Mudslinging? The Man Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

In case you didn’t notice, my friend Chris posted his response to John Edwards being called out for mudslinging at Thursday night’s debate in Las Vegas. And while I have nothing but the highest respect for Chris, I must disagree with his conclusion that Hillary unfairly called him out for it. After all, as Hillary has said herself, “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.”

But for some reason, despite Edwards’ inclination to turn the heat up on Hillary, he can’t stand the heat turned on himself. Edwards likes to call Hillary a “Corporate Democrat”, but he always fails to mention that Hillary always had a more progressive voting record when both were in the Senate. And while Edwards goes negative and bashes other Democrats, Hillary actually shows us how she leads on restoring a foreign policy based on cooperation instead of confrontation, solving the climate crisis while also ending our fossil fuel addiction and creating new jobs, fighting for working families on so many issues from universal health care to educational opportunities for all, and so much more. While the other two men talk a good talk, Hillary has always walked the walk and showed us how she actually works for us.

That’s why I get irritated whenever Edwards and Obama throw mud at Hillary and try to claim that they’re only raising “legitimate issues about her credibility”. Hillary has a proven track record of fighting for the progressive values we believe in, and that’s why I get irritated when she gets called “corrupt”. If they can’t win fairly, they shouldn’t use false attacks.

  21 comments for “Mudslinging? The Man Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

  1. November 18, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Andrew,

    Personally, I love it when the Democratic candidates attack each other. But the Republicans aren’t much better. Too bad we can’t vote for “none of the above.”

    I still plan to vote for Bill Richardson in the primary. He has a record of cutting taxes in his state, and he has promised not to raise taxes. That’s good enough for me! That he is a Latino is the cherry on top.

    Do you think Richardson will end up as VP on someone else’s ticket?

  2. November 18, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Andrew, If you look at what Senator Edwards said you will find that none of his comments were false. Since when did telling the truth about your opponents record become a personal attack?

    Hillary says out of one side of her mouth ” I don’t mind taking hits on my record on issues.” Then she complains of mudslinging in the same breath because she was issued a hit on her record.

    You say that “Hillary actually shows us how she leads on restoring a foreign policy based on cooperation instead of confrontation.” Could you explain how going along with Bush/Cheney and voting to declair the Iranian Army a terrorist organization is cooperation instead of confrontation?

    That vote gives ammunition to Bush/Cheney to declare that we must bomb military targets in Iran to fight terrorism in Iraq. If your definition of leadership is to follow the neocons around like a lost puppy dog begging for a treat, then I guess that’s leadership.

  3. Andrew Davey
    November 18, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Chris-

    Again, I respect your opinion very much, but I have to disagree. While John Edwards flip-flopped on his position on Iran, Hillary Clinton has worked in the Senate to prevent war on Iran. She is co-sponsoring legislation with Jim Webb to prevent ANY FUNDS to be used to go to war with Iran, and she worked with fellow Democrats in the Senate to take the most heinous, hawkish language out of Kyl-Lieberman.

    And in regards to both of their Senate records and past positions, take a look at their history. Hillary has ALWAYS supported universal health care, unions’ right to organize, strong environmental protections, and help for working families. Edwards’ record, OTOH, has not been as consistent. So no, Edwards is NOT helping himself by throwing mud at Hillary.

    His rhetoric today doesn’t match his past actions, while Hillary has proven herself to be a consistent leader for what we care about the most.

    Art-

    Tell me about it! I don’t like when Democrats trash each other, and I hope Edwards stops these unfair attacks on Hillary. Just my opinion.

  4. November 18, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Andrew, First, John Edwards has never called Hillary Clinton corrupt. He has said she supports the corrupt system that exists in Washington today.

    You claim that he has made false attacks against Hillary. Please identify what statement by John Edwards about Hillary or her record is false.

  5. Andrew Davey
    November 18, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Chris-

    First off, I see Edwards’ statement on corruption as an indirect way of calling her corrupt. Since he knows he’d be in even MORE trouble if he were to directly call Hillary corrupt, he indirectly calls her corrupt by trying to tie her to some “corrupt system”. That’s dirty, but that’s politicking. If Edwards like slinging indirect attacks at other Democrats, whatever.

    Now what makes me REALLY ANGRY right now is when Edwards mischaracterizes Hillary and her record of standing up for working people by calling her a “Corporate Democrat”. Sorry, but that’s just FALSE. Again, look at her record…

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/17/121155/77

    And try to tell me that it’s “corporate” or “corrupt”. Edwards really is better off by NOT playing fast and loose with the facts. I don’t like internal party warfare, and I’d prefer to see Edwards stop trying to cause one with his dishonest mudslinging.

