Wednesday, May 08, 2013


It's obvious why the Republican Party is fixated on Benghazi, and Hillary Clinton in particular -- it's for this reason:

These are the voters Hillary Clinton showed she could appeal to, and Barack Obama couldn't, in 2008. They could put a lot of states within reach for her that were never in reach for Obama (West Virginia, for instance), and make it relatively easy for her to win states where Democrats usually have to work very hard (e.g., Ohio). Liberals may not fall for the Benghazi witch hunt, but these guys might.

Smearing Hillary in a way these guys find plausible is a small step if Republicans want to be able to beat her, but hey, every little bit counts.

It's hard for us to imagine now that Republicans will ever stop talking about Barack Obama as if he's the most evil human being ever to walk the face of the earth, but, really, they will stop. In the late '90s and 2000, it was impossible to imagine that they'd ever stop describing Bill and Hillary Clinton that way, but they moved on -- to Al Gore and the Dixie Chicks and Dan Rather and Michael Moore and John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and then, of course, to Obama. They're going to let up a little on Obama after 2014, and Hillary's going to become the most evil person in the world again. They may even decide they kind of like Obama, if they can figure out a way to use that against her. It's going to be bizarre. And it's going to be as ugly as the Obama-hate has been.


John Taylor said...

These tactics are easier than actually coming up with decent policies. Problem is, these tactics work.

Steve M. said...

Agree, and agree.

Peter Janovsky said...

I'm not so sure Benghazi is the kind of issue that will peel a lot of working class white voters away from Hillary. Obama lost them because of (as my Dad used to say) "subcutaneous" racism, not any foreign policy issues. And all of the '90s Bill and Hillary witch-hunts never produced electoral consequences -- quite the opposite in 1998. Republicans might have a better appeal on immigration (though they have their own divisions on that) or maybe guns.

But I just don't see that pounding Hillary on Benghazi is going to make the Reagan Dems we're talking about flee Hillary.

aimai said...

I agree that this is what they are going for, and that as Steve says they are working the long game. The book "the Hunting of the President" by Conason and Lyons makes the argument that they targeted Clinton back when he was a governor because they had both the money and the time to try weakening potential democratic candidates far in advance of any given election.

However, I also agree with Peter Janovsky that this Benghazi thing is opportunistic and handy but probably won't have much effect. They will jump to something else--back to accusations that she's a lesbian, probably, because their sense of timing is so absurdly bad. They have just a few "go to" moves:
they can feminize her (she's weak)
they can masculinize her (she's too strong and butch)
they can attack her sexuality (she's a lesbian)
they can attack her patriotism (she sold us out to the russkies,the muslims, the chinese)
but that's about it. And I just don't think the public is going to care in two years--we will be farther away from the muslim menace and way too far away from the lipstick lesbian threat (for young voters) or for that stuff to outweigh her cred as a rising grandma with seniors.

Victor said...

The last thing the GOP needs right now, is a Hillary run.

Her coat-tails might keep them out of power long enough so that maybe we can actually start to turn around the structural damage that these reactionary sociopaths have accomplished in the last 4+ decades.

And that time out of power will, in turn, will force them to completely change their racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and/or homophobic veiws, once and for all, or be nothing more than a minor rump party for sociopathic assholes.

While I'm not exactly her biggest fan, I would like to see that result.
The 2016 Presidential campaign, may, though, make the last 2, 3 4, 5, or 6, look tame.

They will switch from hating that KenyanSocialistFascistCommunistHeathenMuslimAtheist Usurper, to focusing their hate on that LesbianSocialistFascistCommunistHeathenBallBustingBitch Usurper.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Very astute.

She's probably the Dems' strongest candidate, right now.

Has the GOP got even one possible candidate who isn't a total, right wing, Koch-man crackpot or a total faker?


An hispanic wingnut with identity-driven second thoughts is still just a wingnut.

Steve M. said...

She's by far the strongest candidate in the race in either party. However, I think every other potential Democratic candidate is incredibly weak.

As for the GOP, the press loves Christie. The press wants to love Rubio. The press finds Rand Paul intriguing. And that plus suppression of Democratic voting in GOP-run states puts the 2016 outcome very much in doubt.

Peter Janovsky said...

I wouldn't be as pessimistic. The press can't conceal that Rand Paul is nuts and Rubio is almost as extreme (e.g., background checks and women's rights). And Christie can't get the nomination.

I think if he overcomes possible age issues, Biden would be strong, as would Cuomo, maybe Schweitzer or even O'Malley. I also think Gillenbrand will run if Hillary doesn't and she would be very strong.

aimai said...

Its never going to be cuomo. Never. Schweitzer will be formidable because of all the "ooh, ahhh, everyone else will vote for him." What I wonder is whether Schewitzer or O'Malley would be willing to run as Clinton's running mate figuring that VP to the first woman President is better than also ran for the presidency itself. I think its clear that Christie is going to run--why else the lap band surgery--so I'm hoping he croaks from complications because if he loses that weight he will be a difficult obstacle (minus all the right wing hate for him if they settle for him a la Romney he's just the kind of asshole that can pull back NE dems into the republican fold)

Ten Bears said...

Hillary isn't stupid. Noboy but you will vote for a seventy-something scion of a family every bit as Robber Baron old money as George W.Bush. That star has shown.

She ain't stupid. She won't run.

You've still plemty of time.

Don't be in sucha hurry.

No fear.