Thursday, January 24, 2008

If You're Going to Criticize Her...

You might want to go buy a lottery ticket or hit the tables in Vegas. I'm about to say something in slight defense of Hillary Clinton.

It just so happens that the area's best radio traffic reports are also on the area's biggest talk radio station. Talk radio happens to lean mostly rightward. And so when I am driving home at the end of the day, I hear about 20 minutes of Sean Hannity, mixed with about 10 minutes of commercials, news, and traffic reports. Sean is no fan of Hillary, who is often a topic of conversation on his show. I have heard him or his callers fault Hillary on two things which I do not believe are valid faults.

1. The fake Southern drawl in Alabama.

The clip that is usually played on sites/blogs critical of Hillary is this one:

Yeah, that's pretty awful. But, you must examine the context of that particular sound bite. Here is the clip showing the befores and afters of that fake accent. The clip above is taken from around 35 seconds in:

Do you hear that? She is quoting James Cleveland, who was black. (I'd never heard his name before investigating Hillary's fake accent) It is very obvious to me that she is not trying to pretend like that's her normal manner of speech. If you are going to criticize her on her spontaneous accents, use clips like the one below:

(note: this clip is more of a montage than a video. You don't actually get to see her speaking these words)

These are more likely her own words that she speaks, unlike the first clip, where the words are not her own. The drawl is not as pronounced. I think that's because she didn't want to sound to obvious, but that's just my opinion. I am no fan of Hillary, but if you are going to criticize her on something, don't use dishonest tactics like crafty cut and paste. Examine the sound bites in context. There are plenty of other things about which to get on her case ;)

2. She's still with Bill

I have heard more than one caller criticize her because she's still with Bill. On at least one occasion, this caller has been a woman saying that she's doing damage to womankind by staying with him. I (as you might know) am a Christian, who takes the Bible very seriously. Although adultery, in God's eyes, makes it merely okay to divorce, the fact is that God still hates divorce. He does not command you to divorce if you are the victim of adultery, but the option is open. And so I do not fault them for still being married.

Right wing pundits will say that they are only still married because of their political alliance, but how do we know that? How do we know what their marriage is like when they return home in the evenings? You cannot say "Their political alliance is THE reason why they are still married." That saying is an opinion, not a fact. It might be a fact if Bill or Hillary came outright and stated it, but they have not. No one has proven to me that the Clintons are guilty of a marriage-for-sole-purpose-of-political-gain. As for my opinion on the matter? Sure, I think it's quite possible that if they were never in the public eye, they might not be married anymore. But my opinion on this matter is not fact.

Now please...don't get me wrong. I am no fan of the Clintons in any way, shape, form, what have you. However, I do think that if one is going to criticize them, that he should use honest tactics and facts.

So. Am I wrong? Am I right? Am I crazy? Or somewhere in between? Let's hear what you think about all this.

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5 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ron and Ginny

    You are absolutely right and very gracious. Thank you.

  • Alan

    Politics is dirty business. Cheap shots come with the territory. That doesn't make it right. But I don't have any sympathy for Hillary due to those cheap shots. She and her husband are more than holding up their end of the cheap shots war.

    My issues with Hillary as a candidate have nothing to do with her accent or her marriage.

  • JunkMale

    No, I don't have any sympathy either. Hopefully I didn't come off that way ;)

  • CappuccinoLife

    I do.not.like Hillary. She scares me.

    But you are right that these are silly criticisms that distract from the real issues.

    By the way, come over to my blog and pick up your Excellence award. :)

  • Samantha

    I think this is very reasonable and open-minded of you. Good points!