In my last post (Should the GOP ‘re-litigate the ’90s’?) I had planned to outline what I think the Republicans should do about Bill Clinton’s predatory history in the run-up to 2012.
But I got sidetracked as I re-read Byron York’s piece, specifically the last point I bulleted:
There’s no doubt she directed the 1993 firings of long-time White House employees although she testified under oath that she did not. Years later, prosecutors concluded that “Mrs. Clinton’s sworn testimony … is factually inaccurate.”
What say we try again to answer the question:
Should the GOP ‘re-litigate the ’90s’?
My answer is:
That depends on what you mean by re-litigating.
If you mean revisiting the Blue Dress, um, no.
If you mean exploring past as prologue, or exposing the moral vacuum that is The War on Women…
Then by all means.
Strategy 1: Go on offense
Bringing up Hillary’s past, as York does about this and other Hillary items is not only legitimate, but absolutely vital.
Hillary has a long history of shady behavior, both in office and out of office and she is documented as not above lying about it.
All of which points to her behavior before, during, and after that tragic night in Benghazi.
What is going to make the press wake up and get after this?
Which is why Republicans need to keep driving this home themselves at every opportunity.
Strategy 2: Be ready with the facts of Bill’s predatory pattern to counter the inevitable War on Women meme
The War on Women lie worked against Romney (Romney!) in 2012. Killed him where I live in Colorado.
It worked against Cuccinelli in Virginia in 2013 (even as GOP establishment types kept scapegoating the Tea Party).
And it will work again when the Democrats bring it out again.
Because the press isn’t interested in calling them on it.
So the GOP needs to be ready to go full-frontal Jimmie Connors on them and smack it back into their faces.
Make them pay for lying so blatantly.
Again: Every time a member of the press questions or ridicules this approach—hammer them with the truth and challenge them, specifically and personally, to do their job.
What this strategy looks like in practice:
Strategy 3: Find common ground with Bill
Yes, there is common ground to be had, as this guy suggests to Ron Fournier:
I’m not sure the GOP has the skill to do that without inadvertently turning it into a Clinton endorsement.
Strategy 4: ‘Say Hillary…what about that “suspension of disbelief” thing?’
Mrs. Clinton doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation for bipartisanship.
Or even good judgement.
She deserves to be held accountable for it.
Is the press going to do that?
Is the press going to talk about Bush turning Iraq around and then Obama—and his secretary of state—throwing it all away?
Strategy 5: Talk about the video…and funeral…and the producer thrown in jail
This is something the press just won’t engage with.
I really don’t know why.
They get all diligent and vigilant when a reporter gets his phone tapped.
Even a reporter for the dreaded Fox.
Make noises about putting federal hall monitors in news rooms?
They’re on the case.
But phony up a story about a video causing what they already know to be an act of pure terrorism?
No there, there for the press.
I wonder why. I really do.
The bottom line:
The GOP has to stop being afraid of its own shadow.
It can’t keep worrying about what their buddies in the press are going to do.
They have to keep hammering their points home. And when questioned by the press, go directly to that journalist and challenge them with the facts and ask them why they’d rather attack Republicans than do their job.
Over and over and over again as long as it takes.