A reader quotes me:
I wouldn’t be bothered with his Baldwin-like inability to own his own anti-gay record, if he weren’t obviously trying to win the White House back again, by-passing the 22nd Amendment via his wife.
Okay dude, I’m not gonna bicker with you about the proper amount of penance for Bill Clinton. It’s fruitless, and because the HIV travel ban affected you so personally and directly, I don’t see that much movement is possible in that discussion, which is fine.
What’s less understandable is your reversion to the third-term-for-Bill meme. What happened, man?I’m off to work and don’t have time to dig through your archives, but its a real reversal for you to start treating Hillary like some political pawn for her husband’s machinations again, or like a Lady to his Macbeth. Did you just forget the last four years? If she becomes the President, she’ll be the President, not her husband.I don’t think you’re being fair to Bill, but god knows he wasn’t fair to you. But to reduce a remarkable, accomplished, and frankly gracious woman like Hillary to the backdoor into power for her husband is (however unintentionally) sexist and blind.
That wasn’t my intent, and I’m sorry it came out that way. I have long seen both Bill and Hillary as an equal power couple, and have faulted Hillary’s feminism for not demanding the first crack at national power. Another reader:
Hillary Clinton is many things, but she’s surely not a pushover or a mere front for her husband. We’re not talking about Lurleen Wallace here [seen above with her husband, George, whom she succeeded as governor], and it boggles the mind for you to suggest so.
Agreed. Hence my apology and clarification. Another reader:
The gal can’t win.
When she was First Lady, she was condemned for wielding imagined power. Now that she may become president, are we supposed to see her as made of tissue paper, with Bubba pulling the strings? Ugh.
I have qualms about power families. But I think Hillary Clinton has demonstrated enough independence and political ability in her own right that this line of thinking is moot. She is more obviously qualified than George W. Bush or, heck, even Bill Clinton circa 1992.
Maybe this was just a snarky one liner, not meant to be taken literally as a sexist belittling of Hillary Clinton. Irony anyone?
I do agree that in some respects having Bill as a husband is a liability. As a progressive, I am well aware of Bill’s cynical, triangulating ways. But I also recognize that in the face of the toxic, nihilist modern GOP, the man got things done. He brought the Democratic Party back to national significance. In the last election, that speech he gave at the Democratic Convention was an ass-kicking that nobody else in the party could have delivered. And whatever flaws in his character or leadership are far, far outweighed by the sleazy villainy of his political opponents.
Anyway, I know you are getting lots of emails on this, so I don’t want to pile on. It does seem to me you are quite forgiving of some folks, and relentlessly unforgiving of others, but I guess all of us can be like that. You write a blog, and you wear your emotions on your sleeve, and that is often a good thing. You have a lot of anger about liberals in particular, their hypocrisy and political correctness. I can see that. But please don’t forget the bullshit Republican craziness that has been going on since the early nineties in ever increasing amounts. This stuff does have a political context.
I read your blog constantly. It’s usually such a well-rounded, smart take on what’s going on in the world that it’s a “must click” at least hourly. But lately I’ve been clicking less – this week you seem to have homed in on this relentless effort to take down Bill and Hillary Clinton and Alec Baldwin in some sort of half-assed effort to shore up your independent bona fides. Well, it just comes across as cranky, whiny and stubborn. You’re clearly not going to let your Bill Clinton-bashing go, but just when I’ve thought you had come to see the light on Hillary (i.e., she’s not evil), today you decide that in the spirit of your cranky “I hate the Clintons” diatribe, you’d decide to write off the Baby Boomer generation entirely (“God save us from another Boomer president”). I’m far from a Boomer, but what? That’s such an uneducated and overboard stance that you have to know that you come across like a humorless, unhappy asshat.
As my friend and fellow Dishhead put it, hopefully P-town will chill you the fuck out this holiday weekend.