The overdone politics of violence

There is now a frontpage diary, along with a recommended diary referencing the politics of violence, wherein Sen. Clinton's following quote is analyzed

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 --

Q: Why?

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 ...

Many commenters are jumping to the conclusion that Sen. Clinton is asking for, or hoping for Sen. Obama to be assassinated... or something along those lines.

Those who are drawing that conclusion need to take a deep breath.  You will (in all likelihood) be ashamed of yourself in a few days.  First, she has clearly not called for anyone to be assassinated.  Second, she either has, or will soon enough clarify/amplify her remarks to explain what she really meant (I have not checked whether she has, but I have no doubt that she will).

And I have no doubt as to what she meant: that Sen. Kennedy's campaign was still being waged in June.

Those who habitually assume the worst of your political opponents should take a deep breath.  The politics of hope is not about assuming the worst in every human being you encounter

Thanks to Canadian Gal (next diary, after mine), we have the following statement from her:

"Earlier today I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged in California in June 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That's a historic fact. The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to, and I'm honored to hold Senator Kennedy's seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family."

Tags: clinton, Politics, Violence (all tags)

Comments

29 Comments

Re: The overdone politics of violence

Very Well Said.....BRAVO!!!

by nikkid 2008-05-23 01:28PM | 0 recs
I agree, thank you SevenStrings

Clearly, the context here is Hillary discussing previous examples of races that had continued into June, including her husband's 1992 campaign and the 1968 campaigns. She mentioned the assassination because it was a memorable event that most people could recall happened in June to back up her asssertion. That's all there was to it except for those who always have their knives out and ready to twist anything she says or does into a prosecutable crime punishable by death.

by phoenixdreamz 2008-05-23 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

I'm finding this particular tactic - oh, you're all over-interpreting this just because you hate Hillary so much!! - very offensive. You don't have to think it was an open call for Obama's assassination to think the comment was grossly inappropriate.

by Mobar 2008-05-23 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

Okay, it appears you agree that she wasnt calling for, or hoping for Sen. Obama to be assassinated.

So, why do you find it inappropriate ?

by SevenStrings 2008-05-23 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

Consider a counterfactual - Hillary, not Barack, is the presumptive nominee.  It's May.  The really nasty emails have started circulating on right-wing sites - the Clintons killed Vince Foster and who knows who else; Hillary is a communist who worked at a communist law firm.  She's getting death threats.  Obama's supporters are furious at her for stealing the election, and Obama's making the argument that she's disfranchising the voters of Michigan and FL (it's a counterfactual - assume he won them) -it's like we're back in pre-civil rights days and it looks like racism is still acceptable.  

Now a reporter asks Obama why he stays in the race and he says - that's a silly question.  I stay in because you never know.  Look, Indira Gandhi was assassinated.  These things happen.

Later, Obama explained he'd been reading Fareed Zakaria's book about India's rise.

Would you think that was OK?

by TL 2008-05-23 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

Your comparison is woefully inept.

If Obama were to say... look, I am staying in because it is early.  We all remember Indira Gandhi campaigning into October when she was killed (she was killed on Oct 31, less than a week prior to the Reagan/Mondale election; coincidentally, she was gearing up for elections too)... that would be a more accurate comparison.

And no, I would not be offended if he were to say that!!

by SevenStrings 2008-05-23 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

Well, that would be strange because I don't think she was killed when she was campaigning.

But leaving that aside, it's not a good idea for a candidate to say s/he is staying in the race because, you never know, the other one might get shot.

by TL 2008-05-23 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

I. Gandhi was killed at her residence, but she was gearing up for a campaign herself.  You setup a hypothetical example...I played along.

Please read her statement again:  she was saying that she is staying in because it is early.  And she gave two examples of campaigns that had extended into June.

She has not said, or hoped, that the other one might get shot.

Please take a deep breath.. and exhale!!

by SevenStrings 2008-05-23 02:13PM | 0 recs
She isn't calling for his assasination

She is just staying in because she feels he has a decent liklyhood of assassination. Or at least that is the obvious implication, to me. Otherwise why mention Bobby's assassination? Why not simply say that he campaigned through June?

by Lost Thought 2008-05-23 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: She isn't calling for his assasination

What is wrong with you that you can make such a conclusion?  I find it baffling.  So, no one can ever mention the assassination of Bobby Kennedy without it having to do with Saint Barry?

Give me a break!

by BRockNYC 2008-05-23 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: She isn't calling for his assasination

What?  Who else could she have been talking about?  She said that the possibility of assassination was a reason to stay in the race.  Was it McCain she was talking about?  Edwards?

by TL 2008-05-23 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: She isn't calling for his assasination

That is NOT what she said.  If that is what you heard then I'm sorry for you.  The very clear point is that the campaign was going full bore in June.  Why are you so eager to attribute such vile to one of our great Democrats?  I just don't understand.

by BRockNYC 2008-05-23 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: She isn't calling for his assasination

OK.  I've had a chance to watch the clip now, and I think you're right.  She just chose a very, very weird way of saying that RFK continued to campaign into June.

I think folks overreacted in part because blurting things out isn't her normal M.O. - Bill Richardson I expect this from, Hillary not so much - and because lately, to be honest, she's said some outrageous things that are outrageous even in context.  Comparing FL and MI to Zimbabwe and the pre-civil rights period come immediately to mind.

So - yes, you're right, I don't believe she said that.

by TL 2008-05-23 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: She isn't calling for his assasination

Thank you.

This knee-jerk inclination among some Democrats to attribute evil to the Clintons is the clearest symptom that the Republican machine is truly, TRULY effective.

