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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Self-Inflicted Wounding

Keith R. Schmitz

Not often the name Bartoshevich would be imagined as a household name, but that's what the McCain camplaign hopes to have happen with this new ad, featuring the former Clinton delegate from Waterford.

Of course conservative are chortling, but like Ann Richards would say, with McCain's abysmal record voting for woman's health care, "this would be like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders."

Or as Joe Conason puts it:
Still more confounding is the threat by some of her supporters to defect to John McCain. His campaign’s latest commercial features a grinning Clinton supporter who praises his “maverick, independent streak” as well as his "experience and judgment," and promises that “it’s ok, really” to vote for the Republican. Is this the politics of revenge? Is it the cult of personality? Is it stubborn idiocy?

Whatever else it may be, it is not OK. No, it is emphatically not OK to mislead Senator Clinton’s supporters into lining up behind a candidate whose positions are the opposite of hers, whose judgment on many issues is woefully deficient, and whose maverick independence is no more than a memory.

Senator McCain too deserves to be taken at his word—which makes it all the more astonishing that anyone who claims to have voted for Senator Clinton would consider voting for him. He has declared his firm opposition to reproductive rights and promised to appoint Supreme Court judges who would restrict those rights. He would continue the US occupation of Iraq and may well expand the war to Iran and beyond. He opposes universal health care and denounces Social Security as a “disgrace” that should be privatized. He dropped his principled opposition to the regressive Bush tax cuts and his support of immigration reform to pander to the Republican right.

Speaking of right-wing Republicans, their encouragement of the intransigent Clintonites is a clue for the clueless. The sudden affection lavished on Senator Clinton by neoconservatives and other assorted wingnuts could hardly be more transparent or insincere – or predictable as soon as Senator Obama, their erstwhile favorite, secured the Democratic nomination. Pundits who beseeched Democrats to join the Obama campaign as a crusade to destroy the Clintons now demand respect for her. But their insincerity is blatant. They merely want to exploit her most disappointed supporters, whose eagerness to cooperate in that strategy is mystifying.

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