Andrew Sullivan’s lead piece in the Sunday Times yesterday — “The Clintons, a horror film that never ends” —picked up on an idea that has gained swift currency in the past week: that Hillary Clinton is not just cold, calculating and impersonal, but she is in fact a creature of the Undead.
It’s a view that Christopher Hitchens certainly subscribes to: (watch the great public intellectual compare the Clintons to “zombies, vampires and werewolves” on the Morning Joe talkshow).
And another youtube clip from a slick impressario who calls himself ‘Reihan’ makes the case even more watertight.
While Sullivan’s marvellous thesis deserves to be read in full, here is the crux of it:
“It’s alive! We thought it might be over but some of us never dared fully believe it. Last week was like one of those moments in a horror movie when the worst terror recedes, the screen goes blank and then reopens on green fields or a lover’s tender embrace. Drained but still naive audiences breathe a collective sigh of relief. The plot twists have all been resolved; the threat is gone; the quiet spreads. And then . . .
The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy. You can’t escape; you can’t hide; and you can’t win.”
Of course, all this demonology will probably play straight into Clinton’s hand—it won’t be long before we’re hearing the familiar “the boys are ganging up on me” refrain. Inevitably she will try and convert this into sympathy votes—we might even expect some more tears, to prove to us that she really is human after all, and not some ghoulish host who sleeps in a grave.
Of course, this isn’t a case of the “boys ganging up on her” at all. It was Samantha Power who coined that memorable epithet: “monster.” Meanwhile Hitchens explicitly analogises the Clintons (plural) and doesn’t exactly cheerlead for Obama either (in the same interview, he said the Illinois Senator belongs to a “dumb, nasty, ethnic rock ‘n’ roll racist church”). Sullivan’s diatribe also had an emphatically dual focus—it’s the bloodlust of both Clintons that keeps him awake at night, quivering with fear.
Do not expect this, however, to temper the howling accusations of sexism which will emit from Clinton HQ. As Hitchens puts it:
“[A]nyone who, like me, when they think about Clintons, thinks about zombies, thinks about the undead, thinks about stakes through the heart, silver bullets and so on, has just received confirmation. It’s as bad as we thought it was going to be.”