The media’s focus on the roiling feud between Democratic presidential candidate and independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and an imaginary Hillary Clinton who called him “not qualified to be president” has mainly been outrage-based, but The Young Turks‘ Cenk Uygur made an excellent point in his flawed defense of Sanders: Hillary Clinton actually did much worse against then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008. He points out that saying disqualifying things about political opponents is a thing that political opponents do, which is true, and he’s absolutely right that no one on Hillary’s side has a right to moral outrage after the way she attacked Obama in 2008.
Most relevantly, Hillary ran the now-infamous “It’s 3 a.m.” ad that, without using the word “unqualified,” pretty much said that electing Obama would probably result in the slaughter of your children. As tough an ad as that was, though, even that was within the bounds of the sorts of contrasts political opponents draw about each other. It ain’t beanbag.
Where Hillary Clinton crossed the line, and sent millions of Democrats’ heads smashing into their desks, was when she took it a step further and actually began to essentially campaign for John McCain, as compiled here:
What this underscores more than anything, though, is just how politically unwise Sanders’ attack on Hillary was. That compilation video was put out by the Republican National Committee in June of 2008, just as surely as Sanders’ rant will end up in a Donald Trump ad. Sure, it all worked out for Obama and Hillary, who wound up taking those 3 a.m. calls together, but that doesn’t mean it was a good idea.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.