When Hillary Clinton walked with her daughter and her bad boy husband across the White House lawn to a waiting helicopter that would take them to hide in the woods of Camp David after the preposterous Monica Lewinsky news came out, every woman in America wanted to be in her head.
What exactly was she going to do to Bubba?
What punishment would be exacted? What price would she demand for not kicking his ass into next year? How tired was she of her husband’s infidelity and his remarkable ability to smile and glib his way through embarrassing times? We don’t know. But we can guess that she followed the adage of ‘don’t get mad, get even.’
She did that, not by lining up her own little crew of willing interns, but by running for the Senate and then President and forcing the mister to be man-in-waiting. Now Bill had to fold his hands and look adoringly while his wife made the big speeches. I loved watching this because, at the time, I thought Bill Clinton was the biggest dog in the universe – not only for messing around with an intern, especially the part about it happening while he was conducting the country’s business – but lying about it.
It’s all about the lying.
Not everybody has the incredible ability to lie right to people’s faces. Look someone in the eye and just straight up lie. Many people are able to obfuscate, as Bill Clinton tried to do when he was parsing the word ‘it’ and deciding that not having sexual intercourse was synonymous with not having sex at all. That stuff that was going on under his desk? Just a few steps up, or down, from a handshake, right?
So earlier this week, when Major League Baseball suspended Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun for 65 games, basically the rest of the season, for doping, we all became Hillary.
This guy, an MVP, a player who put a very small market ball club on the national map, well, he lied. He stood on the field at the Brewer’s spring training facility in Maryvale, Arizona, put his hand on his heart and swore to a crowd of reporters that he had never doped. We believed him. Even though his explanation was farfetched, we believed him. Even when more and more evidence piled up, we believed him. And then he accepted the 65-game suspension (the equivalent of an admission of guilt).
We were duped just like Hillary. Lied to in the most public way. Oh sure, a fan’s relationship to a famous player is nothing like a marriage. And, sure, the way Bill Clinton lied to the country and his wife was way worse than some ball player lying to fans. But still, I am feeling very wronged.
What’s my revenge? If I decide not to get mad but to get even, what is it I do?
“Ryan Braun is dead to me,” I said to my husband as we watched a new player take Braun’s left field position at last week’s Brewers game against the Padres. “Dead.”
It’s not the doping, although it baffles me why an elite and very smart athlete would risk all for another few points on his batting average. It also baffled me why the President of the United States would trust his sexual life to a twenty-something intern with the discretion of a chimpanzee. I add these things to a long list of things I just don’t get. It’s not the original sin. It’s the looking straight at the camera, straight at me, and lying like a complete innocent.
Bill Clinton rehabilitated himself so well that I now adore him. He’s smart, clever, insanely charming, doing good deeds, sings, and he’s terribly cute, especially for people in my demographic. No wonder Hillary couldn’t bring herself to toss him. Now what offended me so much when he was President seems oh, I don’t know, who doesn’t like a guy who’s a bit of a dog, right?
The galling feeling of having been lied to has a very long shelf life but it does fade with time. Bill Clinton spent his 40 years in the desert, raising money for good causes, hanging out with the sweet old first President Bush. He capped everything off with his lovable humility show as the potential First Gentleman. Ryan Braun could learn a thing or do.
It could be a long process but he could make us love him again.