Special Blog Post:
An Open Letter to Senator Hillary Clinton
The graphic at left depicts you with Australian billionaire Mr. Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox Network, the media corporation which, among many other endeavors, offers Fox News, arguably the single most pervasive influence in biased mainstream journalism in America today. The graphic is unfair to the extent that you and Mr. Murdoch were never actually configured for a shot like that, although you have held stages together on more than a few occasions. To the extent that you have chosen to associate yourself with an individual who has degraded the American political and social dialogue, the graphic is an accurate depiction of someone with whom you now choose to make your professional company. The politics of dirty tricks can, of course, get far, far nastier than a simple composite photo.
According to a report in The Tennessean, as brought to my attention in a post by The Green Knight, a group of your "supporters" staged a demonstration at a public appearance by Al Gore, who was in the Nashville area to promote his documentary movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Whether or not this protest was genuinely on your behalf, it represents an early and troubling opening onto a landscape of bad campaign politics. You should be swift, clear, and consistent in condemning such protests and those who organize and attend them. Unlike George W. Bush, who failed to damn the venal Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for their denigration of a genuine war hero, you should go on the record calling unequivocally for a higher level of dialogue in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Obviously, it's your call as to your course of action in this matter.
At the same time, those who oppose you have their call to make, too. For my part, should you decide to take the low road to the Democratic nomination, so will I in opposing you. You have a gaping hole a mile wide in your credibility. To the Right, you are the same liberal who, 13 years ago, produced a national healthcare plan that looked, smelled, and felt like a level of socialism anathema to the Right.
To the Left, you have turned into the "Great Triangulator," pandering to utterly mean and silly pseudo causes dear to neo-conservatives and armchair patriots. Your turn toward tepid, carefully crafted "support" for gay rights is a slap in the face to those who had hoped for far more from your strong voice. Your curious fence-straddling on ending the American occupation of Iraq belies your fear of offending a shrinking group of blustering conservatives who have no use whatsoever for you regardless of your stance on that matter. And, as noted at the beginning of this article, your rather sudden daliance with a venal man like Mr. Murdoch gives evidence not just of how much you will compromise core values, but also of how politically naïve you truly are: as you absorb massive amounts of money in campaign contributions, you are starving far more viable candidates of those funds, virtually ensuring a 1968-style steamroller at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, an event that will inevitably be followed by your crushing defeat in November. You will split the party, even as you unite the nation against you. Mr. Murdoch knows this, but apparently you don't.
At this juncture, however, all forecasts of what will happen in 2008 are nothing more than rank speculation. What is certain is the here and now, so I ask that you hear me now: call off your dogs, Senator. If they're not your dogs, call them off anyway. Condemn those who demonstrate against fellow Democrats. Repudiate the thug-lite gambit of phony, impromptu demonstrations against those whose values strongly reflect progressivism, as Al Gore's clearly do.
I make this request not as a strong supporter of Al Gore. Although I would stand with him were he the Democratic nominee for the Presidency in 2008, and although I consider him a brilliant man and a genuine American patriot, I am uncomfortable with the tone of his rhetoric regarding global warming. I have studied the lives of far too many other extraordinarily bright men who became obsessed of apocalyptic vision to one significant problem in exclusion of others. On the other handand perhaps as troubling to me, thoughis the prospect that his hyperbole is the only means by which the American people, so used to problems evaporating in the next news cycle, can have their collective attention brought to bear on the looming crises arising from climate change. Nevertheless, I am not one of his political supporters at this stage; but I am certainly going to do my part to vex those of his own party who would seek to harm him with political gamesmanship of low order.
Mark my word, Senator Clinton, should you decide that dirty politics is the way you will run your campaign, that rusty, naughty, ugly sword will cut both ways. I will do my part, and I shall make it my habit to encourage others to do their part.
It begins with silly composite photos, and then it escalates: push polls, demonstrations against you, letters to the editor, rumors, people who supposedly knew you long ago and know things about you, anti-Hillary flyer floods at your campaign events, and a whole lot more. Karl Rove and, before him, Hamilton Jordon wrote the books on dirty tricks, but theirs were certainly not the definitive treatises. To the Right, you can be painted as a raving Leftist-liberal; to the Left, you can be painted as a Right-wing, turncoat shill; to the Center, you are the weather vane swinging with whatever political breeze brings you another campaign contribution and a moment's cheer from a bunch of check-writers.
We don't have to have that ugly, destructive, internecine war. We could, instead, try with all our hearts, legwork, minds, money, and dedication to bring to an end the degraded world the neo-conservatives have visited upon the opus to this melancholy age. However, if you would prefer to decline the invitation to repudiate right away the politics of denigrating your fellow party members, then let's get the war on. The sooner the better. That way, we can all dispense with the excitement borne of hope that we could defeat whatever miserable heir to George W. Bush the Republicans spew forth in 2008.
Rest assured, Senator Clinton, I'll be in the fight, whichever way you choose to run.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.