Oops, She Did it Again

bernie-hillaryHillary Clinton’s kindler gentler Presidential campaign grinds on.  It’s been a few weeks since the first (and so far only) Democratic debate where she enjoyed her finest hour in this election cycle thanks in no small measure to Bernie Sanders.  She has returned the favor by shamelessly and dishonestly playing gender and race cards against him.

Nine days after the October 13 debate, Clinton told the Democratic National Women’s Committee Forum “I’ve been told to stop, and I quote, ‘shouting’ about gun violence. Well, first of all, I’m not shouting. It’s just when women talk, some people think we’re shouting.”   Clinton was referring directly to Bernie Sanders remark that “[a]ll the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence.”

Obviously, Sanders was not literally criticizing Clinton for “shouting”.   He used the term metaphorically to mean refusing to compromise on the issue.  Those watching the debate or reading Sanders’ words after the fact did not hear any sexism and no commentators remarked upon it.  Moreover, Sanders has on many previous occasions described dogmatism on this issue as “shouting” or “screaming” or “yelling” or “raising our voices”.

Within a few days, however, Clinton and her team, which includes “hitman” David Brock, seized upon the exchange and decided it could be used potently, albeit falsely, to portray Sanders as a chauvinist.  With the help of reliable media allies Amanda Marcotte at Salon and Emily Crockett at Vox, Clinton succeeded in putting Sanders on the defensive even though he did nothing wrong.

Recognizing that calling Bernie – a feminist and reproductive rights hero – sexist might be viewed as overreaching, Marcotte and Crockett instead praised Clinton for triggering a conversation about how many men (not necessarily Bernie) perceive women as shouting just for speaking up – a conversation, needless to say, Sanders can’t win.  Clinton herself stopped just short of accusing the women’s movement champion of misogyny.  When asked in New Hampshire whether she would call Sanders sexist, she “shrugged, smiled, and sidestepped the question. ‘I said what I had to say about it.’”

This week, with the smoke from her sexist smear clearing, Clinton played the race card.  Speaking to a South Carolina NAACP chapter, she said: “There are some who say that this [gun violence] is an urban problem. Sometimes what they mean by that is:  It’s a black problem.”

Again Clinton profoundly and willfully misrepresented Sanders comments at the first debate.  Defending his votes against the Brady Bill and permitting products liability lawsuits against gun makers and distributors, Sanders correctly noted his “rural” state constituents were pro-gun.  There’s simply no way to square that statement with Clinton’s implication that Sanders dismisses gun violence as a black problem.

Notwithstanding his less than stellar voting history on guns, Sanders has a much better overall record on racial justice matters than Clinton.  Black Lives Matter offshoot Campaign Zero recognized this in August by assigning him far better grades than Clinton.  Since then, Sanders has only improved his standing among civil rights and criminal justice activists by calling for an end to the federal war on pot.

Of course Clinton knows all this just as she knows full well that Sanders is neither sexist nor racist.  What makes her latest smears truly despicable is that in 2008 she used nearly identical language to that for which she now attacks Sanders.

In her first campaign for President, then Senator Clinton called for a respectful back and forth on proposed gun control laws.

I respect the 2nd Amendment. I respect the rights of lawful gun owners to own guns, to use their guns. But I also believe that most lawful gun owners whom I have spoken with for many years across our country also want to be sure that we keep those guns out of the wrong hands. And as president, I will work to try to bridge this divide, which I think has been polarizing and, frankly, doesn’t reflect the common sense of the American people.”

Before the Nevada caucus, Hillary Clinton explained her recently announced opposition to a national gun registry, which she had previously supported, by saying “I don’t want the federal government preempting states and cities like New York that have very specific problems.”

Justifying different laws for urban and rural regions, she noted at a debate in Philadelphia,“we have one set of rules in NYC and a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in NYC is certainly not going to work in Montana.”

Not so long ago, when she thought it served her political interests, Clinton called for a dialogue with gun rights advocates.  She opposed mandatory gun registration.  She defended different approaches in rural and urban regions.  Now, she wants you to believe, Bernie Sanders is sexist and racist for saying the same things.

