After the blowout, after the horrible press coverage, you'd think the Clinton campaign might pull back -- you'd think there might be a sense that this is hurting Hillary's chances and hurting the Democrats' chances in November.
But to me it's starting to look like road rage, or like the pattern I've read about in writings on domestic abuse -- namely, that what makes abusive relationship anger different from ordinary relationship anger is the inability of the abuser to recognize a point when it's gone too far and look for a way to stop the argument. That's the road rage pattern, too, isn't it? Getting angry at some driver on the highway and that pursuing that driver even though it's much wiser to just shake it off and keep driving?
That's how this all looks to me. It just doesn't make sense otherwise. It doesn't seem logical, even in a cold-blooded, amoral way. Why not just drop it? Why subject yourself to coverage like this?
Just off the AP wire ...
Clinton campaign strategists denied any intentional effort to stir the racial debate. But they said they believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as "the black candidate," a tag that could hurt him outside the South.
I guess they're really broken up about it.
Said Bill Clinton today in Columbia, SC: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here."
This was in response to a question from ABC News' David Wright about it taking "two Clintons to beat" Obama. Jackson had not been mentioned.
Boy, I can't understand why anyone would think the Clintons are running a race-baiting campaign to paint Obama as "the black candidate."
What keeps going through my head is a line from an early Elvis Costello song: "If I'm gonna go down, you're gonna come with me." It's as if Bill and Hillary see a possible defeat for her and they're thinking, "If she can't win, no Democrat will win!" Or merely that they see her as a possible loser to Obama and they (subconsciously?) want to bring about their own defeat -- as if it's a control issue.
Either way, it seems to go way beyond questions of hardball politics.
For years I've hated the fact that the Clintons (and most Democrats) get put on the couch far more than Republicans, but this really does seem to be a question for shrinks rather than pundits. It just seems that these two products of abusive households are living what they learned as kids. And I'm afraid we have to stop them at the ballot box if they can't stop themselves.