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Rand Paul: Bill Clinton’s Lewinsky Affair Relevant To 2016 Election

Clinton Lewinsky

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who looks for all the world like he’s preparing for a run at the Republican nomination for President in 2016, apparently thinks that a 15 year old scandal that ended up harming the GOP more than anyone else is somehow relevant to the 2016 race for President:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested Sunday that the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal should give Americans pause when it comes to evaluating the Clinton legacy — and, by extension, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s potential presidential campaign.

(…)

“One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office,” Paul said. “And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this. He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that, and it is predatory behavior.”

Paul said the episode undercuts Democrats’ allegations of a GOP “war on women” and should color people’s perceptions of the Clintons. He added that “sometimes it’s hard to separate” Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“And then they have the gall to stand up and say Republicans are having a war on women?” Paul said rhetorically. “So yes, I think it’s a factor. It’s not Hillary’s fault, but it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton and history.”

Here’s the video:

Paul’s comments here strike me as being particularly obtuse. For one thing, what Bill Clinton did in the mid-90s, and the political and indeed Constitutional crisis that followed doesn’t really tell us much of anything about the person who will be on the ballot if she runs, Hillary Clinton. Indeed, if anything the entire Lewinsky affair remains something out of which Hillary emerged as a sympathetic character. Bringing the episode up again during the course of the 2016 election doesn’t strike me as something that’s going to accomplish anything at all beneficial for the Republican Party.

Some on the right seem to see the whole history of the Lewinsky story as some kind of counter argument to the idea of a GOP “War On Women,” because it points out that Bill Clinton was engaged in predatory conduct toward women while he was President. Even accepting the truth of that last statement, though, I don’t see how that helps the GOP in convincing female voters in particular that the party is listening to them. In fact, attempting to attack Hillary by bringing up the fact that her husband was unfaithful in their marriage strikes me as something that is just as likely to reinforce the “War On Women” meme as anything else. What else can you call it when they start attacking a wife for the fact that her husband cheated on her? Such rhetoric is likely to help Paul among conservative voters but it seems unlikely to resonate very well among voters as a whole, and certainly not among the female voters that it was supposedly aimed at.

Paul’s comments tell us one thing beyond the whole “War On Women” meme, though, and that is how the GOP would react to a Hillary Clinton candidacy and possible Presidency. Clearly, we’d be looking at a resumption of the same Clinton-era partisanship and conspiracy theories that we saw from 1993 all the way through the end of Clinton’s Presidency. Not only will we start hearing about the Lewinsky scandal again, but there will likely be a return to everything from Whitewater to the suicide of Vince Foster (including the rumors that Hillary was having an affair with Foster). Someone will likely raise the old issues regarding Hillary and her success in the futures markets while he husband was Governor of Arkansas. Others will likely bring up whatever precise controversy it was that led people to be so interested in Hillary’s billing records from the time she worked at the Rose Law Firm. Added into that, obviously, will be issues like Benghazi and the general conservative argument that Hillary Clinton didn’t accomplish anything of note either as a Senator or as Secretary of State. In other words, it will be a replay of everything we saw during the time that Bill Clinton was President. Given the fact that former President Clinton emerged from all of that with fairly high poll numbers, and that he remains one of the most popular of the living former Presidents, I’m not exactly sure why Republicans think this will work.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Does Rand know that Hillary did not have sex with that woman?

    I hope that Republicans continue to obsess about Benghazi, and as Rand suggests, on the Lewinsky affaire. This will serve to motivate Democrats to get out and vote (it doesn’t matter with Republicans, they’re already motivated by their intense hatred of Hillary Clinton.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Doug, welcome back.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  3. Mikey says:

    Whether it’s relevant or not is irrelevant–anything like this is fair game, and it will be up to the voters to decide whether to consider any of it in their voting decisions.

    I think it is a big mistake for the GOP to dredge up so much very old news, but desperation often breeds some very poor decision-making.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  4. Rick Almeida says:

    Given the fact that former President Clinton emerged from all of that with fairly high poll numbers, and that he remains one of the most popular of the living former Presidents, I’m not exactly sure why Republicans think this will work.

    I think we both know that they generally, and Sen. Paul specifically, have literally nothing else.

