Unreconstructed Liberals have their own reasons for disliking the Clintons, and movement conservatives obviously have even more, but what the hell explains the pathological antipathy the Washington Press Corps still feels for President Bill and Senator Hillary Clinton? The roots of it go back 16 years or so, but what's amazing is to see it still in such pristine condition, as if we haven't had eight terrible years to get over it. Now, as the Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State job offer becomes yet another press-driven telenovela, with the Clintons as, I dunno, the country's presumed dead ex-lover who just turned up on the day of our wedding to Barack Obama, or something, it's instructive to see how the press corps still sees the former first family. Christopher Hitchens comes at the Clinton issue as an old-timey Leftist (leftists hate liberals!) and also a drunken contrarian, but his comments and criticisms have been accepted by the resolute centrists of the DC press corps as a, bizarrely, an argument against Clinton with a great deal of popular support. The opinion of Chris Hitchens represents the views of precisely one person on this planet. He is representative of no one on the left, right, or in the center. You wouldn't know that from listening to Joe Scarborough:
Scarborough: "What he said may resonate with some of her critics." By "some of her critics," he meant the press. Scarborough: "Hitchens last night weighed in on it and basically spoke for a lot of Hillary detractors." By "a lot of Hillary detractors," he meant the press. Scarborough: "He talked about...concerns that a lot of Clinton detractors may be bringing up."
Scarbrough's Clinton hatred is natural—he's an old GOP congressman from the Gingrich era, hating Clinton was his political job. But Chris Matthews, blue-collar catholic millionaire Democrat television personality, has hated Bill for his terrible moral failings since forever. He's pissed that we're not "done with the Clintons." As is Maureen Dowd, who repeated the tired line about Clinton besmirching the pristine White House just a few weeks ago. That's the line the DC press corps has followed since the terrible Clintons showed up in Washington in 1992—these idiot outsiders are marching into town like they own the place! They're ruining the furniture! The White House, home to Nixon and LBJ and various slave-owners since its construction, has been the organized crime capital of the nation more times than we can count, but it was fellatio that destroyed the dignity and honor of the office. For a taste of how weird and pervasive and completely out-of-touch this attitude is, watch Newsweek editor Jon Meacham's Daily Show interview from last night. He makes two out-of-left-field context-free Clinton jokes that just fall completely flat, and he seems befuddled that not everyone else thinks it's self-evident that the Clintons were uncouth maniacs akin to the intoxicated mob of commoners who destroyed the White House during Andrew Jackson's inauguration. And Meacham, editor of Newsweek, is the best possible example of a serious, middle-of-the-road serious Washington Press Corps member. So the firestorm over the Hillary Clinton SecState gig is almost entirely imagined. We have our own issues with it, but they'd apply equally to about two dozen other prominent Democrats, especially Senators. It's just bizarre to see that the no one remembers the lesson of the '90s: that it can and will get so, so much worse.