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The Prodigal Left

Wow. It seems that almost every day, another champion of the Left joins the "vast right-wing conspiracy" that made the Clintons the target of their wrath back in the 1990's. As Bill and Hillary turn their vaunted political machine against Barack Obama and ratchet up the attacks, the scales fall from more and more eyes, and the chorus of "I loved it when they did that to YOUR people, but I can't believe they're now going after one of OURS!" echoes around the political world.

This presents those of us who have known the Clintons for what they are for some time now with an interesting dilemma. (I personally take pride that back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was campaigning on Manchester, New Hampshire's Elm Street, I personally snubbed him.) How do we treat these new converts?

There is a great temptation to gloat. After all, they're just now coming to realize that we were right all along about the Clintons, and they certainly spent a lot of time and effort attacking us for having the affrontery of being right before they were.

There is also the temptation to go back and find the very words these people used when defending the Clintons and attacking us, and throw them back in their faces.

I find myself thinking back to the parable of the scorpion and the frog. Attacking their opponents, smearing them through proxies and directly, while claiming to hold the moral high ground is the Clintons' nature. They mastered "the politics of personal destruction" while denouncing them at the same time. It is quite possibly their defining characteristic.

So, what to do about these Johnny-come-latelies?

The answer lies in looking at the big picture, and keeping one's eyes on the main goal.

Gloating and slamming these people is very satisfying, but very short-sighted. It's political masturbation -- it feels good at the time, but ultimately achieves nothing productive.

Rather, I recommend a wry "welcome to the club" greeting, and a brief moment of commiseration.

The ultimate goal here is to keep the Clintons from regaining power. These people now coming to this realization are the same ones (or the heirs) of those who put them in power in the first place, and kept them there. Remember, Moveon.org started by calling for people to "move on" from the Clinton impeachment.

Those people have willingly stepped away from the Clintons, and the Clintons need them back. We don' t need to rub their noses in their own past; they're doing that already. What we need is to keep them angry at the Clintons -- angry enough to sustain their resentment, and not let them fall into apathy so they simply drop out of the whole process for now, then come back later pretending that the whole incident never happened.

If that means that we have to make nice with some people who've been truly vicious to us in the past, then so be it. We're grownups here, and the stakes are considerably larger than our egos.

A quote from Winston Churchill comes to mind. (Sometimes I wonder if Sir Winston ever uttered anything not worth quoting.) When questioned about his support for the Soviet Union after Hitler invaded them, he stated "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."

Now, the Clintons are no Hitlers, and the leftist commentators are certainly not Stalin or the devil. But the principle remains the same.

But while we welcome them, and fortify their resolve, we need not embrace them wholeheartedly. Let us never forget that they are much like the scorpion: their prior allegiance to the Clintons is symptomatic of their true nature. They are allies of convenience, and we work with them only because we have discovered a common cause. They are not our natural allies, and once that cause has been achieved, they will most likely revert to opposing us.

As Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, "trust but verify."


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Comments (16)

Its a nice sentiment but I ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Its a nice sentiment but I knew enough people that knew exactly what the Clintons were but supported them because they liked their politics.

Come November, I expect Democrats will forgive the Clintons. With some polishing courtesy of the media, so will self-described moderates that liked the Clintons.

The only thing worth doing is bookmarking these appraisals and using them as ammunition the next time the Clintons apply these tactics to others.

The level of animus toward ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The level of animus toward Hitlary and Bill is still amazing.

Democrats really really don't like them.

Jpm as usual you are delusi... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Jpm as usual you are delusional. I know four liberal Dims who will vote for McCain against Billary...so no they may not be coming back.

Great post, Jay. I... (Below threshold)
SarahConnor2:

Great post, Jay.

I think the "Welcome to the party, pal." approach will keep the heat on the Clintons. It might be worth reintroducing Hilary's amazing stock prowess and her interest in FBI files to people. Those didn't get as much attention on the press and aren't as polarizing for the left as Whitewater and the impeachment.

Actually, I think jpm is co... (Below threshold)

Actually, I think jpm is correct, Michael.

You and I differ here a bit, Jay. And that's a rarity. Far more of these people than you give credit for knew well and good all along what the Clintons were/are. The scales have only fallen from their eyes in that they didn't realize the Clintons would attack another Democrat so vehemently and openly. And this statement says it all; "I loved it when they did that to YOUR people, but I can't believe they're now going after one of OURS!"

A lot of them even now are targeting Hillary and acting as if Bill is a separate entity, far removed from her vindictiveness. They would still like to see Bill in the White House again. Why? Because he was better suited and more adept at helping them pretend so they didn't have to outwardly admit what they already knew.

