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Thursday, May 22, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor
Via CBS’ From the Road: Clinton Desperate to Count Votes, Compares Fla. Primary to Zimbabwe - From The Road
Desperate to get attention for her cause to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, Hillary Clinton compared the plight of Zimbabweans in their recent fraudulent election to the uncounted votes of Michigan and Florida voters saying it is wrong when “people go through the motions of an election only to have them discarded and disregarded.”

“We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe,” Clinton explained. “Tragically, an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people,” Clinton told the crowd of senior citizens at a retirement community in south Florida.

“So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote. It is the single most important, privilege and right any of us have, because in that ballot box we are all equal. You’re equal to a billionaire. You’re equal to the president, every single one of us.”

This is simply irresponsible and goes beyond any “tearing the party apart” attack and is the kind of thing that damages our democracy, because there will be people who will come away from this situation thinking that, in fact, the process was rigged in Obama’s favor and/or that Florida’s vote was going to count until an outside power intervened and illegitimately ignored an outcome that authorities didn’t like (i.e., the Zimbabwe comparison). This is not a healthy notion to be sewing in the minds of the citizenry. Clinton knows full well the history of the situation in Florida and Michigan and supported the decisions at the time, and now she is trying to rewrite history to serve her own narrow political interests. That is irresponsible, shameful and is the kind of thing that indicates that she isn’t fit to be the president.

Her wild flaying about for an argument to support the notion that no, she really is winning, is starting to verge into to realm of the pathetic:

In just one day, Clinton has used a variety of arguments to convince her party to seat Florida and Michigan delegates, going as far as comparing the struggles of the voters in Florida and Michigan to those of abolitionists, suffragists, to the plight of Zimbabweans. Clinton even warned that if a resolution is not reached, Democrats in these two states would feel abandoned and likely jump ship to Republican John McCain.

Jonathan Chait at TNR likewise notes:

Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric today about counting the results in Florida and Michigan is simply incredible. Her speech compares discounting the Florida and Michigan primaries to vote suppression and slavery:
She said “there’s a reason why so many have fought so hard and sacrificed so much. It’s because they knew that to be a citizen of this country is to have the right and responsibility to help shape its future. Not just to have your voice heard but to have it count. People have fought hard because they knew their vote was at stake and so was their children’s futures.

Those people, she said “refused to accept their assigned place as second-class citizens. Men and women who saw America not as it was, but as it could and should be, and committed themselves to extending the frontiers of our democracy. The abolitionists and all who fought to end slavery and ensure freedom came with the full right of citizenship. The tenacious women and a few brave men who gathered at the Seneca Falls convention back in 1848 to demand the right to vote.”

Call me crazy, but the situation with Florida and Michigan is hardly the same thing as the struggle to abolish slavery and enfranchise blacks and women.

Andrew Sullivan rightly calls the whole thing “Shameless”

She agreed that Michigan and Florida should be punished for moving up their primaries. Obama took his name off the ballot in deference to their agreement and the rules of the party. That he should now be punished for playing by the rules and she should be rewarded for skirting them is unconscionable.

Indeed.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | |

6 Comments »

  1. the kind of thing that damages our democracy

    Honestly, even though I agree that her comparisons to Zimbabwe are outrageous, I would put this rather far down the list of events in the last 8+ years that have damaged our democracy (such as it is/was).

    Comment by MSS — Thursday, May 22, 2008 @ 11:46 am

  2. HILLARY HAS BECOME MORE DISGUSTING THAN EVER AND I HOPE OBAMAS PEOPLE ARE LISTENING TO US INDEPENDENTS…. I WAS A REPUBLICAN, I ACTUALLY LEFT AND REGISTERED INDEPENDENT…. WHY … SO I COULD VOTE FOR OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT………..
    I ABSOLUTELY WOULD HAVE TO SCREAM AND VOMIT AND CONSIDER VOTING FOR MCCLAIN , IF THEY PUT HERE AS VEEP….

    JUST THE THOUGHT GIVES ME NIGHTMARES…. VINCE FOSTER IS GONE AND SO IS RON BROWN….IF SHE WERE THAT CLOSE TO THE OFFICE AGAIN, I DO NOT TRUST THESE CLINTONS…. GOD SPARE US THAT INDIGNITY AND SHAME AGAIN………. OBAMA NEEDS TO PICK A DECENT MAN OR WOMAN, NOT A LYING, BIGOTED, USER…

    Comment by LINDA — Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 12:58 am

  3. MSS:

    I didn’t say it was the worst thing that ever happened in this realm, but I really do think that this kind of thing is unhealthy.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 10:26 am

  4. And today she essentially said that she shouldn’t drop out because you never know when a leading candidate might be assassinated.

    Ready on day one, and all that, you know…

    Comment by MSS — Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  5. Dear goodness…

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  6. [...] is quite strange and part of an increasingly bizarre set of arguments as to why she not only should stay in the race, but may yet be the nominee. One begins to wonder if [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog (TM): A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » This Beats the Zimbabwe Comparison by a Mile+ — Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 8:02 pm

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