June 30, 2003

Hillary Lite

The always amusing P.J. O'Rourke shines this week in a brutal takedown of Hillary Clinton's dubious book: with Hillary's History.

Reading O'Rourke is not only better than reading the book, you can comprehend Hillary's entire effort in his first paragraph:

IF YOU PLAN not to read this summer, "Living History" is just the book. Hillary Clinton's new memoir is more than 100,000 pages long. At least I think it is. There are only 562 page numbers, but you know how those Clintons lie. A mere ream of paper could not contain the padding that has gone into this tome. Hillary--with the help of at least six ghostwriters--nails the goose of a manuscript to the barn floor and force-feeds it with lint.
A more common writer would stop right there and declare his work done for the week, but O'Rourke is just warming up. Later, in a slightly longer paragraph, he sums up the Clinton years with a concision worthy of an entry into the Encyclopedia Americana;
However, it says something unflattering about our era that prominent political figures--who used to write declarations of independence, preambles to constitutions, Gettysburg addresses, and such--now use the alphabet only to make primitive artifacts, like the letter-inscribed tablet that Charlemagne is said to have put under his pillow each night, in the hope he'd wake up literate. Conservatives, including most of the Founding Fathers, have always worried that the price of a democratic system would be a mediocre nation. But George Washington and William F. Buckley Jr. put together could not have foreseen, in their gloomiest moments, the rise of Clinton-style über-mediocrity--with its soaring commonplaces, its pumped trifling, its platinum-grade triviality. The Alpha-dork husband, the super-twerp wife, and the hyper-wonk vice president--together with all their mega-weenie water carriers, such as vicious pit gerbil George Stephanopoulos and Eastern diamondback rattleworm Sidney Blumenthal--spent eight years trying to make America nothing to brag about.
Unlike "Living History" this review deserves a place on your summer reading list.

Posted by Vanderleun at June 30, 2003 4:51 PM
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