Monday, June 16, 2008

Week of 06/16/2008

Hillary’s Convenient Excuse
– by David Matthews 2

According to supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton, the presidential race was doomed from the onset. The game was rigged, and there was no way they could win it… even though everyone, including the media, had declared her nomination to be a done deal. No, it just wasn’t meant to be… and it was all because of SEXISM!

That’s right, you heard me… SEXISM!

That’s the official pronouncement from the pundits as they try to politely mourn the end of the carpetbagging senator’s campaign, and quite possibly her dreams of being the first woman President. They pat the Senator on the back and they say “You know; we were with you all the time. It’s not your fault, Hillary. You put up a good effort, but it was just that THE PARTY didn’t want you to get the nomination! It’s SEXISM! That’s what it is! They didn’t want you in there because YOU’RE A WOMAN! They would rather back a black man than a white woman! It’s the OLD BOY network at work! It’s bros over hos!”

And I find that sort of sentiment to be not only quite patronizing, but also insulting.

First of all, Hillary’s run for the White House was not “historic” like the apologists are claiming it was, because she wasn’t the first female candidate for president! The Libertarian Party gets that particular honor. She wasn’t even the first dominant-party female candidate for president! That particular title goes to Elizabeth Dole for her failed GOP run in 2000. You CAN say that she is the first former First Lady to actively run for President, but that’s really the extent of her “historic” status.

And second, it’s too damned easy to write off her failure to secure the nomination as just being a matter of “sexism”, especially since there were plenty of other factors behind it.

Problem #1: Hillary Clinton WAS the front-runner from the get-go. Prior to the primaries and caucuses, Hillary was seen as THE nominee. Not the front-runner. Not the one to beat. THE nominee. Already appointed, just needs to be anointed. The polls said as much, the media said as much, pretty much everyone said as much. This wasn’t Hillary’s to win or lose… it was just Hillary’s, period.

She even had conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter just tripping over themselves to see her be the nominee because they believed that she could beat out John McCain! You couldn’t PAY for that kind of endorsement!

Now, if there was sexism in the system, do you REALLY think that she would have been considered the person to beat prior to the ballots being cast? Do you really think that the members of the air-fluffed ego-driven media would have been pushing her “all-but-assured” nomination if political affairs directors like the late Tim Russert were being told from party officials that she wasn’t going to get it?

And how about all of those supporters in Washington? All of those super-delegates? If the fix was truly in, do you really think she would have been told that she could count on them?

If anything, if there really was sexism involved, she would have been treated like Elizabeth Dole was treated in 2000; a flash-in-the-pan novelty act that was easily forgotten after Iowa. But instead, it was Barack Obama that was considered the novelty act before the elections, with people likening him to DNC Chairman Howard Dean’s failed 2004 run. It was only until the big Super Tuesday elections that Obama was even thought of as having a chance.

Problem #2: Hillary was NOT a true agent of change. The general sentiment is that the whole lot over in Washington – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and everyone else – have FAILED the American people miserably. The economy sucks. The price of gasoline sucks. The quality of the products that we buy is getting worse and worse. Our food is getting poisoned. We’re still sending men and women to fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re being driven into bankruptcy and foreclosures. And the career politicians are doing very little to help us out!

Given all of that, it’s NOT a good time for a politician to talk about experience and how long he or she has been in Washington. And yet Hillary did just that. She bragged about her experience in the White House as First Lady, thinking that it put her on the same level as John McCain’s decades of experience as an ACTUAL legislator. AND THEN she turned around and claimed that she was the BEST candidate “for change”.

Here’s a little tip: if you’re going to claim to be an agent for change, your claim has a little more weight if you don’t try to sell yourself as being “experienced” in the system, unless you have a record of going against the status quo. Ron Paul can get away with it because he has a solid RECORD of opposing the status quo. Hillary has a record of voting FOR the status quo.

Plus, of course, she played on the nostalgia of the liberals, letting them think that things could go back to where they were when her husband was in charge. Well that too was part of the status quo in Washington.

The only real “change” that Hillary seemed to support was the change of people, not an actual CHANGE in the way things worked in Washington. Barack Obama’s relative inexperience gave him the edge here, because he could be seen as being not AS corrupted by the system as Hillary and McCain have been.

Problem #3: Florida and Michigan. Those two states broke the rules. I don’t care how many often the Clintonistas try to lie and spin the situation, the FACTS of the situation was that the legislatures in Florida and Michigan intentionally, deliberately, and systematically defied the rules set down by the national party leaders and had their primary and caucus in January.

And yet, who still campaigned in those states? Hillary did. Who told those two states to go ahead and vote anyway? Hillary did. Who personally promised that their delegates would be seated, in complete defiance of the DNC rules? Hillary did. Who waged all-out campaigns to try to get the full delegates at the convention in defiance of the DNC? Hillary did.

If Hillary was truly a victim of sexism, then it doesn’t help her case that she was encouraging outright political insurrection and then demanding that the rules be changed after-the-fact in her favor. That’s called CHEATING.

And the DNC bent over backwards to try to find a resolution to this problem… not once, but TWICE! That was two times more than they should have been given, and if there really was sexism involved, they wouldn’t have even bothered to try.

