Monday, April 28, 2008

Clinton Derangement Syndrome; meet Obama Delusional Disease.

The great state of Pennsylvania has made its choice known; the mist have parted and the magic eight ball has answered our quest for a nominee with “Reply hazy, try again later.” Partisans for both sides have got their talking points out and are spinning faster than a bicyclist on a 20% downhill grade.
Clintonistas will point out that Barack Obama failed to “close the deal” again. After outspending Clinton three to one and having a much deeper organization Obama nearly lost the election by double digits. Loosing by 9.4% percentage points had to hurt. Once again Obama failed to get votes from white ethnic voters. Once again he got creamed by the female vote. He even lost some ground with the youth vote as they showed up in smaller numbers than before.

The Obama partisans note that Hillary’s former lead of 20 percentage points evaporated very quickly in just one month and she did have the Governor behind her. Barack was fighting an uphill battle in Pennsylvania; the demographics were against him. Barack, not having the ground machine in place like Clinton, had to build his own in Pennsylvania. Going up against Ed Rendel and the Democratic establishment made the mountain that much harder for Obama.

Both candidates also suffered major self-inflicted wounds. Hillary’s major wound was her awful performance in February. Thanks to her teams incompetence post Super Tuesday, Hillary got badly beaten in 10 primaries and caucuses. Any other candidate would have quietly dug a grave for themselves and lied down to die in it. Hillary did not even have to dig her own grave; there were plenty of people more than willing to do the service.

One of the truly remarkable phenomenons out in the political world is the range and depth of the hatred for all things Clinton. It has been nine long years since the Monica affair and people still attack the Clintons on it. Hillary gets bashed for staying with Bill; Bill gets bashed for his parsing of the facts. People trash the Clintons mercilessly for their supposed lust for power and dishonesty. Many people are hypersensitive to Clinton missteps and miscues. It is truly amazing to see the amount of vitriol and scorn poured on the Clintons for even the most minor offenses. Take for instance the inartful but historically true statement about Martin Luther King and LBJ. You would have thought Bill and Hillary were caught at a cross burning in full KKK regalia. Take the big Dog’s mangled statement on how South Carolina primary vote was maybe less than it appeared. The Clintons got flame-sprayed for daring to speak a politically incorrect truth. More than a few time the Big Dog has barked a bit too loudly, sometimes he has barked inappropriately but we must remember that his wife out there getting the flack, he can’t help but get emotionally involved.

We would all be a little smarter if we got less emotionally involved. This is especially true of the junior Senator from Illinois. If the Clintons cause derangement, Obama causes delusion. If the Clintons can do nothing right ,Barack can do no wrong. It seems anytime a really hard question is asked of Obama the cry of racism is tossed out. The huge myth of the Obama campaign is that others have played the race card on him. Not even close dear readers. It was the wrong Reverend Jessie Jackson Jr. who first came out hot and bothered on that score. When Hillary had an emotional moment in New Hampshire Jr. called foul. He accused Mrs. Clinton of crocodile tears because no tears had come forth from Bill’s wife when poor black folk were drowning in NOLA. He accused both Clintons of indifference to the plight of African Americans and of being closet racists. Time and time again in South Carolina, Barack came out on his stump speech channeling the long dead spirit of Malcolm X to fire up the black vote. Time and time again, Barack used his skin tone to trump the Clintons long history of supporting African Americans.

More to the point Barack pandered not only to color but also to the worst instincts of the Black Church. To win votes in the Black church Barack enlisted the worst lights of the homo-haters in the African American Church: Donnie McClerkin, and Reverend Meeks. If Hillary had signed up an ex-gay minister to tour with her in Ohio there would have been no end to the outrage expressed from all corners. However Barack got not only a pass on this, but he also a pass on not going to the state of the black nation conference in NOLA and a pass on missing the 40th anniversary remembrance of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. If this is not proof positive that people are deeply delusional about Obama, then there is no hope of making the point. Hillary got blasted for a nonexistent slight to Kings Memory; Barack got to blow off the very same ceremony that John McCain showed up for. Let that last fact simmer in your gray matter gentle reader; John Sidney McCain, arch conservative, the man who voted against the King holiday every time it came up, went to the King 40th anniversary Memorial that Barack could not bother to show up for. By the way that crypto-racist Ms. Hillary Clinton also made an appearance too. Honest question to Obama supporters, if Barack can’t be bothered to make a brief appearance, if he can’t bother to show up, at two of the most important gatherings for Black America in 2008 why in god’s good green earth do you think he will show up on Black issues if he gets elected in November?

