As Hillary Clinton's chances for the Democrat nomination seem to fade with each primary or caucus, and as it looks increasingly likely that Barack Muhammad Hussein Obama will be the nominee, I keep watching for signs that the many Hillaryphobes on the right begin to recant their doomsaying of the last 8 years or so, in which they constantly warned that her ascent to the White House would be inevitable. It was in the cards, guaranteed.
One of the conservative forums I used to visit regularly had a certain female poster who insinuated that she was privy to inside party information, and that we could 'take it to the bank' that Hillary would be the Democrat nominee in 2004; pay no attention to John Kerry; Hillary was waiting in the wings and would be the nominee, regardless of any appearance to the contrary, so this 'knowing' woman assured us. Of course it didn't happen as prophesied. And although according to Biblical tradition, anybody who made a prophecy that proved to be false would be discredited as a false prophet, this woman somehow maintained her credibility and simply moved her prophecy of Hillary's sure candidacy to this election, 2008. I wonder if she is having to eat her words now? I doubt it.
I don't notice much of a decline in the Hillaryphobia at Free Republic or other such Republican gathering places; to many of those who post there, Hilllary Rodham Clinton is still the embodiment of all evil, and any candidate is preferable to her. Now, I have distrusted the Clintons since before they were elected to the White House in 1992, but I don't quite understand how Hillary in particular became the very symbol of feminine evil to many Republicans. Sure, she is strident and shrill and brittle and unlikeable, but that, to me, is not a bad thing in that it actually makes her less of a threat; it's as though her unpleasant personality is a big sign around her neck: beware. Apart from those who for some reason find her appealing, many people seem to have a negative response to her, and this renders her less dangerous. Many people can see through her; she is not a person who is capable of really charming anyone. Her attempts to appear softer and more friendly actually seem frightening to me: the forced laughter, the over-animated mannerisms that she adopts sometimes -- all these appear unconvincing and coached.
However, Bill is the worse of the two, in my book, because he is a seducer. He has an apparently natural cheerfulness and openness. Of course perceptive people know that he also has a dark side, and a bad temper; the temper flared during the 1992 campaign, so we saw Mr. Hyde emerge momentarily, but then the affable persona re-assumed control and people did not seem put off by his irascibility or his outbursts. I've found in real-life experience that the people who merit suspicion are those who are outwardly charming and glib and personable; these people can easily pull the wool over everyone's eyes, and what's more, they can often get caught red-handed doing something immoral or sleazy or illegal -- and get away with it, because people like them. They invariably wriggle out of any trouble they land in, by either brazenly denying any wrongdoing (evidence or no) or, when this is not possible, by appearing contrite and offering apologies -- which people are always happy to accept. Many people like to be able to forgive a wrongdoer and to feel morally superior thereby, so they feel magnanimous by forgiving the charming rogue. I've learned that people are more than willing to let themselves be duped or used or manipulated by the charmer; their infatuation is such that they think it's worth it to be lied to or hoodwinked by the seducer. We saw this happen with Bill Clinton; nothing he did, no wrongdoing, was sufficient for his supporters to turn against him or hold him to account. His supporters only grew more fierce in their attachment to him.
I know of real-life situations involving people like Clinton who are able to get away with illegal and immoral acts simply by virtue of their personal charm and appeal. In this sense, I've never felt that the shrill Mrs. Clinton posed as much of a threat; people do see through her. And in a country which seems to contain more gullible people now than at any previous time in our history, we can't afford to choose a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Bad as John McCain is, (and I think he is a puppet of global interests, and bereft of any loyalty to the American people, to his own people) I think he is another who is easily seen for what he is; he arouses a great deal of antipathy by virtue of his own arrogant and abrasive ways; no charmer he. I've always preferred to deal with the 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' types, warts and all, than the charming rogues or seducers. Barack Obama is the latter; Bill Clintonesque in his 'charm', but surpassing Bill because Obama has the enormous advantage of his race. Bill Clinton was only an 'honorary black', but Obama is the 'real thing.'
It's laughably absurd to believe, as the politically correct do, that being black is a disadvantage in this day and age; it is an advantage as never before, because many white people are frantically seeking for redemption from their imagined racist sins, and only a black man can promise this to them. This is why there is a quasi-religious undercurrent to the Obama cult. Conservative talk-radio personality and former columnist Ken Hamblin, who is black, used to offer his white listeners a 'certificate of absolution' of racial guilt; he did this tongue-in-cheek, of course. I believe Walter Williams does the same thing; I am not sure who originated the idea, but it's a clever one. The problem is, they treated it as humor, but there are many Americans, seemingly tens of millions, who have taken racial guilt upon themselves and are groaning under the burden of it. They will vote for an Obama expressly because of his race, and because he claims to be a healer, and a uniter, a builder of bridges, a transcender of race. These guilty Americans want someone to redeem them, in a kind of parody of the Christian redemption from sins.
Obama is selling spiritual snake-oil. Even some 'conservatives' have fallen for the sales pitch. Obama is so charming and pleasant and likeable, say they. Certainly preferable to the shrewish Mrs. Clinton. And some who haven't really fallen for Obama's overtures still have such an exaggerated fear and loathing for Hillary that they aver anyone is preferable to her.
I think the combination of an undue fear of Mrs. Clinton on one side, and a susceptibility to Obama's charm on the other, will mean that Obama is the winner in November. Some foolish optimists think that this would actually be a good thing for traditional America: it would jolt people awake; it would unite 'conservatives' behind the 'conservative' agenda. I think that is mostly wishful thinking. I think it would be a huge symbolic loss for traditional America, and given the demographics, it might well be that minorities would fully assume the ascendant position in this country long before becoming the numerical majority. Short-sighted Hillaryphobia on the 'right' and self-flagellating guilt on the left might be the factors that seal our future.