Democrats as victims?

There's an interesting meme of Democratic victimology developing here…

In addition to former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, saying that media attention on his hair stems from powerful interests who "want to shut me up", it should be noted that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, is also wading a bit into the waters of victimology…

After being the first one to really amp up her disagreement with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, from Monday night's debate -- her campaign sent out the video of their respective answers before the debate was even over, and she was the first one to personally use perjorative adjectives against Obama -- she's now trying to raise money claiming he "attacked" her.

"Last week, one of the leading Republican candidates equated Hillary with Karl Marx. Yesterday, one of the leading Democratic candidates called her 'Bush-Cheney lite,'" wrote Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle in the e-mail. "Hillary is under attack from opponents on all sides. When you're attacked, you expect your family and friends to stand with you…"

The short, 440-word fundraising appeal uses a form of the word "attack" six times. With Clinton as the victim, naturally.

Moreover, the Washington Post has also obtained a fundraising letter from Clinton taking issue with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan's style-section story about Clinton's cleavage. (LINK)

"Frankly," writes Clinton senior adviser Ann Lewis (LINK), "focusing on women's bodies instead of their ideas is insulting....By now the media should know better. But they don't."

Edwards' campaign is exploring a similar strategy, posting his "they want to shut me up" comments from yesterday in Creston, Iowa, on Youtube (LINK). The remarks in full:

"You remember the Swift Boat stuff? This stuff's not an accident. Nobody in this room should think this is an accident. You know, I'm out there speaking up for universal healthcare, ending this war in Iraq, speaking up for the poor.

"They want to shut me up. That's what this is about. 'Let's distract from people who don't have health care coverage. Let's distract from people who can't feed their children. Let's people who can't pay for their medicine. Let's talk about this litlte silly frivolous nothing stuff so that America won't pay attention.'

"They will never silence me. Never. I'll tell you that right now.

"If we don't stand up to these people, if we don't fight em, if we don't beat them, they're going to continue to control this country.

"They're going to control the media. They're going to control what's being said. They do not want to hear us talking about health care for everybody.

"They don't want to hear us talking about a fair tax system. You think these people who make $100 million a year, you think they want to pay their fair share of taxes? Thats why they hire all those lobbyists for in Washington, D.C.

"They hate listening to people like me. Well, I got bad news for 'em, they're going to have to listen to me for the next eight years."

You can view this as Democrats learning from the lessons of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and refusing to be "Swift Boated"…or ones exploiting any opportunity to create a crusade and make money…or Democrats fed up with a system they see as stacked against them….depending on your point of view.

What say you?

-- jpt

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