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We want Hillary!
By Bruce Walker
The leftist panting after Hillary Clinton should warm the spirits of every conservative. Conventional wisdom, now duly noted throughout the leftist establishment, advises that Hillary will bypass a tough campaign against an enormously popular George W. Bush in favor of the 2008 presidential race against a different Republican candidate - and that she will have a much better chance in 2008.
One flaw in this argument is the false symmetry presumed between the two political parties. The Democrat Party is a loose confederation of warring tribes, and each tribe seeks booty to keep its warriors happy. Held together by bribery and by threats, the Democrat Party grows progressively weaker the longer it is out of power.
Republicans, by contrast, are composed of those victims of these raiding parties. They are committed to the Republican Party for the same reasons that Anglo-Saxons supported Alfred the Great or Franks supported Charlemagne: Republican politics is the defense of civilized and productive parts of society against the plunderers and pillagers.
Time is not on the side of powerless Democrats anymore than it was on the side of Vikings or Mongols when their aura of invincibility in combat waned. The longer that Republicans keep Democrats from running things, the fewer reasons Democrats will have to stay faithful to their political party. Domestic tranquility undermines every purpose for Democrat wars of conquest and robbery.
The imagined partisan rhythm of elections is fantasy. If Republicans hold the White House and make small gains in Congress in the 2004 elections, then it is very likely that Republicans will make more gains in the midterm elections of 2006. Democrats desperately need to win as many elections as they can as soon as they can.
Hillary and her most zealous supporters still dream that feminism will win women voters. Increasingly, feminism is repelling rather than attracting women voters. The ghastly record of Clinton and the toadying of feminists to his predatory sexual offenses along with the increasingly surreal complaints of feminists took time to sink into the minds of American women, but the cynical manipulation of their deepest feelings became clear, then betrayal, not gratitude, became the emotion most women feel.
Operation 2008 also assumes that Republicans will not have a great candidate in five years. In fact, the Republican Party is producing an arsenal of powerful campaigners, including conservative candidates who are members of traditionally Democrat minorities. Consider, for example, what a potent candidate Herman Cain would make in 2008, if he is elected to the Senate in 2004 as an attractive, articulate black conservative Republican from Georgia?
The favorite today may well be Jeb Bush. Americans like political families, Floridians like Jeb Bush, and Jeb's wife, who is Mexican, will not just help win Hispanic voters, but more specifically Mexican voters, who will be a potent force in California and other states. If national security remains the principal concern of Americans, continuity in administration would have great appeal (FDR won two extra presidential elections for precisely this reason).
How dynamic would a Jeb Bush - Herman Cain ticket be? This dream ticket would garner all the people who love President Bush and it would also pull in black and Hispanic voters who were otherwise ambivalent toward Republican candidates.
The polarizing effect of Hillary in such a race would be entirely negative. Many people would vote for Jeb and many people would vote against Hillary, but those who opposed Jeb and supported Hillary - a small part of the electorate - would not be influenced at all.
If Republicans win in 2008, then the Democrat stonewalling on judicial nominations - particularly Supreme Court nominations - will become both pathetic and impossible. None of the Justices are spring chickens. John Paul Stephens is 83 years old now, and if a Democrat did not take office before 2013, Stephens would be 93 years old. Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be 80. Even David Souter would be 74.
This is reflective of the general problem that Hillary Clinton and most other Democrats and liberals have today: they are getting old. Hillary Clinton may present herself as a "new face" in politics, but she is certainly nothing new or exciting. America is very familiar with her personality and her policies.
But more than simply being nothing new, the reality is that Hillary is a late middle-aged woman. When Bill Clinton ran in 1992, he was one of the youngest men elected to the Presidency. Hillary Clinton will be sixty-one years old in 2008. That is significantly older than most candidates for president in the television age.
Her candidacy would resemble more Walter Mondale's run for the Senate in 2002 or Bob Dole's run for the White House in 1996 than her husband's campaign of eleven years ago, with one big exception: Americans who were bored by these two old war horses or who disagreed with their politics did not have a visceral dislike for either man. Indeed, both these former senators were regarded as decent, plodding "paid my dues" kind of politicians.
Not Hillary. If Democrats nominate Hillary, it will energize American conservatives (who constitute, according to the latest Battleground Poll, sixty-one percent of the electorate) like nothing else could. This heavy majority of Americans would not just bring down Hillary; they would bring down any Democrat foolish enough to stand close to her.
So let's start the chant now: "We want Hillary! We want Hillary! We want Hillary!"
Bruce Walker is a senior
writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The
Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
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