How can one equal Bill Clinton for thuggery and opportunism when it comes to the so-called “race card”? And where does one even start with the breathtaking nastiness of his own conduct, and that of his supporters, in the last week? Barack Obama carries South Carolina having made no sectarian appeal to any specific kind of voter, and the best Clinton can say is that this is no better than Jesse Jackson managed to do. Really? Did Jackson come south having already got himself elected the senator from Illinois? And, come to think of it, was Jackson so much to be despised and sneered at when he was needed as Clinton’s “confessor,” along with Billy Graham, during the squalor of impeachment?
This calculated willingness to shop on both sides of the street of racial politics was actually analyzed quite shrewdly by Dick Morris, the former consigliere of the gruesome twosome, in conversation with Sean Hannity last week. The Clintons, he thought, would be quite happy to lose big to the “black vote” in South Carolina. It would enable them to signal that they were the ones to stem the flow of the color tide. Morris’ host protested that this seemed a touch cynical. Morris jovially assured him that he knew the people he was talking about.
As indeed he did. It was Hillary Clinton who insisted on recalling Morris to the embattled White House, notwithstanding his various disgraces and notwithstanding the fact that he had been the adviser and strategist for Jesse Helms of North Carolina. Why am I saying “notwithstanding”? It was because he had performed so well for Helms, including helping him with the famous “white hands” ad that showed a white man crumpling up a letter that told him of preference for “minorities” in hiring, that Morris was thought of by the then-first lady as such a guru.