This Is Who The Clintons Are

I could have written this diary about Peter and Marian Wright Edelman, or Lani Guinier, or Harold Ickes, or any number of people the Clintons have used, praised and dumped by the side of the road in their efforts to accumulate or maintain power.

I never imagined I'd be writing it about Jesse Jackson.

Late January 1998.  The Clintons' darkest hour of need.  The tawdry accusations are out there.  Some Clinton aides, per the NYT, "have already been putting out rumors that Ms. Lewinsky has an overactive imagination and may have fantasized her relationship with the President." [Clinton denied the affair until August 1998.]

And to whom did the Clintons turn for support? A man previously far on the outside of their universe, invited in for Super Bowl weekend, and from that point forward a regular in their inner circle:

In hushed tones in the inner sanctum of the White House, President Clinton's new spiritual adviser said he offered counsel that is steeped as much in practical politics as in the Bible: "Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. And don't panic."

For a President at the center of a scandal, that may be sound advice. But it comes from an unlikely source, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson. This is a man who once condemned Bill Clinton as "Machiavellian" and as having "a character flaw." Mr. Clinton, in turn, fumed that Mr. Jackson was "double-crossing" and "back-stabbing."

So it is all the more remarkable that since word first surfaced about Mr. Clinton's relationship with a former White House intern, the Clinton family -- the President, Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea -- have frequently turned to Mr. Jackson, a Baptist minister, for private sessions of prayer, said Mr. Jackson and people close to the President. ...

Several people who are close to the President said Mr. Jackson's emotional support should not be underestimated. "Jesse Jackson has been as good a friend as we've had in this," said Paul Begala, a senior aide to Mr. Clinton. "Oh, he's been good."

Indeed. Throughout their personal and political crisis, when Jackson was needed by the Clintons, he was there for them.  During the impeachment proceedings, Rev. Jackson rallied thousands on the steps of the Capitol:
"The American people do not view Bill Clinton as a bad man," the Rev. Jesse Jackson told the crowd. "They see him as they see themselves -- as flawed, as less than perfect."

::
::
You know what happened on Saturday.

From necessary member of the inner circle to just some black guy who won South Carolina twice and lost the nomination (not that SC was even contested in 1984 and 1988), in ten short years.  

If you think your interest group is immune from being betrayed by them, think again.  There is no reason to believe her outreach towards and respect expressed for Markos and we of the netroots will last any longer than is politically expedient for the Clintons.  Just ask the gay activists who pleaded with them not to sign the Defense of Marriage Act into law.  

Or, for that matter, just remember the online activists of a decade ago, against whom President Clinton signed the vile and unconstitutional "Communications Decency Act" into law, which his Justice Department vigorously defended in court after court until the Supreme Court struck it down.  Remember the Clintons' support for the Clipper Chip, which would have given the National Security Agency a secret key to your encrypted documents during their Administration ... and this one, too.

The Clintons will not support Internet freedom for a moment longer than it is politically advantageous for them to do so.  There's a reason why Matt Stoller -- a decided Obama skeptic -- has already derided Hillary's broadband strategy as telecom lobbyist inspired dreck [that] may allow the destruction of the internet.  They are not this medium's friends.
::
::
Venerated NYT liberal columnist Anthony Lewis recognized this back in July 1995, when the issue at that time was Clinton's abandonment of habeas corpus protections in his "effective death penalty" legislation:

For Bill Clinton's natural supporters, the most painful realization of his Presidency is that he is a man without a bottom line. He may abandon any seeming belief, any principle. You cannot rely on him.
Or Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Stewart, who whose book on Whitewater, BLOOD SPORT, cleared the Clintons of any wrongdoing.  Back in August 1997, he explained one outgrowth of his research:
"It was a very consistent theme that I kept hearing," Mr. Stewart said. "The Clintons' personal advancement took precedence over anything else. There were so many people who were at one point or another considered close to the Clintons who felt betrayed one way or another."
And this is what they do to their friends.  To fellow, loyal Democrats.  To the man who solidified their support among African Americans when folks everywhere were expressing doubts.  Rev. Jackson may be too generous a man to claim offense today, but I'm not.

