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Hullabaloo


Monday, February 10, 2014

 
The Dirty Tricks strategy in the War on Women. (Emphasis on "dirty")

by digby

So everyone's wondering why in the heck the Republicans are dusting off their Lewinsky playbook (perhaps even including a juicy new fairy tale about Barack Obama and Beyonce.)

The reason they are doing this is simple: the War on Women. I think they are hoping to trip Hillary Clinton up in some conservative jiu-jitsu on the current concerns with rape culture, inappropriate workplace intimacy and women's rights by using Bill Clinton's scandals to throw liberal women off balance and ensure that the more traditional women have some tools to join the battle  After all, a lot of younger women don't necessarily know all the details of those scandals and a lot of other people have probably forgotten them.  It may have a different kind of salience today than it did then.

Notice how Rand Paul went after it:
Sen. Rand Paul, who has been in a bit of a tiff recently with the Clintons, says that any Democrat who has raised campaign money with former President Clinton should return the cash to protest his sexual behavior in the White House.

Speaking on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program, in an interview airing Sunday, Mr. Paul said Democrats are being hypocritical by criticizing Republicans as waging a war on women while at the same time embracing Mr. Clinton, who was impeached for lying about a sexual relationship with a White House intern.

“They can’t have it both ways. And so I really think that anybody who wants to take money from Bill Clinton or have a fundraiser has a lot of explaining to do. In fact, I think they should give the money back,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said. “If they want to take position on women’s rights, by all means do. But you can’t do it and take it from a guy who was using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace.”

Mr. Paul recently called Mr. Clinton a “sexual predator” for his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky...

Some Democrats have sprung to the Clintons’ defense, including Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who said it was “infuriating” for Mr. Paul to cite Mr. Clinton as a response to the GOP’s policies toward women. She also said it was unfair to tarnish Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is pondering whether to run for president in 2016, with the actions of her husband.

“I think most women understand that they should not be held accountable for the behaviors of their husbands. And you know, frankly, it was a long time ago, and our country did very well under the leadership of Bill Clinton,” Ms. McCaskill told MSNBC.

Mr. Paul, though, said in his interview this week that Ms. McCaskill, who is supporting Mrs. Clinton in 2016, didn’t always feel that way. In 2008, she supported then-Sen. Barack Obama over Mrs. Clinton and commented that she wouldn’t want her daughter to be near Mr. Clinton.

Mr. Paul said Mr. Clinton’s settlement with Paula Jones in 1999, in which he paid $850,000 to settle Ms. Jones’ claims of sexual harassment, is an admission of guilt by the former president. He also said Mr. Clinton has “convicted” by the public for harassment with Ms. Lewinsky.
I'll say one thing for Rand Paul. He's a clever piece of work. This is a smart, if underhanded and thoroughly dishonest, tactic. It remains to be seen if they will literally do a ratfuck (which is specifically defined as "recruiting conservative members to infiltrate opposition groups and/or misrepresent them through false flag activities in order to undermine the effectiveness of such opposition") but perhaps they don't even need to do that in these days of social media. All they have to do is "call out" their rivals for hypocrisy on the issue and they could wreak some serious dirty tricks havoc. (And you can certainly be sure they're going to dredge up every ugly comment any Democrat made about Clinton in 2008 --- and the sexual stuff will probably be prominent.)

The War on Women opens the door for Republicans to do what pleasures them the most --- talk about other people's sex lives in detail even as they condemn it. It arouses them.

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