Monday, January 21, 2008

Is Bill Clinton The Little League Dad We All Find Embarrassing?

If you have young kids who play little league sports you have seen Bill Clinton's recent behavior before. He is that dad who is so quick to yell at the referee or at the parents of kids on the opposing team. Worst of all he will yell at kids playing for the other team.

Little league dad isn't watching the same game you are watching. Every slight is blown out of proportion. Every close call is a deeply personal affront to his kid and to him. Sometimes he yells at the coach, often because his kid isn't the star player. For him winning the little league game isn't just nice, it is the central reason for his existence. He totally loses perspective. He forgets that he has had his day on the field. He has abandoned being a parent and is living vicariously through his child. You watch with sympathy as his own humiliated kid looks around trying to find a hole to crawl into.

Over the last few weeks we have been subject to the little league dad on steroids. In appearance after appearance Clinton has made charges about Barack Obama that upon close examination are hyperbolic at best and dishonest at worst. At one point he said that Obama claimed the Republicans had all the good ideas since Reagan.

Last week senior uncommitted Democrats including Ted Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel told Bill to pipe down. That didn't stop Bill. He made wild charges of witnessing Federal voter suppression crimes in Nevada. Today Barack Obama hit back hard in an interview on ABC. (The video is after the break.)

The media focus is on whether Bill Clinton is lying to help his wife. Howard Wolfson recently gave an interview to Greg Sargent at TPM who reports

This is getting interesting. In an interview with me a couple of minutes ago, senior Hillary adviser Howard Wolfson claimed that Obama's assertion this morning that Bill Clinton is fibbing about his campaign is a "right wing talking point."
For me the real issue in all of this is whether Hillary can control her husband. If she can't keep Bill under control how can we expect her to deal with the very real issues and strong personalities a president confronts everyday. If she can't keep him under control she shouldn't be elected President. I don't want a little league dad screaming at people in the White House for the next four years. Do you?

Hillary, if you have really found your voice, for your own good and the country's, tell Bill to stifle.