    What’s Paul going to campaign on? “I hate the government so much that my family has turned it into a multi-generational enterprise”?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 3

  5. matt bernius says:

    Given how in recent years Republicans have been returning to the 80’s and Reagan in order to formulate their strategies, the decision to jump into the 90’s seems to me to be a positive sign. At this rate they should be caught up with the rest of the country before the middle of this century.*

    * – For the record, this was an attempt a “humor” and not intended to be parsed with a fine toothed comb.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  6. gVOR08 says:

    I see you’re unfamiliar with the Chappaquiddick defense. Beginning in 1969, whatever any Republican had done, the immediate counterargument was “Chappaquiddick”. One Democrat has once done something really bad, therefore Democrats were morally worse than Republicans and whatever the current subject was didn’t matter. That lasted at least into the late 80s, but eventually got old even for Republicans. “Lewinsky” will be the current version of the Chappaquiddick defense. Sure Republicans want women to keep their biscuits in the oven and their buns in the bed, but LEWINSKY!!!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  7. Tillman says:

    Some on the right seem to see the whole history of the Lewinsky story as some kind of counter argument to the idea of a GOP “War On Women,” because it points out that Bill Clinton was engaged in predatory conduct toward women while he was President.

    Well, we know JFK and FDR both had mistresses, why don’t they bring those up?

    If they say those are too old, well, they’ve refuted their own argument really.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. Mr. Replica says:

    If what Monica did willingly is an affront to women and feeds the War on Women meme, then obviously Rand’s willingness to wear such a horrible hair piece is an affront to women as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  9. The chief problem with raising these ghosts is that it is only going to energize non-Republicans who were introduced to politics by Obama and have no memory of Monica Lewinsky. Those who do remember compare (barely) sex to torture, lies into two wars, and killing hundreds of thousands of people, all while plundering the U.S. treasury.

    Republicans will only be speaking to their typical dwindling audience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  10. CSK says:

    It’s good to see you writing again, Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  11. stonetools says:

    Welcome back, Doug.
    We should stop trying to analyze Republican arguments on the level of reason. I’ve decided that this is besides the point. Republicans have simply given up on rational arguments. ALL Republican arguments are appeals, not to reason, but to emotion. The question is, Will they work at that level?
    Before Bush and Obama derangement, there was Clinton derangement-a visceral hatred by conservatives for all things Clinton that had little to do with Clinton policies, which were mostly centrist. Rand Paul’s statement was a dog whistle saying, ” Let the Clinton hate resume, and I’m all in favor of it.” On that level, I think it’s likely to work, even though, rationally, it’s nonsense.
    Stuff like this is why I’m reluctant to get on the Clinton bandwagon, since I’d prefer not to rehash the 90s in a 2016 Presidential campaign. But then, ANY Democratic presidential candidate is going to face this kind of irrational attack, so…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  12. Gustopher says:

    Clearly, we’d be looking at a resumption of the same Clinton-era partisanship and conspiracy theories that we saw from 1993 all the way through the end of Clinton’s Presidency.

    Gosh, we wouldn’t want that. It would destroy the comity and bipartisanship that we all currently enjoy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  13. Ron Beasley says:

    I’ll second the welcome back Doug.
    Rand Paul never struck me as the sharpest knife in the kitchen and this latest Lewinsky rant simply reinforces that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  14. grumpy realist says:

    Welcome back, Doug.

    Rand Paul vs. Hillary Clinton? There ain’t enough popcorn in the world for that.

    I missed a lot of the Lewinsky bruhaha because was living in Japan at the time. Did get to see the international reaction:

    The French: “He has a mistress? Et alors?”

    The South Americans: “He has only one mistress? What’s wrong with the man?!”

    The Japanese: “But what will this do to Teh Economy?!!”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  15. Gustopher says:

    I’m not sure it really helps counteract the War On Women to say that Lewinsky was “preyed upon” when she pretty clearly was a very willing participant.

    Didn’t we learn about this entire affair because she was bragging about it to her coworker?

    The notion that she was a victim of Clinton’s Predatory Clenis would require that she is just a foolish girl who cannot make decisions for herself over her sex life. That seems to reinforce the premise of the War On Women, rather than undercut it.

    Granted, blowing the President may have been a bad decision, and telling her coworker clearly was… At some point she may have been been best served by have keeping her mouth shut. But, people — even women! — should be able to make their own bad decisions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools: I know nothing about linguistics, which hasn’t prevented me from having a theory about it, which supports your point. (Unlike AGW deniers, I’ll defer to anyone who shows up with actual expertise.) I think people load up words with a lot of associations including a lot of emotional baggage. They then make connections, not logical connections between the things and concepts the words represent, but connections between the baggage they’ve loaded onto the words.

