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Fantasy Politics

Will Republicans under President Hillary be out of their league? A special outpouring of reader responses. Plus more.

10.17.07

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TESTICULARITIES
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Payback and the Chicken Lady:

Should Her Royal C win in '08, Jeffrey Lord predicts a Bush payback due to all "the pent-up fury of Republicans at the precedents set by Democrats during the Bush years." In this Bizarro World, Lord envisions bitter and angry Republicans calling for special prosecutors and staging filibusters. He sees a "snappish" McCain venting his righteous wrath during confirmation hearings. And my personal favorite: 'Bumper stickers appear proclaiming "Don't Give Britney or Hillary Custody of the Kids."'

Yes, well, lovely thoughts all, but this scenario is predicated on Republicans acquiring backbones. What a pity that it takes Madame Hillary winning to invigorate the DC Republicans' political passion. We here in fly-over country would have loved to have seen this reaction long before now.

Grover Norquist tried to warn us in 1992 in his prescient article "The Coming Clinton Dynasty," which appeared in the November issue of TAS (published before the election): "Conservatives who think the Clinton Administration will be a short interregnum are making a disastrous mistake. For since Watergate, Democrats have learned to deal behind the scenes to ensure their re-election -- with or without popular support."

Keep that bumper sticker, though. It's a winner.
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, New York

Regarding Jeffrey Lord's piece about a prospective Hillary Clinton regime, although I believe it was well written, I also can't see the Republicans acting in such a principled and outraged manner.

Since Pelosi, Reid and their crowd of scurvy Socialists have taken over, the Republicans have shown as much spine as a jellyfish (less on most occasions), and when the Republicans were in charge in the House and Senate, they failed to treat the Democrats as the minority should have been treated: Allowed to speak, but ultimately ignored as being irrelevant. The Republicans are so desperate to be loved that they cave in to everything the Democrats put forward, it seems. Now, if there were different Republican leadership, I could ALMOST see Lord's scenario coming to pass, but with the current crop of wusses, it would be more likely to see Hillary admit to actually being a power-hungry dictator wannabe than to see Republicans stand up for what's right.

There will be no "pent up fury" if I read my Republican politicians correctly (and I suspect I do). For Lord's predictions to take place, two things would need to happen:

The Republican ahem "leadership would first have to grow spines and then grow testicles...and after all these years of Bush's "New Tone," and the "inclusiveness" that was practiced when the Republicans were in the majority, those occurrences seem HIGHLY unlikely.

Nice piece of fiction, though.
-- Mr. Shannon Lucky
Bellevue, Nebraska

Mr. Lord's sharp-penned satire is right on the mark! Hill can bet her rather prominent behind that there will be no prisoners taken if and when her administration moves back into the White House (gee-do you think they will load up the wagon and bring some of the furniture etc back?). I remember the attempts by W to create a new tone, I remember W sitting down with the pompous phony Kennedy to write the education bill, I remember W NOT cleaning house of Clintonistas at Justice, I remember W not cleaning house at State, not clearing out the trash at the CIA, ad infinitum. OH and I remember ALL of the Dems giving the back of their hand to W, the military, the war effort, social security reform, the staggering incompetence of the local DEMOCRAT officials in Louisiana, the empty and pathetic attempts to paint Roberts & Alito as fascists, John Bolton, etc

I could seemingly go on forever recalling the shrill, shrieking partisanship and I, for one, guarantee that I will NOT forget that Hill and the Dems were more interested in promoting their partisan agenda than anything else.
-- Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

With all due respect to Mr. Lord, he's living in a dream world.

There will be no "Bush Payback" for "President" Hillary Clinton. If she ascends to the Oval Office, Ms. Clinton may very well (as Mr. Lord predicts), fire all of the Republican U.S. attorneys. However, she will do so with absolute impunity. The Press will not feign outrage; to the contrary, they will squeal with glee at Ms. Clinton's "decisiveness" and "command" of the office. There will be no calls of "scandal" from the House and Senate minority leaders, and the rest of the cowardly Republicans in the House and Senate will stay silent and pretend that it never happened. No Investigations. No "special prosecutor." Nothing.