Tags: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton (all tags)

Comments

46 Comments

So now statements of facts are an attack?

Are you for real.

Quiz:  How many times did Jesse Jackson win the SC primary?

Listen Obama is no virgin, he has been running for President since he hit the grounds at Harvard.  He will say and do anything to win, including taking contribution from slumlords totallying over $180,000 and voting 'Present' numerous times in the Il Senate on sticky political issues.

This is politics and accusing one side of wrongdoing for being politicians, while giving the other politicians in the race a pass, is funny, sad, and insane all at the same time.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-28 10:25AM | 0 recs
Twice.

Just as many as Bill Clinton did, only when Bill did, at least the first time it was contested.  Bill also won it with 77% of the black vote in 1992, but no one sought to dismiss his as a racial victory.

by Adam B 2008-01-28 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: So now statements of facts are an attack?

And as much as we all hate to say it, par for the course.

by spirowasright 2008-01-28 10:40AM | 0 recs
Facts are useful things.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-28 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Facts are useful things.

Facts are wonderful things but using them in a small petty minded matter isn't okay simply because they are true.

by JDF 2008-01-28 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

This is so stupid- it's sort of like trying to do some reverse switch-and-bait on Obama's saying Rezko was "that associate."  It is total mischaracterization at it's worst but I expect no less from the anti-Clinton people.  We will stand  up to your petty tactics and emerge victorious.

by reasonwarrior 2008-01-28 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

What motivates Bill and Hillary Clinton is careerism, which explains their willingness to change course, dump friends, do anything they have to in order to win the presidency. Changing course in Clinton's administration meant becoming more like the Republicans, if fact, stealing their issues. That was the genius the Gingrich felt made Bill Clinton an astute politician. But in so doing, he abandonned Democratic party principles, in fact, created a new Democratic party, the DLC, which adapted to the alleged country's move to the right after Reagan.

Bill believes that the old DLC agenda can be reinstituted again through a Hillary presidency. Today three Kennedys endorsed Obama because they believe otherwise, that Clintonism is passe. So do many of us.

by shergald 2008-01-28 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

Life isn't all sunshine and lollipops.

by reasonwarrior 2008-01-28 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

The Clintons sure inspire a lot of support for people who have stabbed every single ally in the back.  Perhaps this diary overstates the case a tad.

Jesse Jackson's statement today was very classy.  I'm sure he knows exactly what the game is, but I doubt he felt he had been turned into "some black guy who lost the nomination."  If he truly felt scorned by the Clintons, I see no reason he would have their back.

by Steve M 2008-01-28 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who Adam is.

LOL.

Adam, this diary is really funny.  A hit diary on Bill Clinton.

Had Anne Frank written it, you would have run to others with power to ban her, but when Adam does, it's okay.

I have no preference between Clinton and Obama, but I do enjoy watching you further demean yourself.

I hope you help poison relations even further between Clinton and Obama.  Got Hope?  

When I atttribute your assine acts to Obama, I don't like Obama.  But then I see people like Tedy Kennedy endorse Obama while speaking highly of Edwards and even Clinton, I realize it is not Obama but you.

I'll vote for the nomineee of the Democratic party, and if it's Obama, I won't hold the asshattery of some of his supporters against him.  

This diary will get no new support for Obama.  It's all about you and your ego.  How childish.

by TomP 2008-01-28 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who Adam is.

It's amazing that your hatred for Obama is such that not even Clintons' 23rd-hour robocalls attacking Edwards in South Carolina would affect you.

by Adam B 2008-01-28 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who Adam is.

  Jesse Jackson HIMSELF stated that there was nothing in these comments.  You choose to ignore the comments of the guy at the center of this that and make something out of it anyway.   So, it would appear that the only thing driving this is irrational hate for Hillary.  

by georgep 2008-01-28 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who Adam is.

I don't "hate" anyone.  I just see who they are.

Jackson's more politic than I am.  He understands the danger of playing into the Clintons' hands and emphasizing their racialist appeals.

by Adam B 2008-01-28 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who Adam is.

