Moments after accusing everyone who had the temerity to actually believe her husband was lying about “that woman, Miss Lewinsky” of being part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” First Lady Hillary Clinton growled to her beaming staff, “That’ll teach them to [insert four letter word that is not “mess”] with us.”
That’s what we used to call the “Hillary charm.” What Mrs. Clinton likes best is jugular-gouging political combat. Unfortunately, Americans usually like their bare-knuckle politics done with a wink and a smile, like her husband always did. Bill Clinton could kiss a baby, squeeze out a crocodile tear for some down-on-her-luck single mom, accuse Republicans of lynching-era racism, and tell a heart-warming story about some inner city education program in 30 seconds. His attacks were so padded with goopy, Oprah-style, self-actualization, so shadily subtle as to be almost subliminal. Hillary, of the spine-tingling bwah-hah-hah phony campaign laugh and the 1000-page socialized medicine scheme, well, she doesn’t do subtle.
Because she can’t hide her viciousness behind a mask of lip-biting insincerity, Hillary instead has erected a massive network of battle hardened operatives to do the “red in tooth and claw” bit for her. The effect is the same – suppress dissent, intimidate detractors, discredit opponents, and enforce, with fascistic efficiency, an iron code of loyalty among friends and docility among foes. It’s really quite something.
Fortunately for all of us, so is Rush Limbaugh.
A few days back, Rush and a caller were discussing Global War on Terror critics who have either exaggerated or entirely invented their military and combat service in order to bolster their credibility. Major news outlets and even U.S. Attorneys have openeddamning investigations of many of these people, who Limbaugh and a caller on his radio show rightfully described as “phony soldiers.”
Well, as soon as the words were out of Limbaugh’s mouth, Hillary sicked her network on Limbaugh. The George Soros-funded, Hillary-devoted group Media Matters has been the tip of the spear, charging Limbaugh with unpatriotic slander against the troops. Because, after all, accusing phony soldiers of being phony soldiers is the same as accusing our troops in the field in Iraq of being phony soldiers. The whole thing is trumped up nonsense, of course, which is why the spectacle of the Senate Majority Leader denouncing Limbaugh from the floor of the Senate went over so poorly with the few Americans who still actually pay attention to Congress.
Tom DeLay is the former House Majority Leader, the second ranking leader in the United States House of Representatives, and co-author of No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight.