It may be almost 2016, but Ruth Marcus wants to go back to 1998…. (More)
“Ordinarily … But….”
Whenever someone uses the “Ordinarily … But….” construct, you’re about to see weaseling. It’s kinda like “I’m not sexist, but…” or “I’m not racist, but….”
And so it is with Ruth Marcus’ drivel today at the Washington Post:
Which leads to the next question: What is the relevance of Bill Clinton’s conduct for Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Ordinarily, I would argue that the sins of the husband should not be visited on the wife. What Bill Clinton did counts against him, not her, and I would include in that her decision to stick with him. What happens inside a marriage is the couple’s business, and no one else’s, even when both halves crave the presidency.
Well yes, that makes sense. Bill Clinton’s personal mistakes, made almost two decades ago, have zero relevance to Hillary Clinton’s presidential qualifications. Unless you’re part of the Beltway Media and you’ve been salivating for an excuse to drag out your old Bill’s BeeJay file. Which Marcus is, and apparently has been:
But Hillary Clinton has made two moves that lead me, gulp, to agree with Trump on the “fair game” front. She is (smartly) using her husband as a campaign surrogate, and simultaneously (correctly) calling Trump sexist.
These moves open a dangerous door. It should surprise no one that Trump has barged right through it.
Marcus goes out of her way to portray Bill Clinton as a serial sexual predator, and insists what he did is far worse than anything Trump has said. But “philanderer” and “predator” are not synonyms. Bill Clinton had at least one consensual affair. So have anywhere from 25-75% of married men, depending on which study you read. Ahh, but he had his affair at work. Yep, that’s where 60% of affairs begin. So either all of those men who have affairs with women at work are “predators” … or Marcus is playing fast and loose with the word “predator.”
I’m gonna go with that second option.
“Perhaps Marcus doesn’t find these ideas worrying”
Marcus, like all Villagers of her generation makes the assertion about Clinton’s alleged “predatory behavior” based upon disputed facts. The facts that are not in dispute are those in which it he confessed to a tawdry but consensual workplace affair while president. That’s not anything to be proud of, obviously, but it does not rise to the level of exterminationist, fascist demagoguery. Sorry.
And that’s what makes that statement so astonishing. Trump has said that he plans to torture and kill wives, girlfriends and children of people he thinks might be terrorists or “know something.. When asked if would bring back waterboarding he said “you bet your ass I will,” and “I’d do more than that because it works.” “And even if it doesn’t they deserve it for what they’ve done to us.”
He has also said he plans to round up and deport 12 million or so people, including American children, and has spoken approvingly of what the government did in the 1950s which is drop them in the middle of the Mexican desert so they cannot come back – at least until he builds a wall to keep everyone out.
Perhaps Marcus doesn’t find these ideas worrying. It appears millions of Americans think they’re great so she’s not alone. But I’d guess the rest of us find that just a little bit “worse” than Bill Clinton’s tawdry past.
Parton is right. Nothing Bill Clinton did rises to the level of the atrocities Donald Trump is proposing … unless you were a Beltway Blatherer back in the 90s and grooved on a smug sense of moral superiority over the ‘outsider’ in the White House. Which Marcus was, and did. Couple that with laziness – why research policy when you can recycle a twenty-year-old clip file? – and it’s hardly surprising that she and many other D.C. denizens can’t wait to rehash the 90s.
And many of them are working out excuses to do exactly that. That’s all Marcus’ column is. An announcement that, although it’s about to be 2016, she’s setting her calendar back to 1998.
Photo Credit: Washington Post
Good day and good nuts