Saturday, February 5

BILL & HILLARY UBER ALLES

Maybe this headline (far more provocative than the first) will get more attention from my readers and the blogosphere this time around. Frankly, I was disappointed that this post of mine received such scant attention, only generating a couple of comments and a few personal emails. What I wrote about -- a Bill and Hillary Clinton land grab down the road of epic, Friedrich Ratzel's "Lebensraum" proportions -- could be in the offing. The stars in the political galaxy may just fall into the kind of propitious alignment over the next four years necessary for a Clinton-style inevitability. After all, is there any doubt of their hellbent megalomania, or of their determination to leave the kind of legacy that historians will drool over, giving this career-minded, power-hungry pair the kind of immortality they so covet? And for William Jefferson Clinton, in particular, this could spell the kind of political turnaround -- a return from his "right-wing conspiracy" paced fall from grace -- for which no other post-presidency role could offer a comparable imprimatur of redemption. Not even that glass and steel double-wide in Little Rock, Arkansas, can give his reputation that kind of patina.

Ponder it: Bill Clinton, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 44th President of the United States. Read it again. Read it and weep.

Preposterous? Not at all. Do you think it was sheer happenstance that the current Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, just named Bill Clinton to a two-year term as the U.N.'s special envoy to the Asian tsunami relief effort? In doing so, and with Clinton's acceptance (and political complicity, I have little doubt), Annan one-upped President Bush and this one-upmanship may well set the stage for Bill Clinton to trump the Republicans in ways down the road even his wife and the party's leadership can only dream about. Kofi Annan's second term as Secretary-General expires December, 2006, right on the heels of what will likely be Senator Hillary Clinton's re-election to a second six-year term (setting the stage for her predestined White House bid in 2008); and, while there are no term limits for his position, it is believed that Annan will not only step down at the end of 2006, but that Bill Clinton, who has definite designs on that prestigious position (the top official and chief administrative officer of the United Nations), will replace him. Fact is, the Secretary-General position is the only one in the political stratosphere, if you think about it, befitting a former two-term, liberal president. And Clinton has the popularity in international circles to pull it off and now the perfect platform, as U.N. special envoy, to give him two years' time in which to hobnob with international leaders, particularly with those whose countries would be critical to his broad appeal in gaining a Security Council recommendation and, more importantly, the requisite U.N. General Assembly vote. Out of the realm of possibility? Not at all. If we've learned anything over the years, it's not to count out Bill Clinton, the proverbial "Comeback Kid." Mark my words. It's more probable than unlikely.

Where I depart from former U.S. Senator Jesse Helm's misgivings about Bill Clinton's machinations (note my original post was dated February 2, 2005, and published at 7:12am CST) is in my having added Hillary Clinton's aspirations to, and chances of becoming, President of the United States to the mix. Bill Clinton's ambitions combined with Hillary Clinton's ambitions are, if both are realized, a rapturous recipe for a quantum leap in international power and influence. In lockstep with each other, their impact could be far greater than the sum of its parts. Two individuals -- a married couple no less -- could possess power of unprecedented scope and authority. It could usher in a new world order. Hillary (if successful), come 2009, would be the leader of the most powerful nation the world has yet known; Bill (if successful), come 2009, would already be the head of a worldwide body of nations, unprecedented in scope, if not yet in impact. But that would soon change. Each is, after all, in their heart-of-hearts, progressive Liberals (despite their centrist moves to obtain power) and Eric Hoffer-style "true-believers" through and through in global governance (e.g., "It Takes A Village"), rather than in U.S. hegemony. The Clinton presidency was far more attuned to United Nations' prerogatives and deferring to them, than those of Reagan, Bush '41, or Bush '43. Hillary's, to be sure, would parallel Bill's and take it up another notch or two (or three).

In the cluster of contentious issues that drive a wedge between Democrats and Republicans, the Left and the Right, Blue-State voters and Red-State voters, none may be more profound long-term than the role of the United Nations' in international governance in the twenty-first century. The former see no threat in a significantly expanded United Nations' role and, indeed, relish its prospect. The latter, of course, (and I'm steadfastly among them) view the concept of global governance as anathema and will not abide any diminution of America's right to put America first, whenever it feels necessary, and to protect itself and its international interests with or without U.N. approval. President Bush had cause to reiterate that very sentiment throughout his first term of office, as did former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke.

I can think of no possible confluence of events more likely to precipitate an internecine political war in this country than Bill Clinton's ascension to the role of U.N. Secretary-General and Hillary Clinton's successful bid to become President of the United States. The Civil War was fought to preserve the Union. Could our Union's strategic interests withstand a Clinton-Clinton collaboration of such immense import?