Thursday, January 31, 2008

And Then There Were Two

Goodness gracious! What a difference a day makes, huh? It became official yesterday afternoon. In a statement from New Orleans, John Edwards announced that he was withdrawing himself from the presidential contest. This is unspeakably sad. Edwards was the only one of the three remaining candidates who was in tune with the traditional message of the Democratic Party. More than anyone else, he was articulating the horrible truths that the American people are going to have to force themselves to hear if we are to save ourselves from the mess we have stupidly gotten ourselves into.
The corporate media has succeeded. Through benign neglect they were able to deflect the public's attention from some of the most extraordinary candidates we've seen come down the political pike in a very long time: Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and now, John Edwards. We are now left with two candidates: Barack Obama, who has an uphill battle because of the undeniable fact that this is a country chock full of nuts, racists and fools - and Hillary Clinton, who is destined for defeat. For over a year now the Republican National Committee has been putting out the talking point that she is going to be their most formidable candidate in 2008 and that she sure is going to be tough to beat. Leave it to the Democrats! They seem to be falling for it hook, line and sinker! Will they be foolish enough to take the bait? Late in the evening of Super Tuesday, we'll know the answer to that question. Keep your fingers crossed and your hands folded.
No doubt about it, 2008 is going to be the most interesting of political years since 1968. Whatever the outcome next November may be, this much is certain: The next ten months ain't gonna be boring, that's for sure! So confident are the Dems that this is going to be their year, many of them are perfectly content to give the nod to Senator Clinton. My question is, has any one of them bothered to take a look at the polls? Every one of them has shown that she is the only one of the main Democratic contenders who will be beaten senseless on Election Day. Hillary Clinton will not inspire "the base" to show up en masse at the polls on November 4th. Barack Obama will. All Hillary is likely to inspire is another Ralph Nader-like, third party uprising. Her nomination will mean certain defeat in November.
Note to every black person in this country who was born on or before January 31, 1990: Forgive me for sounding like a cranky, middle-aged white guy, but if you have not yet registered to vote, shame on you!....OK, if today is your eighteenth birthday, I'll cut you some slack. I didn't register until at least a month or so after I turned eighteen in August 1976. I had my priorities, too - PARTY HARDY!....As for the rest of you: You have had few presidents in the past who have shown sympathy toward your plight. Now, for the first time in the two-hundred and thirty-two year history of this country, we are within reach of sending a man to the White House (no pun intended) who not only feels sympathetic towards you, but who no doubt also feels a very real sense of empathy. One year from today could very well find Barack Obama waking up in a bed in the Executive Mansion. But that's only going to happen if he gets votes - lots and lots of them. Register! Encourage your friends to register. Better yet force them to register! Blackmail them if you have to! This might very well turn out to be the most important presidential election in our lifetime. If the GOP wins this thing, get ready to write your country's epitaph. If Senator Obama is victorious, your lives will change; count on it!
On February 23 last year, I suggested that Barack Obama should adapt Bobby Kennedy's campaign theme song as his own. The tune, The Impossible Dream, was originally sung by the late actor Richard Kiley in the Broadway musical, Man of La Mancha. It was a beautiful piece of music that no one even remembers anymore, so jaded has our culture become:
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell
For a Heavenly cause
And I know if I only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest....
Isn't that beautiful? I can't even remember the last time I heard that song on the radio. This is not meant to imply that Barack Obama's campaign is an "Impossible Dream", but that it is, indeed, a "glorious quest". He has one hell of an uphill battle ahead of him and it is up to all thoughtful Progressives to get behind him and do everything humanly possible to ensure that he is the next president of the United States. It can happen. It will happen. We've got to get to work.
Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Neanderthals who fuel the right-wing propaganda machine are already exploiting the fear that some less enlightened persons will feel on hearing the Senator's full name: Barack Hussein Obama. Whoooooa! How positively sinister!! Do you have any idea what the Arabic translation of "Hussein" is? It means "beautiful child" or "handsome boy". The name may actually turn out to be a positive for him. Right now - and for very good reason - America is not winning any popularity contests in the Arab world. How might they feel if we send to the Oval Office someone with, at the very least, a Muslim heritage? It could very well lesson hostilities - if only slightly. And remember that there is a video clip out there of Senator McCain a couple of years ago singing to the tune of the Beach Boys' classic, Barbara Ann: "Bomb! Bomb! Bomb! - Bomb! Bomb, Iran!" That's not going to look good to a people we desperately need to reach out to. Anyone who would make that kind of joke in private shouldn't be president of the United States. The fact that he made it on stage - in full view of television cameras - is inexcusable.
The campaign of 2008 is going to be the ugliest one in living memory. We are now living in the era of Karl Rove and the hideous tactics that he employed in the last two national campaigns. That at least some Democrats have adopted his methods was made crystal clear last week by the disgusting behavior of the Clintons in South Carolina. As bad as Obama was hit by Billary, just imagine the ammunition that the ideological perverts on the far-right are going to use. Yeah, this is going to get really ugly, campers! Really ugly, indeed. Buckle up!
America is definitely at a crossroad. Probably more so than at any time since 1932. We're now in a position to vote for real change. We now have a golden opportunity to ring in a new era of enlightenment and progress. The choice is still ours to make. Let's get cookin'!
This is a great time to be alive, isn't it?
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
It is the best book on the presidential campaign process ever written. It is a must-read for any self-respecting political junkie. And here's the good news: It's still in print. Please, buy it and read it.
Ann Coulter has just announced that she will support Hillary Clinton over John McCain. Isn't that heartwarming?


At 7:28 AM, Blogger Tabitha said...

