The Clinton Camp’s sad, desperate rhetoric about Bernie – just to avoid debating

Chicken

 

Oh, you know, this is rich, this stern admonishment from the Clinton camp that Sanders needs to watch his tone if he wants another debate with her (and here’s a little tip:  If you’re trying to win the youth vote and the hip vote and sit at the cool kids’ table – as Clinton clearly is – adopting a school-marmish tone to go along with the school-marmish look is probably not a sharp idea). According to Clinton’s Chief Strategist, Joel Benenson, Bernie Sanders’ pointed attacks on Clinton’s very vulnerable record rises to the level of “a very negative campaign.”  Hey, whines Benenson, Bernie Sanders doesn’t get to decide, okay, when the debates are going to be, especially when he’s being extra mean to them.  So there, blah.  No, Clinton is pissed – like telling her Secret Service detail to “fuck off” pissed – that she hasn’t been able to take a leisurely stroll to the convention, without all these pesky questions and challenges from her opponent, a 74-year-old Democratic socialist, about her Wall Street speeches and her flip-flops on trade and her vote for the Iraq war and her lobbying in the 90’s for mass incarceration.  She thought it’d be a sweet walk in the park to get the nod, and a sweep in the general, and she could be right back where she thinks she belongs, hobnobbing with the elites while eyeing the peasants from on high.  Hillary Clinton has, from the beginning, viewed Bernie Sanders as beneath her, and she and her camp view him and his supporters both as beneath her now.  That’s why she’s so pissed – no, actually, enraged – and why her people are whining about Bernie’s “negative campaign,” why she somehow believes that her opponent isn’t supposed to bring up anything negative about her.  I suppose she believes that he, along with her sycophants, is just along for the ride to sing her praises.  The fact that Bernie hasn’t sung her praises and, in fact, is doubling down on her failings and exploiting her weaknesses, has the Clinton camp chasing its tail.

News flash:  Bernie Sanders is serious, and so are his supporters, and he’s in it to win it.  And this smells like fear.

But let’s suss this out.  What exactly is Bernie Sanders supposed to stop talking about?  Is he supposed to back off her quarter-mil Wall Street speeches, quit asking her to release the transcripts? Is he supposed to pretend her vote for the Iraq War never happened, pretend that she hasn’t mightily flip-flopped on trade, that she’s only recently begun to embrace gay marriage, that she was for Keystone XL before she was against it (kinda like Palin’s Bridge to Nowhere), that her pledge to rein in Wall Street is shaky, at best, given the fact her hand is extended for its money most of the time, that her role in mass incarceration in the 90’s was a little “mistake” that she’s now sorry for and promises won’t happen again?  So what, a man who’s running on the platform of a corrupt campaign finance system is supposed to ignore her $353,400 a seat fundraising events, never comment on the millions she’s raising from corporate raiders?

The Clinton camp is on a slippery slope indeed when it attacks other candidates – particularly an upright, gentlemanly candidate like Bernie Sanders – on the whole negativity thing.  Hillary Clinton has never run a clean campaign in her life.  Her race against then-candidate Obama in 2008 was legendary in its racial overtones and viciousness.  During this campaign cycle, Clinton has attempted to paint Bernie Sanders as a one-trick pony, a single-issue candidate (despite his decades-long career in activism and politics), recently alluding to him as the “flavor of the month;” she tried to accuse Sanders of supporting vigilante group the Minutemen; last month, her barbed attacks on Sanders – even trying to hang the “sexist” banner on him – caused even her minions to break out in a sweat; during a debate, Clinton accused Bernie of running a “smear” campaign against her (for no reason other than that he has highlighted her close ties to Wall Street, and implied that would influence how she governed – which it would); Clinton has dishonestly attempted to tell voters that Bernie Sanders would dismantle healthcare (a smear that’s as ludicrous as it is not well thought out); she’s unleashed her attack dog and hit man, David Brock, to run hit pieces against Bernie at the Hillary PAC-O&O, BlueNationReview; Clinton and her Dem vagina voters in Congress, such as Claire McCaskill, implied that Bernie Sanders is a communist (little deja vu here, as Clinton in 2008 desperately tried to smear President Obama as a Muslim); Bill Clinton, on the stump, called Sanders dishonest and said “you can’t be too careful with the facts” (coming from the guy who famously said, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”); Bill Clinton also took aim at Bernie’s supporters, portraying them as so menacing and frightening that he claimed Hillary Clinton’s supporters have to blog under pseudonyms; even Chelsea Clinton has gotten into the act, claiming that Bernie Sanders wants to “dismantle Obamacare.”  Let me put it like this:  When it comes to cheap shots, it’s a family affair.

Sanders spokesperson Michael Briggs made it clear that the “coronation” Clinton was aiming for is not in the works:

Sen. Sanders has never run a negative ad in his life . . . Some people this year wanted a coronation instead of a campaign in which we debate our rigged economy and corrupt campaign finance system. But despite what the pundits and establishment politicians wanted, our grassroots supporters are giving us a political revolution. I can see how that might put Mr. Benenson in a bad mood.

 

 

Clinton and her camp can keep avoiding press conferences and debates and denying Bernie’s victory laps and his burgeoning popularity, and they can keep trying to link Bernie Sanders with the “negativity” rhetoric, if they wish.  I can only imagine that a lot of heads are exploding in the Clinton camp right now.  There’s no other explanation for this desperate attempt to claim it’s Bernie Sanders’ fault if Clinton refuses a New York debate.  Clinton’s requirement that Sanders change his “tone” before she’ll agree to debate him has more than a passing similarity to her promise to release her Wall Street speech transcripts if everyone else does:  She doesn’t want to debate and she ain’t gonna release those speeches, so she thinks she’s being slick by arbitrarily attaching requirements to ensure she won’t have to do either.

This pathetic play out of the Clinton camp is not a good look.  Memes and tweets (#tonedownforwhat) are popping up all over.  But Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times has this figured out:

This is after Mr. Sanders said he wasn’t going to make an issue of her ‘damn emails,’ hasn’t touched Benghazi and has avoided the Clinton Foundation — and many of the pay-to-play schemes the Clinton family has been accused of — almost entirely. But he did sweep Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska on Saturday.

They’re gonna need a bird.