2008 Elections: Eating Your Own
Every time we begin to repent of perhaps taking Senator Hillary Clinton to task too harshly, she does something that (1) makes us go "WTF??" and then (2) take her to task again.
This time, it's her comments about why she does poorly in caucuses. In her own words:
"Moveon.org endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] -- which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down," Clinton said to a meeting of donors. "We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me."What the fuck, Senator? Are you fucking talking about the fucking organization that was fucking created to fucking defend your fucking (this one's not gratuitous) husband against the Republicans' attempt to impeach him for fucking around on you while he was President?
The "activist base" of the Democratic party would be the same people who defended you and your husband when you alleged the existence of a vast right-wing conspiracy funded by Richard Mellon Scaife? The guy you sat down with recently? The same people who fought to ensure your husband a second Presidential term? Who turn out to his book signings and speeches and opened their hearts and wallets for both of you?
You're attacking those people? Without them, your husband would be the impeached ex-President and you would be living in Arkansas with no Senatorial title before your name. You do realize that, don't you?
And what's this about "a gusher of money"? Members of MoveOn are regular working folks, mostly. They give the small amounts that they can afford. This is not like raising over $1 million from lobbyists, or anything.
And to repeat a Karl Rove lie about MoveOn "didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan" &mdash a lie which has been repeatedly debunked??? AFAICT, MoveOn has never opposed the war in Afghanistan, a war which Bush bullied Congress into approving by basically handing off their power to declare war to him.
Hindsight is, of course, twenty-twenty, and for us to say we wish that had never happened is worse than useless. However, to accuse MoveOn of adopting a position that it did not take is disingenuous. Here are the words of the petition to which Senator Clinton refers:
We implore the powers that be to use, wherever possible, international judicial institutions and international human rights law to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks, rather than the instruments of war, violence or destruction. Furthermore, we assert that the government of a nation must be presumed separate and distinct from any terrorist group that may operate within its borders, and therefore cannot be held unduly accountable for the latter's crimes. . .These words do not unequivocally oppose the invasion of Afghanistan. Rather, they state what all thinking beings must surely agree with: that war is the tool of last resort. If possible, we must always strive to accomplish our aims by peaceful means. Only when all possibilities have been exhausted can we go to war.
Why? Because the carnage of World Wars I and II have shown us that civilians and the innocent are disproportionately affected by war. While the profiteers and generals and governments and ministers often do well in wars, the average yob does not. And also because the weakest are most likely to be injured &mdash children, youth, pregnant women, the disabled and ill are least likely to be able to defend themselves against guns and bombs and other instruments of war.
And because war kills. And before we accept taking the lives of others, before we agree to stain our hands and our honour and our nation with the blood of the fallen, we must be convinced that there is a real and present danger to ourselves, our loved ones, and our nation.
Senator Clinton chose to use these words to categorize the dedicated X million members of MoveOn as &mdash what? Peaceniks? Thinking beings? Antiwar activists? We don't understand what she's trying to say, but we do understand that she is repeating an already debunked lie, and that her aim in repeating that lie is to somehow paint the activist base of the Democratic party as unpatriotic and unAmerican.
And in a fine demonstration of further ineptitude, her communications director explains her statement thus:
Howard Wolfson, communications director for the Clinton campaign, verified the authenticity of the audio, and elaborated on Clinton's charge that these same party activists were engaged in acts of intimidation against her supporters: "There have been well documented instances of intimidation in the Nevada and the Texas caucuses, and it is a fact that while we have won 4 of the 5 largest primaries, where participation is greatest, Senator Obama has done better in caucuses than we have." About Clinton's remarks suggesting dismay over high Democratic activist turnout, Wolfson said, "I'll let my statement stand as is."Also, in fact, over at DailyKos, Texan Democratic party activists reported at the time that Clinton campaign workers were attempting to intimidate Democratic activists. The campaign threatened to sue the Texas Democratic party and provided legal advice to Clinton supporters in challenging Obama delegates.
In fact, the Nevada caucuses occurred prior to MoveOn's endorsement of Obama, and when Clinton made her remarks, the Texas caucuses had yet to take place.
There's something deeply divisive and divided and self-destructive about Hillary Clinton. This does not excuse the misogynistic bashing that she's getting from the mainstream media. But she works really hard to push people away. We just don't understand it. She started out with so much &mdash the goodwill, the money, the donors, the hardworking activists willing to put it all on the line for her &mdash she had them all. The name recognition. The abiding love and respect of so many voters who remember how good the Clinton years were. Now every day yet another person announces that they can no longer support Clinton. And that's in our tiny circle of friends and acquaintances.
U.C. Berkeley professor and former Clinton Labour Secretary Robert Reich announced today that he supports Obama's candidacy. Stumble It!