Monday, June 11, 2012

I love a good conspiracy theory. . .

. . . and Thomas Lifson has a good one at The American Thinker. He's positing that the Clintons and their allies are trying to force Barack Obama to pull an LBJ and get out of the race:
It's already leaking into the smarter corners of the media world: Obama is killing the Democratic Party.  The tipping point is here.

This, not coincidence, is why several brainy Democrats, including Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Ed Rendell, and Lanny Davis, have been providing sound bites that can be used by the Romney campaign to destroy the effectiveness of Obama's attacks on Mitt Romney.  The biggest damage has been done by Bill Clinton, whose barrage includes providing the title for the current number-one bestseller about Obama, Ed Klein's The Amateur, calling Mitt Romney's business track record at Bain "sterling," and stating that the Bush tax rates should not be increased, disagreeing with Obama.
I have wondered about this, but the problem with all conspiracy theories is that it's damn near impossible to keep everyone on the same page, even in a small group, so coordinating something like a campaign to get rid of a sitting president would be almost unimaginable. Still, Lifson makes some really interesting observations:
It would have to be a covert op.  No Democrat who ever wants to carry a black precinct can be seen as slipping in the stiletto.  It has to have the appearance of Obama voluntarily announcing that he will not be a candidate for re-election.  Just as LBJ did on March 31, 1968.  For the good of the country, his family, maybe his for his health.  His medical records have never been released, after all.
Ah, the medical records thang. But wait, there's more:
It has to be a multi-phase, multi-front strategy.  Right now, we are in the softening up phase.  The highly public defection of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, calling the attacks on Bain "nauseating," certainly got Obama's attention.  So much so that enough pressure was exerted on the mayor that he issued a self-repudiation video that might as well have had the mayor blinking S-O-S in Morse code.  Follow this with respected people and allies like Deval Patrick, and Hillary enthusiasts Ed Rendell and Bob Shrum, and most of all employ the biggest gun of all, Bill Clinton.  The denials and clarifications don't matter at all.  The message to Obama is unmistakable: it is war.  We don't have your back.

Senator Dianne Feinstein truly cares about national security.  But I also know that she can read the handwriting on the wall.  Last week, she came out and made the leaking of national security information into a scandal with bipartisan support for an inquiry.  This is criminal behavior.  She is far from the only powerful Democrat who sees the wisdom of disentangling herself from the Obama disaster.
And at this point Lifson is just getting warmed up:
The signal also has been received by the mainstream media allies of the Clintons.  Many of them are already fed up with the high-handedness, venality, incompetence, and amateurishness of the Obama crowd.  But now that they see that it is okay to notice when the emperor has no clothes, they can breathe the intoxicating air of honesty and start to include some of the obvious warts on the idealized image.  Obama is starting to realize that his media invisible shield is starting to fall apart.

All of these factors paint a bleak picture for the Obama campaign's prospects, but unless there is a smoking gun about the national security leaks, nothing that would actually force a narcissist to put the interests of party and country ahead of his own.  So there may be something else, something which Obama fears so deeply that he would see his own interests best served by withdrawing from his re-election bid.
So how is it gonna go down?
We do not know what the operative issue would be, but we do know that Barack Obama is an international man of mystery, and that he has gone to great lengths to hide his documentary record.  There is on the record his claim of Kenyan birth to his literary agency.  It may well be that he was born in Hawaii, but used a claim to Kenyan or Indonesian nationality to gain scholarships and admission advantages at the series of elite and expensive schools he attended, starting with Punahou, the St. Grottelsex of the mid-Pacific.

Perhaps by coincidence, last week Stanley Kurtz was able to write about newly revealed evidence that in 2008 the Obama campaign lied about his membership in the radical socialist New Party.  I have no knowledge of the specific circumstances of the document in question becoming available, but I would note that the offices of the federal bureaucracy, state and local bureaucracies, academic bureaucracies, and nonprofit bureaucracies are largely staffed with lifelong liberals, who were Democrats before the Obama craze hit the party, and who want the party to survive, and who may even be a little nostalgic for a president with the last name Clinton.

So, hypothetically, if someone in one of these bureaucracies happened to notice a document that proved something embarrassing about Obama, something that exposed a serious biographical lie, serious enough to put him out of the running, she might consider it worthwhile letting others know.  Word gets around.

The New Party membership documentation might well be a warning shot.
But what's the endgame?

But what about Hillary, you may be asking.  Look at her hair!  She's given up.

If you imagine that the secretary of state is so weary that she lacks the energy to do her own hair, you do not understand the realities of her life.  She has staff who do all the mundane tasks at her convenience, to her specifications.  Or else.  Her current down-and-out look is just another hairstyle, one calculated to provide political cover.  Hillary knows that she will need the black vote once she heads the ticket, so she absolutely cannot be seen as scheming to bring about the sudden surprise announcement from President Obama that her allies are greasing the skids for right now.  The worse she looks, the more convincing will be her "surprise," the more sincere her willingness to step forward and save America from a disastrous Romney presidency.
Ah, it's the trick hair! But why would the Clintons play such a dangerous game? Our man Lifson has the answer:

If you imagine that Barack Obama's playing of the race card against the Clintons in the 2008 South Carolina primary battle has been forgiven or forgotten, you do not understand Bill Clinton.  As a Southern liberal, a big part of his personal identity is wrapped up in his anti-racism.  Not just his political posture -- his sense of his own self-worth is linked to his crusade to overcome the legacy of racism.  It is one of the ways he excuses the cruder aspects of his life choices.  His racial virtue justifies his life.

