Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

January 20, 2007

I Like Hillary Because She's Mean

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:52 pm

One commenter to a recent post (on Cambodia) “accused” me of being a Democrat. While I think one of the problems of poltical discourse is the reduction of any postiion to the product of one or the other “Team”–whether it’s Left/Right, liberal /conservative, Democrat/GOP–that one roots for blindly, and the consequent condemnation of ideas not on the basis of their content but on Team Loyalty (so childish), nonetheless I plead guilty: all my life I’ve considered myself a Democrat.

I grew up in a home of FDR/JFK Democrats, I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life, my domestic politics are liberal, pro-welfare state, anti-corporate, even Naderite. In foreign affairs, internationalist, anti-fascist. As such I wish I could feel great about the line up of Democratic candidates for ’08.

On the surface there’s a plethora of smart, talented people: Obama, Edwards, Clinton, Richardson, Biden (okay, not Biden). A veritable rainbow coalition of people I agree with on most progressive issues.

I especially like Edwards for the one reason many cite against him: his origins as a medical malpractice attorney. The discourse on this issue has been shamefully skewed in the media toward the side of doctors who bungle away peoples’ lives and health and then arrogantly demand immunity from the consequences of their mistakes and whine about their malpractice premiums. So it’s great to have a candidate who sees through the self-serving phoniness of “tort reform” rhetoric for the phony dodge it is. Conservatives who believe in “individual responsiblity” shouldn’t prop up the protection racket inept doctors and irresponsible insurance companies have going for them.

But alas, none of the Democratic candidates has demonstrated the vision or the courage to offer a foreign policy that recognizes and responds intelligently and coherently to the spread of theocratic terror. That’s why.of all the candidates so far, I’ve favored Hillary Clinton. Because she’s a woman and because she’s mean. Even if she doesn’t have a 16 point foreign policy plan, I feel her heart is going to be in the right place when she looks at the aggressive worldwide spread of a vicious and murderous medieval theocratic movement (jihad) that promotes the “honor killing” of rape victims, denies all the hard-won rights of women (not to mention gays, and liberals, and dissidents of all religious and political stripes). A culture that essentially wants to lock women up in the home, deprive them of the right to vote, to an education, to a full life as human beings.

I agree with something Roger L. Simon said to me recently in L.A.: that the real division in politics internationally is not liberal/conservative, but between societies that are pro and anti-woman. It’s as good a way of judging a society as any other. Sure, the other Democratic candidates,are, nominally, pro-woman. But it’s about time we did more than give women the right to be president. It’s about time we had a woman president. Yes, Hillary has flaws and some mistakes and misdeeds in her past (the cattle futures deal; enabling Bill’s lying). But all the reasons the Hillary-haters can’t abide her (the ruthlessness, the aggressive ambition etc) will make her the president we need: she will strike fear into the hearts of our enemies.



  1. I guess I don’t share your optimism that Hillary would strike fear in the hearts of OUR enemies. Rather, only fear in the hearts of HER enemies. At this point, my guess is those are two entirely different populations.

    Comment by Ed Lilly — January 21, 2007 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  2. Good morning,

    I enjoyed your book “The Shakespeare Wars”. You have expanded my world on a subject that I dearly love. Thank you.

    I shall disagree with you about Senator Clinton. I appreciate the comment on how societies treat women. I don’t believe the Democrats will nominate her or that she can be elected.

    But I’ve been wrong before and expect to be so again.

    I look forward to your next book.


    Don Wilkins

    Comment by Don Wilkins — January 21, 2007 @ 9:14 am | Reply

  3. You mentioned a Hillary flaw, ‘the cattle futures deal’. This left me wondering what you think that ‘cattle futures deal’ consisted in.
    The reason I bring it up is that I’m a retired federal criminal investigator who worked a number of investigations of ‘political corruption’. When I first heard that Hillary Clinton turned $1,000 into $100,000 plus in less than one year by investing that $1,000 in cattle futures with her Rose Law Firm colleague, the Chief Counsel for Tyson Chicken, the largest known polluter in Arkansas, my trained mind immediately thought ‘sounds like a bribe to me’.
    When Hillary claimed she did all the trading of the cattle futures herself, using the Wall Street Journal as her guide, my suspicion increased, knowing that futures markets are notoriously risky, even for pros. But later, when confronted with more detail, Hillary acknowledged that she fibbed, and the control of her $1,000 investement remained with her colleague’s broker.
    Getting damn close to an admission that $1,000 investment was a total sham to quickly transfer a $100,000 bribe to the governor of Arkansas. It’s a classic method of hiding a bribe, similar to selling a politician real estate for a tenth of its market value.
    Now I wonder if you think those facts make you more or less inclined to champion Hillary for President, even given her penchant for toughness.
    This isn’t a small matter. If Hillary’s husband didn’t become president, she may well have spent a number of years in a federal pokey for RICO-Mail Fraud. Does that bother you?

