HILLARY AND RUDY….Andrew Sullivan on Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani:

They need each other. So do the polarized, professionalized political and media classes. That’s why this race is already over, according to Washington, MSNBC, CNN and Fox. And they all make oodles of money off the classic left-right, McGovern-Nixon, Lib-Con circus. It’s win-win. For them.

Then, responding to a reader who likes Hillary because so many right-wing blowhards hate her:

This is the logic of polarization as its own reward. It is faction and dynasty placed at the core of American politics — something the founders rightly feared would destroy a rational democratic polity. It is the toxin that won’t go away. And when this country is attacked again and Clinton needs the trust and support of those who didn’t vote for her? What will America do then?

Andrew likes Barack Obama and Ron Paul, so he’s trying to play up the problems with other candidates. That’s fine. We all do it.

But there’s a huge difference here. A guy like Giuliani is polarizing because he actively chooses to be. It’s part of his persona. He wants people to hate him

Hillary, by contrast, is polarizing not because she wants to be, but because the right-wing attack machine made her that way. She’s “polarizing” only because a certain deranged slice of conservative nutjobs detest her.

And guess what? By this standard, Jimmy Carter is polarizing. Bill Clinton is polarizing. Al Gore is polarizing. John Kerry is polarizing. Do you see the trend here?

There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Hillary Clinton. But anyone who opposes her because she’s polarizing is allowing the bottom feeders of modern movement conservatism to dictate who gets to run for president and who doesn’t. If we want less polarizing politics, the answer isn’t to oppose Hillary Clinton, who, outside the cartoon universe invented by the Wall Street Journal editorial page, holds almost relentlessly orthodox center-left opinions and expresses them in relentlessly garden-variety politician-speak. The answer is to send the right-wing rage machine back under the rock it crawled out from. Anything else is just caving in to bullies.

POSTSCRIPT: And anyway, keep this in mind from the latest Washington Post poll:

Many Republicans have said that they are eager to run a general-election campaign against Hillary Clinton, describing her as a highly polarizing candidate who would unite and energize the opposition. But, as of now, Clinton appears to be no more polarizing than other leading Democratic contenders. Nor is there a potential Republican nominee who appears significantly less polarizing.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they definitely would not vote for Clinton in the general election if she were the Democratic nominee, one of the lowest “reject rates” among the leading candidates in either of the two major parties.

Hillary isn’t actually any more polarizing than anyone else. She just has more unhinged enemies.