Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Ghost of Vince Foster is Howling

From Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish:
A reader writes:
As a Brit who's just moved to Vancouver I've always slightly favored the Clintons and never quite understood the antipathy towards Hillary that exists in America. But last night's speech was the most depressing I have ever seen. Filled with pandering to the fear of the outsider, and no sign of vision, charity or even humanity. She now seems so morally crippled by the desire for power that it's actually uncomfortable to watch.

If the Clintons somehow manage to win the nomination this way, it will be one of the most depressing political moments in recent history. Even taking into account Bush-Kerry.
You could say that when I'm reduced to quoting, and agreeing with, Andrew Sullivan, that the election has officially driven me yompy.

It won't come as a surprise to long-time readers that I am supporting Obama in the primaries. My reasons are complex, but that's a topic for another post. The short version is that I think he's a brilliant young politician who takes thoughtful and reasoned policy positions who has inspired a broad coalition of voters, many of them young or new voters, to stand for change in this country. He has inspired millions to be invested in the political process, to feel that they have a stake, that real change is possible, and that we can take back our country.

I don't think anyone in their right mind can seriously argue that Washington DC isn't badly broken. At the moment, we the people do not reign. Hell, we don't even have a seat at the table. Special interests rule the day, writing legislation and influencing policy to a sickening degree. The corporatists have a firm grasp over both parties. Americans have overwhelmingly said that the country is on the wrong fucking track.

And yet on the eve of the North Carolina and Indiana contests, I believe there is a very real possibility that Senator Clinton, the candidate of the old-boy democratic network, backed by the establishment democratic machine, might just steal this thing from Obama.

How the hell did we get here?

I watched Obama's rally from a VFW hall in Indianapolis tonight and while he sounds just as passionate, just as committed, I sensed a note of demoralization. And fuck? why not. Just last week Peter Drier reported that long-time Clinton loyalist Sidney Blumenthal has been using the entire right wing apparatus to swift boat Obama with the most scurrilous of garbage.
Almost every day over the past six months, I have been the recipient of an email that attacks Obama's character, political views, electability, and real or manufactured associations. The original source of many of these hit pieces are virulent and sometimes extreme right-wing websites, bloggers, and publications. But they aren't being emailed out from some fringe right-wing group that somehow managed to get my email address. Instead, it is Sidney Blumenthal who, on a regular basis, methodically dispatches these email mudballs to an influential list of opinion shapers -- including journalists, former Clinton administration officials, academics, policy entrepreneurs, and think tankers -- in what is an obvious attempt to create an echo chamber that reverberates among talk shows, columnists, and Democratic Party funders and activists. One of the recipients of the Blumenthal email blast, himself a Clinton supporter, forwards the material to me and perhaps to others.
This has been going on four six months, months before Hillary unleashed her "kitchen sink" strategy in public.

It's apparent to me that the Clinton strategy has always been to raise doubts about Obama, not just in voter's minds, but in the press' mind as well. Her strategy has always been to make Obama so toxic, so damaged, that she is the party's only alternative.

How can this possibly stand?

Clinton cannot win honestly. She's been out of the game since February. She picked up a nail back during Obama's 10-0 run, and she doesn't even know she's dead. And yet, cheered on by the right wing and, god help me, the increasingly unhinged feminist contingent, she gets worse by the day.

Oh, she's not that bad, you say. Really? Don't take my word for it, listen to the Weekly Standard: "She is acting like one of our own."
She's running a right-wing campaign. She's running the classic Republican race against her opponent, running on toughness and use-of-force issues, the campaign that the elder George Bush ran against Michael Dukakis, that the younger George Bush waged in 2000 and then again against John Kerry, and that Ronald Reagan--"The Bear in the Forest"--ran against Jimmy Carter and Walter F. Mondale. And she's doing it with much the same symbols.
I don't think it matters to her how much personal damage she does to Barack Obama. So what if she permanently labels him a "latte drinking, elitist, pansy liberal" for all time? Winning is everything.

