The following piece was produced by the Huffington Post's OffTheBus project.
Hillary's been getting a lot of positive press lately, and I take nothing away from that; she's earned it and she deserves it. But I do think it gives a false impression that, overall, her positives are beginning to outweigh her negatives and that those who would sell their firstborn child before they would vote for her are beginning to recede into the wallpaper.
They're not. They're just flying low beneath the mainstream media radar.
Having spent several days roaming the Internet until I'm cross-eyed, here are my choices for the top-ten sites for mobilizing Hillary-hatred troops. A very few of these sites have been mentioned in the mainstream press. More on that in a bit. I'll see you again at the other side of these bullets:
*Stop Her Now: Rescuing America from the Radical Ideas of Hillary Clinton (Stop Her Now's founder, Richard Collins, a wealthy Texas philanthropist, has set a goal of raising $10 million to defeat Hillary in '08, and vows to do it "through humor".)
*Citizens United (releasing a film this fall about Clinton that "aims to expose the truth about her conflicts in the past and her liberal plot for the future".)
*The Hillary Project: Reporting the News About Hillary Clinton That the Media Refuses To
*HillCAP - Hillary Clinton Accountability Project: Documenting the Largest Campaign Financial Fraud in America's History
*No Hillary Clinton ("created Nov. 3, 2004, the day after George W. Bush was elected, the same day the buzz began that Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the Democratic choice in 2008.")
*No Hillary 2008 (not to be confused with "No Hillary Clinton")
*Against Hillary (offers an impressive blogroll of other hate-Hillary sites)
*Anyone But Hillary 2008 (an updated version of a blog created in 2006)
*No Hillary for President Forum ("a forum to discuss ways to stop Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House, as well as provide the latest jokes and unflattering photos")
*Stuff Hillary ("To aid other Hillary Clinton bashers in the creation of their anti-Hillary websites, we are providing, at no charge, pictures of Hillary Clinton which ridicule her. Of course these pictures are faux (or fake) images...Feel free to download them and use them as you see fit...Pass them around and give the world a good laugh at Hillary's expense.")
These are some of the larger websites, who have already collectively raised millions of dollars in their shared obsession with Stopping Hillary. Absent from this list are sites like Tiny Revolution whose home page motto is: "Dear God Almighty I Hate Hillary Clinton," and whose anonymous author deletes anyone who dares disagree with her passionate hatred because, "I'm sick of arguing."
About twelve years ago, I researched a book, a suspense thriller that dealt with far-right extremist thought (which included Clinton hatred) that was encapsulated in the "survivalist" phenomenon. This was before the Oklahoma City bombing, and there was almost no mention of this extremism in the mainstream media at the time. Everyone from conservative friends to my own literary agent laughed off what I was telling them--that this was something to be taken seriously. I was 400 pages into Ordeal when the bombing occurred, and no one laughed any more after that.
What interests me is that, much as I could find little in the mainstream media about this extremist thought back when I was researching Ordeal, I am finding little in the way of mainstream news organizations today that seems to recognize this. Mainstream media sources tend to refer to Hillary's "high negatives" as though referring to an annoying heat rash that will cool off in time.
Richard Cohen wrote an op-ed on it in the Washington Post in March of 2006, but I've seen little real reporting on the subject.
The Chicago Tribune did a major piece on August 27: "Vast Army of 'Hillary Haters' Has Claws Out".
In June, both the L.A. Times and Newsweek explored the phenomenon through polling data and interviews with voters, but did not go into website specifics.
On Sunday Frank Rich wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, asking plaintively if Hillary was "the new old Al Gore," but he made a better comparison when he brought up the Truman/Dewey race in 1948:
"Washington commentators and pollsters were convinced that Americans, tired of 15 years of Democratic rule, would vote in a Republican. Like today's G.O.P., the Democrats back then were saddled with both an unloved incumbent president and open divisions in the party's ranks on both its left and right flanks. Surely, the thinking went, the beleagured Democrats couldn't possibly vanquish a presidential candidate from New York known for his experience, competence, uncontroversial stands and above-the-fray demeanor...
"The campaign slogan of that sure winner, Thomas Dewey, had a certain 2008 ring to it: 'It's time for a change.'"
Though mainstream news organizations often mention that many of the "scandals" discussed on these websites date back to the Clinton administration days, I have yet to see one that thoroughly discusses the depth of this animosity or its fierce determination to stop Hillary Clinton.
They don't seem to realize that this army of Clinton-haters has been deployed for a very long time. To them, this is war. Right now, they're gathering their forces and building up their war-chest.
Whether Democrats support Hillary or not for the nomination, they must not be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the lullaby of positive press coverage.
Don't forget that newspaper headline of 1948, held up by a grinning Truman:
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