Friday, August 26, 2016

Hillary News & Views 8.26: "This is a Moment of Reckoning."


Today’s Hillary News & Views consists solely of coverage of Clinton’s landmark speech yesterday that was, in its essence, a full frontal assault on white supremacy. It’s simply too important a moment for it to share space with anything else.

Melissa McEwan writes for Blue Nation Review:
Hillary’s transfixing speech was among the best of modern political speeches. It was not a fiery speech, although she showed flashes of welcome anger about the direction in which Trump is trying to lead this nation. Her steady, quiet delivery befitted the grave content of her message: We have a choice to make, and it is not just between two candidates, but about what we want our country to be.
This was Hillary Clinton as president. There is a threat to our nation and she gave a state address to name it, to condemn it, to tell us she’s got it, and urge us to step up to defeat it.
This is a moment of reckoning.
It is a moment of reckoning for voters, who must choose between two vastly different visions for the country.
It is a moment of reckoning for the Republican Party, who must choose whether they will limply concede the takeover of their party by white nationalists.
It is a moment of reckoning for the media, who must choose whether they will continue to mischaracterize Hillary and promulgate a grotesque caricature of her, even after she stood at a podium and delivered an important, powerful address in which she put the love of her country – and the marginalized people in it – above any pretense of reaching out (or indulging) extremists; above any sense of hesitation, as she called out the “racist lies” Trump has told and made clear how she feels about the Confederate flag; above any inclination to center herself, though she, too, has been targeted, in alarming ways, by Trump’s escalating rhetoric; above any worry about how this will be “spun,” because it was necessary.

Here’s some more coverage of the speech.

Reno Gazette Journal reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave one of her strongest rebukes against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, criticizing him for embracing radical elements of the right and basing his campaign on racism and paranoia.
“From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia,” she said. “He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.”
Clinton pointed to Trump’s non-denouncement of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, retweets of white supremacists and anti-semites and his leadership during the Birther Movement – a conspiracy theory-laden attempt to prove President Barack Obama was not born in the United States – as proof-positive of racism.
“The last thing we need in the Situation Room is a loose cannon who can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction, and who buys so easily into racially-tinged rumors,” she said. “Someone detached from reality should never be in charge of making decisions that are as real as they come.”
New York Times reports:
“He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” she said.
Asserting that a racially charged and “paranoid fringe” had always existed in politics, she said, “It’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”
Mrs. Clinton also noted that David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, was “jubilant” on his radio show recently while describing Mr. Trump.
It was the kind of formal address that Mrs. Clinton had often pursued to communicate her general election message. She also set aside specific events to sternly criticize Mr. Trump’s plans for domestic and foreign policy, and took to the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., last month — the site of Abraham Lincoln’s “house divided” speech — to appeal to the country’s better angels.
Jeff Stein writes for Vox:
It all culminated in one brutal paragraph in which Clinton managed to hit on many of the key themes of her address: "A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military."
This short passage stitched together so many of Clinton’s main attacks today against the Republican nominee — that Trump’s business career involved racial exploitation; that his worldview is rooted in racist fringe ideas; that he takes cues from wholly disreputable sources; and that all of these characteristics make him unsuited to the most important position in the United States.
It also tied together two parts of Trump — his trafficking in racism and his conspiracy theorizing — that are often discussed as distinct phenomena.
Reporters, including myself, have sometimes written about Trump’s attitudes toward racial and religious minorities as a separate problem from his willingness to imply that Ted Cruz’s father helped assassinate JFK. But one of Clinton’s key contentions today was that these elements of Trumpism are really two sides of the same coin.
The "alt-right" belief that whites are a persecuted minority, she argued, is a conspiracy theory. The idea that Muslims have to be subjected to special treatment and the wild accusation that Hillary Clinton has a secret deadly illness may have entirely different casts. But they ultimately come from the same place — and belong in the same passage.
Jamelle Bouie writes for Slate:
As analysis, Clinton’s argument about Trump’s distance from the rest of the GOP is wrong. At various points in their campaigns, those Republicans gave their winks and nods to the most toxic elements in their party. And broadly, the Republican Party has long appealed to the white racial resentment and hostility that now fuels the Trump campaign in explicit form.
As strategy, however, Clinton’s approach is shrewd. She could tie the entire GOP to Trump, but at the risk of embattling Republican voters and activating a tribal loyalty to the party. By distancing Trump from the Republican mainstream, she offers those voters another choice: You can vote for me, or if that’s too much, you can just not vote at all. Either way, Trump’s margin shrinks. And if those voters decide to abandon the polls in November, it could bolster Democrats even further as they try to take the House and Senate back from the Republican Party.
In the meantime, by highlighting Trump’s prejudiced rhetoric and his close ties to white supremacists, Clinton disrupts his attempted pivot, forcing him to litigate these questions and even provoking him and his allies into reinforcing her argument.



  1. she took the leadership position, it was on her to name the fascism behind Trump's so-called appeal, and she did it, fact-based and clear. No opinions about Trump, the opinion was 'anyone' with a long history of racial discrimination who trades in conspiracy theories... (both facts about Donald)

    She doesn't call him names or pretend she knows what he really believes, she uses his words alone. That's how it's supposed to be done, the facts lead, the other's can say. (the Brit's turned it into that joke, "YOU may say .....")

    I don't always read David Brooks, he's not Maureen Dowd, I see him as kind of the pretentious version of Kelleyanne, in that he's an apologist who floats lines of attack, but more subtly, or usually more subtly.

    Dave couches in so-called popular academia, the proud cousin of popular culture (last night Rachel looked for signifiers, Chris Hayes has referred to Lacan, everyone speaks of the Other, there are trajectories left and right) and Brooks refers to social science research that works underpin whatever he's floating.

    I read him this morning, the morning after Hillary's speech on Donald.

    And good thing I didn't have a mouthful of coffee, that's all I can say.

    Dave made the bent case that she's experienced, oh sure, but she really ought to be gracious.

    (some non-specified handling of the email questions was his proof, I guess she ought not to have laughed about them, on the Jimmy show?)

    Donald is crude, and what he says is completely indefensible, however Kellyanne tried,

    So here comes Dave, to give him pointers.

    Since Hillary is a woman, and women are expected to be gracious (hostess's? losers?) his claim is she lacks the preferred feminine characteristic.

    The part that is 'Donald' about Dave's column is that Hillary is factually gracious, so he's reversing a truth - she never rubs anyone's noses in their mistakes, she conceded to Obama in '08 with more than grace and campaigned her heart out for him.

    Grace comes from the Latin word for 'good will,' gracious is kind-hearted. That's why everyone who knows her and works with her likes her, even those across the aisle, she's nice and generous, doesn't take credit for someone else's work.

    And Grace is considered feminine, it's a girl's name. And it's motherly, the 'mother' empowers her child, not by running her down or taking advantage of her smallness and dependency, as an envious older sibling might, but by encouraging her, and pointing to her strengths, her efforts, her spirit, her all round wonderfulness.

    I am not sure how grace fits into her 'handling' of the so-called email situation, maybe David thought she ought to have made her hunters feel like they were superior and lofty, and then when there was nothing there they'd have felt less defeated? Dave doesn't explain, so it's just one of those many mysteries.

    Unless it's her wonk he has a problem with, some competition over data based? Does Dave sees himself as equally wonk but he thinks he beats her in warmhearted?

    or is it just plain sexist, when she gives the wonk speech Fascism, he thinks, but but but .. wasn't she supposed to be gracious, about it?


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