By Any Means Necessary

Four of us were in a car headed for lunch: 0ne very conservative Republican, one Dem-leaning independent, and two pretty consistent Democrats–an Obama supporter and an undecided.

“I don’t want them back!”
“I’ll vote Republican before voting for HER.”
“How can I be friends with you if we fundamentally disagree on stuff like immigration.”
“Continually, and LOUDLY, distorting facts –even after the distortion is exposed– is swiftboating.”
“Who has executive experience?”
“Why is that important?”
“I’m voting in the Republican primary. I don’t want to make a decision on the Dems.”
“I don’t want them back!!!!”

I don’t get why some folks are so nostalgic for the “good ole days” of the Clinton administration. While in my opinion those eight years were better than Bush I or Bush II, I also think that having both legs amputated is better than dying. This doesn’t mean that I am excited by the “losing my legs” option.

Diana Ross sings on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during Call for Reunion Concert for the first Clinton InaguralI remember my exhilaration sitting on a blanket on the Mall; handing the then 16-month-old Cheerios on a pleasant January day; and oohing and ahhing when the F-16s flew over the Lincoln Memorial and Aretha and Diana sang on the steps for the First Clinton Inaugural Reunion. It was the first time I ever voted for a president who won. It was the first time since I had been in Washington that my side was in charge. It was a day of great hope. (oops, did I say “hope?”)

Monica and Bill in a grainy black and white photo taken in a White House office.I remember my disgust and discomfort when I had to tell the then 7-year-old that his President was in trouble for telling a big lie. I remember my anger with President Bill for dragging the country through his linguistic histrionics about “that woman” and his definition of the word “is.” And I felt, at that time, that no matter how much the opposition wrongly chased the Clintons, no matter how disgusting and irrelevant the never-ending Ken Starr investigation was, he and his wife made a fatal misstep with me by not taking any responsibility for their own actions. It was always someone else’s fault. They did what was right. It was a vast right-wing conspiracy causing the President to lie under oath. Or to quote Jake Blues, trying to talk his way out of being executed by a jilted lover, maybe it was “… an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD.”

Based on the past weeks of an increasingly uncontrollable attack-dog Bill, I am getting a bit spun up about who would be in charge and who would be leading the charge in (yet) another Clinton White House. And, I am saddened by the take no prisoners, by any means necessary approach of the Clinton campaign.

So Hillary, go ahead and get after your opponents on the issues–and experience is a legitimate issue. Make it clear how you stand for change and provide a contrast with the other candidates. Show that you care about what is important to “people like me”‘s all over the country.

But remember, when you take on the bad-guy tactics of swiftboating, when you distort facts, when you try and shift blame to the media or others, when your old man is out of control acting like an over-indulged child who feels entitled to his own Oompa Loompa, you may end up having softer support in the general election than you need– potentially grabbing a Democratic defeat from the Bush-43 engineered jaws of victory.

You’re likable enough, Hillary. But I am looking for a noble warrior. Fight fair and let the best candidate win.

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