President Clinton, Shut Up… Please.

In today’s edition, The Wall Street Journal‘s Peggy Noonan says it as well as it can be stated…

We begin, as one always must now, again, with Bill Clinton. The past week he has traveled South Carolina, leaving discord in his wake. Barack Obama, that “fairytale,” is low, sneaky. “He put out a hit job on me.” The press is cruelly carrying Mr. Obama’s counter-jabs. “You live for it.”

In Dillon, S.C., according to the Associated Press, on Thursday Mr. Clinton “predicted that many voters will be guided mainly by gender and race loyalties” and suggested his wife may lose Saturday’s primary because black voters will side with Mr. Obama. Who is raising race as an issue? Bill Clinton knows. It’s the press, and Mr. Obama. “Shame on you,” Mr. Clinton said to a CNN reporter. The same day the Web site believed to be the backdoor of the Clinton war room unveiled a new name for the senator from Illinois: “Sticky Fingers Obama.”

Bill Clinton, with his trembly, red-faced rage, makes John McCain look young. His divisive and destructive daily comportment—this is a former president of the United States—is a civic embarrassment. It is also an education, and there is something heartening in this.

There are many serious and thoughtful liberals and Democrats who support Mr. Obama and John Edwards, and who are seeing Mr. Clinton in a new way and saying so. Here is William Greider in The Nation, the venerable left-liberal magazine. The Clintons are “high minded” on the surface but “smarmily duplicitous underneath, meanwhile jabbing hard at the groin area. They are a slippery pair and come as a package. The nation is at fair risk of getting them back in the White House for four years.”

That, again, is from one of the premier liberal journals in the United States. It is exactly what conservatives have been saying for a decade. This may mark a certain coming together of the thoughtful on both sides. The Clintons, uniters at last.

Mr. Obama takes the pummeling and preaches the high road. It’s all windup with him, like a great pitcher more comfortable preparing to throw than throwing. Something in him resists aggression. He tends to be indirect in his language, feinting, only suggestive. I used to think he was being careful not to tear the party apart, and endanger his own future.

But the Clintons are tearing the party apart. It will not be the same after this. It will not be the same after its most famous leader, and probable ultimate victor, treated a proud and accomplished black man who is a U.S. senator as if he were nothing, a mere impediment to their plans. And to do it in a way that signals, to his supporters, How dare you have the temerity, the ingratitude, after all we’ve done for you?

Watch for the GOP to attempt swoop in after the November elections and make profit of the wreckage.

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