Part 3—Our own Clinton-hater recites: The novelists are out in force this morning.
The press corps’ many “theater critics” are also out in numbers. They’re typing their favorite novel of all, the Clinton character novel.
The memorized novel is being retyped all over today’s New York Times. Here’s how the horrible Maggie Haberman starts her “news analysis:”
HABERMAN (3/11/15): In a career that has been punctuated by uncomfortable, emotionally freighted spectacles, Hillary Rodham Clinton's news conference on Tuesday explaining her use of private email to do her job as secretary of state was far from the most gawk-worthy.Haberman was signed away from Politico after she’d proven that she was more than up to the task of typing that sort of thing.
She began by opining on the diplomatic furor of the day, a reminder that in the four years she was typing out missives on her smartphone, she was also representing America's national interests around the globe. Her voice measured, she conceded at the outset that it probably would have been ''smarter'' not to work from a private email account. And she speculated that ordinary Americans would understand her concern for keeping private matters private, like her yoga poses or her mother's funeral.
But Mrs. Clinton's attempt to put a whirlwind of questions and critical news reports behind her—and to get back to mustering enthusiasm ahead of her expected announcement that she will make another run at the White House—devolved, over the course of 21 minutes, into an exchange of sharp-toned questions and increasingly defensive responses, both in what she said and in her demeanor in saying it.
The theater criticism was perfect. According to Haberman, Clinton’s voice was “measured” at the start of yesterday's event—but she grew “increasingly defensive, both in what she said and in her demeanor.”
That’s the theater criticism. The framework of Haberman’s novel was announced in her opening sentence, when readers were told that Clinton’s career “has been punctuated by uncomfortable, emotionally freighted spectacles.”
The press corps adores that long-running novel. Soon, Haberman was citing “a pink suit” which Clinton wore in 1994, and opining that Clinton “has seemed to have a phobia.”
As always, Haberman was horrible, the skill she developed and evinced at her previous post. In her front-page news report today, Amy Chozick may have been worse.
Each scribe toyed with Clinton’s “yoga” joke, moving it up in prominence for the obvious reason. These life forms have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time.
What is the Clinton novel like? Consider some of the theater criticism in Frank Bruni’s op-ed column:
BRUNI (3/11/15): [B]ehind her forced smile, which was practically cemented in place, she seemed put out by all the skepticism and all the questions. She shouldn’t be. This latest Clinton controversy is not the work or fault of Republican enemies or a ruthless, unappeasable press corps. It’s her doing.According to Bruni, the problem with yesterday’s event wasn’t “any particular tone of voice or set of her shoulders.”
She made a choice when she stepped into the secretary of state’s job that was bound to be second-guessed if it ever came to light, as everything eventually does. And when it did, she was silent about it for a week, letting suspicions fester.
She was on the spit Tuesday because she placed herself there.
But the real problem with the news conference wasn’t anything specific that she said or didn’t say, any particular tone of voice or set of her shoulders that she aced or bungled.
It was what kept coming to mind as she stood before the cameras once again, under fire once again, aggrieved once again by Americans’ refusal to see and simply trust how well intentioned and virtuous and good for the country she is:
It was all so very yesterday.
It wasn’t even Clinton’s “forced smile, which was practically cemented in place” as she stood behind the podium, “aggrieved once again by Americans’ refusal to see and simply trust how well intentioned and virtuous and good for the country she is.”
As a theater critic and mind-reader, Bruni could see that Clinton was “aggrieved,” and he was able to discern what she was aggrieved about. The problem with the event, he said, “was what kept coming to mind as she stood before the cameras.”
More precisely, the problem was what kept coming to Bruni’s mind. For ourselves, we didn’t react to this event in the way he described. Nor does Bruni actually know if “Americans” did, although he rushed to assume that his reactions were shared by everyone else.
Bruni has always been like this. Back in Campaign 2000, he relentlessly fawned to Candidate Bush, kissing the ascot of the great man as he praised the brilliance of his accessorization.
Bruni pandered, smooched, kissed aspic and fawned. At one point, the silliest child in the whole Times stable actually typed this cant:
BRUNI (9/14/99): When Gov. George W. Bush of Texas first hit the Presidential campaign trail in June, he wore monogrammed cowboy boots, the perfect accessory for his folksy affability and casual self-assurance.Only in the New York Times will life forms be this inane. Bruni offered this brainless succor to Bush all through the long campaign.
