What’s worse? Being called a monster, or being likened to Kenneth Starr? I guess it depends on who’s keeping score.
Samantha Power could have referred to Hillary Clinton as Lady Macbeth. She could have said that Barak Obama’s Democratic opponent is displaying an “unalloyed lust for power.” She could have said that Clinton seems to have become “unhinged” — so desperate to win the nomination that she is jeopardizing the Democratic party’s chances of winning back the White House.
Had she said any of these things, Power would now still be a key adviser to Senator Obama. Instead, she used the utterly shocking word “monster.” She fucked up — and at the very same time that she was acknowledging that the Obama campaign “f***** up in Ohio.” (Note that The Scotsman, a newspaper whose journalistic integrity compelled to run with this important story, is also so high-minded that it must protect its readers from the shocking f-word.)
This then is the state of politics and the way it gets reported: lies, distortions, exaggeration and deviousness provoke neither shock nor penalty, but an ill-chosen word and an indiscreet honest expression — this is what must always be denounced and rejected.
Power needed to acknowledge that she had blundered, but she didn’t need to resign. Her remarks were inexcusable not because of their content but because she was dumb enough to express them to a reporter.