Dirty Politics

So Hilary Clinton’s camp is spreading rumors that they know of some scandal about Barack Obama. But they are saying that out of their magnanimity they will not say what it is.

Now just dissect that. The Clintonistas are managing to spread a rumor designed to weaken the public’s confidence in Obama. But since they “are not saying what it is,” they do not have to prove anything. They are slandering him without having to come up with anything against him. And their malice is hidden in a facade of doing good.

Obama says to bring it out, that he has absolutely nothing to hide. Whereupon the Clintonistas are blaming him for over-reacting, saying that his angry reaction proves his political inexperience. This Catch-22 political tactic is low, contemptible, and Machiavellian, an example of what we can expect from this candidate and–very likely–this future administration.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Kyralessa

    Sounds a bit silly to me. And Obama’s group would’ve done better to point out just how silly it was instead of getting all huffy.

  • Kyralessa

    Sounds a bit silly to me. And Obama’s group would’ve done better to point out just how silly it was instead of getting all huffy.

  • fwsonnek

    Seems to me like the clinton and bush look more and more like bookends. brilliant political strategists, very calculating.

    neither are as liberal or conservative as they claim to be.

    both are heavily filtered and managed as to what they present to the public.

    both I understand will only appear before hand picked audiences. which guarantees that they will have a warped view of what society at large things of them and their policies. dangerous thing.

  • fwsonnek

    Seems to me like the clinton and bush look more and more like bookends. brilliant political strategists, very calculating.

    neither are as liberal or conservative as they claim to be.

    both are heavily filtered and managed as to what they present to the public.

    both I understand will only appear before hand picked audiences. which guarantees that they will have a warped view of what society at large things of them and their policies. dangerous thing.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Too bad that distrust of the media does not seem to extend to Mr. Novak. Given his track record — heck, given the rather poor journalism on display here, with second-hand rumors mentioned but not specified, like so much playground gossip — I see no reason to believe what he has said.

    After all, what better way to take down two Democratic frontrunners than to tell one that the other said something very nasty about him, bringing them to blows? Sure, the Clinton camp denies it, but we all know — in spite of the liberal media’s failing to ever mention it, of course — we all know that this is just the thing that cold, calculating Hillary would do!

    And then Obama, in need of a boost, naturally seizes upon this to attack Clinton, playing further into the Cold And Calculating trope, and then Hillary naturally fights back to play up Obama as Not Serious, and then Bob Novak slinks back to his cave to ponder when next to out another counter-terrorism agent.

    Look, I’ve made it clear I don’t like Hillary, but Novak’s the most suspicious character in all of this.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Too bad that distrust of the media does not seem to extend to Mr. Novak. Given his track record — heck, given the rather poor journalism on display here, with second-hand rumors mentioned but not specified, like so much playground gossip — I see no reason to believe what he has said.

    After all, what better way to take down two Democratic frontrunners than to tell one that the other said something very nasty about him, bringing them to blows? Sure, the Clinton camp denies it, but we all know — in spite of the liberal media’s failing to ever mention it, of course — we all know that this is just the thing that cold, calculating Hillary would do!

    And then Obama, in need of a boost, naturally seizes upon this to attack Clinton, playing further into the Cold And Calculating trope, and then Hillary naturally fights back to play up Obama as Not Serious, and then Bob Novak slinks back to his cave to ponder when next to out another counter-terrorism agent.

    Look, I’ve made it clear I don’t like Hillary, but Novak’s the most suspicious character in all of this.

  • Joe

    You mean out another non-covert, hasn’t been overseas in more than 5 years, therefore the statute doesn’t apply to her – counter-terrorism agent? Yeah, I sure would hate to have more of these folks outed. I mean how will ever win the war on terror if desk jockeys who don’t engage in covert operations are outed.

    By your logic then the NY Times must really be suspicious what with all their reporting of our efforts to track the funding of terrorism. They outed an entire covert operation not just one person.

  • Joe

    You mean out another non-covert, hasn’t been overseas in more than 5 years, therefore the statute doesn’t apply to her – counter-terrorism agent? Yeah, I sure would hate to have more of these folks outed. I mean how will ever win the war on terror if desk jockeys who don’t engage in covert operations are outed.

