Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


The Empire Strikes Back

Andrew Breitbart reported several weeks ago of meetings and conference calls between John Podesta, Bill Clinton, and other old Clinton hands with the purpose of formulating a strategy for the Tea Party movements. At the time I thought it was funny, but now, after Clinton's speech last night at the Center for American Progress dinner it seems they will press the theme of radical rhetoric leads to violence. As reported on Drudge, Clinton made several claims, or rather claims of guilt by association, refusing to draw direct lines between any actual violence that has occurred and actual rhetoric made at Tea Party rallies. Clinton flagged the term "gangsta government" used by Rep. Michelle Bachmann as one instance of out of control rhetoric that "could" lead to violence. This ignores the origin of the term which speaks to the wholesale intimidation of secured creditors of Chrysler who received less than they should under normal bankruptcy procedures. This wholesale devaluing of the bankruptcy process by Obama's administration remains hard to ignore. A charge of arbitrary and capricious behavior is necessary and needs to be made.

The thrust of Clinton's talk is mostly warmly baked Thomas Frankism whereby we are treated to the lonely, alienated American who finds a strange release and connection with aggressive conservative arguments. And thus the Right channels anger away from real problems. Clinton walked through his own strange challenges and how Gingrich, et al, channeled this anger against him throughout the 1990s. Times haven't changed much observes Clinton. The anger, however, is at a fever pitch and 'could' pose violent eruptions within America. Clinton disclaims that he is charging anyone with hate speech or that he believes in censorship. Of course. Then he launches into his own emotion-laden observations of the Ok city bombing. It was the best of America, Clinton states. McVeigh, himself an extreme example of the alienated American, is tied by Clinton to talk radio, Gingrich, even old Dick Armey, all by association of white-hot political speech. Clinton intersperses the speech with several 90s Gingrich quotes.Things had gotten too hot, Clinton said. That Clinton gave a talk last night trafficking in guilt by association might be an understatement.

It seems the racist tag isn't working. The easy fix is to charge the Tea Party movements with the unprovable offense of inadvertently promoting violence through their rhetoric. Said rhetoric, Clinton informs, is illegitimate because it emerges from alienation, anger at change, dislike of immigrants (Clinton specifically cited this), frustration with the economy, etc. There are no real arguments here folks is Clinton's hanging message. The strategy is now making the case of separateness, as in, you listening to me are normal, well-adjusted, employed, reasonably happy. If you aren't, you should be, you can be.The last thing you want to do is identify with or find yourself agreeing with Bob the Tea Party protestor at work or down the street.

Of course, that might be just the point Clinton can't counter. The disaffection and angst is too broad and too deep to be repelled. The Empire has no moves left.



Categories > Politics

Discussions - 6 Comments

Mr. Clinton,

1.) If someone disagrees with you, are they automatically "angry"?

2.) If someone is quote, "angry", unquoute, what about that is bad?

3.) If someone is angry, and controls that anger and behaves by the rules of polite society, then what legitimate point of contention do you have with them?

4.) Does an American have to disagree with you with a smile on their face?

5.) If your side feels that not only is a policy wrong, but that the methods used are destructive to the spirit of what you feel is American, what is your guidance for how your side should then behave, in both act and manner? Does your side act in accordance with this?

6.) As a corollary to the previous question-- If you concede the above points, but still argue that you are concerned that rough talk will lead to extremism, even if we grant for the sake of argument that the side doing the rough talk has legitimate points on many of the issues; and that therefore rough talk should not be engaged upon in the first instance--then my question is for you, kind sir, to please point out, over the course of your life, the times when the side you have pledged yourself to has acted in this spirit, when it has not, and the acts you yourself took in each instance to be the "voice of sanity in the wilderness", as it were. Assuming you ever did.

7.) If you cannot answer these questions, why should I not assume you are nothing but a scoundrel who would willingly slander an entire group of people in order to maintain power. That being the case--what else would you do to maintain power? And once again--do people have to respond to this with nothing but a smile?

The world wonders.

Continuing Question:

8.) How many malefactors does it take to classify an entire group as being of the character of the malefactor? 1? 5? 10? 1,000?