As in AA, admitting you have a problem is the first step. Many people are only admitting half the problem. I have a friend that is blaming Hillary for Bill's recent actions: "She put him up to it." I have another friend who is blaming Bill for giving Hillary "bad advice".

They are as one. They work in tandem. They are Billary. And they both want back in the White House more than anything. Hillary for the raw power that comes with the office and Bill, well, just because it's so much fun. Neither of them could achieve that without the machinations of the other.

"The only thing worth doing... (Below threshold)
Mike:

"The only thing worth doing is bookmarking these appraisals and using them as ammunition the next time the Clintons apply these tactics to others."

That is true, jpm100, but I have to wonder if the whole process of demonizing Bill and canonizing Obama is really a clever ploy to take the wind out of Republican sails this fall.

Think about it -- if His Majestic Blackness Bill Clinton cannot attack Barak Obama, what chances do the eeeeeeevil, racist, neo-Klan Republicans have? This whole thing could be (or be turned into) an elaborate plan to innoculate Obama from virtually all criticism.

Jpm as usual you a... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
Jpm as usual you are delusional. I know four liberal Dims who will vote for McCain against Billary...so no they may not be coming back.
Firstly, don't count on McCain. Its far too soon to tell.

Secondly, their current outrage is because they like Obama. Once the primaries are over and the vilification of the Republican nominee begins, Democrats will set aside their disappointed feelings and fall in line. "They may be bastards, but they are our bastards." will be the sentiment.

Welcome them? Why ... (Below threshold)
observer:


Welcome them? Why is there any reason to talk with liberals at all?

Mike,It does build... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Mike,

It does build up Obama as untouchable. If the Clintons can be brought low over this, imagine what happens if a Republican is critical of Obama in any way, shape, or form that could contrued as a racial remark. Even if it wasn't intended that way.

Everyone by wanting/salivating over the Clintons being burned over this are validating this thinking. They are handing the Democrats a powerful cudgel for this November.

If Obama is connected with the November election in any way, the Republican nominees better be able to walk on egg shells.

"the scales fall from <b... (Below threshold)
Phoenix:

"the scales fall from more and more eyes, and the chorus of "I loved it when they did that to YOUR people, but I can't believe they're now going after one of OURS!" echoes around the political world."

Yep Jay Tea, hordes & hordes. Just remeber to reserve a hall in a phone booth to hold a reception for them all, your new allies.

".. the Republican nomi... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

".. the Republican nominees better be able to walk on egg shells. "

Well, there's a silver lining, at least.
Repubs have always had to walk on egg shells concerning race, as the Dems and the MSM has always automatically portrayed Repubs as racists.

Don't expect it to be any different this election cycle, no matter what.

"as the Dems and the MSM... (Below threshold)
Phoenix:

"as the Dems and the MSM has always automatically portrayed Repubs as racists"

Les, the media had no need for an automatic portrayal.

Nixon and the GOP of the late '60's & 70's with their policy of "benign neglect" after the passage of the Civil Rights Acts was all the invitation that southern racists needed to climb aboard the Republican train and form the GOP Solid South that has been the core of every national Republican electoral victory since 1968.

Your party willingly & wantonly inherited the mantel of southern racism after the so-called southern Democrats abandoned the Democratic party en-masse because of LBJ and the new legislation.

Well, there's a si... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
Well, there's a silver lining, at least. Repubs have always had to walk on egg shells concerning race, as the Dems and the MSM has always automatically portrayed Repubs as racists.

Don't expect it to be any different this election cycle, no matter what


The attacks won't be any different, except when people like Jay Tea tries to dismiss an undeserved accusation, he'll have his words thrown in his face. Instead of spending time dismissing it, he'll have to spend time having to defend how what XXXXX did was different from what Clinton did. That's a weaker position for more than one reason.

Especially when I know they are coming, I'd like to prepare for battle on at least a level field and not get suckered into a uphill battle.

Heh. See?As I said... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Heh. See?

As I said, don't expect it to be any different this election cycle, no matter what.

The meme will be the same; as long as the Repubs remember that going in, then forewarned is forearmed.

I don't want to hear any whining from Repubs like "But look how bad the Clintons/Dems treated Obama." You know it will not stick to the Dems. The meme is: Reps/racists, Dems/tolerant.

The trick is, how do Repubs use this foreknowledge to their advantage?

"the GOP Solid South tha... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"the GOP Solid South that has been the core of every national Republican electoral victory since 1968."

It's easy to make a leftist argument when you just make stupid shit like this up. Of course the facts are about 180% degrees from what this informationally retarded neo-comm thinks.

Now I will admit that the south has been more Republican in the last few elections, but I believe that has a lot more to do with Roe v. Wade and nothing to do with racism. The racists are still primarily on your side Phoenix.

The Thunder Run has linked ... (Below threshold)

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/28/2008 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.




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