    I wouldn’t have mentioned it if it didn’t bother me. I agree that it looks like it at least borders on a bribe. But she wasn’t indicted for whatever reason, and it’s not much worse than what passes for legality in most politicians fund raising. But as I said, she’s not perfect, although I think, without knowing more than we do, she deserves the presumption of innocence as to criminal intent.

    Comment by Leo DeAngelis — January 21, 2007 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  4. Exactly! I vote pretty much straight Libertarian/Conservative but I could get my head around HRC as President because she wouldn’t hesitate to do what was necessary when it was necessary…

    Comment by oldirishpig — January 21, 2007 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  5. And remember, Hillary hated the Taliban before hating the Taliban was cool. I remember her being instrumental in blocking recognition of the Taliban on feminist grounds. I’m googling for a credible source, though.

    Comment by john bragg — January 21, 2007 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  6. Best I can do on a source is a Feminist Majority Newsletter from Spring 1998.

    Comment by john bragg — January 21, 2007 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  7. But you sure don’t want to put the power of the Presidency into the hands of someone with no integrity and no principles.

    No one can say with certainty what Hillary really believes in, all we see is calculation and personal ambition.

    The cattle futures business points out that she is corrupt.

    The health care debacle suggests she is incompetent.

    If you believe Dick Morris, she’s a racist and an anti-semite.

    And, if you believe Juanita Broaddrick, you know that Hillary was perfectly willing to countenance sexual harassment and even rape by her husband.

    If “our” press took even a cursory look at the real Hillary, she’d be in jail.

    Comment by fustian — January 21, 2007 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  8. Others may disagree, but for me, the fact that she once got a $100,000 cash bribe (in the form of cattle futures) is enough to disqualify her from the Presidency. Maybe that’s unfairly discriminatory against the lower and middle classes (e.g., Bill, and Hillary) who may be tempted by such bribes, in favor of people whose ancestors were crooked and left them money (e.g., JFK), but not being personally corrupt ought to rank up there among the traits we value in a President (second only, IMO, to their taking national security seriously).

    Comment by DWPittelli — January 21, 2007 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  9. The MSM likes to lump people into large, easily-stated groups. Republican/Democrat, Right/Left, Pro-choice/Pro-life, etc. The reality is much more complex than that.
    So it goes with those who do/don’t support Hillary for president. Most of the Republican-leaning people I know don’t care a bit that Hillary is a woman. They are much more concerned that she has exhibited amoral behaviour, is an avowed socialist, and probably broken more laws than Bill, GW, Libby, and Berger combined. Yet these are aspects of her that seldom are reported.
    Likewise, most of my left-leaning acquaintances are perfectly willing to give a candidate a ‘pass’ for some characteristic that has nothing to do with their ability to do the job. They are excited about Hillary because she IS a woman, Obama because he IS black. Yet, if they truly wish a color-blind, or gender-neutral society, then these are characteristics that should be the LAST to be significant.

    My main concern is that we get too caught up in the emotional impact of facts that are unimportant to what is necessary to doing the job. And ignore the aspects that ARE needed.
    While Hillary may have the determination to deal appropriately with terrorists, I cannot ignore her amoral and power-hungry behaviour. I see no Democrats as Presidential hopefuls that I have any enthusiasm for. But neither are there any Republicans in the race worth a second glance either.

    Comment by Andrew A — January 21, 2007 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  10. To quote you: “But all the reasons the Hillary-haters can’t abide her (the ruthlessness, the aggressive ambition etc) will make her the president we need: she will strike fear into the hearts of our enemies.”

    Not to mention her “friends” if she has any. The name Vince Foster comes to mind.

    Comment by Willik — January 21, 2007 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  11. Don’t forget her demonstrated contempt for American soldiers and her willingness to use the FBI to investigate political opponents.

