Yes, We Should Criticize Democratic Candidates

I’m old enough to remember when Senator Sanders ran an ad saying this about Hilary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected. Now she’s making false attacks… The Washington Post says Clinton isn’t telling the truth. She championed NAFTA, even though it has cost South Carolina thousands of jobs. And worst of all, it was Hillary Clinton who voted for George Bush’s war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything and change nothing. It’s time to turn the page.

Actually, that wasn’t Sanders, that was Obama in 2008:

Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected. Now she’s making false attacks against Barack Obama. The Washington Post says Clinton isn’t telling the truth. She championed NAFTA, even though it has cost South Carolina thousands of jobs. And worst of all, it was Hillary Clinton who voted for George Bush’s war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything and change nothing. It’s time to turn the page.

Meanwhile, this happened:

But the attack that received the most pop, on cable television and blogs, came after a photograph of Mr. Obama in ceremonial African garb appeared on the Drudge Report, and the item’s author, Matt Drudge, claimed that the image was provided by a Clinton staff member.

Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, said that the Clinton campaign had “engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party.” It has not been independently verified that the photograph came from the Clinton campaign.

Mrs. Clinton’s new campaign manager, Maggie Williams, recently appointed to bring a tougher hand to the operation, issued a withering reply, not taking responsibility for the photograph but attacking the Obama campaign for suggesting that the photograph amounted to fear-mongering imagery.

“Enough,” Ms. Williams’s statement began. “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.”

Clinton also noted about Obama:

“Senator Obama, it’s hard to have a straight up debate with you because you never take responsibility for any vote…On issue after issue, you voted present. When someone raises that, there’s always some sort of explanation.”

Then there was this bit by Obama:

Point being, political campaigns are called campaigns for a reason. The candidates should be criticized, harshly when it’s warranted. That said, Democratic voters, for our own sanity, should try to be more empathetic towards each other, if for no other reason than make sure we all vote.

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