But when he visited New Hampshire early last week, he was shod in a pair of conservative, shiny black loafers that seemed to reflect more than the pants cuffs above them. They suggested an impulse by Mr. Bush to put at least a bit of a damper on his brash irreverence, which has earned him affection but is a less certain invitation for respect.
The “Big Love” extended to Candidate Bush was, of course, an offshoot of the press corps’ Clinton-hatred. This hatred transmogrified into the War Against Gore, the twenty-month war your TV heroes still refuse to discuss or acknowledge.
Personally, we aren’t real high on Clinton as a candidate. In the last few years, we’ve never quite been able to imagine her winning the White House, although of course she might.
Beyond that, we tend to think she was very dumb to handle her emails as she did. But nothing can match the size of The Dumb which comes to life when the press corps starts sequelizing its Clinton scandal novel and extending its Clinton hate.
The Dumb was very, very large on cable TV last night. We were struck by the ease with which Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell returned to their old ways.
Chris and Lawrence have always been two of the biggest Clinton/Gore-haters. Matthews virtually sent Bush to the White House all by himself, though Joan and David and Eugene will never tell you about that.
On national TV, Lawrence was inventing “lies” by Candidate Gore right through October 2000. Last night, these terrible hustlers were at it again. But so was Professor Greer.
In a slightly rational world, the occasional professor would have challenged the work of these horrible people. The occasional professor would have deconstructed the unmentionable War Against Gore
In even a slightly rational world, our own liberal professors would have performed these obvious functions. But we don’t live that kind of world. We live in a world where we liberals are handed professors like Greer, who staged a perfect recitation of novelized cant for angry old Lawrence last night.
How bad is this 30-something Fordham professor? Ignore her endless generalizations. She even threw Whitewater in!
PROFESSOR GREER (3/10/15): You know, this is kind of vintage Clinton in the sense that these two—and I’m putting her with her husband—are consistently in the news where there’s a set of rules for, for the people, and then there’s always a set of rules for the Clintons that they thought they understood and then they kind of go to the line, sometimes they overstep the line.To watch this full segment, click here.
But there’s always an explanation with them. And I think that’s going to be the interesting piece with independent voters, those who remember the good old 90s or the bad old 90s, right? Those who remember the drama that associates the Clintons every single time they’re in the spotlight.
I think they thought they had more friends in 2008 than they actually do. I think that they need to really make a case in 2016. Because there are a lot of people who find the Clintons exhausting.
So it wasn’t just about Monica and Whitewater. Now we have—you know, and Benghazi, whether it’s legitimate or not. But now we have Emailgate. There’s always something. Sometimes it’s legitimate, sometimes it’s actually not fair, right? But there’s something about that last name in this country that comes with so much baggage.
O’DONNELL: All right, we’re going to take a quick break...
Professor Greer is an assistant professor at Fordham. She’s also a bit of a Clinton hater, as you can see from the absurd generalizations she offers all through that indictment.
Professor Greer is hopeless, except when it comes to recitation of script. There’s always a set of rules with the Clintons. There’s a drama that associates the Clintons every single time they’re in the spotlight.
There’s “always something” with the Clintons, our Clinton-hater says. “There’s something about that last name in this country that comes with so much baggage.” She even brings Whitewater back!
There’s always something with the Clintons, our Clinton-hater says. But she makes no attempt to figure out where that something might come from.
On this particular evening, part of that “something” was sitting across from her in the person of the gruesome O’Donnell. But as an obvious Clinton-hater, the professor wasn’t going to say that, though we’ll guess that she may not have known.
Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be our ideal candidate. But make no mistake:
Starting in March 1999, these Clinton-haters spent twenty months sending Candidate Bush to the White House. There is every reason to think that they could do it again.
Professor Greer recited every point in the Clinton novel. People find them “exhausting,” she said. “Drama” associates with them “every single time they’re in the spotlight.”
The generalizations are completely absurd. But you'll note that this well-scripted professor never stops to think that this constant drama may be a product of an animus of the part of the press corps.
In that sense, she's typing the same novel as Bruni. In this novel, the cause of the drama must lie with Them. It cannot lie with Us.
This way lies the next Republican president! Professor Greer, a hopeless if rather typical soul, seems eager to bring him to power.
This is what our own liberal professors are like! In Professor Greer's speech to Lawrence, we gaze on the caliber of our own professors again!
Later today: Professor Robin