Plus, since Hillary was seen as the instigator of this insurrection, and that she unquestionably had the most to gain from it, doesn’t that seem to be a negative for voters in those later primaries and caucuses? Why should they vote for her if she’s going to push for insurrection and cheating?

Problem #4: Hillary’s Fibs. She claimed that there was some kind of “commander-in-chief threshold” for the job. Her people claimed that there was some kind of “qualification process” for not only the presidency but also a lower one for being Vice-President. She claimed that eight years as First Lady was the same as spending eight years in Congress. She claimed that she was shot at in Bosnia and that she had to “run for cover” as soon as she got off the plane. She claimed that she was “just a down-home girl”.

All fibs, exaggerations, or outright lies.

And the media caught up with them and exposed them for what they are. The same media that declared her nomination to essentially be a sure-thing!

Don’t you think that this would be something that the voters would be turned off of? Isn’t it even possible that with every fib, every exaggeration, and every out-and-out boldface adultery-quality LIE that she made that got uncovered that she lost voters?

Problem #5: Geraldine Ferraro. The seeds to the whole “sexism” excuse were sewn when her “friend” Geraldine Ferraro invoked the sexism card in addition to playing the race card in comparing Hillary’s challenges to those of Barack Obama. And it wasn’t the first time that Ms. Ferraro played it, having made the same comments about Jesse Jackson’s failed presidential run in the 1980’s. Ferraro’s comments were considered reprehensible from the very liberal base that Hillary needed to retain, including from her “friends” in the media like MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann.

And rather than rebuking and dismissing Ferraro from her campaign camp, she allowed the former congresswoman to step down on her own terms, disgustingly playing the martyr card in the process. At the same time, liberal talk show host Randi Rhodes – who had no connection to either Clinton or Obama – calls both Ferraro and Clinton some choice explicatives over the matter and she is suspended and forced to leave Air America Radio.

You don’t think that the voters would figure this stuff out? You don’t think they would see the double-standard being played in front of the whole world and judge her campaign accordingly? Even worse, you don’t think that they would see the seeds of the “sexism” claim being sewn here and NOT come to the conclusion that people are ready to cry wolf?

Problem #6: Invoking Robert Kennedy’s Assassination. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.” Those were Hillary Clinton’s words, and they were said in the same matter-of-fact tone that you would normally see in shows like “The Sopranos”, where Tony Soprano would tell an unwilling business associate that “bad things can happen” and then by the end of the show they do.

Again, this kind of comment invoked the wrath of the very liberal base, including her friends in the media; some of whom made it somewhat clear that they were no longer putting up with her antics.

Again, don’t you think that the voters would see this as a negative for her?

And finally of course there is the BIG problem with Hillary’s campaign…

Problem #7: It was ALL ABOUT HER! Bill Clinton was not the only one with a narcissistic problem. From day one of the whole ordeal, when she first announced her intentions, Hillary set down the whole tone of the campaign in that this was ALL ABOUT HER.

Even the rhetoric she used in her speeches was mostly in the first person. It was all “I”, “Me”, and “My”. Very rarely did she use the group tone. It wasn’t “WE need better health care”, it’s “When *I* am president, *I* will give you better heath care through *MY* program!” It wasn’t about YOU as the voter. You were there for the ride. YOU were just a means to HER end.

This was blatantly apparent at the very end of the whole campaign run. “*I* am the most qualified. *I* am the one with the experience. *I* am the one that can beat the Republicans. *I* have the popular vote.” It wasn’t about the voters or the delegates or even the party at that point. It was ALL ABOUT HILLARY!

Obama, on the other hand, used the group tone more often. It was about “WE” and “YOU”. His favorite speech, the one that became a popular music video from, was called “Yes WE Can!” The operative word here is “WE”, not “I”.

And if you think that was a fluke, then go back to the 1992 Presidential Campaign and listen to the rhetoric of Reform Party candidate H. Ross Perot. He also used the collective tone in his speeches. “You’re the boss, I’m just Ross.” “This is YOUR government, I’m just showing it to you.” The emphasis for him was for the second-person, always on YOU.

And when did he start to lose it? When he started talking in the first person again. “The Cubans are trying to silence *ME* like they did with Kennedy!” As soon as he started making things seem first-person or done for ego-gratification, he lost his support.

Is any of this sinking in?

Let’s get brutally honest here… the talking heads and the Clintonistas that are claiming that Hillary lost because of “sexism” are either lying, living in denial, or are simply ignorant of the true scope of the faults that were present in her campaign. She didn’t fail to secure the nomination because she was a woman. She failed to secure the nomination because she believed that she was THE woman. She made this campaign to be all about HERSELF, and everything else, including getting the support of the voters, was just a means to that end.

Of course saying that she lost because of “sexism” allows her and her supporters to play the helpless victims of “the system”… the same system that she herself used to put herself in the US Senate in 2000. It gives her the illusion that she ran an otherwise “flawless” campaign; that the fault was not with anything that SHE said or anything that her people did. They would rather like to believe that the fault was really with outside forces, either from the media, or from the infamous “vast right-wing conspiracy”, or simply from “the system” itself.

Hopefully in time sanity will return to the Clinton supporters and they will be able to properly assess what went wrong. Until then, it does nobody any good to continue to pander to their delusions.

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