Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hillary: Strength Through Defeat

Last night on Jim Braude's NECN TV show, I stunned the host by saying that winning South Carolina was going to kill Barack Obama's presidential bid.

"Maybe he should lose instead, that would really fool 'em!" Braude quipped--a pretty good line. But it misses the point.

Dick Morris (full disclosure: I've done TV shows with him, and I think he's one of the most vile human beings in American politics) gets it. He should. This is, after all, gutter politics right out of his playbook.

Morris's latest column sums up the brilliant-if-repulsive campaign strategy of the Clintons, and how they have turned South Carolina into their Venus Fly Trap. The Obama campaign will fly in, breathe deep the sweet smell of electoral success, and then never escape.

In fact, it is possible Sen. Obama won't win a single state after South Carolina. He could even lose his home state of Illinois. Why?

makes my argument this way:

If Hillary loses South Carolina and the defeat serves to demonstrate Obama’s ability to attract a bloc vote among black Democrats, the message will go out loud and clear to white voters that this is a racial fight. It’s one thing for polls to show, as they now do, that Obama beats Hillary among African-Americans by better than 4-to-1 and Hillary carries whites by almost 2-to-1. But most people don’t read the fine print on the polls. But if blacks deliver South Carolina to Obama, everybody will know that they are bloc-voting. That will trigger a massive white backlash against Obama and will drive white voters to Hillary Clinton.

No matter what happens in South Carolina--even if Sen. Obama wins a plurality among white voters there--the Clintons and their media stooges have turned South Carolina into "the black primary." In fact, the bigger his win, the more it reinforces the campaign-killing message that Barack Obama is "their" candidate--you know, "them black folks?"

It's cynicism at its lowest, it is utterly shameful, and virtually every "Bush is Hitler!" liberal will go along. Bill and Hillary will pay no political price among liberals and Democrats for what they have done. She will still get 90%+ of the black vote in November, and Bill Clinton will be greeted like a rock star in Harlem.

Who to blame? Obviously the cretinous Clintons--but nobody ever blames them for anything. After that, the blame must go to black voters as a whole. As long as the overwhelming majority of black Americans allow their votes to be taken for granted by the Democrats--as long as they commit 90% of their votes to one party, no questions asked--then why shouldn't the Clinton's play the race card? What's the downside for them?

There is no reason at all why black Americans couldn't vote for John McCain or Mitt Romney. Their politics are not in any way shaped by antagonism towards black Americans. There's not even the stain of the so-called "Southern Strategy."

But the Clintons know that the vast majority of black voters in 2008 simply won't consider voting for the Republican nominee, no matter who it is. So they shamelessly slap around Sen. Obama, turn South Carolina into a race-based political trap, and then start counting the black votes they know they're still going to get in November.