Election 2008  
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Hillary Clinton's Campaign IEDs (Insinuations, Exaggerations and Distortions)

The Clintons have built their entire political lives on the premise that if they can't win pretty, they'll settle for winning ugly.
 
 
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What are you going to do if Hillary Clinton succeeds bagging the Democratic Party nomination for President by playing dirty?

I've begun thinking about that more and more over the last couple of weeks. The Clintons have built their entire political lives on the premise that, if they can't win pretty, they'll settle for winning ugly.

Which is why things have gotten so ugly lately. Once it became clear she  could not beat Obama in a fair fight they switched tactics. IED's (Insinuations, Exaggerations and Distortions) are now the weapons of choice for the Clinton campaign. Hardly a day goes by now when one of these IEDs doesn't explode into the news.

"Is Obama a Muslim." Hillary was asked on 60-Minutes. "No. Not as far as I know," she replied.

BOOM!
"Obama is not ready to become Commander-in-Chief," Hillary warns then coyly adds, if voters on the fence pick her, she'd consider putting Obama a heartbeat away from becoming Commander-in-Chief.

BOOM!

"I have crossed the threshold and met the national security test to be Commander-in-Chief," Hillary says. "John McCain has also met that test. Obama gave a speech."

BOOM!

"The reason Obama has gotten where he is today is because he's black," pronounced Clinton supporter and finance committee big shot, Geraldine Ferraro.

BOOM!

BTW -- that was not the first time Ferraro set off a racial IED in the midst of a presidential primary. A Ferraro flashback:

"If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race," she said.

Really. The cite is an April 15, 1988 Washington Post story (byline: Howard Kurtz), available only on Nexis.

Placid of demeanor but pointed in his rhetoric, Jackson struck out repeatedly today against those who suggest his race has been an asset in the campaign. President Reagan suggested Tuesday that people don't ask Jackson tough questions because of his race. And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."

Asked about this at a campaign stop in Buffalo, Jackson at first seemed ready to pounce fiercely on his critics. But then he stopped, took a breath, and said quietly, "Millions of Americans have a point of view different from" Ferraro's.

Discussing the same point in
Washington, Jackson said, "We campaigned across the South . . . without a single catcall or boo. It was not until we got North to New York that we began to hear this from Koch, President Reagan and then Mrs. Ferraro . . . . Some people are making hysteria while I'm making history." (Politico.com)

A few weeks back Bill Clinton detonated an almost identical Jesse Jackson IED. Coincidence? No way...

BOOM!

Can you imagine! I never thought I'd see a leading Democrat dip back to the tactics of the dark days when racist Democrats ruled the segregated South, playing the fears of whites against the hopes of blacks. Disgusting.

But insurgencies are, by necessity, ugly business. Inevitably there will be collateral damage. Innocents will be hurt. The means are ugly, but the ends will make amends -- we are assured. Once they win, the insurgents promise, they will get rid of the bad and the ugly and herald in the good.

Hillary holds up her role as First Lady as the reason she's "ready to lead from day one," and there may be some truth in that. Among the things she learned during those days was how run parallel political and insurgent actions. She learned this when husband Bill helped negotiate a settlement in Northern Ireland. While the Irish Republican Army conducted the ugly part of their insurgency the leader of its political arm, Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams,

stayed above it all making nice in Parliament. When his IRA fighters blew something, (or someone)  up, Adams would bemoan the violence, even condemn it. Then he'd offer his political solutions/demands.

Likewise, each time one of her campaigner sets off an IED aimed at Obama, Hillary denies her campaign is behind it. If the uproar is loud enough, she even condemns it. Then she makes nice, assuring everyone that all she really wants is peace and reconciliation -- on her terms, of course.

Will she stop these IED attacks? Well, she'd just love to stop that kind of stuff, but -- she quickly adds -- she can't because, "you know, it's a free country and people have a right to say what ever they want." 

But does she agree with the things people speaking on her behalf are saying?  Well, of course not. "Well, I certainly don't agree with everything people who say the support me say," she demurely adds.

In other words, stop the IEDs -- "no way, Jose." Because this is all she's got left. Obama has already won the hearts and minds of the majority of Democratic voters. If she stops the IEDs now Obama would have a nearly unobstructed path to the nomination. She's can no longer count on just slowing him down, she's got to stop him. She needs to wound him so badly he can no longer win.

There's two ways to get this nomination: win it fair and square, or finagle it. Since she can no longer win, she's now onto finagling. Which means encouraging her surrogates to keep planting IEDs while she works the political angles -- Super-delegates, seating Michigan and Florida delegates, etc.

Meanwhile out on the field of battle her surrogates have turned to the nuclear option -- or as her own spokesmanr and snake turned snake charmer, Howard Wolfson describe it, "the kitchen sink strategy."

Call it what you like, boiled down to its essence it can be summed up as, "an IED a day keeps the nomination away" -- from Obama.

Sure it's dirty fighting. And sure, if successful it will leave the Democratic Party looking like Beirut on a bad day. And sure her victory would only reinforce the very kind of politics that have torn the nation apart since Newt Gingrich and his kind marched to power. And sure an ugly Clinton victory risks outraging Obama supporters to such an extent many will not even show up to vote in November, virtually guaranteeing another four years of GOP rule.

But those probabilities appear not to matter to Hillary Clinton. If she can't have the prize she'll make sure her opponent inherits a scorched political landscape; a party in disarray. a fractured party embroiled in a very un-civil war.  It could even mean the end of the Democratic Party as a force in progressive politics -- not that the party has been much of a force in that direction anyway. But at least it would end the pretense.

Then there's African American voters who will feel betrayed, snookered and humiliated by the party they've supported through thick and thin for decades. And all those young Democrats, new to the process, who will retreat into cynical complacency. And why not? Why participate in a process where the best values and behavior are routinely trumped by the worst values and behavior?

So, have you been thinking about it too? About what you're going to do on election day next November if your choice is between the Republican version of Mr. Magoo and the Democrat's version of  Imelda Marcos?

Whaddya gonna do? Now would be a good time to think about it, so maybe, just maybe we can avoid such an unpalatable, unhelpful, unacceptable choice.

AlterNet is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed by its writers are their own.

Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans , which was nominated for a Pulitzer.

 
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