We could go on and on about the gap between the claims about Obama and the realities. The most ridiculous is the claim about how Obama is somehow cleaner than the driven snow. Sorry the guy is just another pol trying to blow smoke up your nether regions. Not only did he flail around with his explanation of his connections with Reverend Wright; there is a good chance that he has been less than factual about his relationship with Mr. Ayers. Surf over to No Quarter; Mr. Larry Johnson has some very interesting things to say about how close Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama really were in Chicago. Can you say Obama worked for Mr. Ayers for eight freaking years? Larry claims that Obama did. If this is true, why are we only hearing about this now? Maybe it is because the Moron Media has been too busy giving Barack a tongue bath?

Thanks to the very same Moron Media we know about every possible flaw of the Clintons, every possible blemish and zit has been magnified 100 fold for our enlightenment. This is more than garden variety misogyny on the part of the Moron Media although that does play a big part; it is also the woman in question. The traditional media has had it’s knives out for the Clintons since they came to Washington. What is distressing is that the so called progressive and alternative media have joined in the slasher fest. They have beat up and beat down Hillary mercilessly since she joined the Senate. Hillary did not help her cause with the left by offering flag burning amendments to the constitution or by other tactics taken from the DLC handbook. Plus, there was her vote on the war followed by her support for Kyl-Lieberman. She still does not understand that Lieberman is persona non grata in the progressive wing of the party. Barack, bless his pandering soul, found a way to have Holy Joe be his mentor while not being attached to him in the public mind. KOSsacks in particular have been willful in not noticing Barack’s attachment to the man they see as the ultimate traitor to the Democratic Party.

Next, a short discussion about electability and down-ticket success. The best argument for Barack is his ability to reach across to independents and moderate Republicans. The second part of the argument is a non-starter. There are no Moderate Republicans left. Even on the East Coast they are a dying breed. Many missed it; but former swing states like New Jersey and Ohio have gone deep blue. Even in such Republican Redoubts as Maine the incumbents are in deep trouble. New England, birth place of the Bushes, has seen the collapse of the Republican Party. Just as it has in places like Texas and California the party has been taken over by the right wing. Just like California the results have been disastrous for the Republicans –they have become a ideologically rigid minority party. All the moderates and liberals in the GOP have joined the DLC.

What then about the independents? Let us toss a bean ball here; Hillary actually does quite well with independents, thank you very much. Her ability to reach security moms, Wal-Mart Moms, and NASCAR dads is much better than one would suppose. She did very well in the deep blue environs of Upstate New York and helped fellow Donkeys in Albany get elected. Her coat-tails are longer than one would suppose. Barack on the other hand might just be less than meets the eye. He has much smaller negatives than HRC but she has pretty much topped out on that metric. Barack, on the other hand, has yet to begin to be slimed. He got a small taste of the coming attractions with the PA debate. George, beholds my pile of mighty helmet hair, Stephanopoulos started gnawing on Barack’s ankle like a badly mannered terrier. Barack was oddly unprepared for the festivities. He had to know what was coming down the mountain but he got run over by the train none the less. A smarter, quicker mind would have found a way to pivot away from those questions and gone on the attack. A question on Wright would be the perfect opening to go after McCain relationship with Reverends Parsley and Hagee. Not once in that debate did Barack manage to attack John McCain. No he just stood there while the two “moderators” took pot shots at him.

