As I watch the Clinton campaign go deeper into its downward spiral and possibly its death throes, it kills me to know that the Democrats have done what the Republicans were never able to do -- take down Hillary Clinton. I mean, I'm used to Hillary Hate coming from the right. I've been watching it for the last 15 years. But from the people who are supposed to have her back? It's just too much.
Every time I hear a Democrat argue for Barack Obama's candidacy by saying that we don't want to go back to the partisanship of the '90s, I realize that while the Clintons may have won the battle back then, the conservatives won the war. A decade after Bill Clinton's impeachment for trying to cover up a bit of extramarital nookie, the common wisdom -- at both ends of the political spectrum -- seems to be that Bill and Hill somehow encouraged all the insanity thrown at them from the far right, that they brought it on themselves.
What's even crazier is that people truly believe Obama, with his boyish good looks and vague platitudes of amorphous "change" and "yes we can," will somehow defuse the haters on the right. In Yes We Can Land, the Republican attack machine that's already spit-shined and ready to roll will back down in the face of that winning smile and polished speaking style, inaugurating an era of love, peace and non-partisanship. And for the topper, maybe Dick Cheney will spontaneously burst into flames!
Hillary offers change -- certainly a huge change from the last eight years. And the title of first female president of the United States is no small taters. But Democrats say sorry, you're not changey enough. Knowing how to work with Republicans and actually get legislation passed becomes that old slur "Washington insider." Knowing her policy shit inside out, and talking about it on the stump, becomes "Not inspiring enough." I feel like it's only a matter of time before her universal health care plan becomes "socialized medicine."
People constantly throw her vote "for the war" in her face. I believe her story that she voted to let the inspectors back in -- after all, her hubby's policy of containment in Iraq throughout the '90s actually worked, as it turned out. Personally, I think that believing what the Bush administration told her is as horrible as if she really had voted for the war.
But the world, and the country, was a very different place in 2002. And if I'd been a senator and had gotten the administration's lies packaged as facts, I don't know how I would have voted. Nor do I know how a Senator Obama would have voted. It's easy to take a high-minded stand when your opinion doesn't translate into action. But Hillary's fellow Democrats, of all people, make it out like she's the one who wants our soldiers to stay in Iraq for the next hundred years.
Back in 2000, the Republicans thought they could beat Hillary in the New York Senate race by throwing out a candidate whose platform was little more than "I'm running against HILLARY CLINTON!" After she became a senator, Republicans who might as well have greeted her with crucifixes and garlic and silver bullets learned they could work with her and, grudgingly, learned to respect her. Working across the aisle -- if that's not change, I don't know what is. How ironic that her own party had to wind up doing the GOP's dirty work.
Well, I'm preparing. I've already bought my Obama pin and will stick it on my lapel as soon as he clinches the nomination. I'm practicing my best "Yes We Can!"s in the mirror. Not that I've never thought anyone but John McCain will win this election come November, no matter who the Dems' candidate is. But my heart belongs to Hillary, and I'm sad that I probably won't get to see her give it a shot. You got a raw deal, Mrs. C.
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