There’s nothing wrong with a good brain damage joke. Before you start gasping, just remember what Bill Cosby said about kids in his classic stand-up film, ‘Himself.’
That being said, the last thing Republicans need to do is stick their feet in their mouths with touchy subjects like this, especially as it relates to Hillary Clinton. It’s why Karl Rove’s comments about her are so baffling. From Politico:
The New York Post’s Page Six section reported Monday that Rove, appearing at a conference with former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs and CBS correspondent Dan Raviv last Thursday, recently waded into the former secretary of state’s health issues. In 2012, Clinton — a top possible 2016 Democratic contender — suffered from a blood clot that temporarily prevented her from testifying about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. According to the report, Rove said the Benghazi issue should continue to be pushed.
“Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said, according to the report. “And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”
Politico then gets the heart of the matter that is the real problem with Rove or any other Republican saying things like this:
Clinton, no stranger to scrutiny, tends to be viewed more favorably when she is perceived as being under unfair assault, causing the Democratic base to rally around her.
That’s exactly right.
For all of the talk from the left about “strong independent women” and how the’re all about “gender equality”, their officeholders and candidates are never shy about using identity politics – particularly that of the poor little lady being attacked the mean patriarchs — if it assists with their political and electoral aspirations.
Comments like Rove’s give them that kind of fuel and you can bet his comment will be used to raise a ton of money over the next few days.
Some people will argue, “It’s perfectly valid to question whether or not she is healthy enough for the job!”
Sure it is. But let the media bring that up. They are surely going to do so at some point and when Republicans are asked, they should not take the bait. Offer no comment or say, “I have no doubt about her ability to be fit for the rigors of the office.” They should say it even if they don’t mean it. Leave the wisecracks to the talk radio hosts.
Republicans need to learn a big lesson from 2012. Every word they say is going to be under a microscope. While our idiot Vice President, Joe Biden can seemingly say anything he wants and get away with it unscathed, Republicans do not enjoy the same luxury. While many in the Republican Party are awaiting the next Ronald Reagan, the media and Democrats eagerly await the next Todd Akin.
Rove’s comments won’t have any long term effects but as the 2016 gets closer, such incidents will be sure to cause that many more headaches. As I write this, Karl Rove is attempting to explain his comments further, saying he was just warning it’s an issue Hillary will have to deal with.
Problem is, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.
As Rove has come under a lot of criticism from grassroots organizations and Tea Party types, people who have been his most ardent defenders have said, “Karl Rove wins elections.”
Well then he should go out and win elections. He should leave the commentary about Hillary Clinton’s health to others.