WOULD IT HAVE BEEN ANY DIFFERENT?
Posted August 9, 2012on:
Many of us held out for as long as possible, hopeful that somehow her campaign to be the first woman president would overcome the hoopla that surrounded Barack Obama but alas, it was not to be. He had managed to capture enough “super delegates” along the way to ensure his lead at the finish line and we were left with a sour taste in our mouths.
But setting all that aside, I often wonder what difference there would have been in a Clinton administration knowing how much the Right viscerally hated both Hillary and Obama from the outset.
Hillary had shown her ability to stand up to the “big boys”, something that seemed to be lacking in Obama when push came to shove. But just for a moment let us consider that the opposition to Obama from the Right would have been as much of a certainty against a woman they had vilified for decades as well.
First of all, she is a woman, something the Right is unable to tolerate. She is also a Clinton, someone who has been accused of as much chicanery as her husband and called a “liar” by the late William Safire, a label that has dogged her with other right wing pundits. Suffice to say this label would have been repeatedly underscored during her term in office.
Hillary Clinton is a “practicing liberal”, something that Barack Obama failed to exhibit. But that in itself was not guarantee that her positions would not have been excoriated with even more accusations of “socialism” emanating from the side that views liberalism as a “disease”. Remember, this is the same woman who, along with her husband, had been accused of “murder” and “drug dealing”, charges that would surely have been used against her by the same “birther” adherents working without facts.
Having Bill Clinton as an “unpaid consultant” would also have generated the same wrath by the opposition no matter how much we supporters would have viewed this as “a good thing”.
It strikes me that even more references to the Lewinsky scandal would have been resurrected as a means of striking back and reminding the public, particularly those who were too young to remember, of a time when Bill Clinton faced impeachment. And who can forget those charges of “lesbianism” that led her poor husband astray. One could easily see that old chestnut rising from the ashes had she come out as POTUS and pushed to end DADT.
No argument that Hillary has shown “more balls” than Obama in the political arena. But the Right Wing would have been as dedicated to making her “a one termer” as they have with Obama. It’s what they do.
My guess is that they would have stood as firmly opposed as the “party of No” regardless of which Democrat sat in the WH, only shifting their charges to accommodate the person. What better way than to “dog” Bill at every event, looking for the “other woman” while Hillary manned the ship of state.
Though she has proven herself to be a qualified Secretary of State, earning applause across the world for her diplomatic skills, there is no guarantee that she would have met with the same respect on the home front in dealing with a congress that can’t seem to get out of its own way.
Though she may have a fatter resume, more qualified to lead than her challenger, be the smartest person in the room, I think it is safe to say that she would have met with the same intransience as the current WH occupant, exchanging hateful racism for rampant misogyny.
I would have loved to have seen Hillary Clinton as president: my argument is that I seriously suspect that she would have undergone the same stonewalling, the same half assed accusations, the same level of vitriol as Obama aside from our collective respect. That’s how the GOP operates.
It may be comforting to think that her presidency may have been different, that she would be able to overcome the hatred that seems to infect the political process that we have come to accept as a natural progression, but let’s not forget who we are dealing with here: the money men who can afford to buy and sell and will stoop as “low as it goes” for the opportunity to regain power and if that means “gutting” the opposition with a tower of lies, smears, and innuendos they are more than willing to do so.
And as much as we love and admire Hillary Clinton, she would not have been immune. They would have worked as eagerly to destroy her as they have with any Democratic opponent that stands in their way.
The respect we may harbor for Hillary Clinton is not universal in a nation that prefers to “demonize” those who stand up for the average person. She would not have escaped the outpouring of hatred that we have witnessed over the last 2 decades considered political discourse.
Would it have been any different had Hillary been president? Hard to say. Though few of us spend much time here “defending” Obama my gut feeling is that we would be spending an enormous amount of time doing just that for Hillary, defending her against the Right Wing charges of idiotic conspiracy theories, smear campaigns, whispered innuendos, and personal attacks.
This is the GOP after all. It’s the way they roll.
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