Monday, February 03, 2020

Not Him, Her

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media got it wrong, as it typically does when a public figure backtracks and is credited with having issued an "apology."  Time's Sylvia Mansoor wrote

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib apologized Saturday for booing Hillary Clinton on Friday night at a campaign event in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. Tlaib has been a key surrogate for the Vermont senator as he remains in Washington for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and the event came after recent comments by Clinton made dismissing Sanders and his campaign.

During a panel discussion at the event in Iowa that included Tlaib and her fellow U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Pramila Jayapal, the moderator began alluding to Clinton’s comments about how “nobody likes” Sanders. The moderator said, “Last week when someone by the name of Hillary Clinton said that nobody—” before responding to someone in the crowd saying, “We’re not gonna boo, we’re not gonna boo, we’re classy here.”

“No, no, I’ll boo.” Tlaib said, prompting some cheers from the crowd. “You all know I can’t be quiet. No. We’re gonna boo. That’s alright the haters will shut up on Monday when we win.”

The following day, Tlaib issued a series of tweets which constitutes what Mansoor classified as an "apology."

Oh dear, get a room. She does not love that movement, whatever it is- she's in love with it. Moreover, an apology does not consist of criticizing your opponent ("my disappointment with Secretary Clinton's latest comments"). That is not apologizing; it is rationalizing. Can it get worse? It's Rashida Tlaib, so it's almost inevitable that she completes her thought with

I will continue to strive to come from a place of love and not react in the same way of those who are against what we are building in this country. This is about building a just and equitable future for my two boys, children across the country, and future generations. 

Well, no. Notwithstanding the second tweet, it's not about building "a just and equitable future" but about splitting the Democratic Party. And "a place of love" is not the most accurate characterization of  “No, no, I’ll boo. You all know I can’t be quiet. No. We’re gonna boo. That’s alright the haters will shut up on Monday when we win.” Rashida Tlaib talking about "haters" is as apt as Donald Trump slamming egotists.

Clinton's remarks also were unhelpful- but stated in an interview held for a documentary which was produced prior to the current campaign. When the story hit, the former Senator pledged loyalty to the eventual nominee, much as Tlaib did in her one decent tweet.

Unfortunately, no one has yet either refuted or confirmed Clinton's view that "nobody wants to work with" Senator Sanders and that "he got nothing done,"  accusations of no little import.  Ironically, Clinton's remark that "people got sucked into it" referred to Sanders '16 while it more accurately applies to Sanders '20. 

Admittedly, when a campaign emphasizes "not me, us," surrogates can get sucked into believing the movement is about themselves, not the candidate. But rest assured- or uneasily- that if no Democratic campaign confronts Senator Sanders about some of the people his crusade has attracted, Donald Trump will not be so deferential during a general election campaign.

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