One of the most popular GOP talking points this upcoming election will be the “Clinton/Bush Dynasty” narrative, at least as long as both candidates stay in the race, and perhaps beyond it. This is actually one of the more interesting strategical attacks by the right wingers because they can basically use this attack to show how “open minded” and “non partisan” they are. It comes off as if they have a mutual disdain for both sides, and unfortunately that hollow “point of fact” will be swallowed by way too many people — especially ones who book and interview guests on cable news.
First, keep in mind that the race is not really between Jeb and Hillary at this point. Jeb still has a field of Republican hopefuls to get past, and regardless of what politically correct talk there is about there being a “race” on the other side, there at least at this point really isn’t for Hillary. So there is no equivalent there, but ironically, that too is good for the GOP side of this argument, because let’s say at some point Jeb drops out and Hillary does indeed go on to get the Democratic Party nomination. Then this seemingly innocent and non-partisan talking point becomes a big old club to whack the Democrats with. It will go something like “We rejected the dynasty while Democrats fell in lock step.”
Can you hear Hannity, O’Reilly and Coulter bellowing that out? Rush Limbaugh chuckling about it all over talk radio land? The nominees themselves using it in their stump speeches to come off as normal everyday dudes instead of 1 percent elitists drinking from Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers’ troughs.
But the fact is, there is no equivalency. And furthermore, even if there was, it really doesn’t matter to the bulk of the Republicans, and most progressives won’t even stop to consider that. To many on the left, political dynasties are bad things. And yes, there are a few on the right that agree with that, but very few. The GOP is a different demographic than the Democratic Party at its core. The GOP, on the whole, likes family dynasties. They take a certain trust in knowing that one person is a blood relative of someone they trust. It plays into their almost xenophobic world view of them versus the rest of the world. If you look at how the Cheney’s (Dick and Liz, another GOP family) sell their anti-Obama rhetoric, it almost always has an us versus “the others” vibe to it. No one ever had a problem with Romney coming from a political dynasty on the right. John McCain married into a corporate dynasty, but you won’t hear a peep from the right on that. And was there ever a bigger power couple than Bob and Libby Dole?
Really, GOPers have no problem with dynasties and powerful political families. In fact, they take comfort in it. It goes back to a more rural/southern/folksy way of doing things — the “I knew his father so he must be good people” approach.
It only becomes an issue, of course, when there is a Democrat involved, and double bonus points when it involves Hillary Clinton, their favorite target since 1992. Then all the tolerance for nepotism flies out the window.
This is when “I knew his father” is replaced with “You don’t look like you’re from around these parts.”
But wait, you say… aren’t the Republicans the party of principles?
HAHAHA!!! Keep in mind, this is a party whose members will vote against their own legislation just because Barack Obama decided it was good stuff. Party of principles? Hogwash. Party of moving the goalposts when it’s most convenient and acting like it was a consistent principle, is more like it.
But let’s get back to the point. Yes, we all know that the GOP is more than willing to bury it’s principles in the backyard, and we know that this is actually a clever GOP strategy. But why is this a false narrative that can be dismantled in quick time?
Well, that’s where Bill comes in. I’m not gonna steal his thunder, as I’ve rambled on too long already, but trust me, in 45 seconds you will have all the ammunition you need to dispel the fake myth of these “equal political dynasties.”