By Raynard Jackson
When the media jumped all over Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy last week for his comments about how the Benghazi hearings have driven Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers down; I couldn’t help but reflect on what my buddy once told me:
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Oh darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
These are the partial lyrics to the smash hit by the late legendary soul singer Ben E. King, “Stand By Me (1961).”
Regardless of what you think about McCarthy, we, as Republicans, should never allow the Democrats to attack one of our own; and Republicans should never adopt the same language of our opposition.
I watched in horror as many Republicans sided with Democrats in their reaction to what McCarthy said; it got so bad that McCarthy was forced to apologize for his remarks. My sister may be a drunk, but I will not allow you call her that.
As one who makes his living through communications, I am dumbfounded as to how Republicans allowed the Democrats to win the narrative over McCarthy’s remarks. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that the Benghazi investigation is all about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” against Hillary Clinton.
Last time I checked, Republicans don’t control the F.B.I. or the inspectors general of the State Department or the intelligence communities. They are the ones who are investigating whether Clinton violated any laws, not Republicans.
So, the issue is not and should not be about McCarthy’s Benghazi remarks, but rather did Clinton break the law by mishandling classified information because she was arrogant enough to use a private email server in her home to avoid the public ever finding out about her and Bill’s private business dealings.
Message to Republicans, “Don’t let Hillary off the hook under the guise of being non-partisan.” If Clinton had obeyed the law and followed her department’s own guidelines, then we would not be talking about her emails. She is not a victim, but rather the perpetrator.
Clinton brought this on herself and the Democratic Party. She will and should be held accountable for her exercising poor judgement because of her irrational belief that everyone is out to get her.
Democrats are obsessively loyal to their own. It took them forever to denounce Bill Clinton publically over the Monica Lewinsky affair. They even stood by former congressman Anthony Weiner and his sexting problem until public pressure became too great.
The point is very clear, we must not turn Hillary into a sympathetic figure. We need to learn how to do a better job of standing by our own. If you are a public speaker, at some point you are going to say something that you wish could be taken back; it’s just part of life.
I think McCarthy’s remarks should have been dealt with privately within the party; but publically we should have hammered in on the theme of Hillary’s poor judgement regarding the private email server. She will not be the Democratic nominee, but we should not let the American people forget how her campaign has come to this point—by her own bad judgement.
She does not have the judgement to be president of the United States because America’s interest will always be subservient to the interests of the Clinton’s business interests. Can you say Whitewater or the Rose Law Firm? This is where I take my stand.
Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC is an internationally recognized political consulting, government affairs, and PR firm based in Washington, DC. Jackson is an internationally recognized radio talk show host and TV commentator. He has coined the phrase “straticist.” As a straticist, he has merged strategic planning with public relations. Visit his website at: www.raynardjackson.com.