- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In the dark night of Hillary Clinton’s soul, it is always 3 o’clock in the morning. With that tip of my fedora to F. Scott Fitzgerald, let me add that Mrs. Clinton’s dark and destructive soul has been on display for many moons now.

Alas, far too many citizens have simply chosen to avert their eyes in the name of political expediency, or nightly ratings, or stark fear. But her free pass - and the last vestige of her pointless presidential campaign - ended on May 22 when she defended her continued fight for the Democratic nomination with this swan song: “You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June, right?” Right, Mrs. Clinton, we remember it well. And if wishes were horses, I’m certain you can further imagine yourself galloping into Denver in August - possibly with an unopposed lead. But it isn’t going to happen, Mrs. Clinton: Indeed, it was destined never to happen. You all read it here first, in my series of six Op-Ed pieces in these pages beginning on March 7, 2006 (“Clinton Cover-ups”). You can read it again now: The Democratic Party cannot allow her name to appear on a presidential ballot for either office - not in August, not in 2012, not ever. It’s not because she’s a woman - the last desperate wild card she had been playing before raising the specter of assassination. It is because she’s a Clinton. Being a Clinton, she brings to any national campaign trail a wagonload of combustible baggage that the GOP has been salivating to explode at first sight of her name on the Democratic ticket.

How do I know? After all, I’m not even a pundit, merely a writer. But I am a writer who has been around the Manhattan magazine circuit for 40 years and who knows a con when I see one. Actually, my non-pundit status is a signal advantage in the modern journalism world of buzz, polls and interminable speculation. I’m not concerned about jobs or access and have no investment in keeping the political balls twirling through the 24-hour news cycle. Besides, when it comes to the Clintons, I am way ahead of my colleagues on a very dangerous curve. You see, I have already been bloodied by them and have spent the last four years on their hit list.

Return with me now to January, 2006, when the 684-page Barrett Report was published minus 120 pages which held, by all insider accounts, enough evidence not only to sink Mrs. Clinton’s presidential ship but to put her and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, in the courtroom dock. The pages were redacted in a desperate rider attached to an unrelated bill by Sen. John Kerry and two Democratic colleagues and buried in a congressional vault. There they were left to simmer as democracy’s own Ark of the Covenant.

The allegations, according to sources, revolved largely around the Clintons’ ongoing misuse and abuse of the IRS and Justice Department: they use these agencies as tools to punish their enemies. One such enemy would be me. In 2003, I had informed Mrs. Clinton that her husband had committed obstruction of justice during his term of office by quashing an IRS investigation into media corruption instigated by my own report.

Soon, the IRS began harassing me without warrant until I braced the agency with the wondrous irony that the IRS, in conspiring with the Clintons, was threatening its own whistle-blower. The agency backed down, only to return two months ago with Mrs. Clinton’s trademark scissors in hand after the Jan. 24 publication of my Op-Ed offering “GOP Ace in the Hole?” The front story of the Democratic primary season has been the astonishing ascent of Barack Obama into the American sky. The back story has been the Democratic establishment’s understandable determination to block Mrs. Clinton’s path at every turn.

As I wrote in “Hillary the Unelectable” on April 18, 2008, the moment she won the New Hampshire primary Mr. Kerry himself stepped in to back Mr. Obama, followed shortly by Sen. Edward Kennedy and a squad of Democratic players. Each time she won a primary by pandering to working-class white voters (whose existence she had scarcely acknowledged until this spring), party super-delegates, major figures and even labor unions chimed in to support Mr. Obama.

His lead in delegates and super-delegates is insurmountable. In any case, again, the Democrats were not about to hand the 2008 nomination to a guaranteed loser. Still the Clintons keep chucking, shamelessly - like the ramping narcissists they are: They simply cannot believe this is happening to them. Mrs. Clinton duly wallows in chirpy delusions. Her husband, essaying his latest role as the only deputy in a bad town, is now crying that they (unspecified) are “pushing, pressuring and bullying” his wife to abandon the race.This is emanating from the ruthless pair who have spent a political lifetime pushing, pressuring and bullying everyone who dares to cross them.

The final irony here is that the Democratic Party (of which I am a registered member) over-worried the case. Narcissists have a long record of self-immolation; inside their dark souls, the Great Failure is as satisfying as the Great Success. And so it was in the last days of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign: We watched in horrified wonder as she doused herself with a bucket of water, shrieking “I’m melting! Melting! What a world!” She vanished in a hiss of steam - leaving behind only the rumpled remains of a turquoise pantsuit.

Mark Goodman is a journalist and author of the novel “Hurrah for the Next Man Who Dies.”

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