Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's Not That I'M Saying that Obama's a Terrorist...

"It's just that the Republicans will say he's a terrorist".

Yes, that's apparently the new Clinton Strategy. A supporter of hers (considering the tight command and control in her campaign, that means her) is circulating an essay hauling out all the connections Obama supposedly has with former members of the Weather Underground. Here's TPM:
A high-ranking labor supporter of Hillary Clinton is distributing to union leaders and to Democratic strategists a document detailing the radical activities of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, two former members of the '70s group the Weather Underground, who decades later, in Chicago, crossed paths with Barack Obama.

The document - a three-page emailed essay by Rick Sloan, communications director for the International Association of Machinists as Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) -- takes both literary and political license to
outline what Sloan believes would be the thrust of a hypothetical Republican campaign against Obama focusing on his tangential connection to Ayers and Dohrn.

The goal of the essay appears to be to discredit Obama as the
prospective Democratic presidential nominee.

[Huffington Post link.]
I think we can safely say that there's a bit of coordination going on here. Hannity hauls out this nonsensical talking point, and then a few scant days later Clinton backers are putting out detailed essays on the subject? Um, no.

No, I'm smelling scorched earth here.

She can't win the nomination. That much is clear. He's too close, he's too bulletproof, and she's simply not up to the job of beating him or anybody else. Had she been willing to marry her "fightin' attitude" with real consistent progressivism when she was a Senator, that'd be different; she'd be the female Edwards, and quite probably unstoppable. But she tried to have it both ways: she tried to play the centrist to position herself for the general, and tried to play the fightin' Dem to position herself for the primary.

Against other inconsistent candidates without the push of history behind them, it might have worked. It doesn't work against Obama, though, because he's done the logical thing, marrying relatively centrist policies with "not left, not right, but American" rhetoric. I don't necessarily agree with it. I never have. But it works, in a way her bit didn't, because he had the ability to sell it hard. And he could probably carry it into the General. And she knows it.

So she's trying to kill the candidacy. Yes, ok, it's not absolutely certain that that's what's going on. But considering how her supporters are hauling out barely-disguised Republican attacks, the sort of stuff that Clinton would consider completely illegitimate under any other circumstances, what else am I supposed to think? Sure, Obama's online supporters have been obnoxious at times, but trying to tie Obama to the Weather Underground and Hamas? You'd have to have Obama people unironically claiming that Hillary killed Vince Foster to get to that point, and that simply ain't happening.

And if she still thought she would win, she'd be hesitant to pull out this sort of thing. Why? The general. While the Republicans will probably throw the kitchen sink at any and every Dem, the Dems can get a fair bit of traction by saying that said attacks are typical insane Republican nonsense. The electorate is very much sick of it, and the Republicans will almost certainly go over-the-top in their attacks, which provides an opportunity for counter-attacks that might well get more traction.

But now Hillary can't counter-attack at all. She's wrapped herself up in mudslinging. Yes, she claims she can handle it better than anyone else, but she can't. Nobody does mudslinging better than the Republicans. Nobody. Even though she's a manifestly better candidate than McCain (really, she is) she'd get slaughtered. And she knows it. So why throw everything and anything at Obama, leaving herself totally open during the general?

Because she doesn't care about winning anymore. It's possible that this is just a last desperate bid for the nomination because she truly believes that Obama cannot possibly win, but that's pretty unlikely, and why ruin what small shot he does have and any possible influence with his administration she could curry?

No, at this point, she just wants to see the bastard lose. She'll play ball with the Republicans, throw every charge she can think of, play any sort of game, to see the speechifying bastard eat his words and regret having ever messed with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

After all, she's always talking about how she's good at fixing things, right? Well, now we know.

She'll fix him, but good.

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