Friday, February 22, 2008

Was The "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" Actually, Well, Right?

During the Clinton scandals of the late 90's Hillary Clinton offered a now famous quote attacking her attackers. She said it was all part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" out to get her and her husband. The accusations of sexual misconduct turned out, of course, to be correct. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to Republican ire towards the Clintons. By the time President Clinton's term ended, he had become such a lightening rod that Al Gore purposely distanced himself from him during Gore's presidential campaign in 2000. It's likely that as Vice President, Gore's inability to use his president's incumbency on the campaign trail played a large part in his defeat.

Now Hillary is running for president. Much of the Clinton animosity has dissipated since Bill was in office, and he has been able to be much more involved in Hillary's campaign than he was in Gore's. The results have been interesting.

Democrats are now saying the same things about the Clintons that Republicans were saying about them throughout the 90's.

The NY Times recently published an article highlighting a somewhat shady business deal involving the Clintons and a foreign country. When responding to the Clinton's attacks on his record, Clinton's primary opponent was quoted as saying, "It's important to maintain some -- you know, level of honesty." A post on a local Democratic blog contained a comment from an Obama supporter saying, "now I know how Republicans feel." The NY Times' blog has a post about the Clinton's increasingly emotional and desperate antics. And, finally, an Obama supporter I have had some interaction with became so disgusted with the Clinton campaign he vowed not to vote at all if Hillary gained the nomination over Obama.

The "right wing" of the Republican Party has taken a lot of flak in the years since Clinton left office, while at the same time President Clinton's legacy began to strengthen as the animosity and angst of his presidency faded over the years.

But now they're back, and so are the same old criticisms. Only this time, it's the Democrats who are leveling them.


Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

There is something called "The Clinton Rules", and it's funny that we have a control case running parallel to support or disprove the theory that, in essence, there isn't anything that cannot be said about either of the Clinton's - he's a drug-running rapist who has murdered his political opponents; she's a lesbian Communist who had a years-long affair with Clinton's best childhood friend Vince Foster, only to murder him and have his body dumped in Fort Marcy Park - that won't be aired over and over again, even after the most sane and credible allegations have been shown to be conclusively false.

Now, we have a badly sourced allegation on Sen. John McCain's personal life, as well as a far better sourced series of allegations on some alleged improprieties on his part as a Senator. The focus, alas, has been far too much on the crappy allegations - and irrelevant, I would add - of adultery. Fortunately enough, reporters and bloggers are keeping the other part of the story - the better sourced one - alive.

Yet, please notice that the allegations against McCain's personal conduct - no better sourced than the original allegations against President Clinton - have been silenced, not by lack of evidence, but by his denial. I find it fascinating that, had Monica Lewinsky washed her dress, or tossed it away, there would have been no evidence and the months-long braying about Clinton would have resulted in nothing. Should we find "DNA evidence" linking McCain to Ms. Iseman, I wonder if any pundit will declare, as Sam Donaldson infamously did just days after the initial story of the allegations in the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, that McCain should step aside.

Anyway, these "democrats" and "liberals" who are saying these kinds of things are really neither.

Shan said...

So, Cam what exactly is it about Clinton's campaign that the democrats are so disgusted with? One shady business deal? What are Hillary's current actions that are making them say her campaign has become "desperate". I'm sorry, I haven't been following as much as I want to with school and all. My concern with this is from a personal stand point, I look up to this woman that has accomplished so much. I also look up to Obama for having the balls to even run with all that he lacks in experience. I don't know which one I like more than the other but what I do know is that politics is a shady game whether you are Hillary or her opponent. If u were to make a list of each persons accomplishments, all the hypocritical things they've said it only gets more confusing. Is you're point that Hillary has made shady business deals? Do you know if Obama has?I guarantee you he has. So is it possible that if certain democrats are going to use certain acts as the foundation to build their opinion on...then maybe it really has nothing to do with the acts themselves. Maybe, they've already made up their mind in the beginning based off useless stereotypes or whatever and then they search for acts to discredit them by. But like I said, for every "dishonest" act or comment on the Clinton's side, there will be one you can find for Obama and McCain. It's politics baby!

Cameron said...

It's the lying. The Clintons lie. That's why Barack Obama said, "It's important to maintain some - you know, level of honesty." When he first started winning primaries and closing the gap between them, both Clintons started making stuff up about him, his votes and his policies. That's why the South Carolina debate was so chippy. That's why all these Obama supporters became so disgusted with Clinton. That's why Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama so heartily, and at one point told Bill to pipe down.

In fact, it's all this venom and animosity that the Clintons generate that has made Obama look so good. He's successfully positioned himself "above the fray" and now any attack Hillary tries only makes her look worse and him better.

And make no mistake, it's Democrats making these charges. It's another decade, another campaign, but this time it's Democrats like Obama that are using the so called "Clinton Rules" against them.

Geoffrey, one quick note on the difference between the McCain allegations and those of the Clinton's Monica Lewinsky era. When Clinton's "indiscretions" finally came to a head in the late 90's it was the culmination of years of multiple women making the same allegations. In fact, when Clinton first ran for president there were sexual harassment charges leveled at him, yet he was still elected. Twice.

Here's an interesting quote from Orson Scott Card:

Hillary's mindless viciousness is exposed for what it is, and this time in a climate where the media will not spin everything her way, as they did during her absurd accusations about a "vast right-wing conspiracy" in the 1990s.

The Clintons thought the media were against them when they made big news out of Monica Lewinsky. They were too dumb to realize that the press was actually giving them a sweetheart treatment: "Yes he did it but it doesn't matter."

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Except McCain is also an adulterer, in fact a multiple adulterer, having finally settled on his second wife after a series of women. The only differences between McCain and Clinton on this score are (a) Clinton became President, so his indiscretions became fodder for tabloid journalism; (b) the Clinton's managed to keep their marriage together, while the Straight Talker walked to a trophy wife; (c) McCain's older, and his indiscretions came at a time when that kind of thing was ignored.

Also, remember that McCain is as much a documented fabricator as either of the Clintons. The Straight Talk Express is really the BS Local, with many stops a Prevarication Parkway and Misstatement Meadows (OK, pretty lame, I know, but I gotta try). Trying to make McCain out to be something he's not by comparing him to the Clintons actually highlights his own, multiple, personal and public failings, in my view.

Cameron said...

It's not just adultery we're talking about here. The allegations against President Clinton from multiple women were of sexual harassment. That's a huge difference. And in Monica Lewinsky's case, it may have been "consensual", but it was an office superior having relations with an employee directly under his supervision. I think the poster on the wall of my office lunchroom makes it pretty clear why that's a no no. If Clinton had been the president of a business rather than of the United States, he would have been reprimanded, fired, and possibly worse.

Cameron said...

Here's another example of Democratic dislike for Hillary Clinton.