MURRAY (3/13/07): McCain's reversal has been almost as dramatic as Clinton's. In a 1999 Des Moines debate, the senator bluntly said: "Ethanol is not worth it. It does not help the consumer. Those ethanol subsidies should be phased out."Those are paragraphs 11 and 12 (of 23) —and they comprise Murrays only mention of McCain. The rest of the piece is All About Clinton —all about her dramatic reversal. For the record, Murray doesnt seem to have interviewed Clinton (or any spokesman) about the reasons for her reversal; he only quotes from the public record, and he quotes a bit selectively. Meanwhile, what should we think about her reversal? Murray offers some help early on —straight from the RNC:
Campaigning in Iowa last month, where he is trailing GOP candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, McCain told voters: "We need energy independence. We need it for a whole variety of reasons, and obviously ethanol is a big part of that equation."
MURRAY (pghs 1-3): What's the closest thing in politics to a religious experience? The ethanol conversion.Huh! Hillary Clinton is calculating, the RNC helpfully said! Murray, a helpful fellow himself, made sure that Post readers got that hint at the start of his helpful news report.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) experienced one in May of last year. Long opposed to federal support for the corn-based biofuel, she reversed herself and endorsed even bigger ethanol incentives than she previously voted against. Now running for president, Clinton is promoting a $50 billion strategic energy fund, laden with more ethanol perks.
Political opponents depict Clinton's about-face as pandering to Iowa Democrats, who will cast the first votes of the 2008 nominating season. When the senator made her first trip to Iowa in January, the Republican National Committee circulated a synopsis of her ethanol record, awash with "no" votes. "A Calculating Clinton Flips on Ethanol to Score a Run with Iowa Voters," the headline read.
NOTHING TO LOOK AT: Murray goes into chapter and verse, citing the votes that Clinton cast before her dramatic reversal. But when did McCain make his reversal? How did he vote on those same measures? Funny —the Post has never told us! On April 14, 2006, Dan Balz was still reporting the following, during a McCain trip to Iowa: McCain found a way to speak positively about ethanol, despite his continued opposition to the subsidies that support it. Four months later, the Posts Glenn Frankel reported this —halfway through an 7000-word magazine profile of McCain:
FRANKEL (8/27/06): McCain emphasizes his solid conservative voting record —he's antiabortion, anti-gun control, pro-death penalty, and he favors cutting back the size and reach of the federal government, with the vehement exception of the Pentagon. He has switched his stand on ethanol, which he once derided as a boondoggle but now says makes sense, given the fact that gasoline exceeds $3 a gallon. He has voted to extend tax cuts that he once opposed. All of this is either called pandering or bridge-building, depending on your point of view.The reversal had occurred! But all it got was that one sentence, halfway through an endless profile! Today, Clintons reversal gets the full monty. And a saint —a saint who also evolved —rates a meager two paragraphs.
But then, this is the way these evil people have mocked your democracy for the past fifteen years. And your liberal leaders, to this day, politely refuse to discuss this. They love to talk about OReilly —about a right-wing noise machine. In so doing, theyre leaving you ripe for the slaughter —unsure who to fight. The War Party may win again yet.
WE TAKE A FEW GUESSES: Endlessly, Clinton is being treated this way by the mainstream noise machine. Like the RNC, they love to tell us how calculating she is —while absent-mindedly forgetting to extent the analysis to others. Well offer a couple of guesses:
First guess: We have no idea about Murrays motives, if any. (Though we might as well say it. Good God. We Irish!) But well offer this guess about the RNC. They are currently working to take out Clinton because they think shed be the toughest to beat in the general election.But make no mistake —all around us, a mainstream noise machine is peddling attacks against Candidate Clinton. Last night, they made us think of a lost, foreign world —a world which has grown over here.
Second guess: Well guess that they think Obama is easy —that they could make him a second Dukakis fairly easily if he gets the nod. (None of this is an attempt on our part to state these candidates merits.)
Third guess: Well guess that many in the net roots are willing to let Clinton be treated this way. Well guess that these wizened souls think this: Well be able to rise up and stop the machine when Obama or Edwards is nominated. Well guess that such thinking is very foolish, if such thinking exists.