Tom, this is the very first political issue over which I may have to disagree with you, and you haven't changed your mind, but I may have changed mine. As a very serious Edwards supporter, I am not sure who I shall choose now, but I am leaning toward the one who wears a pantsuit. I never would have thought that a month ago, but a few little details have been giving me the cooties recently.

First of all, I see CNN as the new villain of 2008. The sneaky, greedy manner in which all the talking heads at that network have conspired to secure their million-dollar jobs far into the future at the expense of America's future has been totally despicable.
When the campaigns became all about the horse race over race and gender, I began to smell a skunk, and the odor is not coming from either candidate, but the MSM and the Democratic power establishment. What if this establishment has been planning this whole stinky mess since Obama was selected to make that legendary speech at the '04 convention? The odor strengthened when Obama's comments about Reagan came to light. The main reason I do not want Hillary in The White House is what CNN will do with the news with Bill there, too. You think O.J. and Brittney are non-news, wait until you hear about the antics of First Lady Bill and his playmates 24 hours a day, as if no other news happened that day, that week, or that month! The main reason I do not want Obama is that I am afraid he will wimp out under pressure from the bad boys on the other side.

Both of these are lousy reasons not to want someone President, but we all know that America is no longer a sane country. Edwards was the only one who really intended to dig us out of the hole we are in, but Fox News and CNN just want to keep the status quo at all cost, and that price is paid by the citizens, not them. I am waiting cautiously for Edwards' next move. If he is the VP for either, that candidate will secure my loyalty immediately. If he only endorses one or the other, I probably will go with that flow, too, but if he remains out of the picture, I think the choice is going to be difficult.

I think I speak for many citizens when I say that I like both candidates a lot. I think they are some of the best choices we have had in my lifetime, and that includes Biden, Dodd, and Kucinich, too. The frightening thing, though, is that we just cannot afford to lose again, but the Democratic power base is hell-bent on doing just that. I fear that Obama's lack of experience, wishy-washy rhetoric, and yes, his race, at least in the South, will keep him out of the winner's circle. I think The Clintons want to win at all cost, and that in itself may be what we really need right now.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I am afraid you're right, Tabitha. The MSM and Republican talking points have manipulated the Democrats into nominating either one of the two candidates most likely to lose in this racist, sexist country of ours - and the Dems fell for the ploy hook, line and sinker. It's sad and very frustrating.

Tom Degan

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


That being the case, while I believe Hillary Clinton is almost certain to be defeated in November (not because she's a woman but because she is Hillary Clinton) I also believe that Barack Obama has a fighting chance. We've got to get behind him....


At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for another fine rant. I agree with you, and as I just posted on MoveOn's poll, I am supporting Obama because he at least had the guts to vote against the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. I think Hillary is too hawkish and ready to prove she can fight like a man. I want peace, so I am voting for the person I think will try to achieve that.

The other day I was organizing some papers in my office at home, and came across an article that I had printed from Alternet. Normally, I don't print articles (to save some trees) but when I found this article, it felt like a letter to me from a very old friend reaching to me from the grave to warn me. Yes- it was a Molly Ivins article from January 2006 and it rang true today as it did when she posted it.

Why Hillary Won't Save Us

I went back to look at it online and you of course commented on the article. That is where I first met you and I was very happy when you started a blog. You speak for many of us Progressives who have had our patriotism questioned these past 7 years when we are the ones fighting the hardest to save our democracy.

With Bush leaving office, my fears of the jackbooted, black coats marching towards us are easing, but I am afraid that if Hillary is elected, she will exploit every new precedent this Administration has set: spying on Americans, making signing statements and going to war at the least provocation (or inventing threats). These new Presidential powers need to be revoked immediately and the balance of power restored. I am not sure if Obama will be able to achieve that; for all I know, he could be another Jimmy Carter, but at least that will give us four years to find a true leader to get us back on the right path.

As always, thanks for being you and for speaking out. I am ready to find me some Pots and Pans as suggested by Ms. Ivins before she died and make some noise!

Peace to you,

Jo Reside
Scottsdale AZ

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>for all I know, he could be another Jimmy Carter, but at least that will give us four years to find a true leader to get us back on the right path., you mean like Reagan???

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

I believe, Tom, that Obama will be torn to bits (look at how MSM are supporting him now!!) if nominated and that John McCain will be the next POTUS - that could happen anyway if there is another coup.
For the Dems I believe Hillary is the best choice. She has a significant track record.
Obama has beautiful words - empty rhetoric - but he is bought and paid for by the lobbyists also.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Tabitha said...

Wisewebwoman, you just stated the same thing I did with far fewer words. Unfortunately, I fear that both of us are correct, and that is the point of my rant. I would much prefer to be rid of the B/C/B/C royalty problem before CNN can hammer us all in the ground with non-news, but my gut tells me Obama is the Kerry of '08, and we'll be stuck with warmongering McCain for eight years, or until he kicks the bucket in office, whichever comes first. If that happens, the Republicans will give him sainthood, just like they already have to the devil who ruined the country in 1980.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Dear Jo,
Thank you for the kind words....Yes, I miss Molly Ivins like nobody's business. It just hit me this evening that yesterday was the first anniversary of her untimely death. Losing her hurt so badly I can't even begin to describe it a whole year later. She was priceless.

Still in mourning a year later....

Tom Degan

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Tabitha said...

Tom & friends, please check out the information from this link at MyDD:

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous cmaciain said...

Sorry, Tom, I can't support Obama. I hate his pandering to churches, his patty cake with the Republicans, and his admiration of Reagan. He's been handled with kid gloves as has his family. He can speak but has little substance. He also seems awfully warlike (Pakistan, anyone?) and just too weak in so many areas.


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