Monday, April 21, 2008

Oh yeah, there's a general election too (or, how the Grand Old Partiers regard the Moore-Clinton battle)

So far, there has been one thing that has unified the McCain supporters and the Obama supporters.

Hillary Clinton.

The baby seal clubbers are convinced that she's a Communist, the Communists are convinced that she's a baby seal clubber, and all of them are convinced that she's a crooked sleazy hack.

But something just happened that will certainly remind everyone that there's a general election to be held after the Democratic convention.

Sharon Cobb reports that Michael Moore has endorsed Barack Obama. Here's part of what Moore said in his April 21st letter:

I haven't spoken publicly 'til now as to who I would vote for, primarily for two reasons: 1) Who cares?; and 2) I (and most people I know) don't give a rat's ass whose name is on the ballot in November, as long as there's a picture of JFK and FDR riding a donkey at the top of the ballot, and the word "Democratic" next to the candidate's name.

Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.

Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does -- AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!

This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!

Yes, Senator Clinton, that's how you sounded. Like you were nuts. Like you were a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity. How sad that I would ever have to write those words about you.

Once I read that, I suspected that the conservative end of the spectrum would remember that its job wasn't done when Hillary Clinton crashed and burned.

I was right. Here's what Tim Blair said:

Michael Moore - who supported Ralph Nader in 2000 (then later claimed to have been a Gore Democrat) and backed Wesley Clark in 2004 - now urges his remaining fans to vote for Obama....

The slender - and ominously cashed up - Arugulan American and Big Mac Mikey; they’re an odd duo. Then again, Maximum Mike earns that description all by himself, which may explain why he requests two votes.

And in response to Moore calling Clinton "disgusting," Blair replied:

Disgusting? She’s still got a way to go before matching Much Moore. It’s too bad Democrats don’t have the option of voting for Chelsea Clinton....

And Political Forum notes (in response to an "Uncle Tom" comment by Moore):

But notice all the harping on race. So much for the post racial candidate. And did you ever think anyone could make Mrs. Clinton seem more attractive?

But let me dig into one thing Moore said in his letter:

I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"

But no, Obama won't throw that at her. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be decent. She's been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.

Now I figured it would be wise to fact check this one. I remember Tony Campolo going to the White House, but I didn't recall anyone else. But The Truth About Trinity United Church of Christ has a picture of Reverend Wright at an event with then-President Bill Clinton. Now you can see from the picture that Wright and Clinton are in the midst of a crowd, and it's extremely doubtful that even Bill Clinton would engage in "spiritual counseling" in such a large crowd. However, Doc Strangelove noted that Hillary Clinton was apparently present at the same time, which certainly makes her 2008 comments interesting:

"He would not have been my pastor," Clinton said. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."

So perhaps Moore is exaggerating when he claims that Wright was a spiritual counselor to Bill Clinton, but Bill and Hillary obviously let Wright in the door.

But that may not be enough. As early as July 2007, MSNBC noted the name that got Republicans' blood boiling - and it wasn't Clinton.

Want to stir up GOP voters? Just say the names Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards. But lately, Republican presidential candidates have turned to someone who isn't even a politician (past or present) to fire up their supporters: filmmaker Michael Moore.

Just today, the Giuliani campaign sent out a research document comparing Hillary Clinton's statements on health care with Michael Moore's -- in his new documentary, "Sicko." The headline on the document: "Bad Medicine: It's enough to make you Sicko." And it includes this quote from Giuliani (via last night's Sean Hannity Show): “[M]ichael Moore and Hillary Clinton want to make our [health care] system like the systems nobody goes to ...”

So, from a conservative's perspective, the fight between Clinton and Moore is like a fight between Tweedledum and Tweedledummer.

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