|by Bob Cesca
Winston Churchill wrote: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
The big lie — the “ultimate fear bomb,” as Michelle Obama put it — is this notion that Senator Obama, despite being a Christian and a patriot, isn’t who we says he is. I’m referencing, of course, this ridiculous e-mail whisper campaign which continues to make its roundelay through the tubes. In fact, a friend of a friend who continues to inexplicably open anything with a “Fw:” in the subject line actually e-mailed the goddamn thing to me last week. I’ve since set up an Outlook Express message rule that automatically obliterates any e-mail containing the words “madrassa” and “Hussein.” If Outlook was able to somehow sniff out horseshit, I’d be leaning on that message rule as well. Yet between this awful viral blast and the on-going fear-bombing with regards to the senator’s name, the fact that he’s achieved an uninterrupted lead in the popular vote and the pledged delegate tally is a testament to the unstoppable power of his campaign.
What’s more shocking than the psychonaut tenacity of the whisper pandemic about Senator Obama is that it’s far more plausible that Senator Clinton is a Republican Manchurian Candidate.
Now, I’m not suggesting that Senator Clinton is really a Republican. As far as I know, and I take her at her word.
But just for the hell of it, let’s read the record.
When Senator Clinton was a senior in high school, she was a member of Citizens for Goldwater-Miller. The following year, she was elected president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College. So, in her youth, there’s no denying that she absolutely was a Republican. You won’t find this information in her online biography, by the way, so you’ll have to ask her about it.
While in college, she became involved in the civil rights movement and rapidly transformed into a liberal Democrat who supported anti-war Democratic candidate Eugene McCarthy for president in 1968. Yet it wasn’t until the 1968 Republican National Convention when she finally left the Republican Party… for good? As far as I know. Four years later, during the Watergate investigation, she advised the House Judiciary Committee as they assembled a case for impeachment against President Nixon. I take her at her word that she wasn’t a spy.
From 1986 to 1993, Senator Clinton sat on the board of the notoriously anti-labor corporation known as Wal-Mart, founded and operated by far-right conservative Republican Sam Walton.
Fast forward to 2002 when Senator Clinton vocally supported the Bush administration’s plans to invade an occupy Iraq. To this day, she refuses to either reject or denounce her support of President Bush and the neoconservative conspiracy for war even though the roster of lies about Iraq is a mile long — but not nearly as long as the roster of American military casualties: more than 30,000 by the most recent accounting.
Senator Clinton is also a longtime member of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) which is composed primarily of Democrats who routinely capitulate to the Republicans. “Democrats In Name Only” is a pejorative nickname that’s often associated with members of this centrist organization. And the senator’s historically awkward line, “It’s not change you can believe in; it’s change you can Xerox,” was written for the senator by the DLC’s current president, Bruce Reed. Ironically enough, Reed’s line was intended to blast Senator Obama for using a line written by his campaign co-chair, Governor Deval Patrick. Score! Good job, Clintons!
And during the course of this year, 2008, Senator Clinton has exhibited a disturbing affection for Republican fear mongering. In New Hampshire, Senator Clinton first invoked the prospect of a terrorist attack and how only she was qualified to handle such an event.
“I don’t think it was by accident that al-Qaeda decided to test the new prime minister. They watch our elections as closely as we do, maybe more closely than some of our fellows citizens do. Let’s not forget you’re hiring a president not just to do what a candidate says during the election, you want a president to be there when the chips are down.”
I wonder who wrote that line for the senator? Probably a Democrat on her speechwriting staff, and I take her at her word that it wasn’t a Republican.
Meanwhile, during the very same week in which William Kristol recommended to the senator that she use the politics of fear against Senator Obama, Subsequently, Senator Clinton hedged while responding to a question about Senator Obama’s religion — “as far as she knew.” The day after Kristol’s recommendation, the Kenyan garb photo appeared on the Drudge Report. And, later in the week, her campaign released the 3AM television commercial which could very easily have been a commercial for Senator McCain. It’s also noteworthy that Clinton campaign pollster Mark Penn wrote the commercial. Penn has a storied Republican past, as was reported by The Nation:
A host of prominent Republicans fall under Penn’s purview. B-M’s Washington lobbying arm, BKSH & Associates, is run by Charlie Black, a leading GOP operative who maintains close ties to the White House, including Karl Rove, and was former partners with Lee Atwater, the political consultant who crafted the Willie Horton smear campaign used by George H.W. Bush against Michael Dukakis in 1988.
Speaking of Willy Horton, we’re all familiar with the disgraceful instances of race-baiting from the Clinton campaign — a tactic generally reserved exclusively by the Republicans. Most recently, Clinton finance committee member and former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro said that the only reason Senator Obama is winning is because he’s black.
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
Ferraro has yet to resign from her post with the same dignity and selflessness as Samantha Power, Senator Obama’s foreign policy advisor, when Power said that Senator Clinton was a “monster” — a harmless epithet, far less insulting than Ferraro’s flagrantly racist comments. And the Clinton campaign has yet to reject or denounce Ferraro’s unapologetic bigotry, nor her continued defense and reiteration of the initial trespass. The Clintons are sticking with Ferraro. When have we witnessed this behavior before? Sticking with someone who’s clearly wrong?
And then there are Senator Clinton’s remarkably obnoxious endorsements of Senator McCain, as well as her desire to follow Bill Kristol’s advice (again) — this time agreeing with his advice to Senator McCain that the general election ought to be framed around national security issues. For the record, AmericaBlog documented her repeated endorsements of Senator McCain and, concurrently, her offenses against the Democratic Party:
"[McCain has] never been president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."
“I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.”
"Of course, well, you know, I’ve got a lifetime of experience. Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience. And you know, Senator Obama’s whole campaign is about one speech he made in 2002."
Clearly, the senator’s point was that if she doesn’t win the nomination (and it’s mathematically impossible at this point), she would prefer to see Senator McCain defeat Senator Obama in November. After all, and by her own admission, Senator McCain is more qualified and better equipped to defend the nation against the evildoers. What’s more is that Senator Clinton has provided for the McCain campaign enough clips to launch a thousand fear mongering commercials.
SCARY VOICE GUY: Even Hillary Clinton, a liberal Democrat, agrees that Senator Obama isn’t prepared to keep you and your kids safe from the terrorists.
CLIP OF SENATOR CLINTON: I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.
SCARY VOICE GUY: Senator Barack Hussein Obama… if a liberal like Hillary Clinton thinks he’s not ready, what will the terrorists think?
But I take her at her word that she’s not a Republican Manchurian Candidate ready to spring forth another eight years of crazy on an already thrashed and beleaguered nation. As far as I know.