Don't Defend Hillary
I am not a fan of talk radio in general; unlike the liberal blogosphere (at least the I frequest) which does a pretty good job of fact-checking itself Talk Radio on both the left and right seems to be dominated by wingnuts from both sides (Al Franken and Dave Ross excepted. In short, talk radio is the lazy-medium with the added bonus of allowing the average joe to spout off ill-thought out ideas with little or no intelligent review.
So it was with some annoyance that I heard Randy Rhodes and several other talkies defending Hillary's speech likening the Senate is like a plantation. I think Peter David said it best:
If Hillary Clinton's goal was to get some ink in saying that the Senate was like a plantation, then it was a really smart thing to say. If, on the other hand, she was trying to draw a remotely accurate metaphor, I don't think that was the way to go.
Her representatives have tried to justify it by saying that the Senate is being run by the Bossman and opposing views are stifled. Yeah, okay, but that also describes any number of corporations. No one is in the Congress or Senate against their will, no one is being beaten, and no one is being hunted down if they leave. There's just way too much baggage attached to the concept of plantations to try and pare it down to, "Our attempts to present our views are being stifled." I mean, she could just as easily address the UJA and say the Senate is like a concentration camp, and it would be just as questionable.
If she'd wanted to be clever, she could have said, "I'm not saying the Senate is like, say, a plantation. Not at all. I mean, yes, Democrats are being given no more respect by Republicans than the Bossman gave his workers, and we have about as much input into the way things are being done. And it can be certainly stated that the Senate is giving little to no attention to the needs of its black constituents. But it's definitely NOT like a plantation...yet." That makes it slightly harded for critics to come back and say, "So you're saying the Senate is like a plantation?!" to which she replies, "Uh, no, I said it isn't like one. Are you reading impaired?"
Al Gore's speach on the otherhand was right on. The difference was that were Hillary used metaphor, Al Gore stuck to actual examples and can't seriously be called out by the right on whether he represented facts or not. All they can do is try to argue that the Imperial Presidency is a good thing (which obviously they know they can't win on because they dance around that subject).