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This is an expansion of a comment made in another post.
It’s been an interesting ride. The line from Bill Clinton to Donald Trump is drawn with anything but a straight line.
Decisions made in the moment, often for short term gain, sets a precedent that is more often than not difficult to step away from. It has ramifications far down the line that proponents of the original action tend to regret. And yet, often times those same people would be happy to repeat the mistake. Such was the decision to save Bill Clinton from the Monica Lewinsky mess.
It was, of course, a mess of his own making. He was elected with a history of “bimbo eruptions” and allegations of criminal sexual misconduct. Most likely, his supporters expected him to comport himself differently in the Oval Office than he had in the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock. They were wrong. And he could not extract himself so the entire weight of the Democratic/Media Complex was brought to bear.
The circle-the-wagons and do anything movement to save Bill would eventually lead to MoveOn.org and their mantra, “It’s only sex.”
And while I absolutely despise “alternative history” narratives, these questions deserve to be asked:
Had the Democrats pulled the plug on Bill, Albert Gore, Jr. would have become the 43rd President of the United States and faced George W. Bush as the incumbent in 2000. Does he win? Who knows, but the dynamic would have changed.
Would Hillary have divorced Bill to remain politically viable? Or would she have finally come to the conclusion that there was no viability outside of the New York Senate seat?
If Gore had won in 2000, that would have put W. in the dustbin. Does Obama still rise in ‘08? Or is that left up to America’s first Jewish Vice-President, Joe Lieberman?
And what of the GOP fortunes? McCain in ‘04?
Whatever the answers to all these questions, what it does mean is that there is no MoveOn.GOP, that cadre of voters who no longer care about sexual dalliances from their nominee. Without the effort to save Bill Clinton, there is never, ever a Donald Trump.
And we have been living this scenario in reverse these past three years. Opponents of the Trump presidency have been throwing massive amounts of (stuff) at the wall, or should I say, at the bar to see what sticks. We’ve witnessed employees of the Federal Government in open revolt trying to subvert the Administration and, in some cases, trying to bring it down. In the end, any successful attempt would set another precedent, another short term “win” with some nasty long term implications.
It is the ultimate “be careful what you wish for” moment that is only seen best in the rear view mirror.