of the Rethugs running, the Reth don't even like them. This is the weakest slate of Rethug presidential candidates since Bush ran unopposed in 2004.

Posted by: JeffII on November 12, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

"My sister" (slap)
"My daughter" (slap)
"My sister" (slap)
"My daughter" (slap)
.....

Posted by: jprichva on November 12, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a bit puzzled as to where the Clinton Deragement comes from. I mean they seem to bring up lying a lot, but I don't think that's what really upsets them, since their hero Reagan told some whoppers that have since been exposed pretty much everywhere.

If I had to guess, I'd say they probably get upset because he stopped the Reagan sea change that was supposed (in the GOP's mind) to make the Republican party invincible in presidential elections. And he did it in a way that cut Republicans off at the knees; the changes to welfare removed a HUGE prop that the Republicans had been using to attract white suburbanites.

Basically, they hate him because he smashed their unholy alliance of suburbanites and evangelical rural people. Granted, he didn't build a Democratic majority in it's place (there probably wouldn't have been time for that anyhow, in his defense), but he destroyed their pipe dream (still being chased by some on that side I see) of a "Permanent Republican Majority."

Dunno why Sullivan's still on the Clinton Hate Train, especially considering his many loud disagreements with the GOP in recent years.

Posted by: Harkov311 on November 12, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Thanks, Mark D. That needed to be said. But an equally legitimate question is, what's wrong with the rest of us that so many bigoted remarks have gone without anybody saying something sooner?

Posted by: junebug on November 12, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

they hated him because people in the center and center right liked him and republicans could never convince the americican people to dislike him or vote against him

Posted by: cd on November 12, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

I am accustomed to no one having a sense of history any more but this is a parody. Almost everyone here seems to have retrospective amnesia extending backward from 1992.

Nearly everything that was said or done against Bill Clinton was also said or done against Franklin Roosevelt. (The bulk of that, in turn, was said and done against Andrew Jackson.)

America has always consisted of irreconcilable factions. Unity was recognized to be the defining goal of the nation at its founding. For much of our history, it has been set explicitly at the forefront of the national debate and reinforced by elite discourse, the educational system, and the media.

Until the late 1970s, external enemies and threats were (cynically, shamefully) used by the political establishment to unify the people and prevent them from descending into the kind of nihilistic factionalism that grips us today. The Iran hostage crisis marked a turning point. The Republican Party (cynically, shamefully) used that event to exacerbate the factional strife in the hope of provoking a catastrophic realignment that they could take advantage of.

Ronald Reagan was the first President who did not even pay lip service to the notion of being President of all the people. He openly took sides. He was President of the Good Americans and meant to make sure that the Bad Americans would never again have seats at the table. This had two effects, a moral effect and a practical effect.

The moral effect is that America can never have a legitimate government again. Half the country will repudiate, and feel disowned by, any foreseeable regime--until and unless institutional continuity is somehow completely broken and a fresh start made.

The practical effect followed from Reagan's and his Party's overestimation of their strength. They believed in the 70% Fallacy. They thought it would be easy. It wasn't; so they had to escalate--and escalate, and escalate, and they are escalating still, with all decency left far ought of sight behind and no way to imagine the end.

Of Bill Clinton, the only thing that can be said is--that he failed. "Right" and "Left" will not agree on what his goals may have been but none would call him a success. That is the most baffling thing about Clinton Derangement Syndrome: its disproportionality to its nominal target.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on November 12, 2007 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

I think CDS was created just like market demand for any other product is created-- the right needed it to make money. Marketing 101. Certainly it was helped along by the fact that much of the Washington Press Corps came of age through years of Republican dominance. The Clintons sent a lot of the WPC's buddies home (at least temporarily) and they had to make new friends. Instead, of course, they picked the jr high option of finding new people to be mean to.

So, $$ and high school cafeteria politics is what a lot of it comes down to. Plus there is something just fundamentally irritating about them--voices maybe? And yes, reproaching a politician for being insincere is like reproaching a turd for being ugly, but they did take it to a fine art, or at least it seemed so before the Cheney administration came along.

They also showed how truly powerless the society is in the face of someone who is immune to social pressures when there is no actual LAW against (or for) something. The Clintons managed to codify a "Yeah, so what are you going to DO about it" position that exposed the weakness of our system of checks and balances.

Of course, since the Cheney administration has also taken this to a high art, and conservatives regard it as a sign of courage and decision, it must just be that they are pissed that Democrats figured it out too.

