The game that never ends.


The (totally deserved) defeat of Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial Primary has led to a spate of “Clinton Dynasty Ends” news analyses and intertube blogomania. I do believe that Chris Matthews might have had at least two orgasms on camera during his nightly injections of the Clintons into each and every story. Then again, he refers to the Obama Presidency as a partnership with the Clintons at least a dozen times a week, so this is nothing new.

None of these people, of course, have any desire for the Clintons to ever go away. They are the people they love to hate. And that’s true on both sides of the Great Divide.

After reading Steve Benen’s story at the Washington Monthly site, this commenter got it exactly right, which is to say, exactly the way I see it:

The “Clinton Machine” is about as real as the Protocols of Zion and the Illuminati.

It’s a shared fantasy common to certain kinds of liberals and moderates and a large faction of conservatives.

The conservatives hate the Clintons because they’re considered left-wing hippies who spoiled Reagan’s conservative “Morning in America” paradise. The dream of 1950s America reborn crashed when Bill Clinton became the first Baby Boomer president and Hillary Clinton became the first feminist First Lady.

Liberals hate them because . . . well, mainly because hating Clintons is fun. Organized loathing of popular people and things is modern America’s favorite sport: Cold Play, Applebees, Brittany Spears, wine coolers, the Clintons, nerds, punks, clowns, rodeos, whatever. In America, group loathing is a great binding agent.

On a more substantial basis, a bitter liberal can blame the Clinton’s for all the left’s political failures since Nixon beat Humphrey. That way, they don’t have to engage the big issues, like how liberal activists from the seventies on lost touch with middle and working class Americans, turned into a bunch of self-indulgent scolds, and got mugged over and over again by right-wingers who, liars and thugs they might have been, knew how to communicate, organize, and hustle votes.

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