Martin O'Malley's lame campaign themes echo right wing tropes. With "friends" like that, who needs enemies?
June 1, 2015

Didja hear the one about all the Republican candidates on the Clown Bus mocking Hillary Clinton for belonging to a "dynasty?" Sure you have. We all have. If not from the candidates, then from the Villagers, who poured that into an echo chamber as an offering to their right wing owners.

Before I get to Martin O'Malley's use of that particular right-wing frame, here's what our own Nicole Belle had to say to John Dickerson on Facebook. Dickerson will be taking over for Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation.

Hillary Clinton is her own person. Just because she is married to a former president and served as Secretary of State of another does not mean that she is in lockstep agreement with everything either one has ever done.

You cannot hold Hillary Clinton responsible for NAFTA nor can you necessarily link her to any of President Obama's foreign policy priorities. The First Lady's job is not to contradict the president and as Secretary of State, she served at the president's pleasure, not hers.

Women everywhere will be watching closely how the media will cover Hillary Clinton. Will you evaluate and analyze her as her own person or will you treat her as an appendage to males she's worked with and for?

Here's your chance to distinguish yourselves from some pretty dismal competition. Treat Hillary Clinton as a person.

Unfortunately, we've got some dismal competition inside the ranks of the Democratic party, too. Enter Martin O'Malley, who must have some real dim bulbs as campaign consultants.

After he announced his candidacy Saturday, he took a moment to snatch a right-wing trope and run to the Sunday shows with it.

On This Week, O'Malley said, "I think our country always benefits from new leadership and new perspectives. The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust that is to be earned, and exercised on behalf of the American people."

I take exception to that indictment. Not just because it's a trope, but because if you want to compare one who has paid dues to one who hasn't, have a look at Martin O'Malley. I don't care what kind of Celtic rock band he plays in or whether The Wire based the mayor character on him. One cannot compare O'Malley's experience with Clinton's. (Or Bernie Sanders' for that matter, but he wasn't slamming Bernie.)

I'm going to let Sarah Jones take it from here. She said what I was thinking.

Martin O’Malley might not have meant to be sexist by playing the Republican card of “royalty” against Hillary Clinton, but he should know better.

This attack also punishes Clinton for being married, something Republicans are gleefully also trying to make stick. The logic is that since her husband got to be President, she doesn’t get to, otherwise CROWN!What makes Ms. Clinton less “entitled” to run for office than her husband? This suggests that O’Malley is saying that Bill Clinton’s career has precedence, which is actually a very old-fashioned and yet still harmful male-centric idea that damages women professionally. Survey says.

High-achieving women expect egalitarianism and are disappointed when they don’t get it. Egalitarianism is the foundation of feminism, something any “liberal” should be well-versed on and not spitting on — in public, no less.

Martin O’Malley says he’s the “young” face, but he’s using both sexism and ageism as a crutch to help him get attention. That isn’t young. And what he and his people seem to fail to understand is that contrary to what the media has been feeding politicians forever, people do actually care about the issues. This is why Senators like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have such a loyal following.

Liberals want to hear about the issues, and they deserve a primary focused on issues, not cheap shots. Not only is he shooting his promising future in the foot if he stays on this course, but O’Malley needs a reboot before he ruins what is set to be one of the best Democratic primaries in a long time.

And that matters because it is the Democrats who are protecting the 98%, and if their primary goes to dirt and mud, the general election is sure to disappoint.

Talk to me about dynasties, Martin O'Malley, when you hear Jeb Bush slap Social Security around. But leave it out of your discussion about Hillary Clinton. No one in this field has paid more "dues" than she has.

For now, I'm willing to forgive your lapse into right wing frames if your message changes. But if I hear more that sounds like it was written by the former DCCC staffer on his team, I'm not going to do that for long. Take a page out of Bernie Sanders' book. He's been framing it exactly right.

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