‘Hillary-style attacks’

We at the UnParty continue to be fascinated at the ways in which party-line thinking warps perception…

You may have noticed that Democrats talk ominously and often about the coming "Republican attacks." There is much mumbling about "Swiftboating" and "Karl Rove," and other things that to bear no rational relationship to the fact that the Democratic nominee will be facing John McCain in the fall.

As is often the case with ideological mythology, almost anything is justified in the cause of warding off these dread calamities that lie ahead. Hillary Clinton uses the belief that such atrocities are on the way as an excuse to pound Barack Obama with various bludgeons that the wicked GOPpers will certainly hit him with sooner or later. The message here is that those monsters on the right have already thrown everything they have at HER ("having now gone through 16 years of being on the receiving end of what the Republican Party dishes out"), thereby giving her immunity or something. (I think you have to believe in the mythology to follow the reasoning.)

In the black-and-white world that gives rise to such thinking, there is no difference between Karl Rove and John McCain. Anyone who consents to be called a Republican is equally evil, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. That McCain, who has been a victim of such excesses as the Democrats fear, might be different does not enter into the equation.

Will groups on the Right do unconscionable things against the Democratic nominee in the Fall? You betcha, just as MoveOn.org and its ilk will do to the Republican — a fact that purveyors of the Coming Debacle seem to overlook. What each side will do in the name of ideology will be reprehensible, as always — that’s why I’m an UnParty man. Sadly, I don’t expect much from Democrats and Republicans.

But sometimes, it just gets beyond ridiculous, such as when Joe Klein refers to "the Republican-style attacks that Hillary Clinton has been previewing…"

No, Joe. This is not a preview; this is real life, happening in real time. And it’s Hillary doing it. These are, quite obviously and demonstrably, "Hillary-style" attacks. Or perhaps we should say, "Stephanopoulos-style attacks." Here’s a sample, from Wednesday night’s debate:

And if I’m not mistaken, that relationship with Mr. Ayers on this board continued after 9/11 and after his reported comments, which were deeply hurtful to people in New York, and I would hope to every American, because they were published on 9/11 and he said that he was just sorry they hadn’t done more. And what they did was set bombs and in some instances people died. So it is — you know, I think it is, again, an issue that people will be asking about. And I have no doubt — I know Senator Obama’s a good man and I respect him greatly but I think that this is an issue that certainly the Republicans will be raising.

And it goes to this larger set of concerns about, you know, how we are going to run against John McCain. You know, I wish the Republicans would apologize for the disaster of the Bush-Cheney years and not run anybody, just say that it’s time for the Democrats to go back into the White House. (Laughter, applause.)

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be willing to do that. So we know that they’re going to be out there, full force. And you know, I’ve been in this arena for a long time. I have a lot of baggage, and everybody has rummaged through it for years. (Laughter.) And so therefore, I have, you know, an opportunity to come to this campaign with a very strong conviction and feeling that I will be able to withstand whatever the Republican sends our way.

Not the SHE would say such things about Obama, he being such a good man, but you just can’t trust those damned Republicans. Folks, how simple do you have to be to miss the fact that SHE JUST SAID THESE THINGS?

What’s really pathetic is that they’ve got Obama buying into this line, and I would expect him to know better. Klein quotes Obama as saying, "That [debate] was the rollout of the Republican campaign against me in November…"

No, it was the real thing, happening in April, and it was Democrats doing it. Can’t you see that? Folks, this is why I trash parties all the time — they turn our brains to oatmeal.

You want to see a "Republican-style attack?" OK, here’s a real-life one that came in today:

Wednesday’s Democratic debate provided insight into Barack Obama’s positions on key foreign policy issues. As president he says he would immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq- even if he were strongly advised against this by our nation’s top military commanders. He would also hold direct talks with the Iranian regime- a regime that does not recognize Israel and is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran’s president has even called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." 

During the debate, Barack Obama once again refused to condemn former President Jimmy Carter- who publicly supports Obama- for holding talks with the Hamas terrorist group, a group supported financially, politically and military by Iran.

Barack Obama’s foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders. Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, "We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America."

We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas, surrenders in Iraq and will hold unconditional talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

John McCain’s foreign policy provides a stark contrast to the policies of Barack Obama. As president, John McCain will provide the leadership we need to win the war against Islamic extremists. We need your help today to reach out to Americans across the country to spread the message of John McCain’s plan for your national security. Please follow this link to make a financial contribution to our campaign today.

