Hillary Clinton's Enemies Can't See Straight

Rand Paul, who is weirdly a potentially serious contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, got asked on Meet the Press this past Sunday about a comment his wife had made about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. His answer was revealing, I think, of a mindset Republicans are going to struggle with mightily should Hillary Clinton run for president. I bring this up not because I think Paul's comments are all that important in and of themselves, and not because Republicans are likely to spend a good deal of time talking about Monica Lewinsky come 2016. But there's an impulse when it comes to Hillary Clinton that presents a real danger for Republicans. There are so many things they hate about her and her husband that they barely know where to start. And that hatred could well be their undoing.

If you heard "Rand Paul attacked Hillary Clinton over Monica Lewinsky," you've been slightly misled. First of all, it was David Gregory who brought it up (here's the transcript), and second, you can see in Paul's answer the conflict between his rational brain, which says, "This is not what we should be talking about," and his lizard brain, which says, "Grrr! Clinton!" A couple of times he tries to say that the issue is one for Bill Clinton's "place in history," but he can't stop himself from trying to make the case that Democrats are hypocrites because they criticize Republicans for waging a "war on women," when Bill Clinton had an affair with an intern fifteen years ago.

Even after all this time, and after the Clinton impeachment turned out to be such a disaster for them, so many conservatives still can't wrap their heads around the idea that other Americans don't think about that episode in the same way they do. For them, it's a tale of crime and injustice, the injustice being the fact that Bill Clinton got away with it. It goes right to the heart of what they hated so much about him. It wasn't that they had policy differences with him, though they did. What angered them so much about Bill Clinton was that he was better at politics than they were. He beat them again and again for so many years, and nothing embodies their frustration over those defeats more than the Lewinsky scandal. For god's sake, they cry, the guy was caught diddling a twenty-something intern in the White House, and he still managed to wiggle his way out of it!

So when Rand Paul or any other conservative hears the name Lewinsky, the immediate emotional reaction he has is one of anger, frustration, and contempt for the Clintons. But most Americans don't have the same reaction. First of all, they aren't that angry about it anymore. It was a decade and a half ago. And second, their memories of the whole sordid affair are as much about Republicans going too far—an impeachment that never should have happened, Ken Starr's salacious and obsessive pursuit of Clinton, an opposition party that grew more desperate and deranged the clearer it became that they'd never take down their white whale—as they are about the President's misdeeds.

As for Hillary, well as far as they're concerned she's complicit in everything Bill did, and then you can add to that the contempt they have for her as a powerful woman. You just cannot overestimate the degree to which Hillary Clinton brings out the ugliest misogynistic feelings and sexual insecurities in so many people (not all of them conservatives, I would add). This is something I've written about before, and I'm sure I'll be writing about it again, because it's going to be a central part of any campaign in which she's involved.

There are few things more fundamental to smart political strategy than the understanding that other people may not share your beliefs, and may not have the same emotional reactions you do to certain people and events. That understanding is what allows you to make thoughtful decisions about how to persuade the number of people you need to achieve your political goals, whether it's passing a piece of legislation or winning an election. This is something Republicans often struggle with, but when it comes to the Clintons, they're absolutely blinded by hate. To take just one example, if Hillary runs, we're going to be hearing a lot about Benghazi, because Republicans are not only sure she did something scandalous, they're also sure that if they just hammer away at it long enough, everybody else will become convinced, too. But just like with Bill's impeachment, exactly the opposite is likely to happen: the more they talk about it, the more voters will become convinced that they've taken leave of their senses.

And that, more than anything else, may be what gives Hillary Clinton such a good chance of winning in 2016. When they're looking at her, her opponents just can't see straight.

Comments

MY CONTEMPT for Hillary is because she is an asshole, an incompetent, and arrogant. Bill was not incompetent. My dislike of Bill is that he loves to LIE. And among other felonious things he habitually does, he lies under oath. A Presidential felon is imho guilty by definition of High Crimes and misdemeanors and deserves Impeachment and Removal and Imprisonment.

But...BOTH Clintons are less of an asshole less arrogant and less incompetent in Hillary's case (Bill not being incompetent at all) than my current President.

The author is trying to demonstrate that Republicans are hateful & spiteful. And you fell squarely into the trap.

Yes, pointing out the truth is hateful and spiteful!!

I won't be voting for Hillary Clinton because I don't believe she can do the job. But I feel that way about most of the proposed candidates. I have very little faith that either Democrats or Republicans are fit to be in office. Both only care about their party, its power and the money they can make off the various offices. Either party caring about the good of the American people has been lost. IOt's time for election reform and legislation reofrm. I'm sick of MY legislators "taking care" of the big guys because if they dont' they'll lose their bribes (opps, I mean campaign contributions). Any good people can't run because they dont' have millions to buy to offices. It's time for us, the voters, to take back our elections. How can we expect anyone spending millions to understand budgets? How can anyone making so much understand what it's like to live on $35,000 or less? How can we expect anyone who hasn't lost their job understand what it's like for those who have. Why should the religious beliefs of one group, infringe on MY RIGHTS? I hear ignorant statements from both party members. Both side lie and cheat. It's time to elect people who can bring America to its real goals. A country in which people can live as they wish as long as they don't infringe on the rights of other citizens! A country that controls its borders and doesn't reward criminal acts.

Apparently Hillary Clinton's friends cannot see straight - to quote the author, "Even after all this time, and after the Clinton impeachment turned out to be such a disaster for them," Really. In the next election we held the Senate at the same level as before, we lost only 4 House seats (retaining a sizable majority), and WE WON THE WHITE HOUSE.

