Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Breaking Point

A while ago, I wrote about my concerns that the primary race had reached The Tipping Point, where the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama threatened to do more harm than good for the Party. That we had reached the point where the Democratic candidates are doing the work of trashing each other for the benefit of neither -- the only one who benefits is He Who is the Anointed One as the Heir to the Throne. That is, while the Democrats battle it out, McCain can sit back, rest up, collect money and ammunition to use against the winner in the fall.

The Politico confirmed this in a recent story, Story behind the story: The Clinton myth, noting that despite the intense press coverage of the race:

One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.
As though to prove them wrong, the Clinton campaign has been especially vicious in its tactics in the past few days. When Governor Richardson announced his support of Obama (which had to be a difficult decision for him because of his long term relationship with the Clintons), the response was brutal:
“An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

See First a Tense Talk With Clinton, Then Richardson Backs Obama.

Then there was the effort to portray Obama as hostile to Jews. According to The Atlantic's Political blog, in Obama And The Jews:
The Clinton campaign is distributing an article in the American Spectator (!) about Obama foreign policy adviser Merrill McPeak and his penchant for.. well, the article accuses him of being an anti-Semite and a drunk. Principally, the author takes McPeak to task for supporting a Middle East map that would require Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 border. It also makes the case that McPeak supports the Walt-Mearsheimer view of the influence of the Israeli lobby on foreign policy.

The author's sudden conclusion: 'Obama has a Jewish problem and McPeak's bigoted views are emblematic of what they are. Obama can issue all the boilerplate statements supporting Israel's right to defend itself he wants. But until he accepts responsibility for allowing people like McPeak so close to his quest for the presidency, Obama's sincerity and judgment will remain open questions.'
And, of course, Hillary Clinton herself has contributed to the Wright controversy by keeping the Wright fires burning. She has referred the Wright Reverend on several occasions in the past few days. That's Not Wright. Her Finance Committee Chair also compared Wright to David Duke. See TPM Election Central.

And most interesting of all, she was interviewed by the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (Richard Mellon Scaife's rag), where she says she was questioned about Wright. Even better Saife was in attendance, as noted by Talking Points Memo. I wonder if that before or after Scaife asked if she really killed Vince Foster, since he was responsible for spreading that vicious rumor about her, along with financing the years long campaign to ruin her husband, Bill Clinton. See The Odd Couple. In fact, her famous "vast right wing conspiracy" charge was a reference to Scaife. See Mr. Mellonhead. I bet he endorses her now, since she's gone over to the dark side.

According to ABC's Jake Tapper, in his Political Punch blog, it's all part of the campaign's intentional strategy to make a last attempt to prevail. It's was he labels the Tonya Harding Option:

The delegate math is difficult for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, the official said. But it's not a question of CAN she achieve it. Of course she can, the official said.

The question is -- what will Clinton have to do in order to achieve it?

What will she have to do to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in order to eke out her improbable victory?

She will have to "break his back," the official said. She will have to destroy Obama, make Obama completely unacceptable.

"Her securing the nomination is certainly possible - but it will require exercising the 'Tonya Harding option.'" the official said. "Is that really what we Democrats want?"

The Tonya Harding Option -- the first time I've heard it put that way.

It implies that Clinton is so set on ensuring that Obama doesn't get the nomination, not only is she willing to take extra-ruthless steps, but in the end neither she nor Obama win the gold.

She's doing a damn good imitation, that's for sure. The only signs of hope is that Crooks & Liars reports that Harry Reid is planning to resolve this bitter fight before the convention, quoting a Review Journal piece:

No, it will be done. I had a conversation with Governor Dean (Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean) today. Things are being done.

From his lips to his ears, as Jon Stewart put it.

I can tell you that I've reached the breaking point. And I'm not the person you want to lose. I've always respected Hillary Clinton and have been a supporter of hers. And I do believe that she has been hampered in the campaign due to Hillary hatred and sexism. I think she would make an excellent president: she's smart, competent, experienced and tough. Although I've been leaning towards Obama, that's what has held me back. No more.

But I've had enough. Finis. Basta. I'm done. She is dead to me.

In fact, I'd like to say that I won't vote for her in the fall if she does do the dirty deed, but I know that's probably not true. Because, unlike Hillary Clinton, I'm willing to look beyond my personal desires to see what's good for the Party -- and the country.


Susan said...

I agree. It would be adolescent behavior to not support the Democratic candidate, whoever it turns out to be. We [people who think like we do] need to have a Democrat as Pres for the next 4/8years while all federally elected Democrats: (1) work to restore the balance among the 3 branches, i.e., somehow surgically restore the cajones of the legislature, and (2) hold down the fort until potential leaders young enough and smart enough to understand that The Truman Show is reality for anyone in the public eye emerge.

Anonymous said...

I went through a process similar to yours. I would have been fine with either as the nominee, although I did find Obama more inspiring. I also had qualms about Hillary bringing out all the rightwingers to vote against her. Up to now I've said that whoever the nominee was I would work my butt off for them, but now I don't think so. Ever since she started the "kitchen sink" strategy I have lost respect for her. I have now joined Obama's campaign and we're working to help him in the primary here in PA.

Aurora B.