I'm a sad Democrat today.

by BRockNYC 2008-05-23 02:47PM | 0 recs
She wouldn't have apologized

as quickly as she did if headquarters didn't realize how mindnumbingly ignorant it was to use the assassination of Bobby Kennedy as a justification for her staying in the race.

Face it. She crossed a line.

by Firewall 2008-05-23 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence
Nice try but I don't think many will see it that way.

But aside from that, I have to say if she were president I'd go nuts listening to her say "you know" over an over. She says it at least once in every sentence. Someone needs to talk to her about that very irritating verbal tic. Not as bad as GWB but pretty bad.

by Becky G 2008-05-23 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

Agreed.  This site would be well served if we were all a bit less reactionary.  But somewhere along the line, it became a contest of whose supporters could "out-outrage" the other's.

by freedom78 2008-05-23 01:34PM | 0 recs
She made a gaffe-big deal.

She chose her words poorly for what she was trying to say.  Obama has had his share of them too (like his infamous bitter comment).

I think more people need to realize that the candidates are exhausted and tired.

I put no more importance on this gaffe than I did on Obama's bitter gaffe.

by Student Guy 2008-05-23 01:34PM | 0 recs
I think the proper move

would be for Obama to come out before the cameras and defend her.  I think it'd be good for him politically and it'd indicate that he genuinely deplores the gotcha games.

Now, she also claimed in that interview that Obama's camp deliberately planted the story that broke on CNN today; I happen to think the story is true but that's quite a charge since the story was sourced to some of her staffers who have been more chatty with the press than his staffers.

by Blazers Edge 2008-05-23 01:41PM | 0 recs
Too late for that...

His campaign already put out a statement criticizing her!!

by SevenStrings 2008-05-23 02:01PM | 0 recs
I wish they would not have

but I suppose they are still playing in the Tit-for-Tat world.

(BTW Tit-for-Tat is the strategy to maximize your outcome in the Prisoner's Dilemma).

by Student Guy 2008-05-23 03:25PM | 0 recs
Did you read SYJ Mr Feynmann ?

by SevenStrings 2008-05-23 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: She made a gaffe-big deal.

You may be right about the bitter/cling-to comparison.

The reason I took my time in responding is because I remember my own outrage at the bitter remarks, and I was trying to analyze if my reaction then was colored by partisan glasses.

The answer: only partly.  In the bitter/cling-to case, I was offended by what Sen. Obama meant (or, at least, what I understood him to mean) ~ in this case, I am not offended by what Sen. Clinton meant (or what I understand her to mean).

But, they were both political gaffes in the sense that both statements hurt the respective candidates.

by SevenStrings 2008-05-23 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

There have been too many comments about Obama's assassination for this not to be offensive.  She's not calling for it, but she's raising the banner of assassination.

Surely a politician as skilled as HRC could have made her case for staying in through June without mentioning something as explosive as a Kennedy assassination tragedy, especially given all the recent factors - Kennedy's cancer diagnosis, Huckabee's joke about a gun pointing at Obama, Clinton surrogate referencing Obama assassination.

by obscurant 2008-05-23 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

I can't speak for other commenters, but I can say what I see.  

Do I think that she actually wants Obama to die?  No.  But it does seem like her campaign has spun itself into such a state - become so convinced of its own righteousness - that it has lost the filter that warns a skilful politician away from saying things that go over the line.

There's a pattern of careless and inflammatory rhetoric from the Clinton campaign that's been ramping up as she goes along against increasingly impossible odds and most recently culminated in the absurd charge that Florida and Michigan belong in the same category as Zimbabwe or the pre-Civil Rights South.

This is a campaign, and a candidate, that has run seriously off the rails.

by TL 2008-05-23 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

It's appalling.

Folks here can rant and make the claim that Hillary was 'calling for' Obama's assassination when clearly she was not, yet they do so with impunity.

In the diary you referenced I was 'warned' because I used another word (apparently verbotten here) that aptly described what folks so 'outraged' over a remark that didn't imply what they claim it did are doing to Hillary's reputation right now.  In fact, it's what they've been doing to both Bill and Hillary since day one, and it's more vile than anything the GOP smear machine ever did to them.

Apparently 'assassination' of reputation is allowed, but if you post it here you just have to word it right so that it is acceptable to the Obama supporters and assassinates only Clinton's reputation.

Hillary can do one of three things now.

She can continue and loose, and go into obscurity, like the folks assassinating her reputation want;

She can continue and loose and be a major force in the Democratic party for the goal sthat we all want to accomplish;

She can look you all squarely in the eye and tell you all to go screw yourselves because you'vwe worked so hard to destroy her good name and call for her supporters to sit home in the GE.

I know she will do the second option, but beleive me, if I were her, the third option would be a win win situation after this firestorm of crap.

by emsprater 2008-05-23 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

I absolutely agree with what you said, but I would urge you to avoid that "assassinatioon of reputation" phrase for a few days... until cooler heads have prevailed.

And yes, I too would have personally opted for the 3rd option, but I doubt that she will.

by SevenStrings 2008-05-23 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence
I cannot believe how much this has spun out of control.  The diary on the front page by Josh is absolutely despicable.  I was just about to throw my support behind Obama, but after reading the disgusting way so-called Democrats have been attacking Hillary and the way they have purposely misinterpreted her innocent comments, there is absolutely no way I will support Obama in November.  I don't care if he is better for the country, I don't want to be united with these people.
I've had with this party.  It's obvious that the Obama supporters do not want unity.  Just as unity was around the corner, they decided to start another smear campaign against Hillary.  It's fucking ridiculous, and I've had enough.
by musicpvm 2008-05-23 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: The overdone politics of violence

There is just too much agressive, burning hatred on both sides, that I doubt the chasm will ever heal in time for the general election.

by Sieglinde 2008-05-23 02:25PM | 0 recs

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