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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Get Your Clinton "Debt Reduction" T-Shirt!

By Too Sense

Hillary Clinton's campaign has started offering the t-shirt below to people who donate $50 or more towards her debt-retirement efforts.

On the black shirts, a white profile of Hillary appears along with words taken from her primary victory speech in Ohio:

"For everyone who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you!"
You know, I just cannot muster up any sympathy for the debt problem facing the Clinton campaign. The vast majority of that debt was incurred after it was mathematically impossible for her to win more delegates than Obama, meaning 99% impossible for her to win the nomination. The writing was on the wall once Obama racked up those 11 straight victories (which gave him the winning margin). Hillary did not have to accumulate that debt. She had a choice. She could have...conceded. You know, gracefully, before she started re-kindling racial fires that hadn't burned within the party since about 1972 or so (when Helms switched from Dixiecrat/Nazicrat to Republican). This was a choice that she made.

The victimhood that Clinton asserted once people started calling for her to step aside was simply amazing. Here we had a candidate with depleted campaign funds, with no way to actually secure the nomination. In normal circumstances, that equation (no money + no chance) adds up to "withdrawal". But Clinton couldn't bear to do things according to the usual standards.

She claimed that people wanted her out because she was a woman, which may be true of some of her detractors, but is not true of all of them. A good many people wanted her to step aside simply because she had a clear losing hand and she was wasting time and money staying at the table and trying to up the ante. Others wanted her out because of the increasingly negative, racially-polarized campaign tactics she was using. Point being, the argument that Hillary was only asked to concede because of her gender does not withstand scrutiny. There are too many other reasons, independent of her gender, why it was a good idea for Hillary to leave the race after, say, Texas and Ohio (large-state victories that did nothing to change the fundamental delegate balance).

Of course, nothing says that Hillary had to withdraw. There was no way to force her to do so, even if all of the uncommitted super-delegates had simultaneously endorsed Obama, because nothing binds a super-delegate until the actual floor vote at the convention. So Hillary was within her rights to keep going. But the ways in which we exercise our rights matter; they have consequences. Hillary chose to continue down a path that clearly was not going to end with her as the Democratic nominee, a path that would require her campaign to go deeper and deeper into debt. Having made that independent choice, it strikes me as disingenuous for Hillary to ask the voting public to bail her out of her self-created financial predicament.

Personally, if I was asked to write a truth-in-advertising type slogan for a Clinton debt-retirement t-shirt, it would have to read along the following lines:

"For everyone too stubborn to recognize an impossible situation, and too fiscally irresponsible to stop spending money they don't have, this one is for you."
Or maybe:
"For everyone willing to destroy their own political party in a fit of pique, burning money left and right while doing so, this one is for you.".
Or perhaps:
"For everyone who has ever stayed married to a cheating sonofabitch in order to secure a shot at the Presidency, only to be denied their entitled position by some cocky upstart, this one is for you."

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