In her fascinating book, “The Case Against Hillary Clinton,” Peggy
Noonan writes as a native New Yorker and a patriotic American, who is
warning all who will listen that we must end Clintonism now.
Noonan, a writer’s writer, sees the New York Senate race as “the
battle that may decide the war” — the war that will determine whether
Clintonism will continue in America or finally end. For her, this isn’t
personal, but the stakes are quite high. “I wish her a long life with
good health, much friendship, and many grandchildren. But I do not wish
to see her succeed in continuing Clintonism in our national life.” She
definitely sees New York as a stepping stone for Hillary. “Don’t fall
for the one who only wants to use this place as a stirrup to climb her
way onto a horse called the presidency.”
But what is Clintonism? It is not a political ideology, but “the
ethos, style, and character of the Clinton administration.” It is about
“maximum and uninterrupted power for the Clintons.” Note that it is not
about only Bill or only Hillary. Noonan does a masterful job of
demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between the two. They are
mutually dependent and enabling. They are partners in power.
Clintonism sees America as “the platform for the Clintons’ ambitions,
not the focus of them.” They are the kind of people who pursue greatness
for the sake of attaining fame and acquiring the label of greatness,
instead of quietly achieving greatness by doing great things.
For the Clintons, any ends justify the means of advancing their
careers. As a result, deception, abuse of power, scandal, smearing
opponents and ruining perceived political enemies is their joint legacy.
In standing for Clintonism, the Clintons “have made the American
political landscape a lower and lesser thing.”
Most interesting is a section where Noonan describes interviewing a
longtime friend of Hillary’s, a political ally who “had been inclined to
like Hillary,” but ultimately “couldn’t.” Noonan asked her to share her
point of view, but instead she brought to the interview a psychology
book on pathological narcissism that was a veritable case study of the
Clintons. When Noonan protested that to describe Hillary as a narcissist
was hardly an original observation, her former friend explained that
this was different. She depicted Hillary and Bill as joint narcissists.
“They have done a particular kind of mind-meld.”
The lady described the Clintons as being empty and miserable apart
from their power — as people who derived their sense of self-worth from
public adoration. That’s the key to understanding why they won’t just go
away and leave us alone. They are hooked on adulation. “He cannot live a
genuinely private life. Neither can she. So they must be in ours. …
Which makes their private plight our public problem.”
Noonan brilliantly interweaves her various themes in speculating
about a scenario that may yet unfold. She suggests that Hillary, in
order to curry favor with New York Jews, may come out in favor of
presidential clemency for Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a
life sentence in the U.S. Her husband would then deny her request. This
could play out in a threefer — a three-for-one PR bonanza because she
would win points in New York, Bill in the nation, and they could both
thereby perpetuate the fiction that they act independently from one
another. And we can be sure that they’ll do it with a straight face.
Noonan views the Clintons as having severely damaged this country.
Together they have used the office and power of the presidency to
destroy innocence and idealism and institutionalize cynicism. Instead of
using their position and circumstances to do wonderful things, they have
degraded everything around us and have further debased our culture.
The author doesn’t strike me as a frenzied partisan raging against
the Clintons. To her, this isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats or
conservatives against liberals, but the Clintons against New York and
America, the state and nation she loves. She seems particularly offended
that “they forgot to be grateful to the place that had made them, and
that ensured their rise. They forgot to love it.”
“They have made their disturbance our disturbance; they have foisted
it upon a great nation.”
This book is a must read. Its message must not be ignored.