Il libro usci’ nel 1999 durante le scabrose fasi finali della presidenza di Bill Clinton, con due diversi sottotitoli e copertine: una sottotitolata “The Values of the Worst Family“, in cui compare anche Hillary Clinton, e un’altra sottotitolata “The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton“. Il titolo del libro si deve a una affermazione rilasciata dal deputato Democratico di Chicago David Shippers, il quale faceva parte della corrente moderata all’interno del partito, come Gabielle Giffords per capirci, i cosiddetti ‘blue dog’ la cui voce Clinton ebbe premura di isolare, il quale ebbe a dire in quei frangenti:
The President, then, has lied under oath in a civil deposition, lied under oath in a criminal grand jury. He lied to the people, he lied on his cabinet, he lied on his top aides, and now he’s lied under oath to the Congress of the United States. There’s no one left to lie to.“
Hitchens scrisse delle appropriatissime riflessioni su quel devastante fenomeno che defini’ ‘clintonismo‘;
‘Clintonism’ is not an idea, or a program; still less is it a principle. It represents what might be termed – were it not for its murk – the distilled essence of consensus politics. Unremarkable in its constituent elements, which are a mixture of opportunist statecraft, crony capitalism, ‘divide and rule’ identity politics, and populist manipulation, Clintonism has nonetheless raised these ordinary practices to the level of theory. It has succeeded, argues the author, because of a stealthy appeal to the waning and insecure forces of an American liberalism gone bad.”
Christopher Hitchens non parla a casaccio, ne’ spinto da motivazioni ideologiche: ebbe modo di conoscere bene da vicino il governatore Clinton durante la campagna pre-elettorale nel New Hampshire del 1992, e da allora non smise mai di studiare assiduamente il ‘metodo Clinton’.
“In No One Left to Lie To, he profiles the rise and decline of some prominent Clintonoids, from George Stephanopoulos (il Bruno Vespa dei Democratici) to the First Lady. He scrutinizes the debased new language in which the discourse of Clintonism has been couched, and proposes that, if successful, the Clinton machine will become the model of pseudo-democracy for the coming century.”
Una predizione che si e’ avverata appieno raggiungendo il suo culmine con la rielezione nel 2012 di Barack Hussein Obama, presidente populista per eccellenza, erede e recipiente del ‘clintonismo’. Non a caso Bill Clinton disse nel 2008 che in cambio del suo supporto: “Mr Obama could kiss my ass” (Huffington Post)
Da una recensione del Guardian:
“Hitchens’s theme is that bewildered (and bewildering) remnants of progressive opinion in America have sacrificed their honour and the livelihoods of the American poor in defence of a ‘crooked President and a corrupt and reactionary administration’ merely because Bill Clinton found it easier to advance to office by calling himself a Democrat rather than a Republican.”
Un’accusa analoga fu lanciata in casa nostra da Corrado Guzzanti a un altro campione di populismo, Berlusconi, se ricordate.
I can already hear you crying that the President’s private life is his own affair and everyone lies about sex. The more daring and historically ignorant may even be muttering that the most powerful man on earth was a victim of sexual McCarthyism.
In reply, Hitchens asks you to consider the treatment of Kathleen Willey, a friend of the President whose husband had died unexpectedly. She went to the Oval Office to ask for a job and was rewarded by ‘the guiding by the presidential mitt of her own hand on to his distended penis’. When she spoke out, everyone believed her, although many wished she’d held her tongue. (No one automatically dismisses accusations against Clinton as preposterous even accusations of rape.) Willey was a wealthy, middle-aged woman who could not be dismissed as ‘trailer trash’, like so many of her predecessors. What was to be done? An anonymous voice phoned to inquire after the health of her children and the fate of a missing cat, and to point out that someone had driven nails into the tyres of her car. The voice belonged to a private eye who became so ashamed of his mission to terrify her he confessed to being hired by a millionaire, Nathan Landow, who had pushed pelf into Clinton ‘s coffers.
You assume our author is a damned conspiracy theorist, until you learn that Landow an obscenely rich, and thus, by the standards of his time and country, impeccably respectable man felt the need to invoke the right to silence when questioned about Willey on the grounds he might incriminate himself. When the conspiracy trick can’t be pulled, the cock-up gambit has its uses. Even the US administration was admitting this week that the pharmaceutical plant Clinton wrecked in the Sudan, one of the most violent and pestilential nations on earth, was not a chemical weapons factory after all. As I write, learned commentators are on the radio saying the President must have made an innocent mistake and the bombing couldn’t be a distraction from Monica Lewinsky’s headline-hoarding appearance before a grand jury the next day. They sound reasonable until you read Hitchens’s forensic section on Clinton ‘s war crimes, which shows he excluded all his military advisers who might have warned that he was about to make a terrible error before he gave the order to fire.”
Un errore, quello di non ascoltare i consiglieri militari, che sua moglie Hillary ha ripetuto proprio quest’anno (vedi l’affare Libia).
“Clinton ‘s defenders should ask if thousands of sick and dying Africans realised the distinction between the personal and the political as they suffered without relief, and count the number of innocent blunderers they know who take such care to watch their backs.
Nor do well-meaning incompetents plead the privacy defence while ‘reforming’ welfare so that cowed single mothers are told to drop their babies and work for a pittance for companies which, with predictable symmetry, bankroll a President who says that his affairs are nobody’s business but his family’s while destroying the family life of the poorest women and children in his country.
Continua Hitchens nella prefazione del libro:
The task of reviewing the Clinton regime, then, involves the retracing of a frontier between “private” and “public”, over a perdiod when “privatization” was the most public slogan of the administration, at home and abroad. It also involves the humbler and and more journalistic task of tracing and nailing a series of public lies about secret – not private – matters.
Una video intervista rilasciata dall’autore su C-Span e’ disponibile qui.