I haven't commented on this before, but was just thinking about Hillary's RFK assassination remark, and thought I'd give my own two cents on it. Becuase I don't at all think she was trying to suggest that she needed to stay in just in case Obama got assassinated. And I definitely don't think she was trying to get him assassinated. But thus said, I can't imagine what she was thinking.
I mean, what the hell was that about? It was just a really odd thing to have said. If she was just trying to remind us that other nominations have gone on longer, she could have mentioned RFK without referencing the actual assassination. She would have been tricking people when she did so, but she didn't need to actually reference the assassination. Because rather than establishing the timeline, it just sounded morbid. The idea of so casually referencing the death of someone in order to make a political point was just really, really weird.
And so I'm not surprised people put a more sinister spin to it, as this just isn't normal behavior. I don't know about you, but when I'm in a job interview, I generally don't make references to murder as a way of establishing a timeline. Like namedropping the OJ Simpson murders as a way of showing how long you've worked for the same employer. Sure, it helps illustrate how long you worked there, but it sounds pretty tacky.
And overall, I put this in the same category of most of what Hillary's been saying since she realized this wasn't going to be the shoo-in she assumed it was. Her whole campaign has been this really weird world of spin, obvious tricks, and offensive rhetoric that really seems to stem from a certain insular thinking that continues to dominate her campaign. It's like she's been running her presidential campaign in a parallel universe since she left the Whitehouse in 2001, and only once the shit hit the fan did we begin to see how her reality doesn't really coincide with the one the rest of us reside in.
Before the Iowa caucus, she could believe anything she wanted to believe and because politics is so perception-oriented, she could make reality match what she wanted it to be. But the more we got actual, indisputable results in reality, the more we'd see how far from reality her campaign really was. And I'm sure that when someone first mentioned the RFK assassination within her campaign, it sounded good and people nodded their heads in agreement. And it wasn't until she was actually asked to explain what the hell that meant that it first dawned on her how crazy a comment it was.
But all the same, I suspect she still thinks it was a valid comment and chalks this up to more Hillary-bashing. That's the way insular people work: They never understand how others see their actions and assume that anyone who doesn't agree with them is just being a jerk. In their world, other people don't have opinions and motivations of their own, and everything is defined in terms of how it impacts the insular people. They're just so wrapped into their fantasyworld that they can't imagine that the rest of us are real people with real lives.
Bush Bubble Redux
And so it has been this entire campaign. The Hillary people cut themselves off from the real world, and even when they poll and use focus groups to test ideas, the main person doing that is Mark Penn, one of the chief insular thinkers. And so you get dumb ideas like the Gas Tax Holiday, where I'm sure they used focus groups to show what a popular idea it was, without taking into account that there might be pushback against it. Rather, they present it in a sterile vacuum, and didn't mention all the experts who would be against it, or the ads that Obama would run against it; and so it sounded better than it did in real life.
And that's how the Bushies ran their campaigns and Whitehouse. Rather than trying to deal with the real world, you create your own perceptions and continue to push them forever. And while Bush's clean slate allowed him to ignore reality during the 2000 campaign and 9/11 gave him a free pass to recreate reality in his own image; Hillary's reality-check just happened a lot sooner. Had the Obama juggernaut been less effective, we'd still be unlikely to know the real Hillary until after she became president and she got the same wake-up call the Republicans received once they actually tried to put their fantasyworld into the real one.
And that's just a big, unavoidable flaw with democracy: The method used to pick our leaders is much easier to manipulate if you live in an alternate universe of your own creation. It's only after you're elected and expected to get things done that the alternate universe loses it's power of persusasion. Eventually, the rubber hits the road, and the wheels fall off the car. We should all just be thankful that this happened to Hillaryland before they won the Whitehouse and not after. I'd much rather be on the outside mocking her, than on the inside trying to defend her.