"There has never been an administration, I don't believe in our history, more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda," Mrs. Clinton told the audience at a "Women for Hillary" gathering in Midtown Manhattan this morning.
"I know it's frustrating for many of you; it's frustrating for me: Why can't the Democrats do more to stop them?" she continued to growing applause and cheers. "I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."
Mrs. Clinton described Republican leaders as messianic in their beliefs, willing to manipulate facts and even "destroy" the Senate to gain political advantage over the Democratic minority. She also labeled the House of Representatives as "a dictatorship of the Republican leadership," where individual members are all but required to vote in lock-step with the majority's agenda.
Abetting the Republicans, she said in some of her sharpest language, is a Washington press corps that has become a pale imitation of the Watergate-era reporters who are being celebrated this month amid the identification of the anonymous Washington Post source, Deep Throat.
"The press is missing in action, with all due respect," she said. "Where are the investigative reporters today? Why aren't they asking the hard questions? It's shocking when you see how easily they fold in the media today. They don't stand their ground. If they're criticized by the White House, they just fall apart.
"I mean, c'mon, toughen up, guys, it's only our Constitution and country at stake," she said. "Let's get some spine."
Suggesting some lines of reporting, she asserted that the Bush administration could not account for $9 billion in Coalition Authority spending in Iraq, and that the Food and Drug Administration had allowed religious and political bias to interfere with science-driven decision-making on reproductive drugs.
I think she kinda pulled her punches with her choice of scandals for the press to investigate, and I would have liked to see her talk about election reform, but overall, some damn good stuff - I especially liked how she called the press out, which the Dems don't do nearly often enough.