Bill Clinton had another tantrum yesterday. The Clintons ran a highly deceptive radio ad attacking Obama, a South Carolina official who supports Obama challenged its veracity, and the press asked the former president about it. Clinton blamed the Obama campaign for "feeding" the story to the media (as if someone else had run the offending ad) and the media for eating it up, for letting such "distractions" consume them. "Shame on you," he finished. The headline in this morning’s Washington Post: "Some in Party Bristle at Clintons’ Attacks." For full tantrum coverage, see here. The image of Bill Clinton, whose affinity for women not his wife brought shame to his family and distracted the government for more than a year, accusing others of shame is rich. His previously harmonious relationship with Al Gore went down the tubes when Clinton could not understand Gore’s reaction to the Lewinsky affair: Gore reacted not as a pol but as a Dad, with disgust that Bill Clinton was so self-indulgent he would risk humiliating his family in such a way. Now, convinced that their dream of four more years in the White House might be slipping away, Bill and Hill have gone on attack mode. Shame? They left it by the side of the road, along with their friendship with the Gores, a long time ago. Bill Clinton also, yesterday, interjected race into the campaign again, saying that his wife would likely lost the South Carolina primary on Saturday because blacks would vote for Obama and women would support Hillary. (What about black women?) I wonder what John Lewis, Charlie Rangell and their ilk, the aging black leaders who have thrown in their lot with the Clintons, make of this. The rationale for moving South Carolina up in the primary season was because lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire did not reflect the racial make-up of the electorate. Now when South Carolina’s moment comes, Bill Clinton is doing his best to say it doesn’t really reflect the national will, that South Carolina’s primary will not be a real win but a "black win," the primary equivalent of affirmative action. Shame? Not from Bill or from this crowd of tired black leaders who see Obama’s willingness to transcend race as a threat to their political power. Political attacks are not that different from other personal fights. Look for elements of psychological projection. The Clintons charge that Obama’s position on the Iraq war has changed over time. Projection? Hillary defends her vote authorizing the war by saying she thought she was voting for diplomacy but at the time she said it was the "most difficult" vote she ever cast. What is so difficult about voting for diplomacy Hillary? And, as I pointed out months ago, Hillary was not above using Dick Cheney’s talking points in defending her Iraq vote, answering a question about Iraq with a reference to 9/11, as if Saddam Hussein had flown those planes into those buildings. The chattering class in Washington, filled with people who once worked in the Clinton Administration and who are plotting their return, may be shocked at the Clinton’s attacks on Obama. They shouldn’t be. Bill and Hill will do what it takes to gain and hold on to power. Like Tom and Daisy in The Great Gatsby, they stroll through life leaving former friends and ideas strewn discarded along the path. In the 1990s, on their watch, and as a direct result of their policies and their political strategy of triangulation, the Democratic Party lost control of both houses of Congress and a majority of the nation’s governorships. They threw the Democratic Party under the bus once before, why should anyone be surprised that they would do so again? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Michael Sean Winters
Shame on WHO?