Breaking news - - Bill and Hillary Clinton are nasty, frequently inauthentic, and dishonest.
Actually this is not “news” at all. But many Liberal Americans have just begun to discover this painful reality, and it’s an arduous process for them to stumble out of their denial.
My concerns about Bill’s relationship with the truth date back to his now-famous “I experimented with marijuana a time or two“ and I “didn‘t inhale” shtick of 1992. So many others seemed to revel in the entertainment value that then-Governor Clinton provided with those remarks. I, on the other hand, was horrified that a serious candidate for the presidency would utter such absurdities, and expect, as he apparently did, to be taken seriously.
My anxiety got worse after the Clintons stormed the White House. I watched Bill renege on his campaign promise of a middle class tax cut with the “gosh this federal deficit is worse than I thought” routine, and then usher in the largest tax increase in the history of our country. I also observed Hillary’s healthcare “task force” that was supposedly responding to a mandate of “the people,” yet operated clandestinely and could not be bothered by questions from “the people” (or the Congress, for that matter); I read of the mysterious and abrupt firing of the career staffers at the White House travel office; a steady stream of rumors and anecdotes about Hillary’s berating of Secret Service and military personnel at the White House; a steady stream of rumors and anecdotes about Bill and “other women;” the Clinton Administration’s proposed expansion of welfare spending by about $35 billion, despite Bill’s campaign pledge to “end welfare as we know it;” and allegations about the Clintons’ possibly having broken the law with some unscrupulous real estate dealings “back home” in Arkansas.
Then, after leading Democrats to the embarrassing end of forty years of control over the House and the Senate in less than two years on the job (in the historic mid-term elections of November 1994), Bill had the audacity to stand before the nation in his 1995 State of the Union address and announce that “the era of big government is over.”
Yes, long before the “I did not have sexual relations with that woman / it’s a vast rightwing conspiracy / it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is / it’s nobody’s business but ours” psychodrama; long before Bill took the oath of office for the second time; long before the world knew the name “Monica Lewinsky,“ I had grave concerns about the Clintons and their abilities at being authentic, honest people.
Now, liberal America is awakening to the “Clinton issues“ for the very first time. It began with Ted Kennedy’s hastily arranged endorsement of Barack Obama at a campaign “rally” back last December, wherein “Uncle Ted” seemed to convey the message “you two don’t own this party…” Then there was Obama, after having been berated and ridiculed for weeks by the former President, sheepishly admitting in January that “I feel like I’m running against both Clintons” (gosh, ya think? Have Hillary and Bill ever passed-up an opportunity to use each other for political gain?).
Three days ago, former California legislator and noted liberal activist Tom Hayden published an editorial entitled “Why Hillary Makes My Wife Scream,” wherein he lamented Hillary’s “hawkish” stance on the war in Iraq, and her nasty campaign tactics. “It is abundantly clear,” he wrote, “that the Clintons… are trying… to so damage Barack Obama that he will be perceived as "unelectable.." He also registered his dismay for the “carnivore” behavior of Clinton flacks James Carville, Lanny Davis and Howard Wolfson.
A day later, Congressman James Clyburn, the highest ranking Black in the U.S. House of Representatives, described Hillary’s campaign behavior as “scurrilous” and “disingenuous,” and theorized that Hillary’s objective now is to insure Obama’s defeat in November, and thereby allow herself a second opportunity to run for President in 2012.
The timing of this new-found moral indignation is interesting, to say the least. Apparently it was easy - - or at least easier - - for Democrats to ignore the Clintons’ selfish, nasty, destructive behavior back in the 90’s, when they could pacify themselves by scapegoating conservative talk radio; or when they could rationalize that it was ONLY national security being compromised with a little Chinese money laundering; or when it was MERELY one “immature” intern being destroyed by the Clinton cronies.
Now things are different. One of their own, one of the Democratic Party’s perceived best and brightest, is the target of the Clintons’ venom, and with each strike against Obama the wellbeing of the entire party is threatened.
But if the Clintons’ behavior is now suddenly problematic, the Democratic Party shares culpability for it. Since 1992, Democrats have been collectively behaving like the classic “codependent spouse,” ignoring the public embarrassments and gross injustices of the abusive husband (both Hillary and Bill), making excuses for the assaults, and enabling the abuse to continue. And just as the Clintons gave up the Lincoln bedroom in exchange for campaign cash, Democrats long ago swapped their integrity for “success” at the polling booth.
I’m glad some Democrats have finally begun to feel outraged over the Clintons’ abusiveness. But now its time to divorce themselves from it.