Politics & Policy

Hillary, Relentless and Shameless

The phrase “Clinton fatigue” entered the political lexicon during the previous century; by this point, we surely must have entered the age of Chronic Clinton-Fatigue Syndrome. But the recent making public of the so-called Hillary Papers — the notes kept by her close friend Diane Blair during Mrs. Clinton’s tumultuous White House years, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon — shed additional light on the character of the “co-presidents” who just will not go away.

It transpires to nobody’s great surprise that Mrs. Clinton was more than a passive victim in the sexual scandal that preceded her husband’s impeachment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. She was a callous political calculator who bemoaned not her husband’s mere infidelity but the lack of discretion he exhibited in initiating a dalliance with a “narcissistic loony toon” — her description of Monica Lewinsky — rather than limiting his adultery to somebody who would be easier to “manage,” in Mrs. Blair’s paraphrase. But Mrs. Clinton’s contempt was not limited to Miss Lewinsky: When Senator Bob Packwood found himself in trouble over allegations of sexual harassment — inconveniencing Mrs. Clinton, who had been counting on his support for her health-care scheme — the first lady complained that she had grown “tired of all these whiney women,” according to Mrs. Blair’s papers.

#ad#The Clintons are our national grotesques. At the height of the Lewinsky scandal, President Clinton, who had immovable support among black voters, began using black leaders as the political equivalent of human shields — Jesse Jackson and the Congressional Black Caucus prominent among them — while his minions smeared prosecutor Ken Starr, characterizing him as a racist, a sex fanatic, and a monomaniac. President Clinton strutted into church waving a Bible the size of a telephone directory while Democrats painted his critics as the second coming of Roger Chillingworth, if not Padre Torquemada.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, after bitterly dismissing the cookie-baking, “Stand by Your Man” model of wifehood, did precisely that. (The chocolate-chip-cookie recipe she shared with Good Housekeeping was excellent; Bill would later plagiarize a cookie recipe for a cook-off against Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama.) After being humiliated by her husband, she apparently grew accustomed to humiliation: How else to explain such performances as her remarkable Stepin Fetchit impersonation — “Ah don’ feel no-waze tah-red” — for the benefit of the First Baptist Church in Selma, Ala.?

Mrs. Clinton, an inevitable candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, can be counted upon to use the Democrats’ “war on women” rhetoric to advance her cause, even though she was, according to the papers of a woman she described as her “best friend,” a main enabler of a very nasty campaign against a great many politically inconvenient women — not only Miss Lewinsky and those who endured Senator Packwood’s attentions, but all the women whom the Arkansas political mafia, commanded so ably by James Carville, portrayed as “sluts,” “trailer trash,” etc. President Clinton used women for his own ends; so does his wife.

Senator Rand Paul, who has made a point of drawing attention to this new material about the Clintons, is right to do so. He is mistaken if he thinks that he can use this to knock the woman generally regarded as the most competitive Democrat out of the 2016 field. The fact is that Republicans could not beat the Clintons with this material back when the president was sodomizing interns in the Oval Office and semen-stained dresses were being spirited around Washington. The material will have even less political efficacy all these years later. It may be of some historical interest to have a few more grains on the scales with which we weigh out the measure of the Clintons’ personal and political corruption, but that judgment is long since past. Fortunately, Mrs. Clinton’s career in the Senate and, especially, in the State Department, where she was predictably dishonest but unexpectedly incompetent, provides much evidence in the ongoing case against her presidential campaign. That campaign began before many of 2016’s voters were born, and most millennials do not know what a cattle future is, anyway.

The Editors — The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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