    This is the only way I can explain things like, ‘Tax cuts reduce the deficit.’ I think it really is as simple as ‘Tax cut good. Deficit reduction good. Tax cut same as deficit reduction.’ An emotional version of – two things equal to a third thing are equal to each other.

    I see this as part of motivated reasoning. Chris Mooney in The Republican Brain said liberals are as prone as conservatives to motivated reasoning, but liberals are more likely to get past it. Maybe this is the same, or maybe it’s just that conservatives are better at messaging to this sort of thing. But it does seem to be more of a conservative thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. bill says:

    welcome back Doug! anyhow, this is a usable angle as there’s a direct relationship to hillary and her out of control husband- in theory there’s not much but to the dumb voters who subsist on headlines vs. actual facts this is viable. hillary’s initial platform seems to be the dreaded “war on women” and “voter suppression”, not anything she’s done or will/can do to make the country great again. she appears to rely on the “i’m a victim of a philandering husband” – if she was such a good wife then maybe he wouldn’t be banging anything he can?!
    side note- no mention of the wendy davis meltdown in the national news- weird?!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 34

  18. Moosebreath says:

    Welcome back, Doug.

    @stonetools:

    “Stuff like this is why I’m reluctant to get on the Clinton bandwagon, since I’d prefer not to rehash the 90s in a 2016 Presidential campaign. But then, ANY Democratic presidential candidate is going to face this kind of irrational attack, so…”

    This. You know how little Republican campaigns are about issues when you see this. It’s only slightly better than the ad which was already in the can if John Edwards had received the nomination in 2008 which showed him getting primped for a public appearance while “I Feel Pretty” was dubbed in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Woody says:

    First of all, welcome back, Mr Mataconis.

    As to this:

    I’m not exactly sure why Republicans think this will work.

    it’s a fairly shrewd (if inevitable) maneuver. The traditional media has an enormous amount of footage available at no cost already in hand. Thus, an inexpensive way to fill time for the news nets. Furthermore, a significant number of traditional media professionals, from columnists/commentators to media execs, have a personal tie to this scandal – remember so many of them were appalled/gleeful throughout the Clinton years.

    Finally, the conservative media knows its audience! They are diligent when it comes to reminding their viewers why they joined the conservative movement in the first place – Red Scare/heroism of McCarthy, Great Society, hippies, smearing of Nixon, Roe, Jimmy Carter, appeal of Reagan and so forth. We always carry a torch for our first love, no?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  20. RockThisTown says:

    For one thing, what Bill Clinton did in the mid-90s, and the political and indeed Constitutional crisis that followed doesn’t really tell us much of anything about the person who will be on the ballot if she runs, Hillary Clinton.

    OMG, this is so not true – it speaks volumes about Hillary! I don’t blame her for ‘standing by her man’ as there are plenty of wives who stay with unfaithful husbands – some do so for financial reasons, some for children & some for love. But Hillary’s reason(s) for staying with Bill are far from that of a forgiving wife – she stayed with Bill to acquire power & nothing else. She knows Bill is her ticket to the WH – does anyone anywhere believe Hillary would have a shot at the Presidency if she had divorced him?n And I agree Paul should lay off due to Bill’s infidelity.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 18

  21. stonetools says:

    @gVOR08:

    Bill’s post below yours perfectly illustrates your (and my ) point. In Bill’s mind, there is a free association between Bill Clinton’s philandering and a bunch of things he doesn’t like-liberalism, feminism, uppity women who don’t focus on “taking care of” their men, Hillary Clinton. Therefore the Monica Lewinsky affair somehow becomes an argument against Hillary Clinton becoming President in 2016. There is no logic to it whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean it won’t drive a lot of anti-Clinton voters to the polls in 2016.
    Frankly, I’m not sure how to defuse this, since pointing out that this kind of “argument” is nonsense isn’t likely to deter these voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @Woody:

    Bingo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @bill:

    side note- no mention of the wendy davis meltdown in the national news- weird?!

    Really?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. C. Clavin says:

    Nice to see your by-line again…welcome back.

    Jon Walsh put it best I think…Rand Paul is what happens when stupid goes unchallenged.
    I don’t think anything more needs to be said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @stonetools:

    Frankly, I’m not sure how to defuse this, since pointing out that this kind of “argument” is nonsense isn’t likely to deter these voters.

    Above @gVOR08: I mentioned Mooney’s The Republican Brain. He talked a lot about motivated reasoning and how when challenged, people just dig in deeper. I read the book trying to see how to reach conservatives with facts and reason. Mooney’s conclusion, sadly, was that you can’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. Franklin says:

    “One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office,” Paul said.