Posted by: bluewave on November 12, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

"the white-hot hatred" was planned and executed by a vast rightwing conspiracy bored to tears by the vacuum left by collapse of the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on November 12, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know either, but John Cole of Balloon Juice has the same condition, to the extent that he keeps pouncing on Hillary when he hears reports of her mistakes, only to sheepishly backtrack when it turns out to be the usual right wing nonsense.

Posted by: Rick Taylor on November 12, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think part of it is that Republicans are tribal. The us vs. them is inherent in their psyche. The Republican Party owed its success to anti-communism (with a healthy dose of racism. Fortunately for Democrats, the "enemy" was external. By the end of the cold war, communism was dead and naked race baiting was socially unacceptable. The Republicans had to make the Clinton's the "Enemy." If the Clintons aren't the enemy, then the Republicans have no place in modern American Life (except to enrich their friends).

Posted by: exlitigator on November 12, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

"...unrepentent baby-boomer, draft-dodger..."
Posted by: cosmici on November 12, 2007 at 12:38 PM
^^^^^^^^

I think that's it, especially the "unrepentant baby-boomer" part. I think in a nutshell he represents some sort of demon "dirty hippie" archetype that just sends the fundie-righties berserk. There is some sort of anti-authoritarian rebel alert possibility alarm that goes off... kind of like the people in the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on November 12, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Ariana Huffington would be a good one to ask about Bill/Hill Derangement Syndrome as she's got it in spades.

Although she's worked hard reinventing herself as "outside the boundaries of Left & Right" (or some such nonsense) she gets almost apoplectic when discussing either Clinton. It's funny listening to her because you can so clearly hear how much she's fighting to keep her DS in check.

I guess it wasn't any fun when her beloved Gingrich Revolution self-destructed and Clinton thrived (and survived).

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on November 12, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

The reason the Right hates the Clintons so much is they know that if the Constitution were changed so that Bill Clinton could run for another term as President he would be literally swept into office.

They hate that.

Posted by: Punditbot on November 12, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think Bill is right: they hate him because he won. And kept on winning. It's not entirely true that Bill and Hillary are "fairly ordinary politicians"; Bill isn't. He's a preternaturally talented politician with a combination of intellectual brilliance and personal magnetism that exceeds, I think, that of ANY American President, ever. He may not have been the best president, but he flourished in an exceedingly adverse climate, and he had those particular gifts -- critical gifts in a television age -- in quantities no other candidate I can think of ever has.

On the other hand, he is also a genuinely slippery guy. That's partly a response to the kind of political times he lived in, but it's partly an innate character trait that made him well suited to his times. Still, most of his slipperiness isn't particularly remarkable for any politician.

The closest I can get to understanding why he would provoke such intense loathing is to think about how I feel about the Dallas Cowboys. On some rational level, I know the Cowboys are simply a football team like pretty much any other. But as a Redskins fan, I have since childhood imbued them with qualities of suburbanism, Christianism, an implacable Storm Trooperish flawlessness which renders them all but inhuman, and even dishonesty and untrustworthiness. (How can a football team be dishonest? I can't even explain it.) Ever since I watched Roger Staubach pick apart Redskin defenses with his ruthless two-minute drill, the Cowboys have been Evil Incarnate. At some point such in-group/out-group responses exit the realm where one can even do anything about them.

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 12, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta go with the "because he won" argument. Reagan / Bush I was the first time one party had held the oval office for three terms since Roosevelt / Truman. It think Republicans believed that they were on the right side of history. Clinton not only beat them, he beat them on policy and then the policies basically worked. This is the William Kristol 'we've got to stop them on health care or the little people will realize that government can work' argument.

Posted by: jhe on November 12, 2007 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'd go with the folks saying "because he won" and "because we've all been the subject of a millions of dollars of media telling us to hate them".

Still, does it matter? There are only two relevant questions for the election:

1. Is HRC the Democratic candidate most likely to win despite CDS?
2. If she wins, can she govern? Or will the GOP put us straight back in Lewinsky-era gridlock?

Posted by: Rebecca on November 12, 2007 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe, don't spend one New York minute beating yourself up about it. It's not just the suburban, Christian, stormtrooper quality; the Cowboys are the paleface invaders with the smallpox blankets and the government agents; the Redskins are the stalwart natives with nothing but their wits. If that. How can anybody root for smallpox blankets? It's just not right. So see, it's not like CDS at all ...

