Bill Clinton arguably gave one of the greatest speeches in modern politics last night at the Democratic National Convention. He did what Republican bullies hate the most, he laughed at them.
When you were young and being pushed around by bullies, did you ever have a big brother, or sister, step in and save your shaking ass? Maybe you’d be on the way to school and tough guys were blocking your path. “What’s in your lunch spit wad? The toll is two dollars, and where’d you get that stupid hat? Ahhh, look at the little freak, he’s crying.
And then, right out of the pages of a super-hero, comic book classic, their eyes get wide, they turn silent, and run. Big brother just pulled up. That’s how I felt about Bill Clinton’s speech last night.
As Democrats, we believe we’re on the right track, we want middle class tax breaks, and rights for women, and Universal Health Care, and trickle-up economics, and gender equality, but it feels like we’ve been fighting against a mean big brother, who not only doesn’t like us, he hates us! He’s been pushing us around for three and a half years. On some issues, this bully, who we’ll call the “extreme right,” has metaphorically stood in our path, arms folded and said, try to cross me scumbag.
When I think of Republicans, I don’t think of Reagan or George H.W. Bush or Abraham Lincoln --- I think of Carl Rove, and Rush Limbaugh, and Grover Norquist, and I picture the Gun-Bull from Cool Hand Luke, staring at us behind dark glasses, 30-ought-6 in hand, waiting for us to get out of line. I picture a rich, pre-school senior, taking down a kid with long blond hair. I picture chicken-hawks who slammed mendacious slurs against a vet like John Kerry because his views on a strong defense differed from theirs. They’re big (literally), they call women like Sandra Fluke a “slut,” because she disagreed, and they call you a leftist commie, because you argue that health care is a right, not a privilege.
And then, when the bully’s prepare to kick us to the ground, a really tough guy steps up, a Rhodes Scholar, a two- term President, a guy who saw a ten trillion dollar debt turn into a surplus. A guy who’s as cool as a Marlboro in a cowboy’s mouths, who plays the sax for God’s sake, and who gets caught lying about hummers in the oval office (I’m thinking a pretty shitty husband, but shamelessly cool.) and above all, is liked and respected as a guy who changed the world with his social programs.
Not sure what the Republican bullies are saying just yet, but I guarantee, they’re shaking. They’ll try and spin this every way to Wichita, but they know they got their ass kicked and were made to look like a bunch of fools.
I was glued to the speech. Clinton was simply fabulous. He ad libbed, he cajoled, he nodded, he shrugged his shoulders, he pointed his fingers, and he did the one thing bullies hate above all --- Bill Clinton laughed at them. He made them look like fools.
Bill Clinton at the DNC
Most bullies talk tough, but when confronted, they're the first to back down. Bill Clinton’s speech may have changed the election. He debunked every Republican talking point from trickle-down economics to Medicaid, to tax cuts, to Welfare reform, and arguably the biggest problem Republicans have created in politics --- compromise!
Bill Clinton came prepared and gave a long speech. According to many reports, much was un-scripted. In today’s political jungle, that took “brass.” Yea, Bill Clinton is our political big brother. He just took back our lunch money and the bullies are running for cover.
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