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9 Responses to Oops, She Did it Again

  1. Shade says:

    HRC has become the best politician money can buy & she is using that money to pay for & then follow the most wicked & lethal advice she can find. Bernie is just an honest straight-talking guy. In Bernie’s favor, I did hear one commentator state that candidates should always direct their punches upward & never down. When you punch downward against someone well below you in the polls, you give that candidate credibility and attention when they might otherwise be ignored. This commentator’s advice was that if you are on top, act confident as if you have already sealed deal and keep going forward.

    It will be interesting how Bernie now chooses to respond. He is an extremely smart man, but perhaps he has just a little too kind a heart and too great a sense of fair play. Unfortunately, it will now be hard for Bernie to push the issue of HRC’s mishandling of her DOS emails, her most vulnerable point, given his dismissive statement about these emails during the prior debate.

    HRC’s aggressiveness, though currently inappropriate, might serve her well in the general election since it is likely to be a close race. However, I don’t think style is going to be the deciding factor next year, as HRC has a serious problem of which almost the entire Democratic party appears to be in denial. The Benghazi committee, having spent millions on their politically motivated vendetta, managed to stumble upon something from which I don’t think HRC can recover. FBI Director “Cop’s can’t enforce laws if cellphone cameras are pointed at them” Comey has already recovered the contents of HRC’s server, and as an October surprise, if not before, the DOJ is likely to charge HRC illegally placed official State Department communications on her private server, mishandled classified info, obstructed justice, etc. This will be even be more likely if the FBI can show that HRC’s use of the unapproved/insecure server lead to foreign entities actually hacking and downloading the sensitive information it contained. (I suspect this why it is taking the FBI so long to finish the investigation. The logs will establish if the server was attacked, which it almost assuredly was given its improper insecure configuration, but establishing who if anybody actually accessed and downloaded the sensitive DOS information is going is more difficult. (Most common attacks only go after PII and ignores other data, but HRC’s server was a high-value target and could have easily been specifically targeted.)

    After the FBI completes its investigation and even if wrongdoing is found, it is possible that the DOJ will decline to bring charges. However, should that occur, I suspect some in the FBI will be upset enough that the details will leak out creating a scandal. Even if the FBI finds no wrongdoing, leaks are a definite possibility. HRC’s server has now been in many hands. In addition, it is said that over the years remote backups were made off site by third parties. While these backups were supposedly long-ago deleted, some may be at least partially recoverable and may eventually leak out. Certainly there is something in those emails that would cost HRC the election, even if it is only embarrassing & not illegal. It wouldn’t surprise me if HRC, like Bill, has had a few trysts of her own. Most likely though, what would bring HRC down is inappropriate communications with donors that suggested a quid pro quo or other illegal campaign activities.

    If the worst appears to be about to happen to HRC in October, one move that Obama might make is an advance pardon for any crime relating to HRC’s server. Remember that Obama already stated that although he felt HRC had not made a good choice using a private server, he did not feel her actions had compromised national security (all much to the FBI’s chagrin because the implication of the comments was that HRC’s actions were not illegal).

    Unfortunately for HRC, regardless if she faces DOJ charges, leaks, or receives a pardon, she instantly becomes unelectable and she would then have to exit the the campaign. At that point I suspect the Dems would do a last minute substitution of Biden into the campaign. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Obama administration hasn’t already anticipated this as an eventuality, and it may well be at least one of the reasons Biden kept biding his time until it was “too late”. In my opinion Biden actually has a much better chance of being elected as a Democratic party last-minute savior than he ever had in a traditional campaign.

    While substituting Biden for HRC might seem a good plan to some (and about the only option if things work out as they appear to be currently heading), Biden has not recently shown much of an ability to excite the Democratic base in the same way as Bernie or even Hillary. As countless (pardon the pun) election results continue to show, Democrats must excite the base to get them to the polls, else Republicans win. Many will see the election of Biden essentially as a third term for Obama, and to the party base Obama has just transitioned from being the Obamacare President to being “TPP Obama” (again pardon the pun if you know what I mean). Uncomprehensively with the TPP, Obama has chosen to negate much of the positive legacy he would otherwise have as a result of his prior success with Obamacare. (Another problem for Biden is that many are about to have serious problems with the price and availability of Obamacare plans, courtesy of Republicans who have been doing everything possible (well-hidden behind the scenes) to ensure this happens – but that is a separate issue for a separate post on another day).