Posted by: DCBob on November 12, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Brooksfoe,

Congratulations! You are the first Washington D.C. area football team supporter that I have met. You just don't have any Washington fans in the Bay Area. Probably because of the team name. But anyway, I hate the Cowboys too.

Posted by: Fighting Words on November 12, 2007 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Raging bareback AIDS-infested homosexuals like Sullivan go loony thinking about a virile, handsome, heterosexual like Bill Clinton. In fact, that would explain the hatred of Clinton by so many of the closet queens on the right. It's kinda like penis envy..."

And that certainly explains Chris Matthews, one of the biggest closet cases and sufferers of CDS on national TV. That guy is a serious weirdo.

Posted by: jbk on November 13, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Echoing many above commentrs, here's why I think Bill Clinton is hated by some:

1) he's smart -- the class hatred was not based on his poor origins but on his education
2) coincided with rise of right wing radio, plus quite real massive right-wing conspiracy against him
3) the haters knew Clinton had more sex than they did in their pathetic repressed world
4) gays in military issue
5) there IS something dishonest/slippery about him, plus his pure success as a politician
2b) shift of hatred for non-whites and foreign enemies to hatred of liberals
6) his wife was not bakin' cookies but had a career
6b) baby-boom / generational / 60s / Vietnam draft / Woodstock museum, etc. etc. being played out still

Posted by: Norbert on November 13, 2007 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

The "they won" explanation is plausible for Republicans in general. Now that Bill is out of office, you actually hear Republicans saying nice things about him. I read an article the other day that Richard Mellon Scaiffe had even reconciled with Clinton (The horror, the horror). Republicans will loathe any successful Democrat in office, just like they loathed FDR.

However, this doesn't explain Sullivan (or Chris Matthews or Christopher Hitchens, who are very similar in this regard). The hatred is not ideologically motivated. It seems PERSONAL.

I have even written Sully about this, but he's never responded. I don't know. It IS a mystery. I'm glad that Kevin brought this up, because it is something that I've wondered about for a long time.

Posted by: Tom on November 13, 2007 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

In my opinion, Sullivan is making semi-relevant points about the Clintons. The problem is like always he goes WAY overboard. His main beefs are that the Clintons lie and that they are inauthentic poll-followers. As kevin said, all politicians are guilty of this. But I do think that in order to survive politically and mentally during the nineties the Clintons had to do more of this than most politicians do. They were unable to follow their own more liberal leanings, and even today their souls are still haunted by those wars that were extraordinarily personal.

Its a classic "become the evil you once fought" tale. The Clintons had to beat the Republicans at their own game by mastering the politics of poll-tested-centrism and saying-what-sounds-good, not what you truly believe.

And I guess that gets to the real reason Sullivan hates the Clintons: its a personality clash. Sullivan always says what he believes very loudly and very forcefully, regardless of the consequences, while the Clintons always say what is expedient in the moment.

Did I mention that according to Shrum Bill Clinton advised Kerry to support the Federal Marraige Amendment in 2004? That turned me off the clintons forever.

Posted by: nathan on November 13, 2007 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Get a copy of Sullivan's Oct 1998 article in the gay Advocate entitled Sex Lies and Us. You will learn why Sullivan loathes the Clintons.

His article is right on the mark, by the way.

Posted by: raj on November 13, 2007 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

Knee-jerk speculation to the contrary aside, like most gay men, Andrew Sullivan is not remotely misogynist. Nor is he hetero-phobic. Nor is he, any longer, a rabidly partisan right-winger. His current position is best described as that of a disenchanted, moderate Conservative. To me, his obsessive animus towards the Clinton's seems more reflexive & unexamined than most of his responses, which trend towards the well-reasoned & intelligently considered. Like his weirdly illogical opposition to universal health care, his dislike of the Clinton's seems to be, like his conditional Catholicism, a key pillar in the shaky foundations of his crumbling conservatism. He clings to these last, remaining pillars (anti-universal healthcare, the Vatican, Clinton-o-phobia, socio-economic privilege & Beltway elitism) like a man terrified of losing everything he believed in & the ideological basis for his enrichment & professional prestige. To abandon these last key tenets of his conservative punditry would be to risk his hard-won identity & his financial security.

