A Shameful Attack

BrockReaders have pushed back against my varied criticisms of Hillary Rodham Clinton over the past few months. Some accuse me of cherry-picking her worst moments, e.g., her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq. Others claim that I have misconstrued various statements and votes over the past twenty years or that I arrogantly believe that I know better than her supporters what’s best for them.

Then there are those who insist that the true Hillary is not the 2008 race card player or the one financed by the private prison industry, multinational banks, and fossil fuel producers, but the one who’s delivered tear-inducing speeches on behalf of needy children. Still others insist that Clinton’s email travail is a wholly trumped-up nontroversy. Finally some commenters call me a closet-Republican who’s trying to bring Hillary down to make it easier for a true conservative to win next November. Underlying this complaint is the assumption that moderates and all of us to their left must stick together to forestall a Republican takeover of government.

While I am not a Republican or anywhere near one, I agree that it is imperative that progressives unite in defense of Democratic Presidential candidates from scurrilous attacks. In this vein, I call on all Democrats, progressives, liberals, and leftists to condemn the dirty attack on Bernie Sanders by Clinton’s close ally David Brock.

According to the Huffington Post, on Monday, Brock’s super PAC “Correct the Record” began

circulating an email that yokes [Clinton’s] chief rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to some of the more controversial remarks made by Jeremy Corbyn, the United Kingdom’s new Labour Party leader, including his praise for the late Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader who provided discounted fuel to Vermont in a deal supported by Sanders.

Among the “controversial remarks” Brock highlighted in the email include Corbyn’s comment that he’d invite “‘friends’ from Hezbollah to come to the U.K. to discuss peace in the Middle East”.

There can be no doubt that Brock’s intent was to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Bernie Sanders rather than educate voters about his record.  Indeed Brock himself could not explain to Bloomberg News what he was trying to say about Bernie Sanders in the email except to draw distinctions between him and Hillary.  Brock’s guilt by association implication has antecedents in the worst aspects of America’s political history.  There can be little doubt that Hillary Clinton is behind the attack or, at a minimum, approved of it as the Washington Post reported in a May 2015 article that “Correct the Record will work in coordination with the Clinton campaign as a stand-alone super PAC.”

Clinton is reprising her failed 2008 strategy that called for surrogates, including her husband and Geraldine Ferraro, to try to scare voters away from Barack Obama.  It didn’t work then.  We must make it clear to Hillary Clinton and David Brock that it won’t work now.

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