Friday, January 11, 2008

What others are saying about Hillary's--and Bill's--comments related to Obama and MLK

Over at TPM Election Central, Greg Sargent has a discussion going regarding Clyburn's reaction as reported in the NYT. I want to share some of the comments from that discussion. Before doing so, I will state that I don't think Sargent, or Josh Marshall for that matter, have an understanding of the meaning and impact of Hillary's words. It pains me to say that, because I have the utmost admiration and respect for Josh Marshall and what he has done and continues to do. And from what I have seen of Greg Sargent's work, I feel much the same way about him. That being said, let's get to some of the comments. As you read these comments, please take note that these people are saying the same things about Hillary that I have been saying from, well, day one.
green heron wrote on January 11, 2008 10:10 AM:

"It took a president to get it done." What an insanely stupid thing to say.
"Insane." I knew I was leaving out an appropriate adjective.
Michael A wrote on January 11, 2008 10:19 AM:

Good for clyburn. The stuff coming out of a former president's mouth and clinton herself, while claiming to be so progressive is really pathetic. It evidences that all the clintons care about are the clintons and nothing else.
(emphasis added).
Keith wrote on January 11, 2008 10:19 AM:

You reap what you sow. They spent the last week misrepresenting and distorting Obama's record (the abortion mailer was indefensible) and now folks are taking a look at them. Moments of stress tell you a great deal about a person.

When the Clintons are under stress, they will say or do anything.
(emphasis added). Like I said three days ago, "While she might know what she is going to do "from day one" if she is elected President, this incident tells me that she doesn't have any idea what she will actually face if she gets the office. I mean to say, this was one question from a reporter in a one on one setting, and she blew it. What the hell is she going to do if Al Qaeda decides to test her?"

This next one really gets to the basic issues.
Rhoda wrote on January 11, 2008 10:26 AM:

Mr. Sargent,

You seem to be ignoring the fact that President Clinton called Sen. Obama's candidacy a fairy tale while distoring the Sen. position on the war and trying to conflate it with that of Sen. Clinton. You ignore the context of the personal and borderline racial comments the Clinton's made those five days in New Hampshire. You and a lot of the media may have brushed these off as the Clintons fighting with fire and succeding; but a lot of AA people and myself included have been talking about this. The Clinton's have hurt themseleves with many African American's with their comments and their dismissal of MLK and Barack Obama, again subtly conflating the two issues and rejecting the messengers.

Reasonable people may disagree, but there is a real sense of hurt among many African Americans who had NOTHING but respect for the Clintons and to see them tearing down a smart African Ameican politician like that is just painful.

Maybe others don't see it as that; but I know I do.

In what world would it be acceptable to call a major candidate for the nomination a fairy tale? After having earlier called him naive for holding the same position you do?

These aren't things that go unremarked.
Now if only the media will start paying attention. And by the way, for anyone thinking that Hillary has been so mistreated by the media--and that includes Bill--you should be thankful that this incident has not been getting much play in the media. Instead, almost all the coverage has been about her show of emotion and how misogynistic everyone has been.

Here's another "by the way..." Notice that none of these comments say anything critical about Hillary's gender or her show of emotion.
BJ wrote on January 11, 2008 10:29 AM:

I'm TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED in both the Clintons. . .and being a middle aged woman, who supported Edwards in the past, I am certainly in the OBAMA camp now. . . because I've been so disgusted with the Clinton comments. . ."fairy tales"; "throwing the dice"; and an examination of Hillary's Senate record is the same as Obama's . . .so what is she talking about. . ???? Not to mention the Kyl-Lieberman mess. . .I want REAL CHANGE in the RIGHT DIRECTION.
The Clinton's are NOT ALL-KNOWING, and ABSOLUTE. . . let's Move On !!!!!
Well, BJ, there are the portions of Hillary's "record" she will talk about, and then there are portions like her Iraq record and the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment that she refuses to even acknowledge. And after all, as Hillary her ownself said "Some of us are right, and some of us are wrong." I guess you and I just aren't smart enough to know we are wrong.

