I am writing to some of my friends who are friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The blessed and beleaguered FOBs, who are hanging in there whether you want to or not. Many of you have confided to me that you want out. Many of you have admitted that you are heartsick about some of Hillary's tactics and tired of the bitterness and infighting of her supporters. So I am just going to say this: you can leave...you can hit the road, you can get while the getting is good (or at least not heinous). I have heard the whispers of a widely held fear of reprisals, of careers scuttled, of the revenge that may be extracted by the likes of McAuliffe and Ickes. I ask in the words of our very own Dick Cheney ...."So?" Honestly what can they do? Set all the superdelegates on fire? Are they really all powerful? These guys seem so yesterday with their bad suits and pasted-on smiles ... are they really to be feared? Seems to me like the man behind the curtain is just a tired, red-faced ex-president looking for a return to his glory days. I promise you, when this is over we will buy the good old bad boys a new set of golf clubs and a membership to the Emperors Club. They will be happy ... Viagra sales will soar, and life in Washington will go on. The cherry trees will continue to bloom in the spring.
I am going to say this because it needs to be said:
If you are standing by them out of loyalty, you are unwittingly standing by their self-destruction. You are at their side as they careen into the history books as self-servin, egomaniacs out of touch with the times and sometimes with reality itself. This is not doing them any favors, or anyone any good. Hillary has a brilliant career ahead of her in the Senate and Bill can still salvage his reputation and accomplish great things in civilian life. They will survive defeat ...really they will. The Clintons' time has passed. This is made more obvious with each passing day. Bill's comments are ever more inappropriate, if not downright strange. Hillary looks exhausted ... way past sleep-deprived. Her rhetoric is confused and confusing. Get her a bed soon and some hot tea or she may end up ducking sniper fire on the train to Cukoo-ville.
If you love them ...set them free.
Bill Clinton spent the weekend here in California telling folks to "chill out." So what if this thing drags on to August? Happened to him and it was no biggie, what's the fuss about? This is further evidence that he is stuck in a time warp. Bush Sr. may have been less than competent and the economy in dire need of a new direction when Bill walked into the convention in 1992, but 2008 is a whole new ball game. The stakes are so high that even we cool cat Californians are not laying back. There is a WAR on and the potential for another battle in Iran ... for more people dead and wounded, more hearts and lives broken. The economy is a wreck, America is demoralized and the myth of our primacy has been debunked by all but the most lunatic of the Fox fringe. No one is chilling out. We are losing sleep and losing hair. We are losing our pensions and our patience. The times have changed and the Clintons have not changed with them. The bright yellow pantsuit has not been made that can make me cheer at the sight of Hillary standing at yet one more podium. We are not asking them to be quitters, we are asking them to realize that this is not about them. It is about you and me and our fellow citizens and the fate of a great nation.
Loyalty is a lovely thing and God knows a lot of you have it in spades. It is not so pretty, however, to see folks threatening Nancy Pelosi, or to hear James Carville calling Bill Richardson Judas. That Carville guy is downright embarrassing and Bill C. needs to just let it go. Is he saying that loyalty to one's pals is preferable to loyalty to one's conscience? We have seen seven-plus years of cronyism and it turns out that kind of thing does not serve us -- just ask the good people pf New Orleans. Hillary is hoping to find a way to destroy Obama in order to climb atop the wreckage of the Democrat Party and declare victory. How sad. This is the sign of a bankrupt campaign and speaking of bankrupt...she is not even paying her bills! They are stiffing cater waiters and printing companies and small businesses all over the country...the very folks they claim to want to help. How is this helpful?
I know this is not what you had in mind. I know you began this effort with real conviction and that you had every reason to believe that you were on the wining team, but it is time to ask yourselves how much of this is about winning and how much about not being willing to admit defeat? The Clintons have held sway for a long time. These folks have driven us to the right of Richard Nixon and let us not forget they managed to lose the House and Senate during their tenure in the White House. It has been the brave and relentless call for change from progressives that has powered our resurgence. Barack Obama has earned his place at the helm by promising a new direction and bringing new ideas and people into the fold.
If you feel you must continue to fight on out of loyalty to your pals, then I ask you to also be loyal to your conscience and demand that they clean up their act. Fighting the good fight requires that there actually be a good fight.
I know the agony of defeat. We all do, but this is not about woman versus man or black versus white or poetry versus pugilism. This is about old versus new. This is a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party At some point the Clintons will have to stand down, so that we can all stand up to the real challenges ahead. The real fight has not yet begun.