Monday, May 16, 2005

The Hillary obsession

Brendan Nyhan ventures into the Townhall abyss and returns us this bit of Novak:

Members of the inner circle of high-ranking House Republicans privately agree that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York is an absolute lock for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and will not be easy to defeat in the general election.

I know that conservatives obsess over Hillary Clinton and Michael Moore while the real liberal heroes are Barack Obama and Jon Stewart, but I didn't know that the House GOP leadership had gone that crazy. I mean, "absolute lock"? Maybe Novak is making things up, but I don't see what would motivate that. Personally, I think Hillary's chances of winning the nomination, especially given uncertainty about whether she's running, are behind those of Kerry, Edwards, and Clark. (I was thinking Feingold too, but I'm guessing that Hillary has lots more fundraising power.)

Why are the House Republicans so confused? I think it's sort of like what happened to us back when we lost the election and some flimsy exit polling data got everyone thinking that gay marriage did it. My theory on that was that we were quick to blame the enemies who most haunt our thoughts -- theocratic conservatives -- for our defeat. All the things that cause conservatives to hate Hillary, from feminism to universal health care to transferred Bill Clinton hatred, cause them to think about her way too much and see her in all sorts of unlikely places. There might be some wishful thinking too -- the operative wish being to get another crack at Bill Clinton and finally beat him in an election.

Does the thought of a Jeb '08 candidacy arise the same way? I don't know, but if we couldn't beat George, wouldn't it be great to beat his brother? Oh...

2 comments:

Julian Elson said...

Possible causes:
-Paranoia about the Clintons conspiratorially controlling the Democratic party
-Misogyny
-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton presidencies must eventually lead to the installation of a hereditary monarchy. Which is good, from a conservative point of view.

Neil Sinhababu said...

I like that last one best.