Sliver up his sleeve?

Not too many people seem to realize it, but Bill Clinton has pulled off a hell of a coup in these past couple of weeks. First there was the staged tantrum with Chris Wallace, only to be followed by more than ample emotional justification by the Foley scandal (now an emotional outlet for years of pent-up frustration).

And on top of that, Mark Warner decides not to run.

Ever the centrist again, Bill Clinton is talking like a party leader, and more:

Republicans, who control the White House and Congress, Clinton charged "paint themselves as pure and the rest of us who don't agree with them as stained" in order to divide the country and stay in power.

"People know things are out of whack, that fundamentally the order of, the rhythm of public life and our common life as Americans has been severely disturbed," he said.

Yes, things are "out of whack" and people have been upset about a lot of things for some time. As to the rhythm, until a few weeks ago, the number one worry was terrorism. (Well, for a while the voters were more upset about illegal aliens, but as that ebbed a bit, terrorism returned.) But people are sick of terrorism, especially the Iraq war. And the Foley scandal has created a perfect excuse to shed themselves of the whole mess without really having to think about it. Foley provided just the right lightning rod at just the right time. And the current flowed. While the rhythm was "severely disturbed," there was a cause. Foley. Republicans.

And resolution. Get Them Out.

Problem. Resolution. Rhythm restored.

Political magician he is, the Great Conductor even plays the no-tax card:

Clinton criticized the tax cuts President George W. Bush pushed through Congress and urged Democrats running for office this year to promise to correct the imbalance -- and promise not to raise taxes in the process.
No tax hike? In spite of Pelosi's promises? Classic triangulation, if he can pull it off, and I think he can.

Even ordinary Republicans are off the hook:

"You cannot blame the entire Republican party for this reason. The entire government of the United States, the Congress, the White House and increasingly the courts for the last six years has been in the total control not of the Republican party but of the most ideological, the most right wing, the most extreme sliver of the Republican Party."
No need to define who "they" are. We all have some idea.

All that's needed is to restore the rhythm!

As to Hillary, there's no need to pull her out of the hat yet:

Clinton did not talk about his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's potential White House bid, but 'Clinton for President --" placards were on display in the streets surrounding the banquet hall and volunteers handed out blue stickers bearing the name "Hillary."
Seriously, the man is a political genius. An absolute master of the political sleight of hand.


HOW THE TRICK IS DONE: Note carefully the moving location of the "sliver." By asserting loudly the claim that the "sliver" is in charge of the Republican Party, the magician hopes that the audience will miss the fact that, far from being in charge of the party, the "sliver" has been relegated to its fringes. He also hopes the audience will forget that the sliver is very angry with the GOP leaders, and has wanted them out of power for many months. Nor does he want the audience to know that both he and the sliver share the same goal. Thus, he must attack the sliver all by insisting it is in charge of the GOP. If all goes according to plan, the sliver will both help the party lose and by doing so, actually gain control of the party. After the trick (he hopes) the magician will appear to have been right all along.

"The sliver" will still be in charge!

And the magician will continue to try to "help" the party get rid of the sliver!

posted by Eric on 10.15.06 at 05:36 PM


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