2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The “Clinton Parameters” Essential to Resolving the Latest Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

In today’s op-ed on the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Boston Globe’s James Carroll carefully buries a constrained, though favorable mention of Bill Clinton and without giving Hillary the courtesy of mentioning her name, our esteemed pundit includes a brief reference to the recently named secretary of state.

Based on his prior vilification of the Clintons, one has to be surprised that Carroll is actually giving the former president credit for a positive contribution during his administration: invention of the “wheel of peace” required to resolve the latest tragic middle-east flare-up.

Carroll writes (emphasis mine):

"His {President-elect Obama’s} enlightenment can be assumed. The question is one of will. Majorities of Israelis and Palestinians understand what the solution requires; the wheel of peace is already invented. Indeed, as the writer Bernard Avishai observes, Obama's secretary of state bears the name of its most succinct summary - "the Clinton parameters." Majorities understand also that the door is fast closing on the two-state finale, which alone offers hope of long-term reconciliation. What is needed now are firm messages from Washington: Israel must cease fire, respect Palestinian rights, and keep agreements; Palestinians must halt rockets, repudiate terror, and empower moderates toward a new unity. Obama must draw the line with both.”

Throughout his op-ed, Carroll pointedly avoids giving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton any role in helping to resolve this impending crisis for the new administration. True to his infatuation with the One, Carroll gives Obama sole responsibility for bringing the matter to a successful close.

A little background here on my feelings about Carroll:

Carroll was tops on my list of preferred pundits prior to the Democratic primary and its subsequent rigged convention. I knew from his biography, for example, that he lectures on Jewish-Christian reconciliation, on Catholic reform, and on the question of war and peace, and that he participates in Jewish-Christian-Muslim encounters at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. I had long enjoyed reading his columns, a few of which I thought were exquisitely written.

Carroll was among several columnists I considered to be trustworthy liberals prior to the campaign coverage of 2008. Consequently, I felt personally betrayed when Carroll joined the growing list of pundits best described as liberal except for their common streak of misogyny that revealed itself in the ongoing vilification of Hillary Clinton, America’s first viable female presidential candidate.

Carroll’s most vicious attack on both Hillary and Bill Clinton appeared in his column on Aug. 25, 2008, day one of the Democratic Convention in Denver. It’s hard to choose from his egregious comments to illustrate my point, but here’s a sample:

“It was inevitable that each Clinton be spotlighted at the convention, but the prime-time focus on Hillary on Tuesday and Bill on Wednesday, with the Hillary Clinton roll call assuring an unpredictable outburst, threatens to derail the Obama campaign before it leaves the station. The Clinton-driven political extortion that made the vice-presidential selection so tortuous is just the beginning. The November election hangs on the Clinton hangover, the die-hard alienation of so many Clinton supporters, half of whom still decline to back Obama.”

Carroll then proceeds to disparage Bill Clinton’s Administration, noted for its eight years of peace and prosperity. Among other things, Carroll blames the former president for today’s problems with Iran and Russia and a potential Cold War II. Accusing Clinton of being utterly lacking in character, Carroll also blames him for any lingering problems on the domestic front.

I didn’t bother to read Carroll’s take on how the Democratic convention actually unfolded; that is, if he bothered to write one in which even a modicum of personal honesty would have required him to note how both Clintons went overboard in their support of Obama and brought the house down during their separate appearances.

Today’s op-ed proves that although he found it necessary to mention the “Clinton parameters” above, Carroll feels no remorse for his earlier smears of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and he will continue his attempts to diminish them at every opportunity.

I have a message for James Carroll: If you want to know who is “utterly lacking in character,” go take a long look in the mirror.

No comments:

Post a Comment