Just because I am for Ron Paul doesn’t mean I can’t give odds on the other candidates in both major parties. The most interesting Democratic candidate is, by far, Hillary Clinton, if for no other reason, that her supporters represent the most compelling example of what Freud called "Cathexis." Cathexis, he said, was the investment of mental and emotional energy in a person, idea or thing. And no one is more cathexed to someone than a supporter of Hillary Clinton.
Leading in all the polls of Democratic candidates by wide margins, she seems invincible, notwithstanding a few goofs in the debates. The reason most Democrats give for supporting her is that she is the best-prepared and the most electable candidate they’ve got. They are cathexed to the idea that no one can beat a Clinton, and particularly Hillary, whom they see as the only one to take on the evil right-wing conspiracy. I know some of these people. What they whisper in your ear is that in the voting booth, no white person will vote for Obama, that there is no way he can win.
Why is Hillary such a sure bet for them? Mostly, it has to do with the Democratic women, who are still living in the past of the women’s movement, led by such bogus characters as the CIA-connected Gloria Steinem and the late loudmouth, Betty Freidan. Somewhere in the recesses of their collective consciousness of the left, they hear that inane anthem, "I Am Woman, I Am Invincible." Why, you may ask, is a woman invincible? Because American men are such wimps? Because they know something the rest of us don’t?
I remember when Hillary (everyone calls her by her first name, as though she were some universal icon with whom everyone is on intimate terms) had carpet-bagged her way into New York State to get herself elected to the senate. I was having dinner with my family at World Pie in Bridgehampton, outside in the warm summer evening, when I saw two particularly bovine Hillary types on deep conversation about their candidate. It was Hillary this and Hillary that, until I wanted to scream, "Hillary Clinton has no idea who you are! She couldn’t care less about you!"
They must have known that I was looking at them with scorn, because they eyed me back as if they knew exactly what I was thinking. There was an instant when I thought they might have perceived in my iconoclastic glare that they were, indeed, making fools of themselves. The moment passed, and there they were, back in their cathexed state, waxing euphoric about Hillary the Invincible, the American Joan of Arc, leading the feminist troops to final victory.
The utter blindness of these people is astonishing. Look at all the polls of who is, by far, the most electable candidate, and it is always John Edwards. But no, they will tell you, he has no chance because he has no money. Well, why doesn’t he have money? It’s because no one amongst the pseudo-capitalist left would give money to someone who has pledged to take it away from them. The wives of all these faux Hamptons hedge fund managers all identify themselves as feminists, Johnny come lately as they are, unaware that "feminist" is not only obsolete, but a term of derision, referring primarily to spoiled brat white upper middle class harridans with the analytical skills of an orangutan.
But never mind. "I am woman. I am invincible," they chant feverishly as they ignore the polls in Ohio, the state the clique of Clinton shrews, led by that perpetual viper, Ann Lewis, will tell you is the state that will put her over the top. "Kerry plus Ohio," is their refrain, referring to an inevitable victory based on winning all the states Kerry carried plus Ohio. They fail to take cognizance of the fact that in Ohio, she leads by only one percentage point over Rudy Giuliani, who has yet to set foot in the place, while Hillary Clinton has the endorsement of the Democratic governor, her potential running mate. Edwards, on the other hand, is running six points ahead of Giuliani in Ohio. He is also hugely popular in Kentucky, one of the bluest of the blue states where they would tar and feather Hillary Clinton should she appear there.
But oh no, "I am woman, I am invincible." Well, not in Kentucky, honey, or North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and so on. In Montana, they would run Clinton out of town on a rail, as they would in most of the west and Midwest. Bill Clinton says she will win in a landslide, with him campaigning by her side. But Bill Clinton, hugely popular in the Democratic Party, is not so universally loved in the country. He squeaked through in his two elections, largely because of Ross Perot, and never hit fifty percent of the vote. And he ran against a lackluster George Bush and a tepid Bob Dole.
I figure that in politics, as in baseball and in crime, the "three strikes and you’re out" rule applies. The Democrats went with Al Gore when Bradley would have wiped up Bush, and they went with Kerry, when Karl Rove heaved a sigh of relief that they didn’t go with John Edwards, who would have squashed Bush. If they go with Hillary Clinton because they think she is invincible, the way they thought Gore and Kerry had it cinched, and she loses, that’s the ball game. By blowing this election, the Democrats will be on their way out.
Were Andrew Jackson alive, he would have been appalled by Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and not because she’s a woman, but because she has allied herself with the post—laissez faire corporate statists, the corrupt lobbyists, and the residue of a political organization that sold out ages ago. Those votes for the war in Iraq and for giving Bush carte blanche in Iran were not aberrations, done to win the general election. They were consistent with the merchants of death of the Iron Triangle who are contributing handsomely to her campaign. The British press, but not the American, has documented how Lockheed Martin has come over to her side, filling her coffers in anticipation of a deadly status quo that will, inevitably, lead to another war, should she be elected.
No, Edwards and Obama were not beating up on her because she is a woman. It’s because they want the troops out of Iraq and she doesn’t, because they oppose a war with Iran while she hedges her bets. But not to worry, she will tell you. "I am woman, I am invincible."
Richard Cummings [send him mail] taught international law at the Haile Selassie I University and before that, was Attorney-Advisor with the Office of General Counsel of the Near East South Asia region of U.S.A.I.D, where he was responsible for the legal work pertaining to the aid program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of a new novel, The Immortalists, as well as The Pied Piper — Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream, and the comedy, Soccer Moms From Hell. He holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is writing a new book, The Road To Baghdad — The Money Trail Behind The War In Iraq. He is a contribution editor for The American Conservative.