Saturday, January 26, 2008


Poor little Golden Boy Barry and his pathetic followers are all offended and disturbed (well, hell, the fact they are supporting Obama at all shows they have some mental issues, but I digress...) at how Bill Clinton is, ahem, inserting himself into the campaign. They are all atwitter over the Big Dog's sharp, on-target, effective attacks on both the media and The Golden One.

Get a grip.

Bill Clinton is doing exactly what he should be doing, which is being the Big Dog and taking on all opponents. He gives his candidate cover from attacks, keeps the other side off balance and prevents them from getting out an effective message. This is exactly what is needed to win. Anyone who has a true political bone in their body knows this. This is what Obama and Edwards would have to do to win. This is what Kerry failed to do. He didn't win.

Clinton is the most effective campaigner on the left since, well, Kennedy. How do we know this? He wins. Over and over. This is good for our side. In the general, he will run just as hard as Hillary (if we could harness their energy, we could power the West Coast and have enough left over for DC) and all of his formidable talents will have a single target - the Republican nominee. You think he's being rough on Golden Boy Barry? Folks, he's just warming up.

The mystery here is why won't the elite netroots left acknowledge this incredible weapon we have against the movement conservatives? It is more than he's supporting someone other than their favorite candidate. The answer is that they hate him as passionately as does the Right. Why? The usual explanations of he's a triangulator, he's not liberal, he cheated on his wife (Oh, please, and you little bastards don't sleep around? Gimme a break.), he's a "corporatist", etc. don't hold water, because all the public issues can be applied to the other candidates and the fucking around one is probably true, too.

I wrote a post two years ago called "Bubba" in which I try to explain Bill Clinton's deep popularity with ordinary Americans. Here are the key paragraphs, though there is much more to the post:


You know, the biggest strike against Bill Clinton in the eyes of the left as well as the right is that he is southern white trash. This man, who can think circles around them and who has out-maneuvered, out-governed and out-charmed every politican of his era, they hate him as much as the right does, and for almost exactly the same reason. He makes them feel inadequate. He points out their own social and economic privileges, their own indulgent policy biases, and the ways in which they take so much of their success for granted....

He's a bubba.

A Rhodes scholar. A policy wonk to beat all other wonks. A well-read, well-traveled man. A workaholic. A sharp lawyer. A tireless advocate for social justice. An American success story who pulled himself out of poverty and obscurity by intelligence, ambition and hard work

Yeah, that's Bubba.

Ordinary Americans like Clinton a lot. His "Bubba" background makes him more appealing, less threatening. He's what they could have been if they had tried, and he is respectful of what they became, because he knows just how damn hard it is to try when you're down that far. This is the emotional connection that the netroots elitists either don't get or don't want to acknowledge. Why did Clinton succeed so well across the political spectrum.

Because he is Bubba.

This one fact offends the elite of the left (blogosphere, inner-sanctum, magazine publishers, etc.) no end, because, damn it, they have good ideas, too! They know what is best for all the Bubbas of the world. You know, the benighted sheeple who really don't understand what's good for them? The not-us who should know their place and stay there while we manage the world into a better place, eat sensible diets, and are culturally hip (or at least socio-economically powerful). The left elite is still angry at the compromises, the half-measures, the careful weighing of what was possible against what was likely, even when the flat-out success of this governance is shoved in their faces. Had Clinton governed the way the left elites wanted, he would have done as Bush is doing now - do as I say 'cuz I'm the Preznit.


It is exactly his "Bubba" features that offend the elite opinion makers and all the upper-crusty Obamabots who can afford to have their candidate fail.

In computer programming, we have a snotty saying, "Fast, cheap, good. Pick two," which indicates that there is a negative relationship between these three elements. You can't have good and cheap unless you can wait for someone to do it in their spare time, and so forth. Bill Clinton is someone who broke the rule of threes for politicians. He's a policy wonk, immensely popular, and utterly pragmatic. If someone is two of those things, they are supposed to fail on the third, but Big Dog just won't do it.

I wouldn't underestimate the degree to which the hatred the elite left feels is because Clinton is an unapologetically lower class Southern white man, and possesses "teh Elvis." Cruicially, he is someone who doesn't feel a need to "pass" as one of them. He just flashes that big grin and gets to work, whether it is crafting public policy or effective campaign strategy. He is the walking talking embodiment of where the nation is moving - away from racism, away from parochial nativism, away from interest group divisiveness, towards effective government, and towards a more egalitarian society. He is the face of the Democratic majority.




Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I think you've hit the nail on the head about Bill. For the vast majority of Americans, he's real, he's down-to-earth, he's not an elite (that's especially big), he knows how it feels to be down, and he genuinely cares about people. Most politicians seem to lose those qualities, if they ever had them, once they've been in Washington awhile. Bill hasn't. He's by no means perfect, as everyone on the planet knows, thanks to the republican propaganda machine we call the press. But his imperfection just adds to the charm.

It will be nice to have "trailer trash" in the White House again! :-)

Iago de Otto said...

Oh, I totally agree. If the effete elite on either (any?) side want someone/something perfect, why not just vote for God. And if God is a registered voter, I'd burn paper money in a bet Bubba would get the Heavenly Nod. The guy rocks. What's wrong with two intelligent people in the White House?

An excellent post, Anglachel, most true. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

oh. my. god. you nailed it. brilliant!!!