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Mary

I'm a Canadian who loooooved Bill Clinton and turned into a political junkie because of him. I'm not a Republican, gag when I hear their talking points, and have thought Hilary has taken a lot of stupid, sexist, kneejerk crap during this campaign (see: Teargate).

But I have hated the way they've behaved during this campaign. In the past couple of days alone, Hilary has conveniently decided that now is the time to fight for the MN and FL delegates right to be seated (instead of months ago when she agreed with the DNC), her husband has compared Obama's huge victory in SC tonight to Jesse Jackson's victories in 84 and 88 (nice use of the dogwhistle, there!), and she couldn't even give a gracious concession speech tonight, giving Obama and SC one line in what turned out to be a rather tired stump speech.

She is smart and competent, but she's also capable of making really bad decisions, like voting to go into Iraq without even reading the NIE, and spinning like mad to justify her actions afterwards. If she does end up winning the nomination and I were an American, I'd hold my nose an vote for her as the lesser of two evils against anyone the Republicans put up.

But I don't celebrate her and I don't pity her, and I don't assume that she's getting crap from people only because of republican spin. Lance, she's gotten her fair share of crap the old-fashioned way: she's earrrrrned it. {/Houseman]

Apostate

I find this whole "[any Democrat] earned it" crap pretty hard to take. Republicans can send the whole country to hell in a handbasket and they don't get anywhere near the kind of grief ANY democrat does. Nothing like the venom -- even after Bush has run the country into the ground, there is just nothing but indulgence for him from the media.

So I don't really buy this crap about the special evil of the Clintons -- the media just focuses on it more, so it becomes part of the national narrative, and everyone begins to think it's their opinion that the Clintons are especially dirty.

No, honey, you just swallowed a ton of propaganda without noticing.

Chuck Butcher

As a Democrat Hillary sucks eggs, that's not right wing nutcase talk, it's not Bill's presidency talk, it is her Senate voting record. It stinks.

The MSM & DC insiders are her enemies??? WTF? You have got to be spoofing. Really. They've been her biggest publicists, her money people, her endorsements, do what?

Without Bill, she's what? A half assed NY senator good at the earmarks pork trough and nasty on people hostile bills.

Geoduck

No, without Bill, Hillary'd be pulling down the big bucks working as a top-tier lawyer in New York or DC. The woman has brains and ambition, but in the political world, she's riding on her husband's coattails.

And while there are those who hate her with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, she's at least getting talked about. The ones the boobahs really hate get shut out of the discourse all together..

Mary

"No, honey, you just swallowed a ton of propaganda without noticing."? Mote. Beam. Eye. Take your sexist condescension elsewhere, please.

I DON'T CARE if you think that any criticism of the Clintons is invalid as long as the Republicans don't get sufficient criticism. I note and agree that the media can be pretty damn lazy about their own biases and their yearning for narrative and change. But I am not in the media and get to form my own damn opinion. So do other bloggers and all sorts of people who are not part of the media.

I said that she had some undeserved crap thrown at here. She also earned some of it. That opinion doesn't make me some poor clueless little woman who doesn't know how to deal with media bias. Assert away, but some actual arguments would be nice.

Bluegrass Poet

Isn't it sexier to make a big deal of the Democrats' racist/feminist fight than to focus on a bunch of (mostly old, mostly noncombatant) white men trying to out-Rambo one another? (Who can believe we're getting another Rambo movie?) Whatever may be said of the Clinton/Obama tactics, what I see is the racism/sexism still lurking just below the surface not so much of the populace, who've proved themselves willing to come out in record numbers to vote for Obama and/or Clinton, but of the media -- mostly run by those same white men. I think Bill was right when he said this stuff wouldn't be important if the media didn't make it important.

Clinton and Obama can't have a primary battle without it's being about race or sex. They're not doing it. We are.

The media have their narrative for this one -- black prince against wicked witch. And Democrats seem to be buying in.

What is appalling to me is the degree of Clinton-hatred manifested by Democrats. The Clintons are acting the way the Clintons have always acted. But it's ridiculous to call them racist.