Yuo bemoan TomP's "hatred" for Obama, when indeed he is correct that this is a shameful diary.  Jesse Jackson said there was nothing to this.  You chose to ignore those comments and make up your own reality.  I agree with TomP.  

by georgep 2008-01-28 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who Adam is.

Yeah, cause we know the last thing Jesse Jackson would ever want to do is call attention to someone using race improperly.

by Steve M 2008-01-28 11:24AM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton
She is not him and you know better than that. She is not Bill Clinton. She is more progressive than her husband was, even back then. She is more progressive than he is now. She is more progressive than Barack Obama. It is acknowledged, even by Kos, that the continuum is Edwards... Clinton... Obama. Krugman once again makes that very clear in terms of policy and partisanship. She is more partisan than Barack Obama. I don't hear her using Republican framing on issues. Compromise is one thing, graciousness is one thing but framing the issue their way is another. On top of this and most importantly, she is her own independent person. We all are our own independent persons. She has her own ideas, her own judgements, her own priorities and values. We should all of us ....man or woman be acknowleldged in that way. Just because she loved him and married him, does not mean that she isn't still her own person. Married women are not just ancillary to their man. I hesitate to write this, but this is only a post that could have been written about a woman...not a man. Men are always assumed to be independent actors. Women have always, at least until feminism, been judged in terms of the man to whom they hitched themselves . There is no way this kind of demeaning, devaluing assumption would have been made about a male candidate. Unthinkingly too many operate on that assumption. As I have said many times....biases about women's roles are socially acceptable...they are unconscious and everpresent. There are 2 stories of creation in the Bible. In one , the sexist one and the later interpolation, Eve is made out of Adam's rib. But in the first version right after God created the beasts of the field.... "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Hillary Clinton is neither Adam's rib nor Bill Clinton's Rib...She is Hillary Clinton.
by debcoop 2008-01-28 03:49PM | 0 recs
I am reposting

this because I find the formatting in the one below or above illegibile.

She is not him and you know better than that.  
She is not Bill Clinton.  She is more progressive than her husband was, even back then.  She is more progressive than he is now.

She is more progressive than Barack Obama. It is acknowledged, even by Kos, that the continuum is Edwards... Clinton... Obama.  Krugman once again makes that very clear in terms of policy and partisanship.

She is more partisan than Barack Obama. I don't hear her using Republican framing on issues. Compromise is one thing, graciousness is one thing but framing the issue their way is another.

On top of this and most importantly, she is her own independent person.  We all are our own independent persons. She has her own ideas, her own judgements, her own priorities and values.  We should all of us ....man or woman be acknowleldged in that way.

Just because she loved him and married him, does not mean that she isn't still her own person.  Married women are not just ancillary to their man.  

I hesitate to write this, but this is only a post that could have been written about a woman...not a man. Men are always assumed to be independent actors. Women have always, at least until feminism, been judged in terms of the man to whom they hitched themselves . There is no way this kind of demeaning, devaluing assumption would have been made about a male candidate. Unthinkingly too many operate on that assumption.

As I have said many times....biases about women's roles are socially acceptable...they are unconscious and everpresent.

There are 2 stories of creation in the Bible.  In one , the sexist one and the later interpolation, Eve is made out of Adam's rib. But in the first version right after God created the beasts of the field.... "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

Hillary Clinton is neither Adam's rib nor Bill Clinton's Rib...She is Hillary Clinton.  

by debcoop 2008-01-28 03:51PM | 0 recs
Come on

I've been watching the top 10.

Setting aside this diary - are you seriously going to claim it's been an even-up catfight?

Please... let's be honest - this has become the Obama smear sounding board.  It's a satellite nation to hillaryis44.org.

If it takes an Adam to deliver a Churchillian "a Clinton curtain is descending over the land", so be it.

by zonk 2008-01-28 02:42PM | 0 recs
Clintons point

would have made sense if Jesse Jackson had won Iowa, come in second place in NH and Nevada and then won SC.