NOVAK (3/8/07): Denis Collins, a Washington journalist on the Scooter Libby jury, described sentiments in the jury room reflecting those in the Senate Democratic cloakroom: "It was said a number of times. . . .Where's Rove? Where are these other guys?" Besides presidential adviser Karl Rove, he surely meant Vice President Cheney and maybe President Bush. Oddly, the jurors appeared uninterested in hearing from Richard Armitage, the source of the CIA leak. [Novaks deletion]Collins had looked for these others guys. Somehow, Novak knew that meant Cheney and Bush —and that it didnt mean Armitage. But uh-oh! On Sunday, Collins extended his fifteen minutes, writing a piece for the Post Outlook section. Who had the jurors wanted to see? Here he is, in his own words:
COLLINS (3/11/07): One juror opened things up by declaring, "I think they're lying. Every one of them." A few others were frustrated that we had only Libby to consider. We knew from testimony that Armitage and Karl Rove were the first ones to divulge Plame's name and occupation to reporters. One juror asked, "Where are Rove and Armitage? Weren't they the ones who leaked it first?" That remark was answered with "Amen." Another juror said that Libby took the hit for Cheney, his former boss. But we kept reminding one another that we had been tasked with deciding only Libby's guilt or innocence.When Collins gave his first-person account, the first other guy he mentioned was Armitage. And no, he never mentioned Bush. But then, Novaks column was always pure bull-sh*t —a blatant attempt to pimp a preferred script. Bob Novak had typed the bull-sh*t up. And Fred Hiatt put the bull-sh*t in print.
CARLSON (3/12/07): But first, another poignant development in the Hillary Clinton for president campaign. Earlier this month, Clinton gave a speech to a primarily black audience in Selma, Alabama, in which she recounted that while a high school student back in 1963, she strongly supported Martin Luther King.The hand-picked boy got his Stasi-points in. Hillary Clinton doesnt know who she is! The line comes straight from the mainstream press corps War Against Gore —the two-year war we idiot liberals still havent told the public about. But then, Novaks key point had also come straight from that mainstream press corps war. Clinton is reinventing her past, Novak said. Yep! Thats from the War on Gore too.
It sounds good, except that as Bob Novak points out in a column this morning, Hillary Clinton wrote in her own memoirs that she supported Barry Goldwater for president the following year. It wouldnt have been unreasonable to support Martin Luther King in 1963, and it wouldnt have been unreasonable to support Barry Goldwater in 1964. But both of them at the same time? That doesnt make sense.
In fact, Goldwater was one of the few Republicans, one of six to join segregationist Democrats in opposing the 64 Voting Rights Act, which was, of course, inspired and championed by Martin Luther King himself. Backing both King and Goldwater is a little like campaigning for both Kerry and Bush. Or, for that matter, Hillary and Giuliani.
Its like smoking pot but not inhaling. In other words, its phony, and its also insulting in the way that inept pandering always is insulting.
More than anything, its sad. Heres a person who wants to be president, wants it badly, but doesnt even know who she is, or worse, doesnt want to tell us who she is.
GEIST: Finally, Tucker, you really have to give it to Al Gore for shooting high. First, he set out to save the planet, now he says he is ready to save democracy. And thank goodness. The former vice-president was in Great Britain today, in part to promote his interactive television channel, Current TV. He says his channel democratizes the medium, that is controlled by a few media moguls and their points of view.Maybe they should be shooting higher? Try to make an ounce of sense out of Geists account of what Gore said. And that was only the start for these losers! These stupid boys went straight from Geists impossibly stupid paraphrase to worried thoughts about Gores troubling hair. Maybe they should be shooting higher? If these boys went on the air and read a bus schedule, theyd be raising the level of their work. If they auditioned for Beavis and Butthead, theyd be sent home as too dumb.
Gore went on to compare himself to Johann Gutenberg, saying, quote, Before the printing press, if you wanted to be a writer, you had to be a monk. Modern democracy really came about in the wake of that communications revolution. Next, Tucker, he will turn water into wine.
CARLSON: You know what, I would not count him out. Judging what he has done to his hair —somehow, he regained huge amounts of hair in just the last three years —maybe he is capable of miracles.
GEIST: I think Doctor Bosly and his hair plugs are the miracle worker in that case, but apparently MSNBC, we are aiming a little too low. We`re not saving democracy. We`re just targeting younger viewers. Maybe we should be shooting higher.
OLBERMANN (3/12/07): Senator Clinton compared the historic importance of the first female president possibility to the historic importance of the first Catholic president and is then accused in a place like the New York Post of saying that she thought she was the JFK of 2008. Is there some journalistic hypocrisy there? Or am I reading too much into that?Good boy! He complained about the New York Post, ignoring the fact that Clinton had been savaged for this same transgression on his own station, just two hours earlier. (David Gregory had also worriedly brought up Clintons statement, guest hosting on Hardball one hour earlier.) But thats Keith! Hell always say that the problem is Mr. O —and the New York Post.
MILBANK: I never believed a Murdoch publication capable of hypocrisy.
OLBERMANN: Or of journalism.
Hes paid (a lot!) to be a good boy. And he knows where all the bright lines are. By the way, dont expect him to tell you about Milbanks Post. You see, the Washington Post is Keiths corporate partner. The partnership pays the bills for those spring training trips —and you others can all go to hell.
TOMORROW: A Tale of Two Speeches, Part 4.