Hillary Clinton, who experienced a momentary uptick in the tracking polls in the wake of the coordinated media attack on Barack Obama that targeted his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, for making inflammatory comments, has turned once again to race-baiting to try to resurrect her apparently doomed candidacy. After pledging to remain above the fray, Clinton once again got down in the gutter and attacked Obama personally over his choice of a minister.
“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton told the editors and reporters of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”
Barack Obama’s fortunes rebounded after a masterful speech on race relations he gave in response to the media frenzy over pulpit speeches made by Jeremiah Wright, the now-retired pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama’s house of worship. The speeches from the pulpit given by Wright, a former Marine, are unsparing when it comes to calling white America to account for the evils of racism, but are not out of the mainstream for African American ministers. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech on Vietnam was similarly denounced by contemporary critics, as Dr. King saw the imperialism that engendered revolution and liberation movements throughout the Third World as being rooted in white American
Wright’s speeches have long been known and talked about, but the Clinton campaign, with its allies in the press, coordinated an attack spearheaded by Rupert Murdoch’s News Co. chain of media properties to tar Obama with Wright’s alleged reverse-racism. John McCain was conveniently out of the country during the fracas, but the Republican Party and the right-wing media, such as Rush Limbaugh and the talking heads of Fox News, are gleefully supportive of Clinton’s “scorched earth” policy of no-holds-barred politicking in the Democratic Presidential nomination race as it improves the GOP’s chances in November.
As the senator from New York, Hillary Clinton — unlike noted Obama supporter Ted Kennedy — is supportive of Rupert Murdoch’s needs and wants. While the conservative Murdoch will not outright endorse a candidate of Clinton’s ilk, as he did in 1997, when — breaking with tradition — his newspapers endorsed Labour’s Tony Blair in the UK general election — he has been providing her with tactical support in her attempts to destroy Barack Obama. One only had to turn on Fox News to see such programs as Hannity and Colmes and On the Record with Greta (Greta von Susteren) pour it on to Obama with their scripted outrage over Jeremiah Wright’s anti-white bigotry and lack of patriotism. (In light of Greta von Susteren being a Scientologist, and susceptible to the same kind of religion-baiting, it was remarkable to see her attack Wright and Obama. A former practicing attorney, she clearly is on retainer from Murdoch. When her guest the Rev. Al Sharpton brought up how Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney’s Mormonism was given a pass by the media, she ignored him. When Sharpton brought up the fact that many Catholic politicians have political opinions diametrically opposed by their Church, she dismissed him and called for a commercial.)
The attack justifiably fizzled after Barack Obama’s brilliant defense of religious freedom and freedom of conscience, which were delivered as part of his wide-ranging consideration of race-relations in America. Obama, being of mixed-race parentage — he is both African American and Caucasian — is perhaps the one person uniquely situated in 2008 to address the complicated issue of race, which has vexed this country from the very beginning.
Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was further stung when New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination after coming in fourth in the New Hampshire primary, endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic Presidential nomination. A former member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet who was touted as “running to be Hillary’s vice president” before his disappointing fourth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Richardson had been heavily courted by the Clintons. Bill Clinton, desiring his endorsement for his wife, had even watched the Super Bowl with Richardson. In announcing his endorsement of Obama, Richardson had mentioned that — as a Hispanic American — he had been deeply moved by Obama’s speech on race in response to the Jeremiah Wright controversy.
Bill Richardson has publicly disapproved of the Clinton’s race-baiting and their negative campaign tactics.
The Clintons were not moved. Instead, they sent one of their surrogates, former Bill Clinton’ 1992 campaign manager James Carville, onto the media to denounce Richardson as a traitor, specifically likening him to Judas Iscariot. That Carville would compare Richardson to Judas during the Easter holiday was particularly insulting, and threatened to alienate the Latino vote that has so far broken Hillary Clinton’s way. (The offspring of an American father and a Mexican mother, Bill Richardson identifies as Latino.) Carville’s recklessness seemingly is evocative of the Clinton campaign’s determination to scuttle Barack Obama’s chances, even if it makes it impossible for Hillary to be elected in November.
With the Jeremiah Wright gambit having failed, Hillary Clinton decided to personally play the race card and directly attack Barack Obama for attending a church whose minister engaged in what she called “hate speech.” Campaigning in Pennsylvania, Clinton is using race to make a pitch to the white working class vote that defected from the Democratic Party during the Reagan Era, as Reagan and other Republican candidates skillfully exploited the white backlash against civil rights and urban unrest.
