Outrage Against Clinton Continues

Early this morning I posted a run down of what various bloggers were saying about Hillary Clinton’s latest comments on Florida and Michigan. More negative reaction was posted today. The consensus in the blogosphere (excluding those rare blogs which back Clinton) is that this further demonstrates her dishonesty and lack of suitability to be president. While her campaign has been characterized by Nixon/Bush levels of dishonesty, her latests statements on Florida and Michigan are seen as undermining the Democratic process. After over seven years of a Republican president who many Democrats see as illegitimate, we do not want to repeat this problem by having a Democrat move towards the presidency based upon such violations of the democratic process.

Looking at additional responses, Josh Marshall writes:

I’ve always assumed, as I think most people have, that once the nomination is settled the Florida and Michigan delegates will be seated. And I can see if Sen. Clinton wants to embrace this issue to claim a moral victory even while coming short of her goal of the nomination. As things currently stand, seating them would still leave Sen. Clinton behind in delegates.

But Sen. Clinton is doing much more than this. She is embarking on a gambit that is uncertain in its result and simply breathtaking in its cynicism.

I know many TPM Readers believe there is a deep moral and political issue at stake in the need to seat these delegations. I don’t see it the same way. But I’m not here to say they’re wrong and I’m right. It’s a subjective question and I respect that many people think this. What I’m quite confident about is that Sen. Clinton and her top advisors don’t see it that way.

Why do I think that? For a number of reasons. One of her most senior advisors, Harold Ickes, was on the DNC committee that voted to sanction Florida and Michigan by not including their delegates. Her campaign completely signed off on sanctions after that. And Clinton was actually quoted saying the Michigan contest didn’t count. Michigan and Florida were sanctioned because they ignored the rules the DNC had set down for running this year’s nomination process.

The evidence is simply overwhelming that Sen. Clinton didn’t think this was a problem at all — until it became a vehicle to provide a rationale for her continued campaign.

Now, that’s politics. One day you’re on one side of an issue, the next you’re on the other, all depending on the tactical necessities of the moment. But that’s not what Clinton is doing. She’s elevating it to a level of principle — first principles — on par with the great voting rights struggles of history. There’s no longer any question that she’s going to win the nomination. The whole point of the popular vote gambit was to make an argument to super-delegates. And that’s fine since that’s what super-delegates are there for — to make the decision by whatever measure they choose. But they’ve made their decision. The super delegates are breaking overwhelmingly for Obama. They simply don’t buy the arguments she’s making.

This was the tipping point for Steve Benen who has defended Clinton in the past but can no longer tolerate her tactics:

Just yesterday, I defended Hillary Clinton and her rationale for prolonging the Democratic nominating fight. Given that her own campaign chairman recently said the race would wrap up in early June, and Clinton seemed to honoring a relative cease-fire, there was no real urgency about her withdrawing…

By last night, Clinton had made my defense of her efforts look rather foolish. In fact, looking back, I’ve defended Clinton, more than once, when people said she was putting her own interests above those of the party and the nation.

But after seeing her tactics yesterday, I’m done defending Hillary Clinton…

I’m 35, and have been following politics for quite a while, and I’ve never been so disappointed with a politician I’ve admired and respected. Yesterday’s tactics weren’t just wrong, they were offensive. For that matter, they seem to be part of a deliberate strategy to tear Democrats apart and ensure a defeat in November.

For several weeks, I’ve appreciated the fact that Clinton considers herself the superior candidate, and has kept her campaign going in the hopes, from her perspective, of saving the party from itself. But after yesterday, it’s become impossible for me to consider Clinton’s intentions honorable. Her conduct is not that of a leader.

What’s so striking is the shamelessness of her reversal(s). When Florida and Michigan broke party rules and were punished by the DNC, Clinton not only supported the decision, she honored it and spoke publicly about those votes not counting. One of her own top strategists was responsible for making the decision in the first place. Now, Clinton is saying, “Never mind what I said and did before.”