    I assumed that as a hardcore libertarian, Paul presumably wouldn’t extend this thought process to, say, governmental interference like sexual harassment laws. Surprisingly, though, he’s not a hypocrite on this issue, joining Democrats to sponsor one law about removing the military chain of command from investigating sexual harassment claims. So he’s got that going for him.

    While I’m not quite ready to jump on the bandwagon and call Bill’s behavior ‘predatory’, it was at the very least ‘wrong’. But what this has to do with a potential Hillary presidency, I’m still unclear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. ernieyball says:

    @bill: no mention of the wendy davis meltdown in the national news- weird

    Washington Times…Christian Science Monitor…Fox News…NPR…

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2014/0125/Liberal-hero-Wendy-Davis-under-fire-for-her-selective-biography-video

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/22/wendy-davis-digs-heels-damn-right-its-true-story/

    Try this W E N D E Y D A V I S click search.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @RockThisTown:

    But Hillary’s reason(s) for staying with Bill are far from that of a forgiving wife – she stayed with Bill to acquire power & nothing else.

    Really?
    She told you that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  29. ernieyball says:

    @ernieyball: Damn! Quick Draw beat me to it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. bill says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: that was the initial report (that didn’t get much attention either). since then it appears she basically gave up her child so she could have fun at college and didn’t try to keep custody after the divorce from jeff davis- bear in mind that jeff davis was not the child’s father to begin with. since then her campaign folks have been caught on film ridiculing greg abbot for being in a wheelchair…..no mention in the msm. her campaign motto is “stand with wendy”, pretty crude considering her opponent can’t- although it probably has more to do with her standing during the filibuster which got her all that fame.
    this was part of my original point about dumb voters who search for magical headlines to determine who they vote for. she was a media darling when she pulled her filibuster (in her dainty little nikes…) and got all sorts of attention for it- now there’s an eerie silence about her since she’s been exposed as a “poser”, and probably worse.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 19

  31. grumpy realist says:

    @RockThisTown: And you know this about Hillary Clinton because….?

    Another mansplainer, all across the board.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    side note- no mention of the wendy davis meltdown in the national news- weird?!

    Maybe in your area the media ignores the national news, or embargoes it – but out here in the Bay Area, Wendy’s “meltdown” has been reported.

    For the record: Wendy in “meltdown” mode is preferable to Rick Perry, Steve Stockman, Louie Gohmert or Ted Cruz in “normal” mode.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  33. ernieyball says:

    @bill: (that didn’t get much attention either)

    Read: “Didn’t say what I wanted to hear.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  34. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: i use yahoo as my homepage- saw only the first “Dallas Morning News” report- nothing since. of course drudge picked it up afterwards!

    @ernieyball: see above. the story after the story is what i’m talking about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  35. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:

    she basically gave up her child so she could have fun at college

    um…in short…no.
    if your opinions are based on bull$hit…then your opinions are bull$hit.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  36. stonetools says:

    The attacks on Hillary Clinton are of a piece with the attacks on Wendy Davis. They really amount to :
    These uppity b!tches don’t need to have any ambitions for running for office. What they really need to do is to stay home and practice their man-pleasing skills.”
    BTW, Bill, here is the “wronged man” Mr. Davis, himself, defending his ex-wife:

    Dallas (CNN) – Wendy Davis’ second ex-husband, Jeff Davis, says he doesn’t want to talk any more about his ex-wife, adding he wasn’t pleased with the explosive debate that originated from his recent comments about the Texas gubernatorial candidate.

    “Despite our differences, Wendy would make a very capable governor,” he said Tuesday in an email response, in which he declined a request for an on-camera interview with CNN.

    “Certain comments seem to always be taken out of context and the firestorm of Facebook/hashtag stuff is not useful for forming opinions,” he added

    This should put an end to the debate about Wendy Davis’ second marriage, but of course it won’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  37. Gavrilo says:

    What Bill and Hillary Clinton were doing as President and First Lady of the United States during the 1990’s = totally irrelevant.

    What Mitt Romney was doing as a high school student in the 1960’s = a critical insight into the man’s character.

    Got it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

  38. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    So you are saying that Bill Clinton’s actions are an insight into Hillary Clinton’s character?
    Got it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  39. ernieyball says:

    @bill: no mention of the wendy davis meltdown in the national news-

    story after the story is what i’m talking about.

    Yes. Of Course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. Jr says:

    Yeah, they are toast.

