Go Away Mad . . .
until about a month ago, I was happily ambivalent about the
Democratic presidential race. Either Hillary or Obama would
be fine a president, wonderfully historic, and a vast improvement
over the embarrassment we have now.
As Obama’s meteoric rise took hold, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated
that she represents the worst of American politics. The pits.
There had been a couple things early on: odd whisper campaigns
coming from Clinton “advisors” about Obama being Muslim, his
drug use in his youth (which he’s written about in his books),
even statements he made in kindergarten. A couple of Clinton
aides got fired for some of these, which of course caused
the silly innuendos to make the news.
But then nonsense became the front and center of her campaign.
The dissembling, the lies, the parsing, the spinning. As Hillary
lost the support of blacks, the college-educated and those
under 50, she and her minions set out on a series of disgusting
ploys to reel in the uninformed, the ignorant, the bigoted,
and her shrinking base of “identity voters,” older white women
whose vote is less for Hillary than it is for themselves.
Fortunately, this kind of Rovian strategy, which worked so
well with evangelicals for George W., just hasn’t flown with
Democrats, and Hillary’s campaign has sunk like a stone—and,
along with it, whatever’s left of the Clinton legacy, which
had seen considerable rehabilitation over the past few years.
Hillary’s clownish advisors, like Harold Ickes and Howard
Wolfson, have been dropping hints about going after Obama’s
pledged delegates, and about trying to certify the decertified
Florida and Michigan delegates, which Hillary cheated to get.
These folks have been burning up the phone lines trying to
strong-arm the superdelegates. Nobody’s buying it.
There have been the day-before-the-debate bombs. Last week
it was the phony plagiarism accusation. The Hillary advisors
who dropped this one knew it was a lie, but hey, it made the
news cycle, and Obama had to respond. This week it was the
digging up and sending of the picture of Obama in traditional
African garb to Matt Drudge, followed quickly by insidious
claims by Clinton toady Maggie Williams that Obama’s protests
about the pictures showed he was ashamed of his heritage.
This isn’t politics, it’s swift-boating.
In the past week, Hillary has careened oddly out of control,
bouncing from one absurd pose to the next, recalling nothing
so much as the recent Britney Spears lunacy. Except people
seem to still care about Britney Spears, while Hillary fatigue,
for whatever reason, sprouts early. After her bizarre sweetness-and-light
routine at last week’s Texas debate, Hillary turned attack
dog on Saturday, with a foaming-at-the-mouth hysterical and
shrill complaint about some Obama mailings. (And yes, if she
were a man, I’d be using the words “hysterical” and “shrill.”
Don’t even think about playing the gender card this time.)
She even went so far as to compare Obama to Karl Rove, and
ended the tirade with a silly, Gary Cooper-like “meet me in
Ohio” dare. It was all a charade, it was all scripted, and
it was all fake. The mailings she claimed “had just been handed
to me” had in fact been in circulation for weeks. They were
very old news. Hillary and her people certainly knew about
them the day they were first mailed. Invoking the name Karl
Rove was utterly disingenuous, considering her subterranean
attempts at character assassination over the previous couple
This has all been terribly sad, and it verifies many of the
things Hillary’s detractors have been saying for years, digs
that once seemed cruel and now look prescient. The Clinton
campaign has been tilting at windmills for weeks now, and
has been playing increasingly dirty with each passing day.
And the shameful thing is that it undermines Obama’s upcoming
campaign, the campaigns of every Democrat running for office
this November who are relying on Obama’s coattails, and it
threatens to dismantle the waking-up of an entire generation
of Americans to the importance of who is running the country.
Every pathetic lie and distortion Hillary pushes out there
lessens the likelihood we’ll have a bulletproof majority in
both houses of Congress, and a Supreme Court that is at least
I caught a Clinton speech in South Texas last week, and she
was reminiscing about helping with a voter registration drive
there in 1972, when she and Bill were young Democratic activists
and working for George McGovern. It struck me that if Hillary
and Bill Clinton were young idealists working the political
fields today, they sure as hell wouldn’t be working for Hillary
Clinton. They’d be much too smart to buy in to her transparent
and divisive crap.
Hopefully she’ll pack it in soon and stop making a fool of
herself. Hopefully the voters of New York will remember her
shameful behavior when her number comes around in the Senate
in four years. We deserve so much better than this.
Rapp is an intellectual-property lawyer with offices in Albany
and Housatonic, Mass. He teaches art-and-entertainment law
at Albany Law School, and regularly appears as part of the
Copyright Forum on WAMC’s Vox Pop. Contact info can
be found at www.paul rapp.com. Comments about this article
can be posted at rapponthis .blogspot.com.