Yep, it’s another one of those McCain fund-raising e-mails I’ve been complaining about lately. It’s pretty critical, all right, but you’ll note that it’s built around policy differences. Nothing about bitter xenophobia in Middle America, or Bill Ayres, or Jeremiah Wright. And you know, McCain had to go out of his way to find something in that debate to comment on other than those things, since most of the debate centered on them.

That doesn’t mean McCain won’t point to the fact that he doesn’t see average Americans as bitter; in fact I think he already has. But now, he declines an obvious chance to join Hillary in piling on.

I just thought maybe somebody should point that out.

16 thoughts on “‘Hillary-style attacks’

  1. Randy E

    Oh really? McCain didn’t roll out a nefarious mischaracterization of Romney with the “time table” charge days before Florida?
    He was a real stand up guy when he was preceded at HIS speeches by hatchet men who referred to “Barak HUSSEIN Obama” and dismissed Obama as “Tiger Woods”.
    Don’t forget how he actively pursued the endorsement of Hagee, the man who dismisses my wife, my child, and my mother as cult members by referring to Catholicism as a cult.
    He has the good fortune of being able to stand on the sidelines while Clinton incites a family feud – with GOP attack dogs biting at the ankles for good measure. You may as well praise your dog for not peeing on the carpet while he spent the day in the back yard.
    Worst of all, McCain does not wear an American flag pin!

  2. Joe

    How can you say McCain’s letter is better than Hillary Clinton’s false insinuations and simply highlights policy differences? He’s trying to smear Obama because someone from Hamas says he favors Obama. (If Hamas likes him he must be evil! Al-Qaida would dance in the streets if he won!) McCain doesn’t bother telling you that Obama has condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization and said he disagrees with Carter meeting with Hamas. Carter has not publicly endorsed Obama as McCain claims, even if he has said his family supports Obama. Besides, it’s stupid to expect everyone to draw up a list of people they “condemn” because of some disagreement. McCain playing the same old smear game but in a more subtle and civilized way than HRC.

  3. Phillip

    Brad, your points are well taken. As for Hillary, there’s no question that she has long since abandoned the high road in her quest for the nomination. So you’ll get no defense of her from me. See Robert Reich’s endorsement of Obama for another example of how many Democrats are thinking these days about Hillary.
    And yes, there may be some uncalled for attacks on McCain that are off-the-issues, by some on the left. Obama will, I’m sure, denounce those as McCain would the same from the right. And these should be condemned if and when they occur.
    But you simply cannot say that the wave of nastiness to come is going to be equally divided along partisan lines. You KNOW in your heart that’s not really true. Come on, Brad.
    Who invented this sort of thing? Who refined it into an art form? Who does it more, and much better, and does not get condemned from within its ranks for doing so?
    The closer Obama gets to the Presidency, the more virulent and possibly violent the reaction from those who realize that his election means we really do live in a more progressive, multcultural, 21st century America.
    That prospect is extremely frightening to many small-minded people who hold, yes, “antipathy to those different from themselves.” I’m not talking race here, though that is part of it for many. I’m talking worldview, open-mindedness, mindset.

  4. bud

    John McCain’s foreign policy provides a stark contrast to the policies of Barack Obama. As president, John McCain will provide the leadership we need to win the war against Islamic extremists.
    -McCain Campaign
    This is GOP speak for: McCain will follow the failed policies of the Bush administration while continuing to increase military spending to buy useless war toys and occupy foreign countries who pose absolutely no harm to the American public while ignoring the many real threats both here and abroad.
    John McCain is no leader he’s a scary freak.

  5. dub

    “The closer Obama gets to the Presidency, the more virulent and possibly violent the reaction from those who realize that his election means we really do live in a more progressive, multicultural, 21st century America.”
    Actually, the closer Obama gets to the White House, the more scrutiny he faces. He’s emerging as just another black racist, just another Democrat fake, just another high-minded lowlife — the last thing America needs as a president.

  6. bud

    You see Brad, dub shows how crazy the GOP has gotten in recent years. Obama is hardly a black racist. Heck, he’s not even black, he’s half-black. They will stoop at any unsubstantiated claim they can to attack the dems. That’s really all they have. With gas prices soaring past $3.40/gallon, Americans continuing to die overseas and all the rest of the carnage we’ve suffered through for 7+ years the GOP has nothing left but to make phony claims about the Dems character. The Dems have no one like Rove and Atwater. When it comes to personal and phony attack based politics the GOP is still the champ. And folks like dub eated it up.

