Sunday, April 27, 2008

If Hillary can't withstand Olbermann's metaphor, why should she be President?


There's understandable concern that the longer Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battle for the Democratic nomination for President, the more it will help the Republicans in the November election; the longer the tussle, the harder it becomes for the Democrats to pull their act together and present a United Front with a plan for a Better America. But it's not enough, it seems, for Democratic politicians to pile on each other, it seems that Democrat -friendly pundits have to start smacking each other around in like fashion. Salon editor Joan Walsh, a smart woman and a welcome addition to the cable news cadre of Rotating Commentators, took a vague, niggling exception to a remark made by MSNBC's Keith Olberman regarding the attempts to have a party elder meet with Hillary Clinton in private to persuade her to drop out of the campaign. Olbermann subsequently apologized for his metaphor on the air, which subsequently set off a round of comic liberal self-examination. One wonders if somebody remembers that there is an election to win.

Keith Olbermann is one of my favorites if only because he was the first anchor on cable news who didn't cave in to the talking points of The Right Wing Noise Machine and rather talked back in terms they (and his audience) understood, loudly, clearly, emphatically, and armed with documented facts and precise, exact quotes, presented in context. It's little wonder why GOP activists dislike him. He might have been harsh with Hillary Clinton, but it's not as if she hasn't merited the scrutiny; her misleading statements about her record of public service, her flip flopping on issues, and her husband's ill-advised introduction of race into the debate are matters to be parsed and critiqued. It's ridiculous to take umbrage with Olbermann's metaphor, since the outrage is nearly a parody of the hypersensitivity of certain liberal constituents whom Rush Limbaugh takes so much joy lampooning. Hillary Clinton is wants to be President of the United States, and she claims that she’s ready for the job, whatever the job takes. If Joan Walsh thinks that’s true, she should stop fretting whether Olbermann’s remark was sexist and resist the urge to make women candidates a Special Class, exempt from the rough and tumble anyone else interested in the office has to suffer.