Monday, December 04, 2006

What's In a Name

In late 1999, First Lady Hillary Clinton gave a speech at Georgetown University and I was in the audience. The topic of the speech is anyone's guess. I forgot the substance of the talk the moment my person exited Gaston Hall and returned to the sidewalks of campus. My memory of the speech consists of one blunt and simple concept: through-the-motions.

Almost seven years later, now that the First Lady is a twice-elected junior Senator from New York and is slowly assembling the framework for a run at the White House, I am revisiting that concept and hereby making it the foundation for my vigorous opposition to her candidacy for the Presidency.

Where the heck has Hillary Clinton been for the past seven years?

No, really. I'm dead serious. Where has Hillary been? I'll tell you where: going through-the-motions. Sure, sure, everyone in Hillary's inner circle will leap up to tell us what a diligent and thoughtful legislator she is, how dogged and detailed her approach to policy is, how careful and responsible she maps out her myriad positions. My response to this is: so what? Where has she been?

In the past seven years our nation has entered an incomprehensible and endless war that Hillary Clinton supported and only grew stern against once it was too late and even then only when the cameras were rolling. In the past seven years, our federal government policy has completely reversed any middle class economic gains initiated by Hillary's husband and even worse has compounded the gains for those in the tree-top upper class, those who know of wealth but little of work. In the past seven years, evangelicals and Christian conservatives have hijacked the social atmosphere of the nation, pushing their way into our bedrooms and classrooms and pocket books. As soldiers died in the name of energy dependence, as our elderly got ensnared in a Big Pharma giveaway prescription drug plan for Medicare, and as American children have remained stuck in underfunded and over-tested classrooms, these moral crusaders have used a puppet Congress to target and attack and turn the nation againt groups ranging from homosexuals to women to immigrants. And in the past seven years our President has insulted our intelligence, lied to our faces, and refused to be held accountable or hold any of his comrades accountable for deep and latent mistakes.

So where was Hillary?

I don't care about her well-written policy speeches on the Senate floor or her grandstanding questioning of Don Rumsfeld or her chidingly mild and useless words on the President's bold grabs at power. What I care about is hearing a counterbalancing force in American politics. An angry voice. A blunt voice. A non-triangulating, non-focus-group-tested, non-cynical voice.

We've heard Hillary, because yes, she's been talking. But she has said nothing to defend us, not when it counts, and not with a loud, clear shout.

This country deserves a woman President, and soon. But not Hillary. She has not stood up for any of us. She has only stood up for herself.

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