An Open Letter
to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
by J. Edward Tremlett, Columnist
October 21, 2002
"Down On the rANT Farm"
To the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
I received in the mail a letter from you, dated September 5th, concerning the state of the Senate race. It was written on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and addressed to me in my capacity as the contact person for FACTS: the Friendly Anti-Censorship Taskforce for Students, which I founded and ran at Ohio University, during my college career.
I appreciate the time you took to write me on this issue. After reading your comments concerning the state of the Senate race, I have a few, open comments that I would like to make.
First of all, it's Tremlett. Not "Tremiett." Dammit.
Secondly, please remove FACTS from the mailing list of the DSCC, and any other Democratic Party affiliates, for the following reasons:
1) FACTS has not existed, in any tangible sense, since I left Ohio University for good. We had a good run, for what it was worth, but - as with many aspects of campus activism - the group often disappears once the principal players graduate. Sadly, FACTS was no different. And...
2) ... even if FACTS still did exist, we still wouldn't want your letter, anyway.
We wished to be completely nonpartisan. For us, protecting Free Speech was its own goal, independent of party affiliation. We could commend or criticize a candidate based on that person's relations with the First Amendment, but that was about it. We didn't want to be seen as a house organ for anyone in particular, and wished to avoid alienating students who might play for the "other team."
Of course, neutrality cost us. We took a lot of heat from other campus activist groups - all leftist, of course - for refusing to back your husband on either run. They didn't want to hear the bit about neutrality or the like, preferring to maintain the phony "solidarity" the campus left thinks it needs to succeed. But even then, ostracized and obliquely decried by folks we'd thought were friends, we stood our ground.
So I think you can see how silly it was to come to a group like us, hat in hand, asking for cash for partisan purposes? Our own personal lack of fundage notwithstanding, we just weren't the folks to ask for a party donation - now or ever. And since we're all but defunct, well... blood and turnips.
Thirdly: How dare you, Senator Clinton, come around to ask a group like us for cash after the gross and horrifying betrayals of the First Amendment that eight years of Clinton/Gore gave us?
You must think we have short memories. Either that or you've confused us with other anti-censorship organizations who turn a blind eye to the culture wars of the left, preferring to vilify those of the right. Our travails against the groups I mentioned previously should give you some indication of how wrong that assumption is.
And, fourthly: I have to read one more scare-letter from the Democratic party about how the Republicans are about to enact some "extreme" agenda, remove Roe v. Wade, butcher the elderly for cash and eat live kittens on television, I think I'm going to be seriously ill.
Please treat me like an adult for a change. Maybe the core of your audience is seriously headcased enough to believe your scare stories, but in reality you're casting lots over chickenfeed. And EVERYONE knows this.
The secret is out, Senator Clinton. Whether the Senate goes back to Republican control, stays in the hands of the Democrats or gets taken over by Libertarians, Greens or Martians, there is precious little that will be done to repeal the status quo.
This is both good and bad. On the good side - speaking as someone who's pro-choice - legal abortion is no longer something to be repealed or regained. An entire two generations of American women have been born with it as a legal right. Trying to take it away from them would be like trying to ban the internet: it would cause riots, a serious reevaluation of existing legislators and a swift, definite rewriting of the law.
On the bad side, yes, maybe a return to a Republican Senate would get us back in the days of "ever-flowing red ink." But I fail to see how a Democratic Senate has improved this situation. I also fail to see how a Republican Senate would seriously endanger Social Security. How heartless do you really think the GOP is?
And as for the choice between Tom Daschle or Trent Lott... can I get a B.F.D.?
Your letter is highly disingenuous, Senator. You claim that the Republican Party has a great money machine at work, but If we did what you were hoping - flooding the coffers of the DSCC with $500 donations apiece - then the Democratic Party would also be floating in money. And I am quite certain that, left to its own devices, the Democratic Party can manufacture that sort of gross fundage on its own without having to resort to scare tactics.
And that's all that this letter really is: scare tactics. If you have nothing better to do than paint your opponents in the worst light imaginable, then it's no wonder that little gets done. It is also no wonder that more and more thinking people will float away from you in disgust, thus diminishing your coffers all the more.
For the sake of your party, and the values it stands for, could you stand more for those values and less for the demonization of those who don't share them? Maybe this letter will get you some cash, but it's also just going to add to the level of voter apathy, disaffection with the system and general discontent with our political system by those too smart to fool, too fed-up to care or too mindful of what happened before to be hopeful.
I hope you take what I have to say under consideration. Of course, I also realize that the chances of your actually reading this reply are somewhere between slim and none. But I'd be slightly remiss in my duties if I didn't at least try. ***
J. Edward Tremlett
FORMER (please don't forget this) President, Founder, God-King, Mouthpiece and Chronicler of FACTS
Staff Columnist with the American Partisan
Webmaster of the Wraith Project
PS. Of course, the Republican Party is just as guilty of the sins I took you to task for in the fourth part of my letter. But, oddly enough, they never wrote us - now or then - so I'm taking this out on you, instead.
"Who's to blame when parties really get out of hand? Who's to blame when they get poorly planned?" - "Party Out of Bounds" - The B-52s
J. Edward Tremlett is a published author, political thinker and self-described "mean-spirited crank." He lives with his wife and two cats in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
© 2002 J. Edward Tremlett
COPYRIGHT © 2002 BY THE AMERICAN PARTISAN. All writers retain rights to their work.