Like Drudge, Sully hates the Clintons because it's paid, & continues to pay, the bills

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on November 13, 2007 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

Hey raj,

Could you possibly summarize, for the benefit of everyone else, the key points of the Advocate article outlining Sully's reasons for loathing the Clintons? Particularly those all important "right on the mark" bits?
Thanks.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on November 13, 2007 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

Umm.... for all the folks who insist that the real reason many folks can't stand the Clintons cuz "he won", kindly explain just WHAT he won?

That is, what good did his Presidency do?

Cuz I think that's where the Mickey/Casey thing comes into play.

The VRWC's loathing for Clinton makes sense -- after all, they're ideological as well as political opponents.

Ordinary Republican's dislike for Clinton makes sense, too: there were lots of Democrats who really couldn't stand Reagan, the famously likeable guy, cuz of his coded signals on race, etc.

But what Kevin wants to call CDS (ick) is fueled by a broader antipathy to Clinton, which has sunk roots among progressives: I say it's cuz with all of Clinton's gifts, there is a powerful perception that he COULD, and should, have done so much more with his Presidency.

So what DID he do, exactly?

Clinton himself was famously pissed off almost as soon as he took office, cuz Rubin told him he had to please the bond market before he could do anything else. Then -- he made the bond market very happy.

I think gays in the military WAS, in fact, the first issue that appeared on his policy agenda: but he didn't make that happen, somebody else did. And when it appeared, it wasn't like Clinton said -- well, I campaigned on this, I won, so this is what we're gonna do. He went to Powell and got 'don't ask, don't tell' and a couple years later, he's signing the Defense of Marriage Act -- and that was NOT about legal immigrant's husbands and wives being outlawed or exiled, now was it? (That is, he didn't grab the ACTUAL Matthew 19:6 defense of marriage as an issue, now did he?)

Moynihan, among others, flat out told him he was wrong to give health care to Hillary, cuz welfare reform needed to come first, for political as well as substantive reasons. Clinton rejected that advice (Rahm Emmanuel dissed Moynihan over it): how'd that emphasis on health care work out?

Clinton's economic package took a ton of political courage to pass (not one Republican vote FOR it), and clearly succeeded economically -- but it also FAILED politically: Democrats lost the House for the first time in 40 years on Clinton's watch.

And when welfare reform DID pass, it wasn't a progressive victory. It wasn't even CLINTON's victory, not really.

The 1996 immigration bill was a catastrophe -- and wouldn't have passed, much less been signed into law by President Clinton, if he had listened to the very good advice he was getting for YEARS before that from the late Barbara Jordan: although he spoke at her funeral, God bless his warm squishy heart.

So you don't have to focus on Whitewater, or Lewinsky, much less the impeachment, to see why folks have the Casey/Mickey problem with Clinton. He was plainly the most gifted Democratic politician of our lifetimes -- and, I suspect, Senator Clinton's Presidency may be all about gaining the ground he lost. Thus, the real question:

To all you folks who say, well, "he won": WHAT did he win, exactly?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 13, 2007 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

DanJoaquinOz on November 13, 2007 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

I don't do summaries. The article is here http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1589/is_n771/ai_21271348

Posted by: raj on November 13, 2007 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

I don't do summaries.

If you care so little about and put so little effort into making your points, why should any of us pay you any heed? Thanks.

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 13, 2007 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

To Junebug,

"But an equally legitimate question is, what's wrong with the rest of us that so many bigoted remarks have gone without anybody saying something sooner?"

Have you heard of ignoring them? I've found there's always a certain amount of noise on these threads. They read easier if you filter out the squawking. It's not like they're brand-name bigots. Anyway, I think most of them will be fine when they grow up. They managed to find this place.

Posted by: dennisS on November 13, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

If you care so little about and put so little effort into making your points, why should any of us pay you any heed?

And, just to let me know, why should I care about whether any of you pay me any heed?

If I have a link to the original article, read it yourself.

Posted by: raj on November 13, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

And yet, he's somehow unable to see that his own visceral loathing of the Clintons — who are in truth fairly ordinary politicians

Oh, no. Billy boy was a snake oil salesman. We moderate southerners (well, southern Ohio) could tell that fairly early on. I could tell that he was a anake-oil salesman the first time I heard him. And that's why I never trusted him.

Hillary is trying to be a snake-oil salesman like Bill, but she can't pull it off quite as well as Bill did.

Posted by: raj on November 13, 2007 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Boring Commenter:

"Kevin: The reason you don't understand it is simple. It's that you're not a centrist yourself, so you can write off the problem with them as mere centrism, as a matter of policy. But to moderates like Sullivan, who don't make your mistake of confounding moderate policy with craven opportunism and the twisted priorities of the eternal campaign, the problem really is one of character and motivation, not policy."