Bill is grasping for straws, but Jackson himself said he wasn't bothered by the comment.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/ 01/28/jackson-not-upset-by-clinton-remar ks/?hp

"I don't read anything negative into Clinton's observation," Mr. Jackson said in a phone conversation late Sunday night from India, where he is taking part in a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

by Ellinorianne 2008-01-28 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

Also - it was a follow up question to a prior question, and the Media just posted what he said in the second question

by sepulvedaj3 2008-01-28 10:47AM | 0 recs
here's the full conversation

Link.  

by Adam B 2008-01-28 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: here's the full conversation

except that there wasn't.  Read the transcript.

by Adam B 2008-01-28 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

Wow. A litany of right-wing talking points from the 90s. How original. Where do you find those 10-year old Rush Limbaugh transcripts?

by LakersFan 2008-01-28 10:55AM | 0 recs
Well

This diarist also believes Bill Clinton is a rapist.

by Shawn 2008-01-28 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Well

Sounds like a freeper to me.

by LakersFan 2008-01-28 11:12AM | 0 recs
False

I said there have been "accusations of rape".  Which is true.  They've certainly never been proven.

by Adam B 2008-01-28 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: False

The fact that you threw that out there on a Democratic board kinda speaks for itself.

by Shawn 2008-01-28 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: False

Um, Adam...

by Steve M 2008-01-28 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: False

You have to view that post in context, in the wake of Billy Shaheen's vile slurs.  It was in response to someone who posted, "If you think that Bill's sexual history is valid issue, then so is Barack's drug history."

I wanted to suggest that one set of claims was more substantive than the other.  Mentioning those accusations was deliberately inflammatory, in an effort to shut off both inquiries.

by Adam B 2008-01-28 11:32AM | 0 recs
Ah, context

The rest of us call it the double standard.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: False

Well, when you say something like "vile slurs," it seems likely to me that we're not going to end up seeing eye to eye.  But Shaheen never accused Obama of selling drugs or even hinted that it might be true.  The only point he made was that we're nominating a guy who has admitted to using drugs, and the Republicans are not going to stipulate that it was just a teenager using drugs a couple times, nothing to see here.  They're going to try to make as much hay as they can, and what we have to think about is whether it's going to be a problem.

You guys have declared an awful lot of things off limits during this primary season, but you're trying to create a world where we nominate a guy, he gets hit by the Republicans based on stuff that's in his own book, and the overwhelming majority of Democratic primary voters say "What? We never knew that was out there!" because your rules didn't permit anyone to tell them.

In a sense your candidate isn't even getting battle-tested this primary season because the media instantly rules every single negative comment off limits.  That's great for him, but that's not how the GE is going to work, and most Obama supporters don't even seem to appreciate the kid-glove treatment he's getting.

by Steve M 2008-01-28 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: False

It is the amazing zero-vetting of a candidate.  Nobody dare say anything, lest they are declared racist, code or straight-up.    

by georgep 2008-01-28 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: False

...and if not exactly racist, then at the very least "desperate" or "anti-Obama."

by georgep 2008-01-28 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: False

et's see (23+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
    RobertInWisconsin, Lois, rashomon, expatjourno, AlyoshaKaramazov, turneresq, ChiGirl88, citizenx, huckleberry, Inland, Geekesque, dus7, DC Scott, Albatross, play jurist, 0wn, james risser, Practical Progressive, alba, loree920, speck tater, Akonitum, oldliberal

Clinton: $850,000 sexual harassment settlement to Paula Jones, lying under oath to cover up affair with subordinate employee leading to second impeachment of President in U.S. history, multiple other acknowledged infidelities, accusations of rape.

Obama: victimless, personal drug use during his teen years.

Yep -- it's about the same.

Support Barack Obama. Join the Obamathon NOW.

by Adam B on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 01:47:06 PM PST

[ Parent ]

by Seymour Glass 2008-01-28 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: False

This is probably the most pro-Hillary, anti-Obama blog I've visited.  cry me a river if you think this is an unfair diary.  the only reason there aren't as many blogs doing obama hit pieces is because you have very little material aside from Rezko and present votes.  

