Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Time to Stop Demonizing Hillary

Full disclosure: I voted for Hillary in the primary, and then changed my mind after hearing Obama’s speech on race.

Hillary Clinton is a liar. She’s a racist. She’s advocating for the assassination of Obama. She’s put her own personal ambition ahead of the good of the Democratic Party and the country. We all know these things are true, because we hear about them in the media, and read about them on blogs.

Except that these things are not true. This is the same type of politics that turned Max Cleland into a traitor, John Kerry into a war criminal, and Bill Clinton into a raping murderer. Sure, Hillary’s ambitious. She wants to be President of the United States. So she’s exactly as ambitious as Barack Obama and John McCain. The other claims are reminiscent of those spread in the so-called liberal media during the Clinton Administration. When Hillary complained of a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” the press scoffed at her, but now we know the conspiracy was real.

Now these claims are being spread by Obama’s supporters. This is incredibly self-destructive. We in the Democratic Party have the opportunity to retake the White House and to build a filibuster-proof majority in both houses of Congress. For this to occur, we must have the votes of a large majority of Hillary’s supporters. Many of Hillary’s followers are fervent admirers who see her as a ground-breaking standard-bearer for women everywhere. These energized, politically active people are essential to Democratic chances in the fall, and this means that it is important to have the support of Hillary herself.

More importantly, the charges are just untrue. Hillary has made mistakes—she was wrong on the war—but she’s not evil, and characterizing her as such is just using what her husband called the “politics of personal destruction.”

So, Obama supporters, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to relax. We’re going to congratulate her on her win in the Puerto Rico Primary next week. Soon after, the superdelegates will put Obama over the top. Then we’ll salute Hillary’s service to the country, and a race well-run, and welcome her and her supporters into the most important campaign the Democratic Party has ever conducted. In the meantime, we’re going to quit claiming that Hillary is a racist, or that she’s just waiting on someone to kill Obama, or that she’d rather see McCain elected than Obama. We’re going to quit lying about the woman.

After all, we’re not Republicans.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's About Time

John W. McCain has repudiated Hagee's endorsement. It took Hagee claiming that Hitler was just doing the Lord's work to make McCain see the light. Now if McCain would just repudiate Dubya's endorsement.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A New Coat of Paint

An old friend of mine from grad school has transmogrified into an artist--go figure. His paintings are really cool--they're informed by paleontology and biology. Go check them out at A New Coat of Paint.

Back From Florida

I'm finally recovering from a week spent in the Florida Panhandle with the Marine Biology class from my university. I've been going along each year for the last four years to drive one of the vans and to point out the odd bird to interested students. The best bird this year (or at least the best-looking bird) was a male black-bellied plover in full breeding plumage. Late May seems a bit late for him to be in Florida--he should be in the High Arctic chasing girls. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that he made the same choice as me--enjoying the sun in Florida is more inviting than returning north and going to work.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Let's Talk About Whores

Media scrutiny on Barack Obama's relationship with Jeremiah Wright has been intense and ongoing. Meanwhile, John W. McCain's acceptance of the endorsement of John Hagee has been nearly ignored by most of the media. What has Wright said that is worse than the things Hagee has claimed? Hagee refers to the Catholic Church as "the Great Whore," and repeats his assertion that Hurricane Katrina was God's revenge on New Orleans for its sinful lifestyle. How is that less crazy or less offensive than Wright's claim that the government is responsible for HIV? McCain refuses to repudiate this man. Are we talking about the same John McCain who once called fundamentalists "agents of intolerance?" Or is this someone who is willing to hop in bed with anyone to get what he wants--I believe the term for someone who would do such a thing is "whore."

Here's video, courtesy of Talking Points Memo.

Frank Rich gets it right (h/t Arkansas Blog).