More On Hillary’s Choice and The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

I’ve known about Hillary Clinton’s association with the religious right for a long time but considered it more of a personal matter until she attacked Barack Obama for his choice of affiliating with Jeremiah Wright. While I have criticized her conservative positions which grew out of this association, such as her support for a ban on flag burning and her crusade against video games, I didn’t consider comment on her personal associations, which I  detailed in this post yesterday, relevant until she launched her personal attack on Obama.

Others have thought along similar lines and there is now more discussion of Clinton’s associations. Joshua Green has written about this today and refers back to this article he wrote back in 2006. His post today also provides links to additional articles on the subject:

If you’ve never heard of The Fellowship (also known as The Family), it will sound like some shadowy organization in a John Grisham novel. (Indeed, as a Google search will demonstrate, critics consider it a cult.) The group was formed in the 1930s to minister to political and business leaders throughout the world, modeling itself as a kind of Christian Trilateral Commission. Several members of Congress are affiliated with the group, mostly Republicans, but some Democrats, too. To the extent The Fellowship is known beyond its members it is probably for founding the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

Like Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity Baptist Church, The Fellowship is run by its own mysterious and controversial figure, Douglas Coe, although temperamentally Coe is Wright’s opposite. He eschews the spotlight and has never made a controversial public utterance that I’m aware of — mainly because he rarely speaks publicly at all. (You won’t find him on YouTube.) But like Wright, Coe has ministered to a Democratic frontrunner. He personally leads a private Senate prayer group that Clinton has been a part of.

In my piece, I chose to focus on the Senate prayer group, but others have written extensively about the strangeness and secrecy of The Fellowship. As this Los Angeles Times story and this exquisitely reported Harper’s piece make clear, there is something deeply strange about the group. They certainly do not like press coverage, so in that regard Clinton’s attraction might make sense. Reporters hoping to look into the group might want to think again. A few years ago, The Fellowship’s archives, which are held at Wheaton College, the evangelical school in Illinos, were reclassified as “restricted” and placed under lock and key.

The Clintons have had a very strange association with the “vast right wing conspiracy.” They sometimes attack each other, and at other times work together, but they have worked to ensure that for the last generation our choices have been limited to one or the other. Finally this year we have a chance to change this.

Samantha Power, Tonya Harding, Monster-Gate, And Clinton’s “Jewish Problem”

Just this morning I was thinking that there was a growing consensus that Samanta Power was right, even if politically indiscrete, in calling Hillary Clinton a monster and therefore it  may be time for her to return. As I mentioned yesterday,Clinton is now being compared to Tonya Harding. After alienating many black voters with the race-baiting strategy engaged by her campaign earlier she is now alienating many Jews as well as some previously neutral Democrats with her campaign’s latest dirty stunt. As a consequence, this is the right day for there to be a story about the Samantha Power’s possible return.

Marc Ambinder first wrote on the Clinton campaign’s attempt to fabricate a story that Obama has a Jewish problem. James Fallows has more. Ambinder notes that at present polls show fairly equal support among Jewish voters between Clinton and Obama but don’t be surprised if this backfires against Clinton and her Jewish support nose dives. This is also yet another case in which we see an alliance between Clinton and the vast right wing conspiracy as she has been circulating a hit job from The American Spectator. Similarly her attacks on Obama’s present votes began as a right wing attack and her attacks based upon his association with Jeremiah Wright came from a collaboration with Richard Mellon Scaife. Add to that her recent affiliation with Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh and her compliments of John McCain. No wonder the Bush White House sees her as the one to carry on their legacy.

In response to her latest actions Kevin Drum, who has often defended Clinton, writes, “There are already an awful lot of reasons for me not to bother defending Hillary even tepidly, and I hardly need another one. She’s been voted off the island. It’s time for her to go.” He links to Atrios who wants to “just make it stop.” Steve Benen tries to write in a more neutral fashion as he reports on these items and concludes, “It’s fair to say that Atrios and Kevin are not sycophantic Obama cheerleaders. When they’ve reached this conclusion, the ‘Tonya Harding option’ is probably doing more harm than good.”

Now that virtually everyone realizes that Hillary Clinton really is a monster, it might be time for Samantha Power to return (although perhaps not yet as a formal member of the campaign). Sam Stein reports on a discussion Power held over her book in which the “monster-gate” came up:

The two-plus hour discussion at Columbia was held to promote Power’s new book “Chasing the Flame.” And while a good portion of the talk centered on the book’s content (as well as several apologies for the “monster” remark) much was devoted to a detailed and surprisingly honest look at Obama, his position on the issues, and even the type of White House cabinet he would appoint.

Power called Obama’s willingness to meet, without preconditions, world leaders with whom America did not always see eye-to-eye, one of the turning points of the Democratic primary: “I can tell you about the conference call the day [after Obama made the proclamation],” she recalled. “People were like, ‘Did you need to say that?’ And he was like ‘yeah, definitely.'”

She emphasized that, unlike President Bush, Obama would put greater focus on the general welfare of the Iraqi people (looking at population displacements, health conditions, economic insecurities), when considering U.S. policy in that country. She also drew a picture of an Obama administration that was filled with different viewpoints and congenial debate.

And, to the delight of many in the crowd, she even hinted that she could be part of that hypothetical cabinet. “Because of the kind of campaign that Senator Obama has run,” Power said, “it seemed appropriate for someone of my Irish temper to step aside, at least for a while. We will see what happens there.”

