Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 279

From Arianna Huffington:

By cynically twisting Obama's comments about small town voters in a way that confirms every right-wing demagogic caricature of her own Party, Hillary Clinton has adopted the frames, lies, stereotypes and destructive clich├ęs long embraced by the likes of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. She has clearly decided that the road to victory runs through scorched earth. The question is, if she succeeds, what kind of Party will she be left to lead? She's burning down the village to save it -- or to prove that she would make the best fire chief. But the village won't be saved; only one house will be left standing. A house with room for just two occupants: Hill and Bill.

I am not, and never have been, 100% sold on Barack Obama. There are things I like about the junior senator from Illinois, and some things that make me scratch my head. And up until the past few weeks, I had felt pretty much the same way about Hillary Clinton. Publishers have sent me Hillary-bashing books in hopes I would write a laudatory review, and I've passed, for the simple reason that I refuse to be party to the ongoing poisoning of what now passes for political discourse in the United States. I felt assurance that whichever candidate, Clinton or Obama, emerged as the Democratic nominee in Denver, they would be obvious improvements over President Bush. They would make things better. Things would be different.

Which makes this latest twist from Senator Clinton all the more infuriating. If anyone had told me a year ago that Hillary Clinton would provide the basis for a headline like today's "McCain Echoes Clinton's Attacks" in the Washington Post, I wouldn't have believed it. I'm having a hard time believing it even as I type this. I realize Clinton is perhaps insurmountably behind Obama in both pledged delegates and popular votes won this year, but these latest attacks go beyond desperate, sending her deep into blind flailing. The fact that Senator Clinton has herself so often been the object of similar attacks from Republicans makes it all the more incomprehensible, to me, at least, that she should now not only employ those same tactics against a fellow Democrat, but make common cause with the Republican she hopes to face in the general election in November.

There is not, and never has been, any doubt about Hillary Clinton's instinct for the jugular. Her toughness as a candidate is widely recognized, a source of admiration for her supporters and opponents alike, and indispensable for a woman making a serious run for the White House. But if Hillary Clinton truly aspires to lead America, as opposed to merely being elected president, she must, if she still can, show herself to be more than a skilled player of political bloodsport. And she must do so now, or risk ceding all political ground save the gutter to clearer heads and other voices.

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