    If the best thing you can use against her is her husband’s affair from over 10 years ago, that the majority of the country then and now thought was a witch hunt, then chances are you are not in very good shape for 2016.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Such rhetoric is likely to help Paul among conservative voters but it seems unlikely to resonate very well among voters as a whole, and certainly not among the female voters that it was supposedly aimed at.

    I think I see what is wrong with conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  42. An Interested Party says:

    Whether it’s relevant or not is irrelevant–anything like this is fair game, and it will be up to the voters to decide whether to consider any of it in their voting decisions.

    Indeed, much like Rand Paul’s plagiarism and his and his father’s ties to racists…

    …if she was such a good wife then maybe he wouldn’t be banging anything he can?!

    That’s just lovely…it really isn’t a mystery why Republicans/conservatives have such trouble with women…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A couple things:

    #1) I say if Rand Paul wants to bring up the whole Monica mess and tie it to Hillary, than by all means, go for it. Meanwhile Dems should bring up his father’s racist newsletter and ask “Did the apple fall far from the tree?” Then cut to Rands statement of opposition to the Civil Rights Act.

    #2) If he wants to talk about what she did as Senator and SoS, go for it. Then she will talk about what Rand has done the last 6 years.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My bad, talking about Rand’s accomplishments would be 30 seconds of silence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  45. Pinky says:

    Paul’s comments tell us one thing beyond the whole “War On Women” meme, though, and that is how the GOP would react to a Hillary Clinton candidacy and possible Presidency….

    Wow, Doug, you got all that from one statement by one of the possible candidates three years before the election? What does it tell you about the Republicans’ reaction to her second-term cabinet appointments in 2021?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  46. Jack says:

    I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinski. I did however pay for her dry cleaning. – Bill Clinton

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  47. sam says:

    “I’m not exactly sure why Republicans think this will work”

    The Stupid Party and all that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  48. wr says:

    @Jack: Been waiting 20 years to drag that one out again, or did you only just come up with it two decades after it had any relevance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  49. An Interested Party says:

    Wow, Doug, you got all that from one statement by one of the possible candidates three years before the election?

    It isn’t exactly rocket science, you know…of course if Hillary runs and especially if she wins the GOP will dredge up everything possible from the 90s…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. ernieyball says:

    @Jack: That’s right Jack. And he was successfully impeached for it. The Republican controlled United States Senate voted him
    Not Guilty on Feb.12, 1999.
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=106&session=1&vote=00017

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  51. ernieyball says:

    @Pinky:..you got all that from one statement by one of the possible candidates..

    Why everyone knows that Rand was just making a joke! He didn’t really mean it!
    Here’s another side splitter from Punchinello Paul!

    “I never, ever cheated [in medical school]. I don’t condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.”
    Jill Lawrence (17 October 2013), “The Truthiness of Rand Paul”, National Journal, retrieved on 2013-10-21

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  52. Jack says:

    @wr: Arguing with you is like playing basketball with a retard and calling him for double dribbling.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 18

  53. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    When you follow up a joke that was bad 20 years ago…with a slur against the developmentally challenged…then it becomes clear that you are in fact the idiot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  54. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: so dumping her child with her ex-husband is not a character flaw to you? bear in mind that he wasn’t the child’s father to begin with, that does matter to some people. what kind of mother would do that? i mean, aside from her?

    @stonetools: this has nothing to do with her ambition- she abandoned her child. i don’t know anything about her “man pleasing” abilities and don’t really care for them- my gf works 2 jobs to take care of her family (after she tossed her deadbeat husband out of the house)- and she took care of his child from a previous relationship , he never communicated with the family after that let alone provided any support. oh, she’s black too. spare me the rhetoric.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  55. Pinky says:

    @ernieyball: Ernie, I can walk you through this again. When people say things facetiously in order to get laughs, they’re joking, even if you believe them. When people make political commentary about how they observe reality, they’re being serious, even if you disagree with them. You can look for context, or audience reaction, if you’re still having trouble.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  56. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    She didn’t “dump” her kids.
    If you have to make $hit up to support your argument…then your argument is made up $hit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  57. C. Clavin says:

    It’s pretty clear from the right wing nut jobs here that the mistake both Hillary and Wendy Davis make is that they just don’t know their place.
    Which pretty much confirms what everyone that isn’t a Republican thinks about Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  58. wr says:

    @Jack: Sorry, Jack, have we met before? I don’t recall seeing your screen name. Do you usually post here under a different one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  59. ernieyball says:

    I fail to see the humor of threatening to hold citizens at gunpoint to force them to agree with you no matter what the context or how many god believers laugh at the idea…but that’s just me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: Why do you say that she “dumped” her child with her husband?