I think we're all still scared deer-eyed of the Swift Boaters.

Thanks for voicing a little sanity.

jonst

>>>>>If she does end up winning the nomination and I were an American, I'd hold my nose an vote for her as the lesser of two evils against anyone the Republicans put up<<<<<<<

If you really believe that Mary, then I politely suggest you fail to understand the Republican Party...circa 2008. Go look, if at nothing else, of the ages of the Supreme Court justices. Go look at the dynamics of it. How the votes spin out. Look at the respective positions of the parties on environmental issues. Hell, go back and study the history of the near coup that put the decider in in the first place. See how the game is played. And then think torture.

Nope, I will hold, close to me, whomever comes out of the nomination process... as close to me as I can. I will support them big time, and give all of my time, and my money, that I can. I'm gonna keep my eye on the prize. Am I far to the left of them? Sure. So what. In my opinion the Republic is at stake in this election. She won't take 8 more years of these criminals.

Mary

The composition of the Supreme Court is the biggest reason I'd support any Democrat. I'd support Clinton, I'd vote for Clinton, but she is, in no way, my first choice. That's all.

Chris the Cop

I believe the whole 'Hilary as closet racist' is largely a media creation, and I just wish Obama had enough sense not to buy into it.

Apostate, you can argue Democrats get too much criticism for their actions, you can argue Bush deserves everything negative he gets, but you can't factually argue that "there is just nothing but indulgence for him from the media"----even excluding bloggers---starting with Frank Rich and working your way through editorial boards across the country.

Apostate

Chris, you're right -- Bush hasn't gotten "nothing but indulgence" from the media. But at the crucial point when we could have avoided a second term, Kerry was destroyed by the media as surely as Gore was destroy before him, and as surely as any Democrat will be destroyed in this election.

Yes, after Bush has run the country into the ground, they say, "Yeah, well, he hasn't been the greatest president." But anything like the personal attacks the Democrats have to take? No.

Victoria

I am a Clinton fan. I think they are smart, deeply informed people who want to do good in the world. I also think they are complex and flawed, like everyone else. I have been astonished to watch the extent to which people project evil on them.

That said, I sense that something is turning and it's something deeper than a media construct. In the last week, I have heard from five Democratic friends, all likely Hillary voters, and they all used words like "pissed off" and "fed up" regarding the seeming Clinton game plan - the attempt to grab the Michigan and Florida votes... the disingenuous "Obama hearts Reagan!" case... and the unfortunate pile-up of too many small racial comments made by close surrogates.

Al Giordano - http://ruralvotes.com/thefield/ - has a collection of pieces - especially one by Barry Crimmins - that point to this sense of undertow.

Many Democrats want their politicians to fight back better but fight clean. I'm proud of my Dem friends - the now "pissed off" ones - who hold to this seeming paradox.

I've spent seven years deploring Republicans who let George Bush and Karl Rove carry on As They Do.

I hope this churning indicates that rank and file Democrats are not quite that corrupt yet.


David Parsons

The Clinton-hate is why I'm hoping that Obama takes the Democratic nomination -- not that I have any particular love for Mr. Obama (when he talks about new ways of doing things, I get Tony Blair flashbacks, and the whole business of bringing out a gaybasher for his unity tour a few months back gives me the creeps), but because I think that there are enough lefty Clinton-haters out there (the "I'd vote for a blind donkey over a Republican, but [insert long passionate diatribe against Ms. Clinton, her husband, their cat, and anyone associated with them down to and including their gardener]...") to throw the election to the Evil Party if she's nominated for the Democratic ticket.

lina

It was telling last night, after SC was called for Obama, the first person we heard from on national television from the Clinton campaign was BILL - not the candidate herself. When I saw that, I thought: it certainly is clear who Obama is running against.

Ted Kennedy endorses Obama tomorrow in DC. Maybe that will balance some of the weight away from Big Dawg.

Tom W.

Lance, I find some of the open sexism in this comments thread distressing, and it's everywhere (my place too) - you can still be an outspoken sexist in the Democratic party.

Judith

Tom and Lance - sexists blab in the GOP too if that is any comfort.