    By your logic then the NY Times must really be suspicious what with all their reporting of our efforts to track the funding of terrorism. They outed an entire covert operation not just one person.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Not taking a side on the squabble for a very basic reason; let’s not forget that “Beltway” natives call this the “Washington Gossip” for a very real reason, and if we desire honest government, we ought to treat this kind of thing with the full measure of contempt it deserves.

    That is, to say “we’ll believe you when someone is man enough to have their name attached to that rumor, thank you very much.”

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Not taking a side on the squabble for a very basic reason; let’s not forget that “Beltway” natives call this the “Washington Gossip” for a very real reason, and if we desire honest government, we ought to treat this kind of thing with the full measure of contempt it deserves.

    That is, to say “we’ll believe you when someone is man enough to have their name attached to that rumor, thank you very much.”

  • allen

    Has it in fact been established that Mr. Novak didn’t just make it all up out of his own head just to get a goof?

  • allen

    Has it in fact been established that Mr. Novak didn’t just make it all up out of his own head just to get a goof?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Novak is a well-respected professional journalist. To say he just made this up because he is some kind of conservative operative is just as slanderous as what the Clintons are saying about Obama.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Novak is a well-respected professional journalist. To say he just made this up because he is some kind of conservative operative is just as slanderous as what the Clintons are saying about Obama.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Veith (@7), he is a “well-respected professional journalist” in the sense that Hillary is a “well-respected politician” — some people respect him, and some people find him rather repugnant. Likely depends largely on your political views.

    Anyhow, it seems incongruous to me to decry accusations that Novak made it up, while simultaneously asserting that the Clinton camp did, in fact, bad-mouth Obama. We have no true evidence for either.

    Still, if people respect Novak, I don’t think it’s for unprofessional gossip-journalism like this: “Some people (who I won’t name) said some thing (which I won’t specify) about some scandal (which I won’t divulge), and they deny it, but it’s true.” Not exactly Pulitzer material there. Cards on the table, I say.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Veith (@7), he is a “well-respected professional journalist” in the sense that Hillary is a “well-respected politician” — some people respect him, and some people find him rather repugnant. Likely depends largely on your political views.

    Anyhow, it seems incongruous to me to decry accusations that Novak made it up, while simultaneously asserting that the Clinton camp did, in fact, bad-mouth Obama. We have no true evidence for either.

    Still, if people respect Novak, I don’t think it’s for unprofessional gossip-journalism like this: “Some people (who I won’t name) said some thing (which I won’t specify) about some scandal (which I won’t divulge), and they deny it, but it’s true.” Not exactly Pulitzer material there. Cards on the table, I say.

  • allen

    Mr. Novak identified a covert CIA agent by name in his column. Sorry, I just can’t get past that.

  • allen

    Mr. Novak identified a covert CIA agent by name in his column. Sorry, I just can’t get past that.

  • allen

    In fact, I can’t get past it so much that I’m replying to myself. Mrs. Wilson would not stand out in a crowd in Oslo. She wouldn’t be very memorable-looking in Helsinki. But in the part of the world in which she worked undercover, the reverse is true. I can easily imagine one of those terrorist chaps over there watching CNN and seeing her and thinking, “Hey, that’s that lady Abdul was talking to. She handed him an envelope!” And later, Abdul is found in the ditch with his head stove in. And so, when “our man in Beirut”(or wherever) is trying to recruit a ring of informants, a prospect might well ask whether or not Mr. Novak is still writing his column, and then decline to help us. There is no way to estimate how much Mr. Novak has effected, and still does effect, our national security – to it’s detriment. And that raises the question of how low he would go in general.

  • allen

    In fact, I can’t get past it so much that I’m replying to myself. Mrs. Wilson would not stand out in a crowd in Oslo. She wouldn’t be very memorable-looking in Helsinki. But in the part of the world in which she worked undercover, the reverse is true. I can easily imagine one of those terrorist chaps over there watching CNN and seeing her and thinking, “Hey, that’s that lady Abdul was talking to. She handed him an envelope!” And later, Abdul is found in the ditch with his head stove in. And so, when “our man in Beirut”(or wherever) is trying to recruit a ring of informants, a prospect might well ask whether or not Mr. Novak is still writing his column, and then decline to help us. There is no way to estimate how much Mr. Novak has effected, and still does effect, our national security – to it’s detriment. And that raises the question of how low he would go in general.


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