  6. November 19, 2007 at 7:33 am

    Andrew,

    This message was sent to me by email in response to your post.

    First, do not insult progressives by using ‘progressive’ as an adjective before Clinton’s name. From her choice to leave a sizable troop force in Iraq for the long term to her very non-progressive insurance company friendly ‘universal’ health care plan (NOT single payer) to her ‘let’s keep consuming those fossil fuels to pretend there is a middle class’ charade, there is very little I can identify as progressive. Clinton is a DLCer first, last & always. You cannot be a DLCer and call yourself progresive or liberal. Clinton supporters need to go to:
    http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ka.cfm?knlgAreaID=87

    This is the website for PPI ‘progressive’ policy institute – this is where all the DLC’s policies are defined. If you are comfortable w/the US being the one superpower bullying the rest of the world – you will love PPI & the DLC. Reading their policy statements & philosophy scares me the way the PNAC does. The philosophy of PNAC & PPI differ only in the words they chose but they both go in the same direction – imperialism. If Clinton supporters are happy w/that – get on the bandwagon. True progressive want no part of it.

  7. Andrew Davey
    November 19, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Chris-

    Thanks for letting me know, and thank you for being respectful in your disagreement with me. I appreciate that. However, I do not appreciate the emailer’s misrepresentation of Hillary’s record.

    Did this person even read my post? Or follow the links I provided to Hillary’s full record? I know many folks in the anti-Hillary crowd throw around “DLC” and “corporatist” to try to automatically discredit her and all of us supporting her for President, but they never even try to give real facts behind their rhetoric. Hillary has a 95% lifetime score from ADA, America’s leading progressive advocacy group. She has always been pro-universal health care, pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-labor, and pro-working families. Just look at her record and see for yourselves, that’s all I’m asking.

    Is it too difficult for the anti-Hillary crowd to just look at her record and deal with the facts?

  8. Ellinorianne
    November 19, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I have to take exception to the idea that Edwards has “flip flopped” on Iran. How?

    And secondly, Hillary responds to Edwards’ criticism on her NAFTA stand by releasing this statement:

    Clinton’s campaign responded by targeting Edwards’ previous consulting work for a hedge fund that owned a sub-prime lender.

    “If John Edwards really cared about working people, he wouldn’t have taken a $500,000 salary from a hedge fund that is foreclosing on working people around the country,” said Clinton campaign spokeswoman Hilarie Grey. “Sen. Edwards should spend his time talking about how he’s going to help those people instead of launching ridiculous attacks against Sen. Clinton.”

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/2007/nov/16/111610804.html

    So, it’s okay for her to criticize work he did as a private citizen even though she’s gotten more from Hedge Funds for her campaign than Edards’ campaign and his salary combined? So does that mean Hillary doesn’t care about working Americans?

    Hillary takes money from lobbyists, this is part of his point, they don’t serve “everyday people”, they mostly serve corporate interests and attempt to sway reps to their side, who speaks for us?

    I think the system is corrup but Hillary is not, she’s just been working within it for so long, she’s too close to see it.

  9. Andrew Davey
    November 19, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Ellinorianne-

    If Edwards has something real to say, I don’t have a problem with him saying it. But again, I take issue with him distorting Hillary’s record as he’s not being completely honest about his own.

    Again, you admit that he worked for a hedge fund and that he’s taken money from hedge fund managers. So why is he bashing Hillary for doing the same? And at least Hillary is being honest about her position about lobbyists, while BOTH EDWARDS AND OBAMA are being dishonest about not taking money from federal lobbyists, even as they take money from federal lobbyists’ spouses, state lobbyists, and the same “special interests” that give to Hillary.

    All that I’m asking is that Edwards and Obama stop with the dishonest attacks on Hillary.

  10. Edgery
    November 19, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    There is a difference between saying that a system is corrupted by the excess influence of money and that someone who operates in that system is corrupt.

    Sen. Clinton has defended the system of federal lobbyists directly. She may be immune from money’s influence, and I believe she is a good and honest person. But we have seen over and over that many members of Congress are not.

    She believes in working within the system as it exists currently; Edwards believes in changing that system. He is not calling her corrupt and in fact, has repeatedly stated as much–most recently on Face the Nation this past Sunday.

    He is not distorting Clinton’s record — he disagrees with her on a number of issues and has highlighted those that he believes are the most serious. He believes Kyl-Lieberman was a vote in support of the Bush Administration’s saber-rattling at Iran; she does not. That is a serious policy and strategic disagreement, not a Republican talking point.

