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Friday, August 20, 2004

So why does the right-wing hate John Kerry so much? (addendum)

Fellow blogger Shaula hit me with a question about my previous post:
"How does Clinton-hate measure on your richter-scale?"
I think the level of "keep the good china packed in foam and keep the bookshelves solidly bolted to the walls" pretty much covers it.

It's embarassing to admit this, but I honestly hadn't even thought about Clinton when I was writing my post (and Shaula was quite right to question me about it, too...thank you, Shaula). I guess I was focusing on the time factor in addition to what I considered to be real, valid and understandable reasons for all that right-wing hatred. It's been over 40 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, roughly 30 years since Kerry spoke out against Vietnam, but less than 4 years (it seems like forever) since Clinton left office, and while I can understand some of the hatred levelled against the four I initially mentioned (even though trying to think like a right-winger gives me headaches...big ones), the level of hatred aimed at Bill Clinton to this day is, for me, nothing short of incomprehensible (I'm not ignoring Hillary here, but she's not a past, or even potential, President....yet. Right now she's probably at the right-wing-hate level accorded to, say, Helen Gahagan Douglas).

The sheer magnitude of the right-wing's hatred against Clinton as compared to the essential inconsequentiality (politically speaking) of his "offence" is staggering. There was, as far as I'm concerned, absolutely no valid political reason (other than, perhaps, paving the way for the "lying to Congress" accusation) for Ken Starr et al to hound Clinton the way they did, especially in matters which were more suited for consideration in divorce court than the chambers of the U.S. Congress (and I haven't even seen The Hunting of the President...yet). The right-wing frantically waved the blue dress amidst their hypocritical accusations and cries of "moral turpitude"...and they've been hiding behind that dress ever since.

[Does anybody on the right remember Newt Gingrich's divorce(s)? Or the $300,000 fine that Congress - by a 395-28 vote - imposed on him for "reckless disregard of House rules" and then lying to the House ethics committee about it? Anyone?].

For the short time that's elapsed since Clinton left office I can willingly grant him the title of "Democrat Most Hated by the Right", but over the long term? The right-wing-nut's hatreds of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Kerry (real and/or percieved) have a long and well-marinated history, so it's really too early (IMHO) to adequately judge Bill Clinton.

Give it...oh...about fifteen years and see how Clinton stacks up then. If the right-wing still hates him then as much as they do now (and for the same inconsequential reasons) he'll stay at the top of their hit list.

[Hopefully I'm not leaving anyone with the impression of being a smug, "we-don't have-your-problems-up-here" Canuck. We Canadians (and I include Shaula in this, as she appears to be a Canadian ex-pat) have our own cross-load of right-wing-nuts (like Randy "to heck with the courts" White) to bear...]