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, like many industrial cities of the Rust Belt, were roiled by race problems a generation ago, and the problems persist. Former Mayor Frank Rizzo was a notorious racist who used the city police force that he formerly headed to attack blacks under the guise of being “tough on crime.” In 2007, there was an incident of racial intimidation on a Pittsburgh building site. Hillary Clinton is determined to use the race card in her campaign in Pennsylvania to stir up anti-black feeling to win the white working class vote. In order to make her point that that African American Barack Obama is implicitly racist and bigoted against whites (the undercurrent of the Jeremiah Wright attack), Clinton mentioned how she denounced radio and TV host Don Imus, who was fired after calling African American women college basketball players “nappy-haired ‘hos.”
“You know, I spoke out against Don Imus, saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that,” Clinton told the Tribune-Review staff. “I just think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving.”
Statistically is unable to win the Democratic nomination through pledged delegates, Hillary Clinton is determined to continue her “scorched earth” policy of race-baiting, despite her words to the contrary, in an attempt to make Barack Obama appear “unelectable” because he is African American. She continues to engage in race-bating despite having said she would cool it as — in her own reckoning, “Words are meaningless.”
The idea that words are meaningless is an interesting proposition given the propensity of both Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton to lie, she most recently about being under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996. They are both shameless hustlers more attune to the carny-style politics of Arkansas than the national stage in the 21st-Century.
Hillary Clinton’s chances to be President of the United States are over. Even if she could stampede the super-delegates into rubber-stamping her candidacy in the event of some calamitous event adversely affecting Barack Obama (which the power couple pray for each night before climbing into their separate beds), she cannot be elected President due to her vicious and unconscionable use of racism. After deploying racist tactics long associated with both the reactionary right and opportunistic Republicans, it is highly unlikely that African Americans, the most reliable voting block in the Democratic coalition, would turn out for her in numbers that would ensure her victory. She has doomed herself, but perversely, seems intent on dooming her party. In this, she follows the example of her husband Bill Clinton, who — unlike Eliot Spitzer or James McGreevey — failed to do the right thing and resign, which would have given Al Gore a leg up, as an incumbent president, on winning the 2000 election.
Instead of exiting the stage, the shameless and vainglorious Bill Clinton — insisting he was protecting the institution of the Presidency — stayed on as an ineffective and practically useless lame duck. In doing do, he fatally weakened both Al Gore and the constitutional impeachment process that properly should have been used to unseat President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who emboldened by Clinton, took the Imperial Presidency to new and unprecedented heights in terms of the abuse of power. The continuation of the Bill Clinton presidency was a disaster which has brought us 9/11 (which would not have happened if Al Gore rather than the pathetically challenged Dubya had occupied the Oval Office on September 11, 2001). The Israel-Palestine situation would likely have been resolved, too, as — with no need to woo New York State’s Jewish vote to assure Hillary Clinton of a Senate Seat — the U.S. would have recognized Palestine as a nation, thus giving Yassar Arafat the political cover he needed to sign the peace accords.
The Clintons, with their self-serving selfishness, have proved a pox on this country as surely as has the Bush clan, of which Bubba Bill is an honorary member, being the son George H.W. Bush apparently never had. It is appropriate that Bill Clinton be situated in a Republican dynasty as he was a true child of Ronald Reagan whose economic policies were the epitome of Reaganism in all but tax-cutting.
Is it that extraordinary, then, when contextualizing Clintonian behavior, that the Clintons’ self-destructiveness and self-serving behavior continues? They know no other way.
Hillary Clinton’s recent ploy, personalizing her racist attack on Barack Obama, only underscores the fact that she would rather destroy the Democratic Party’s chances of winning the White House in 2008 rather than concede defeat. The behavior of Hillary and her husband, who called into question Barack Obama’s patriotism in a speech last week that was denounced as McCarthyism by Obama campaign foreign policy adviser Tony McPeak (a retired four-star Air Force General who had served under Bill Clinton), shows she would rather scuttle Obama’s chances than have the Democrats win the November election.
She — and her Bubba — have an eye to taking the White House in 2012, and to do that, they must see that their good friend John McCain is elected President in November.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Clinton: Wright ‘would not have been my pastor'”