Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hillary's unreliable witnesses


I guess most folks already know that Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign. She sent out an email announcing a Washington, D.C. event on Saturday to say thanks to her supporters and declare her support for Obama. Putting her campaign on hold (as John Edwards did rather than dropping out) means she retains her delegates. I won't dive into speculation about what she will or won't do or say. And I am sure as jenny's crockpot not going to accept what the wagging tongues from the press corps or the Obamasphere divine.

It's Obama's show now. I've got my popcorn ready in anticipation of an interesting summer. On the implications for Obama, Anglachel gets it so, so right.

Kind commentary by Digby about Hill and Bill Clinton piqued my attention. Many of us in the Clinton camp would agree with her compliment about Hillary. "Senator Clinton, who in my view showed Democrats what a fighter looks like." Yes, indeed-y. One caveat to Digby's post. And it's significant:

Finally, whoever you supported in this race and however your feel about the candidates, there still remains the problem of our sick, sick political media and that's something that the blogosphere -- as alternative media --- need to sort through. I know that many of you have felt that this campaign's coverage wasn't as bad as I have painted it. But I think that when we look back on this we will see that it was yet another disgraceful performance on the part of our mainstream media (and, alas, our "liberal" media as well.) There is a lot to be written about that and I'm hopeful we can all look at this with clear eyes once we take a breather. [Emphasis added.]

Digby's media critique neglected to cite the ugly, sexist, misogynistic, and racist sneers that emanated from the "alternative media," the lefty blogosphere that pilloried Hillary and Bill Clinton. Maybe she didn't have the energy at the time to enumerate the excesses (or she's playing it kewl with her male blogger peers until she speaks out... I hope) but the Obamasphere has behaved exactly like the "sick, sick political media." And it is inexcusable. Very few dependable sources remain in the Left Blogosphere. Very. Few.

Via the esteemed Bob Somerby, whom I consider our most reliable witness, a few examples of the disinformation the Left Blogosphere has deployed:

  • We are all Matt Drudge now--Moo-cows Josh Marshall and Kevin Drum wrongly fingered the Clinton camp for the photo of Obama in a turban and Somali garb and Josh pulled a fast one, "back-pedaled in a rambling, barely-coherent 'update' (same link)—a non-clarification clarification of a type he has come to master." IOW, TPM's accusation lived on without a proper retraction.

  • How Obama manipulated the press to fuel the fire against Hillary's benign RFK remark. (Blog Boyz reactions posted below.)

  • Josh Marshall's tinfoil hat over Obama's passport breach (Hint, hint: it's the evil Clintons).

  • Rube running by whoever kidnapped Josh Marshall (WKJM) and stalking low-information liberals.

  • David Sirota's "slapdash analysis" of racism in mostly caucus states, WKJM's mealy-mouthed assist, and stifling Greg Sargent. Ah, "ditto-heads now rule your world. . . If you want to call average people and party leaders racists, you can read Sirota’s piece and feel a thrill go up your leg."

  • Matt Yglesias demonstrated that playing "kiss kiss kiss with the man who is sliming our leaders" isn't a new trend in the blogosphere.

  • Plenty more that's searchable in Somerby's archives for those willing to dig without blinders.

In Obama Talking Points Memo, you can discover the irony of Josh Marshall criticizing "the notoriously fallacious Bill Kristol for citing Newsmax in his column" and then WKJM quoting "an unsubstantiated allegation from right-wing Matt Drudge as a source to smear the Clinton campaign as if fact-checking isn't important for him, but it is for Bill Kristol. Interesting double standard, no?" The extent to which the A-Hole Listers have gone to "get Hillary" could have been copied from a right-wing playbook.

Remember the Kantor video? Another Drudge excretion that the Obamasphere lapped up like chocolates, indicating again, "The Left blogs have lost their way."

Krugman offered a few insights into Clinton rules:

I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. . .What’s particularly saddening is the way many Obama supporters seem happy with the application of “Clinton rules” — the term a number of observers use for the way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent....

....During the current campaign, Mrs. Clinton’s entirely reasonable remark that it took L.B.J.’s political courage and skills to bring Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to fruition was cast as some kind of outrageous denigration of Dr. King.

Again from Krugman on alleged Clinton race-baiting:

It really makes me sad to see so many people get played by the media on this. If you prefer Obama, fine — but the evil, race-card-playing Clinton campaign is no more real than Al Gore’s claim that he invented the Internet.

And to Obama supporters, just remember: these people are not your friends. After they take down Hillary Clinton, if they can, your man will be next.

One last Krugman point from April in which he demolished Obama's "bitterness" about small-town stereotypes with facts and figures. He concluded:

And one more thing: let’s hope that once Mr. Obama is no longer running against someone named Clinton, he’ll stop denigrating the very good economic record of the only Democratic administration most Americans remember.

I responded at the time, "Trashing the Clintons isn't smart during these troubled economic times and I'm willing to bet that a ticket with Candidate Obama and without Candidate Clinton will have a chilling effect on GOTV in November."