    Comment by pst314 — January 21, 2007 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  12. I am a Bush supporter, still am, and no did not help vote the big Dem surge in. Was not afraid of it, though, as I thought that our government might function better with a bit more tension… Repubs having become more like couch potatoes.

    At least Bush did not disappoint me as he would had he adopted the Dem definition of “change” as cut and run. I want a change to a winning strategy. I guess “everyone” but me had a Dem definition? Hmmm. Well every liberal I talked to said everyone but me wanted “THAT” change “THAT” way.

    Oh Yes, off my couch, track on, me too, I have had some similar thoughts as well regarding Hillary. Once in power, she might rise to the occasion…a Thatch in disguise, hatched, or morphed. Hmmm.

    Yet, her failure to rise to the occasion as we speak, arguably to allow her to win power while hiding her truth to power from us, (whatever it takes to reach her goal), doesn’t provide a lot of confidence for me that would provide some underpinning of my similar thoughts (yes, I too would like to sing some catchy liberal tune about how the world will be a better place if it just had a permanent liberal tilt to it, enough to force me to hammer my dishes to the table).

    Well, one can hope, since it seems the real Dem men and the real Fem womens seem to be out hugging Cindy. Heh, why is it that all our soldiers seem to be kindegarden age I’m told…if we bring our children home, who will fight for us and Hillary. Hmmm

    I tried to be really nice here, but I’m not mean enough. :-)))

    Comment by RodgerS — January 21, 2007 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  13. Giuliani will strike fear into the hearts of our enemies. He kept Arafat out of New York. Hillary KISSED Suha Arafat and then told the world that she – the FLOTUS – was the only person in the room with a bad translation of Suha’s speech in which she accused Israel of poisoning the water of Palestinian women and children.

    You wrote: But it’s about time we did more than give women the right to be president. It’s about time we had a woman president.

    Funny. The current occupant of the White House has done more to liberate women in the Arab world than anyone alive, including THIS woman you tout, when does he get some credit for that?

    I’ve never thought that a good reason to vote for anyone was becuase it was “time” for that gender, race or creed to be president. It’s not just “cattle futures and enabling Bill.” It’s Vince Foster. It’s missing billing records. It’s 900 FBI files. It’s the paranoia. It’s the politics of personal destruction.

    It’s Hillary’s own declarations that free speech, in the form of blogs, should probably be regulated because they have no “gatekeeper” function.

    Yeah, she’s mean. But a president has to be more than mean. And frankly, I’d rather not see any more Clintons or Bushes near the WH for a while.

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 21, 2007 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  14. Ed Lilly: I guess I don’t share your optimism that Hillary would strike fear in the hearts of OUR enemies. Rather, only fear in the hearts of HER enemies. At this point, my guess is those are two entirely different populations.

    Exactly! I would only add that the thought of her and Sandy-Pants in charge of our national security inspires nothing but fear and loathing in me. Our real enemies, however, will CHEER!

    Comment by BlackRedneck — January 21, 2007 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  15. By the by, let’s not forget our military is broken. Yet, I guess we can go back to lobbing missiles, maybe an old worn out nuke or two, so we don’t have to worry about civil rights, AbuG, proportinality, and lying liars now that Hillary, surprise, is running.

    A mean Hellary on wheels would at least simplfy things, the NYT could be patriotic and sing Dems bless America land free of thee.

    I bet nothing the libs do over, over there, will upset Them and cause Them to hate us more. Actually a little more strength and jihadis might want a Dem type change too. Run for cover you fidels.

    A liberal truth to theocratic power thing could even warm my cold concentric heart.

    Time for me to go back to being a bad machine walking the wrong way around my Turkish prison liberal wheel of destiny.

    Comment by RodgerS — January 21, 2007 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  16. Hi there. Full disclosure: I’m a libertarian hawk (no, NOT a Jacksonian).
    Unfortunately, your endorsement boils down to “I’ll vote for her because she’s a woman.”

    Affirmative Action is a lousy way to select a President.

    I agree with you. She *is* mean. And she is unprincipled. Your writing goes direct from “mean,” to “will use meanness to advance principles.” This is a mistake. She will use meanness to advance *herself.* Just as she’s not content to beat political opponents, but instead moves to destroy them (e.g., this week’s outing of Obama as a madrassa student).