    At the debate, and from the transcript, one can easily see that at no point did he “sling mud” yet that was Clinton’s first response. I thought then and still believe that it was a line she had ready to pull out the first time he criticized any of her actions or positions.

    Dishonest attacks, imo, are calling facts mud.

  11. Andrew Davey
    November 19, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Edgery-

    Again, Edwards is playing fast and hard with the facts. He says now he wants to change the system, but what did he do in the Senate, when he actually had a chance to change things? Did he support universal health care in his first run for President? NO. Did he consistently oppose Bush’s war policy then? NO. Did he consistenetly stand firm on labor, environmental, and economic justice issues? NO.

    However, PLEASE follow the links in my story above to see Hillary’s full record. She has consistently voted for EVERY out of Iraq bill since they were first brought to the Senate floor in 2005. She has CO-SPONSORED legislation to require the Pentagon to draw an exit strategy from Iraq, as well as legislation with Jim Webb that would forbid any war on Iran. And if you want to talk about Kyl-Lieberman, Hillary worked with fellow Democrats to gut the most heinous and warmongering language out of that bill. Yes, I personally don’t like K-L… But let’s be honest, Hillary and other Senate Dems prevented it from being worse.

    OK, now back to campaign finance. Edwards worked for a hedge fund and takes money from hedge fund managers, and then he bashes Hillary for taking money from Wall Street. Is that a fully honest criticism? Edwards bashes Hillary for taking money from lobbyists, but he does the same thing (thanks to his loophole that allows him to take money from federal lobbyists’ spouses and state lobbyists). Is that being fully honest?

    I appreciate Edwards when he talks about issues, but I don’t appreciate it when he slings mud at other Democrats. He has every right to criticize Hillary, but he then shouldn’t cry foul whenever someone points out the facts on him. After all, that’s only fair.

  12. November 19, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Andrew, it is not Edwards who is crying foul. If it is not mudslinging and therefore okay for HC to criticize his personal employment history, then it is certainly not mudslinging to cite her inconsistancies. it is not up to a candidate to highlight their own faults. That is the job of their opponents. that is politics, not slinging mud.

  13. Andrew Davey
    November 19, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Chris-

    When Edwards distorted Hillary’s record on Thursday by calling her a “Corporate Democrat” and implying that she’s corrupt, that was slinging mud. And once Edwards starts slinging mud, what is Hillary’s campaign supposed to do? She called Edwards out for his mudslinging and pointed out her own good record of helping working people, while we the online supporters have been doing our own research and discovering Edwards’ own inconsistencies. When Edwards starts throwing punches below the belt, he’d better be ready to be punched back (and so far, I’d say it’s been above the belt).

    Sorry, but that’s politics for ‘ya.

  14. Ellinorianne
    November 19, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    I’m sorry to break it to you, but Edwards is not the only one to think this of Hillary and it’s not mudslinging! It’s fact in that her campaign rakes in more money from companies than any other candidate, Murdoch money, Republican money, you name it. You can’t make that stuff up, it’s open to the public.

    Edwards represented a red state when he was in the Senate and he was in his first term. I think he realized that he could effect change on the level that he would like to unless he became President.

    And you keep repeating the same lie, he never called her CORRUPT, he said the system is corrupt, it’s not for the people anymore. You need to stop that lie, it’s wrong, he never once said she was corrupt and has said he respect her and it’s not personal. Please stop saying that.

    And as a Edwards supporter, he’s got many conflicts from his current stands to his past stands and votes and he’s honest about that, admits and it says when he’s made a mistake. He’s evolved as a politician and his changes are not overnight. The points he makes are valid about her inability to be clear on some very major and important topics. The Kyl-Liberman vote was a very disturbing thing for me in context with everything else happening in the middle east.

    He’s not mudslinging, he’s just telling it as it is. He’s never called her corrupt, but she had to the gall to accuse him of not really caring for working people.

    Okay.

  15. Andrew Davey
    November 19, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Elli-

    You can keep telling me what Edwards says until you’re blue in the face, but that won’t change his actions. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. You’re probably a terrific progressive activist, and I admire your advocacy. I just can’t trust the candidate.

    Edwards says he’s for universal health care now, as he’s trying to run to the left of Hillary and Obama. But when he was up against Kerry in 2004, he bashed Kerry for having a universal plan that was “too expensive”. And while Edwards was in the Senate, he sometimes voted against labor rights, against environmental protection, and for Bush tax policy. When Edwards had a chance to make positive change, he didn’t take that chance. He says now he’s always in “tell the truth mode”, so when was he telling the truth? Then, or now?