In which case the election of Bush, and his first few years of sh*t, would have caused Sullivan to have had a fatal attack of apoplexy.

Any theory of Clinton-hatred for a Bush-lover has to account for the love of a far, far worse president.

Posted by: Barry on November 13, 2007 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I wrote Andrew SUllivan an email after one of his diatribes, tellinghim he had no credibility to crticze Hillary Clinton because he was such a Bush smoozer in 2000, etc. He responded---the only time ever to one of my emails and said something alont the lines " go read someone else then--there's plenty of bloggers. The tone was just so pissy and since I've noticed how totally irrational he is regarding her becoming President. I'd love to findsome of his old writings and see how he came across during the Gore-Bush debates and jus thow much he was pumping GWB's "everyman" BS, and ridiculing Gore for sighing, etc.

Posted by: Doc on November 13, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

boy has this election produced two off-the- richter-scale talents for polarizing the
public:
hillary clinton
rudolph giuliani

if they both get their party's nomination it will
be like MEGATRON versus GODZILLA-----the blood will really flow on the floor

comment(*):
one good thing about such an election: one of them has to lose
one bad thing about such an election: one of them has to win

(*)this comment is not original to me

Posted by: wschneid25 on November 13, 2007 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Sullivan and Hitchens hate Clinton at least partially because they are convinced that he is an abject liar (plenty of evidence for that) and because they also believe him to be, not just a "pussy magnet" as one of you cleverly put it, but a sexual predator, wih his wife as an enabler delighted to trash those he's attacked.Whether they're right or wrong, if they're convinced of this, that's plenty good enough reason to despise them both.

Posted by: arthurize on November 13, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

I think that's it, especially the "unrepentant baby-boomer" part. I think in a nutshell he represents some sort of demon "dirty hippie" archetype that just sends the fundie-righties berserk. Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station

If this is indeed the case, it really is a form of derangement. Bill and Hillary are very much establishment, even if Bill did start out life in a considerably lower socio-economic strata. But otherwise, Hillary is from a pretty staid, upper Midwest Rethug family. Bill was a Rhodes Scholar. Both attended Yale Law and both worked inside the system in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Tom Hayden was the arch-typical "hippie" trying to change the system. The Clintons have always been of and for the system.

This idiotic fear of Hillary turning the US into the People's Republic of America just shows you how desperate and stupid some, lots of people are. The most "radical" thing she is likely to achieve is some sort of half measure for national health insurance. Otherwise, . . .

Posted by: JeffII on November 13, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Like Drudge, Sully hates the Clintons because it's paid, & continues to pay, the bills - DOQ

Bingo!

“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”
—Voltaire

Posted by: MsNThrope on November 13, 2007 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Beyond the confines of his bathroom

What the hell does that mean?

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on November 13, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Beyond the confines of his bathroom
What the hell does that mean? Posted by: Juanita de Talmas

You either had to catch the posts on Sullivan or Alterman's respective blogs. Alterman was poking fun at "Andy" because he went on and on about getting the bathroom of his beach house remodeled.

On the other hand, if someone is making less-than-clever bathroom sex snark a al George Michael, I can't help you.

Posted by: JeffII on November 13, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's a class issue. Bill Clinton was raised by a single mother, had a drunk for a stepfather. His mom wore too much makeup and he was on the anti-war side of the 60's. Think of Sally Quinn's column explaining how people felt about the Clinton's when they came to town, in particular, Broder's comments.

Add to that the anti-60's backlash so filled with lies (soldiers were not spit on) and clinton derangement syndrome almost seems inevitable.

Posted by: Kija on November 13, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Still waaaaaayyy too convenient. Take a very small thing: Clinton's salute.

I remember right after Clinton took office, and there was the usual shot of the POTUS walking from the helicopter into the White House, and the Marine in dress blues snapped a salute.

Clinton sort of waved.

A friend of mine, WW2 vet, who was watching said: ya know, he's got to get somebody to teach him how to do that. My first thought was -- it never occurred to him to learn?

What American boy doesn't learn how to salute?

Folks with an ideological or professional reason to hate Clinton didn't have much difficulty reading way too much into that -- but I remember progressive Democratic PARTISANS who rolled their eyes over it, and the rest of the endless series of needless baggage that always seemed to be tumbling out whenever Clinton went by.

