Saturday, November 2, 2019

Clinton Smears Gabbard as Republican and Russian Stooge

Recently, former Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton slithered out of hiding to accuse current Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of being a favorite of the Russians and of being groomed by the Russians. Clinton also said that former Presidential candidate Jill Stein was a Russian asset. 

The relevant quotes are below. Clinton later said she was misunderstood and that she meant the Republicans, not the Russians, were grooming Gabbard. She didn't make any corrections on her accusations about Jill Stein. 

Clinton: "Well, I think there's going to be two parts and I think it's going to be the same as 2016: ..

"They're also going to do third party again. And I'm not making any predictions but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third party candidate. She's the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far, and that's assuming Jill Stein will give it up. Which she might not, 'cause she's also a Russian asset."

Plouffe: (Inaudible)

Clinton: "Yeah, she's a Russian asset, I mean, totally. "And so, they know they can't win without a third party candidate and, so, I don't know who it's going to be it but I will guarantee you they'll have a vigorous third party challenge in the key states that they most need it."

Apparently it still burns Hilary Clinton that she was not elected President of the United States. I can sympathize with not getting something you really wanted. It hurts, especially if you think the person who did get it cheated or otherwise got it unfairly. But that's a personal problem. It doesn't give Clinton or any one else the right to smear other political competitors as Russian agents. Doing so without even a scintilla of evidence is pretty despicable, as Gabbard made clear in her response.

There are a few things to remember here. One, neither Clinton nor her twitter horde of screaming winged monkeys provided any evidence or proof that Gabbard or Stein were being groomed by Republicans, Russians or any other group.

Clinton provided no evidence that either woman was a Russian asset. If you're going to make an accusation you must provide proof so that everyone hearing the accusation can weigh the evidence. Spittle flecked accusations, snark, sarcasm, or snideness are not, in and of themselves, proof of anything. This should be a pretty basic concept for anyone born after the Salem Witch Trials.

Two, McCarthyism (Clintonism?) is wrong. If it was wrong for Joe McCarthy to slander political opponents as Russian agents, then it is wrong for Clinton to do so as well. There is a long history in this country of political elites trying to discredit opponents and limit the bounds of acceptable political discourse by making ad hominem attacks on dissenters. The quintessential American example of this was with the Black Civil Rights movement from the 1920s to the 1980s and beyond. 

Every notable Black person to the left of Booker T. Washington was accused by the establishment of being a Communist, Socialist, or Anti-Semite, regardless of whether they were or weren't. Some people so accused were so desperate to prove their anti-Communist bona fides that they became informers on Black freedom fighters. Shamefully this included luminaries such as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

I'm not saying that Gabbard or Stein are great people and everyone must say so. It's certainly fair to disagree with them, mock or tear apart their political positions, and point out where they are just wrong.

I am saying that Clinton is using the same ugly tactics historically preferred by right-wingers. That is, avoid any factual discussion about your political positions but instead smear your opponent as a n*****-lover/Commie or today a sexist or Russian agent. That kind of thought process is death to critical thinking skills. It leaves you vulnerable to doing things like, for instance, losing winnable Presidential elections and not understanding why.

Three, Gabbard and Clinton have personal history because Clinton is apparently still upset about Gabbard's 2016 resignation from the DNC to endorse Bernie Sanders. I believe that  event is the relevant fact as to why Clinton smeared someone who will almost certainly not be the next Democratic nominee for President. 

Likely, Clinton wants to kneecap Gabbard's political career because of what she sees as disloyalty. That's fine I guess. As the saying goes, politics ain't beanbag. But there is hardball and there is deliberately trying to kick someone below the belt. And smearing everyone who disagrees with you as Russian or Republican agents, assets, or stooges is the latter. Disgusting. Narcissistic. Wrong.
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