|The hit on Hillary may seem crude and transparent. But in the void created by dormant Democrats, crouching in what Barack Obama calls 'a reactive posture,' crude and transparent ploys work for the Republicans. Just look at how far the Bushies' sulfurous scaremongering on terror, and cynical linkage of Saddam and Osama, have gotten them.
The gambit handcuffs Hillary: If she doesn't speak out strongly against President Bush, she's timid and girlie. If she does, she's a witch and a shrew. That plays particularly well in the South, where it would be hard for an uppity Hillary to capture many more Bubbas than the one she already has.
It's the riddle of the Sphinx that has been floating around since the selection of Geraldine Ferraro. Betty Friedan worried then that a woman seen as a threat to men would not get to the White House. But how can a woman who's not a threat to men get there?