    Edwards said in September of THIS YEAR that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard should be branded a terrorist group, and that he’d do tough diplomacy as President. He implicitly endorsed Kyl-Lieberman, and his position was no different from Hillary’s. Now, he’s bashing her on Iran. On his last appearance on “This Week”, Edwards gave a convoluted answer on drivers’ licenses for undocumented workers. He had criticized Hillary just days ago for not giving a “simple yes or no answer”.

    You want to know why I have a problem with Edwards? ALL THESE REASONS! His “faux populist”, straight-talk rhetoric does not match his actions. I’m sick and tired of being lectured that Edwards is perfect and all other candidates are evil. He needs to deal with his own problems before he bashes other Democrats.

  16. Ellinorianne
    November 19, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    I believe he’s changed and evolved, I think he will do these things and I can’t convince you of this, all I can do is point to the fact that he’s been an advocate for the poor. And as I’ve said he was in a red state, I buy it. It’s for me to buy and I believe he’s changed, in part, because all his plans are so well thought out and written, it’s not just a whim, they are real plans to make change.

    Nope, that statement was misread and it was actually written before Kyl-lieberman was introduced to the Senate. Yep, another one you’ve got there.

    —————————————–
    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard will soon be deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. As president, Edwards will ensure that such steps are not just more rhetoric, but actually lead to results.
    —————————————–

    Here is the context:

    —————————————-
    Pressure Iran to stop supporting insurgents in Iraq. Iran is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, actively supporting terrorist and insurgent activity not only in Iraq but in other areas, such as Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. Our policy must aim to stamp out state-sponsored terrorism targeting Israel, our strongest ally in the region. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard will soon be deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. As president, Edwards will ensure that such steps are not just more rhetoric, but actually lead to results. He will increase both diplomatic contact with the Iranian government and diplomatic pressure on the Revolutionary Guard to shut down its support of insurgent activity in Iraq and in other areas, such as Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. He will also work with multilateral partners to forge a coalition to apply diplomatic and economic pressure to stop Iran’s involvement in insurgent and terrorist activity in Iraq.
    ——————————————————————–

    It was then changed to this, when the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, or sense of the Senate was passed.

    ———————————
    Congress recently passed a bill to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. We saw in Iraq where such steps by Congress can lead President Bush. Edwards has announced his opposition to this bill.
    ———————————–

    He doesn’t not endorse the Kyl-Lieberman amendment in the first one, it didn’t exist. When it was written and then passed he changed it because this President cannot be trusted with such declarations. You give him an inch (yes, I know about Edwards’ vote and championing the Iraq war vote and unlike Hillary he has come out and said it was a mistake. We do know something different now, he knows that you cannot give this president anything like this.

    And he did not give a convoluted answer, somebody cut the segment! At the end of it he said he was against it, that’s it.

    This is the one where they cut off his answer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkseNDz1Cgg
    Here is the full clip
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pckgZe_2VSA

    It’s at the end, the last thing he says is “I’ against that plan”.

    My Sources
    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2007/9/7/132641/0487
    http://jre-whatsnottolike.com/category/iran/

    You know what, this is mud slinging, because what you’ve said is untrue and some of the many talking points that I’ve had to research and disprove.
    You are spreading lies! I’m sure you mean well for your candidate as well and maybe you are unaware of this, but those two points are false and the This Week one is flat out wrong. And if you listen to the whole thing, he answers the tough questions, he’s always willing to and he NEVER calls it mudslinging. He just answers the questions and he says outright he never called her corrupt.

  17. Andrew Davey
    November 19, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Elli-

    Again, you’re making a nice case for Edwards. However, the problem is that Edwards doesn’t make a nice case for himself.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/5/205446/278

    And really, I don’t even have to post the above link… What you just posted was problematic enough. His September language on Iran was effectively the final language of Kyl-Lieberman. But once it was passed, and Hillary voted for it, he flip-flopped and suddenly opposed it. Edwards accused Hillary of “parsing” on the drivers’ license issue, but he ended up doing A LOT of his own parsing at the last debate AND on “This Week”. He used to bash Kerry for having a universal health care plan, but now he bashes Hillary because her universal plan is workable, achievable, and devoid of unconstitutional gimmicks like his that would ultimately go nowhere. Edwards did his best to ENABLE the Bush-Cheney agenda when he was in the Senate, but now he feels he has the right to play “Monday Morning Quarterback” AND mischaracterize Hillary’s strong record of working for our progressive values.

    Sorry, but Edwards seems to be one here with the inconsistency problem. I want to believe he’s changed, but the evidence is not completely there. Maybe he can do some more progressive advocacy after the election, and work from the outside to help President Hillary Clinton achieve everything we want her to do in 2009. Maybe then, when he’s proven to me he’s changed, I’ll believe him.

