Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hillary does the mambo

All along my gut feeling about Barack Obama has been that there's no way they're gonna let this guy become president. "They" meaning Repugs, , the military-corporate establishment, the talking heads media, the religious right, & the Clintonistas. No reflection on Barack, who I think is terrific & the best hope we've got for decent & intelligent president. The noise from the kiddie brigades didn't sway me much. Never ever think that young voters will make the difference in a general election - you know this just by going to the polling place year in & year out & noticing who's there to vote. & I've voted in all kinds of places urban & suburban & semi-rural. Despite the War, despite the economy, despite the open contempt the 1% show for the 99%. Go ahead, kick us some more. Mary Matlin was just voted off "Dancing with the Stars" because, let's face it, it's very difficult to do the mambo when you can't hear the music. She's no quitter.

There was a period back in late February when if the nomination had been conceded to Obama, I thought he would have been almost unstoppable in November. But I believed he needed the Clintons on his side & needed them before summer. He needed their political experience, he needed their machine connections, & he needed their nastiness. He needed them to help absorb the racist hits & low blows we all knew were coming & to hit back on Obama's behalf while he stayed on that relentlessly positive message he was putting out. He needed a unified party that could turn immediately to the task of showing how John McCain is the worst thing that could happen to America. Because, after 2000 & 2004, I don't believe Democrats can win a close race in November. This election has to be a clear, unchallenged electoral victory that the Repugs have no hope of fixing or overturning.

Obama's worst enemy is Hillary Clinton. She's willing to hand 2008 to the Repugs in order to get another chance 1n 2012. It isn't that Obama can't win over those older white working class Democratic voters - it's obvious he can by the way he cuts down Hillary's poll numbers ; it's that Hillary has refused to let them go even after it was apparent that she could never regain the basic trust much less the enthusiastic support of the African-American Democratic base. Bill, in the most astonishing part of this entire endless campaign, back in South Carolina, inexplicably threw them away. 30 years of friendly bonding, the entire "First Black President" thing, gone almost overnight. What could Hillary do? It was a fatal mistake. She had no choice but to cobble together wins without the black vote. Which makes them all very dubious achievements. Black voters are the Democratic base. Hillary says she carries the "important" states. But a month ago I concluded she was unlikely to carry PA or Ohio or Florida or maybe even Jersey in November simply because she'd never win back the black vote in the numbers she'd need, & numbers ain't the same as percentages in elections. She could have run a primary campaign that conceded most black voters to Obama without alienating them. & in doing so she might well have held on to more black votes. What did she get out of PA - a ten delegate advantage? & that crap about how we "deserve a president who doesn't quit." Hey, George W. Bush isn't a quitter. & I notice Ron Paul's still officially in the race.

This campaign is heartbreaking to watch, & I watch very little of it now. The divisiveness. The outrageous sums of money spent - as if there's a bottomless trough of money - that should be reserved for use against John McCain. Who - absent some sea change in the masochistic American voting populace - will win in November. The blood''s in the water & the sharks are circling in to feed.
In response to Suzette:
One of my initial hopes for this year was that it would bring about the end of the Clinton era. It wasn't a consuming desire. I figured it would be a side-effect of someone else getting the nomination. I wanted John Edwards, the Southern white guy. If Hillary won it, so be it. But the South Carolina primary & a New York Times article on Bill's post-presidential business dealings changed my mind. It should have occurred to me that the Clintons might wage an apocalyptic battle. I certainly didn't expect Hillary to dynamite her bridges to core Democratic constituencies. There's no turning back for her now. She can't cut it in the Democratic Party without African-Americans no matter many Reagan Democrats, Jon Corzines & It's Our Turn middle-aged feminists she's got, & by 2012 nobody will make it without the netroots.

The Repugs were spared a bloodfest because the evangelicals couldn't find a candidate. & in a way, I think that was Giuliani's contribution. His early poll strength proved they didn't have anyone & the races degenerated into nonsense about Mormonism & evolution rather than their preferred topics of fetuses & anal sex between men.


One person's heartbreak is another person's entertainment. Hillary is doing all of the work of highlighting Obama's flaws and weakensses, and what she drops her husband picks up and flogs to death. Say hello to President McCain, courtesy of the Clintons.

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