There will be no Republican filibusters appointees to any of the Federal benches, including the Supreme Court. If they were to do so, the Press would scream "hypocrisy!" at the tops of their lungs, and the Republicans would be cowed into submission by all the negative publicity. Ms. Clinton will appoint liberal, activist judges to all of the open seats, including seats still empty from the previous administration, forever changing the face of American jurisprudence.

Iraq? The Republicans, ever respectful of the military (and bad publicity) will not subject the woman (yes, get ready for that, too) who succeeds General Petraeus a tough interrogation. They will rubber-stamp her plans, and then pray that the situation does not deteriorate. If it does, Ms. Clinton and her willing accomplices in the Press will, of course, blame it all on President Bush and Vice President Cheney -- and the public will lap it up with a spoon.

I could go on, but I don't really see the point. Mr. Lord, please wake up. Your dream is a nice one, but it's simply not reality.

Have you been awake since 1992?
-- Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey

Is this what the right-wing has come to? Ignoring how much the failures of the Bush administration are its own fault, and how it has damaged the conservative movement and betrayed its principles, Jeffrey Lord instead focuses on the politics of revenge. I suppose he's hoping for a repeat of the last go-around, when the right hammered on Bill Clinton from the get-go that led to a period of Republican power. But cutting through Lord's fulminations, remember the Democrats aren't dummies. Republicans are going to be victims of their own tactics and find themselves relegated to the same corner of the room they were for decades, tolerated like your crabby decrepit uncle but largely ignored. Note, please the 2-1 swing towards liberalism among the under-30s and you see what you've accomplished.

Better to be constructive -- but that approach appears to have slipped out of Mr. Lord's sight and off the right-wing radar.
-- Paul B. Weinstein

That's a nice fantasy Jeffrey Lord has about a future Clinton presidency but it's just that; fantasy. First off Republicans aren't vindictive. The Democrats have been banging their high chair screaming in outrage over everything but the White House menu since 2000. Don't expect the Republicans to do the same. If a genuine scandal does present itself the media will go radio silent and leaders in the GOP probably won't push the issue into the light. Barring Hillary isn't found in bed with a dead boy or live girl I don't see a Clinton administration fending of a daily barrage of meaningless tripe.

Secondly the CIA and State Department will find itself no longer at war with the White House. More smooth sailing for Clinton.

Lastly the GOP, being the serious party, will be too busy fighting off real policy dangers such as the government take over of health care and massive tax hikes.

I just pray that we don't get to see which scenario will play out.
-- Scott Marney

This is an excellent explanation of the possible responses to a Hillary Clinton presidency. Do we, responsible republicans, have any reason to believe that that our republican representatives in the House and Senate will show the backbone and strength to hold Mrs. Clinton accountable? I sometimes wonder who is more responsible for the moral and political decay that has infected our country. Is it the Democrats or the Republicans who allow them, Democrats, to have their way.
-- Chris Green

This article is just drivel. Whether or not Clinton wins the Democrats are likely to have majorities in both houses. In the Senate the majority is likely to be 55-45 at worst and could be close to the magic 60.

A badly beaten Republican party is highly unlikely to take such extreme positions as they are vulnerable in the next election and wouldn't want to defend 22 seats from the position of having obstructed everything for the past two years.

The writer, like many on the extremes, talks with a blind self-righteousness that ignores all the mistakes made by the Republicans and is oblivious to the foul play committed by the right.

If it comes to pass that Hilary is elected then life will go on as always with a compromise here and a compromise there. If the Democrats have all three prizes then the line of compromise must shift back to the centre.
-- Leslie Klein

I want to thank Jeffrey Lord for revealing how much he looks forward to attacking the next presidency and questioning the legitimacy of elected (perhaps even popularly!) and duly constituted authority. After all, you guys never tire of pointing out how such behavior can be viewed as unpatriotic and anti-American.

