I try not to let the MSM’s agreed-upon national news narrative upset my plans to have a good time, but many more times than not, I find the mass stupidity of so many putatively smart people, marching in unison to a destination that invites–nay–allows no logical point of entry. If you read today’s Note, which is how I submit myself to this torture in as short and relatively painless form as possible, you can find any number of literally nutty notions.
The dead horse of supposed dead-end Hillary supporters is flogged into a pulp by the authors. They begin on a note that had me hopeful: “Neither Sen. Barack Obama nor Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has any possible sane, rational reason for wanting tensions to continue.”
How true–but then the authors take a 180-degree turn toward insanity. Take a look at whom they cite when it comes to evidence of this supposed disunity: other journalists. There’s John F. Harris of The Politico, the AP’s Scott Lindlaw, Susan Page of USA Today, Patrick Healy of the New York Times, Anne Kornblut of the Washington Post, Geoff Earle and Maggie Haberman of the New York Post. Each offers evidence that is either purely editorial and unsourced, or sourced anonymously. For example, Harris: “For the next two days, a convention that belongs to Obama will be dominated by the same two people who dominated the Democratic Party for the last generation and who have come to Denver in much different roles than they wanted”; Page: “Clinton-watching has become the mesmerizing sideshow of the Democratic National Convention that will nominate Barack Obama”; Kornblut: “Obama’s decision to pass her over [for Vice President] remains central to the ongoing story of their strained relationship. It has also contributed to what associates say has been a difficult emotional period for the former first lady in the two months since ending her bid.”
It’s all “associates say,” or “some Clinton delegates,” or “an official familiar with conversations,” or “one adviser.” Can we actually get some names and positions, so that we can judge the (dubious) veracity of a Clinton-Obama war? Mostly, all we have are the mealy-mouthed assertions from other journalists–“Clinton, if sour, is pouting passively,” write Earle and Haberman. That means, Hillary is acting normal, but we’re pretending that maybe she’s mad on the inside.
The only non-journalist voices expressing anything close to a sense of disunity belong to Mary Boergers, a Maryland delegate who wants to cast a vote for Clinton; L. Douglas Wilder, the mayor of Richmond, Virginia (“The question is, are the Clintons ready?”), and Leon Panetta (“Sometimes dealing with the Clintons is like dealing with Brett Favre”). Wilder and Panetta’s comments are somewhat obtuse, and then there’s one delegate. This is what The Note describes as “the rivalry for the ages”?
I just finished doing a panel at the Impact Film Festival for the new film Boogie Man, about Lee Atwater, which features my fellow panelist Joe Conason, myself and my cat, Duke. On the way over, our senses (and our common sense) were assaulted by literally hundreds of Hillary die-hards yelling and screaming for the television cameras. Really, I don’t get these people. Aside from sore loserdom, what issue do they think they have? Naderites, as foolish and self-defeating as they were, at least had issues. Ted Kennedy back in 1980, had issues. But what are the issues that separate Hillary Clinton from Obama? Are these people angry because he thinks we should not talk to our adversaries five minutes sooner than she does? The media’s obsession with this issue would be indefensible, were it not for the fact that the Clintons appear to be encouraging it. People will look back on this and wonder what form of hysteria could make pro-choice advocates reject the pro-choice candidate for the benefit of the anti-choice candidate over the issue of “respect.”