Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Camille Paglia needs to go

Nobody likes her. But let's go through this underhanded hit piece point for point:
    But Hillary's performance at prior debates was never as deft or "flawless" as the media claimed in the first place. Conventional wisdom has now flipped, and the air-headed lemmings of our free press have turned on a dime and are stampeding in the opposite direction.
It would be nice if Paglia could offer examples where she felt Hillary erred in previous debates, but fair enough - until two weeks ago her debate performances generally garnered positive reviews and I'm certainly not going to defend the air-headed lemmings of our press.
    Hillary's stonewalling evasions and mercurial, soulless self-positionings have been going on since her first run for the U.S. Senate from New York, a state she had never lived in and knew virtually nothing about.
Here Paglia sounds a lot like Maureen Dowd in her recent columns. Refuting her, Molly Ivors recently wrote:
    Hillary won her Senate seat because she busted her fucking ass. I know the cocktail party circuit isn't so interested in the problems of rural upstate, but she was. She sat down with factory workers and farmers, she visited small towns and places where the population was hemorrhaging.
    When I was a kid, people moved to my town. That may sound like not such a big thing, but between 1990 and 2000, the upstate city I know best, Binghamton, lost 11.8% of its population. Between 2000 and 2006, it lost an additional 2.3%. Still losing, but slowed significantly. She managed to staunch the bleeding of the population and bring two significant employers to this area, at least, something the functionally retarded George Pataki never gave one flying fuck about. And I met a sort of person I haven't met in ages yesterday: people who moved here, one from Colorado, two from Arizona. Suddenly, I believed in my home in a way I hadn't in years.
The fact is Hillary ran for New York Senate largely at the urging of New York's congressional delegation and other New York and tri-state politicians. Patrick Moynihan was retiring and they obviously felt she would be a good fit here, so who is Camille Paglia to argue?

Going on:
    Hillary's much-vaunted "experience" has evidently not extended to the dynamic give-and-take of authentic debate. The mild challenges she has faced would be pitiful indeed by British standards, which favor a caustic style of witty put-downs that draw applause and gales of laughter in the House of Commons. Women had better toughen up if they aspire to be commander in chief.
Right, and Bush would fair how exactly in the House of Commons? Please, at least keep your arguments relevant Camille.
    But I continue to find it hard to believe that my party truly craves that long nightmare of déjà vu -- with scandal after scandal disgorged and an endless train of abused women returning from Bill Clinton's sordid, anti-feminist past.
The "let's not vote for the guy's wife because in the past he cheated on her" argument - makes a lot of sense. The long nightmare of "deja vu" is reading Camille Paglia who has clearly set out to do what she did to Al Gore in 2000. Here's a bit from a Camille Paglia's election 2000 post-mortem written after the Supreme Court had stepped in to assure George Bush's presidency.
    But a bland, bumbling Bush may be better for this country than the hysterical chameleon and monstrous panderer that Democratic nominee Al Gore turned into last year.
Back to Paglia's most recent:
    ...there's definitely something weird and cultish in the sycophantish cathexis onto Hillary of the many nerds, geeks and vengeful viragos who run her campaign -- sometimes to her detriment, as with the recent ham-handed playing of the clichéd gender card.
The thing that started the whole "is Hillary playing the gender card" debate was her appearance the day after at her alma mater, Wellesley College. Over to you Ezra:
    Clinton, speaking to her alma mater, said, "In so many ways, this all-women's college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics." That's the only invocation of gender since the debate. And to me, it sounds like nothing more interesting than alumni puffery. She didn't say the "boys" were beating up on her for being a woman. She didn't say the questions were unfair or the attacks sexist. She just said that her alma mater helped prepare her to enter this world. That's not making this about gender. It's mentioning gender, and pumping up her college.
And last but not least:
    Hillary seems to have acolytes rather than friends -- hardly a reassuring trait for a potential president whose paranoia has already been called Nixonian.
She has no friends and she's Nixon (do we even need to bother refuting that?). Paglia goes on to discuss how waterboard defending DiFi should run for president, Nancy Pelosi's "soothing" voice on radio and then to the current events of the day include the recent hurricane that shared her first name. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, having done her damage in election 2000, Camille Paglia had just dissipated somewhere out over the ocean?

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