Sauce for the Goose

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Democratic Party, elections

Was Senator Clinton expressing an assassination wish for Senator Obama this afternoon? Not consciously, I don’t think. The argument is that she was thinking in terms of time line — nomination campaigns often are still being fought in June. That probably is what she was thinking. But there are a lot of other, and more recent, examples she could have used that didn’t involve death.

Even without the assassination reference, evoking 1968 is dishonest, because the nomination process happened on a later schedule in those days. For example, the New Hampshire primary was in March instead of January then.

Even if she didn’t mean anything by it, evoking assassination showed terrible judgment, and I understand it’s not the first time she has mentioned the Robert Kennedy assassination to explain why she won’t quit. Of all people, she should know the world is full of loony tunes who take it upon themselves to act out such suggestions.

For that reason I have a long-standing policy of deleting comments that express a wish for someone to be assassinated, even if the commenter is joking, and even if the potential target is someone I don’t like.

Clinton supporters are whining that people are picking on poor Hillary again, making a Big Deal out of an innocent remark. These are the same people who won’t let go of Obama’s “bitter” remark, which some argue was taken out of context. I say live by the gotcha, die (metaphorically speaking) by the gotcha.

Quoting the Rude One: “To Clinton’s campaign and its supporters, who have been holding out for some gaffe by Obama that would take him down: How’s that working out for ya?”

Senator Clinton has since issued a kind of non-apology apology, in which she sort of expresses regret to the Kennedy family but not to Senator Obama. She still doesn’t seem to grasp what it was she said.

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8 Comments

  1. calling all toasters  •  May 24, 2008 @12:47 am

    Ethel Kennedy: Barack is so like Bobby.
    Hillary Clinton: I was just thinking the same thing.

  2. joe in oklahoma  •  May 24, 2008 @12:51 am

    she has mentioned Bobby’s assassination 3 times now…you would think after the first “mistake” she would have learned…
    she is not dumb…she knows what she is doing when she speaks.

  3. Jonathan Versen  •  May 24, 2008 @2:52 am

    She’s not dumb– she grasps just fine.

    Her refusal to apologize to Obama is due to her refusal to ever admit to really being in the wrong– which probably made the more peripheral apology to the Kennedys easier for her to offer– since she knew it wasn’t the “real” one, as it were.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  May 24, 2008 @6:30 am

    This isn’t the first time that she’s hinted at assassination, or even said it.
    To watch her non-apology apology, I don’t think it’s dawned on her yet what a stupid, corrosive, hideous and insensitive remark she’s made.
    No matter her intent, words are, to politicians and poets, their life’s-blood. And once poison enters that bloodstream, it does its work on their reputation.
    Take Ezra Pound, a once lionized American poet. As his work became more sympathetic to Italy and Germany in the 1930’s and ’40’s, his reputation sank like a stone.
    And so her comment should sink her campaign.
    At this point, no amount of mea-culpa’s can help her. Maybe if she had addressed it immediately and profusely apologized to Obama and McCain for even saying such a loaded thing, her comment could have been, to some degree, if not forgiven, at least excused as having been a horrible gaff committed by an exhausted politician.
    But, again, this isn’t the first time she’s hinted at assassination. And, as such, it reveals a darkness in the soul; an ambition so overbearing that it can even subconsciously conceptualize the hope that she could win by means of a bullet fired by a madman.
    RES IPSA LOQUITUR…

  5. Raenelle  •  May 24, 2008 @9:53 am

    I cringe when people say, like Matthews did yesterday, that this election reminds him of 1968. I don’t like the comparisons of Obama to JFK.

    I never thought I’d get to this, but I’m disgusted with the Clintons. Her all’s-fair, to-hell-with-collateral-damage attitude bred her blindness to the implications of her remarks.

    Her doggedness is admirable; her values and jugment are not. If she had fought 1/10th as hard against Bush as she’s fighting Obama, she’d never have been vulnerable to a challenge from Obama. She voted for the Iraq AUMF. Fuck her.

  6. Lynne  •  May 24, 2008 @11:48 am

    OK, the language is the last straw. I’m going elsewhere for a while.

  7. KingGeorgeTheTenth  •  May 24, 2008 @12:53 pm

    I’m still a bit confused about what precisely was she getting at. Maha seems to suggest that the assassination comment was a veiled reference to a black man becoming President and the implication that some nut could very easily end it early for Obama. No matter how madly determined she is to become President I can’t see anyone saying or even suggesting a desire for the assassination of Obama! Is she really that crazy? In general I would just like to repeat the poster named Raenelle – if she had not been so concerned with appearing “strong” against the fictional terrorists, and opposed Bush’s war Obama would not be an issue at all. What a mad lady, I wish it was November!

  8. priscianus jr  •  May 25, 2008 @2:04 am

    You know how the Clintons parse and calibrate. She had said this before, it could not have been an accident this time, it’s just that nowshe’s being seen in a more negative light, she’s clearly losing, and she got called on it. She was not technically expressing a “desire,” she was simply dropping a meme, something intended to lodge somewhere in people’s psyche, millions of people’s, that intended to legitimize discussing it.

    People who would accuse her of “desiring or “hoping” for this are therefore making an “outrageous” accusation. She was just stating facts, etc.

    Her intention? — to make people (hopefully SD’s) hesitant about nominating her opponent.

    That she gave it considerable thought is shown by the fact (as Olbermann pointed out) that after making the double reference to her husband’s campaign and the RFK assassination in 1968 some time ago, she brought up the same point on two later occasions, but leaving out the part about RFK. Now she brings it up again.
    She could have picked better examples to illustrate her point, and even if RFK was the example, logically she should have referred to his late decision to run, not to his assassination, which was gratuitous and has nothing to do with her argument as to why she’s staying in. If that’s what she really meant. OK, she misspoke. But it was the same “misstatement” as a few months ago.

    The above thought processes are completely consistent with everything we know about the Clintons and with all the other nastymemes she has dropped in this campaign. And as always, when quesrtioned, she is shocked that anyone would accuse of her of anything so outrageous, etc.

    So let’s take it that way, and what have we got? How far is what she said from (as one commenter put it on another), “That’s a nice candidate you’ve got there. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to him, now, would we?” Now think of some the kind of people she has behind her.

    Innuendo, yes, but deliberate, calculated, and very nasty. But she calculated wrong this time, She went over the line. No, she won’t quit, of course not. But what everyone else realizes is this: Even if her arguments for Obama’s non-electability were true (which they aren’t) — the arguments for her own non-electability are far more obvious. The remaining SDs now have all the evidence they need.



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