Is The Clinton Team On the Road To Self-destruction As Well As Moral Obloquy?
Is Bill Clinton's attack-dog campaign strategy just the tip of the iceberg?
A number of articles and political commentaries take up this question today, in the aftermath of the South Carolina election. I am providing links to them with some excerpt. They are well worth reading in their entirety. The Democratic Party must repudiate the Clintons sinking so low that they are willing to court a racist vote in order to defeat Barack Obama.
As Democrats, we well remember how Karl Rove orchestrated a finely tuned series of vicious personal attacks against the Clinton’s during Bill Clinton’s two terms in office. It seems like Hillary and Bill learned all the wrong lessons from that experience. They are now trying to out-Rove Rove with their current racist smear campaign against Barack Obama, and they have hired a master dirty-ops PR heavy, Mark Penn, CEO of firm Burson-Marsteller to oversee the job.
Here's an example taken from Bill Clinton’s comments on Obama's win inthe South Carolina primary yesterday. Note his not so subtle equation of Obama’s campaign for president with Jesse Jackson's run for the president in the 1980's on with a campaign program centered on race issues. This was a coninuation of the Clinton's not so subliminal effort to label Obama as a "race" candidate.
ABC News Senior National Correspondent Jake Tapper reported the following interchange between Clinton and ABC New’s David Wright yesterday:
Bubba: Obama Is Just Like Jesse Jackson
January 26, 2008 8:18 PM
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 from ABC News' David Wright about it taking "two Clintons to beat" Obama. 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."
A slightly different take on Bill Clinton’s remarks comes from Merle Black a professor at Emory University in Atlanta. According to the Bloomberg campaign roundup, he said."The implicit comparison is that Jackson won but he didn't win the nomination. That is just another round of trying to devalue what Obama has achieved."
Paul Rogat, a political commentator from Alaska, has done an excellent job in assembling the profile of the underside of Clinton’s campaign committee, Does Hillary Clinton Cross Ethical Lines?. He reflects the growing concern throughout the Democratic Party of the damage that the Clinton’s are willing to inflict on the party to guarantee a win:
Hillary Clinton's campaign has crossed so many ethical lines it risks embittering so many potential supporters as to cost the Democrats the November election. If all the new voters that Obama's bringing in are so angered they decide to stay home, it's going to be extremely difficult for the Democrats to beat a candidate like McCain, particularly if the Republicans have Hillary to mobilize against. …
We've seen plenty of recent examples of ways that Clinton and her political allies have embraced an approach in which truth and fairness become expendable. But the pattern of questionable approaches runs deeper than just the most recent arguments. You're probably familiar with many. But it's the broader pattern that disturbs me--how much the Clinton campaign goes beyond drawing legitimate political lines to an all-too-Rovian approach where they'll do whatever's deemed necessary to take down her competitors. Here's a representative list of actions that, taken together, offer a disturbing portent, even if Clinton does get in.
What does the future hold.? I believe that many in the leadership of the Democratic Party agree with Majority Whip Jim Clyburn who said on CNN yesterday that he was hoping to see a brokered Democratic Party Convention at which the party leadership would have a chance to join in selection of the nominee. This will occur if there is a three-way vote split. The following statistics assembled by The Nation show that Clinton is no where near capturing a majority of campaign delegates at this point. Seventy-three percent of South Carolina’s voted against her yesterday. Here is their tally of the percentage of votes in primary elections so far so far:
Sixty-five percent of delegates chosen so far in Democratic primaries and caucuses have gone to Hillary Clinton's opponents. Of course, the opposition is divided between Barack Obama, with 63, and John Edwards, with 26. But when you add those totals together -- the most likely calculation in the eyes of anyone who has been watching the subtle cooperation between the Obama and Edwards campaigns -- they don't just trump Clinton's 48. They obliterate it.
I the Clinton's do lock up the nomination then the unthinkable might happen again--a Republican victory. It isn't only the future of the Democratic Party or even of the United States, but the whole damned world will be up for grabs. Global warming is a looming catastrophe, but the effects of four more years of a Republican president may well be more than the planet can sustain.