Of course, the tone-deaf Obamasphere continued to malign both Hillary and Bill over Tuesday night's primary results in South Dakota and Montana. Shrill reactions from the Obamasphere on Hillary's speech whipped the baton up to signal a noisy crescendo. Note the insidious sexist references to this woman and clawing:

  • The Atlantic's Matthew Yglesias: "I probably shouldn't write any more about this woman and her staff. Suffice it to say that I've found her behavior over the past couple of months to be utterly unconscionable and this speech is no different. I think if I were to try to express how I really feel about the people who've been enabling her behavior, I'd say something deeply unwise. Suffice it to say, that for quite a while now all of John McCain's most effective allies have been on Hillary Clinton's payroll."

  • The New Republic's Jonathan Chait: "Incredible. She justifies her continuing the campaign by saying that she finished the campaign. She doesn't concede that Obama has a majority of delegates, let alone that he's won. She repeats her bogus popular vote argument. She congratulates Obama's campaign on its 'achievements,' but barely musters a single good word about him. I don't know what the fallout will be, but at minimum, I'd say that anybody on her staff who cares about their party has a moral obligation to publicly quit and endorse Obama."

  • Firedoglake's Cliff Schecter: "Hillary Clinton is 'making no decisions tonight.' The crowd erupts. Yes, drag this out longer. Smart. Elect McCain. Ensure that Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Iraq War continues, tax cuts continue to reign down on CEOs and torture becomes state policy. Those are some smart Democrats cheering for that line."

  • AMERICAblog's John Aravosis: "Obama won tonight and she still can't concede. Take a flying leap. You lost. You nasty woman."

  • Moulitsas: "She hasn't said one nice thing about Obama. It's all about her. Period. There is nothing else that matters."

Before jumping in the time machine to expose more recent sickness from the Obamasphere, pull out the fainting couches and get the smelling salts ready over vile Hillary's comments about nomination races lasting into June:

Liberal bloggers slammed Clinton after she invoked the June '68 assassination of RFK in defending her decision to stay in the race:

  • Daily Kos' BarbinMD: "The willingness to say such a thing in a cheap effort to sway superdelegates is disgusting."

  • The Huffington Post's Bob Cesca: "Senator Clinton is embarrassing herself and the Democratic Party. She has ceased to be a viable, respectable candidate and has, instead, become a ghoulish, desperate shell of her formerly strong and admirable self."

  • AMERICAblog's John Aravosis: "She basically invoked her opponent's assassination. What else does she need to do to convince the superdelegates that she ain't exactly presidential material?"

  • Oliver Willis: "She is fracking crazy. [...] Seriously, who says this sort of thing? Your average person doesn't say it, let alone somebody running for president. Hillary Clinton didn't lose this race because she was a victim of sexism. She lost this race because people are tired of her clawing for power and running over everything to do it."

  • MyDD's Josh Orton: "This is unacceptable. The United States has a history of profound political violence -- and the use of violence to oppress and coerce. And while I'm not quite willing to accept that Clinton spoke maliciously -- it doesn't matter. There is no excuse for flippantly referencing assassination, especially given the historic nature of Obama's campaign and our nation's grim history of racial oppression through violence. When Hillary Clinton speaks of our history, she is not reflecting academically or only in a vacuum -- her words and influence are real. To act otherwise is negligent, at best. [...] Even with the most charitable interpretation, I think her negligence is disqualifying."

  • Firedoglake's Eli: "I really, really want to take Hillary at face value and not believe that she was actually using the prospect of an opponent's assassination to score political points -- hell, maybe the possibility of Obama getting shot simply didn't occur to her (it's certainly not on my mind very often). But even if her intentions were pure, it was still an incredibly careless and stupid thing to say."

  • Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas: "It looks like many of Hillary Clinton's apologists and several political pundits claim that her assassination remarks can be explained because of fatigue. Perhaps. In fact, it's likely. But won't she be fatigued at 3 a.m. in the morning?"

  • TAPPED's Sam Boyd: "If she really is trying to convince us that she's staying in in case Obama is assassinated that's nuts -- if he were assassinated she'd be the nominee almost certainly, whether she'd dropped out or not. And if that's not what she meant, why mention Kennedy's assassination at all? But really, this is just another example of throwing as much nonsense at the wall as possible and seeing what sticks. In order to stay in the race, Clinton needs to do whatever she can to hide the basic fact that there's virtually no way for her to win now. So distractions, like reminding voters that unexpected things like assassinations happen, are key. In this case, she went way way too far."

These comments hail from the alleged intellectual leaders of the liberal blogosphere and what did they do? They ranted and bayed at the moon like drooling lunatics. The "cogent, rational" Avedon snuffed the preposterous much ado about nuthin' over the RFK dust-up but do the Blog Boyz listen to a woman? Don't make me laugh.

Blog Boyz need to 'fess up to their Hillary hatred and the misogyny that has been brewing in the Obamasphere for years. But don't hold your breath. I cannot tell you how many times I have read how "divisive" Hillary is or about "her baggage." Way to go, team! Parroting how the Village defines our leaders!

Or ad hominem attacks--sHillary, sHill, DOMA-wife--written by lefty bloggers or in their comment threads. I've seen it too many times.

