The Politics Of Violence
by Josh Orton, Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:10:38 PM EDT
Speaking to the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader's editorial board in South Dakota today, Hillary Clinton drew a parallel between her campaign against Barack Obama and Bobby Kennedy's against Eugene McCarthy:
HRC: ... You know, I have been willing to do all of that during the entire process, and people have been trying to push me out of this ever since --
HRC: I don't know, I don't know. I find it curious, because it is unheard of in history. I don't understand it. And you know, between my opponent and his camp and some in the media, there has been this urgency to end this. And, you know, historically that makes no sense. So, I find it a bit of a mystery.
Q: You don't buy the party unity argument?
HRC: I don't. Because, again, I've been around long enough - you know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June. Right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just - I don't understand it, and, you know, there's a lot of speculation about why it is. But --
Q: What's your speculation?
HRC: You know, I don't know. I find it curious. And I don't want to attribute motives or strategies to people who I don't really know ...
This must now end.
Over the past weeks, many have called for Clinton to end her campaign based on metrics. But with the infrastructure-building the primary keeps delivering, I've been reasonably comfortable waiting until June for closure.
But this is unacceptable.
The United States has a history of profound political violence - and the use of violence to oppress and coerce. And while I'm not quite willing to accept that Clinton spoke maliciously - it doesn't matter. There is no excuse for flippantly referencing assassination, especially given the historic nature of Obama's campaign and our nation's grim history of racial oppression through violence. When Hillary Clinton speaks of our history, she is not reflecting academically or only in a vacuum - her words and influence are real. To act otherwise is negligent, at best.
No context can save her. She must go.
Update [2008-5-23 17:57:13 by Josh Orton]: Let's not abbreviate the issue: it's clear that Clinton is not in any way calling directly for something to happen to Obama. But we also cannot divorce her comments from her public stature, her intelligence, her responsibility as a leader, or our history. So even with the most charitable interpretation, I think her negligence is disqualifying.