Republicans have no ideas, and no interest in governing America in the best interests of the country. Republicans care about only two things: amassing power and transferring even more wealth to the obscenely wealthy, preferably by blasting huge holes in what's left of the social safety net and torching what's left of the social contract. Of course, they can't say that and expect to win presidential elections. So their plan in 2016 is to turn Hillary Clinton into the Antichrist, even though they've been doing that almost unceasingly for more than twenty years, and there's not much more they can say. They know that raking old muck will subject them to criticism even from a Hillary-averse mainstream press. So GOP apparatchik Byron York is hoping to persuade the press that dredging up old scandals and pseudo-scandals is an exercise in civic education rather than a desperate act of mudslinging by a party that can't hope to win the presidency any other way:
There's a debate going on about Hillary Clinton's past. If she runs for president in 2016, should Republicans reach back to the scandals of her years as First Lady? Or should they focus on more recent times, especially her tenure as Secretary of State, to build a case against her?Yippee! She'll be the subject of multiple negative campaigns!
The GOP doesn't have to choose. Of course Clinton's recent experiences are relevant to a presidential run. But so are her actions in the 90s, the 80s and even the 70s.
... there will be millions of young voters in 2016 who know little about the Clinton White House. Americans who had not even been born when Bill Clinton first took the oath of office in 1993 will be eligible to vote two years from now. They need to know that Hillary Clinton has been more than Secretary of State.We're doing it for the children!
Those voters need to know, for starters, that Mrs. Clinton once displayed incredible investment skills. In 1978 and 1979, when her husband was attorney general and then governor of Arkansas, she enlisted the help of a well-connected crony to invest $1,000 in the highly volatile and risky cattle futures market. Several months later, she walked away with $100,000 -- a 10,000-percent profit....Notice that York doesn't say that the opportunity to sling all this ancient mud is one of the reasons we have campaigns. About mudslinging, York says categorically, "that's what campaigns are for."
New voters also need to learn about Mrs. Clinton's checkered history as a lawyer and the game of hide-and-seek she played with federal prosecutors who subpoenaed her old billing records as part of the Whitewater investigation....
New voters also need to learn about Mrs. Clinton's purge of the White House travel office....
Finally, there is the Lewinsky scandal.
... a focus on Mrs. Clinton's past ... will help define Mrs. Clinton for millions of voters who weren't around or weren't paying attention in the 1990s. They need to know. And that's what campaigns are for.
For Republicans, especially in presidential years, that's true. They're not out to sell appealing ideas, because they have none. They're out to stir up old resentments, because that's all they've got.