With Friends Like Bill…

…who needs any other problems at all?

I was going to make this part IV of my “Bill Clinton, Go The F*** Home!” series, but I’m trying to clean up my language, and really, it’s just getting repetitive.

For some Republicans, this election season has been all about schadenfraude when it comes to the Clintons. They simply have not yet fallen out of love with watching half of the party grow increasingly bitter towards its latter day heroes. For some Democrats, little has changed; much of political debate has become merely an extension of the nineties where defending the Clintons is a pretty routine part of life.

What is bizarre is who these Democrats have to defend the Clintons from. At least in part, it’s other Democrats.

These Democrats are themselves bewildered though, as John Cole more than aptly illustrates. Though he’s something of a newcomer to our persistent circular firing squad, Cole’s antipathy towards all things Clinton is not something to be ignored. After years of defending the Clintons, many Democrats are finding that they don’t necessarily like what they have been defending all this time. This antipathy is inflamed by pro-Clinton blogs like No Quarter, Taylor Marsh, and Talk Left, that used to be part of the team and have gone completely off the deep end, supporting the comments of racists, as my colleague Tas has reported on a couple of times now, trumpeting Right Wing Talking Points, and turning to Fox News anchors such as Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly as allies in their fight against a fellow Democrat.

All of this brings us to where I am personally. I have made a concerted effort not to blog against Hillary Clinton, and I’m going to continue to honor that little pact I made with myself. There are far more important things going on for me to be wasting my time blasting her for every transgression she makes. But that does not mean that my opinion of her has changed for the better. But that is one thing.

I entered this election year viewing Hillary Clinton as tabula rasa. Aside from a knowledge of the general hatred that the right had for her, I had little knowledge and no opinion of her.

I did support Obama from the beginning, and some of it was by accident, while some of it was by design. Obama helped fellow Democrat Tim Kaine win the gubernatorial election here in Virginia by campaigning for him and I attended one of those events. I can hardly think it coincidence that Obama’s support for down ticket Democrats in Virginia have helped him establish an organization that not only allowed him to win the primary here by a landslide, but would also allow him to win this state in the general election where no other Democrat in that entered the field this time around would have the chance.

The other key factor in my early support for Obama came from being incredibly impressed with his book, The Audacity of Hope, which served as an intriguing and convincing manifesto on political philosophy, as well as providing what I thought at the time was at least the blueprint for a successful presidential campaign.

But here’s where things are tricky. I had no opinion of Clinton, and I supported Obama in the beginning, but I was actually quite close to changing sides. You see, in the beginning, I was thoroughly impressed with Clinton’s campaign and political skill. In those early months she really showed me a lot of things that I truly liked. Meanwhile Obama’s campaign seemed plagued with rookie mistakes and boneheaded maneuvers that led me to believe that he had little idea about what he was doing.

That all changed, and what appears to be increasingly desperate and negative attacks on Hillary’s behalf have greatly soured my opinion of her. But, as I said, tabula rasa-blank slate. Souring on Hillary Clinton did not create in me a sense of loss because I never had an opinion of her beforehand. Her husband, on the other hand, is a different story.

Coming to lose respect for the former president has created within me a sense of great loss. The man I spent much of my early time as a blogger defending from every wingnut that sought to come out of the woodworks, the man that I respected and looked to as a good president, has become someone else. Someone I hardly recognize.

I remember him coming out to campaign for Kerry in 2004, and how he drew record crowds and delivered powerful speeches.

I remember Bill Clinton’s speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, powerful, moving, a greater endorsement Kerry couldn’t have asked for.

He has gone from that to the man we’ve seen on the trail today. The man who launched some pretty ugly words in South Carolina, and questioned the patriotism of a young rising star within his own party. He’s launched into tirades over the endorsement of Governor Bill Richardson for Obama, and he has all but shattered much of his image in my eyes.

So when he goes up and delivers a backhanded insult to all of the Obama supporters, to all of us young voters who are too stupid not to see through the candidate we voted for, I just shake my head. I shake my head because I think to myself, I supported Bill Clinton, was I duped there too?

(edited by DrGail)

2 Responses to “With Friends Like Bill…”

  1. tjproudamerican says:

    I am amazed at The Clinton’s. Just when I think I have hated them with all I have, I find new ways and reasons to hate them.

    And I voted for each Clinton twice and favored Hillary until I saw her smug “Well that’s what it sounded like to me” response to Obama when he caught her lying about him in the debate with Edwards and Obama and Hillary in LA.

    Won’t they go away? Please? pretty please?

  2. Pug says:

    Bill isn’t right about all us folks with a few years on us. I’m a latte-sipping elitist (my father was a truck driver, but I’m still an elitist) for Obama and my first vote for president was for George McGovern.

    Sadly, Bill Clinton has been a disgrace during this campaign. If he were to go on the campaign trail and say every nice thing he could think of about his wife, that would be fine. Instead, he plays the role of attack dog. The man is an ex-president and he has no idea how to maintain a shred of dignity. He doesn’t even seem to understand that an ex-president shouldn’t be attacking candidates from his own party.

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