December 21, 2004


Who can lead the Democrats? (Joan Vennochi, December 21, 2004, Boston Globe)

ANYONE BUT Hillary. The political year ends with Democratic Party leaders searching for a new moral compass -- and concluding, foolishly, that morality is only a focus group away. Blaming the November loss on issues like abortion, they want to be for and against it. With finesse and spin, Democrats long to believe red-state voters will return to them in 2008 -- even though it didn't work in 2004.

It definitely won't work if Hillary Clinton is leading the charge.

Democrats lost the values debate, first to Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, before losing ground to abortion and gay marriage. It explains why George W. Bush was able to sidle into the White House in the first place. Hillary Clinton is part of the party's problem, not part of the solution. Whether you view her as Bill Clinton's victim or co-conspirator, she helped take the country down the path of half-truths and bold lies, from "I didn't inhale" to "I did not have sexual relations with that woman . . . "

The bumper stickers are correct. No one died when Clinton lied. But something was extinguished: respect for the office, the man, his wife, and the truth. It is difficult to imagine red state voters separating Hillary Clinton from the personal immorality of the Clinton presidency.

Nothing more clearly demonstrated the Democrats divorce from morality than the vote on impeachment, when every single one of their Senators held that such immorality (never mind the concomitant illegality) was no bar to office.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2004 9:07 AM

Then why did the Democrats gain House and Senate seats in 1998? The thing that bothered me about the Lewinsky matter was that it obscured the fact that the People's Liberation Army was treating American military secrets like an all-you-can-eat buffet at the same time as it was going on. The Blue Dress nonsense allowed Congress to avoid taking on a tough issue, where people of both parties would have taken hits, in exchange for nonsense. It was a rigged game from the start.

About the scandal itself I am of two minds. One side of me says that I couldn't care if he kept sheep on the White House lawn for nighttime entertainment, so long as he ran the country's affairs in a competent manner. However, Ross Perot's description rings true to my mind as well,' If your wife can't trust you how can I?' But then, Hillary is smarter than a doorknob so she had to know that Clinton was having hot and cold running bimbos on a near constant basis, and must have, on some level made her peace with it in exchange for a chance at the levers of power.

As the old joke goes,'What does Bill Clinton do after a night of hot sex? He calls Hillary and tells her he'll be home in an hour.'

Maybe, abstractly, Clinton's disgusting behavior justified impeachment. However, I think what has happened is that most Americans are today too jaded by what we have seen to really care. In NJ, we had a governor(McGreevey) who put his boytoy on the payroll in a job with theoretically significant responsibility. We had a mayor in Camden (Angelo Errichetti)who tried to sell drugs to FBI agents during Abscam. We had a state senator (John Gregorio)convicted of bookmaking. We had a governor (Donald DiFrancesco)who was running shakedowns of contractors out of the governor's mansion. We even had a suburban township manager(Joe Portash) who used the municipal treasury as his personal mad money in the casinos of Atlantic City.

Adultery with fat, dumpy interns doesn't even hit the radar screen.

Posted by: Bart at December 21, 2004 10:36 AM

The problem for the Democratic faithful is that Hillary is positioning herself as the furthest candidate to the right that is palitable to the primary electorate; anyone running right of her on most positions would suffer the same fate as Joe Lieberman; anyone running to the left would have to run in the general election as the candidate who's more liberal than Hillary Clinton, which as Martha Stewart might say, is not a good thing.

Posted by: John at December 21, 2004 10:52 AM

The Democratic party will not be "healed" until someone takes the switch to Bill Clinton. The political landscape today would be very different if Monyihan, Lieberman, Feinstein, Byrd, and Hollings had voted to convict. Or, more particularly, if some prominent Democrats had gone to the Oval Office and used the switch then.

The amoral left is now ascendant because the rest of the party dropped the ball in 1998.

The other issues (China & Loral, the foreign campaign donations, the graft of Ron Brown, the FBI files, etc.) are just indicators of what passed for 'typical' within the Clinton aura.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 21, 2004 12:50 PM

Bart, are we the only two in the world to understand that Monica was a diversion to deflect media interest from Clinton's truly traitorous behavior which led to 9/11 and the war on terrorism. Clinton was impeached for lying to a grand jury, not for his adolescent hi-jinks in the butlet's pantry.

If it comes down to it, the media will stop at nothing to elect Hillary. The blogosphere has only four years to muscle up and stop them.

Posted by: erp at December 21, 2004 2:27 PM