Or the knee-jerk reactionaries who reflexively pummeled Hillary over the 2007 Kyl-Lieberman amendment without investigating further--what a concept!--to realize Clinton pushed to remove use of force language against Iran from the bill, essentially throttling Bush-Cheney presumptive designs for military misadventures. Also, please tell me what's wrong about identifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group when, according to a 2001 indictment, "the Iranian government inspired, supported, and supervised members of the Saudi Hizballah" and the Khobar Towers bombing and when former FBI director Louis Freeh testified in 2006 that the "training and the funding was done by the IRGC." Oh, wait. Obama was not present to vote for or against the amendment even though he was given sufficient notice. Funny that.

Just as hilarious, Bob Somerby remarked on the flag-burning bill that caused gnawing of pointy rat teeth on Hillary in the biased Left Blogosphere:

That’s right, dumb-ass! Clinton supported the flag-burning bill. And Obama supported it too!

But then, more than half the senate’s Democrats supported that bill, in June 2006. It was brought to the floor by Dick Durbin, Obama’s biggest senate supporter. Everyone understands the politics of these bills–everyone but [Richard] Cohen and [Gail] Collins, that is. Because they’re two of the world’s biggest androids, they keep singing the same tired songs.

And the Blog Boyz fell for this sop like our "biggest androids" and spread propaganda about that evil Lieberman look-alike, Hillary Clinton.

I've posted about the two faces of Kos, when he was fer Hillary before he was agin her (interesting his praise for Hillary), and the blogospheric outrage expressed over Obama's homophobic associations. The latter was a deal-breaker for me as a lesbian in addition to the reasons why I won't vote for Obama based on my feminist leanings. Oh, I will vote for a liberal--just not Obama.

If the SCLB thinks Hillary liberals and the working class will coalesce around Obama, the fauxgressive "alternative media" has grossly underestimated Barack's divisiveness, the impact of his campaign tactics, and his disadvantages aka thin résumé, and their silent complicity while watching, or worse, joining the aggressive savaging of the best candidate to defeat McCain in November.

To be fair to Digby, I don't recall her smearing Hillary. But taking her fellow bloggers to task? We'll have to rely on Somerby at The Daily Howler and ourselves to do the heavy-lifting, to shine a bright light on the A-hole Listers who divided the netroots with their inflammatory sexist and racial insinuations about Hill and Bill. Despite the warning from Media Matters Eric Boehlert during Eschacon08:

What’s happening online now is potentially dangerous: HRC has gotten dreadful press, not fair, “gotcha,” and so on — there’s a portion of the blogosphere that has ignored that and there’s a portion that has encouraged that.

It’s dangerous because the media criticism has to be consistent and relentless, and we can’t very well say, “You can’t go after our candidates … except this one.” I get nervous about pushback regarding disingenuous coverage - our response needs to be, “You can’t treat Democrats this way.” When people in the left blogosphere are quoting an anonymous Matt Drudge source, it makes me nervous.

His advice was summarily ignored or dismissed perhaps due to "mass psychosis" as was the case with high-flying Chris Bowers and his creative class mumbo jumbo.

I'll wrap up with a previous critique:

For bloggers who haven't noticed or have been preoccupied due to a terminal case of CDS or OFB cha-ching euphoria, the mainstream press corps is once again playing favorites as they did in 2000 and 2004. Our clueless so-called liberal blogosphere has ignored the carnage of influencing the Democratic nomination that began Oct. 30, 2007, through November and February (see subhead, Red Faced With Rage, and for background here, also here and the media racist storyline that the fauxgressive blogosphere swallowed like candy packaged with Bill's Jesse Jackson remark here).

Did the media give John Edwards a fair shake? No. And they have treated Hillary Clinton abysmally. Now that Obama has been getting his ax Gore-d... oh, how the Obamasphere has screeched its disapproval. The liberal blogosphere should have been howling all along, a disquieting non-reaction I will never forget. When the media smears Obama, one must call it out as the despicable crap that it is. Same goes for any Democrat including Hillary. Props to Media Matters on that score. What was the A-List Blog Boyz response to the sliming of Hillary and Bill Clinton by the press? They piled on or hung a Do Not Disturb sign on their blogs and took a nap. The SCLB has failed to understand that the media hates Democrats, all of them. Look at who owns the media? When media savage any Democrat, the long-term impact undermines the Obamasphere's "Precious."

When media darling McCain takes the oath of office because Democrats allowed a flawed caucus system to disenfranchise working-class Democrats, hyped the "Holy Grail" of pledged delegates like a McGovern mantra, and other silliness like punishing FL and MI to eventually crown Obama as the nominee--unforgivable if Hillary ends up with the popular vote edge--remember who's to blame. It won't be Hillary. Look in the mirror.

Kiss, kiss, sweeties. YOYO. I want little to do with a pack of ninnies, whose career trajectories, coveted status with Village poobahs, and Obama cha-ching matter more than integrity.

I have come to think of the Obamasphere as an extension of our sick, sick political media.

CREDITS: The Precious by Anglachel.