Bill Clinton, for all his bonhomie in public, is a bitter man -- first for his impeachment, and second for the humiliation he and his partner were dealt by the Obama forces in 2008.  A man prone to purple rages in private, following his heart surgery, he may be taking his revenge slowly, a moderate blood pressure, as it were, smiling when walking back the latest diss.
Maybe all this is true. I'm reasonably certain that the Clintons harbor lingering frustrations about the way the Obama campaign comported itself in 2008. But trying to torpedo a sitting president? I kinda doubt it.

What makes a conspiracy theory good is that it has to be plausible. And in this case, there are plausible elements. The Clintons are smart enough to realize that disaster could be imminent, especially in the financial markets. The Eurozone is going down and it's likely that Obamacare is going down, too. I think the statute of limitations has run on blaming George W. Bush for what is happening in 2012. The president doesn't have much else to run on, so things could get grim for the Democrats soon. And if the Obama administration is the face of the Democratic Party, it could have repercussions way down the ticket.

But while I enjoy conspiracy theories, I strongly prefer Occam's Razor. And in this case, the explanation is simple -- the Clintons and their allies have concluded that Obama doesn't have his act together and they're not willing to take marching orders from his campaign. They don't have to be at war with Obama, but they can certainly keep their distance.

If Romney wins, he's going to accept a bit of a poisoned chalice. It won't be easy sledding for anyone in the next four years. If things go badly, the Clintons may be back in 2016.

In any event, one thing is clear. Getcha popcorn. It's going to be a very interesting election.


Brian said...

Well it works as satire. A mildly racist and sexist one at that.

Night Writer said...

Hillary as the latest non-Romney? And who needs primaries, anyway?

It's a bit late in the game but it could be just the right amount of time to inspire a sense of relief and hope while attracting the independents back to the fold, but not enough time for the hard-questions and hard-thinking to ruin the moment. I'd guess the daily Rasmussen polls would show a 60% preference for HRC over Romney, and there might not be enough time for the numbers to fall.

It's not a stretch to think that the Obamas consider HRC a threat. The contentious primary, the PUMAs, followed by the "unity" olive branch of appointment of Secretary of State, followed by perhaps the most invisible SoS role in my memory, suggests an effort to neutralize her. There was a big diplomatice deal a couple of years ago - I can't quite remember what - but what stuck in my memory was that HRC was dispatched to Africa for warm fuzzies while the "men" - including her husband, IIRC - handled the main event.

For an interesting read, google the "Still4Hill" blog for a snapshot of how over-the-top at least one blogger is.

Mr. D said...

A mildly racist and sexist one at that.

How so?

Brian said...

I did say *mildly*...

"Look at her hair! She's given up."

Nobody says this about male politicians.

And I'm of the opinion (just my opinion) that some folks will simply find any excuse to mention "Obama" and "Kenya" (or "Indonesia") in the same sentence, just to rile up low-information voters in the corners of the country where that sort of thing really does seem to matter. Dog whistles, etc.

Mr. D said...

Nobody says this about male politicians.

They might have said it about this guy.

And I'm of the opinion (just my opinion) that some folks will simply find any excuse to mention "Obama" and "Kenya" (or "Indonesia") in the same sentence, just to rile up low-information voters in the corners of the country where that sort of thing really does seem to matter. Dog whistles, etc.

Yes, but that's not the point Lifson is making. The more interesting question isn't where Obama was born, but rather if he claimed he was born elsewhere, at different times in his life, to gain advantage from it. I personally have no doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, but it's evident that, at least in one instance, he was being marketed as a Kenyan by his publishing house. If it were to come out that he also claimed foreign birth on college applications to gain financial advantages, it would be an interesting story.

My opinion is that the story is less about Obama than it is about the Praetorian Guard that surrounded him in 2008. And it's also about the second chapter of the story, which is that the Praetorian Guard seems to be disappearing in this election cycle.

Mr. D said...

By the way, thanks for sharing the link, Brian, which self-negates itself at the end with this:

In 2008, Mr. Obama rode an unusually strong tail wind. The economy was collapsing. The Iraq war was unpopular. Republicans took most of the blame. He was able to overcome the major obstacle of continuing racial prejudice in the United States. In 2012, the tail wind is gone; the obstacle likely remains.

In other words, racists are racists, but now Obama has a record which he either he can or cannot defend. And that's really the change in this election cycle. If the economy had improved appreciably since 2009, all the dog whistles in the world wouldn't mean a thing.

Gino said...

i'll go with occam's razor, as well.

the clintonista crowd never liked obama in the first place, and now is a good time to stop pretending that they do.

survival of the party is bullshit. the clintons used the party as a tool. its survival means nothing to them any further than it could be of benefit.

he's an ex-president. that alone carries enough benefit. tying himself to party survival would be a diminishment.

CousinDan 54915 said...

I have given up on my hair too, Mr. D.

Gino said...

oh, and Brian's limk totally ignores the idea of the higher than average turnout among blacks that also resulted in the higher than average vote %.

racism: its there, but its bigger on the pro-black side.

not polite to state this, but it is what it is. blacks are racist too.