    An additional problem with this scheme is that Biden also has a serious case of “foot in mouth disease”. I don’t know that Biden can go even a month without saying something that when played back as a soundbite wouldn’t cost him the election. If Democratic voters stay home, it is extremely likely that Republicans will take power in all three branches of government next year – even if they run a weak candidate such as Trump or Carson (though I’m thinking the Republicans are most likely to select a more powerful combination like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz or John Kasich – even if it is necessary to do so in a smoke-filled room against the popular vote in the primaries).

  2. Shade says:

    Thom made a good point I wish I had included in my above comment. In attacking Bernie, Hillary is attacking the party base and the very voters that she most needs to excite enough that they come to the polls. Hillary may be improving the odds that she will get the nomination, but that is almost assured anyway, so what she is doing now to Bernie is only going to hurt her in the general election.

    • halginsberg says:

      Thanks Shade and Thom. This is an excellent point and against demonstrates the shortsightedness and selfishness of her and her campaign team.

      • Shade says:

        From: http://www.allenbwest.com/2015/11/developing-smoking-gun-revealed-in-hillary-clinton-email-scandal/ A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement (SCI NDA) that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information, and that NDA has now been made public.

        The NDA also states: “I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation… I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department … in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI”.

        According to J. William Leonard, who directed the U.S. Information Security Oversight Office from 2002 to 2008, some emails on Clinton’s server contained information that was “born classified”.

        One aspect of the FBI’s current investigation is to determine if Clinton is guilty of “Gross Negligence” in the handling SCI. In addition, per: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/425683/fbi-looking-gross-negligence-laws-hillary-server-investigation-jim-geraghty “investigators have been scrutinizing everyone who came in contact with Mrs. Clinton’s server and trying to determine whether anyone sent or received classified information, whether that information was compromised, and whether any of this amounted to a crime.”

        I for one think the “Gross Negligence” charge is a slam dunk, given the unapproved, insecurely set up private server. So what remains in question are what stronger charges will the FBI recommend, when, and how will the Justice Dept respond (given Obama’s previous statement that he felt HRC’s private server had not been a national security threat). Then there is the political aspect. Should the FBI’s findings (and possibly HRC’s emails themselves) get publicized by Republican operatives late in the election cycle (possibly in the form of an October surprise), what will happen to all Democratic candidates in November 2016? Although I concede that HRC is otherwise the most electable candidate we have, with the “servergate” scandal she becomes damaged goods, and I feel Democrats would be foolhardy to stake the results of the upcoming election cycle on her.

      • Shade says:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/10-reasons-im-only-voting-for-bernie-sanders-and-will-not-support-hillary-clinton_b_8508172.html

        BTW, what happened to my other post that still shows:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        November 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm
        Not to mention the email inquiry I made about this on Sunday?

  3. halginsberg says:

    There’s a reason that Hillary wants to bury Bernie. He’s pulled her much farther to the left than this center-right gal wants to be. The longer he hangs around the more she’ll have to adopt some of his positions and/or explain corporatism/militarism. Assuming she’s got the nomination, worst case scenario for her is that Bernie speaks to adoring lefties at the Democratic convention and forces her to give him something tangible.

  4. Shade says:

    Heard you say you went back & edited the article after it posted. I want an edit button too, as inevitably after posting, I find typos, & things that should be rephrased a bit. I’ve used wordpress sites that offer this feature to the original writer, can you enable this on your site?

  5. halginsberg says:

    Edit buttons are nice. I’m with you. I’ll look into this.

  6. halginsberg says:

    Sorry Shade. The comments codex that the wordpress template I use does not appear to permit non-hosts to do any content editing. If you want to recommend an alternative plugin, I’ll look into it.

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