On Tuesday, May 6, at 5:02 AM, I posted a comment on the excellent political website AlterNet. Under the title, "She Can't Win", I wrote:
"The Clintonistas have forgotten a very important fact of political life: a Democratic candidate seeking the presidency cannot possibly win without a huge turnout of African Americans. Come election day [should they give her the nomination], many people will remember the vicious race baiting of Hillary and her cohorts and many of them will end up staying home - or voting for Ralph Nader."
A little later that morning, after having had a second look at what I had written, I decided that the term "vicious race baiting" was a tad strong (I shouldn't write anything before I've had that first cup of coffee, should I?) I posted an apology to Ms. Clinton and her supporters, said that I should have used the phrase "subtle race baiting" and left it at that. I'm beginning to have second thoughts. After listening to a recording of a phone interview she gave on Wednesday to USA Today, I'm starting to think that "vicious race baiting" was somewhat of an understatement:
"Senator Obama's support among working, hard working Americans - White Americans - is weakening again, and....Whites in both states [Indiana and North Carolina] who hadn't completed college were supporting me....I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on....There's a pattern emerging here."
Wow, I thought, that's fairly vicious, isn't it! I take it back. I am not trying to imply that Ms. Clinton is a racist; certainly that is not the case. But what she was trying to say in a non-too-subtle way was this: "Hey, America! This black guy can't possibly win. Send the forty-third White person to the White House!" By the way, when it gets to the point that your main selling point is that you're supported by the least educated among us, I think the time has come to seriously consider packing it in.
Truth be told, the bold and naked aggression of Hillary Clinton and company is something to behold. What is happening here is as obvious as it is tragic (not to mention despicable ): she is trying to sabotage Barack Obama's campaign in the general election, guaranteeing a McCain victory in November and leaving an opening for her to run in 2012. The fact that another four years of a GOP controlled White House will destroy this country (that's assuming that it is not already beyond saving) apparently does not mean a thing to her. Maybe it would be unfair to imply that Senator Clinton does not love this country, but it is crystal clear that she loves herself a whole lot hell of a lot more. How does this woman even sleep at night?
Hillary, it's over. You ran a historic campaign but it's over - done, kaput, finis. You are never going to be president of the United States of America - not in 2008; not in 2012. Maybe it'll happen in the next lifetime but not in this one. As 'historic' as your campaign might have been, it was terribly planned and unprofessionally run. The people you surrounded yourself with were not known for their ability or political smarts but by their loyalty to you. We're near the end of eight years of that kind of an administration and where has it gotten us? Intelligent leaders keep close to them men and women who will say the cold, hard and bitter truth - not an entourage of starry-eyed sycophants. And Marc Penn? Where in the hell did you find him? I've hardly ever seen a Republican that sleazy! Am I to believe that this guy was to have a role in your administration?? What, are you nuts??? The last thing this country needs at this point in time is a moderate version of the Bush White House. It's over, Hillary. Come to your senses and get a grip. In the words of Bob Dylan, "It's all over now, baby blue."
David Letterman put it perfectly. Although Hillary lost North Carolina and barely won Indiana, "She has a substantial lead in the state of Denial."
41: Bush; 42: Clinton; 43: Bush; 44: Clinton....
We cannot allow America's future to be placed in the hands of two power-hungry, dysfunctional families. We are not a nation of dynasties. That's the kind of thing the Founders of this country warned us about over two-hundred years ago. We need a second Clinton administration just about as much as we needed this second Bush administration. What we need - desperately - is something new. That "newness" is personified in Barack Obama. We don't want to return to the foolish policies of the past. The first Clinton administration was quite capable in many ways. It certainly was head over heels better than what we have now. But there is also a bitter legacy from the Clinton era. They were all-to-willing to go along with the extremist forces within the Republican leadership in the House and Senate at a time they should have been fighting against them. No. The last thing this country needs is four or (Heaven forbid!) eight years of the style of indecision and appeasement that Hillary Clinton has demonstrated since becoming senator.
Here are just a few questions that are screaming to be addressed: Why has Senator Clinton been endorsed by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife? Why is Rush Limbaugh encouraging his Republican listeners to vote for her in states where cross filing is allowed? Why is Pat Buchanan (whom I love by the way - politics be damned) advocating that she fight her way straight through to the convention in August? Why was her recent interview with Bill O'Riley a virtual love fest of softball questions? Have these knuckleheads finally seen the light? Not bloody likely. They know very well that the American people, for the most part, are sick to death of the Clintons. They know that a Clinton nomination means certain defeat for the Democratic party come November. Why is it that so many registered Democrats are completely blind to what anyone paying attention can see is an obvious Machiavellian political ploy?
If they know what's good for them, the Clinton camp will take a deep breath and face some undeniable facts. They've already hurt Barack Obama's chances by implying that John McCain would make a better president than he. You can take it to the bank that the GOP will use her "endorsement" in their campaign ads in the autumn. If Obama is defeated in November, a good argument will be made that the blame should be placed at her doorstep. If that happens, not only will she not be nominated as standard bearer in 2012, she won't even be nominated to run again for the senate in that same year (There are thousands of us here in New York who will see to that).
What the Clinton people have to realize is that what they have here is a lose/lose situation. They might as well see the light, recognize the hopelessness of their plight, do the right thing and give the senator from Illinois a hearty and sincere thumbs up. If they really think they can somehow seize this thing at the convention and walk away with a party united behind them, I have just two words for them: Chicago 1968. 'Nuff said?
True, the Democratic party is taking a decided risk by giving the nomination to an African American, even someone as charismatic as Senator Obama. But to hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton would have been sheer insanity. America is in dire need of many things at this point in its history. Another Clinton White House is not one of them; trust me on this one, campers.
For months I've been suggesting that the Dems come up with a compromise candidate, someone who hasn't been as damaged during the primaries as Clinton and Obama have been (My pick would have been John Edwards). Since that is not likely to happen at this stage, it is the responsibility of all smart progressives (we used to be called liberals) to get behind the campaign of Barack Obama. This is the most crucial presidential contest since 1932. Not in seventy-six years has the need for this country to go in a new direction been as blatantly apparent as it is at this moment in our history. Let's get behind this guy - NOW.
NOTE: Here's a link to AlterNet. It really is a great site: http://www.alternet.org/