Liberal media: Hillary has spoken the unspeakable! Ostracize her!
thought I was exaggerating when I criticized
the MSM’s overwrought response to Hillary Clinton’s passing mention of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, see Libby Copeland’s piece
in the Washington Post
, in which she accuses Hillary of doing nothing less than breaking an ultimate taboo
Hillary Clinton Raises the Specter of the Unspeakable
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Smart candidates don’t invoke the possibility of their opponents being killed. This seems so obvious it shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently, it needs to be said.
“We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California,” Hillary Clinton said yesterday, referencing the fact that past nomination contests have stretched into June to explain why she hasn’t heeded calls to exit the Democratic race. She was in an editorial board meeting with a South Dakota newspaper, and she didn’t even seem to notice she’d just uttered the unutterable.
The nation’s political science students, our future strategists and campaign managers, would do well to pay attention to this moment. There are taboos in presidential politics, and this is one of the biggest. To raise the specter of a rival’s assassination, even unintentionally, is to make a truly terrible thing real. It sounds like one might be waiting for a terrible thing to happen, even if one isn’t. It sounds almost like wishful thinking.
If there were any doubt about the taboo nature of discussing such a thing, witness the reaction Barack Obama’s campaign put out, which carefully avoided any repetition of what Clinton had actually said. To repeat it would be to repeat the possibility of the terrible thing.
“Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign,” spokesman Bill Burton e-mailed. (A reporter checking his BlackBerry after an overlong smoke break would have no inkling of what was so unfortunate.) [cont.]
Jack S. writes:
I had the misfortune to catch part of Olbermann’s show on MSNBC. He spent the entire hour ranting and raving about Hillary’s comments today. He even had several guests commenting along the same lines. In his mind she has crossed the line by mentioning the fate of RFK and is now disqualified from running for president or perhaps even living. He finished with a five minute rant speaking directly to the camera as if to Hillary, saying: “We forgave you for bringing up Rev. Wright on Fox News, we forgave you for bringing up Ayers, we forgave you for the 3:00 am TV ad, we forgave you for Geraldine Ferraro, we forgave you for courting Scaife and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, etc etc, but we can’t forgive you for this.” I had heard reports about this lunatic but I hadn’t seen with my own eyes how insane he is.
Here’s a link to the video of the last segment of the show. I don’t know if a transcript is available.
Adela G. writes:
Oh, good grief. Ms. Copeland’s tone is not merely overwrought but hysterical.
She writes: “…she didn’t even seem to notice she’d just uttered the unutterable.”
OK. We’ll give you a pass on that. We know you’re upset. We won’t even ask why, if it’s so unutterable, you quoted it. Or is that acceptable as long as no one reads your column aloud and utters the unutterable? Just how literal-minded are you, anyway?
She then writes: “The nation’s political science students, our future strategists and campaign managers, would do well to pay attention to this moment.”
That’s right. When someone has uttered the unutterable, rather than bury it as quickly as possible because it is unutterable, let’s all pay attention—national attention, no less—to this momentous moment regarding the uttered unutterable.
She then writes: “There are taboos in presidential politics, and this is one of the biggest.”
Says who? Oh, says you. You mean it’s right up there with the taboo that one’s pastor should not be heard on videotape damning America while one is campaigning to be the American president? I’m still in shock over that one.
She then writes (because of course she has to devote an entire column to further utterance about the unutterable): “To raise the specter of a rival’s assassination, even unintentionally, is to make a truly terrible thing real. It sounds like one might be waiting for a terrible thing to happen, even if one isn’t. It sounds almost like wishful thinking.”
Um, no, Liblib, to raise the specter of a rival’s assassination is emphatically not to make a truly terrible thing real. We all know that Hillary has now uttered the unutterable. Yet amazingly, Obama is still alive. The truly terrible thing is real only in your mind, where it seems to be taking up an inordinate amount of space.
To raise a specter is to conjure up a ghost, which is not at all the same thing as making a truly terrible thing real. Words are weapons, yes, but they are not to be confused with genuinely lethal weapons, such as firearms. Words can be used in character assassination but are generally considered quite inadequate for the purpose of real assassination even by suggestible wackos who might be lurking in the shadows. (This is why those wackos buy firearms instead of, say, copies of Hillary’s speeches.) Not even truly terrible words can kill someone. Why, I bet Hillary could even say, “Oh, drop dead, Barry!” and he’d not only not die, he wouldn’t even drop.
So you can stop with the breathless shock and righteous indignation already. The truth is that Hills referred to RFK’s assassination because it occurred in June, not because she’s rather unsubtly wishing a similar fate to befall Obama. We know you liberals see her mentioning the “unutterable” as a gift you just can’t resist running with. But please stop. You run like a girl and it’s really most unbecoming to you.
Larry G. writes:
Adela G. (no relation) is on a roll lately.
With all this hysteria about Hillary’s comment, we should remember that various figures on the left have repeatedly hinted at—and even called for—the assassination of President Bush. Somehow that wasn’t considered unutterable or taboo.
Ken Hechtman writes:
Unspeakable? The way I heard it, Obama’s field people speak about it every day.
A couple of my friends went door-knocking for Obama in one of the black neighborhoods of Philadelphia (at the 1:08 mark, if anyone’s really interested). The vast majority of the people they talked to were planning to vote for Obama but of those who weren’t, the single most common reason why not was, “If he wins, they’ll just shoot him.”
Adela G. writes:
Larry G. writes: “With all this hysteria about Hillary’s comment, we should remember that various figures on the left have repeatedly hinted at—and even called for—the assassination of President Bush. Somehow that wasn’t considered unutterable or taboo.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 23, 2008 10:24 PM | Send
Yes, and I remember the horrible death wishes that I read on liberal blogs’ comment sections when Bush’s press secretary, Tony Snow, announced he had cancer. One such blog had to close its comments section because conservative blogs were linking to it as an example of how hateful the left can be.