“He has said he would do anything I asked,” Hillary Rodham Clinton declared with astonishment, extra double-A eggs with blue bulls-eyes dangerously close to popping out of her head.
Hillary was, of course, referring to her housemate, publicist, political strategist, campaign manager and chief fundraiser Bill. A delighted crowd purred with expectation as Hillary waited for just the right moment: “I would put him to work!” she said adding a huge exclamation mark just outside the dialogue balloon.
Bill in a pink apron cooking lentils, Bill tending to the roses in the garden, Bill paying the bills, Bill cleaning the tub, Bill washing the dishes, Bill coaching a girl’s soccer team…
Wait a minute — nothing domestic for Bill! This is an international assignment.
But Bill going around the world? And with Hillary’s blessing? So theirs IS an open marriage, after all…
Suddenly Hillary takes great pride announcing how many people “love Bill.” And many have. “I’m very lucky that my husband has been so experienced in all these areas,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
If it is possible for Hillary to get out of character for just a minute it seems that she may be violating some tenet of bourgeois feminism invoking as she has the image and influence of her husband to further her own career.
Or am I still living in the 60s?
Next thing you know the Democratic front-runner will be flirting with the notion of including Bill in her cabinet, which would require a legislative measure of some audacity, which, flashing forward then back, would require a miracle of some magnitude – that Hillary be elected President of the United States.
Or perhaps all of this is simply a campaign ploy, part of “the conversation,” Hillary’s way of helping us “visualize the future.”
Close your eyes for a moment and tilt your head back… That’s it.
Keep your eyes closed tight now! Yes there you are, in the crowd… And there SHE is… Hillary, right hand raised in the brisk morning air, palm arched, fingers stiff, nearly a military salute, Oliver North swearing to tell the truth, a hand gesture laden with more meaning than any other, save one.
A Woodstock-size crowd hushes, poised as it is to witness history and take cell-phone photos of the Capitol Rotunda, Hillary Rodham Clinton, uncharacteristically on the left, facing the Supreme Court Chief Justice, on the far right as usual, a historic moment, the climax of a long career, faithful spouse Bill facing the crowd, behind the Bible, he has Nancy Reagan eyes…
“So help me God,” Hillary swears.
The masses erupt with adoration, a seething orgasmic swirl of love gushing across the land. Another Clinton White House! Let the party begin!
Ah but that is all just a fantasy now, though among oddsmakers six will give you nine that Clinton will win the nomination. That’s clearly what corporate America expects, where they’ve wagered their bread… Yes almost all the big boys are behind Hillary, behind Bill, behind the Clintons. Politics makes strange bedfellows, it is said, in this case bringing together an estranged husband and wife and the military industrial complex in a ménage à trois, weapons of mass destruction far more arousing than leather, whips and chains.
“I can’t think of a better cheerleader for America than Bill Clinton, can you?” Hillary said with an impish grin.
But wait a minute, there’s just one problem with Bill as national cheerleader – remember? He got caught with his pants down. Yes it was just a blow-job, yes it was just a little white lie he told, but he said it under oath and was impeached. Bill should have said it under his breath, under the covers, under wraps. But he didn’t. And yes, it’s damn unfair — Republicans can screw people and get away with it when democrats get in trouble just opening their mouths.
But Bill DID have sex with that woman. Yes that one. And it was such a humungous moment in history that it even changed the way people define carnal relations. PART OF THE LEGACY of Bill Clinton is that a lot of young people think they can have oral sex and claim they didn’t – have sex, that is…
But despite Bill’s violation of marital vows he proved over and over again his fidelity to something bigger — the Clinton’s unorthodox open marriage, a blissful union of free markets and new age fascism.
Let us not forget that Bill ushered through the GATT and NAFTA treaties, cut the safety net for immigrants, attacked poor people under the guise of welfare reform, while always — always — demonstrating absolute fidelity to the big corporate donors that are the holy union of Clinton, Inc.
As far as the whole Lewinsky affair goes, Bill confessed and asked to be forgiven, establishing what is now ritual, a key element of political liturgy — the blessed act of contrition. Bill paid penance for his sins; he traveled the world and visited the sick and homeless, raising money for the disadvantaged and the poor.
And now he has been called again, this time to help poor Hillary.
“I believe in using former presidents, particularly what my husband has done,” Hillary explained, “to really get people around the world feeling better about our country. We’re going to need that. Right now, they’re rooting against us and they need to root for us.”
And Bill can do much to buttress what voters think about Hillary, to make them feel better about her, to root for her, to send her money.
Remember this is a Clinton we’re talking about, not some left-liberal or progressive, for godsakes, certainly not a reformer. She’s as safe a bet to stand for, well, nothing as a $20 wager that Bill will get caught with his pants down again, something that simply won’t happen with Hillary… And Hillary wears pants, too, a la Diane Feinstein, the Democratic trend-setter in the Senate, modeling the last word in fashion as well…
Some of her critics suggest that Hillary is no longer a feminist: No liberated woman would put up with someone like Bill, the argument goes. Okay maybe Hillary isn’t as militant as Maria Shiver, so what? Her corporate backers know what she is, the voters know what she stands for, which is more than they can say about a lot of the other candidates for president. Hillary has a clear identity: She is a hawkish dove, a conservative liberal, a foe of welfare and friend of the indigent. Hillary opposes the War in Iraq and “certainly wouldn’t have voted” for it if she knew then what she knows now, though clearly it was not a mistake for her to give George Bush the power to bomb Baghdad.
In short Hillary is as Clinton as they come. All she needs is a little more sex appeal. And that’s simple: She just needs to threaten to invade Iran, and to “not rule out” the use of nukes. Not rule out, mind you. That is an important detail. Yes Hillary has to show us her muscles, demonstrate her strength, prove she will take-no-prisoners. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! THEN her nomination will be assured because then Hillary – not George, not Barack, not Tom, Dick or Harry, but Hillary will be the bomb.
Still relevant after all these years
originally written for These Green Times
copyright © 2008 J. P. Bone