Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Al Gore Should Stop Hillary’s Assault on Reason

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In the conclusion of his 2007 book, Al Gore wrote the following:
The rule of reason is the true sovereign in the American system. Our self-government is based on the ability of individual citizens to use reason in holding their elected representatives, senators, and presidents accountable for their actions. When reason itself comes under assault, American democracy is put at risk.
Only a year later, Hillary Clinton has run a campaign for the presidency that seems to embody Gore’s critique of public discourse. Here’s just a partial list of the many times the Clinton campaign have careened off the tracks of reason:

• Suggesting that Obama isn’t accomplished enough to be president, but that he would make a great vice president!

• Categorizing delegates such that small state delegates are not as good as large state delegates, caucus delegates are not as good as primary delegates, “latte” delegates are not as good as “Budweiser” delegates, etc., etc.

• Suggesting that nearly every waking moment adds to her “lifetime of experience,” while claiming that Obama’s life consists of nothing more than a “single speech.”

• Arguing that the rules regarding superdelegates’ ability to overturn elections must be respected, while simultaneously arguing that the rules regarding Michigan and Florida must be considered undemocratic.

• Suggesting that party activists who participate in caucuses, and devote their time and energy to learning the issues and working for their beliefs, are somehow subverting the democratic process from those whose sit at home and vote absentee for whatever name they recognize on the ballot.

• Using fear to scare voters into thinking their voting decision will affect the immediate safety of their sleeping children.

• Suggesting that she is working hard for Democratic principles while aligning herself with the Republican nominee in order to crush the probable Democratic nominee.

• Presenting herself, as the “commander in chief” of a campaign that went from inevitability to the verge of elimination, as being about “solutions,” while claiming the “commander in chief” of a campaign that rose from obscurity to become the most energized and efficient campaign in the history of American politics is “just words.”

• Suggested that white votes are more important to the Democratic Party than African-American votes.

• Add your dozen or two examples here.

The culmination of Hillary’s rejection of reason is coming now in her repeated efforts to de-legitimize the process she has lost, by casting herself in the role of Al Gore (hat tip to this Dkos diarist for the inspiration) as someone who is “winning the popular vote,” but is going to be denied the nomination by the Supreme Court DNC Rule Committee! She’s already got supporters holding up “Count Every Vote” signs and planning protests of Obama in Florida. She’s making a point of reminding voters of “hanging chads.”

I think she actually believes that this approach will cause the party to eventually coalesce around her as some sort of redemption for what happened to Gore!

So I certainly hope the former VP will step forward and make it clear that any comparison between Obama’s victory over Clinton and Bush’s “victory” over Gore should be rejected as the kind of assault on reason that he wrote about in his book, lest American democracy continue to be placed further at risk by Clintons tactics!

Actually discussed at Daily Kos

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