Bill Clinton speaks truth to #BlackLivesMatter power
In a Philadelphia rally for Hillary’s presidential campaign yesterday, Bill Clinton left the reservation for Democrats, rebuking #BlackLivesMatter demonstrators who repeatedly interrupted him, protesting the crime bill he signed into law (and that Hillary had campaigned for). Here is a short version of the now famous confrontation, in which he says to the BLMers, "You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth." And he even defends his welfare reforms.
And here is a longer version, with his initial response to the protesters and what followed:
There are a number of schools of thought about this notable departure from the rules of the Democrat reservation, which Ace well describes:
Everyone treats these radicals as if they have Absolute Moral Authority and that the only possible response to their constant, violence-tinged disruptions is to say, "Yes of course you're right -- you are black, and I am white. Therefore everything you say is good and wise, and yes, you can shout in my face for ten minutes while I try to have a moment's peace eating this sandwich away from my office."
On the left, there is horror at the lèse-majesté toward BLM, and even demands to “Fire Bill Clinton.” Michelle Goldberg writes at Slate:
I wonder if there’s a part of Bill Clinton that doesn't really want Hillary Clinton to become president, particularly if she has to distance herself from his legacy to do so. How else to explain why one of the world’s most talented and agile politicians is so consistently flat-footed and destructive when advocating on his wife’s behalf? How else to explain his terrible and destined-to-be-viral confrontation Thursday with Black Lives Matter protesters in Philadelphia?
Ms. Goldberg apparently doesn’t remember (or is too young to know about) the famous confrontation with Sistah Souljah during Bill’s 1992 presidential campaign, which served to distance him from the then-radical wing of the racial grievance industry and reassure white voters that he could be trusted. If this Philadelphia confrontation had taken place after the convention with Hillary as the nominee, it would serve a similar function. But of course, there is now the danger that Bill will diminish black turnout for his wife, and possibly drive younger black voters toward supporting Bernie Sanders.
Goldberg sees Bill as sabotaging Hillary:
One might attribute this repeated clumsiness to the fact that Bill Clinton is getting old; his hearing is bad, and on the trail he looks frail and wan. Perhaps he’s simply slipping, mentally. But let’s remember that Clinton caused similar problems for Hillary in 2008. There was the time he tried to diminish Obama’s victory in South Carolina by noting that Jesse Jackson won there as well. The time he described the idea that Obama had gotten the Iraq war right as “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” The time—it hurts to remember it—when he complained that the Obama campaign “played the race card on me.”
Another interpretation is that Bill is simply defending his own administration, and now that he is old, very thin and white-haired, and not looking too vigorous, he is not going to put up with what Tom Wolfe once described as “mau-mauing.” Paul Mirengoff sums it up:
If you’re a Democratic politician, you uncomplainingly take crap from militant African-Americans; it’s what you do. Unless you’re Bill Clinton. He’s a former U.S. president. He doesn’t take crap from anyone.
There is also the small, incidental matter that what Bill said is inarguably (to all except race mongers on the left) true. The BLM crowd does not care a whit about the vast numbers of black lives snuffed out by other blacks, often the teenage superpredators Hillary denounced in 1996 while supporting the crime bill her husband had signed...
...and abjectly apologized for naming a few weeks ago:
In that speech, I was talking about the impact violent crime and vicious drug cartels were having on communities across the country and the particular danger they posed to children and families. Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today.
My own take is that Bill knows the fix is in and Hillary has the nomination locked up. He well remembers how much Sistah Souljah did for him in his first presidential campaign, and he is sick and tired of being heckled at a time in life when he doesn’t really need to take any crap.
I also think he understands very well the factor that the media will never, ever discuss: black anti-semitism.
The factor almost nobody in the media wants to look at is the level of anti-Semitism among African Americans. The notion that bigotry could fuel the campaign of any Democrat, much less a Clinton, is anathema to the media establishment.