Yesterday, New Hampshire Democrats held their annual “Kennedy-Clinton Dinner,” which is their major fundraiser. The dinner is named after former Presidents Kennedy and Clinton.
NH GOP Chair, Jeanie Forester, called on the Democrats to denounce Clinton and remove his name:
Asked by Fox News if the state Democratic party should have a conversation about taking Clinton’s name off the dinner, party Chairman Raymond Buckley said, “I think it would be an interesting conversation right after we see the resignation of Donald Trump.”
Asked again, Buckley responded that “I think that once we see the Republican Party really stand up and represent the real values of America, I think we can have a number of other conversations about other officials. But right now this country, this world, is under assault by Donald Trump and that’s really the most pressing issue.”
Buckley is engaging in whataboutism, a tactic routinely employed by the Soviet Union to deflect criticism. For example, in response to criticism of human rights violations, the Soviets would criticize race-relations in the United States. The goal of whataboutism is to avoid addressing the criticism by creating a false equivalence.
Here, Buckley is attempting to create a false equivalence between claims against President Trump and claims against Bill Clinton. The problem is that the voters were very much aware of the claims by multiple women against Trump and the “Access Hollywood” tape, but elected him President nonetheless. The voters disbelieved these claims or believed that Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, was even less fit to be President.
Choosing to name your premier fund-raising event after Bill Clinton is completely different from choosing between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for President. The latter is a binary choice. The former is not.
In choosing to name their dinner after Bill Clinton, the Democrats are saying either that they don’t believe Juanita Broaddrick’s claim that Clinton raped her as well as numerous claim by other women, or that what Bubba did and does to women is just not that important to them.
As to the former, from Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times:
Of the Clinton accusers, the one who haunts me is Broaddrick. The story she tells about Clinton recalls those we’ve heard about Weinstein. She claimed they had plans to meet in a hotel coffee shop, but at the last minute he asked to come up to her hotel room instead, where he raped her. Five witnesses said she confided in them about the assault right after it happened. It’s true that she denied the rape in an affidavit to Paula Jones’s lawyers, before changing her story when talking to federal investigators. But her explanation, that she didn’t want to go public but couldn’t lie to the F.B.I., makes sense. Put simply, I believe her.
Not surprisingly, the #nhpolitics press is just letting Ray Buckley get away with whataboutism.
Since they won’t tell you, this is what Buckley and the Democrats are choosing to honor:
Staying at the now-defunct Camelot Inn, Broaddrick said, she called the campaign headquarters and eventually talked with Clinton on the telephone. She later recalled he said he was not going to his headquarters that day and suggested they meet in the hotel coffee shop instead.
Arriving later in the lobby, he called and asked if they could have coffee in her room instead because there were too many reporters in the lobby, Broaddrick said. “Stupid me, I ordered coffee to the room,” she said. “I thought we were going to talk about the campaign.”
As she tells the story, they spent only a few minutes chatting by the window — Clinton pointed to an old jail he wanted to renovate if he became governor — before he began kissing her. She resisted his advances, she said, but soon he pulled her back onto the bed and forcibly had sex with her. She said she did not scream because everything happened so quickly. Her upper lip was bruised and swollen after the encounter because, she said, he had grabbed onto it with his mouth.
Shame on them.