There are no Gods or devils in this fight

Having been called “shameful” and given a number of similar put downs by outraged Clinton supporters in recent days, even I sometimes find myself wondering whether, without realizing it, I’ve somehow morphed into a raving advocate for Obama.

But I haven’t.

I’m still officially undecided on the Democratic contest. But, like a lot of other folks, I’ve been offended by the way the Clinton campaign’s been conducting itself. So I give her hell about it here. And I understand why that may offend some of her supporters.

So be it. Because you know what? Back in 2004, when John Kerry was being swift boated, I didn’t give Republicans a break for going along with that slander because, “hey, you know, they’re Bush supporters, they’ve got to go along.”

Bullshit. Just because you admire a candidate doesn’t give you a pass to endorse anything he or she says or does. And so even though I continue, in many ways, to admire both Hillary and Bill Clinton, I’m not giving them a pass for the ugliness of Hillary’s campaign. And I’m also not going to pretend that Bill’s presidential legacy was all good, when it wasn’t.

Come what may, as I’ve said before, I won’t hesitate to support Hillary in the general, if, as still seems most likely, she ends up being the nominee. To my mind, that’s what’s called keeping perspective — recognizing that whatever problems I have with any of the Democratic candidates, all of them are incalculably better than any of the Republicans. I know some readers don’t agree, but for me it isn’t even a close call.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give Hillary a pass.  

And the same, by the way, goes for Obama. As I said in discussing his book, The Audacity of Hope:

There is also an unmistakable element of intellectual dishonesty in how Obama tries to paint his self-portrait as the sensible man in the middle — as the one reasonable soul in an ocean of partisan fanatics.  He often commits the sin of false equivalency.  Yes, conservatives are bad about this, he will say, but then he will always quickly add that liberals are equally bad about that.  But the truth, of course, is that usually they aren’t.  How could they be?  As of the time he wrote the book, liberalism had been all but politically powerless for over a decade.

So that’s where we stand — right in the middle of a testy nomination contest between two people, neither of whom is a God or a devil, and both of whom are better than anyone the other side has to offer. And we do ourselves and our candidates no good by pretending otherwise. 

Update: I wrongly said the contest is between two candidates. I greatly admire John Edwards and respect him as a continuing candidate in the race. Realistically, however, he isn’t going to win the nomination. 

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4 Responses to “There are no Gods or devils in this fight”

  1. alwayshope Says:

    I’ve been reading the comments from ” Can Bill regain the love?”
    Forgiveness abounds!
    Hillary will do better if he shuts up and let’s her run on her own merit.
    The media will continually talk about a co-presidency until he backs off.
    The powers-that-be will be merciliess in their smear campaigns and Bill knows this. He needs to step away and let people see that she can defend herself. I understand that is must be hard for him. He had dreams of doing great things but got caught up in the trap his haters set up for him. He left with a republicaan congress and a stain on his legacy. He sees a chance to make amends for his misdeeds and with a democratic congress accomplish great things, but he needs to accept that this is Hillary’s time not his second coming. He’s a smart man, he can turn things around but only after he puts away his own regrets and ambitions.

  2. DRDarkeNY Says:

    The problem I have w/Clinton, especially, is that I don’t think she (any more than Bill had) has the testicular fortitude to do what is MOST vital to save this country from the Bush Nazis - namely, Punish the NeoKon Khrister Right, humiliatingly, painfully, and most of all permanently. It is not simple vengeance that makes me say this - when we Let Nixon Go in 1974 rather than pursue him like the Furies to the ends of the Earth and Beyond for his crimes, we essentially let the Right lie to themselves that it was all “just politics”, and not the bedrock of our pluralistic society and precious civil liberties that were being fought for.

    So now, the only lesson learned from Nixon was by the Republicans - “Lie through your teeth and fix the playing field, b/c Winning is All.” This is our fault as much as it is their - b/c we didn’t take the Right out behind the woodshed after Watergate and give every one of those “Nixon was the victim of the Libburul Media/Commierat Dopesucking Hippies/Faggot Intellectuals” Right-Wingers the repeated and painful whippings they so richly deserved then, and are long overdue now.

  3. DRDarkeNY Says:

    I agree, alwayshope. As the husband of a woman in a position of power, I never questioned Hillary’s ability to lead - until now. I find myself wondering, “How will she be able to handle our enemies, foreign and domestic, when she can’t even curb her own husband’s behavior?” - and it DESPERATELY needs curbing! That occasionally-glimpsed undercurrent of bigotry Bill Clinton has - like when he insulted Sister Souljah during the ‘92 campaign, or discussed the Japanese Prime Minister as if he were from an alien species? It’s out in full Bull O’Reilly/Faux Noize roar right now regarding Obama!

    Bill’s behavior is not only shameful, it is ultimately counterproductive - to both Hillary’s chances and his own legacy. I’m very sorry Richard Mellon Scaife hated on him so much he railroaded the House into impeaching him for lying about a blowjob(!) - but Bill and the Dems learned the WRONG lesson from that, as was clear by the Gore-Lieberman(!!) 2000 campaign.

  4. hizzhoner Says:

    I was not a Bill Clinton fan in 92.

    I supported him against the unreasonable and repeated assaults by the radical right because there was no alternative…none…

    But I will not give Bill a pass…a blank check…or wholesale approval. The sooner Hillary muffles Bill, the better. If Hillary is to become our President she MUST stand on her own two feet (heels?)….

    Having said that, I think I’m obligated to state that I am not a Hillary supporter…in fact I am not a supporter of any DLC sponsored candidate.

    The DLC, in my opinion, has done great damage to the Democratic party. What sticks in my mind most clearly is an account in the book The only thing you find in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead armadillos by Jim Hightower of the Democratic National Convention where each event had a “corporate sponsor”. In the chapter called Hamilton Jordan’s Dream” he describes how the famous FOB (friend of Bill) lobbyist told the assembled delegates that his “dream” was that when he took a corporate client in to personally meet the President, that he would be taking them in to meet A Democratic President.

    Through the DLC, we’re becoming what we despise…..


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