    Is not her husband the child’s father? Shouldn’t he be taking care of his daughter?

    Unless you scream equivalently loudly when male law students leave the task of raising their children to their wives, this is a totally sexist nothingburger. It is taken for granted that students going through law school spend a lot of their time studying and attending class. If they are parents, the job of raising the child regularly gets shoved off on the non-law-student parent. Traditionally, the person who has done the “dumping” has been male, and the person raising the child has been female. I don’t remember anyone EVER in any political campaign squawking about this state of things–as long as the law student was male.

    So now the person moving the responsibility to the opposite parent is female and you’ve suddenly got your panties in a twist about it?

    Goose, gander.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  61. Kari Q says:

    Clearly, we’d be looking at a resumption of the same Clinton-era partisanship and conspiracy theories that we saw from 1993 all the way through the end of Clinton’s Presidency.

    Indeed. One of the reasons I voted for Obama in the primary is that I was tired of the Clinton conspiracy theories and wanted to see some new ones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  62. Ben Wolf says:

    My vote has always been determined by Bill Clinton’s penis. Where it goes, I follow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  63. ernieyball says:

    @Ben Wolf: Don’t forget to take along a State Troopers Rain Hat!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. stonetools says:

    @bill:

    @stonetools: this has nothing to do with her ambition- she abandoned her child.

    ER, no. The “child” in question was 23 at the time of the finalization of the divorce. The husband was awarded custody and she paid child support for the other (17 year old) child that she had with Mr. Davis. The whole “golddigger/child adandoned” meme is ridiculous and has already been thoroughly debunked, so you ‘re late to the party.
    Hell even Fox News and and a Texas GOPer are defending her against the right wing smears you are repeating.

    Becky Haskins, a Republican who served with Wendy Davis on the Fort Worth City Council, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday that Davis was a hard worker who did what she needed to do for her daughters.

    “If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up,” Haskins told the Star-Telegram. “It’s so sad. Every time I ran, somebody said I needed to be home with my kids. Nobody ever talks about men being responsible parents.”

    “They wouldn’t be talking about Wendy if she weren’t a threat,” Haskins added

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  65. Pinky says:

    @ernieyball: It’s not just you. It’s anyone crippled by ideology. When our President makes a joke about liking the Washington of “House of Cards”, I know he’s joking. Some people don’t, because they’re messed up. Or it could be more like hearing something in a foreign language. You don’t get a joke if you’re mentally translating it. When ideologues listen to someone on the other side, they’re hearing another language. Some things will sound funny that are serious, or sound serious that are funny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  66. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: Actually, it looks like the youngest was 14.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  67. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    What Bill and Hillary Clinton were doing as President and First Lady of the United States during the 1990′s = totally irrelevant.

    I can’t speak for Bill, but what Hillary did to Vince Foster is certainly relevant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  68. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    @wr: Arguing with you is like playing basketball with a retard and calling him for double dribbling.

    Stay classy my friend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  69. ernieyball says:

    @Pinky: It’s anyone crippled by ideology.

    Please. Tell me everything you know about my ideology.
    ——

    …and all Americans would be forced — forced at gunpoint no less — to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it. I wish it’d happen. Mike Huckabee

    To translate this statement into a joke is the function of a crippled mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kari Q: Mission Accomplished.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pinky: I’m afraid I have to agree with Ernie here. While I generally lean in to the “C’mon folks, it’s a joke!” crowd. I have to say that people making jokes about guns in this day and age is not funny. That’s Dems or Reps. Especially politicians. I stopped thinking ‘drunk driver’ jokes were funny when one of my best friends was killed by one. If I was a Newtown parent, I’d be ready to kill some one myself. As is, I’m not laughing anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  72. Pinky says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Didn’t say it was funny – said it was a joke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  73. Kylopod says:

    Some on the right seem to see the whole history of the Lewinsky story as some kind of counter argument to the idea of a GOP “War On Women,” because it points out that Bill Clinton was engaged in predatory conduct toward women while he was President.

    Apart from the fact that Clinton’s involvement with Lewinsky wasn’t an example of “predatory conduct toward women,” or that these commentators are confusing public policy (which is what the War on Women is about) with personal behavior, what this argument reveals is a caricatured understanding of what liberals believe.

