The Clintons’ Unforgivable Crime
What is ending Democrats' 16-year love affair with Bill and Hillary Clinton? Andrew Walden believes the former president's racially tinged attacks on Barack Obama risk "setting black America free from the Democrat Party" -- and Dems are choosing survival over the Clintons.
February 17, 2008 - 1:00 am
Nearly two weeks after a crime had been committed in South Carolina, the prime suspect, Bill Clinton, was finally “tracked down at a local diner” in Maine February 8. Wagging his familiar finger, Clinton informed a reporter from Maine TV station WCSH that he “learned a very valuable lesson. … I have to let her defend herself.” And just in case the old familiar wagging finger was not enough, Bill added the biggest whopper of all: “I don’t want to be the story.”
But if the polls are to be believed, hiding Bill up in Maine was too little, too late. Democrats are abandoning Bill Clinton — and Hillary — like rats from a sinking ship. The Clinton-Obama near-tie on Super Tuesday was the line of Obama’s ascent crossing that of Hillary Clinton’s demise. Barack Obama has proceeded to defeat Hillary in every state since. Bill Clinton’s power is no longer “crackling through his jeans.” The sudden loss is the Clintons’ Ceausescu moment.
Is racism the unforgivable crime finally ending Democrats’ 16-year love affair with Bill Clinton? No, it’s worse: from New Hampshire to South Carolina, Clinton’s carefully calculated and racially tinged attacks on Obama risked setting black America free from the Democrat Party.
It was the 1960 presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy which brought the majority of black voters out of the Republican camp and into the Democrat Party — for 95 years the party of segregation and before that the party of slavery. In spite of the fact that Republican support was required to overcome Democrat segregationists in both houses of Congress, President Lyndon Johnson’s role in forcing passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act sealed the deal. But black voters are also Democrats’ Achilles heel. Even a 10-20% shift by black voters back to the Party of Lincoln could prove fatal to the Democrats. History lessons won’t do that, but Clinton’s big mouth could.
Bill Clinton’s campaign strategy comes right out of Hillary’s infamous and long-hidden 1969 senior thesis on radical organizer Saul Alinsky. Alinsky’s 13th Rule for Radicals is: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” For three weeks in January, the Clintons and their backers did their best to polarize non-black Democrat voters against Obama, bringing up Obama’s admitted past drug use and firing off one-liners like “Lyndon Johnson,” “fairy-tale,” “shuck and jive,” and “spade work” to increasing choruses of anger from liberals and conservatives alike.
But it backfired. America’s leading radio host Rush Limbaugh focused the spotlight on the racially divisive subtext of what he called the Democrats’ “uncivil war.” Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) apparently phoned Clinton several times warning him to tone it down. Al Sharpton said Clinton should “shut up.” But Clinton took no heed, willing to gamble his own party for a return to the White House.
Going after black senators is a long Clinton tradition. Life Magazine gave Hillary an initial taste of nationwide media exposure after her 1969 Wellesley commencement speech in which she denounced the first black man to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 100 years. But that was different. Her target then was a Republican, Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts.
Today’s Clinton problem is not that their remarks are perceived as racist or as racially divisive. The problem is that they could drive some black voters out of the Democrat camp. In the eyes of Democrats, the Clinton attacks on Obama are wrong for exactly the same reason that Hillary’s attack on Brooke was right.
Ted Kennedy himself once in 2005 famously appeared to slip and blurt out “Obama bin Laden”. But when three weeks of racially tinged Clinton remarks ended with Bill comparing Obama’s victory in South Carolina to those of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988, Kennedy had heard enough. Endorsing Obama, Kennedy told a cheering Obama rally January 28, “With Barack Obama we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay.” Caroline Kennedy, in a January 27 New York Times essay, called Obama “a president like my father.” The Kennedys couldn’t deliver Massachusetts for Obama February 5, but that’s secondary. The focus is keeping the black vote Democratic.
