Monday, February 6, 2006

Hillary and the Angry Inch

From the New York Times:

The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, offered a broad attack on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York on Sunday, describing her as a Democrat brimming with anger and a representative of the far left wing of her party.

Mr. Mehlman disputed the suggestion that Mrs. Clinton, a former first lady, had moved to the center of her party. And while he declined to say, in response to a question, if he thought Mrs. Clinton would be the Republicans’ “dream candidate or the Democrat you most dread,” he left little doubt that Republicans had settled on new lines of attack on one of the leading Democratic contenders for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Oooh, let the bitch-slapping begin.

Mr. Mehlman is trying to frame anything that Senator Clinton might say in the next eighteen months as “angry” and therefore put an end to the discussion. Using an emotional term strikes a chord with the chattering classes and outweighs the practical yet mundane argument that the current administration is corrupt, incompetent, and hostile to the basic precepts of the United States Constitution. “Hillary Is A Bitch” makes a nice meme and bumpersticker when you haven’t got anything else to say, it plays to the subconscious prejudice that women who are powerful are only capable of emotional outbursts of anger, and it conveniently avoids the issue that the Republicans have yet to come up with a viable candidate to run against her in the New York senate race this fall.