    In a way it reminds me of a discussion from a few weeks ago when a conservative here, after describing a dream of Mohammed’s that allegedly outlined Jesus’s physical features, asserted sardonically, “Still waiting for the brave liberal soul to label Mohammed and his dream as racist.” What was striking was this commenter’s assumption that liberals have some kind of taboo against criticizing Mohammed. Why would he think that? He hears liberals standing up for the rights of Muslims with respect to such matters as profiling and the Cordoba Initiative, and he draws the conclusion that this makes liberals into apologists for Islam. This is just one Internet commenter, but based on what I have seen,it is a common mindset on the right.

    A similar thing is going on here. Liberals stood by Clinton on the grounds that his personal life is nobody’s business, but in the right-wing mind it meant that liberals approve of adultery. In both cases many conservatives showed great difficulty grasping the distinction between legal rights and personal behavior or beliefs. Just because liberals defend the rights of Muslims to practice their religion doesn’t mean they automatically agree with all the teachings of Islam. And just because they felt Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky (and even his lying about it under oath) didn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense, doesn’t mean they think what he did was good. Far from it.

    The issues raised by the “war on women” idea concern the beliefs and attitudes that conservatives espouse, not the personal behavior of every Republican politician–though, if Paul wishes to go in the latter direction, then it’s curious he hasn’t applied equal scrutiny to Newt Gingrich or Mark Sanford or Herman Cain or any of the numerous other Republicans caught with their pants down. In any case, the issue isn’t that one party says Adultery is Good and the other disagrees, the issue is that only one has pols who talk about legitimate rape and transvaginal probes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  74. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    Didn’t say it was funny – said it was a joke.

    There is a word for stupidity masquerading as comedy – drivel. Guess you have nothing better to do then defend it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  75. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: her first child was from her previous marriage. she gave both her kids up during the 2nd divorce. read something sometime for a change.

    @grumpy realist: see above, what kind of mom does that anyway, aside from a bad one? it’s not like she was destitute, au contrair – was doing quite well after getting her 2nd hubbie to pay for her college! “gold digger” is the word i was looking for, yup!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  76. ernieyball says:

    @Pinky: Didn’t say it was funny – said it was a joke.

    You and Lenny Bruce…

    “All my humor is based upon destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I’d be standing on the breadline right in back of J. Edgar Hoover.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  77. thomm says:

    Yes, bill, a Harvard law grad brings no income into a household…maybe if she was one of those godlike stem majors, she could have brought in mid to high five figures until her job went to india. Dip$hit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  78. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: When you make similar remarks about fathers who do the same thing I may listen.

    Until then, what you’re demonstrating is the typical double standard that women have had to suffer for centuries. The father gets to go off and get an education while shoving the child-raising chores off on the mom, but if she claims the same ability, then she’s a Bad Mom.

    A typical Republican. And you don’t understand why women vote for the Democratic Party? Because they treat us as equals, that’s why. With the same rights and privileges to go as far as we can in our own education as our husbands achieve.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  79. Mu says:

    Rand Paul: Bill Clinton’s Lewinsky Affair not Relevant To 2016 Election

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  80. wr says:

    @Pinky: The gun part was a joke. Everyone gets that — I can’t believe there’s a single person here who believes that Huck actually wanted to force people by threat of violence to watch Barton.

    What isn’t joke is Huck’s claim that fraudulent hack David Barton is an important voice and that he should be listened to. That’s what removes Huckabee from any serious consideration as a politician or a thinker.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  81. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san:

    Guess you have nothing better to do then defend it.

    And apparently Ernie has nothing better to do than to lie about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  82. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    And apparently Ernie has nothing better to do than to lie about it.

    What did Ernie lie about?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  83. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda: Ernie has made the claim across several threads that Huckabee truly wants people to be forced at gunpoint to watch David Barton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  84. ernieyball says:

    @Pinky:..Who am I to doubt the words

    “I wish it’d happen”

    after the gunpoint threat.
    Per his website “he spent 12 years as a pastor and denominational leader. He became the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Southern Baptist State Convention, the largest denomination in Arkansas.”
    I have to take Pastor Huckabee at his word.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  85. Pinky says:

    @ernieyball:

    wr: The gun part was a joke. Everyone gets that — I can’t believe there’s a single person here who believes that Huck actually wanted to force people by threat of violence to watch Barton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  86. ernieyball says:

    @Pinky:..apparently my sense of humor is not aligned with wr.
    If Huckleberry wants to be a stand up comic maybe he should stick to jokes about the “afterlife”.

