Water Man Spouts

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Pattern!

This from last week’s TIME:

"I was told by someone close to the President that he thinks he won New Hampshire for Hillary Clinton. If so, he is wrong. …..

"In the past two weeks, though, Bill Clinton has redefined his wife’s campaign. He has made it a co-candidacy. He has cheapened it by using cheesy, misleading tactics against Obama. He began this the night before the New Hampshire primary, when he called Obama’s antiwar opposition ‘a fairy tale,’ which was, well, bullpucky. Obama spoke out against the war before it began. When he reached the Senate, Obama had to deal with the awful reality on the ground: we had troops there; there was chaos. He proceeded to vote like other Senators who had opposed the war – in favor of funding the troops, hoping for progress. As Iraq metastasized into a civil war, he began to vote for a responsible withdrawal. That Bill Clinton would turn this into an attack against Obama was almost as absurd as Clinton turning Obama’s statement that Ronald Reagan had changed the trajectory of the nation – and that, for a time, the Republicans had been the party of ideas – into a claim that Obama had thought GOP ideas were better. Clinton, after all, had said the same sort of things about Republicans in 1992. And he had been tougher on Democrats, decrying ‘the brain-dead politics of both parties in Washington.’ Indeed, almost everything Clinton said about Obama smacked of cheap political trickery …..

"…But even the most casual observer is aware of this: at a moment of crisis in Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Bill Clinton was suddenly back and all over the news. His reappearance made her seem weak, and unable to defend herself. It raised the most fundamental question about her candidacy: If she is elected, who exactly will be President? What will happen if there is a real crisis? …."

"For a man known for his cornucopia of appetites, this is the greatest hunger. There is no controlling it, especially when he is in a defiant mood, under attack for his latest eruption of narcissism. It’s his way of saying, ‘No! Look! I’m not overwhelmingly selfish – just extremely, passionately interested in making the world better for you!’ …

"The bond Bill Clinton built with the black community seemed unbreakable. And so it was shocking to see it shattered in South Carolina by a need for victory at any cost."
--In the Arena; Joe Klein; pages 26-27.

And then this from the current edition:

"….Perhaps the most dreadful baby-boom political legacy has been the overconsulted, fanatically tactical, poll-driven campaign –and Clinton has suffered whenever she has emphasized tactics over substance. Her lame attempts to ‘go negative’ on Obama have been almost entirely counterproductive. Her husband’s attempts to paint Obama as a ‘race’ candidate – his resort to the most toxic sort of old-fashioned politics – only reinforced the strangely desperate nature of their campaign. It was the very opposite of "Yes, We Can’ politics. …

"Then again, one of Obama’s most effective lines is about the ‘craziness’ of trying the same old thing in Washington ‘over and over and over again, and somehow expecting a different result.’ The first politician I ever heard use that line – weirdly attributed to everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Albert Einstein – was Bill Clinton. It is a sad but inescapable fact of this election that Bill and Hillary Clinton have now become the ‘same old thing’ they once railed against. In a country where freshness is fetishized – and where a staggering 70% of the way things are going today – the ‘same old thing’ is not the place to be. .."
--In the Arena; Joe Klein; pages 18-19.

There seems to be a pattern here. Some people will tell you not to read TIME. These are the same people who will tell you not to read The Nation, or listen to Keith Olbermann, or MoveOn. They have a pattern of turning on those that have a different opinion on the democratic primary. I curious: if Senator Clinton does win the nomination, will her supporters still identify The Nation, Keith Olbermann, MoveOn, and people like me as their "enemy"? Time will tell.


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