Bill Clinton apologizes and pretends to grovel before #BlackLivesMatter
Bill Clinton committed lèse-majesté toward #BlackLivesMatter protesters who interrupted him in a rally in Philadelphia Thursday, and for that offense he must now pretend to grovel in apology. Amy Chozick writes in the New York Times:
Former President Bill Clinton said Friday that he regretted drowning out the chants of black protesters at a rally in Philadelphia the day before, when he issued an aggressive defense of his administration’s impact on black families. His reaction thrust a debate about the 1990s into the center of his wife’s presidential campaign, one that has focused heavily on issues of race and criminal justice.
“I know those young people yesterday were just trying to get good television,” Mr. Clinton said Friday of the Black Lives Matter protesters who had accused him and Hillary Clinton of supporting policies that devastated black communities. “But that doesn’t mean that I was most effective in answering it.”
His statement did not quiet a raging storm of criticism. Still, it was a remarkable reversal for Mr. Clinton, who occupies a singular role in his wife’s campaign as a spouse and a popular former president who can sometimes make himself into a lightning rod. He has had to campaign for his wife in an era when signature policies of his administration have been repudiated both by Mrs. Clinton and her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
It is not hard to imagine what sort of phone calls precipitated this seeming reversal. Al Sharpton and/or other race-baiters threatened Hillary, and Hillary threatened Bill. Hillary still needs the turnout of black voters at somewhere close to Obama election levels to continue to vanquish Sanders, and the Democratic Party is utterly dependent on black turnout for its electoral success nationally. Thus, the successful anti-crime measures of the Clinton administration (then known as “triangulation” under the guidance of Dick Morris) must be repudiated, or at least modified in the face of the uncomfortable fact that lowering crime means locking up violent criminals who are wildly disproportionately black.
Bill Clinton’s apology was half-hearted: he was not “the most effective” in answering the protesters’ attempt “to get good television.” This is entirely a process, rather than a substantive apology.
I have to assume that Hillary demanded he undo the damage he had done to her prospects of full-throated support from the race-mongering faction that is so useful in driving turnout pressures. And Bill refused to back down on the substance of his achievements in office. So they worked out a process apology that could serve as a scalp for the social justice warriors but left intact Bill’s defense of his own record.