Kind of makes me want to impeach somebody now.

Sandy Berger Clinton's NSA and a close fiend of Hiliary (she tried to hire him as an advisor during her run in 2008) illegally removed and destroyed sensitive documents from the National Archives. What did he destroy ? who was he protecting? After being disbarred Hiliary hired him...Why?

I think you're forgetting the timing of the impeachment. It happened in 1998. The effort failed, and the Democrats wound up with an historic achievement. 1998 was the since 1822 that the party not in control of the White House had failed to gain seats in the mid-term election of a President's second term. I don't know why you'd point to the 2000 election, as it was years later (which is a lot in political terms), Clinton wasn't running, and the Republican running for president (Bush) lost the popular vote. Still, if you want to see a repeat of the 1998 elections, then I suggest impeachment hearings right now.

This half-Kenyan has done irreparable damage to America. Started the class and race wars. Encouraged the majority of Americans to be on public assistance. Used Federal agencies against whites in the Tea Party and at Fox News for political revenge. Destroyed the military, which is now morally bankrupt. Our allies no longer trust us and our enemies no longer fear us.
And soon, he's going to tell us that he will rule by executive diktat to push his reparations agenda.
He belongs in an orange jumpsuit.

Can the coattails gal separate herself from her philandering hubby?

Can the one-time partner of & lawyer for Whitewater continue to distance herself from that scandal by saying she knew nothing about what Whitewater was doing (reminiscent of Benghazi)?

Can she blame her dismal performance as Secretary of State on the President? (But if she couldn't sell her boss on proper foreign policy, how on earth would she be able to sell it to the rest of the world?)

Can the lady with no accomplishments other than parlaying her husband's fame into elected & appointed office & being a doormat for him play the role of champion of women's rights? Really? Should we all stand up and cheer because she showed other women what not to do? Or does her example inform women they need to marry the right guy & turn their backs on his philanderings if they want to get ahead?

Why wouldn't Republicans talk about Bill & his shameless affair with a naive & callow 20-year old intern?

How can Hillary champion women's rights when she was an enabler for her husband by turning her back on what was happening & then defending him against a multitude of accusations from women?

And lets not forget all the other women Clinton abused while Hillary kept her head in the sand for political power! And liberals whine about a GOP war on women, or conservatives not wanting to pay for a woman's contraceptives or abortions.

You miss something in your quick dismissal of Hillary's ability to fight women's rights. By suggesting that she is an enabler, you give power to her husband and remove it from her. Hillary is able to show that women must still play within the rules to get to the top of the game. those rules include a tendency to show mercy when it is convenient politically. it was very convenient for Hillary to forgive her husband. by doing so, she rose above him, and made all those small people out to be wrong, who insist that a woman cheated on should shoot herself and her husband in the foot. her main ambition has been power. His was adulation, it seems. to get power, you must show strength, guts, and the ability to forgive, but never to forget. Hillary is showing herself to be the ultimate power monger. and what else could someone want, who wishes to show women the way up, but a pathway to the highest office, complete with all her baggage, not in spite of it?

We need a new vaginal cigar to name after clinton. Hillary is an enabler for Bill to abuse women and she let 4 die in benghazi!

See if you can picture this tv ad.....

Video of Chris Stevens dead body being carried on the streets of Benghazi with the audo being Hillary's shrill voice screaming "what difference, at this point, does it make
Now tell me how America will elect her!

first get some help, You really are sick then, Watch her get elected TWICE!!!

It isn't hate it's disgust. Disgust that Democrats would defend a sexual predatory and put their party ahead of their country, and disgust that Hillary would put her political career ahead of the safety and well being of young women.

Hillary's biggest problem is that if elected President, she would at 69 be the oldest person after Ronald Reagan to take the oath of office for the first time. Dancing with Father Time will slow her down — it slows down all of us — and dull her faculties, perhaps sharply, perhaps imperceptibly; we don't know how much, but we do know it will happen. I wish that she — and her supporters who evident believe she will live forever — would face the facts, realize that her time has gone, and pass her torch to the next generation.

Why? should we not allow the massive amount of information and experience that resides within an able bodied woman to work for us? are there not methods in place to reduce the likelihood that an aging pol goes berserk? have we not already seen enough errors from the young and immature crowd (yes, that's you, Mr President, and Mr Ex President) to recognize that a bit more wisdom is needed?

Man, the insane hate for the Clintons is unreal and it will do them IN! HOW FUNNY the rethugs will choke themselves! how cool is that!!!!

"when Bill Clinton had an affair with an intern fifteen years ago." WOW that is some spin. How about when Bill Clinton sexually harassed Paula Jones" or "when Bill Clinton groped Kathleen Willey"

Interesting, how quickly the story changes, isn't it? Clinton can be considered the penultimate misogynist: the kind who insists he loves women, but in reality needs to best them to feel manly. and yet, the GOP is not able to make this line successful, precisely because they are not hammering their point of the broader underlying moral landscape. Which is ironic, given their moralism on practically everything. Perhaps, however, they recognize that galvanizing their base to protest the ungodly actions of a Democratic president might also shine a light on all the other transgressions that conservatives forget they should oppose: adultery is towards the top of the lst, but let's not forget divorce (which in itself begets adultery, after all); greed; usury; and all the other commandments the so -called moral majority constantly break themselves.

Wait a moment: is Mr Waldman pointing out something other than his stated point about Hillary Clinton?
"When they're looking at her, her opponents just can't see straight."

I think he's secretly reminding us that some people, when they see HIllary Clinton, see a closeted gay woman.

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