Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yes, I'm Still Resting ...

[This is Bernie, who was recently adopted through the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation, Inc. I'm sure they'd appreciate a donation (or gifts, via Donate.net).]

Yes, I'm still "resting" much as I have been for most of the past three months - meaning I've been on the road doing something that's taking up most of my attention. Right now, I think of this as a good thing.

Why is that? It's because every time I look at political news lately, including much of what's been posted on politically-oriented blogs, all I've seen is one stupid charge of racism, sexism, or whatever from one side or the other. Clinton pointed out yesterday that she does better among white voters. This is an established fact, which is something that Obama supporters should be aware of. Yet no sooner had the ink dried on that story than the chorus of Obama supporters cried "racism". Last week, a Clinton supporter couldn't help but slime George McGovern after he said that he thought Clinton should end her campaign. While I still disagree profoundly with Sen. McGovern, (as do most Democratic voters) he deserves far more respect.

I suspect that even if I weren't this busy, I'd still be reluctant to spend time reading the comments of these whiny pissants. I'd love it if these people would just shut the fuck up and think for once, but that's not going to happen.

The USA Today published an interesting perspective on the race today:

Out of money and facing a decisive loss in the North Carolina primary, the long-shot presidential contender rejected the idea of getting out of the race. Another candidate had the party nomination in hand, but the refusal of his rival to concede reality divided the party in November.

Is it 2008? No. The never-say-die challenger was Ronald Reagan in 1976. The embattled nominee was Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Obama-Clinton race echoes past bouts

Hamilton Jordan, Jimmy Carter's chief political strategist had this to say:

Hamilton Jordan was a strategist for President Jimmy Carter in 1980 as he battled a primary challenge from Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, who continued his rivalry to the Democratic convention in New York.

"It was the single critical factor in his defeat. When people ask me why we were defeated, I say the (Iranian) hostage crisis - which was seen as a failure of Carter to free the people after being held for so long - the general state of the economy, and the Kennedy challenge. Without any of those three problems, we might have been elected.

"Of those three problems, the most significant was the Kennedy challenge. ... If there hadn't been the Kennedy challenge, there wouldn't have been the (independent candidate John) Anderson phenomenon, which was an outgrowth of the Kennedy challenge.

"If we'd had the whole year to pull the party together and to try to work on the economy, I think Carter would, or at least could, have won."

Obama-Clinton race echoes past bouts

Mr. Jordan may know a great deal more than I do about politics in general, but it's clear that he's in a serious case of denial here. I know that for one simple reason - the moment Ronald Reagan became the Republican nominee, Jimmy Carter was toast.

The reality of that time is that we were in a mess. The Iran hostage crisis had gone on for months, with one television network reminding us every night how many days America was Held Hostage. The economy was in bad shape, with inflation running in double digits. Except for the Camp David Accords, President Carter had little to show for his first term in office. America had a choice between taking a hard look at itself and changing its ways, or believing in a fantasy. Reagan provided the second option, which America, being then as now more interested in sniping and nonsense than in facing reality, chose enthusiastically. If we had made the logical choices back then regarding our dependence on oil, we might not be stuck in Iraq today. Instead, too many people chose to believe that it was "Morning In America", rather than to make their Congress and the rest of their government aware that they didn't want the future to look like an even longer version of the infamous gas lines of that period.

Ted Kennedy's campaign wasn't Carter's problem. It was just another symptom.

Much like Obama, Reagan used his early campaign experiences to become a better campaigner and political strategist. He learned to spin the yarns that people would take up with such relish in 1980.

The lesson I draw from this is that, once again, we're headed for bad leadership in the White House. While it's hard to believe anything could be worse than eight years of George W. Bush, we may be finding out if that's true. Just as with Reagan's disastrous Presidency, a McCain or Obama Administration is likely to do little to help those of us who need it, nor is either likely to correct the things that are most desperately wrong with the country. That's because the same people who whine about the confrontation in front of them in the form of Hillary Clinton will be just as uninterested in facing the hard choices as Reagan's supporters were. The reality, unfortunately, is that the people who are in control at the moment are not going to let go of it easily or politely. Anyone who believes that Hillary Clinton, who sometimes seems to enjoy dancing around an issue, is somehow going to be more divisive than Obama once the Republican-owned press gets through with him is a first class fool.

Obama, like Reagan, is someone who speaks in glittering generalities. Like Reagan, he is appealing to the unrealistic expectation that everything will be alright if we just trust him. Like Reagan, his rhetoric isn't matched by his political record. While I don't think Obama will be as disastrous as Reagan, I also know that I'm not looking forward to all the excuses we'll be hearing from his more clueless supporters about how he couldn't possibly have made things any better, because there were all those other folks (led by the Clintons, no doubt) who were in the way.

I don't have much more hope for a Hillary Clinton presidency, other than that it will be a bit less awful. The presidential candidate who has shown the most interest in protecting the Constitution lately is Bob Barr. This is how low we've sunk.

Needless, to say, right now I view being busy as a blessing. I wonder if I can keep it up for the next four years?

UPDATE (May 21): Thanks to a link that appeared here today, I found out that Hamilton Jordan died yesterday at age 63, of cancer. It was the fourth time he had cancer, Undoubtedly, his previous experiences with cancer inspired him to found, along with his wife, Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with cancer.

No comments: