Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Clintons smoked identity politics, inhaled big-time

The more I see of the Clinton campaign, the more I understand the burning hatred the right wing has always felt toward them, even if I don't (yet) share it. How can you not hate people who laugh and smile while they distort their opponents words and records? How can you not hate people who brazenly drag their opponents' race into the campaign repeatedly, and then feign indignation when their opponent calls them on it? How can you not despise the Clintons when they speak derisively of Barack engaging in identity politics, while at the same time reminding everyone at every turn that Hillary has ovaries?

The Clintons' latest not-quite-subtle attempt to marginalize Obama based on race:

Said Bill Clinton today in Columbia, SC: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here."

This was in response to a question about Obama saying it "took two people to beat him." Jackson had not been mentioned.

Boy, I can't understand why anyone would think the Clintons are running a race-baiting campaign to paint Obama as "the black candidate."

Obama did win the vast majority of black South Carolinians' votes. But how does Bill Clinton explain Iowa? Did Jesse Jackson win Iowa and the history books forgot to record that?


Paul said...

You may want to take a look at Dick Morris's website and his past few columns. From his experience running Clinton campaigns, his take is it is designed largely to keep negative press off Hillary and on Bill, all the while cultivating a white backlash. Plus, the way it's done gives them plausible deniability that it has anything to do with race.

That alone, I think, illustrates how Obama is different, transcending, for many people, the issue of race.

Regarding the view of many on the right towards Hillary. We had eight years of pathological loathing of the Clintons by the far right. Then we have eight years of pathological loathing of anything Bush by the far left. (Of course, Bush wins because the far left are joined by many Republicans, who are plain disenchanted). More than a few voters are plain tired of it and do not look forward to a future four years' minimum of more of the same. Hence, they see Obama is really an agent of change.

But regardless of who wins the general election, I'm confident either left or right will continue the vitriol and the backwards-looking acrimony. But maybe it won't be quite as bad as it has been.

igotyerblog said...

We had eight years of pathological loathing of the Clintons by the far right. Then we have eight years of pathological loathing of anything Bush by the far left.

Your info on Morris may be ahead of the curve insight-wise, but this both-sides-do-it stuff is way past its sell-by date. The Clintons have for fifteen years been the targets of a black PR effort to portray them as co-antichrists. The "substance" of these charges pretty much universally turns out to make the wildest JFK-assassination theory look like pure common sense.

Bush, on the other hand *did* ignore Al Qaeda, *did* start a disastrous war, *did* cut taxes, thus spiraling up the deficit, *did* illegally wiretap who knows how many people despite FISA allowing a 72-hour headstart, *has* still failed to get chemical plants, nukes, and air cargo adequately protected against terrorist attacks, *has* failed to properly equip the soldiers in his misbegotten war, *has* allowed wounded veterans to be asked to pay for their own meals at military hospitals, ... Clinton, as many disagreements as I have with him, had nothing like Bush's record of behavior that lurches from malfeasance to incompetence.

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