Another, bigger example: remember when Gore's staff leaked that no less than the VICE President of the United States felt he had to roar at Clinton "then get with the program!", after the President himself had played the policy wonk as Hamlet over his budget in 1993?

It wasn't that Clinton was debating himself, which was pretty common early in his Presidency.

It's that Gore was willing to let it be leaked that his own VP was kicking his undisciplined ass.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 13, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

> A friend of mine, WW2 vet, who was watching
> said: ya know, he's got to get somebody to
> teach him how to do that. My first thought
> was -- it never occurred to him to learn?
>
> What American boy doesn't learn how to salute?

I have never quite understood why a President who isn't in the field commanding the army and isn't even a veteran should be saluting. Looked phony enough to me when Reagan did it and he was theoretically a veteran (of the incredibly dangerous Fort Hollywood to be sure). Eisenhower, Truman, Grant - OK, if they want to. But why should either of the Presidents Clinton be expected to salute?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on November 13, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

A friend of mine, WW2 vet, who was watching said: ya know, he's got to get somebody to teach him how to do that. My first thought was -- it never occurred to him to learn? What American boy doesn't learn how to salute? Posted by: theAmericanist

He wasn't a military man. You don't salute if you're not in the military, regardless. (Unless, like the Americanist, you're in the Cub Scouts. Then you do one of the three fingered versions, but only on the days you get to wear your shirt and kerchief to school.)

Reagan was the first president to do this.

Posted by: JeffII on November 13, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Mostly cuz it looks bad if you don't.

But you're right, it IS one of those odd tics of a democracy -- the point is, you'd have to have serious cred to abandon the practice, which 1) Clinton didn't have, and 2) Clinton didn't DO, though I suppose he might have. Still, standing up for gay rights in the military would have been a better issue to, er, stick to his guns over. It's just another example of Clinton as Mickey Mantle, only he sorta started his career in 1963 without all those Triple Crown/World Series home runs to point to.

To be the President who didn't salute back, you'd have to be a woman, I think (prediction alert!)... or have the cred to emulate Robert E. Lee, who famously avoided marching in step with the band when he was President of Washington College for the short time he lived after Appomattox. (Lee was making a point about the South not deluding itself, it had lost the war, which he had made much more forcefully to Mosby when it counted, but he was never a man to neglect symbols.)

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 13, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

> (Unless, like the Americanist, you're in the
> Cub Scouts. Then you do one of the three fingered
> versions, but only on the days you get to wear
> your shirt and kerchief to school.)

Cub Scout salute is 2 fingers. Boy Scout salute is 3.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on November 13, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Cub Scout salute is 2 fingers. Boy Scout salute is 3. Posted by: Cranky Observer

I stand corrected. Which one do the Webelos use?

Posted by: JeffII on November 13, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, gotta love KnowNothing Jeff, speaking up cuz he read an Op-Ed once.

The historian John Lukacs grumped about this some years back, calling Reagan and Bush "boy soldiers" and grumping about the "decline in military manners" that is a civilian returning a military salute.

If he wasn't so stoooopid, KNJ would realize he was making my point: not for the first time, Reagan's return salute set a precedent, like picking out some American hero and waving to 'em in the gallery during the State of the Union. You can BREAK that precedent if you want to, which is my point about President Clinton -- he often didn't do what he was capable of.

But it'd be too much to expect a Know Nothing to LEARN something: it's not KNJ's political identity.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 13, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

> Which one do the Webelos use?

Depends if they are attending a Cub Scout or Boy Scout function ;-) (since they are transitioning they learn both).

Cranky

Personally we were never big on uniforms or saluting in my own Scout troop - my WWII/Korean War veteran leaders were more interested in outdoor skills, the newfangled ecology business, and having fun. Our local council, with virtually no vets among the parents or leaders, drives me up the wall with its emphasis on uniforms, saluting, and that nonsense.

Posted by: Cranky Observer on November 13, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why do right-wingers so rabidly hate Clinton? Why did the big names in the mass media os frantically pile on Clinton during the Lewinsky business? BECAUSE CLINTON INCREASED THE RATE ON THE HIGHEST INCOME TAX BRACKET!

Posted by: W. Kiernan on November 13, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

W. Kiernan: BECAUSE CLINTON INCREASED THE RATE ON THE HIGHEST INCOME TAX BRACKET!


you sure it wasn't because fewer americans died by terror?

gwb fixed that...too!

Posted by: mr. irony on November 14, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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