Friday, March 07, 2008

Hillary the Republican praises McCain and slams Obama

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I'm with Creature. Hillary Clinton is making it increasingly difficult for me not to hate her. Is "hate" too strong a word? Perhaps, but, at this late hour, it seems like the most appropriate one.

It didn't start out that way. I didn't endorse Obama because I hated Clinton, or even disliked her, but because I liked Obama more -- and I have come to like him more and more, as you know if you've been reading this blog recently. But now? After the smear campaign she's been running against him, the scorched-earth campaign to destroy him, her desperate willingness to do anything to win the nomination? Well, it's hard to like her anymore.

And it's only getting worse.

It began well before the Tuesday primaries, but Clinton's main line of attack is to claim that Obama lacks the experience necessary for the job of being president. Which is bad enough. What makes it worse is that her attack on Obama includes praise, in comparative terms, for McCain. Obama has no experience, her attack goes, but she does, and since McCain also has experience, she is the better candidate to go up against him in the general election. How is this an attack? What she's really saying is not just that she has the experience to match up with McCain but that Obama lacks that experience and would therefore lose.

It is all quite infuriating, and she was at it again yesterday, claiming that both she and McCain have "crossed that threshold" that qualifies them to be president -- on national security, that is. Needless to say, she doesn't think Obama has crossed it, or even come close. For more, see Greg Sargent at TPM. And see also AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay:

When exactly did Hillary Clinton demonstrate that she was able to "cross the commander-in-chief threshold"? When she supported Bush by voting for the Iraq War? When she supported Bush (and Lieberman) on the Iran resolution last September (basically a carbon copy of the Iraq war resolution)? When she went to Kosovo with Sinbad and Sheryl Crow? When she was First Lady of Arkansas? When she was planning the White House Christmas Party?

This is getting ridiculous. It's one thing for Clinton to build herself up. But constantly comparing herself to McCain, constantly praising McCain over the man who may be our candidate in the fall, is beyond annoying. Is that supposed to make her appear stronger? If she wants that comparison, we'll make it. On the most important foreign policy decision of this decade, on the biggest foreign policy disaster in recent American history, Hillary Clinton and John McCain made the wrong call -- both sided with George Bush and voted for the Iraq war. If this is the judgment they would bring to the threshold of the Oval Office, if these are the decisions Hillary and McCain are going to be making when the phone rings at 3AM, who needs either one of them?

It is indeed getting ridiculous, and I for one don't need either one of them, but it is what the Clinton campaign is all about now: smearing and belittling Obama. And if that means waging a scorched-earth campaign, pumping up McCain, and, should Obama be the nominee, handing the Republicans a ton of ammunition, so be it. The Clinton campaign is all about Clinton, not about the Democratic Party, not about unity and civility, not about showing respect for Obama, or for the states that voted for him, or for her supporters in the states that voted for him, and certainly not about being fair. And apparently she thinks she can only win the race by siding with McCain against Obama.

But is it wrong for the Clinton campaign to be all about Clinton? Is it wrong to campaign negatively, to play dirty, to attack and smear, to do whatever it takes to win? Maybe not, if all that is important is the victory of a single candidate, Clinton's victory no matter the cost, no matter the consequences. But what is also important is the victory of the Democratic Party in November -- winning the White House and increasing its majorities in Congress. With Clinton playing up McCain, and playing into Republican hands, on top of everything else she has done to try to bring down Obama, it is time, I think, for Democrats to say that enough is finally enough, demand an end to Clinton's desperate and destructive campaign, and line up confidently and enthusiastically, as a strong, united party, behind Obama, a genuine leader and one of the great political figures of our time.

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  • It shouldn't be a surprise that she begins to sound like another Lieberman: She worked with him to blast Hollywood and video games and also pushed an anti-flag burning amendment. Of course, there is a crucial difference: Censorin' Joe actually believes in those things. Everything Hillary has ever done and continues to do is a political calculation. Of course, my favorite thing right now is the real story of "NAFTAgate" coming out from up there over the border, where it was her campaign that first sent out feelers to Canadian officials to take her new "anti-NAFTA" stance with a grain of salt. If Clinton is not stopped and uses her chicanery to steal the nomination, McCain is going to deserve to win.

    By Blogger Edward Copeland, at 6:23 AM  

  • I have to agree with you whole-heartedly. I've never supported Sen. Clinton. But I have defended to the death her right to be judged as a candidate and on her politics and not on her relative value as a woman (ie her bodily appearance, her fashion, her 'feminine'-or not so much-behavioural traits...).

    But she has been playing dirty politics, plain and simple. And I feel she may be making a bad name for female candidates for the future because she is being judged as just that. How hard will it be for her shenanigans to not be seen as "proof"-"see, we were right, women are manipulative..."

    In the very least it becomes harder and harder for me to make the point "judge her on her politics" because her politics are beginning to fulfill gender-based criticisms, making them seem correlated. (because, of course, no MALE politician ever plays dirty...).

    By Blogger lindabeth, at 1:55 PM  

  • I think Susan Sarandon said it best when she said that we are more than ready to have a woman as president, just not that woman.

    By Blogger Edward Copeland, at 3:40 PM  

  • Question, Michael:

    Where were you when Obama was ressurecting Ronald Reagan as among the pantheons of Presidential divinities?

    By Blogger Carl, at 4:34 PM  

  • Carl, Obama was misquoted. In that statement, he disagreed with Reagan's policies while acknowledging Reagan's ability to reach and unify people.

    That is not what the Clintons are all about. They are abrasive and divisive, and I am tired of the politics of derision and scorn. I am with Michael on this. I am seriously beginning to resent Clinton, so much so that I am willing to wait this one out ... or expatriate.

    And I still have my Carte de Sejour ...

    By Blogger Swampcracker, at 7:07 PM  

  • I had a great deal of respect for Hilary Clinton before the unbelievable backstabbing of the democratic party. How can she attack a fellow party member (Senator Obama) and praise the republicans on national security. The republicans have ran this country's economy into the ground in a way that's never been seen before. For example, it will take all of the first four years of next presidency to put a dent in this enormous deficit? Where is Chairman Dean? Is he and the rest of democratic leadership going sit by and let this continue? I know for a fact that if Obama is fortunate enough to win the nomination, she doesn't have a snowball chance in hell of being the VP. This is one of the greatest political blunders in the history of politics. I just hope Hippocrite Clinton doesn't cost the Democrats the Whitehouse in November because none of us can survive 4 more years of Republican BS. I'm absolutely sure EXXON, MOBILE, and SHELL are laughing all the way to the bank...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:26 PM  

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