It is widely assumed that Hillary Clinton is the front-runner for the 2016 Democrat nomination, if not a virtual lock on the candidacy. The only real question is whether Joe Biden puts his boss in a tough spot by launching a doomed campaign to wrestle the nomination away from Hillary. Our "objective" "news" media is already pumping up the Clinton candidacy by scheduling glowing biographies of the new Dear Leader ahead of the election, which takes the concept of media bias to delirious new heights. The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, fired off letters to the brass at the two networks on Monday, demanding they "cancel this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production," or else the RNC will freeze them out of the 2016 primary debates.
But if NBC and CNN knuckle under, what will Hillary have left? Even more than the empty suit she aims to succeed, she has no resume of accomplishments at all. She's never achieved anything at all. She was an unmitigated disaster as Secretary of State, her tenure noted primarily for its relentless efforts to squash investigations into various scandals. She kicked things off by getting the Russian phrase for "reset button" wrong in a boneheaded publicity stunt, and wrapped things up with the deadly debacle of Benghazi. She joined Obama in lying to the American people, and the families of the Benghazi dead, to keep Obama's "al-Qaeda on the run" campaign narrative alive. And here we are in August 2013, with the State Department on the run from al-Qaeda, as embassies across the world are shut down for a week thanks to elevated "chatter" from terrorist masterminds. Hillary Clinton chattered a lot, too, but it most certainly did not frighten or impress anyone.
Hillary Clinton is the perfect post-modern caricature of the celebrity candidate. She's famous for being famous. She's a formidable candidate because a chorus of media admirers keep squawking about how formidable she is. She's hailed as a towering intellect, even though everything she's actually done has been colossally stupid. The Democrat machine designated her as the new Emperor-Without-Clothes, and across the Left, knees are duly taken.
For an example of Clinton stupidity, look at the emerging revelations about Benghazi - the very real, very serious scandal she tried to dismiss by shrieking "What difference, at this point, does it make?" Contra Clinton, we're still learning all sorts of fascinating things about the 9/11/12 attacks. Here's the latest rundown on Operation Fast and Furious: Libya Edition, from Business Insider:
"The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation," officials briefed on intelligence told the Wall Street Journal, and there's evidence that U.S. agents—particularly murdered U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens—were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to Syrian rebels.
WSJ reports that the State Department presence in Benghazi "provided diplomatic cover" for the previously hidden CIA mission, which involved finding and repurchasing heavy weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals. These weapons are presumably from Muammar Gaddafi's stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles, the bulk of which were SA-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.
What's odd is that a Libyan ship—which reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7s—docked in southern Turkey on Sept. 6 and its cargo ended up in the hands of Syrian rebels. The man who organized that shipment, Tripoli Military Council head Abdelhakim Belhadj, worked directly with Stevens during the Libyan revolution.
Stevens' last meeting on Sept. 11 was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi "to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists."
Since Stevens and his staff served as "diplomatic cover" for the CIA—only seven of more than 30 Americans evacuated from Benghazi worked for the State Department—the spy agency would certainly know about heavy weapons and Libyan jihadists flooding into Syria if Stevens did.
Given that most of the weapons going to hard-line jihadists in Syria are U.S.-made and are being handed out by the CIA, it's not a stretch to wonder if the CIA is indirectly arming Syrian rebels with heavy weapons as well.
Why the hell did Hillary Clinton send a U.S. ambassador into the middle of all that - in an area known for jihadist activity, to a consular building that had reported numerous security threats, on the anniversary of 9/11 - without adequate protection? And not only was Stevens left unprotected, but the Administration loudly insists that no military assets could conceivably have responded in time to help the besieged Ambassador out, in any way. Why not? Why weren't any precautions whatsoever taken to account for the slightest possibility that Stevens might run into trouble? It's absolutely amazing that this is accepted as a defense against criticism from Obama and Clinton. In a better, stronger America, it would have been written on their letters of resignation.
But the new, weak, celebrity-obsessed, low-information America doesn't care about competence. Voters don't read the resumes of politicians any more, not when it's a Democrat. Name recognition is all that matters, up to a certain point. New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner can tell you exactly where that point is.