Plus ca change, amigos!
-- Ben W. Dickinson

Ha ha! What an exercise in wishful thinking! Do you really think the Republicans have the cojones to stand up to her like that? If they did, they wouldn't be in the current mess they're in. All Hillary will have to do is threaten to scratch Republicans like Trent Lott off her inaugural ball dance card and they'll go along with anything she puts on the table.
-- Paul

When, during the recent General Petraeus hearings before the Congress, Senator Clinton famously remarked that to accept his testimony as completely honest would require "the willing suspension of disbelief," I just had to write and suggest to her that willful gullibility of that sort attaches itself better to her belief that she could ever govern effectively. How, when approximately half (or more?) of voters hate your guts going in, with little chance of them ever changing their minds? Hubris, thy name is Hillary.
-- C. Vail

It seems to me there are at least 3 things wrong with Mr. Lord's scenario. #1) She ain't no lady, #2) Without control of the House or Senate how will the suddenly outraged Republicans get anywhere with demanding investigations, and #3) There will be her SCOTUS picks breaking new ground with confirmation votes that are along party lines and to heck with suggesting they should have had 80-90 votes at least. I do however agree with Mr. Lord there will be at least a small group, 25-35% of Republicans that won't participate in a honeymoon, the only surprise will be which ones will.
-- Roger Ross

Come on TAS. This column is drivel. Oh boy. The Republicans and Rush Limbaugh are going to be tough on Hillary if she wins. That is news?! And what is Mr. Lord's point? What is this -- the political equivalent to a 2 year-old holding its breath when the rattle is taken away?

The GOP who followed GWB over the cliff is going to be a rowdy bunch no matter which Democrat wins the White House (assuming the Dems actually win it).

The GOP -- the party of personal responsibility -- will whine and complain about how rude the Dems have been to poor old GWB. Well, how did the GOP treat Bill Clinton? They impeached him for a BJ and that guy didn't start a false and failed war, run up deficits or endorse torture and renditions with a nod and a wink.

If Hillary does win, as many GOP supporters like to say to liberals in the past 'Get over it'. Go ahead Mr. Lord, hold your breath till you turn blue, you have only yourselves to blame.
-- John Jordan
Ramsey, New Jersey

Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey! What you been smokin' son?

There ain't a Republican in sight with the spheres to do what you suggest. Republicans don't have what it takes to get down and dirty like the Democrats.

But, I guess we can dream, can't we?
-- Jeffrey Rennie
Chesterhill, Ohio

Nice article, but the scenario portrayed here could only take place if the Republicans in the U.S. Senate miraculously grow a backbone in the next year and a half and find it in their power to actually stand up and be counted. Fat chance, given their sorry record of apologism, appeasement and apathy during the Bush presidency.
-- Daniel McNamee
Somerville, New Jersey

I enjoyed your fantasy payback following a Hillary victory.
But, with respect and regret, I must disagree with your fantasy. When she fires the few conservative attorneys (many were kept from Clinton's admin and will be welcome to remain), the press will downplay the act rather than beat the drum as they did during the Bush 43 years.

She will not nominate a lib judge until she has struck a deal with Rockefeller Republicans giving them something they want. The nomination will stick.

And so it goes. She knows what she has to face, and she knows that the press will help set the media priorities. Talk radio can yell all they want and they will accomplish some things, but not nearly enough.
-- David Altschuler

If only Jeffrey Lord's wishful thinking about payback in a Hillary administration were more than a fantasy! When have Republicans ever had the stomach for such hardball politics? The Democrats destroyed Bork and roughed up Thomas. The Republicans were more than willing to grease Ginsberg's passage through the Senate confirmation and to actually vote for an ACLU operative as a Supreme Court justice! And so it always goes.

