Any way you cut it, if you support the enemy of your party and undermine the chances of a fellow party member whom your enemy fears most, you have irrefutably betrayed the party’s interests. Inasmuch as your party foolishly allows you to remain within its ranks, the party will be sabotaged and defeated. We will prove, with empirical evidence, exactly whom the Republicans fear most in a match-up against McCain. In doing so, we will reveal the inescapable conclusion that the weaker candidate’s willingness to risk the party’s chances in November demands a serious look as to whether or not the candidate deserves the party’s trust, or even to remain within the party ranks.
The GOP Wants You to Underestimate John McCain
Do not think for one second the presidential election is already decided, and that it matters not who wins the primaries. Do not believe for one second both can beat McCain decisively, because in truth nothing is certain, though presently only one candidate consistently polls better against McCain. The Democrats made the mistake of assuming infallibility in 2004 when polls suggested Bush would lose, and the same mistake is being made now, as this dangerous and false sense of security is seeded not by unduly smug Democrats as much as by clever GOP operatives hoping to avoid media scrutiny of their candidate that if seen objectively, would warrant anything but dismissal as a lost cause. Remember not too long ago, before new Hampshire, when John McCain was scoring single digits in the polls and was behind Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Mike Hucklebee, and Ron Paul? Everyone had written McCain’s political obituary, but now he’s the GOP candidate for president. One sobering thought for Democrats: their present lead against McCain is slim, which means the odds are much better for McCain than they were in the primaries. This brings up the issue of electability in the general election: where is the evidence supporting the contention that Obama is feared most by the Republicans, as opposed to Hillary? Let’s start off with the highly suspicious public support of Hillary by right-wing talk show hosts and pundits who have despised the Clintons for years:
- The Rush Limbaugh Effect becomes a factor in the Texas primaries. Despite the fact that Limbaugh has always hated the Clintons, and even has their faces photo-shopped over cockroaches on his website, Bill Clinton appears on Limbaugh’s talk show the day before Texas primaries. Why would Clinton do that? perhaps because Rush had already urged Texas Republicans to undermine their primary elections by voting for Hillary.
- Ann Coulter, another right-winger, promises to campaign for Hillary if McCain becomes the Republican candidate for president on a televised appearance. According to Coulter, she will do this because “Hillary is more conservative than McCain”. However, when she said this, McCain was already the certain GOP nominee as Hucklebee was terminally short on delegates and Romney would soon end his bid. Has Ann Coulter followed through? has she campaigned for Hillary? of course not. It was a ruse to get Republicans in open primaries riled enough to sabotage the democratic primaries by casting votes for Hillary, the weaker candidate Republicans want McCain to face.
- Rupert Murdoch holds fund-raisers for Clinton. The Australian right-wing strategist and media mogul most responsible for Bush’s election and re-election by virtue of his hands-on control and direction of FOX News, The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, etc., voices support for Hillary Clinton and even holds fund-raisers for her. Though you will see hit-pieces on Hillary that are designed to suggest balance, those who watch the networks regularly see the hit-pieces and slander are disproportionately slanted towards Obama. This makes Democrats who view the network see Hillary as the lesser evil when voting in the primaries.
- FOX News, the Bush network, is now Clinton’s first outlet for the most absurd and divisive attacks on Obama. The Madrassa Slander, for example. FOX carried a report that clamed Obama was in a terrorist training school as a child, and that he was a Muslim. As it turns out, these reports didn’t originate with FOX reporters, but from a Clinton staffer who was later fired, after the damage was done and after a large number of democrats came to believe the deception, simply by virtue of its repetition. For example, in a March 2, 2008 60 Minutes story, the transcript notes:
Sen. Obama has another problem: a malicious campaign against him that surfaced in a number of our interviews. Schoenholtz told Kroft he is leaning towards Obama, but that there were a couple of issues he was “not too clear” on. Asked what they were, Schoenholtz said, “Well, I’m hearin’ he doesn’t even know the National Anthem, you know. He wouldn’t use the Holy Bible. He’s got his own beliefs, got the Muslim beliefs. Couple issues that bothers me at heart.” “You know that’s not true,” Kroft remarked. “No. I’m just…this is what I’ve been told,” he replied. [And even after CNN and the rest of the media debunked the slander, the day before Ohio and Texas primaries, Clinton suggested she wasn’t sure as to whether or not Obama is a Muslim, immediately reversing her earlier public stance and giving credence to an obvious smear.]
- Mark Penn’s lobbying firm is headed by John McCain’s top advisor. Penn is Hillary’s top advisor and pollster. That said, he works for a firm that is happy if either Clinton or McCain wins. This means John McCain’s advisors are working with Clinton, through Mark Penn, because by ensuring a Clinton-McCain match-up, they win no matter which candidate loses. Moreover, it’s the same match-up the GOP wants to see anyway, so you won’t see any public outcry from the party brass. They can beat her, they believe, and are so convinced of it they loan her their top advisors so they can set her up for November. Because Mark Penn’s firm is headed by McCain’s advisor, any damaging info against Clinton which Penn has will be the property of McCain’s advisor. This info, of course, is that which they have gathered on their own and prepared spins for, or pre-emptive strategies for, should Obama’s campaign use against her. This info will then become property of McCain. he will know her weaknesses and her spin on them, he will know her pre-emptive strategies and use them against her or nullify them. He will, in short, hang her with the rope she gave him.
And so the Democrat must ponder the following: Isn’t it obvious the GOP wants you to choose the candidate they can beat? If Hillary can beat McCain, why is the GOP pushing so hard to have her matched up against him? Wouldn’t they want to face Obama instead, if they thought McCain could beat him?