Clinton has repeatedly said that she believes that she is the best candidate. I think that means that she's justified doing what ever it takes to win.

There's just one problem- what she believes doesn't matter. What matters is the judgement of the voters. And we've spoken.No amount of trash the Clintons throw will change that. The math is the math.

I am personally offended by the entire stinking mess. What the hell do we stand for? Who are we as democrats? I left the republican party in my 20's because I believed that the democratic party was the party of fair play and equal opportunity. We tell african americans and latinos and the poor in this country that if you work hard and play by the rules, why, you can achieve anything!

But god help us, it's not true. These days I wonder, "was Nader right? are we just as in thrall to the corporations and special interests as the republicans? Are we just as much a party of insiders and big money fat-cats?" I think the answer is "yes." What I'm watching is the inside faction of the democratic party systematically destroy the most promising young politician of our generation. And press is not only a willing bystander, they're aiding and abetting.

No matter what happens tomorrow, Hillary's minions will be out in force with their insidious spin, shouting, "He's UNELECTABLE!! he's too different! too green!! we'll all die!! the superdelegates must go with Hillary!!" And the political press will dutifully report, "well, there are SOME doubts about Obama!"

Really? Are we really going to tell the black community that the first viable african american in American history must give up the nomination to a privileged, multimillionaire, white candidate? That the guy who played by the rules, outworked everyone else, and ran the most brilliant campaign in a century can't have it? No one in their right mind thinks that Clinton would still be remotely viable without her "scorched earth" campaign. And after that do you really think they're going to cowboy up and support Clinton?

Think again. They'll walk in droves. And I'll be walking with them. This is a deal breaker for me.

At some point you have to stand for something. As Omar (from the Wire) would say, "a man's gotta have a code."

My code does not include ruining the reputation and career of an honorable and decent public servant. And I won't be a party to it. I'm sorry, but I am sick at heart and I'm grieving for the promise of this country that I see slipping away.

You all will have to decide where your line in the sand is. I believe I've found mine.

Oh, you're probably wondering, "what the hell is the title of the post about?" Okay, no, I don't believe Hillary killed Vince Foster. But I do think it's incredibly ironic that one of Hillary and Bill's oldest friends, suffering from clinical depression, killed himself in despair over the Washington culture of personal destruction, lamenting in his suicide note:
"Here ruining people is considered sport."
In a just world that 3:00 am phone call to Hillary would be from Vince Foster. And the voice she'd hear through the receiver would be Vince howling in outrage and despair.


lesliet said...

Very thoughtful post.

How did we get here? I blame the "low information voter". Too many people just don't pay attention and are too easily manipulated by the monied interests in the media and the candidate's own pandering and fear mongering. People ask where the leaders are, and then when they have a true leader available to them, they turn to the same old tired politics.

It's really a tragedy.

War On War Off said...

Clinton learned the lesson of politics of fear and hatred as a Goldwater Girl. Last night I watched as much as I could stand of the PBS fellating of Poppy Bush, and it reminded me (well, I was only 5 years old during the '64 election, but what I've read from history, you know, etc.), how utterly vile and opportunistic the Republican party became when the Democrats finally began to promote civil rights legislation. Goldwater was painted a thoughtful, reasonable elder statesman in his later years, but what he did in '64 is indeed, "How we got there." And Hillary was there.

Caminante said...

When the leader of the US is chosen because s/he can swill beer or scotch at a bar, and bowl, rather than whether s/he can think, speak and get us out of Iraq, you know the system is hopelessly broken. Who are we kidding that any of the candidates is just 'one of us'? All three candidates are all elitist.

So let's stop focusing on the superficials and look more at whether the next president will appoint Supreme Court judges who will totally strip us of our liberties or work toward ensuring a more just country.

Hillary lost me with the fear mongering. After eight long years of having to listen to crap about the terrists, I've had it. I am also disgusted that a woman would resort to Karl Rove tactics.