    [W]atching ducks land on a lake in Arkansas in the winter is about the closest to Heaven as you can find on this earth… and as someone who believes, according to my faith, I will go to Heaven when I die, I am pretty sure that there is duck hunting in Heaven!

    That one quacked me up!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  87. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: There’s a slow clap moment if I’ve ever seen one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  88. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    Here’s what Davis’s daughters say:

    We lived with her the first semester, but I had severe asthma and the weather there wasn’t good for me. My parents made a decision for my sister and me to stay in Texas while my mom kept going to school. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t there for us. She traveled back and forth all the time, missing so many classes so that she could be with us. Her friends were such a big help. Especially her third year, when she would only go to school two weeks out of the month and her friends would share class notes so she could try to keep up while she was home with us in Fort Worth.

    and from the older one:

    My mother had me when she was very young, a kid herself. And although she was married for a short period of time, parenthood was her sole responsibility. Yes, we lived in a trailer. Does it matter how long? Not to me. Even though some people have tried to question my own memories; I do remember the trailer, as well as the apartments that we lived in during the years that followed. I know that I was my mother’s first priority and that she wanted a better life for me than the one she was living. She worked 2 jobs and went to community college at night. She refused to repeat the life her family struggled in growing up.

    Anyone think haters like bill will ever change their minds when confronted by…you know… facts…maybe even apologize for their abject ignorance?
    I’m betting no.
    Haters gotta hate.
    And you can’t fix stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  89. bill says:

    @grumpy realist: your typical guy who dumps his family is more likely to be black- good point though. doesn’t make her look any better in the long run.

    @thomm: what are you on anyway?

    @C. Clavin: yes, we had kids when we were young, and we made life better for them- but we didn’t dump them off for greener pastures……well, not me anyway. kids compensating for their greedy ass mom, not flattering at all. ( she tried to run as a republican before, you may need to step back there)
    she also tried to blame the tea party for some homeless guy starting a fire at her office in 2012- attention whore? she’s trash, move on.
    oh, hate requires effort- i have none for this broad- dime a dozen in this world.

    btb- it’s not like she had a chance of being elected to begin with, Texas isn’t some socialist hellhole needing perpetual handouts for those who won’t work for a living.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  90. bill says:

    @stonetools: ”

    “When the divorce settlement was finalized in 2005, Jeff Davis was granted parental custody, and the girls (Amber then 21 and Dru then 14) stayed with him”

    you watch fox news ? really?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  91. thomm says:

    Let’s see bill…calling someone a golddigger usually implies that the person is a monetary parasite on another. Just pointing out that a person in her position really does not fit the definition since her credentials give her the earning power they do. The swipe at the stem major is the only majorbthat matters in school meme was to point out that that earning potential is so much higher than those people whom would normally be considered as someone who “made the best career choice” and “didn’t major in a useless liberal art” would be. The dip$hit comment was just to point out the excess stupidity of calling that person a golddigger. Plus, I figured it is an underutilized insult. Simple enough for you, or did I use too may big words above…I mean, I am nothing more than a fool that must be on something even though a good number of people understood what I meant wothout me having to explain it as I would to an intelligent teenager…I mau be able to dumb it down further if you need, but I am giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    Also…custody of a 21 year old…sersiously? The only thing I can really rhink that could entail at that time is who is responsible for health insurance while the 21 yo is in college and cosigning student loans. Wouldn’t exactly consider that the classic definition of “dumping a child”. Unless children in your world have all of the rights and responsibilities of adulthood with only academic exceptikns being made for certain economic realities of being a student that we have made in law.

    Dip$hit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  92. Paul Hooson says:

    Only in Rand Paul’s deeply confused world of reasoning is a victim of the adultery of her husband somehow responsible for the acts of her husband which caused her so much hurt and public embarrassment. Extending blame to a victim of adultery like this is so bizarre. A normal person will feel sympathy for a victim of adultery. But, then again who ever said that Senator Foil Hat is a normal human being….This senator is a deeply confused and disturbed man, more at home with bizarre conspiracy theories than anything resembling normal waking reality. I’m just waiting for the day that the senator claims to be using space aliens, bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster as his most trusted political advisors….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  93. wr says:

    @bill: “your typical guy who dumps his family is more likely to be black-”

    You mean like that notorious negro Mark Sanford?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  94. Pinky says:

    @wr: Yes, wr, that’s exactly what “more likely” means. It means “true in every case and never true in other cases”.

    Yeesh. You’re losing points to Bill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1