Red State/Blue State

Today’s question: What will Bill Clinton do next?

DAVE SIMPSON & GREG BEAN

A political discussion between Red State conservative Dave Simpson – a former reporter, editor, publisher and columnist – and Greg Bean, Blue Stater and executive editor of GreaterMedia Newspapers. Let us know what you think.

Dear Greg:

I’m giddy as a schoolgirl this week over the fights breaking out in the Democratic Party. I know you get mad if I call it “your party,” but there you go.

There are skirmishes in “my party” too, the Republicans, who I’m not ashamed to accept as my own. But, my side is arguing over boring stuff. The real action is in your camp.

It’s been eight long years since I’ve had this much fun, watching the soap opera that is Bill and Hillary Clinton. It beat the daylights out of “The Edge of Night,” because it was real, and a former White House guard or staff member could pop up at any time with a tale of screaming matches between the president and first lady.R

emember the claim that Hillary threw an ash tray at Bill? That was a doozy. What do you do if you’re a Secret Service guy and the first lady wings an ash tray at the leader of the free world? Did they wrestle Hillary to the ground?

It was good stuff, and made a guy want to get up early and read the paper to see what was next from the most ethical administration in history. I figured it could not get any better, but it sure did when an intern in a thong delivered a pizza to the Oval Office – a pizza with “the works,” as it turned out – and the rest is history. I never get tired of that finger-wagging clip about Bill “never having had sex with that woman.”

And then, a couple years later, Old Bill pardoned Mark Rich on his last day in office, a guy who was convicted by Rudy Giuliani, who you dislike so much.

How could you top that? Well, this week we found out. Old Bill has gone and outdone himself. Over the weekend, he dismissed Barack Obama’s win in South Carolina by saying Jesse Jackson won there 20 years ago, and didn’t win the nomination.Why bring up Jesse? Because he’s black, and suddenly our sensitive liberal friends are wondering if The First Black President – campaigning for his wife like a rat stuck in a coffee can – might be getting a little racist.

Man, oh man, oh man.

Knuckle-dragging Republicans such as myself are used to getting accused of stuff like that by Democrats, along with being sexist, and stupid, and greedy, and ugly. But when Democrats attack each other like this, the tectonic plates are shifting, Greg, and who knows what could happen.

Teddy Kennedy endorsed Obama this week and I’m wondering if Hillary is thinking she’d like to throw an ash tray at him.

Look for Old Bill to say he’s seen opponents endorsed by tipsy Irishmen who drive off bridges before, and they didn’t get elected. That’s probably next.

I’m on nins and peedles, Greg, wondering what’s next from your pal Old Bill.

What do you suppose Old Bill is capable of, Greg, and do you still like him?

Sincerely, Red State Dave

Dear Dave:

You know, old friend, I can’t help but notice that you’re avoiding what I’d most like to discuss today – the drubbing your pal Rudy Giuliani took in Florida last week. I know how hard it is for you to admit it when you’re wrong, pardner. Even so, would you please tell me how barbecued crow tastes? I haven’t had to eat any for a while.

To get to your point, however, I’ve got to tell you I’ve kind of enjoyed having Bill Clinton in the peanut gallery lately, for the same reason I used to enjoy listening to James Carville (a loud-mouthed but funny Democratic strategist) and his wife, Mary Matalin, (a loud-mouthed but funny Republican strategist) go at each other over the issues. Theymademe laugh and always kept things interestin’.

Same with Old Blustery Bill. Sure, Bill has made a bit of a fool of himself, but his antics have made the primaries worth watching. You just never know what he’s gonna say next. You get the sense, though, that if Barack doesn’t quit picking on his wife, he’ll call himout to settle things in the alley once and for all. There they’ll be, going at it like a couple of tomcats in a sack, claws out and fur flying. And there’ll be Hillary, trying to brain both of them with that ash tray. High drama, right? And downright amusing.

Which ismore than you can say for your Republican buddies these days. According to a rash of stories out of the Florida primary, it seems like they’ve also given up the notion of civility. Every story you read had one of them “bashing” the other one, or “lashing out” or “hammering” the other guy’s integrity. But unlike the Democrats, who do that bashing and lashing and hammering with a dash of creativity and flair, the GOP contenders only had one viable indictment, and they all abused it. They all accused the other guys of being a (GASP!) liberal. Cripes, that’s such a face-slapper in your party, you might as well accuse your opponents of secretly dating sheep.

McCain saidMitt (Willard) Romney is a liberal, and a Massachusetts liberal (the worst kind) into the bargain. Romney said McCain is such a liberal that other Republicans can’t trust him with the penny jar. Huck said both McCain and Romney are out-of-the-closet liberals, but he doesn’t know how to respond when they point out that when he was governor of Arkansas, a lot of his programs were liberal, even though he claimed to be a conservative.And Rudy would be all too happy to accuse all three of those guys of being liberals, but recently nobody is taking his calls.

It’s a paucity of creativity, is what it is, and it gets tiresome. So tiresome, in fact, that it’s nice to see Old Blustery Bill once in a while, if only for comic relief. At least he’s not accusing Barack Obama of being a (GASP!) conservative. He’s capable of a lot, Dave, but he appears to be incapable of making such a boring (your word) and unimaginative insult.

On to November,

Blue State Greg

Readers can reach Greg Bean at gbean @gmnews.com. Dave Simpson can be reached at d_simpson@bresnan.net.