Anything Goes

The Clinton coronation was derailed one Philadelphia night when she waffled on drivers’ licenses, reviving long-dormant memories of Clintonian parsing. Now that parsing has morphed into outright lying. Take the allegations pushed by Bill and Hillary that Obama praised Reagan’s ideas: blatantly false, yet the campaign pushed them in a 30-second spot on South Carolina TV. Let’s just ignore the fact that both of them fulsomely praised Reagan, with Hillary saying he “played the balance and the music beautifully.” The Clinton campaign has disintegrated into Karl Rove tactics, adopting a cutthroat, ruthless strategy to return to the Oval Office.

Not to mention the red-faced, finger-wagging Bill Clinton disgracing the dignity afforded an ex-president, all in his quest for a third term. His constant referrals to “we” are removing any lingering doubts that a co-presidency is in the works. Hillary was supposed to be a tough girl. Now, she’s just a wife sending her husband to go shout at the neighbors.

This myopic focus on the immediate win, without regard to potential blowback, severely undermines the Democrats’ chances in 2008. Once again, the party threatens to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. A Clinton nomination riles the right, the elixir for the lack of enthusiasm on the Republican side. And, the process of obtaining it splinters the Democratic party. Many, as Jonathan Chait put it, “just really wish they’d go away.”

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