The Clinton's intelligence-insulting good cop-bad cop routine finally caught up with them when power-drunk Bill exposed his race strategy so that even the people who gave him the benefit of the doubt could no longer defend him.  so you can wine all you want to about this so called hit-piece, but the fact of the matter is your candidate committed another in a long line of repulsive acts to gain power and this is what you're going to get because of it-Hit pieces.  Some of them objective minds may think perhaps unfair, some fair- but all of them fully deserving

by gabejack 2008-01-28 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: False

You're quite an unpleasant person, aren't you?

by Denny Crane 2008-01-28 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

good diary adam. it wasn't just jesse who defended the guy--alot of us did. thanks. its not they are bad people or even bad at governing but they (the clintons) tend to fight dirty in the mud and then pretend like  it didn't happen. for years the media ate it up but no more. the mud is there for all to see. bill screwed up last week. period. this is a buy one - get two deal. co-presidency. and there will be more of what we saw last week.

by aiko 2008-01-28 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

Did you march to the capital or d.c , or did you defend him from your little cubicle in front of your computer screen ?

You know like you are doing now.

by lori 2008-01-28 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

how old are all you? 1998 wasn't all that long ago. do you remember the vast right wing conspiracy. well i do. it was everywhere. and unfortunately clinton kept doing stupid things that required that his supporters mount a defense. it got worse and worse. it was endless. that was fine then--i worked for him and i supported him and i defended him--right on thru monica and the blue dress. that was then. this is now.

a guy who does stupid things...(kinda like last week ;))

by aiko 2008-01-28 12:32PM | 0 recs
Boring

One of the sole voices of reason left in the blogosphere, Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler, nails it once more.

That's a piece worth reading. This isn't.

by Frank 2008-01-28 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

I'll buy the Edelmans and Guinier, but Jackson is quite a stretch. And Ickes? One of Hillary's closest confidants and her top adviser? And how come you don't mention how Clinton threw the DLC under the bus?

The truth is that any successful president will take advice from many quarters, and most of her decisions will piss someone off. The president is responsible to the country, the people who work for her are expendable and they know it. The same would be true for a President Obama.

by souvarine 2008-01-28 11:54AM | 0 recs
one more example from this campaign...

drivers licenses for undocumented aliens.  Caught by surprise and before she had looked at the polls and thought it through, HRC's instinct was to be highly sympathetic to the real world concerns of local officials and governors trying to deal with a difficult real world problem.  After two weeks of swerving all over the highway, she pulls a complete 180 u-turn.  Why?  She caught political heat and saw polls that 70% of the public was against her initial position.

Instead of showing leadership and political courage, she played into the xenophobia that prevents meaningful immigration reform.  She cut and ran.

When has HRC shown leadership and political courage on a controversial issue?      

by mboehm 2008-01-28 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: one more example from this campaign...

Actually, I've seen the video of her original answer to the editorial board in NH that started the whole thing, and I don't believe her position ever changed one bit from that day.

She sympathized with local and state officials then and she still does now.  But since the world jumped all over her and decided that every question has to have a yes or no with no explanation, then she said fine, personally she's not in favor of it.

I think it's comical that you would try to claim she was "caught by surprised" when she had first been asked the question weeks before that debate and had given a very measured and thoughtful answer.  What a bunch of BS you're selling.

by Steve M 2008-01-28 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Who The Clintons Are

by desmoinesdem 2008-01-28 02:40PM | 0 recs
what I meant to say

before accidentally hitting post was that I don't think it's a winning strategy for Obama supporters to warn us all of the dire consequences of a Clinton co-presidency.

I was never a fan of Bill Clinton and would not welcome another Clinton presidency.

However, having talked to dozens and dozens of Iowans who caucused for Hillary, I can assure you that many Democrats love the idea of "two for the price of one." They probably don't care if Bill said something stupid last weekend, if they even heard about that.

Many people view it as a plus that Bill would be back in the White House if Hillary were elected.

by desmoinesdem 2008-01-28 02:45PM | 0 recs
Divisiveness by Obama supporters proves...

...that the candidate can't even convince his own supporters to transcend traditional politics.  That makes me very skeptical of his ability to convince Republicans and special interests to lay down their political habits.  

If Obama can't convince his own people, what 'hope' is there that he can convince those who benefit from gridlock, opposition and hate?

by steveinohio 2008-01-28 03:32PM | 0 recs

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