Since the Republicans lost Congress, have you seen the noisy oppositionism practiced by the Democrats when they were in the minority? Didn't think so. If a Bush veto of SCHIP is upheld in Congress, it will be by a sliver in the House. And it will be done as quietly as possible, since even
conservative Republicans are afraid to take on the issue and persuade the country that socialized medicine is dangerous medicine.

The Evil Party is simply better at politics than the Stupid Party. That's why it survives even as it grows ever nuttier and more isolated from what real people think. Once again, the Republican Party is setting itself up for failure, as it plans to fight the Billary Conspiracy with…nothingness. And although Jeffrey Lord has established an admirable pathway for Republicans to follow, when the inevitable Hillary administration comes into being, the only "chickens" we will see are the Republican gentlemen and gentlewomen who will try to be "responsible" in their opposition so they can gather whatever crumbs are thrown their way.
-- Stephen J. Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri

Jeff Lord is living in a dreamworld.

Besides simple incompetence that will cause them to lose the White House, the Republicans will also lose Congress.

When is comes to politics the Republicans are just plain stupid; they consistently allow the Democrats to set the agendas and frame all the debates, generally placing themselves on the defensive.

The Republicans inexplicably refuse to play hardball with the Democrats, regardless of how often the Democrats lie, distort, and cheat. While the Democrats have totally mastered the use of propaganda and lies to further their socialist, anti-American agenda, the Republicans still play nice and are incapable -- or refuse -- to cogently and forcefully make their case.

Also, it does not help that the Republicans spend money like drunken sailors, our national debt gets larger by the minute and the US dollar is worth less by the minute.

The inability of the Republicans to master the dirty art of politics, while permitting the Democrats to monopolize this corrupt art, is one reason many Americans believe the economy stinks, that socialized medicine is the correct path, that the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes, and that Al Gore was truly cheated in the 2000 elections.

The Republicans are inept, incompetent politicians and are not up to confronting the organized, ruthless, master-of-propaganda, socialist Democrats.

The Republicans will respond to all of President Hilary Clinton's actions as elucidated in Jeff Lord's article the way they always have; with a roaring silence, incompetence, ineptitude and plain stupidity. President Hilary will do what she wants knowing, with all confidence, that the Republicans are too timid to actively oppose her.

As for the mass media, she has no worries; they may not like her as an individual, but they love her politics so they will treat her very gently.

Her only true concern will be keeping Bill Clintons sexual exploits from public view.
-- C.A.

Jeffrey Lord has a very vivid imagination, but one definitely disconnected from reality. I'd like him to show me exactly where there's any evidence of fury or even annoyance on the part of any Republican serving in Congress…well, outside of Ron Paul.

The current elected GOP is only too willing to accommodate the Democrats in nearly everything. To make Lord's dreams come to pass would require a wholesale replacement of nearly every Congressional Republican with fresh stock from amongst real Reaganites.

And where might those be; hmmmm?
-- Ken Lizotte
Bristol, Vermont

Ah! Would that it could be so. I think Mr.. Lord's vision of yet another scandal ridden Clinton administration will come to pass.

But for the rest, Mr. Lord presumes the existence of honor and courage on the Republican side of the aisle. I've seen precious little evidence of that these past eight years.
-- Jay Molyneaux
North Carolina

Lovely piece of fiction by Jeffrey Lord. The flaw in it is that Madame Clinton is gambling that the Republicans left in Congress in January 2009 will act to the Lott-Hastert-and-[insert name of doctor Senator; he was very forgettable, though I am sure they love him out on the Plains] type. Republicans haven't the stones to stop her or to engage in the guerrilla tactics it will take. Getting them to sit back down quietly and do Dem bidding was to objective of the figurative assassination of Newt Gingrich. It worked -- very well.
-- Reid Bogie
Waterbury, Connecticut

If Hillary starts a few dubious wars, if she fires prosecutors in the middle of their term, if she hides behind generals carrying her water, if she pushes the limits of executive power past what even principled republicans deem to be constitutionally appropriate, then have at it. But remember, Bush did not have these problems on day one of his administration.

