Thursday, April 3, 2008

An Easy Target to Enable Republican Re-Domination

President Bill Clinton was a great President at all the things that matter, but the Republican/Christian Coalition machine managed to distract the world by pointing at Clinton's sexual life. It was an easy snipe, everyone in the political business knew of Clinton's rockstar sexual activities long before he got in the White House. I was amongst the movers and shakers in 1986 (working with John Gorman in North Little Rock Arkansas ) that decided not to back his run for the White House till a lot of people were silenced with payoffs.

Now the Republican machine has to be salivating at the chance to make a fun and easy crushing of another Democratic tenure, using the same achilles heel of semi-secret sexual life as the focus point. Then the Repubs can cash that in with sweep of Congress, and we'll be on our way to another single party domination of all three branches of government. Plus Rush Limbaugh will have loads of fun.

Its sick and sad. "MoveOn.org" was created as a political networking tool to encourage "moving on" past the preoccupation with the President's sex life as end-all metric of job performance. I wish both Clintons had not triangulated in this one topic. They could have done like Bloomberg ( pot smoking: " Yeah I did, and I liked it") and Schwarzenegger (sex with millions, and always honest about it) . Such a stance crushes the offense, and moves the job performance evaluation of politicians back to whether they keep streets safe, paved, and pleasurable places.

For Democrats, my advice is to have a Obama/Bloomberg ticket. With this highly pragmatic and centrist team, the Republican machine will not have such an easy leverage point for regaining power.

1 comment:

The Serpent Lord said...

The US presidency is one place that Machiavellian thinking is very relevant today. Mr. Clinton gets props from me for understanding both the importance of public perception vs. private piety and for making a serious effort to distill what was best at the time for our country without regard for ideology. He doesn't represent me, but he is wise and - in the most important sense for a world leader - good.

(Our current president is an interesting contrast. Mr. Bush is also ideologically flexible and despite some reports interested in the greater good, but his staff, in the name of the greater good, carries out a variety of unethical psychological experiments sometimes lumped together under the label neoconservativism, suggesting that Bush is actually a pretty weak leader.)

I can see either Mrs. Clinton's approach (loud public piety and wagons-circled personal life) or the Obama/Bloomberg approach (openness) carrying the day. I think hacker-types are likely to prefer Obama's active openness (publishing his experience with drugs in a book) and approach to piety: a long history with a community/family oriented church that doesn't control his politics. (Whereas Clinton's personal evangelical faith and it's connection with modern abolitionism might bias her toward acting in the name of liberating intervention.)

However, the people have not given the Democratic party a clear mandate as to which candidate should run, so the issue is going to come down to who is the best candidate for the party's long term interests, not who is most likely to win or who will be the best president. They might very well choose Clinton and loyalty over Obama and fresh blood - either being a reasonable choice for the party's internal needs.