9.) If we take the above, that once a sufficient number of instances of bad behavior or behavior of a certain type have occurred all who belong to a certain group can be considered to be of that kind of character, will this standard be applied evenly to both sides of every political equation and issue? Can it be applied retroactively--for example, demonstrations of openly avowed communists against the war means the entire Democratic effort against the war is done by those socialist at heart?

10.) Going further--is it now the stated policy of the Democratic cause that groups shall be stereotyped based upon the worst behavior by any member of that group? If this is indeed so, does this policy in any way clash with previous policies?

The Left lives and dies by the double-standard. There is nothing surprising in the least about Clinton's current behavior, or the Left's position on the Tea Party. It is all a ploy to re-attract the support of all the useful idiots in the middle (aka 'independent moderates'). What do we know about these people who increasingly decide our politics? Are they all soccer-moms? Semi-educated middle-management types? What is known?

We need to know who they are before we can craft a message that resonates with them.

There is certainly no doubt that it is a blatant amoral marketing effort, and not any effort at all to engage in Rousseauian rational discussion on issues of the day.

More questions for Mr. Clinton and those of his ilk:

11.) There is a favorite phrase on the left: "No justice, no peace," frequently shouted by large groups that others of less charitable spirit would call a mob. What is the meaning of this phrase? Are these groups mobs? If not, are Tea Party groups mobs?

12.) How much "no peace" is acceptable in pursuit of liberal/leftist/Democratic causes?

13.) Does the historical record back up that liberal/leftist groups play by the limits set by the answer to question #12?

14.) What has been the response on the leading lights of the left when transgressions on #12 were made? Did you make any? Were they effective, causing an end to that sort of behavior, or merely for show?

15.) What would be your reaction to Tea Party groups that you are concerned about making the same statement?

16.) Which groups on the right do you think should be likely candidates for FBI infiltration?

17.) Are they any such groups on the left?

18.) Finally, if we take as a given the implied thesis of this entire effort--that the whole is tainted by the least part; that any incident does and should reflect on the entire movement, and that taking it further, in the same logic, that a person or movement not only can be defined but *should* be defined by any incident they can be considered culpable for: then, sir, did you have sexual relations with that woman? If not, why did you not fight for your law license--do you always let justice be meted out against the innocent if it is easier to not fight it? If you did have "relations", why did you lie, both in court and in a public statement? If you lied then, why should we not think that are you lying now? If the Tea Party should be known by the smallest defect of character or act by someone who may not even be associated with it, why should you not be known by the smallest defect of character for acts that you yourself actually did? If you lied, does not that show that you prefer the ability to use power and deception to convincing by reason? Why then should we not assume that this is what going on now? And if association with a squalid acts--however loose that association--is something that you seem to imply should be enough to remove the ability of the Tea Party to be listened to by people of character if these acts occur, then why are you even at a podium? For have you not done squalid acts? If this is the standard, what right do you have to be heard? For lied you did, in a blatant attempt to fool people--and you did your best to make the innocent and right in that affair to be the immoral and wrong Why are we thus listening to you at all? Why should history ever again stoop to listen to you? And will it?

The world still wonders.

I voted for Clinton once. I was a Democrat at one time and considered myself liberal. My family is historically Democrat with my uncle being an elder statesman in Texas Democrat politics.

I was moving away from the Democrat party when Clinton made his infamous finger-waving statement that he did not have sexaul relations on national TV.

When it was revealed that he lied to the American public on national TV, I was truly not a Democrat and not a liberal.

Clinton has no credibility. He was impeached due to lying under oath and lost his law license because of that.

The Democrats are desperate and, it appears, will do anything and say anything to retain power.

Screw 'em!

Part of the strategy may well be to fight the anger/frustration of the Tea Partiers with an equivalent level of vitriol from the Dems and the Left.

The goal: Foment widespread disgust at politics and a "pox on everyone's house" attitude among swing voters and independents (who may comprise more of the general public now than Republicans or Democrats). If independents stay home in November, the Dems may be able to minimize their losses.

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