Puzzled

Can anybody explain to me why there is such a flap about Hillary Clinton’s mention of the RFK assassination? It makes no sense to me whatsoever, even taking into consideration that taking offense is the new national pastime. I’m no fan of Mrs. Clinton, but this seems ridiculous.

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12 Comments

  1. the one eyed man says

    I think the public distrust of Hillary is so great that people assumed that her message was a code for “nominate me or Obama gets assassinated.”

    Kind of like the old National Lampoon cover: buy this magazine or we’ll shoot this dog. (I remember a rumor from that time that they did shoot the dog.)

    I think there is a reasonable fear that some nutjob will take a shot at the first black man to run for President, and giving a media focus to this would encourage it. I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. If she really wanted to get that message across, she wouldn’t have chosen an obscure newspaper in South Dakota to do it. She also wouldn’t do it a few days after the news about Ted Kennedy. Any human being under non-stop surveillance by the press whose every word is subject to Jesuitical analysis is bound to say things which can be taken out of context or which are simply dumb.

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    But how could the American people believe something so preposterous?

    Oh, wait a minute…

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  3. the one eyed man says

    I don’t dispute that she’s had enough howlers for people to assume the worst. However, in this instance, I don’t think the knee-jerk reaction is the correct one.

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  4. anonymous X man crazy loon job says

    Isn’t it because Kennedy was a catholic… Similarly, Obama is half black from Hawai’i?

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  5. Knowing the capacity for violence that the KKK has in deep reserve;(and that they maintain real strength in our country)… I have no doubt that they plan to kill Mr. Obama at their first chance.

    That Hillary aludes to it was not subtle nor obtuse. It is a recognition of the right-wing’s extremists propensity to do violence against those who represent “the other” … which is just about everyone but themselves…

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Oh, pooh. Pat. Left-wing extremists are just as happy to do violence when it suits them. The point is fanaticism and zealotry, not right or left.

    Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  7. Duncan says

    However, Malcolm, in the US most violence historically has come from the Right. And from the middle, for that matter: fanaticism and zealotry are *not* behind a great deal of state violence. Relatively little has come from the left, though of course in other countries the balance may be different. (Though I must say, from what I’ve seen on this blog so far you have a rather odd notion, as many Americans do, about “left” and “right.” I’m thinking of the remark you made about “left-wing feminists” trying to pass laws against pornography. Most of the antiporn feminists I know of have not been what I’d call leftists, and it should be borne in mind that MacKinnon and Dworkin’s model antiporn ordinance was passed in Minneapolis and Indianapolis by the Christian right.)

    Given Mike Huckabee’s joking before the NRA about Obama trying to duck an assassin’s bullet, which I believe he also took flak for, and the reports I’ve seen online of right-wing talk radio hosts boosting the idea of killing Obama, I don’t think it’s idle or paranoid to worry about his safety, especially if he gets elected. (I disagree with Pat that the Klan is a major threat nowadays — the Christian and racist right are more dangerous.) Hillary Clinton’s remark was tactless, like many she’s made, such as her appeal to hard-working white voters, but I agree with Obama that it’s nothing to get worked up about.

    Posted May 25, 2008 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  8. Pete,
    The Christian/racist right is what the KKK has morphed into – they put on suits and have their “leaderless” cells -seldom don the sheets and look to angry ill-educated youth to do their dirty work…

    (The sheet thing was just too uncool for today’s youth… so racist t-shirts and tatoos are the new symbols)…but the leadership of these newer neo-nazi movements are still the old clansmen of yore, gone underground and awaiting victims/targets as they are able.

    They are no longer filling the streets of DC with multitudes as they did a several decades ago, but there are bigoted and vicious thugs amongst us, cowardly yes but pretty numerous.

    I wish I were wrong in this assessment Pete, I hope that you will one day be right in this view, but I know better. The neo-fascists are just laying low for the most part, fans of the new warlike Arabs, and united in their hatred of Jews…

    Posted May 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    Hi Duncan,

    Yes, certain causes — and the crusade against pornography is an oft-cited example — make strange bedfellows. Certainly you would agree that Dworkin and McKinnon are hardly right-wing figures, even if they found allies on that side of the aisle. I don’t for a moment imagine that many conservatives, for example, would view marriage as rape.

    So how would you characterize the meaning of “left” and “right”, if mine strikes you as odd?

    Posted May 25, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    Pat, I think that was Duncan you were responding to about the KKK, not Peter. And I think you will find there is more support for Israel these days amongst the religious right than the secular Left, though certainly not including the Klan.

    Posted May 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  11. No Doubt that the (far) religious right has the end of days thing going on with their notion of Israel… A warped perspective in my view. Even the interpretation of the word armagedon (sp?) means revelation not distruction to me… But the whole us vs them view of the world holds true for many of us on left and right…

    In fact I left the New Jersey Green Party due to their disparaging of the JDL over a policy of don’t ask don’t tell for gays…I tend to think of the JDL as being on my side and more able to protect my interests (life & limb) than the NJGP ever could…

    We may each choose sides that rankle those we combine with on various other topics worth arguing over…

    Still, for my way of thinking, an open mind has many advantages in life that the narrow minded will never get to see… Peace is still what I hope (if not pray) for.

    Posted May 27, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  12. Malcolm says

    I’d rather have the JDL on my side in a scrap than the New Jersey Green Party, that’s for sure.

    We subtle-minded humans do indeed form associations and alliances not monolithically, but with different collections of people along different axes, according to different sorts of interests (you might feel aligned with Jews, with stamp-collectors, with political conservatives, with Yankee fans, etc.).

    David Sloan Wilson has made good use of this insight in his group-selection paradigm; evolutionary theorists refer to it as a “trait group

    Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:32 pm | Permalink