Frankly, I am ready for someone who doesn't have 'experience.' Besides, the Supreme Court gave us a nitwit with no foreign policy experience or interest in 2000 and look where we ended up.

(I am not expressing myself well, I apologise -- I guess I am too cynical about it all and my frustration is as much with the US electorate that is so lazy.)

Now back to the kittehs!!!!

sekmet said...

Like Nietzsche said beware when you fight the monster, you don't become a monster yourself. Maybe having to deal with the 24/7 wingnut slime machine unhinged the Clintons.

TheOtherWA said...

Brava, fourlegsgood.

"Think again. They'll walk in droves." I agree. There was a caller on Randi Rhodes show last week, Joseph, who said that also. The African American community is seriously pissed at Clinton now, and if she wins, will not vote for her. Looked for the call on YouTube, but it's not there yet.

I have a hard time picturing myself sitting out a presidential election, but if Obama isn't the candidate, I don't know what I'll do.

Joy said...

I agree. I'm female, white, 50's and for Obama. I also agree with 4legs and the "low information voter" comment. I'm drawing a line in the sand with this election (so is my husband). The only reason she is still in the election is because it benefits the MSM. Obama would have been given the boot a long time ago if the situation had been reversed. If she steals this nomination, the democratic party will be done. I'm not issuing an idle threat like some of the Clinton supporters are doing. I'm doing it because I can't honestly support her no matter what. I can't even hold my nose to vote for her. I might as well give my vote to McCain if I vote for her as she has morphed into a Republican. I am hopeful that the superdelegates see the writing on the wall and will not overturn the will of the people. After tonight, it will rest on their shoulders. I'm not watching returns tonight because all the TV pundits will either be talking about her "comeback" or the fact he cannot win without the white vote.

Polly said...

The Brit wrote that Hillary "seems so morally crippled by the desire for power…." I think the crippling is from Hillary's desire to triumph over the people who dragged her and her family and friends through slime since 1992.

She wants vindication.

The same right-wingers who insulted and degraded all things Clinton have moved blithely on to label Americans as torturers and greed-heads who kill foreigners for their oil. They will pay no penalty for destroying our reputation before the world.

Hillary wants vindication and revenge. As Sekmet and Samantha Powers said, Hillary has become a monster. This makes a tragedy of Shakespearean proportion.

If McCain is elected because Hillary damages Obama, how many more deaths will we see?

Poopyman said...

Wow. Come for the kitties and find a post to rival one of Rude Pundit's best. Vince Foster howling, indeed! Very apt.

And of course I agree. Hillary's transformation/unmasking has been there for all to see over the past three/four months, turning huge numbers of people away from her. I was an Edwards supporter until he dropped out, when I jumped to Obama. Hillary has guaranteed that I will not make the jump to her, should it come to that.

So what to do? Not voting is as bad as voting for McCain (which I will NEVER do). And at least two seats on the Supreme Court are at stake this cycle.

I don't have an answer that involves remaining in America.

War On War Off said...

And *speaking* of the Rude One:

As the Hoosier state votes today on the Sherman's March to the Democratic nomination for President, the Rude Pundit figures now's as good a time as any to out himself: he lived in that hideous shithole of a state for over half a decade, and if Barack Obama wins the primary today, it's because someone told the backwards ass rednecks hunched over in the toxic ditches that bisect the poisonous landscape of Indiana that black people would be at the voting booths waiting to shiv any whitey who dared show his inbred face. Don't worry, though. As Hillary Clinton assures us, these racist motherfuckers are the salt of the earth.


four legs good said...

Thanks for the kind words guys.

As I said, everyone has got to decide what's right for them.

I'm in a red state (and we don't count, remember?) so it's a little easier for me to make a protest.

I think if you're in a swing state, the choice is harder.

But as Hudson said in Aliens, "let's just hope it doesn't come to that."

Iwonder said...

Good post. I agree that both Clinton and McCain are self destructing for all to see. And Obama smiles patiently and wearily at every "Rev Wright" question. I hope he wins. I am so cynical and skeptical and after watching "Hacking Democracy" I will not vote if he is not the candidate.

zoe said...

