This diary is about the irresponsible statements made by Hillary Clinton on this 23rd Day of May, 2008. I’m not going to link to the statements. BooMan has done a sufficient job laying it out. I simply want to comment on the seriousness of what she has said.
As a trial lawyer, one of the cardinal rules I have been taught about a jury presentation is that it is most effective to lead a jury right up to the point of making a decision. But to pause on the door step. To let them take the last stride themselves. People want to make their own decisions. It makes their positions more firm. They become committed to the idea, because it is their own. Given that Mrs. Hillary Clinton and I were both educated in American Law schools in the same quarter century, I am almost certain she has come across, and probably internalized this rule.
A second thing I am almost certain Mrs. Clinton and I share, based on our American legal education, is the necessity of preparation before making public remarks. Even for someone whose style is relatively extemporaneous, like myself, some thought goes into the structure and content of the words you speak. For interviews. For press conferences. For mere discussions where your motive is to influence people.
So in making her statements today regarding her own continuation in this campaign, there is little doubt in my mind that Mrs. Clinton weighed her words regarding the assassination of a Democratic hero carefully. These statements — both the one made today and another reference she made recently — appear calculated to lead voters and media personnel up to a certain conclusion.
Simply ask yourself why you would mention the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in discussing your own mathematically doomed campaign for the Democratic nomination. You are leading the audience to come to a conclusion. You do not step through the door to that conclusion. They draw it on their own. This man may well be shot — she urges the audience to conclude — and it is important that I remain to save our party.
Further, this was not an off-the-cuff remark. It is part of a canned string of language she has rehearsed. When the interviewer gives the opening to talk about extending the race, she spits out her canned answer. An answer crafted, by her, and likely by a team that is despicable. It is “the Bill was in until June and Obama is wearing a target” block which she has honed and is ready to spew.
Alone, the use of this language for her obvious narcissistic pursuit is beyond repugnant.
I raise one further point. I do not believe it should go unsaid. I believe to ignore it would be naive. We have all heard the racist undertones of the campaign this woman has run. It has been called dog whistling for the most part, I believe, to avoid calling it what it is. She and her handlers have sought to drive a wedge between the people on the basis of the pigmentation of our skin.
Combine this tactic with the disturbing things that could be heard ushering from the mouths of some voters in West Virginia, and I believe you can see that Clinton is fanning the flames of a dangerous thing. Take it a step further. To talk of assassination — clearly referencing your opponent’s possible demise — in an atmosphere where you have fanned the flames of racism: It is sin. I am not a religious man. But this is sin. Sin that makes my skin crawl.
We all now know the type of vitriol that exists even at the extremities of the Democratic party. And I believe most here share an understanding that these extremes exist in the American right at an even more dangerous level — by people who proudly carry weapons and believe that the word of God might be the best political guidance. There are frightening people out there in the world. Who do not share most bloggers views of discussing problems at a keyboard. All I can say is heaven help this woman, should a lunatic decide that he or she might single-handedly prevent our nation from taking a most historic step forward. She will be damned.