Monday, April 21, 2008

Pittsburgh Tribune endorses Hillary Clinton

So Richard Mellon-Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune Review endorsed Hillary Clinton for president today.

Well, that's not exactly true. The Tribune endorsed Clinton in the Democratic primary—as to the presidential contest, dollars to doughnuts they'll be endorsing McCain. But that's to come later. For now, the Tribune is endorsing the wife of the president they accused of murdering Vince Foster back in the 1990s, a woman they have spent well over a decade slinging mud at, demeaning, attacking, demonizing. In fact, the Pittsburgh Tribune does the same thing to all Democrats, and to Democratic presidential candidates in particular. It's no wonder they'd want to boost the candidate who has the least chance of winning, if nominated.

Of course, the "endorsement" spends a lot of time knocking down Barack Obama, which is obviously the whole point of "endorsing" Clinton in the first place. It dredges up the Reverend Wright business, of course, and tries to hang on Obama his observation that Pennsylvanians might be bitter for having been told to vote for candidates who in turn deregulated industry in ways that cost them their very jobs. Mellon-Scaife pretends that Obama has less experience than Clinton, even though his "endorsement" points out that Obama spent eight years in the Illinois State Senate before his three years in the U.S. Senate—as opposed to Hillary Clinton's mere seven years in the U.S. Senate.

Perhaps the grossest smear that Mellon-Scaife makes against Obama is the link he tries to create between the senator and Mayor Richard Daley's "old-line political machine." What's glaringly wrong about this is that when Barack Obama first came to Chicago to work as a community organizer in the early 1980s, he threw in with Chicago's newly-elected mayor, Harold Washington. Mayor Washington got elected by challenging the Daley machine, which by definition puts Obama on the other side of the Daley machine. But this is why Hillary Clinton coined the term "vast right-wing conspiracy" with Mellon-Scaife himself in mind: he works to smear all Democrats as identical, and insists on blurring all Chicago Democrats with the corrupt politics of forty years ago with any modern reformers there might be out there today. It's harmless for them, too, since no Republican is going to win any kind of election that depends on his winning Chicago in the first place.

Finally, did you notice the headline? Referring to the "Democrat primary"? It's Democratic. The Democratic primary. To say "Democrat" when you mean "Democratic" is to talk like Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI), who did that to make the point that he felt that Democrats aren't Democratic. To abandon the word "Democratic" is to throw in with that right-wing piece of scum. Or with Mellon-Scaife. Whatever.

So Hillary Clinton scored an endorsement no Democrat should want. This isn't a sign of political courage. It's a sign of political desperation.

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