    Does that mean she’ll bomb Iran’s oil facilities on the Red Sea, if a stentorian declaration in public will work to her advantage?


    And on that count, a little honest viciousness might be just the thing. So on foreign policy, even though I find most of the Democratic Establishment worthless (see Full Disclosure), I’m not all that worried about a new Clinton administration. Hillary able to give direct orders to the FBI? Now, *that* bothers me…

    I don’t think it “boils down to ‘she’s a woman”’ or affirmative action. I think it boils down to exactly what it says in the title: ‘because she’s mean’. When (if) she’s president that meanness will have to be employed on behalf of the entire nation in order to advance herself. Direct orders to the FBI troubling, yes, needs to be watched, but if it’s direct orders to the FBI to connect the dots re terrorists you might find some FBI guys motivated by fear to do the job they failed at before 9/11. it’s just a theory, but I don’t see them being really scared of John Edwards.

    Comment by Russ Mitchell — January 21, 2007 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  17. What I like about Hillary, in terms of national security, is that aside from her meanness, her naked desire for power means that a Hillary Clinton elected in 2008 is not about to go soft on terrorists or security, and take a chance on blowing her re-election bid in 2012 by either allowing a major attack on U.S. soil or by failing to respond to a domestic or foreign attack against American interests, that would allow Republicans to paint her as soft on terrorism.

    Hillary falls into the camp of those who get the War on Terror, but are willing to knock George W. Bush around because it’s good politics in terms of the party’s primary base, and they’re confident that nothing in terms of terrorist attacks on the U.S. is going to happen in the next 20 months to upset the current equasion (in a strange way, this is a de facto vote of confidence in the Bush domestic anti-terror ptogram, complaints about wiretapping of foregin phone calls and Gitmo abuses to the contrary). Those people, were they to win in 2008, would be a severe disappointment to the far left of the Democratic Party, when it turned out their terrorism policies weren’t going to be very different from those of the current administration.

    The main concern I would have with a Clinton Administration II would be some of the underlings at key positions who would be hired, and actually do believe either the War on Terror is overblown, or that Islamic terrorirst give a damn about whether or not a Democrat or Republican is in the White House when it comes to their desire for killing Americans. As the Jamie Gorelick pre-9/11 Seperation of Information over Civil Rights concerns cunundrum demostrated, having people in key positions who don’t really consider terrorism as a high-priority threat is just asking for history to repeat itself.

    Comment by John — January 21, 2007 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  18. I agree with Elizabeth: only Giuliani is capable of striking sufficient fear, because out of the entire class he is the only one who has any real understanding – from hard personal experience – of what jihad is.

    Hillary suborned nor just her husband’s perjury (big deal, in the grand scheme of things) but, worse, his kissing the murderer of American diplomats (not to mention countless American citizens and thousands of innocent people generally) and just generally allowing the fantasy world international politics of the 90s to proceed when she (supposedly) knew better.

    Well i think we’ve all, or many of us have wised up a bit after the illusions of the 90s. And we know the State Depaartment covered up the truth about the murder of the diplomats. I think she does know better now, but maybe it’s wishful thinking. I’m betting not.

    Comment by Deema — January 21, 2007 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  19. What I don’t like about “the new Mrs. Thatcher” — beyond her decidedly unThatcherian politics and lack of any evident core values other than the accumulation of power — is her condescending, elitist, I-know-better-than-you-what’s-best-for-you attitude, as expressed in her shameless admission that “We’re going to take your money for the common good.” Similar to her husband’s “What if you spend YOUR money WRONG?”

    And have you noticed we’re back to referring to her as Hillary RODHAM Clinton?

    Comment by Sissy Willis — January 21, 2007 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  20. Hillary is not mean. Calculating, conniving but not mean.

    Comment by Richard Cook — January 21, 2007 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  21. Fustian pretty much said what I wanted to say. I have to judge Hillary by her acts and her words now, not what I think she’ll do after the election, and what she’s said and done says that her principals are based on maintaining her power and nothing more.

    And what’s Bill going to be doing while she’s in the Oval Office. Does anyone honestly expect that he’s not going to want to horn in? He certainly isn’t going to be picking out the china for state dinners or taking tea with the prime minister’s wife. Is America ready for the Return of Bubba?