“Old politics” is a veiled reference indirectly accusing the Clintons of taking the Democrats back to the pre-Kennedy/Johnson days when the southern white segregationist vote was solidly Democrat. The term found an echo in January 24 remarks by former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich: “Bill Clinton’s ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former president, his legacy, or his wife’s campaign. Nor are they helping the Democratic Party. … Now, sadly, we’re witnessing a smear campaign against Obama that employs some of the worst aspects of the old politics.”
Unleashed, the Democrat media is choosing to run some of the juicy Clinton material they have been sitting on. The New York Times January 31 attacks from the right with a feature on Bill’s 2005 diplomacy-for-profit uranium deal with a Kazakh dictator. On the same day ABC News attacks from the left, taking a look at Hillary’s “silent” role on the board of directors of the “union-busting” Wal-Mart. The flow of exposes stopped as soon as it was clear that Bill Clinton was to be silenced.
The Clinton Foundation has been in business for 11 years, protected by a fawning media. There are many more “Kazakh uranium deal”-type stories in the media’s ammo locker, kept at the ready in case the Clintons attempt to make a final stand.
Preoccupied with wrestling in the South Carolina mud, Bill skipped the annual World Economic Forum shindig at Davos, Switzerland. Writing from Davos January 23, Financial Times columnist John Gapper pointed out, “Up here in Davos, in the mountain air, the usual philanthropic suspects have gathered for the World Economic Forum. Bono, George Soros, and Bill and Melinda Gates are all here. One old hand is out of town, however: Bill Clinton, the former U.S. president and quintessential Davos man. Davos is a place ideally made for Mr. Clinton in his post-presidential incarnation. … Just lately, however, Mr. Clinton has been back on the campaign trail in the U.S. in support of his wife Hillary. He has adopted tactics that, if he does not curb himself soon, may tarnish his global brand irreparably. … If he carries on in the same vein, he may not find so many fans attending him in the future.”
The reporter in Maine also suggested that Clinton leave the country, saying, “What you ought to do is … pull back and spend time on (your) foundation work, and humanitarian work around the world, and stay out of the campaign. Would you consider doing that?”
The 90% solid black vote tips the balance in favor of Democrats in Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland. Without these votes, Democrats would simply cease to function as a national party. The Clinton Foundation’s multi-million-dollar foreign slush funds are what Democrats would be sacrificing to keep that percentage at 90% and stay in power if the Clintons cannot learn to go gracefully.
Just three weeks of faux-casual racial remarks by Bill Clinton were enough to suddenly cause Democrats to panic. By early February, exit polls clearly showed Democrats divided along racial lines. The AP’s Alan Fram captured the hypocrisy, writing February 6: “Though insisting race and gender have little to do with it, many Democrats are supporting the presidential candidate who looks most like them.”
After a stream of Clinton losses and a round of defections, even white Democrats are slipping into the Obama camp. Hispanics seem to be holding out, perhaps unwilling to become what Democrats repeatedly ask them to be — “natural allies” of blacks — with a common fate of misery and dependency under Democrat domination.
It is not at all clear that the Clintons and their supporters have got the message. After nearly a month of damage control, Clinton-backer Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell February 12 returned to the racial theme: “I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate. … Had Lynn Swann been the identical candidate that he was — well-spoken, charismatic, good-looking — but white instead of black, instead of winning by 22 points, I would have won by 17 or so.”
Over at the New York Times and the Washington Post, editors are likely reading through unpublished Clinton Foundation or Clinton Library exposes: Saudi? China? Russia? Ukraine? Mexico? The list of donors is a treasure trove of foreign operators and Islamic states, many of whom were at the root of Clinton presidential scandals.
A 90% voting pattern is almost unheard of in democratic societies. It is an inherently unstable situation. Invoking the dead segregationist Democrat that Bill Clinton calls his “mentor,” Rush Limbaugh mocks the coming collapse: “Senator J. William Fulbright … asks from the great beyond, ‘Why did this take so long to happen?’”
And it is only beginning.
Andrew Walden is Editor of the Hawai`i Free Press in Hilo, HI and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.