THE HILLARY TRAP: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places by Laura Ingraham Hyperion, $23.95
LAURA INGRAHAM IS A BEAUTIFUL, brainy blonde, who at 34 has her own television show and no end of high-profile escorts. But she is not happy. In fact, she is hopping mad. Hillary Clinton makes her crazy. Like several other conservative women, she has taken pen in hand hoping to drive it like a stake through the First Lady's heart.
Laura Ingraham doesn't know Hillary Rodham Clinton. She doesn't judge her as a Methodist or a human being. She says her religion is between her and God, and she relents enough in an epilogue to say that "in many ways she must be a good person." But she sees her as a one-woman social crime wave, at least partially responsible for "schools that don't teach ... or reinforce values parents try to teach at home; a workplace constricted by government edicts ... [that] end up hurting women ... for a permissive sexual culture ... "and, oh yes, a rise in goddess worship and witchcraft.
Ingraham's thesis, that the First Lady is really a faux feminist, is hardly original, and she restates it many times. This one, which occurs early, gives the flavor: "I wondered how a woman so impeccably educated and credentialed and prepared for independence could have made such a devil's bargain. Was this the bargain of feminism? Were women now to submit to any indignity, even a sham marriage, for access to power, celebrity, and fame?"
She sounds the same note again on page 142: "She's either a dupe who loves her man so much she's willing to sacrifice all dignity for his sake, or a Machiavellian who craves power so much she'll do anything to keep it."
Her point is that as a role model Hillary is an outrage: "an old-fashioned doormat," "clinging to her abuser," a betrayed wife who "has made the country safe for infidelity" and tries to trap her sisters into the kind of victimhood she claims for herself.
You can tell from the excerpts that Ingraham is a vehement writer and also something of a nag. She concedes that the women's movement broke down barriers in education, business, and the professions. She got a splendid public school education in Glastonbury, Conn., she attended Dartmouth on scholarship and the University of Virginia Law School. She has had no trouble making her way through the jungles of television journalism. But don't talk to her about sisterhood. She posed in a leopard miniskirt for a cover of the New York Times Magazine and...