(I have been very frustrated the last couple of days. The blog has been screwing up).
The politics of ‘separate-and-divide’ are being used by the Clintons. It started with the three a.m. commercial and it has just continued. Not only do they feel the need to tear down Barack Obama but they also need to elevate themselves.
Instead, of telling the truth about what she has accomplished, we have that Lying Man from Saturday Night Live (I know I’m dating myself): “And I was … dodging sniper fire. Yeah, that’s it. Sniper fire. And everyone had to sit on their bulletproof vests. Yeah, that’s right. And I solved the Northern Ireland conflict while I was brushing my teeth. Yeah, that’s right. That’s the ticket.”
Booman from the Booman Tribute has a great post on the anger that many of us progressives feel against Clinton and the rest of the her gang.
From Booman (bold added for emphasis):
Hillary Clinton has gone too far. In a conversation with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Clinton presumed to tell Barack Obama where he should worship his God. She suggested that Reverend Wright is guilty of ‘hate speech’ and compared him to Don Imus.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a wide-ranging interview today with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporters and editors, said she would have left her church if her pastor made the sort of inflammatory remarks Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor made. “He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton said. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.” …”You know, I spoke out against Don Imus (who was fired from his radio and television shows after making racially insensitive remarks), saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that,” Clinton said. “I just think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving.”
Hillary Clinton has a lot of gall to question her opponent’s choice of church considering her own kooky associations. And I think it would be equally repulsive if Barack Obama chose to make an issue of her decision to worship with Sam Brownback and Rick ‘Man on Dog’ Santorum. Obama certainly could question her faith and what her faith suggests about her political commitments. As Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported in Mother Jones last fall…
Clinton’s prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or “the Family”), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to “spiritual war” on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship’s only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has “made a fetish of being invisible,” former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God’s plan.
The Fellowship leader is Doug Coe, who Clinton has described as “a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God.”
Coe’s friends include former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Reaganite Edwin Meese III, and ultraconservative Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). Under Coe’s guidance, Meese has hosted weekly prayer breakfasts for politicians, businesspeople, and diplomats, and Pitts rose from obscurity to head the House Values Action Team, an off-the-record network of religious right groups and members of Congress created by Tom DeLay. The corresponding Senate Values Action Team is guided by another Coe protégé, Brownback, who also claims to have recruited King Abdullah of Jordan into a regular study of Jesus’ teachings.
But Barack Obama has not made Clinton’s kooky right-wing church into an issue on the campaign trail because he understands that a person’s faith is an intensely personal and (hopefully) non-political affair.
Clinton’s decision to question Obama’s choice of church is a bigger problem than her personal tastelessness. Her decision is an arrow aimed directly at the heart of the black community. It is one of the worst acts of public betrayal I have ever seen committed by a Democratic politician in my lifetime, and the most shortsighted and toxic decision I can recall.
White Americans may be surprised by their introduction to the style of black sermonizing in the figure of Rev. Wright, but the black community sees nothing particularly out of place in his rhetoric. This may or may not be a political vulnerability in the general election, but a far greater vulnerability is opened up by telling the black church-going community that Rev. Wright is the equivalent of Don Imus and his ‘nappy-headed hos’. The suggestion that Rev. Wright was engaged in ‘hate speech’ of a kind so loathsome as to require leaving his church is deeply offensive. The black community is feeling besieged by the national spotlight on Rev. Wright and the ensuing white backlash. They are looking around for allies, and find Hillary Clinton piling on and throwing them under the bus.
Clinton is not only presumptuous, she is vicious and divisive and hurtful. She should be defending Barack Obama against unfair attacks, and defending and contextualizing the tradition of black sermonizing. In his speech, Barack Obama sought to educate and bring reconciliation. Clinton’s response is to throw it all back in his face and suggest that there is something wrong with him for attending his church.
If Clinton succeeds in pushing this racial polarization to the point that white people will not vote for Obama, the black community will never, ever, forgive her. This is especially true because she can only win on the backs of the superdelegates.
At this point it is absolutely imperative that the party leaders step in and stop the Clinton campaign from inflicting lasting damage to the relationship between the party and the African-American community. She cannot be allowed to even try to win the nomination this way, let alone actually win it.
This is poison of the worst possible kind. It will destroy the party’s electoral viability more swiftly and more surely than anything I can think of.
I call on Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Dean, and the other leaders of the party top step in right now and call this contest.
The Clintons absolutely must not be permitted to do this. It must be stopped.