  7. Phillip

    Vis-a-vis “Dub”:
    “black racist”
    “Democrat fake”
    “High-minded lowlife”
    Game, set, match.

  8. dub

    The uptake around here seems a bit skewed.
    “We really do” NOT “live in a more progressive, multicultural, 21st century America.”
    Multicultural the 21st century may be, but progressive it is not. We have subjugated our previous culture to the cultures it naturally dominated. That’s not progressive; it’s backward. We contradict human nature for the sake of political correctness, and when human nature wins out because the idealistic assumptions of the politically correct have no basis in truth, we damn those who actually live in the world rather than just look at it.
    We’ve given up reality for the reality show. Our kids beat each other up to put the video on YouTube. All the information on Earth lies at our fingertips, but nobody knows much of anything, probably because all the information lies too easy to obtain at our fingertips. Our culture is not progressive; it’s stagnant, confused and lacking identity, because we have made icons of the least of us. Political correctness has become our dominant religion, but its ideals have nothing to do with achievement or improvement. Tolerance and acceptance are the goals, and our society is rotting because it can’t define itself if everything is OK.

  9. Lee Muller

    No one is voting for Obama or Hillary because they think either of them would pursue Bin Laden or any other terrorist more vigorously than McCain or GW Bush.
    Obama’s friends include terrorists. His church bulletin distributed anti-Jewish tracts from Hamas. He is endorsed by Hamas.
    Hillary was associated with Puerto Rican terrorists, who were pardoned by husband Bill for several bombings. Bill also pardoned several of Obama’s terrorist buddies.

  10. Phillip

    “We have subjugated our previous culture to the cultures it naturally dominated.”- Dub
    Would love for you to elaborate on this. I salute you for at least being honest enough to admit this is at the core of much of the Obamaphobia out there.

  11. Lee Muller

    Thinking, patriotic Americans fear and loathe all our socialist enemies, from Obama to Hillary.
    I wondered how long it would take the socialist smear machine to brand opposition to Obama with a psuedo-medical ailment, just like “homophobe” is used to dismiss thinking criticism of that self-destructive “lifestyle”.

  12. dub

    If you mean fear of the unknown, I can accept that term. But it’s what I know about Obama that frightens me.
    The presence of Obama in Jeremiah Wright’s sphere and his refusal to leave it, given the absurdity of some of Wright’s rants, indicates that Obama sees himself as a black man first, and then as a man, though he casts himself apart from color, or above color.
    That means the tone of his campaign is implicitly a lie.
    Second, I see myself as a man first, and then as a white man. Why should I tolerate his identifying more by his race than his humanity when I don’t?
    So I am led to believe Obama’s agenda, no matter how much “hope” and “change” he promises, has more to do with race than he has ever indicated.
    Third, Obama’s foreign-policy premise and promise — to talk with every tinhorn despot who wants his ear — bespeaks either naivete or overt deception.
    So it is that what I know about Obama points me to the unknown. Given his liberal voting record, what on Earth will his agenda be? Since his campaign hasn’t reflected his heart about race, why should I believe it reflects any of his core beliefs at all?
    So I get the feeling someone’s using the high road to sneak up on us.
    As to the subjugation of the dominant culture, well, if you’re old enough, it’s obvious. But it’s more complicated than saying that once upon a time, the sun never set on the British empire, but no one ever said that about Africa.
    The thing is, I will be branded a racist for having said that much, when I know better about myself. The point is that we have used government to “equalify” things rather than let things sort themselves out, when government tends to do things in the least efficient way possible.
    So we have Black History Month and affirmative action, but I can’t even bring up race without risking my reputation.
    That ain’t kosher.

  13. zzazzeefrazzee

    Given that the “Obama is a closet Muslim” smear is largely echoed by a constituency that is hardly supportive of Hillary, one wonders how sensitive McCain will be to similar tactics used against him back in 2000.
    Will McCain buck zealous inclinations in his own party?
    Seems that as of today, McCain is trying to do just that in NC. One wonders if the state GOP party will bother to listen to him.

  14. Lee Muller

    Obama was forced out of the closet. His sympathy for, and association with, terrorists of many causes, is a major red flag to any real American.

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