Back in May, I wrote two posts about David Brock’s 1996 book The Seduction of Hillary Rodham. These days, Brock is fully — make that worshipfully — in the tank for Hillary. He runs the Clinton-supporting Super PAC “Correct the Record,” hoping against hope to deflect the criticism of Hillary’s recent misdeeds that threatens to undermine her presidential campaign.
Increasingly desperate, Brock has said that that the New York Times “will have a special place in hell” because of its coverage of Hillary Clinton. A spokesperson for the Times responded by calling Brock “an opportunist and a partisan who specializes in personal attacks.”
This, Brock has consistently been, whether in service of the left or the right. It’s the thread that holds his career together . However, his 1996 book on Hillary, which satisfied neither side of the political spectrum, represented something like an attempt at fair-minded journalism.
The book’s theme, as its title suggests, is that Hillary, intelligent, talented, ambitious, and very determined, succumbed to powerfully seductive forces — philosophical, political, and personal. According to Brock:
These include the easy moral certitudes of the Christian left; the fashionable instrumental legal doctrines disseminated at Yale Law School; the situational ethics and power-based political philosophies of a certain strain of 1960s radicalism; the dangerously tempting belief, instilled by influential mentors, in the beneficent potential of government as a force for social progress; the frictionless ease of manipulating the levers of power in a corrupt one-party state; and the idealized vision of a new kind of political partnership with her husband that proved impossible to realize.
Above all, she has repeatedly succumbed to the seductive attraction of Bill Clinton himself, perhaps the most articulate, beguiling, and empathetic figure ever to emerge on the American political scene.
The Washington Free Beacon has pulled from Brock’s book 10 of the most unflattering accusations he leveled against Clinton. Among them are: “calculated secrecy;” “serious infringement of public trust;” “stonewalled investigators;” “never accepted legal and ethical structures;” and “end-justifies-the-means” philosophy.
For a man who claims, by way of explaining away an important chunk of his career, to have been “blinded by the right,” Brock was awfully prescient in 1996.
The Free Beacon excluded a key Clinton trait that is evident from the first pages of Brock’s book — her extreme leftism. Brock shows that, while in college, Hillary was seduced by the radical teachings of Carl Oglesby and Saul Alinsky, and that in the mid-1990s she still clung to this ideological framework.
Since then, Clinton has compromised her leftist principles in the service of political expediency. But we shouldn’t assume that she has shed them. Indeed, it’s fair to wonder whether, having compromised on so much over the years — both politically and personally — a President Hillary Clinton would want badly to reassert herself as Hillary Rodham, girl radical.
Brock wrote that because of her compromises, “Hillary’s struggle to preserve her dignity and integrity has become the central drama of her life.” I continue to shudder at the prospect of this psycho-drama playing out in the Oval Office.