It won't matter to Democrat voters that Hillary developed very conveniently-timed health problems to evade congressional testimony. How's her health coming along these days? Any more fainting spells? I suspect the average Democrat voter would chuckle ruefully at that question, just as they think Bill Clinton's felonies were rather amusing, because gosh-darn if that lovable old rascal didn't get away with it. It's not necessary to come up with logical reasons to support Hillary Clinton. It's enough to know that the hellish Republicans don't like her. Shout down criticism with some stale "War on Women" boilerplate, count up the ballots from safe blue cities that would vote for a smiley-face button if it ran on the Democrat ticket, and they're halfway to victory in 2016.
This kind of celebrity voting should present a major conundrum for socialists with a modicum of intellectual honesty. If you believe in the superior wisdom of the centralized State, you should have very high standards for the people that run it. You should be going over those resumes with a magnifying glass. The last qualifications that should interest you are fame, political skill, and pop-culture worship. But the Democrats keep running people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who spent their entire adult lives living in, and profiting from, the political sphere. (You can't see Hillary Clinton's private-sector resume, because it went into a shredder at the Rose Law Firm during an all-night subpoena binge in the early 90s.)
The intellectually honest Big Government enthusiast should insist on people with robust histories of personal private-sector achievement, people who can demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the economy and culture they want to preside over. But no one on the Left is intellectually honest any more. They care about the accumulation of power, not the results of its deployment. Swinging the pendulum of political possibility closer to the total State is all that matters. Winning the next election is all that matters. Victory enables the statists to tell Americans they've passed another point of no return in the long march of "progress," and another slice of American life is no longer subject to either votes or individual initiative.
Instead of measuring promises against observable results, such as Barack Obama's fulsome promises that unemployment would be below 5 percent by now, the Left lowers public expectations to match the current level of liberal failure. Recalibrating the New Normal until 7 percent unemployment with a collapsing workforce is considered acceptable, and 1.7 percent GDP growth is actually hailed as "brisk," is far easier than actually improving the economy. Adjusting the New Normal is a purely political function, well within the capabilities of people who couldn't run a lemonade stand without needing a billion-dollar taxpayer bailout. The 2016 Democrat candidate needs to be someone who can keep a straight face while claiming Obama's eight years of malaise have left the American economy "poised for recovery" as never before. Hillary Clinton can do that.
The best way to march sleepwalking voters to the polls is by giving them a celeb candidate with a glittering crown of pop-culture appeal, someone our debased political/media apparatus can celebrate as Historic, Brilliant, and most importantly of all, Caring. A complete lack of knowledge about the country beyond New York, L.A., and D.C. is no problem. Actually, it's a plus. Who cares about the way things work now, when you've got a heady vision of the way America is supposed to work?
Everything Hillary Clinton has actually run turned into a compost heap of failure, scandal, and cover-up - not to mention a few dead bodies - but that won't matter, because all the right people say she's fabulous. What makes them fabulous? Don't ask. There are a lot of questions you won't be allowed to ask during the Clinton 2016 campaign. God help the Republicans if they think they can play the same game, even if they run with a historic female candidate of their own.
Update: I notice Rasmussen took a poll of undesirable Democrat candidates, and Hillary Clinton topped the list. 27 percent said they do not want her to be the Democrat nominee in 2016, followed by 24 percent who don't want Shotgun Joe Biden. Ouch. That's not a poll you want to beat Joe Biden in.
But Hillary was also the candidate the very same poll said Democrats want the most!
This illustrates a very wide gulf between the Democrat Party/media elite, who view Clinton as the nearly inevitable nominee and probable President... and voters, who are at the very least ambivalent about the prospect of a Clinton candidacy. But don't kid yourselves - the Democrat Party's voting legions will fall obediently into line and support whoever their elites tell them is the next candidate. That happens with Republican voters too, but it's not as pronounced, which is a big political advantage for the Democrats. Let us never again repeat the mistake of 2012, and underestimate the power of big-city machines to churn out the votes needed to overcome electoral apathy or ambivalence.