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Buck Hillary Clinton, and the Rest of the Boomer Lonely Hearts Coalition for World Domination

Joseph Murtagh

Buck Hillary Clinton, and the Rest of the Boomer Lonely Hearts Coalition for World Domination


January 27, 2007 -- On the front page of the Sunday edition of the New York Times last week was an article announcing the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.  “I’m in,” she said Saturday in an e-mail message to supporters.  “And I’m in to win.” 


On page eight of the same issue of the New York Times was an article announcing the deaths of 17 American soldiers in Iraq.  An American helicopter crashed in a Sunni area north of Baghdad last Saturday, killing all thirteen passengers onboard.  And four other American soldiers died in separate incidents, bringing the number to a total of 17 for Saturday alone.   


Beyond the moral bankruptcy of a media in which the news of a candidacy for a presidential election nearly two years away takes precedence over yesterday’s news of the deaths of 17 American soldiers in Iraq, there is just the teensiest problem for Hillary’s campaign: namely, that since it was her vote that helped us get into Iraq in the first place, she is at least partially to blame for these soldiers’ deaths.


And yet here she is, portraying herself as if she were some valiant critic of the administration’s policies.  Let's chat,” she said in an Internet video statement recently.  “Let's start a dialogue about your ideas and mine.  Because the conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don't you think?”


Let’s chat?  Who does she think she is, Oprah Winfrey?  A chat would be all fine and good I guess, if the violent deaths of Americans in a bogus war she assisted in carrying out weren’t being reported on page 8 of The New York Times.  The truth is that Hillary Clinton has been a Bush loyalist from the beginning: she supported the Iraq war, she buys all the Fox News garbage about the war on terror, she voted for the Patriot Act, she’s voiced support for Bush’s torture policies, she’s savagely pro-Israel – in short, she has allowed the Neo-Con agenda to influence her foreign policy thinking to such a degree that she has basically become a Neo-Con.  So here’s the question I think Democrats ought to be asking themselves: do they really want another four years of Neo-Con rule in Washington?  Or should they buck Hillary, not only for the good of the nation, but of the world?     


Apparently lots of Democrats think no.  As Time Magazine recently reported, Hillary Clinton is topping Barack Obama by at least 19 points in the polls.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out where these numbers are coming from.  In my own liberal town of Ithaca, New York, everyone despises her.  And she’s our senator!


The only explanation I can come up with is that after the insane nightmare of the past six years people are looking at her last name and experiencing a lustful nostalgia for the comparatively stable eight years we spent under her husband.  Let’s call them the Seinfeld years, which people like to recall as happy, content, normal, and humane.  But the fact is that the Seinfeld years were just as destructive in terms of foreign policy as the Neo-Con years have been – it’s just that the Neo-Cons, because they’re either stupid or totalitarian, the jury’s not quite in, commit their crimes in broad daylight.  As a Marxist friend of mine recently pointed out, the first Gulf War never really ended: between the bookends of the two Bushes, it was waged through economic rather than military means.  During Bill Clinton’s presidency between 400,000 and 800,000 Iraqi children died as a result of sanctions against Iraq, all at the behest of the U.S. government.  That’s just as many Iraqis as have died during Bush’s presidency!


Now, I’m not trying to downplay the savagery of the Neo-Cons: Bill Clinton, in my view, is a normal human being, whereas Dick Cheney is a total psychopath who deep down inside doesn’t care if he’s living or dead.  But the point is that the last sixteen years, from the disaster in Mogadishu to the blood-drenched killing fields in Iraq, have seen some of the worst foreign policy blunders in American history.  And there’s one thing that Bill, Hillary, and George W. Bush all have in common: they’re all Boomers.


I probably wouldn’t even be mentioning this if it wasn’t for the fact that Barack Obama has been using it as a selling point for his own presidential bid.  Obama was born in 1961, which puts him in the category of the post-Boomer generation.  Just last week, taking his first few steps towards his own presidential candidacy, he said Americans were looking for a “different kind of politics,” one that moved beyond the ideological struggles that defined the Vietnam War era.  In his second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama writes that “in the back and forth between Clinton and Gingrich, and in the elections of 2000 and 2004, I sometimes felt as if I were watching the psychodrama of the baby boom generation – a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago – played out on the national stage.”


Obama’s anti-Boomer comments have earned him some criticism.  In an article published in the New York Times Week in Review last week Paul Costello, director of communications at Stanford’s medical school, said: “I don’t know that voters really care about these issues of the baby boomers versus Generation X.  It’s a nice sort of branding, a marketing thing when you’re trying to create yourself from nothing.”  And Todd Harris, a Republican political consultant added: “I think that most people I know in my generation will place a far greater premium on someone’s leadership skills and their ability to guide the nation through turbulent times than they do on what generation that politician came from or what that person recently downloaded from iTunes.” 


But Obama’s got a point.  Prior to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the majority of the right-wing attacks on the Clintons focused on trying to paint them as radical, pot-smoking, Beatles-listening, war-protesting, America-hating, multicultural throwbacks to the 1960s, to the extent that Bill Clinton eventually became for real in the public’s eye what his prudish, sexually-tortured enemies enjoyed fantasying about him being in secret: a wild, cigar-toting libertine.  And the amount of times the farrago in Iraq has been compared to Viet Nam by now is equaled only by the amount of times the Bush administration has been compared to the administration of Richard M. Nixon.  Moreover, it was the bizarre, study-by-anthropologists-deserving, nostalgia for the “greatest generation” of their parents experienced by many middle-aged Boomers in the nineties that laid the ideological groundwork for Bush’s fictional “war on terror,” with all of its trumped up references to World War II.  “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today,” wrote Bush in his diary on September 11, 2001.  Yeah, right.  


All of which seems a fine thing to move beyond.  Obviously, Hillary Clinton isn’t capable of it, she being the thing that needs to be transcended, but the question is whether Obama is.  When it comes to foreign policy, he’s disappointing in a lot of ways – he, like every other member of Congress, is massively pro-Israel, and he’s had some disturbingly hawkish things to say about Iran – but one thing he is not is a lapdog of the Bush family, which the Clintons can’t afford to say.  Not only as Hillary Clinton been fawningly whooping it up with the Fox News crowd of late, but CBS reported last year that Bill Clinton looks on the Bushes as a surrogate family and that Barbara Bush apparently refers to him as “her son.”  As Paul Joseph Watson, a guy I’m beginning to admire more and more these days, asked in a recent article at Prison Planet, “Is this really a picture of two distinct and opposed political ideologies pitted against one another?”                             


So maybe Obama’s right, and it’s better to think about the current conflict in generational terms, rather than purely political ones.  Since Obama is younger and fresher to the game, he isn’t beholden to the same corporate financiers as the Bush and Clinton families, and it’s this potential flexibility of interests that in my mind makes him a much more attractive option for Democrats than continuing the 16 years of Bush/Clinton Boomer Rule.  As for his views on Israel and Iran: with a little pressure, we can bring him into line. 


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