Hillary! Stop the attacks! Love, Obama Girl


Obama Girl is back with a plea for  Hillary Clinton to stop attacking Obama.

A Bad Week For Hillary Clinton

Not long ago the talk was about how Obama was having a bad month, but things certainly began to turn around as I noted a few days ago. Suddenly the news is all coming out looking bad for Clinton, often because of foolish moves on her part.

I’ve already mentioned how she has resorted to taking advantage of the Jeremiah Wright issue by attacking Obama here and here. Having been caught in a big lie over Bosnia certainly didn’t help either. As a result of this and other bad news David Brooks has changed the odds on Clinton:

Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance.

Five percent.

Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt.

For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery when the contest touches upon race, gender or patriotism. The policy debates between the two have been long exhausted, so the only way to get the public really engaged is by poking some raw national wound.

Five percent. Chuck Todd looks at the math. First he makes his projections on the remainder of the elected delegates and then estimates how many of the super delegates each candidate would have to pick up to still manage to win. He estimates that “Obama would need 34% of the uncommitted superdelegates to hit the magic 2024 number, while Clinton would need 72% of the uncommitted Supers to hit 2024.”

If Clinton can’t even win this with the super delegates any more, it looks like she is going back to the idea of going after the pledged delegates:

I just don’t think this is over yet, and I don’t think that it is smart for us to take a position that might disadvantage us in November. And also remember that pledged delegates in most states are not pledged. You know, there is no requirement that anybody vote for anybody. They’re just like superdelegates.

Most people realize that Clinton has lost the opportunity to win the nomination cleanly, but that will not stop her. Her strategy is now being referred to as the Tonya Harding strategy:

l just spoke with a Democratic Party official, who asked for anonymity so as to speak candidly, who said we in the media are all missing the point of this Democratic fight.

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?”

At least there is hope that the Democratic Party leadership might not let her continue this indefinitely. Harry Reid has suggested that the race will be resolved before the election:

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

Unfortunately it is doubtful that anything will be done until after the last states vote, giving John McCain the advantage for several more weeks.

Hillary Clinton Teams Up With Fellow Conservatives To Attack Obama

Clinton apologists have tried to excuse Clinton’s attacks on Obama yesterday for his affiliation with Jeremiah Wright by claiming Clinton was just answering a question. Josh Marshall presents a couple of arguments to debunk this defense. First he notes that Clinton repeated the attack later in the day and goes on to write:

Now obviously, Hillary’s been in the political big leagues for a while. She knows how to deflect a question. But it’s actually much richer than this. This afternoon Greg Sargent and I were talking this over and one of us realized that this wasn’t just any Pittsburgh paper. It was the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the money-losing, vanity, fringe sheet of Richard Mellon Scaife, funder of the Arkansas Project, the American Spectator during its prime Clinton-hunting years and virtually every right-wing operation of note at one point or another over the last twenty years or more.

In fact, what I only discovered late this evening, when Eric Kleefeld sent me this link at National Review Online, is that not only was it Scaife’s paper. Scaife himself was there sitting just to Clinton’s right apparently taking part in the questioning.

This alone has to amount to some sort cosmic encounter like something out of a Wagner opera. Remember, this is the guy who spent millions of dollars puffing up wingnut fantasies about Hillary’s having Vince Foster whacked and lots of other curdled and ugly nonsense. Scaife was the nerve center of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Those of us who spent years defending the Clintons from all that malarkey learned this point on day one.

But there’s more.

Let’s game this out. Hillary’s saying this wasn’t some planned thing. She just got hit with this question and she answered it. But here’s my question. You think Richard Mellon Scaife might want to dig into the Jeremiah Wright story? This is sort of like, ‘Hey, I go on Hannity and next thing you know he’s asking me about Wright and Farrakhan. How was I supposed to see that coming?’

I don’t know just how this went down. But the idea Sen. Clinton and her staff went into an editorial board meeting with Scaife and his lackey reporters without a clear sense that they were going to get at least one choice Jeremiah Wright question just somehow doesn’t ring true to me.

None of this should come as much of a surprise. If people would only look beyond the letter after one’s name they would see that Hillary Clinton has become part of the vast right wing conspiracy to impose their social views upon America.

Fox Defends Constitutional Right To Broadcast Whipped-Cream-Covered Strippers

For a few moments I’ve become a fan of Fox, and even Rupert Murdoch. Fox is standing up to the FCC on their ridiculous fines for “indecency” and fighting for the right to broadcast whipped-cream-covered strippers. Freedom of expression is freedom of expression after all. The Washington Post reports:

In an unusually aggressive step, Fox Broadcasting yesterday refused to pay a $91,000 indecency fine levied by the Federal Communications Commission for an episode of a long-canceled reality television show, even as the network fights two other indecency fines in the Supreme Court.

The FCC proposed fining all 169 Fox-owned and affiliate stations a total of $1.2 million in 2004 for airing a 2003 episode of “Married by America,” which featured digitally obscured nudity and whipped-cream-covered strippers.

Fox appealed immediately after the FCC ruling. Last month — four years later — the FCC changed its mind, saying it would fine only the 13 Fox stations located in cities that generated viewer complaints about the program. That reduced the fine to $91,000.

Despite the sharp reduction, Fox said it would not pay the fine on principle, calling it “arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with precedent, and patently unconstitutional” in a statement released yesterday.

I’d feel even better about Fox if they wouldn’t falsely label one of their networks which specializes in broadcasting partisan political opinion as being a “news” network.