Clinton and her campaign insisted that this was a race for delegates, as per party rules. Now, Clinton is saying, “Never mind what I said and did before.” Clinton and her campaign said the finish line was 2,025. Now, Clinton is saying, “Never mind what I said and did before.”

Instead of trying to help bring the party together — Election Day is 24 weeks away — Clinton went to Florida to argue that if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, his nomination will be illegitimate. And if the DNC plays by the rules Clinton used to support, it’s guilty of vote-suppression — comparable to slavery, Jim Crow, and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe

Clinton is attacking Democrats for playing by party rules. Worse, she supported those rules until it became self-serving to do otherwise. And now she’s characterizing anyone who disagrees with her as being an opponent of democracy.

There is no excuse for these campaign tactics. There is no defense, there is no rationale, there is spin. It is a painful example of one individual putting ego and ambition above all, consequences be damned…

Many Dems have been waiting for a soft landing, a graceful exit, a classy wrap-up. Clinton, for reasons that I want desperately to understand, has chosen to abandon these norms and instead choose a destructive, divisive path.

She’s playing a dangerous game in which the only winner is the Republican Party.

Steven Taylor writes:

This is simply irresponsible and goes beyond any “tearing the party apart” attack and is the kind of thing that damages our democracy, because there will be people who will come away from this situation thinking that, in fact, the process of rigged in Obama’s favor and/or that Florida’s vote was going to count until an outside power intervened and illegitimately ignored an outcome that authorities didn’t like (i.e., the Zimbabwe comparison). This is not a healthy notion to be sewing in the minds of the citizenry. Clinton know full well the history of the situation in Florida and Michigan and supported the decisions at the time, and now she is trying to rewrite history to serve her own narrow political interests. That is irresponsible, shameful and is the kind of thing that indicates that she isn’t fit to be the president.

Tbogg writes:

Quite frankly I have never seen such a gross example of intellectual dishonesty, disregard for reality on the ground, and shamelessness since, well, actually the last time Bill Kristol was on TV, but never mind that.

We won’t vote for her. The reality on the ground for us is that we do pretty well for ourselves under a Republican administration and I would be willing to take my chances with a solidly Democratic congress, but without her. Sorry folks, but there are a lot of people like us. I know that we’re all supposed to join hands and pull together for a greater more progressive tomorrow and yadda yadda yadda…. but when it comes to Hillary Clinton, fuck that noise. My contempt for her has reached the Lieberman line.

There is one thing that I truly believe in and that is fairness. You may not like the rules, but once you agree to them, you play by them. Hillary Clinton can’t even manage to do someting as simple as that.

She doesn’t deserve to be the first woman president.

She won’t be.

I have to agree. As much as I disagree with John McCain, the integrity of the democratic process is more important than the many issues where McCain is wrong. A power mad egomaniac such as Hillary Clinton must be stopped, even if that means putting another Republican in the White House. Besides, if McCain wins we have a more moderate Republican party than we have now and most likely a Democratic Party with a larger majority which might finally learn how to be an effective opposition party. With any luck McCain could be limited to one term and we could try again with a decent Democratic candidate. If Clinton wins she will reshape the party in her image and we will have no acceptable alternative for at least eight years.


  1. 1
    UncommonSense says:

    I don’t want to think that Clinton is trying to burn the Democratic Party down if she can’t have the nomination, but it is starting to be the only explanation that makes any sense.

    She has turned out to be a profound disappointment.

  2. 2
    infosyster says:

    “With any luck McCain could be limited to one term and we could try again with a decent Democratic candidate. If Clinton wins she will reshape the party in her image and we will have no acceptable alternative for at least eight years.”

    Is this to say that Obama is NOT a “decent” candidate? HUH? 

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, that’s not what I’m saying.

    I’m looking at the prospect of Clinton winning the nomination year as opposed to Obama (which fortunately looks extremely unlikely). Then we might be better off with McCain winning as opposed to Clinton as there would be a chance of a decent candidate (including possibly Obama) winning the nomination in four years.




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