Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Like Scales Falling From My Eyes

I'd always considered right-wingers criticizing of Bill Clinton as a dirty fighter to be the height of hypocrisy. I mean, Rove et al. were the dirty tricksters, right? Bill was just defending himself.

But now, with her back against the wall, Hillary's starting to pull out old tricks that make me wonder whether I had perhaps been a wee bit (willfully?) blind to their past methods. First, she has her campaign accuse Obama of plagiarism for taking a couple of speech lines without attribution from one of his best friends. I mean, come on. All politicians take lines from each other. She's had almost exact quotes from everyone from Bill to Obama. Unless there's a five sentence rule (like the 5 second rule with food that falls on the floor?), this is just silly.

Then she (or her campaign) denies that she pushed the issue, saying reporters took off with it on their own. Yeah, right. You can't claim the press is giving Obama a free pass in one breath, then with the next breath expect us to believe they suddenly turned on him without provocation.

Then her campaign floats the idea of poaching delegates Obama earned via elections, a move I think would set the party back 20 years in convincing young people their votes matter.

I think this is good seasoning for Obama, who I expect will face far tougher attacks in the general election. But I also wonder how much Bill's going to regret the taint on fond memories some of us had of him. Particularly when the moves are being played by someone who's just not as good at it as he was.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Clinton slime machine was far more effective than the Republicans'. (Here's a hint--if everyone believes you're a nasty slimer, that means the other side is better at throwing mud because they didn't get caught.) Ken Starr investigated a perjurer and serial sexual harrasser, yet somehow Starr became the villain. Don't forget the Clinton's were also ready to call Monica Lewinsky a crazy stalker until they found out she'd saved the blue dress (following Linda Tripp's advice).

That said, it's just good old-fashioned politics. People who pretend to be above it all, like Obama or McCain, are far more annoying. They still lie and insult everyone else (I've heard at least three lies from Obama about John McCain and I didn't see anyone calling him on it), but they do it so condesecendingly. as if saying "how dare you claim I could do anything wrong, now here's my list of why you're so evil!"

Of course, when it comes to mud slinging between Clinton and Obama, the whole thing is pointless, because they already agree on every issue.

5:20 AM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK so if you have a bad reputation- its because the other guys are better at being nasty. Hmmm. I don't think Starr and his friends needed any help.

The Clintons are no angels & are probably unlikeable as opponents but its hard to argue that the period of their last reign 1993-2001 was a far superior time for most Americans than 2001-2008 or 1989-93 for that matter, angry out-power exiled ideologues aside (see comment above) or party regulars aside (the Dems lost seats during the terms). The market was up, things looked good, and the only problem was the Great Blow-Job Crisis of 1997.

Their stumbles with Obama may be showing that their time has passed and they are no longer have their finger on the proverbial pulse. Obama's appeal seems based in the electorate's rejection of negatives this year and the perceived harsh attacks seem to be energizing rather than dissuading potential Obama voters. The message this year is that the voters are tired of nastiness (which doesn't mean that things will necessarily be less nasty, but the successful candidate will have to seem so)

8:02 AM, February 20, 2008  
Anonymous denver guy said...

I would just note that from 1993-2001,

1)The 9/11 terrorists entered the US and plotted and trained for the destruction of the WTC and Pentagon.

2) The Dot Com Bubble was birthed and, besides setting up the Stock Market for a massive correction, also drove up real estate prices unrealistically, which led to the real estate bubble which is now deflating.

3) Enron and other massive corporate frauds were perpetrated that would be litigated after 2001.

4) The reengineering of the levies around New Orleans were unsatisfactorily completed and executed, though we wouldn't know how poor they were until Katrina hit.

I can continue, but generally I credit Clinton with impeccable timing.

9:59 AM, February 21, 2008  

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