The Republicans just cannot get a fix on Hillary - at least not on one that they can agree on. Their problem was especially evident in the Tuesday debate. According to the GOP candidates, Clinton is simultaneously A and not-A, B and not-B, C and not-C, etc. And they all said such things with a straight face.
In a report titled "The Hillary Clinton Living Inside the Republican Brain", Elspeth Reeve at The New Republic, documents the Republicans' contradictory list of Clinton's characteristics.
Here is some of the list. (For the citations and quotes, check Reeve's report.)
- An easily beatable candidate who's also a nearly-unbeatable juggernaut
- A woman with no ideas except for bad ones
- A foreign-policy failure who agrees with Republicans on foreign policy
- A big spender who is also stingy
- A socialist who loves Wall Street
Reeves concludes this way.
Their bizarrely contradictory portrait of Clinton points to what's confusing in the Republicans' own message. They know Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are on the other team; what they don't know is why the GOP team is better or more noble, or what exactly binds it together. They can't agree on what parts of the old GOP platform should be thrown out—Santorum says Republicans should pander less to business owners than to the people who work for them, Paul suggests ditching some social conservatism and hawkish foreign policy, Bush says lose the hostility to immigrants, and Trump says cut entitlements. But they do agree on what to keep: being against whatever Clinton is for. And whoever she is.
The GOPlins really are searching for a ghost in their machine. From everything they have said in the debates so far, one would have to conclude that even if they found the ghost, they could not agree on what to do about it. Other than shriek in fear and yammer mindlessly.