Monday, May 26, 2008

Hillary and June

There's a lot of nonsense and idiocy that goes around in Christian circles about Bill and Hillary. This, for example.
And now the criticism about her remarks about the history of presidential primary contests that were not resolved until June. Any reasonable reading of her comments (see them below) cannot lead to any other conclusion than that she was making a very legitimate historical reference.
I still don't understand the Christian vitriol against a woman who remained married, and, as far as we know, faithful to her husband. If you want to attribute sinful motives to that, then you should provide substantial background for your argument. Or you should be one of her elders who can help her.
Otherwise it is gossip.
And gossip is not very Christian.


Aaron said...

I have not watched the video (I'm at class & don't have headphone) so it may say something different than what I think but according to Tim Russert & his panel on Meet the Press she may have been trying to make historical statements however they are not very good ones...Apparently when R.Kennedy "continued" his race into June he had only started it 6 weeks before. And as far as Bill, they showed video segments from Meet the Press in April or May of 92-whichever year that was - where Tim Russert stated that Bill Clinton had the race wrapped up, their was no way the other guy could get enough delegates, that time the Clinton campaign called Tim Russert a mathematical genius.
This isn't the first time she has made historical references and not remembered what exactly she was talking about.

Frank Turk said...

Hey Norm --

Somehow I missed your little link here, but I'm curious: was my post"nonsense" or "idiocy", and what makes it so?

Do you not think that Bill Clinton's statement here was ham-handed for an alleged "great communicator"?

Or is the problem interpreting his sudden case of inarticulance as a psychological problem?

I'm curious because you're not the usual fanboy to link to my blog, and I think your opinion would at least be useful even if it didn't change my mind.

Norman said...

Frank, I'll be as clear as I can, but you are right, I don't expect you to agree with me.
This is the Clinton quote: "when I met her, I found that in her personal relationships she lacked self-confidence and was painfully shy. She is having more fun now than at the beginning. If you look at her, she seems perfectly relaxed, doesn't she?"

Substitute some other personal attributes and this is a statement I could make about my wife. Nowhere does Bill say or imply, as you strongly suggest, (using strategically placed quotation marks to give the impression that he did), that 'after "I met her"' (copied from your blog) she "improved", as if Bill was the cause of that. Every person grows and changes in significant ways in his or her life, and those closest to the person witness that and, almost inevitably influence those changes. Your interpretation is nonsense, as far as I am concerned, based on this quote. And I don't even think his quote is inarticulate....
And your psychological analysis of Bill is idiocy (the secondary definition of idiocy is "something notably stupid or foolish". In this case I would go for foolish.) in the sense that it is ridiculous to try to make comments about a person's psychological makeup from the distance at which you sit, especially when directed at a person as complex as Bill is. Even if you were a qualified psychologist, which you may be, I don't know, it is nonsense (meaning: it makes no sense) and foolish to make these kinds of statements.
So the question is, why do you do it? I don't know why you do it. I do know there is a lot of vitriol against the Clintons in Xian circles. I can understand political disagreement, but the rest I can't follow, especially from a Xian perspective.
That was the point of my last lines: if, as a Xian person, you want to accuse the Clintons of sin, back up your accusations. And, if you can back them up, it seems to me the correct place for them is the leadership of the local church, not a weblog.
(Before you defend yourself by saying you weren't accusing Bill of sin in this blog, that is correct, you weren't. But many do, and that was my point.)
Two other things:
I was very careful to not call you personally an idiot. You are not.
If Hillary ran for president I would vote for her.

Frank Turk said...

Norm --

One of the reasons I bothered to ask you this question was that you did -not- call me an idiot, so points for that.

I was reading Dowd this morninghere, and here's a bit from her piece which was mostly about whether Michelle Obama which I'd like to posit as evidence:

[the knuckle bump between Michelle and Barack] was a natural and beguiling moment that showed the country that, even though she started out as her husband’s boss and has a résumé that matches his, she likes him and is rooting for him, and is not engaged in a dreaded Clintonesque competition with him. (On the night of the Pennsylvania primary, Bill was eagerly checking to see who had swayed more voters — him or Hillary.)

What that little jab there represents is a point on the line -- but when that line has been scribed over and over again in detail, as in the most recent Vanity Fair, it seems to me that President Clinton's competitive relationship with all people, and particularly with his wife, is well-documented.

Last thing, and then as a good guest I'll let you have the last word: the point of my original post wasn't to run down Senator Clinton. It was to point out that her husband should have been an asset to her, and frankly he was not. The big fat irony is that he's still well-liked, and rather than leverage that into good tidings for his wife, he turned it into a reason for people to think twice about voting for her.

I respect your choice of candidates, and I disagree with it strongly. I think you Democrats should be grateful that Bill Clinton is now not part of the national campaign, and hope that Senator Obama doesn't let him back in.

Norman said...

Well, getting points from Mr. Turk will make your Wednesday ....;-)
I also read (present and past tense) Dowd. A little surprised you do.
Imagine this scenario: A good politician who loves his wife has held an important public office and had tremendously high public approval figures. A few years later his talented wife runs for the same office. The man goes on the stump for his wife. On the night of one of the biggest primary elections, he wants to know what swayed voters, and why. That helps determine the form and content of the rest of the campaign. So he is very excited not so much about the results (that is known) but about the demographics.
Is this in any way a possible scnenario?
I agree that Bill could and should have helped his wife more, but that is a technical or skill question for me more than a moral or psychological one. At least, until there is concrete evidence to indicate otherwise.
All I am pleading for is a little fairness, for both Bill and Hillary.
I know you can't expect that in secular politics, I keep hoping for some in (conservative) Xian reflection about politics. That's why your piece disappointed me.
I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. Because I live and pay taxes in Holland, I don't vote in the U.S. So I just have an opinion about candidates. I must say I have not looked at Obama carefully, so I can't judge yet between him and McCain.
And I do like the parliamentary system very much.......but that's another post.