Then There’s the Issue of Party Sabotage
John McCain’s own campaign couldn’t have conjured up a more repugnant attack against Obama, as you can see in the video above. If this is how you win delegates- by smearing a fellow Democrat with fratricidal attacks, thereby risking a Democratic loss should Obama win the party nomination, undecided super-delegates hungry to land a Democrat in the White House can no longer plead ignorance to Clinton’s manifest sabotage of her party’s chances in November and the injustice of a Democrat teaming up with the McCain to attack a fellow Democrat.
Moreover, she does so not to win in an easy election but merely for a chance to run in a match-up where McCain consistently matches or polls better than her, and could easily defeat her once you start counting the mass of Republicans certain to be polarized and rallied by her nomination. Worse, even though she matches him at best, with margins within the 3-5% margin of error, she assumes the Obama supporters she alienated and ridiculed won’t sit out the election. So now instead of a tie, you have McCain leading by, perhaps, 20 points. He would destroy her in November, and there is not a chance in hell the gender card she is playing now with Democratic women will help her with Republican women. It is the ultimate irony when you realize that McCain himself, the very person Obama might face in November, has conducted himself with more civility than Clinton. Not only has he refused to attack Obama the way Clinton does, by implying he is a Muslim by virtue of his middle name and discredited rumors, he actually risks party alienation by condemning right-wing radio hosts like Bill Cunningham who try to imply Obama is Muslim as he knows quite well this smear is designed to appeal to the racist or religious bigot. (Consequently and predictably, Cunningham voiced his support for Clinton over McCain.)
After this manifest admission they circulated the photo, the Clinton campaign suddenly denied circulating it at all.
In contrast to McCain, Clinton’s camp circulated photos of Obama in Muslim garb. The picture showed Obama wearing traditional African dress during a visit in 2006. Like Laura Bush, Clinton herself was photographed in traditional Muslim garb during a visit to the middle east. It’s a standard practice for heads of state or their wives to wear traditional clothes and costumes as a good will gesture to hosts. Though she later denied her camp had sent the photo to the Drudge Report, Matt Drudge would have none of that. Maybe he had a point, because soon afterwards, just before the Ohio and Texas primaries, Clinton implied we have to “take Obama’s word for it” as to whether or not the Muslim rumors are true. No, his family or friends can’t be trusted when they say he was always a Christian. Nor can the Christians at his church. Nor can the networks and reporters who discovered the Madrassa smear. No, none of that matters, because it is all relevant and relevant facts tend to debunk a smear. According to Clinton, whose own credibility is soap-bubble thin, we have to take Obama at his word for it, with Clinton assuming the same position FOX News pundits appealed to when their Madrassa smear was uncovered.
Super-Delegates, Quid Pro Quo, and Worthless Promises
Pathological liars often believe their own lies, and this makes them convincing to the unwary. Those presently convinced are the undecided super-delegates. Some of you know what she says is untrue, and commit the logical fallacy of believing she will lie to anyone but you, because you’re special, even when she turns around the next day and either contradicts herself or stabs you in the back. Now look at her campaign and the torrent of lies and slander that have become the hallmark of Team Hillary. What makes you think that any quid pro quo you have agreed upon, while talking to Bill or Hillary or any of their surrogates, will have any weight after she wins the nomination? After you have served your purpose, are you not expendable since all you have is an empty promise she could ignore without consequence once she gets what she wants, and your services are no longer needed. That, however, is assuming she would beat McCain, which is impossible at best, particularly because of alienated Obama supporters who would rather sit out the election than vote for her. You know what we will see? a replay of the Mondale-Ferraro ticket in which the Democrats lost 49 of 50 states. Geraldine Ferraro was running for VP, and that, in and of itself, proved fatal. Quid pro quo only works when someone has something to exchange besides a spurious promise. If that promise comes from someone you know is a calculated, pathological liar, it’s clearly worthless. I won’t get into the ethics of tit for tat, of exchanging favors, money or promises for votes, because we all know it is wrong. But in the real world, quid pro quo will play a part in back room deals, and if it does play a part as usual, her credibility should weigh heavily in the decisions of those who would shamelessly appeal to selling their vote. To the genuine Democrat, to the honest delegates and super-delegates who truly want to see a Democrat in the White House, the obligation to support Obama is clear, if only to take a stand against the desperate, fratricidal tactics of an unstable candidate who places herself above the will of the people and the interests of her party. In fact, it’s time to do more than that. It’s time to consider whether or not Clinton should voluntarily leave the party for deliberately undermining the chances of a Democratic win in the presidential election; or if it’s time to ensure she is excised from the party by any procedural means necessary. There comes a time when the cancer of self-interest and divisiveness in a given member of the establishment is no longer contained and the malignancy spreads to the body politic; this to the point it’s reduced to paralysis. This is happening now, and the party must excise this malignancy now or throw away any chance of winning the White House. It is this cancer that affects the vision of the party, that they may not see the Republican divide and conquer techniques that rely on race and sex, or see the massive cracks in a once unified base. It is this cancer that affects the hearing of the party, that they are deaf to their constituents and deaf to the will of the people. It is this cancer that affects the heart and voice of the party, that it reduces party members to mutes, unable or unwilling to speak up for those who cannot. And it is this cancer that must be excised immediately, by the super-delegates, because it is now clear where the malignancy lies, and it is now clear the party interests are not what’s important to this candidate and never were. Your party has been betrayed, and to reward those responsible threatens a shared fate.
Keith Olbermann: Special Comment on Hillary Clinton