James said in response to my latest Obama post:

I think the idea is that Hillary Clinton is really a sinner and a tyrant, and likes it. What she stands for, in that light, is really neither here nor there. Barack Obama may be a rank amateur with horrible ideas, but at least he deserves to run for President and deserves to govern if he wins.

All right, I suppose that sums up the visceral loathing of Hillary Clinton on the right pretty well.  (One does wonder where this great anti-tyrannical zeal has been for the past few years, but no matter.)  It is still striking that the way so many partisans and pundits choose to express this loathing is by portraying Clinton as the ueber-radical and the embodiment of all those things about 1968 that conservatives generally resent or oppose.  The core of this argument seems to be: Hillary is a horrible human being who should never be entrusted with power, while Obama is just a progressive politician.  So the problem with Hillary isn’t that she’s “polarising” or that she will rehash old fights, but that she is Lady MacFaust who has no soul.  Well, if you want to put it that way, I don’t see how you could look at her candidacy with anything but total dread.  I have to say, as steeped as I was growing up in the anti-Clinton view (and we really loathed these people, let me tell you), I find Obama’s worldview more dangerous because it is even more ambitious than Bush’s and his candidacy threatens to co-opt and silence many opponents of interventionism by making them think that they have found a candidate who espouses their view. 

Finally, I would submit that no one deserves to run for President, or rather the entire language of “deserving” is undesirable because it has usually been employed to explain why the next elder statesman in line gets to have “his turn” at being the nominee.  By that old standard, no one is less “deserving” than Obama, but the entire conception that someone deserves to run for President makes the process seem like a reward or a treat rather than the fulfillment of a civic duty.