The stench that political campaigns leave behind
is difficult to get rid of!
by Charlie Leck
For the last couple of months, I've been carrying around a simmering rage about the way Hillary and Bill Clinton have allowed their primary campaign to be conducted. It stinks! And, the smell it leaves behind will not go easily away.
I've struggled with a way to explain this rage and get it on paper for you. I've thrown away at least a dozen drafts – pulled the genesis of several out of the typewriter so forcefully that the roller spun for moments. I crumpled them up and tossed them fiercely in the wastebasket.
Then, this week, one of the keenest thinkers of our time explained it all in his blog. Stanley Fish (Think Again), titled his blog Much Ado. Clearly, and he knew it, the mind concludes that title automatically… About Nothing!
To begin the piece, Fish reminds us about McCarthyism and Swiftboating and defines them for us. He calls swiftboating "the smear campaign mounted with the intention not of documenting a wrong, but of covering the victim with slime enough to cast doubt on his or her integrity."
What happens when you combine McCarthyism and Swiftboating? That is what Hillary and Bill did in attacking Barack Obama for his "association" with William Ayers. Such utter, stupid, ignorant and dirty nonsense!
"Now, in 2008, after a primary season increasingly marked by dirty pool and low blows, "McCarthyism" and "Swiftboating" have come together in a particularly lethal and despicable form. I refer to the startling revelation — proclaimed from the housetops by both the Clinton and McCain campaigns — that Barack Obama ate dinner at William Ayers's house, served with him on a board and was the honored guest at a reception he organized." [Stanley Fish, Much Ado]
Fish's blog, which ridicules both John McCain and the Clintons for their ludicrous attack on Barack Obama over this relationship, is absolutely spot-on and required reading for those of us who need to know how to differentiate issues of reality in politics from those of total nonsense. I could rephrase it, paraphrase it, or plagiarize it all right here, right now, but I won't. Instead, I'll virtually beg you to go and read this outstanding and important blog. Please go read Stan Fish's blog, Much Ado.
It will explain this rage I have for American politics.