Monday, May 26, 2008

HRC and RFK: Clintonian self-victimization and the blame (Obama) game

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Nothing is ever Hillary's fault.

Ever.

Or, at least, that's what she and her campaign would like us to believe.

What's more, whether it's the situation with Michigan and Florida (a party issue, with rules set by the DNC) or any of the various controversies that have emerged during this long and sometimes bitter race, it's not just that it's never Hillary's fault, it's usually Obama's.

Or, at least, that's what she and her campaign would like us to believe.

And you can add Hillary's RFK assassination blunder to the list.

As you may remember -- and Creature put up an excellent post on it here -- Hillary recently remarked that she's staying in the race because, and let's quote her directly: "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California." (And because Bill's 1992 campaign lasted until June -- not a fair analogy, given that he had wrapped up the nomination much earlier.)

Meaning: "I'm staying in the race in case Obama is assassinated," literally or figuratively (perhaps).

Well, of course, the Clinton campaign jumped to their candidate's defence, arguing that what she meant was that primary campaigns, such as the one in 1968, can be protracted affairs, lasting well into the summer, as the current one might. (Which is true, sort of. Again, 1992 is not a fair analogy.)

But that, apparently, is not enough. Now the Clinton campaign is actually blaming Obama for the whole thing:

"The Obama campaign... tried to take these words out of context," Clinton campaign chairman [Terry] McAuliffe said on "Fox News Sunday." "She was making a point merely about the time line."

Okay, then why didn't she just make a point about the time line? Why bring up RFK's assassination at all? It's not like she doesn't know that words matter, that how one expresses oneself matters. Either she's incredibly ignorant (in having said something in an incredibly ignorant way) or incredibly malicious (and desperate to justify her ongoing campaign in any way possible).

Hillary's insincere remarks on her remark suggest the latter: "I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family, was in any way offensive." Note the "if" -- "if" what I said "was in any way offensive." Not that it was, just that it could have been, maybe, depending on perspective. Note, too, that she mentioned only the Kennedys, not Obama.

I've had enough of this latest blunder, but I've also had enough of Hillary herself. While criticizing her campaign, I have tried not to be too negative, defending her repeatedly as a strong candidate and an impressive political figure with a bright future in the Democratic Party. However, she has grown increasingly desperate, pathetic, and nasty over the course of the campaign, smearing Obama whenever and however possible, fashioning herself a populist to win over working-class whites with whom she has nothing in common other than her skin colour, cozying up to the vast right-wing conspiracy that has so tormented her and her husband, and, as this incident shows, making up ridiculous and offensive arguments to justify her losing campaign.

It's time, Hillary. Get out.

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