Like father, like son

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

The growing coarseness in our society seems an unstoppable trend many folks just take for granted. Especially those with teens in the house. Most of us don’t like it but we seem powerless to stop it. We ignore it when we can; deal quietly with it when we can’t. Comes now a new, even lower level of character assassination vulgarity that should offend nearly everyone.

It comes from one of the least contributory and most obnoxious members of the U.S. Senate and his contempt for a former member of that body – a former member that conducted the office with far more dignity and many more contributions than his own. The over-rated and under-performing offender is Rand Paul. The target of his warrant less B.S. is Hillary Clinton.

Paul has spent his limited time in Congress accomplishing absolutely nothing. A check of recorded business of the Senate shows Paul’s name connected to zero legislative sponsorship of any substance while contributing to numerous instances of unseemly behavior and self-promotion. Neither his home state of Kentucy nor the nation at-large have benefitted from his presence along the Potomac. His time in office has not been much longer than it takes to find the Senate men’s room but he’s already off on what will likely be a dead end run for the presidency.

From his place near the bottom of the national political totem pole, Paul has already embarrassed himself in a number of ways. But nothing he’s done or said previously comes close to his effort to somehow tie former Sen. Clinton to the Monica Lewinsky scandal of her husband.

NBC’s David Gregory showed his own professionally ignorant coarseness when he asked Paul on nationwide television if the Lewinsky scandal was fair game in a presidential political contest.

Rather than point out the obvious disconnectedness of the query, Paul launched off into his “reasons” why that 20-year-old episode involving two other people was “relevant” to today’s political environment.

“Fair game,“ was the sum of his addled response.

No, Mr. Paul. It’s not “fair game.” Any more than the years of insane statements, impossible politics, early racist writings, public rants and other dubious activities of your father are “fair game” in someone’s campaign against you. In both situations, the principal players were others beside you and Sen. Clinton.

Did you rush to either defend or castigate ol’ Pater for publishing his yellow, baseless trash on his own congressional letterhead? Or did you just ignore what he was doing and saying? Or – even worse – did you agree and keep quiet?

When your father was running scam after money-making scam and calling them “presidential campaigns,” did you publically distance yourself from his felonious activities or did you just learn the old man’s tricks and file them away for your own future use? Your father bilked hundreds of thousands of people out of millions of dollars for many years in what any rational person knew were impossible presidential campaigns. He followed up with more money-making slight-of-hand with paid newsletters, poorly executed videos and amateurish, fact-challenged books pitching the same old crap. Are three decades of fleecing sorry souls with his medicine show tactics relevant for your opponent to use in the 2016 presidential campaign?

No. And neither is the Lewinsky episode for you or anyone else.

From the alleged diary of a dead former Clinton friend, it’s been widely reported Sen. Clinton – then First Lady Hillary Clinton – used the words “loony narcissist” to describe Ms. Lewinsky. So what? What’s it to you. Or anyone else? My own more limited experience with the woes of marital infidelity tell me that’s a pretty calm reaction. If, indeed, that WAS her reaction. What’s it to you?

Frankly, as I recall, a good portion of this country – especially women – found her response underwhelming, restrained and the decision to keep her marriage active very courageous things to do. While she and Mr. Clinton may have had one or more private set-to’s over Ms. Lewinsky, her public persona and demeanor were quite acceptable to a lot of us.

In fact, aside from the obvious “snowball’s chance in hell” of you waging a successful presidential campaign with all your own baggage – and that of dear ol’ Dad – you may have hit a nerve with a lot of us who felt that Mrs. Clinton has shown a great deal of class and grace with a very tough personal situation many of us can identify with. And many tough, difficult moments while in public life in her elective and appointed service.

The fact is, Rand, there should be no place in any campaign involving Mrs. Clinton for talk of her husband’s transgressions. Unless, of course, you want to explain some of the money-grubbing, racist transgressions of Pops..

Aw, go ahead. Give it a try.

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