clintons

“The Clintons” Campaign

Grab your smelling salts, everyone. There is no Hillary Clinton campaign. There is, however, a Clintons campaign. Plural. As far as the media is concerned, it’s Bill and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket this year.

I’ve wondered if this is deliberate language on the part of the pro-Clinton forces or the anti-Clinton forces, and I have come to the conclusion it’s both. The pro-Clinton forces (including Mr. and Mrs. Clinton) want to associate Hillary with good approval ratings, a pre-9/11 world, and a budget surplus. The anti-Clinton forces are also down with the pluralization. They think it associates Hillary with lying under oath, renting out the Lincoln bedroom, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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This strategy appears to be pretty darn effective for both parties, with Democrats fondly reminiscing about the swell Days of Bill, while Republicans fume over past hijinx. The problem is that Democrats and Republicans were going to fall in line anyway. They always do. It just cements their feelings.

Independents and undecideds are the only voters who really count. How does Hillary’s transformation into “the Clintons” impact their vote? This is less certain.

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What if we detach Hillary from Bill, to the extent possible? It seems to be the fairest way. Why should she be blamed for NAFTA and Monica Lewinsky? Why should she garner credit for the economy of the 1990s?

We should judge her based on her record in the Senate, and moreover as Secretary of State and co-founder of the Clinton Foundation, as these are her most recent roles. If Hillary is judged exclusively on her own words and actions, does that help her or hurt her?

Celebrity Endorsements Prove Clinton and Trump are Qualified Leaders

When secured, the endorsement of a celebrity, model, actor, or news anchor is trumpeted by a politician as a real qualification for office. It’s also an irrefutable argument.

You don’t think Trump’s background as a real estate mogul/reality tv star who has never held elected office can lead our great nation? Charlie Sheen and his tiger blood say think again.

charlie-sheen

 

Being censured by the FBI for endangering the nation and then lying about it repeatedly is suddenly supposed to be a reason Hillary Clinton can’t be trusted with the presidency? How about Star Jones has decided to overlook it?

Depending on your sense of self-worth, it’s possible a celebrity endorsement may sway your thinking and even your vote on any candidate or issue.

So, what who qualifies Trump and Clinton for office?

Busey endorsement winner

Busey endorsement winner

Let’s look to your right. Trump has accrued the endorsements of influential celebrities like Kirk Cameron, Gary Busey, and Tila Tequila. I can’t be the only person who relies on Gary Busey for thoughtful analysis.

But! Hillary Clinton has been identified as the candidate of choice by Zach Braff (who has played a doctor on TV so may be considered a healthcare expert) and Corey Feldman. Lest you speculate that Corey Haim might have backed Trump, let’s remember that Corey Feldman speaks for both Coreys, period.

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Interestingly, some conservative luminaries, such as P.J. O’Rourke, have decided to stand behind the Democratic party nominee.

In a statement so fresh it’s not yet been added to HillaryClinton.com, O’Rourke gave this glowing praise to the former Secretary of State: “I am endorsing Hillary, and all her lies and all her empty promises. It’s the second-worst thing that can happen to this country.”

Proud to be the second worst!

There are worse choices!

I’ll point out, as I trust he would want me to, that Trump apparently is O’Rourke’s top choice for the worst thing that could happen to the country.

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Independent Voters: Unicorns or Liars?

The rhetoric and hatefulness between Americans is frightening.

I blamed the media when I wrote about it day before yesterday. But I happened to see a post I wrote years ago raging at the political establishment (I spend a LOT of my time raging) and I was reminded that back then, I blamed us for the way we treat each other.

It’s a chicken or egg thing, isn’t it. Is the media a consequence of our bad behavior toward one another? Or is our hatefulness initiated and perpetuated by a media desperate to fill the eternal news cycle?

 

Originally posted as Package Deal Groupthink

Independents are the political equivalent of the easter bunny. People talk about our voting bloc as crucial, but they struggle to believe we really exist. A person who strongly identifies with the Republicans or Democrats can’t afford to go against their party on anything, or else they risk splitting the vote and allowing them to win. Therefore, it is impossible to be pro-gun control and anti-amnesty. So accustomed are they to refusing to consider an unendorsed view that they often don’t believe anyone else would, either.

This wholesale groupthink is very helpful to the political party operatives. Why does that work for them?

If you want legislation on an unpopular topic, get it in your party’s platform. As long as you can equate not supporting that topic with the horrible Other, people will fight viciously to attain or defend something they don’t even want. “Wait a minute! You don’t think we need to declare English as the national language? Why don’t you go over there with all the other America-hating elitists?”

It works in reverse, too. If you are in a minority that is against something, you can associate it with a prototype of the other party. “Really, you don’t think EPA regulations should be tightened. Because all that matters to you is profit. You don’t care if you create a food crisis with global warming.”

If this, then that.

The most obvious example of the parties telling the people what is permissible to think is abortion and capital punishment. Consider pro-life Republicans are adamantly pro-death penalty. Pro-choice Democrats are emphatically anti-death penalty. There is a lot of sanctimoniousness on both sides:

  • “I believe all life is sacred… unless it’s a horrible criminal who deserves death a thousand times over.”
  • “I believe all life is sacred… unless it’s still in its mother’s womb, because that is a fetus, not a person.”

Neither point of view offends me. But either life is sacred or it isn’t. If the parties had not ingrained this paradox in our minds, more pro-choice people would be pro-death penalty, and pro-life people would be more anti-death penalty. But when an Independent voices an opinion like that, partisans tend to say (and often really believe) that the Independents are dishonest and/or ashamed of their real beliefs.  Continue reading