Should Monica and the Blue Dress be Off Limits in ’08?

ImageObama advisor Gordon Fisher invoked the Lewinsky scandal and earned the wrath of many a Democrat, except me. Fisher was blogging about Bill Clinton insinuating that Barack Obama was not a patriot. “B. Clinton questions Obama’s patriotism. In repsonse, an Obama aide compared B. Clinton to Joe McCarthy. This is patently unfair. To McCarthy. When Joe McCarthy questioned others’ patriotism, McCarthy (1) actually believed, at least apparently, the questions were genuine, and (2) he did so in order to build up, not tear down, his own party, the GOP. Bill Clinton cannot possibly seriously believe Obama is not a patriot, and cannot possibly be said to be helping — instead he is hurting — his own party. B. Clinton should never be forgiven. Period. This is a stain on his legacy, much worse, much deeper, than the one on Monica’s blue dress.”

Besides the fact that Fisher needs to spell and grammar check before he posts, I see nothing wrong with what he wrote. He is right. Bill Clinton has been hurting his own party from the Monica scandal through today. The Clintons want everything bad in their legacy to be off limits during this campaign. If Hillary Clinton were, through some act of God, to be selected the nominee; you can bet everything the Republicans will bring up Monica all over again. In fact, this is their only way to beat the Democrats in November. A Clinton nomination would mean that the general election campaign wouldn’t be about the economy, Iraq, or healthcare. The Republicans would spend the entire fall reminding voters that Bill Clinton disgraced the presidency.

Hillary Clinton likes to talk about judgment on the campaign trail, but has anyone ever displayed worse judgment in the White House than the Clintons? Bill Clinton was a president who could have been great, if he only would have kept it in his pants. The Monica mess essentially gave the White House to George W. Bush in 2000. Bush got his centerpiece campaign issue because Bubba couldn’t keep it zipped. Democrats may like to pretend that the Lewinsky scandal is out of sight, out of mind, but it isn’t. It is what Bill Clinton’s presidency is most identified with in the minds of most Americans.

Gordon Fisher’s remark was crass, and unprofessional, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t true. The Republicans aren’t going to apologize and take those kinds of remarks back in the fall, so it is idiotic for the Clintons to expect anyone else to do so.

What we are seeing here is the same old double standard with the Clintons. Hillary likes to claim all of the positives of her husband’s administration, and cry foul when anyone brings up the negatives. In my opinion, Gordon Fisher made the right point, but he did it the wrong way.

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