Thank you both for your posts on this topic and your blogs overall. Mature, thoughtful men backing up women is always appreciated by me. And I know I am not alone.

Muataman

"It was telling last night, after SC was called for Obama, the first person we heard from on national television from the Clinton campaign was BILL - not the candidate herself. When I saw that, I thought: it certainly is clear who Obama is running against"

Boy does this sum it all up. Hillary spoke later because her plane was delayed. It wasn't "telling" about anything.

calling all toasters

Huh. I guess all those Democrats (like myself) who voted for Bill twice and defended the two of them over the years and maybe even worked a campaign for them are mad at them for no reason. ironically, we argued for them on many of the same bases that you cite. We must have spontaneously decided en masse to buy into the Rove/Gingrich view. It must be a kind of hysteria. Perhaps over the weekend Maureen Dowd invaded all our dreams. It couldn't be anything the Clinton campaign has done--that's not possible. And you've already acknowledged the Clintons are not perfect. What could we possibly be expecting, then? It's a real fucking head-scratcher, this one.

sfmike

I'm part of the shift, and it's real. It has nothing to do with sexism, it has everything to do with a sense of hope.

Ron Turiello

Here are my thoughts on Hillary vs. Obama: There are differences on the issues, such as on their overarching foreign policy framework -- Clinton's will be much more aggressive than Obama's. Look at her Iran vote for one example.

The major distinctions between Obama and Clinton for me, however, come down to judgment and character. Maybe it's because I was against the war from the beginning that I'm less forgiving of Senator Clinton than others who had mixed feelings about the war or who initially supported it. But I think her war vote reveals either a serious flaw in her judgment (she thought the war was a good idea) or a serious flaw in her character (she thought the war was a bad idea but voted for it to protect her future political viability).

Obama had the good sense to stand up against the war when those of us who opposed the war were called unpatriotic and naive.

Obama has also lived in the real world more recently than Senator Clinton has -- remember she has seen America from the back of a limo and behind Secret Service protection since Bush's father was President. The world has changed significantly since 1991 and not having a street-level view of it I think has led her to be out of touch. And given the generational divide in their support I think a lot of younger voters are also picking up on this.

I also think the two campaigns' styles reflect a difference in character. Look at the Wal-Mart/Rezko exchange on Monday night, where Obama made a factual observation about what Senator Clinton was doing in the early 90s. Hillary struck back with innuendo similar to the slime the right threw at her and her husband back in the 90s. Did Obama mention any of those scandals? There's plenty of mud out there to sling back at Hillary, but to date he has not done so -- and to my knowledge no one supporting him has done so (and I won't either -- which is why I did not list out any of the names of the scandals above).

Also look at the Shaheening Clinton did with respect to the present votes -- implying that Obama was neutral on sex abuse and sex shops near schools. (And I know that Shaheen resigned a few days after he injected the cocaine issue into the campaign, but the damage had been done.)

I think that there are some things in life more important than winning elections, like being able to look your kids in the eye ten years after the vote and tell them you're proud of what you did. I think Obama is running his campaign like that and I don't think the Clintons are.

And I think that a person who will do anything to get elected will do anything to stay in power, which leads to bad decisions like Senator Clinton made on Iraq and Iran, and which President Clinton made when he signed DOMA, the AEDPA, and the CDA, and gutted welfare and AFDC (what Peter Edelman called The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done).

Ron Turiello

Here are my thoughts on Hillary vs. Obama: There are differences on the issues, such as on their overarching foreign policy framework -- Clinton's will be much more aggressive than Obama's. Look at her Iran vote for one example.

The major distinctions between Obama and Clinton for me, however, come down to judgment and character. Maybe it's because I was against the war from the beginning that I'm less forgiving of Senator Clinton than others who had mixed feelings about the war or who initially supported it. But I think her war vote reveals either a serious flaw in her judgment (she thought the war was a good idea) or a serious flaw in her character (she thought the war was a bad idea but voted for it to protect her future political viability).

Obama had the good sense to stand up against the war when those of us who opposed the war were called unpatriotic and naive.

