Andrew Sullivan has never been one of the anglophone world's brighter bulbs. He's never been one of its brighter gas lamps. He's never been one of its brighter tallow candles. This has made him acceptable and that has made him successful. He's easily outraged and easily flattered. Whatever. My daddy done tole me never to begrudge a man for making more money than you in the same racket. At least not publicly.
Sullivan, as you're probably aware, has got a serious problem with Hillary Clinton. Fuck it, dudes, so do I. But Sullivan's problem seems largely confined to his conviction that Bill was "a perjurer and an abuser of women; she was deeply complicit in all of it, and ultimately used it for her own political advantage." You read it there first, friends. Perjury and abuse as political advantage. True, hardly a day goes by when Hillary fails to remind cheering crowds of the many ladies ravished by her husband, but . . .
Parenthetically, Sullivan says in that same article, "Watching the Clintons pivot off homophobia--while pretending to be civil rights pioneers--really sickened me (although not as much as the gay establishment symps who rolled over and begged for more. They're still at it, of course)." This from a man who, you'll pardon the expression, got behind Bush.
The flaw in Sullivan's argument is evident in this post rightly excoriating Clinton's position on torture, which is that she has no position on torture. Sullivan:
Before she'll promise anything, she wants the power.I don't quibble with this statement of fact, but look at the implication. Sullivan couches his unique persistence in critizing Clinton in opposition to power hunger. But who runs for the Presidency without it? Mike Gravel, perhaps.
Now I am willing to sound a little bit like It's-Not-Pronounced-Ann Rand, here. The myth of altruistic intent is irrepressible but false. The President of the United States is the most powerful man in the world. The Office of the Presidency is the single most powerful human institution in the entire history of mankind. Fuck the "Iraqi Quagmire" and the limits of American power. No king, no emperorr, no potentate, no general, no premier, no commissar, no pope, and no messiah during his lifetime has ever wielded more power over more people over a wider geography than the President of the United States. To pursue that office is to pursue that power. That is true of Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, and the rest of that passel of madmen and lunatics. Why slice it, dice it, or mince it? Of course she fucking wants the power, Andy.
It's tortorous to me to hear this or that candidate singled out as uniquely venal or corrupt in this regard. With the exception of folks like Paul and Gravel, who are simply using momentary laxness in the electoral system to gain a platform for the airing of quixotic views (and more power to them, by the way), the campaign for the presidency is a campaign to rule the world as nearly as any one person ever has. The aspiration to rule over other human beings is at the heart of every potential president. To believe that Hillary is unique in this regard is pure fatuity. If she evinces more hunger, that only means she's more likely to win the race.