I am sure that you will feel justified in trying to sabotage everything a democrat does. But that does not make it right, patriotic or in the best interests of our nation.

Instead of plotting revenge, you might want to examine why so many people of good faith have lost faith in the fairness, honesty and good intentions of this administration.

You might want to take the position that I did with Bush in the beginning, that this person is the president of my country and deserves a fair chance to succeed.
-- Michael Olson
Pasadena, California

Jeffrey Lord is dreaming that Republicans will get a backbone or even a hint of a spine. This is utter nonsense if one just simply connects the dots. Without an objective MSM, Republican senators and congressmen will simply fold and remain quiescent as the attacks against all potential centers of power other than the central government under Hillary Rodham Clinton will continue and intensify.

The attacks against religion, corporations, the military, the family, and any vestige of an opposition are not accidental but stem from tried and true leftist ideology. The trend will become even more marked as HRC and Bill solidify and maintain power.

Aside from choosing several judges which will be the packed court that Franklin Delanore dreamed of, the hordes of illegal immigrants will be given the right to vote, either on a de jure basis or in a de facto milieu creating the ultimate minority group. Elections will become increasingly corrupted and farcical.

The term limits for a president will be declared unconstitutional and the Attorney General and law enforcement agencies, not to mention the military will be filled with political appointees loyal to HRC. These in turn will create more targets for FBI records that can be used to whip the MSM into the frenzied hysteria that worked so well with Foley.

We had our chance but Bush and moderate high spending Senators destroyed it. This is a more likely scenario than Mr. Lord's pipe dream of revenge.
-- John K

File Mr. Lord's article under "Oh, that it could be so." Or, perhaps, "From your word processor to God's ear."

The problem, Mr. Lord, is that none of the things mentioned in your article has any chance of occurring unless between now and January 21, 2009, the Republican members of the U. S. Senate grow some actual cojones and develop spinal columns. Nothing in current events or recent history indicates that these two events are going to happen.

Rather, President Clinton will have the jellyfish Republicans in the Senate whimpering and cowering in the corner while she steamrolls her agenda through the Democratically-controlled Congress.

We conservatives have waited, in vain, for decades for some Republican vinegar to show up. It never has happened and isn't going to now.
-- Keith Kunzler
Arnold, Missouri

What a dream! It would be great except that we have to rely on Republican Congressional Capons for execution. Alas!
-- Glen Schorzman
Marsing, Idaho

Great article shows a lot of potential foresight.

Mr. Lord forgot one key element. That is, Mrs. Clinton during her inauguration speech will pledge bipartisan support for her agenda throughout her term of president. I am sure the Republicans will sit on their hands or clap like h---.
-- Tom Gemelli
Fairview, Oregon

Jeffrey Lord's "Payback" dramatizes what a lot of Republicans wish would happen. However, none of them serve in the U.S. Senate. The lap dogs there would bend over backwards to give her every appointment she asked for explaining to whatever's left of the base, "We need to set the example for the next time we're in the White House."
-- William Maxwell
Atlanta, Georgia

None of this scenario will happen because Hillary will be swept in with a huge Democratic majority and even if that does not happen, the Republicans in Congress are gutless.
-- Dan Mittelman

Nice fantasy. If only most Republicans had the balls to do half of that. Too bad.
-- Mike D'Addidio

Great scenario, but you need one essential ingredient:

Republicans with stones. It ain't gonna happen.
-- Susie Q
Graceland East

A beautiful fantasy. Unfortunately to make it come true would require the complete turnover of all 49 Republican geldings in the Senate, and the election of 49 stallions in their stead.
-- John Gridley

ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW
Re: Lars Walker's An American, Unawares:

"The common people cannot be elevated, regardless of their religion and education," he would have said. "The common people are a mob. They can be controlled like animals, but they will never be self-governing citizens. Without a strong hand on the leash, they will revert in time to their innate savagery."