    Comment by Bill Peschel — January 21, 2007 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  22. The American electorate needs to have a “national conversation” and agree that for the next century all would-be candidates who have ever had the same surname as a previous president or vice-president will be disqualified from running for those offices — e.g., Clinton, Bush, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Roosevelt, and Taft are right out.

    Comment by Mike G in Corvallis — January 21, 2007 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  23. I just learned today, while reading a book on the ’64 Goldwater campaign, that Hillary Rodham was a ‘Goldwater Girl’ in high school. She was also a member of the Young Republicans in college. I would be interested in knowing the thought processes that led to her change of direction.

    Comment by Ken H in SC — January 21, 2007 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  24. She is definitely strong but she is the consummate politician. Once in office she will be running for a second term. Even though the major media will provide cover for whatever foreign policy she pursues she cannot run against her base which is hostile to American exceptionalism and the need to defend against Islamic radicalism.

    Comment by stuart — January 21, 2007 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  25. It’s all for the chillun! It takes a village!

    Comment by Alain — January 21, 2007 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  26. Ken H in SC:

    You can learn about Hillary Clinton’s metamorphosis from Goldwater Girl to radical socialist in Hell to Pay by Barbara Olsen, who perished on 9/11 in the plane that hit the Pentagon. She was the wife of Solicitor General Tel Olsen. It is a well-researched and footnoted book.

    My BS Meter redlines whenever this woman opens her mouth. She uses every single opportunity to push forward her ideas, even the bypass surgery of her husband. She gave statements to the press, both before and after the surgery similar to this:, “Sen. Clinton also said that they’re delighted they have good health insurance, and she hopes someday everyone will be able to say the same”, as if two people who had just received about $15 million in advances for writing their memoirs needed health insurance to pay for an operation and hospital stay that would max out at about $200,000. They could pay for it with petty cash.

    I believe she is untrustworthy in the extreme. I also think she doesn’t want to be President, she wants to be King.

    Comment by MathMom® — January 21, 2007 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  27. Ed Lilly: I agree completely.

    Ron Rosenbaum wrote, “spread of theocratic terror.”

    Your attempt to hide the only source of theocratic terror, radical Islam, is no more convincing than the rest of your post.

    I used the word “jihad”. And what other “theocratic” culture “supports the honor kiling of rape victims”? Not much”hiding” here for anyone who takes the trouble to read

    Comment by Jim C. — January 21, 2007 @ 9:43 pm | Reply

  28. Iraq will be the deciding factor among the Democratic candidates in 2008, and Hillary was flat wrong on the subject. More and more it looks like it will be Al Gore’s election to lose, please see

    Comment by MinorRipper — January 22, 2007 @ 9:22 am | Reply

  29. If you grant Hillary the presumption of innocence on the cattle futures deal, then you’re suggesting that around the age of 30 she was repeatedly taking huge financial risks that could have entirely wiped out her family assets many times over. Do you see any other examples of this kind of recklessness in her history? It doesn’t strike me as consistent with her upbringing by frugal progressive republican parents in surburban Chicago. The report by David Brock that she deducted from her tax return a dollar or two for donations of Bill’s old underwear and socks strikes me as more like Hillary.

    Comment by chris b — January 22, 2007 @ 9:30 am | Reply

  30. You like Hillary ”because she’s mean.” They said the same thing about Dick Nixon. It ended badly.

    Comment by Jamil — January 22, 2007 @ 1:17 pm | Reply

  31. I really enjoyed your Shakespeare Wars. The experience you explain having that inspired you, to this point is what I look for in anyone. If Hillary is the closest thing for you, than fine. I will not so much see what they have done, though it may sway my perspective of them, I will look for them to evoke in me as close to that which you write of. Inspiration can come in any form, but not all of them speek to me. Few of those “throwing their hat in the race” seem to be free enough to even speek thier minds let alone Live their lives the way they want in the confinds of their profession. To me, this speeks much louder than any accomplishment in the public eye.

    Comment by Damon — January 22, 2007 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  32. Thank God you’re not a republican – I can imagine what that hatchet job would be. It’s interesting though, how these pundit scripts are perpetuated not just by the right, but by leftists too. Hillary Clinton consistently polls in the top five most admired women in the world, she won two elections by a landslide, she’s leading the democrats by double digits, her approval rating is 52% and yet since she was tagged with the “mean” label, so it must go for eternity.

    Comment by Bev D — January 22, 2007 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

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