It seems like the latest strategy coming from Republicans is to target Bill Clinton. Candidates, pundits, and journalists are ready to point out how Bill Clinton was the real monster who victimized women, that Hillary helped him, and therefore her attacks against Republicans and their “war on women” is hypocritical. It’s as if the party is unifying with a message to Hillary saying, “don’t go there.”
Perhaps a better reference would be to channel Star Wars. No, not the new one. I’m pulling out some Episode 4 Obi Wan action when I say it’s “as if millions of conservative voices suddenly cried out in righteous indignation, and were suddenly heading towards a bad strategy. I fear something terrible is starting to happen.”
There are two important points to make about this strategy. It’s a huge mistake and those who head down this road will regret it later. It’s easy to fall into this trap because the voters in the party, for the most part, will react positively to it. We all know that there’s hypocrisy happening within the Clinton campaign. We also know that Hillary’s threats to unleash Bill mean that he’s going to be a centerpiece of her campaigning, but they want us to attack him. They want us to channel our energies towards him. We have to avoid taking the bait. Here’s why:
The Proxy is Not The Target
It’s very clear that a Hillary Clinton White House will be influenced by Bill. However, he’s not the candidate. He’s intended to be the target for two reasons. First, everyone has made up their mind about him. You either hate him for what he did and who he is or you have accepted his actions and allowed them to exist in a distant past while appreciating what he accomplished. Obviously, this is easy to split along party lines, but it’s the Independents who everyone seems to be trying to sway when Bill Clinton shouldn’t be the issue for them.
The second reason is that attacks against Bill, even if Hillary is acknowledged as complicit, are still attacks against Bill. The more we attack Bill’s past, the more that the Hillary campaign will say, “they’re attacking her husband because they don’t want to face her directly.” This is hogwash, of course, but that’s the narrative that they’re intending to spin. The more we focus on Bill, the less we’ll focus on her own shortcomings.
There’s an ethical pull. We feel badly for the women that Bill and Hillary have hurt over the years and we want to see justice done by dragging up those incidents, attaching them to Hillary, and making them both pay. The problem is that the allegations as they pertain to Hillary have never stuck and will never stick. It will not prevent her from playing the “woman card” nor will counterattacks involving Bill have enough of a detrimental effect on her campaign to be truly noticed. It riles up the conservative base but does not influence the undecided voters.
Bill is Bill. Hillary is Hillary. We don’t want to attack Bill. Thankfully, there’s plenty to attack when it comes to Hillary…
Hillary is an Easy Target
The more we focus on Bill and Hillary’s past escapades that had nothing to do with their policies, the more we pull away from the one area we have an easy opportunity to win. Hillary Clinton is a terrible candidate and a weak politician. That should be our focus. Why do we need to attack the husband when the candidate herself is so vulnerable?
Attacking Bill is unnecessary and distracting. Let’s focus on her poor performances in politics. Let’s focus on her failures as Secretary of State when she had a national stage and blew it. Let’s bring up her penchant for political expediency. Let’s point out how weak she is on foreign policy when that should be her strong point. Let’s remind people that Benghazi happened on her watch, that she lied about the YouTube video, and that she doesn’t deserve to be Commander-in-Chief. Let’s point out that her email scandal was at the very least an extremely poor decision unworthy of anyone trying to be President and at worst a gross violation of protocol and national security.
I could go on for literally hours about Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings. So could you. Why, then, are we focusing on Bill’s sexual crimes from decades ago? Republicans have to stop acting like we need dirt to beat Hillary. We don’t. Stick to the substantive policy issues and let the tabloids worry about Bill’s deviancy.