“The Audacity of Hopelessness”

For those who haven’t already seen it, read Frank Rich’s editorial from Sunday’s New York Times, examining the Clinton campaign’s failings. It’s well worth reading.

“It’s not just that her candidacy’s central premise — the priceless value of “experience” — was fatally poisoned from the start by her still ill-explained vote to authorize the fiasco. Senator Clinton then compounded that 2002 misjudgment by pursuing a 2008 campaign strategy that uncannily mimicked the disastrous Bush Iraq war plan.”

Burn Carthage, Salt The Earth

There was some hope, at the end of the last Clinton-Obama debate. She struck what everyone considered a positive, almost valedictory tone, saying she was proud to be standing with Barack Obama, and for the first time, appeared to be addressing the possibility that she might not win this. She had been soundly rebuked by the crowd, with loud boos for her attack line that Obama was “change you can Xerox.” You could see it in her face, and she changed her tone — ending on a positive note that brought the crowd to a standing ovation.

There was some hope, that we might see a positive Clinton — recognizing what is best for the party and the country, rather than her own personal power.

So much for that.

Since that night, she’s gone right back to listening to Mark Penn, her advisor (the architect of the “Xerox” quote) —

Passing out a photo of Obama dressed in Somali Muslim clothes, playing up the “Muslim Manchurian Candidate” meme.

Accusing Obama of using Karl Rove’s playbook, for daring to point out that she supported NAFTA before she started running for President. She and her husband blatantly play the race card in South Carolina, and OBAMA is using Rove’s playbook?

Mocking Obama’s rhetorical style at a rally, mugging for the camera and saying exaggerated lines like “the sky will open, and the Light will come down…” Is this what she’s been reduced to? Insulting impressions?

There was some hope. Some hope that the Clintons had some class, and weren’t willing to engage in desperate, slash-and-burn politics simply driven by their own sense of entitlement to personal power.

Sadly, we’re seeing how it’s going to go down — and make no mistake, she will lose, and lose humiliatingly. But she’ll end up doing damage the party and the eventual nominee’s chances against McCain along the way.