In the climate of the United States of today, it would be the liberals stating the above quote. "The common man is incapable of making his own health care decisions, let's nationalize health care. The common man would spend his own money on frivolous things like supporting his family; let's tax him into the poor house and make him and his family dependent on government."

We seem incapable of learning from the past.
-- Randall Allison
Abilene, Texas

TROUBLE AHEAD
Re: Eric Peters's Engine Turnoff:

While this new, "enhanced" On-Star feature is being touted as a safety measure (and who could possibly be against more safety, right?), it could very easily turn out to be a boon for the Trial Lawyers at the expense of the auto makers, insurance companies and any other unsuspecting deep-pocketed plaintiffs. (Who was monitoring the On-Star console that day, Mr. Jones?)

All it will take is one unfortunate incident when a soccer mom and an SUV full of kids, is unable to accelerate out of harm's way because "the car's on board computer, which in turn would ease off the gas -- no matter how hard you're putting your foot down," to avoid an out-of-control delivery truck, and heaven forbid, they all end up burning to death. I guess their families will be able to take at least some comfort in knowing 9-1-1 dispatchers were able to use the GPS coordinates to precisely direct EMS and Fire Department Rescue units to the crash scene to recover the charred corpses. Small consolation indeed.

GM and all the other well-meaning proponents of such a scheme should think long and hard before they put the lives of their customers, and the financial wellbeing of their stockholders, into the hands of nanny-state bureaucrats and money-grubbing sharks.
-- James Irby
Houston, Texas

Safe automobile operation generally means staying within a few percentage points of the average traffic speed. When I first heard about this, it was in the context of stopping auto theft.

A system that could slow down traffic well in advance of a traffic jam could eliminate the traffic jam. The Europeans, with their anal retentive command and control mentality, are already pioneering in the field of speed limit signs that change to keep traffic moving. A device as described by Mr. Peters could be used in a very similar way to accomplish the same congestion control function.
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

Do you really think that cities and counties are going to embrace the speed limiting function of the enhanced OnStar unit?

Will they be willing to give up the revenue that they derive from speeding tickets?
-- Bill Reynolds

PLUGGING AWAY
Re: Lawrence Henry's Church and Me:

Mr. Henry tells us that "at various stages, [he has] stopped going to church, because some human fallibility, some shortcoming in the congregation itself, has brought [him] up short." Human fallibility is why there is a thing called a church. And people do not become infallible when they become members of the church. Surely Mr. Henry knows that.

The church will always struggle with two kinds of hypocrites, hard ones and soft ones. Hard hypocrites are those folks who live their lives glaringly out of step with the gospel, such as Mr. Henry's "Ann," while wearing a mask of sanctimony. Soft hypocrites are folks whose attachment to and involvement in the church is dependent upon whether anyone has disappointed them lately. If only they could find that elusive church that didn't have people prone to disappointing others. These self-satisfied saints will leave the church and come again some other time to see if the backward folk there can rise to meet their expectations.

And then there are the Plugger types. These are the Christian men and women who know all too well the frailties of Christians, including their own. But they also know that the church is something worth sticking to and working in because Christ died for it and made it his bride. They know it will never be flawless this side of heaven. But they also know it is the body of Christ and in that body God is glorified.

Hard hypocrites, soft hypocrites and Pluggers. God give us more pluggers.
-- Brad Fry
Columbia, South Carolina

UNQUALIFIED SUCCESS
Re: Mike Roush's letter (under "Bless Our Boys") in Reader Mail's Norwegian Woods:

A question in response to Mike Roush's letter regarding Al Gore's success: if Al is "right about global warming," why didn't he win the Nobel Prize for Science?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

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