Secretary of State Clinton met with Japan Foreign Minister Okada in Hawaii earlier this week, and apparently there was no new developments in the Futemna Naval Air Station question-slash-breach.
The news article I read said that the allies “reaffirmed” the Pacific Alliance, but basically each side is reading from its own playbook. The Americans insist that the original deal with the old government was a deal. The Japanese want until May to come up with alternatives, plus the right to keep mumbling about how they wish the base wasn’t there at all while still taking American defensive protection and paying a fraction of the actual cost.
As I have been saying, it would be nice if the U.S. had the option of withdrawing everything and letting the pieces fall where they may. Let Fukushima Mizuho do the defending for Japan instead of us. She’s got consumer affairs and the declining birthrate problem fixed so well, she’ll have the Chinese dancing to Japan’s tune in no time.
One thing I admire about Mrs. Clinton is that she is a tough ass. You know for all that softie image the handlers tried to create for her starting around 1995, Hillary Clinton is a top-notch lawyer and savvy. She’s been tested in damn near every situation Washington came up with. Because of her and her husband’s political talents, basically, she had family difficulties spread out all over the media, and written into 1990’s U.S. history, with the Bill Clinton impeachment and all that.
Ordinary mortals would have given up a long time ago. Especially ones that have the dough like the Clintons do.
But at a time when most women are thinking about retirement to Hawaii, Hillary Clinton is in Hawaii on an unpleasant diplomatic task. Then, she is off to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea to show a little love to regional allies who don’t think it’s funny to score political points by screwing with us as a country. (Although the white Kiwis I’ve met in Tokyo are perhaps the biggest false friends or back stabbers of them all, worse than the British. Another post!)
Glenn Greenwald at Salon makes an excellent point about the stupid new book out called “Game Change” about the 2008 election. Bill and Hillary Clinton are badmouthed left in right in the book, by anonymous sources. Greenwald says that when anonymity is offered so liberally as it is today in some reports, it calls into question not only the bias but the actual truth of the body of what’s being said.
I haven’t read “Game Change” and have no desire to spend the time and money. But the parts that deal with the Clinton 2008 campaign seem like the typical 1990’s smear job on the couple. Politico tries to paint this as the Clintons, powerless, being abandoned by the few loyal supporters (or lackeys) they had left (since no one is refuting the anonymous quotes in the book).
But I see it a little differenty. January 2012 will mark the 20th anniversary of Clinton scandals—NO! Not Scandals!—20th anniversary of Clinton foibles. Twenty f**king years of this sh*t. You know what? Among Americans, it isn’t news anymore (if it ever really was), and it isn’t “fun” anymore to the people that used to wallow in it.
Welcome to the Reality of Twenty Ten. Babies born in 1990 are twenty. The Y2k kids are ten. No one wants to hear about anonymous news that isn’t news: the Clintons are human and have foibles.
It’s even past the expiration date that a story like how some old people still use “Negro” as a word for black people because it was, in fact, the acceptable term when they were 20 (and actually a preferred term before then!)
Does a story about how Hillary Clinton comes across as a scheming Richard Nixon when the microphones are away, and the lights off, really pass for news? After all, she learned politics in the Era of the Lord of the Dark Side from the time he was being kicked around by the Kennedys (1960) to the time she was serving as one of the junior girls of the Nixon impeachment committee (1974).
For all they say about President Obama and press attention, Nixon was the 1960’s and ’70’s version of it. (1950’s TV media hound, too, but it was less of an institution.) And I think the ’70’s version of Tricky Dick really branded an impression on both the young of the left and the right of that era: You do politics like Nixon. Which is, you have your public face, and behind the scenes crafty one. And since Nixon was a lawyer, it was all about manipulation in the end, and winning.
So a book that is going to reveal that behind the scenes Mrs. Clinton is like that, well, is that worth the money? That for the Clintons, it’s what can you do for me? And once you do it, they forget you or throw you under a bus? Is this a news revelation? It’s politics. I know. Does anyone honestly think the Reagans, the Bushs, or even the President and his people act any differently?
I can write a book about how the sky is blue. Are you going to buy it?