To quote Rachel Maddow Barack Obama seems to be "the Bunny going up against the snow plow." He can handle Clinton to a point because of who she is. She has the rep for playing fast and loose with the facts . She can only go so negative before misogynist blow-back occurs. She has to find a away to keep her tenuous connections with the Black voters alive. Hillary's fire, believe it or else, has been quite restrained. If John Edwards were still in the race, he would kill "the chosen one" in the White male demographic. Edwards would also slice and dice Obama on the hot-button progressive issues. The son of a mill worker would have shredded the Harvard Law School elitist every day of the week and twice on Sundays. To Edwards great distress his campaign never went after Obama. Mudcat Saunders and Joe Trippi got blindsided by Senator Hope, they even foolishly made an alliance with him to try to knock out Hillary. McCain will not make such an error. McCain will send out wave after wave of attack dogs and wallow in the depths of bigotry with no ill effect. In the General Obama’s strong black vote nets the Democrats the District of Columbia period. 

Clinton gets endlessly slagged about her supposed feelings of arrogance; that she feels that she is owed the White House. Yet there is not a peep about how Obama takes the support of Clinton partisans and others for granted. It is assumed that we will all just see the light and join the great movement. If that does not work we are threatened with a desertion of African Americans from the Democratic Party. When did the Democratic Party become a suicide pact? We have no choice but to nominate a man who very well might loose to John McCain? Sorry Obama supporters, if you man gets outplayed in Super Delegate race it is because of a fundamental weakness in his campaign. In the end the Supers will go with the candidate who they think will win. Sorry, the Democratic Party owes you exactly nothing if you can’t reach the magic number of 2025.

One last bit of heresy before we close. Both Hillary and Barack have strengths and weaknesses. Hillary really does have a storehouse of competence and experience. She definitely has a passion for the job and the smarts to be great. Her major shortcoming is that she triangulates far too often. Take mandates for instance, she would be better on that point if just said "mandates are the only way we get to universal health coverage." Any health care plan will have pluses and minuses. Hillary should admit that there will be some sticks along with all the carrots being handed out. She then can explain how her program will not be an onerous burden on anyone. The best way to beat back a appeal to fear is with cool rational facts.

Barack Obama is a great orator who finally brings passion back to politics. His core message of inclusion reflects what is best in us. But the message is hopelessly naive and bound to disappoint. At is core there is the man himself. That man is a compromiser, a wheeler-dealer, a man with no set ideology. In better times Barack Obama could have really been like Ike or JFK; but not in these times. Maybe he does have the chops to really push hard to make things happen. Maybe he can brow-beat the Republicans into some form of decency. Maybe he did learn a thing or two about the need for political knife-work from his time in Chicago.

So far the only knives seen have ended in Bill and Hillary’s back. Time and time again Barack has disparaged core progressive values. Exactly how many times will take being thrown under the bus before the Progressive wing of the party gets the memo?
Barack is no progressive hero; he is no friend of the unions, he is no friend of feminists, he is no friend of the environmentalists. He is all talk and no substance. Time and time again we are asked to put out faith in a position paper or a speech; not hard cold facts. Ask Hillary about policy and you get a long, detailed extrapolation- a point by point review; ask Obama and you get a URL to a post done up by one of his staffers. Please note that Obama is more than willing to walk away from the positions of his staffers when they cause political side winds. That is how he went from being a proponent of a hand gun ban to a lover of the second amendment.

If there was a way to graft Obama's Charisma to Hillary or Hillary's deep knowledge to Obama we would have the perfect candidate or next to. Getting Edwards Populist fire into the mix would be good and somehow stealing Nixon's bowling skills from the grave might not be a bad idea either. For shear competence Clinton is hard to match but if we voted on competence Al Gore would have walked away with the vote in 2000. Clinton has obvious negatives, Obama's negatives are just starting to peak past the shining white amor. Hard to say where Obama's high road, message of hope, leads us. As much as Obama wants to float above the fray; it is very unlikely that he can. Sooner or later he has got to make a stand or he ends up looking like Little Lord Fauntleroy. One thing you can say about Hillary; she definitely loves getting in the thick of it and mixing it up.
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