"Scorched Earth" is a military term, a strategic, tactical and/or punitive act against an enemy whereby you completely destroy anything and everything in the pursuit of your goal.
This week Senator Clinton made an astonishing statement. She said, "I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say. He's never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."
You have to go back to Hillary's crying moment in New Hampshire for context. What she told us that day was that she's running for president because she has "so many opportunities from this country. I just don't want to see us fall backwards." Okay, let's take her at her word. She's running for president because she doesn't want us to fall backward. "Backward," in Clinton-speak presumably means "more George Bush." So then you have to ask yourself how she could make a statement like the one she made today. She has to know -- even if she thinks she could win -- that Obama could very well be the nominee. If we accept that she is a smart woman then we have to realize that she knows this. And then we have to also realize that she knows what she just did. She just handed the Republican nominee a soundbite he can play over and over and over again throughout the general election. And this is someone who has professed as her goal to beat the Republicans at all costs.
I wrote a piece yesterday about the Clinton campaign being a crystal ball through which we can see a Clinton presidency. Today's statement is yet another such view into the future and a reminder of the past, a past full of the kind of partisan bickering that splits the nation down the middle, pitting American against American in a time when it benefits all of us to find common ground.
It's breathtaking to me how juvenile the Clinton campaign is. There is a "take-my-ball-and-go-home" attitude in almost all of the rhetoric. Anger, sarcasm, chest pounding and foot stomping -- this is a president? No, this is a toddler having a temper tantrum. This is someone in desperate need of a time-out.
And the more I hear the "Vote for me because I will beat the Republicans" refrain that climaxes every Clinton stump speech, the more I find it creepy and disturbing. Sorry, but the "Republicans" are half of the country. How often have we been told in the last several elections that the country is painfully divided politically.
I don't want to sound too Kumbaya about this, but we shouldn't be voting for someone because they will "beat" half our country into submission. We need a leader who will enlist the other half, who will invite them, who will welcome them and who will lead a nation into an uncertain future.
What we don't need is a tone deaf, angry, sarcastic, brow-beating divider who would rather scorch the ground she lives on rather than imagine any possibility that she might not be the landlord. That kind of behavior represents a past we would all like to step away from, not a future any of us should embrace or even accept.