Just when it seems like Clinton has gone as low as possible against a candidate from one’s own party, Clinton manages to dig deeper into the mud. Thomas Edsall reports that Clinton is again attacking Obama from the right while trying to pass the blame off onto Karl Rove:
A high-ranking labor supporter of Hillary Clinton is distributing to union leaders and to Democratic strategists a document detailing the radical activities of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, two former members of the ’70s group the Weather Underground, who decades later, in Chicago, crossed paths with Barack Obama.
The document – a three-page emailed essay by Rick Sloan, communications director for the International Association of Machinists as Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) — takes both literary and political license to outline what Sloan believes would be the thrust of a hypothetical Republican campaign against Obama focusing on his tangential connection to Ayers and Dohrn.
The goal of the essay appears to be to discredit Obama as the prospective Democratic presidential nominee.
Undoubtedly realizing that the risk that such a negative attack will again hurt Clinton, Sloan tries to justify this by blaming the Republicans for his own actions:
“The drip, drip, drip of Republican opposition research will continue throughout the summer. At the Republican Convention, speakers will joke about a color spectrum of light pink to deep red. And the GOP attack machine will publicize the visual that Rove believes will give that Ayers-Obama link ‘power and force.’
“Rove’s frame for the fall campaign will be filled with revolutionary figures — Marx, Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara. His audio tapes of Ayers, Dohrn and other Weathermen will provide the screams of revolution. The bombing of the US Capitol, the Pentagon and the US State Department will serve as b-roll for his television ads that will have one final visual asthe announcer gravely intones ‘Their Change — Not What You Had In Mind’.”
It is not Karl Rove or the Republicans who are doing this. It is Hillary Clinton and her supporters. I have to agree with Joe Gandelman that Ed Morrissey gets it right here:
Well, this is really convenient, isn’t it? Not only can they indulge in what they call McCarthyism, they can blame their bete noir Karl Rove for it before he even utters a word. This frees up both Democratic contenders to fling as much mud at each other under the WWKD concept. We can call it pre-emptive McCarthyism, another great concept in campaigning from the people who brought us the vast right-wing conspiracy…
Meanwhile, the real Karl Rove can sit on the sidelines while the Democrats diminish themselves at the speed of light in an orgy of hypocrisy. That’s what this really is — a way to campaign hard while blaming others for the damage it causes, as hypocritical an effort as one will ever see in politics.
Clinton has learned the wrong lesson from her battles with the vast right-wing conspiracy. When Clinton repeatedly uses these dishonest tactics this is no longer only Rove-style politics. It is now Clinton-style politics. She is fooling no one, beyond her own supporters, when she justifies such tactics with claims that this is what the Republicans will do. Clinton is the new Rove.