FLG: excellent post.Thank you.
If the nomination is stolen, I will vote for chosen Democrats for various offices, I will leave the President box blank.
Hillary's difficulties are characterological, not a reaction to treatment from others. Her sense of entitlement, rage, destructiveness have always been present, just more obvious at this juncture. I will not vote for her, .
Thank you for this post

four legs good said...

Zoe, you are welcome.

I agree with you. I'll vote and work for the dem candidates down ballot, but I'll leave the president slot blank.

Polly said...

And Four Legs is one hell of a fine writer when her dander is up. Even tho not inspired by kittehs or galaxies.

four legs good said...

Thanks polly.

steve simels said...

Brilliant, kiddo, and I wish I'd written it.

I find it absolutely astonishing that there are otherwise intelligent people who are still rationalizing her blithe appropriation of Republican talking points as, well, just politics.

One of them actually told me last night that there in fact a difference between McCain's "bomb bomb bomb Iran" and Hillary's "obliterate Iran."

Claimed it was nuance...

I wanted to throw up, frankly...

Oh Susanna said...

Very thoughtful post indeed, Four Legs. In a debate long ago, I saw Clinton and Obama side by side and thought 'dream team'. Now I watch the news and analyses and sigh heavily. But I am deeply and seriously troubled by those who say they will sit out the election or not vote for a presidential candidate unless Obama is the nominee. The next president will undoubtedly appoint several Supreme Court Justices and their decisions on civil rights will have tremendous impacts on the rest of our lives. Presidents come and go, but legal decisions have a very long life span. Roe V. Wade was 35 years ago and it has changed millions of lives. Bush has hacked away at habeas corpus and taken illegal wiretapping and claims of presidential privilege (i.e., the president has the privilege to ignore the law)to outrageous limits. To me, sitting out the presidential election is tantamount to surrendering one's civil rights and liberties to idiots and thugs. How can a thinking person do that? It is beyond my comprehension and all the worse, the thugs are well organized and counting on many to do just that.

Oh Susanna said...

P.S. Four Legs, we're going to need a lot more pictures of plushy girls to get through November. When it all gets to be too much, it is a simple joy to come here and lose one's self in plushyness and Maddie's innocent "Wut??" face.

four legs good said...

One of them actually told me last night that there in fact a difference between McCain's "bomb bomb bomb Iran" and Hillary's "obliterate Iran."

Claimed it was nuance...

I wanted to throw up, frankly...

Well, Ntoddler is kind of a contarian asshole these day, n'est-ce pas?

And thanks for the praise- from you I take that as a high compliment.

In fact I'm all verklempt!!

War On War Off said...

But I am deeply and seriously troubled by those who say they will sit out the election or not vote for a presidential candidate unless Obama is the nominee.

And not by the destructive, rightwing tactics on the part of your candidate?

four legs good said...

Seems to be all moot nao.

Thank god.

Oh Susanna said...

Yes, War On/Off, I am very disturbed and saddened by the tone of the campaigns in recent weeks. My point was that it is important to vote--even if it is only to ensure the Supreme Court does not turn into a rubber stamp for outrageous actions by the executive branch.

zoe said...

oh susana - I have factored that in to my decision. If, god forbid, Mcinsane wins, appoints a terribljustice, the nomination can be blocked...remember Bork? I anticipate big Democratic wins in November, and a strong majority capable of overturning idiocy.

Oh Susanna said...

Zoe, that's a good point, BUT what happens if the tide turns at midterm elections in 2010 for some unforseen reason or if your expected big wins in November do not materialize? Screwed again and for the long term.

McCain is already showing Regan-esque signs of not being able to differentiate between Iran and Iraq and the various sects or remember his position on an issue for more than a week plus a Bush-like inability to understand the economy and ham-fisted approach to foreign policy.

I just ache to have an American president with an IQ two points above a plant and a brain likely to function for more than 30 days after Inauguration Day.