Obama has also lived in the real world more recently than Senator Clinton has -- remember she has seen America from the back of a limo and behind Secret Service protection since Bush's father was President. The world has changed significantly since 1991 and not having a street-level view of it I think has led her to be out of touch. And given the generational divide in their support I think a lot of younger voters are also picking up on this.

I also think the two campaigns' styles reflect a difference in character. Look at the Wal-Mart/Rezko exchange on Monday night, where Obama made a factual observation about what Senator Clinton was doing in the early 90s. Hillary struck back with innuendo similar to the slime the right threw at her and her husband back in the 90s. Did Obama mention any of those scandals? There's plenty of mud out there to sling back at Hillary, but to date he has not done so -- and to my knowledge no one supporting him has done so (and I won't either -- which is why I did not list out any of the names of the scandals above).

Also look at the Shaheening Clinton did with respect to the present votes -- implying that Obama was neutral on sex abuse and sex shops near schools. (And I know that Shaheen resigned a few days after he injected the cocaine issue into the campaign, but the damage had been done.)

I think that there are some things in life more important than winning elections, like being able to look your kids in the eye ten years after the vote and tell them you're proud of what you did. I think Obama is running his campaign like that and I don't think the Clintons are.

And I think that a person who will do anything to get elected will do anything to stay in power, which leads to bad decisions like Senator Clinton made on Iraq and Iran, and which President Clinton made when he signed DOMA, the AEDPA, and the CDA, and gutted welfare and AFDC (what Peter Edelman called The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done).

lina

Hillary spoke later because her plane was delayed? A presidential campaign can't coordinate who goes on the air first?

A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill's third term. That's fine, if that's what you want, but don't pretend otherwise, and don't cry sexism when reality rears it's head.

If Janet Napolitano, Jennifer Granholm, Barbara Boxer or Loretta Sanchez were running for President, would their husbands speak first after a losing a primary?

actor212

What I find pretty astounding about this trope is that Hill & Bill have actually left the gloves on when slapping Barack around.

The substantive differences between Obama and Clinton are truly nominal. If you look at the voting record, they jibe about 94% (once you factor out Obama's irritating habit of voting "Present" on issues like the sense of the Senate vote on Iran). Neither of them has ever voted to defund the Iraq invasion, and so on.

So that leaves the campaigns to have to decide who's going to "go there" first. The Clinton's were clever. For some idiotic reason, Obama played the race card first (in response to Bill's carefully phrased "fairy tale" comment).

And ever since, he's been struggling to get his feet under him. This win in SC will help, of course, because it was so overwhelming, but in point of fact, the results might reinforce the race card in states like Texas and California, with their rather sizable Hispanic votes.

So while SC was a big win for Obama, within the results are the seeds of his work having been cut out for him.

And gee, last time I looked, no one was running to lose this race, except maybe for John Edwards. So what both sides have been doing, while ugly, has been cathartic and within the bounds of politics at the national level, where they take the elbow pads off.

For a good review of why this is an important primary campaign and the nastiness actually makes sense, go read Paul Krugman's column today.

Unity ain't in the cards, so you might as well get used to this.

huh

To the substance of the original post - I find it remarkable that HRC supporters maintain on one hand that Obama is just too wimpy to take on the hard charging GOPers who are about to rip him to shreds (and therefore we shouldn't nominate him) and Digby'ers on the other hand who say Obama is giving as good as he gets on the underhanded tactics (and so we shouldn't nominate him).

More outrageous though are the implicit and explicit claims that anyone not supporting HRC from the Dem side must necessarily be sexist per se. Why so? There are any number of reasons not to support HRC on the merits - from her vote on Kyl-Lieberman and her admitted failure to even read the NIE before voting for the original war authorization to the way her campaign is now being run (FL and MI delegates). While I am a firm Obama supporter, I certainly don't perceive anyone opposing him as necessarily being racist. That kind of blanket smear is too often being mindlessly thrown around - sadly including here. And the willingness of HRC's campaign/disinclination of Obama's campaign to play these cards for political gain is just one more reason to want to avoid her presidency.

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