  18. Ellinorianne
    November 19, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Andrew, I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass here, but I just disagree with you. Him talking about the Guard being a terrorist group and Hillary voting for it are two different things. I still believe her vote was wrong and I believe if that is what he meant, he was wrong as well.

    You completely left out the part about him not answering the question on driver licenses and what you said was not true, that bothers me because it’s something that’s going around.

    And yes, I totally agree about the things he did when he was in the Senate with his vote and with him selling the vote. He was flat out wrong and when he supported it, he really did, he did what he thought was right then. I was against the war, I’ve had to reconcile this issue with Edwards and for me it’s not a deal breaker, I still support him and I still believe a candidate has a right to change their mind. It’s when they don’t admit they are wrong and when the refuse to say where they stand.

    Kyl-Lierberman was flat out wrong and I actually responded to someone on the daily kos who was very mean to me and they never even responded back. Kyl-Lieberman out of context is not that awful, in the context of Bush/Cheney, China and Russia doing their war games together, Bush mentioning world war III, etc, there are so many things that worry me about that vote.

    Hillary’s voting record is amazing, I won’t deny that. And if Hillary is the nominee, I will pound the pavement for her, but I do think that Edwards makes valid points about her “inconsistency problem”. I believe he’s changed, I believe that his wife’s terminal disease has made them decide that they are going to fight for what they truly believe, screw doing what is going to get them in office, or screw the compromises that Bill Clinton had to make to stay in office.

    Even if he doesn’t win, I think he’s elevated the talk about the ISSUES, his criticisms of Hillary are about the issues, they are not personal and she’s really hurting this process by saying that, she’s doing the same thing with Obama, someone I thought you supported. He’s my number two.

    We met by the way at Steve’s precinct meeting, just so you know, this back and forth is also not personal, I just believe I have to state how I feel and point out things that are wrong.

  19. Ellinorianne
    November 19, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Andrew

    The link you gave me is the cut portion where it leaves out the part where he says he is against it! It’s purposefully misleading and I urge you to go see the one I linked in one of my comments. It bothers me that you sent me to the same thing that cuts off his comment where he says he’s against it.

  20. Andrew Davey
    November 19, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Elli-

    Yes, I remember you from the Steve Young training. (And btw, I hope Marion is treating you well.) And no, I’m not taking any of this back and forth conversation personally. Just ask Chris, and he can tell you how to deal with me! ;-)

    But anyways, I understand what you’re saying. I personally want to believe what Edwards is saying now. I want to believe him just as much as I once wanted to believe that Barack Obama was the best thing to ever happen to America. But now, I just see Obama failing to live up to his own rhetoric, and I just don’t see yet Edwards’ rhetoric matching all his actions. Maybe when they prove to me that they can match their words with real actions, I’ll root for them.

    But still, if one of them were to be the nominee, I’ll work my ass off for the nominee. You can count on that. Either Obama or Edwards would be a hell of a lot better than ANY of the CReeps running.

    It’s just that after I looked at the records of all the candidates, I found that Hillary has a long, tried, and true record of achieving what we want to see happen. She led the fight for habeas corpus last year, and against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2005, and for SCHIP in 1997, and for health care for kids while Arkansas First Lady, and for children’s rights when she worked for Children’s Defense Fund in the 70s. She has faced the vast right wing conspiracy numerous times in the last 35 years, and she has learned how to beat them. She now has bold plans for universal health care, and to solve the climate crisis, and to repair our broken foreign relations, and to restore trust in the Executive Branch. Hillary has the experience necessary to make change happen, and I like that.

    But still, you’re right that there are many good qualities about Edwards. And yes, there are many good qualities about Obama. Maybe if all 3 can just talk about the issues and how to make America better, we can all get back to making OC bluer and talking about how great Steve Young’s campaign team is. :-)

  21. Ellinorianne
    November 19, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Andrew,

    So glad to hear we are on the same page. I argue hard and walk away feeling the same way about the person :) Although recently I was told that I was of low intellect, etc. Very personal and not cool, it was hurtful. There is no place for such attacks between Democrats.

    Steve has made a turn in his campaign and we will be doing some new stuff in early November, I’m looking forward to it.

    Obama disappointed me with the McClurkin incident and it really changed how I felt about him, not that he had McClurkin, but the things he said to defend the choice.

    I’m a pretty dedicated Edwards supporter and I do EENR on Sundays at the Daily Kos, but I try to never say anything hurtful about Hillary, it’s gotten ugly over there and it’s very disappointing.

    Take care!

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