Monday, April 21, 2008

The vast right-wing conspiracy endorses Hillary Clinton

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Let's review, shall we?

-- Hillary met with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dick Scaife's right-wing rag, sat next to the man who spent the '90s trying to destroy the Clintons and the past few decades trying to destroy liberalism and the Democratic Party, and smeared Obama.

-- In response to the meeting, Scaife wrote a column praising (and quasi-endorsing) Hillary, praising her and claiming he had changed his mind about her.

-- Yadda yadda yadda, the campaign in Pennsylvania dragged on and on...

-- At an event in San Francisco, Obama talks about the bitterness of working-class Pennsylvanians, making the point that they turn to god and guns, racism and xenophobia, not so much because of their depressed economic condition, and because right-wing demagogues manipulate them. His point was both misunderstood and taken out of context -- even though Bill said much the same thing back in '92, even though Hillary herself said much worse after the '94 elections.

-- Obama was accused, not least by Hillary directly, of being an elitist, of being out-of-touch with Pennsylvanians. Yet the polls suggest that Pennsylvanians weren't nearly as offended as their alleged defenders claimed they were, or said they should have been. The media and Obama's critics and opponents made much of "bittergate," but those about whom he spoke did not. Many of them clearly know who Obama is, what sort of a person he is, and what he stands for. About this, they would not be so easily demagogued.

-- Hillary has the support of some of Pennsylvania's leading politicians, including Governor Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, perhaps in large part because of her once-upon-a-time decisive frontrunner status, or because of the Clintons' deep popularity in the state, but Obama has received some high-profile endorsements of his own, from, among others, Senator Bob Casey and Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney (as well as Steelers greats Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis).

-- Obama also has the support of Pennsylvania's major newspapers, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (which rejected the "elitist" charge), the Philadelphia Daily News, and The Morning Call (Allentown). Yesterday he received the endorsement of the state's largest newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer (which had previously endorsed him in advance of New Jersey's Feb. 5 (Super Tuesday) primary). He has also been endorsed by other leading newspapers in the state, including The Patriot-News (Harrisburg) and The Times-Tribune (Scranton).

-- The exception is Dick Scaife's right-wing rag, which yesterday endorsed Hillary. Of course, it is highly unlikely that Scaife and his rag would ever support her (or any Democrat) in a general election, and they wouldn't in November, but, for now, with pretty much every other newspaper in Pennsylvania endorsing Obama, she is the clear choice of the man and his propaganda machine at the forefront of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

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