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Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Laughing about Scaife
On Countdown yesterday, Keith Olbermann asked Hillary Clinton about her recent chumminess with Richard Mellon Scaife, the billionaire who funded various dirty tricks operations against the Clintons during the 1990's. Hillary laughed off the question and told the host that she believes in "redemption" (videos of Hillary laughing and Olbermann's befuddled response to the laughter are here).
For my own part, when it comes to megalomaniacal billionaires, Scaife is far less entertaining than Sun Myung Moon or Rupert Murdoch. Hillary might be amused that Scaife is financially backing the the neo-conservative think tank The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), a right-wing group that seeks to reduce the influence of mainline protestant denominations such as the United Methodist Church of which Hillary is a member. The Institute is involved in a particularly ugly lawsuit against the Methodist Church that will effectively take away funds that go to the church's efforts to feed children in developing countries. That's a little hard to laugh off.
UPDATE: It wouldn't take a cynic to suspect that the motives behind Scaife's support for Hillary is similar to Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos," an effort to cause massive infighting in the Democratic Party by buoying Hillary's quixotic campaign so that Obama will be, in Limbaugh's words, "bloodied up" for the general election. As Steve Benen noted, the endorsement of Hillary in Scaife's vanity newspaper, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, used the term "Democrat [sic] Party," a pejorative used only by wing-nuts and Fox News Democrats such as Tammy Bruce. for more on Hillary and Scaife, check out my previous post, "Notes of a Former Clinton Defender."