This one's self explanatory.
Anonymous wrote on January 11, 2008 10:31 AM:

President Clinton's remarks at Dartmouth the day before the NH primary were pretty classless.

As prior Clinton supporters, sorry, but they were.
This comment goes after Hillary's claim of oh so much experience in comparison to Obama.
grover_rover wrote on January 11, 2008 10:36 AM:

It was a very tasteless remark, made I'm sure out of her burning desire to trash Obama at all costs, more than any racist motivation, but it doesn't make it any less offensive to African Americans. She did basically imply that Obama, like King, is all talk and no action. By virtue of her attacks on Obama, she is implying that King was all talk and no action, and it took a doer (like her apparently) to get things done. The assertion that King's "talk" (and action, because he did a hell of a lot of action, just not in the white house) wasn't what gave traction to the civil rights movement and that somehow his inability to be president in the 60s was his fault and not the fault of a racist country, it is incredibly offensive and disgusting. Her attack was about "talk vs action" and MLK did both and he had great successes. Obama also obviously has to talk part down, but he ALSO has a history of ACTION, from grassroots to legislative achievements. Hillary's attacks are even more pathetic when you look at her so called "experience" with "action" and see that it rests on a bunch of hype. The most she ever worked on anything was healthcare reform in the 90s, and that FAILED MISERABLY. That isn't the kind of "action" we need.

Anyway, the whole thing was just demonstrative of how low the Clintons will go to attack Obama in any way possible (you may recall her even using her tearful moment to work in a couple attacks against Obama, although the media rarely played the whole tape), no matter how ridiculous or false the attacks are. She'll do anything to get ahead, and she should be ashamed. I'd love for it to once, just once, bite her in the ass.
(emphasis added). Grover brings up a very good point, namely that almost none of the media coverage of Hillary's "emotional moment" showed the "Some of us are right, and some of us are wrong" comment. As I mentioned before, that clearly was a shot at Obama--after she just said we need to get away from things like that. And that's another reason why all the claims about Hillary getting so mistreated by the media are hollow.

Sargent stated that "It just seems surprising that Clyburn would be basing his re-evaluation of Hillary based almost entirely on this one remark." This comment points out that Sargent is off the mark.
Anonymous wrote on January 11, 2008 10:37 AM:

Greg- Do you people read? It wasn't just one comment. It was also Bill Clinton demeaning Obama's candidacy as a "fairy tale." I wonder what Gloria Steinem think if an ex-President had called a female candidate's campaign a "fairy tale." What if they said, say, about, Shirley Chisholm who had the same amount of Congressional experience (she was elected in 68 and ran in 72) as Obama when he ran. Would she have liked that? I doubt it because she supported Chisholm (as I did). Now Steinem thinks Hillary's "experience" as corporate lawyer, first wife and a few more years than Obama in the Senate voting for a tragic war and amendments like Kyl-Lieberman is more valuable than a man with the core integrity to oppose a needless war in a time of viscous and ugly McCarthy like accusations.

Why should Clyburn have to put up with this shit? The whole quote doesn't excuse it at all. Of course there "some disagreement" etc. blah blah. Hillary has apologists that can excuse anything from Shaheen (at first) to Cuomo etc. etc. At a best case non-racist interpretation she's basically saying history is made from the top. The truth is neither Johnson nor Kennedy would have given a fuck about civil rights if King, Clyburn and millions of others had risked their lives to force the issue. As Allende said, "History is made by the people."
(emphasis added). I will take exception to one statement. LBJ was in many ways a power hungry SOB, but his concern about civil rights and social justice was genuine long before he became President. That being said, it took a whole lot more than LBJ to obtain any success in terms of civil rights. Indeed, it also took "King, Clyburn and millions of others had risk[ing] their lives to force the issue." I especially like the "best case non-racist interpretation." That is at the heart of this whole incident. Hillary's words show that she thinks she knows what is best for everybody and that no body else does. Her words (especially when considered with what she said in the Debate on January 5 and in early December) show that she does not think that ideas and hopes and dreams are important. What is important to her is that she is in charge.

And as the above comments show, I am not the only one who thinks so. Wake up, Democrats.


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