Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hillary Slays Dragons, Loses 3 Opponents in One Week

Some on the right in particular thought that October would be a disastrous month for Hillary Clinton.  With only a week left, so far the month has turned out to be the complete opposite.  Yes, her campaign is still fraught with dangers, but she has seen three would be opponents end their campaigns and the Benghazi Committee failed to do her any damage despite the best efforts of the GOP members.  Pieces in Vanity Fair and Salon at Hillary's surprisingly positive month.  First are excerpts from Vanity Fair:
On Friday, former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee announced that he would drop his bid for the White House, making him the third Democrat to either drop out or forego joining the race against Hillary Clinton.

With his exit, Chafee shall be forever remembered in this cycle as the third Democratic Clinton rival to disappear in a single week: former senator Jim Webb exited the race on Tuesday, and shortly afterwards, Vice President Joe Biden, whom many saw as a potential challenger to Clinton, announced that he would not seek the bid. 

That, combined with her well-received performance at Thursday’s 11-hour-long hearing before the House’s Select Committee on Benghazi, has made this a pretty good week for Clinton.

Then there are these excerpts from Salon:

The end of the [Joe] McCarthy witch hunt did not end conservative hostility to the State Department. 

This suspicion of the State Department has continued even in Republican administrations. During the Reagan administration Secretary of State George Schultz was famously at odds with Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger and there was little love lost between the Bush administration’s Dick Cheney and Colin Powell. When the Democrats have the executive branch it’s much, much worse. There is just something about the State Department that drives conservatives a little bit crazy.

Of course nothing on earth drives them as crazy as Bill and Hillary Clinton, their most hated enemies. The Republicans wasted tens of millions of dollars back in the 1990s trying to destroy them.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that when the radical right’s decades-long mistrust of the State Department combined with their decades-long crusade against Hillary Clinton, the result would be an incoherent howl of suspicion, confusion and inchoate rage. Throughout that marathon hearing yesterday, if there was a theme, a theory or even a rough guess about what Clinton was supposed to have done, it was extremely hard to see what it was. Under the leadership of Trey Gowdy, a man reputed to be a crack prosecutor, the Republicans were disorganized and unprepared, lurching from one topic to another without connecting any dots or explaining to the nation just what in the world this torturous exercise was supposed to achieve. 

So it’s about spies in the State Department. As usual. Only this time it’s Hillary Clinton, their most hated nemesis, the one who simply won’t go down no matter how hard they hit her. The frustration was palpable.

Joe McCarthy was eventually brought low by his own hubris. A man named Joseph Welch put the final point on it when he said, “at long last sir, have you no decency?” It was Congressman Elijah Cummings who made the similarly powerful moral statement in the hearing yesterday when he said:
“I don’t know what we want from you. Do we want to badger you over and over again until you get tired, until we do get the gotcha moment he’s talking about?

“We’re better than that. We are so much better. We are a better country. And we are better than using taxpayer dollars to try to destroy a campaign. That’s not what America is all about.”
The good news is that if yesterday’s hearing is any example, today’s witch hunters are all ham-handed Kevin McCarthys instead of Tail-gunner Joes. Right wing conspiracy nuts aren’t what they used to be. Maybe we’re making progress after all. 

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