Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton


Dear Hillary...
You can count me as one of your biggest fans, and a huge supporter of your bid for the presidency. You've probably got some of the best, most highly paid political consultants planning your every move, but stop listening to them. I already don't like what I see. So I'm going to give you some valuable advice which I hope and strongly suggest you immediately follow.

For starters, knock off the folksy routine. You don't do folksy well. That's Bubba's territory. This includes talking in corny fake Southern drawls, laughing hysterically for no apparent reason, and stopping off at Chipotle as if a Burrito Bowl and you are best friends. And, for Pete's sake, you and Huma (Abedin) need to take the shades off indoors. You look like Thelma and Louise.

Just be yourself. You're smart, charming and highly accomplished. Besides being a brilliant lawyer, you've been a successful First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State. And (and please listen to this very closely), you're a woman. A woman. And it's time for a woman president. A president who will champion women's issues better than any man can. There's 161-million women in the United States, and 102-million of them voted in the last presidential election. See where I'm going here?

Listen to me, Hil. You can get a majority of these women to vote for you, and not just the libs. Oh sure, those red state ladies will appease their small-minded, misogynistic mates and pretend they'll be voting for Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio or some other 1950's-minded, red-blooded Republican male. But when that curtain closes, millions of them will jubilantly yank that lever for you. I promise you. But you have to follow my direction.

So here's the plan: talk about women's issues as much as Herman Cain mentioned "999." The right to choose. The right to top-paying jobs and equal pay. The right to marry another woman. The right to affordable health care. The right to better maternity and family leave. Protection from domestic violence and rape. Better education for children. Constitutional equality. Equality. Say it again: equality. The more you talk about women being equal, in every way, and the more the GOP Boys' Club pushes policies that continue to relegate women to second-class citizenry, the more of a cake-walk this will be for you.

I want you to hammer this theme home so hard that Rand Paul wishes he'd be locked in an NBC green room with Savannah Guthrie and Kelly Evans so he doesn't have to hear it anymore.

To be sure, you won't get the Michelle Bachmann-like crazies on your side. These Stepford Wives will still vote for whichever male candidate the party nominates. But one thing is certain: if given a choice between some rich old sexist white dude and a woman, many millions of moderate Republican and independent women will proudly and emotionally (and secretly) cast their votes for you.

You have a colossal advantage here. Don't try to be like everyone else. You're the only woman in the race. Pounce on that. Own it. It's time to make history again....

Monday, April 13, 2015

LaPierre's Hillary Rant: Since When is Being Cheated On a Character Flaw?

The National Rifle Association (NRA) held its annual leadership forum in Nashville Friday, giving executive vice president Wayne LaPierre an opportunity to feed his rapacious, gun-worshiping Hilary Clinton haters a tasty meal of venomous rhetoric aimed at the likely Democratic nominee for president. (Clinton officially announced her candidacy two days later on Sunday).

LaPierre warned that the former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State "will not bring a new dawn of promise and new opportunity” but rather "a permanent darkness of deceit and despair, forced upon the American people to endure.”

And in what is sure to become the right-wing rallying cry, to be echoed relentlessly between now and the 2016 election, the nation's chief gunslinger went on to list a litany of "gates" in which the Clintons have been involved:

“Whitewater-gate,’ ‘Cattle-gate,’ ‘Jenifer Flowers-gate,’ ‘Nanny-gate,’ ‘Lincoln bedroom-gate,’ ‘Travel-gate,’ ‘Trooper-gate,’ ‘File-gate,’ ‘Paula Jones-gate,’ ‘Vince Foster-gate’, ‘Helicopter-gate,’ ‘White House Coffee-gate,’ ‘Web Hubbell Hush Money-gate,’ ‘Pardon-gate,’ ‘Illegal Gift-Gate,’ ‘Monica-gate,’ ‘Benghazi-gate,’ ‘Email-gate,’ ‘Wiped Server-gate," LaPierre smugly barked. “Hillary Clinton has more ‘gates’ than a South Texas cattle ranch, and Americans know it.”

What's most contemptible in LaPierre's vitriolic rant is that it lists several of Bill Clinton's mistresses--Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky--as if his marital indiscretions are a negative reflection on Hillary's character; reasons why she's ill-equipped to be president. But since when is being cheated on a character flaw? What does Bill's philandering have to do with Hillary's ability to serve?

Most offensive in LaPierre's insensitive, ignorant diatribe is that in these instances Hillary Clinton was the victim. Since when do we ridicule and punish victims for the actions of those who violate them?  In LaPierre's bizarre "guns don't kill people" alternate universe, Hillary's victimhood is no less a target of his bullets--real or symbolic--than a helpless deer or a school full of children.

Following the tragic Sandy Hook school killings in December 2012 LaPierre said: “If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained – armed – good guy.” So why should we expect any more logic or rational, practical thinking from the guy who thinks the solution to our gun problem is to have Wild West-style shootouts in elementary schools?

To be sure, all's fair in politics, especially in what is sure to be a highly polarized, contentious race between Clinton and whatever ideologically backward candidate the Republican Party nominates. So if LaPierre wants to challenge Hillary Clinton's involvement in the Benghazi attack, her Senate record or her email decisions while during and after her term as Secretary of State, that's fair game. But attacking her for being the victim in a humiliatingly public marital crisis is incredibly misguided and an unconscionable disrespect not just to Hillary Clinton, but to women and victims everywhere.