Hillary Clinton can be beat. She just needs a little exposure as the unprincipled liberal she is. That’s the message Bay Buchanan delivers in her new book, The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton. Buchanan got into a little of it with National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez.
Kathryn Jean Lopez: You ask: “Who is Hillary Clinton, and for what does she stand?” After writing a whole book answering the question, what’s your bottom-line verdict?
Hillary is a smart, hard-working, focused, power-hungry woman who will do anything and be anything to succeed in her quest for the White House. She suffers from severe insecurity which is masked by a heightened sense of arrogance entitlement and superiority. She does not believe the rules apply to her, takes no responsibility for her own actions, and has alarmingly casual relationship with the truth.
A shrewd political opportunist, Hillary has undergone an extreme makeover to disguise her radical feminist beliefs and a left-wing agenda that would remold society for the common good using the full power of the government.
Lopez:If “with the possible exception of Ted Kennedy, she is the most identifiable member of the Democrats’ left wing,” then why isn’t the left-wing netroots head over heels for her?
Buchanan: With the exception of the war vote, Hillary’s Senate record places her solidly in the camp of the left-wing. However, as a senator, she has refused to use her star power to champion the causes of the “left-wing netroots,” a reluctance that has unsettled many activists. She then seized the opportunity to advance her presidential ambitions by voting for the Iraq war and spent over two years defending President Bush’s policy. This caused significant alienation with the base.
Initially there appeared to be nowhere else for the true believers to go — Hillary was considered unbeatable in the primary. Then along came Obama. With a solid antiwar candidate in the race and the war increasingly unpopular among the rank and file, Hillary was forced to flip her war position several times to an effort to reestablish her support with these activists. Many, however, aren’t buying it.
Lopez: You’re a card-carrying member of the Vast Right-Wing Clinton-Hating Conspiracy. Why should anyone believe anything you say about Hillary Clinton?
Buchanan: Indeed — a proud member of the vast right wing, I might add. However my book relies heavily on Hillary’s own words, the observations of Democrats, and the words of the liberal media to make my case. Remember, it was not just Bill Safire who called Hillary a “congenital liar”; this same observation was made by Maureen Dowd of the New York Times and David Geffen, a Hollywood producer and former friend of Bill’s — that would be the Left, the Right, and a family friend.
Lopez: How feminist is Hillary, wife of Bill?
Buchanan: Hillary is a radical feminist, embracing the sisterhood’s agenda in its entirety, from abortion on demand without restrictions to government sponsored schooling for two-year-old kids. However, she does not let this or any of her other beliefs stand in the way of her own ambitions. Point in case, she allowed Bill to prey on women for years never holding him responsible for his wanton ways and aggressively protecting him when an innocent female victim presented a threat. In short, she enabled Bill to abuse her, her family, and other women — and few feminists called her on it.
Lopez: Is there any doubt in your mind she’s the nominee next year?
Buchanan: She is, without question, a most formidable frontrunner. However the primary is a long way from over. Consider the fact that Senator Obama jumped into the race, heavy on charm but light on resume, and managed to dramatically close the polls within months. He exposed a big soft underbelly of Hillary’s political juggernaut — Democrats are clearly ready to consider someone other than Clinton. Senator Obama is not ready for prime time but he may yet get his footing – and could give Hillary a run for her money. More likely, though, what Senator Obama will do is muck up the gears in Hillary’s massive machine long enough to give Al Gore the opening he needs. The former vice president has some old scores to settle with the Clintons — what could be sweeter than stopping a second Clinton administration?
Lopez: Surely there are candidates more liberal than Senator Clinton in the mix?
Buchanan: There are candidates running to Hillary’s left, but it is hard to get to the left of a radical feminist committed to using the power and resources of the federal government to remold society for the common good. Hillary’s extreme makeover is about making her appear moderate in both style and policy. She is neither. So while she may talk about a balanced budget and “pay as you go” she votes to increase the size of government at nearly every change she gets. Consider for a moment the one significant exception — the mammoth Medicare prescription-drug bill. Ted Kennedy endorsed it but Hillary voted against it. Why? Two reasons. The $400 billion dollar entitlement (and climbing) wasn’t big enough — it only covered 50 percent of the costs after the deductible. And there was a private sector aspect to it. Hillary wants total government control. Doesn’t get more liberal than that, does it?
One final point. The ADA (Americans for Democratic Action) which has established what they call the standard for political liberalism gives Senator Hillary a grade of 95 every year but one, when she received the perfect score of 100. Hillary is holding her own with such liberal giants as Kennedy, Dodd, and Biden.