By now it’s unlikely that our readers don’t know what Hillary Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour earlier this week, namely that it’s impossible to be civil with the Republican Party, and that civility can return when her party takes power on Capitol Hill.
Hillary Clinton says the time for civility is over.
After the bitter and partisan fight over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the former secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate declared that President Donald Trump has undermined the integrity of the nation’s highest court and that it’s time for Democrats to be “tougher” with their opponents, in an interview with CNN published Tuesday
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”
Clinton said that Senate Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., “demeaned the confirmation process” and “insulted and attacked” Christine Blasey Ford – who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about a sexual assault she alleges Kavanaugh committed in 1982 – along with other “women who were speaking out.”
Clinton compared the handling of Kavanaugh’s confirmation to “Republican operatives shutting down the voting in 2000,” the “swift-boating of John Kerry,” attacks on former Arizona Sen. John McCain in the 2000 Republican primary and “what they did to me for 25 years.”
“When you’re dealing with an ideological party that is driven by the lust for power, that is funded by corporate interests who want a government that does its bidding, you can be civil but you can’t overcome what they intend to do unless you win elections,” she told Amanpour.
Clinton compared Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony at the White House on Monday to a “political rally” that “further undermined the image and integrity of the court.”
She told Amanpour the effect on the court “troubles” and “saddens” her “because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government.”
“But the President’s been true to form,” Clinton added. “He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign – really for many years leading up to the campaign. And he’s continued to do that inside the White House.”
After the Kavanaugh confirmation, Clinton said her husband, former President Bill Clinton, told her that “Democrats have to be tougher.”
“Bill had to be incredibly strong – first to get elected, then to get re-elected and to survive,” she said. “And it was not easy by any means, obviously.”
That interview generated a good deal of reaction, including a pair of tweets by two of Louisiana’s most prominent Republican political figures – Sen. Bill Cassidy and Rep. Steve Scalise…
At a time when Republicans are being shot, stabbed, doxxed, beaten, mailed powder, run out of restaurants, and sent death threats, Hillary Clinton urges Democrats to be even more uncivil. What an irresponsible statement. Every Democrat should denounce. pic.twitter.com/TdEmISWnzM
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) October 9, 2018
Seriously, Hillary? https://t.co/EPJVwX692T
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 9, 2018
Scalise, obviously, has complete standing to protest Clinton’s abandoning of civility seeing as though an unhinged leftist loon almost killed him in a shooting at the Republican congressional baseball team’s practice session last June. But while Cassidy hasn’t been physically attacked he’s one of the more common victims of left-wing nuts accosting him in a threatening fashion, be it at town halls, in the Senate’s hallways or even online.
These two have seen the decline in civility and sanity in political life, and to them it has to be unnerving to see Clinton – in an interview done from Oxford, England, of all places, so she wasn’t even in the country while exhorting her supporters to get “tougher” – essentially abandon civilized political debate.
Cassidy in particular had it right. It’s an irresponsible statement, and one the Democrats ought to be running from at top speed. Except they aren’t. If anything, Clinton captured the mood of the American Left, which in the wake of the Kavanaugh confirmation now appears to be committed to even more unhinged and insane street theater.
We can’t help but think this is going to get worse before it gets better. And we join Sen. Rand Paul, who worried earlier this week that somebody would get assassinated if this current political climate persists. What’s most frightening is the fact that so much of the Democrat Party’s top leadership thinks this climate is a good thing – they clearly think whipping the Hard Left into its current frenzy will help voter turnout. But if they’re wrong and they don’t manage to win anything of significance in the midterm elections, then what?
People who have their cars set on fire because a Trump sticker is on the bumper, or who get attacked for going to a political rally, or who get drinks poured on them at restaurants because they’re wearing a MAGA hat, are not just going to sit still and take it forever. At some point they’ll respond. And when they do, the current climate will turn into something far worse.
It would be nice if people on both sides recognized this. So far, that isn’t the case.
One final thought to close this out – do you think Clinton’s newly heated rhetoric is just driven by butthurt about Kavanaugh, or is it something else? We can’t help but think that if the midterms go badly for the Democrats Trump could decide to let his own dogs loose – and one manifestation of that could be the Justice Department engaging in a full-on investigation of the Clinton e-mail case and the Clinton Foundation, not to mention the potential money laundering operation her 2016 campaign was. Could it be that Hillary is using this overheated combative language in an effort to set a predicate for the legal troubles which might be over the horizon, and set up the accusation that those troubles to come are mere political recriminations rather than the accountability for illegal behavior which would be inevitable to anyone else?