March 8th, 2008

Apollo 4 on column of fire

How I feel

I feel as if I am a very minor character in a variant of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I’m not sure there even is a Duncan in this version. Obama might be Macduff, although Lady Macbeth has helped spread a rumor that Macduff is actually Othello in disguise. Macbeth himself has thrown away his nobility in the service of his wife’s ambition, and is a very tragic character.

Because Macbeth has done this, he is no longer a ‘retired’ elder statesman of the Democratic Party. Walter Mondale hasn’t been too active in party politics for a long time, so I would say that in decreasing rank order the Democratic ‘retired’ elder statespersons are Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, and (thanks to Hart-Rudman) Gary Hart.

Well, the third elder statesman had this to say:

Breaking the Final Rule

It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.

By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party's nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.

As a veteran of red telephone ads and "where's the beef" cleverness, I am keenly aware that sharp elbows get thrown by those trailing in the fourth quarter (and sometimes even earlier). "Politics ain't beanbag," is the old slogan. But that does not mean that it must also be rule-or-ruin, me-first-and-only-me, my way or the highway. That is not politics. That is raw, unrestrained ambition for power that cannot accept the will of the voters.

Senator Obama is right to say the issue is judgment not years in Washington. If Mrs. Clinton loses the nomination, her failure will be traced to the date she voted to empower George W. Bush to invade Iraq. That is not the kind of judgment, or wisdom, required by the leader answering the phone in the night. For her now to claim that Senator Obama is not qualified to answer the crisis phone is the height of irony if not chutzpah, and calls into question whether her primary loyalty is to the Democratic party and the nation or to her own ambition.

I think it is time for a group of party elders other than Gary Hart to have a chat with Ms. Clinton, and to explain to her that if Gary Hart is willing to state this in public then it is really quite unlikely that superdelegates will make her the nominee.

These party elders might also want to let Ms. Clinton know what people are saying about her, which is that she is trying to help John McCain defeat 2008 nominee Barack Obama, so that she, Hillary Clinton, can be the Democratic nominee in 2012; and the elders may want to stress to her that it would be a terrible thing to have people think this of her, if it were not true.

One thing I really hate about all this is the discovery that there is a grain of truth to Clinton hatred, that the unkind picture of the Clinton's isn’t entirely a fabrication of wingnut loons and childish media personalities. There really is something wrong about Bill and Hillary Clinton, something wrong in a Shakespearean fashion; something noble that fails tragically, due to a key defect, in this case, as in Macbeth, a selfish lust for power.

(Al Gore is Hamlet, the indecisive son who is slain by his own indecision, just as he becomes ready to be a great king; and Michael Dukakis is Snoopy, from Shakespeare’s ‘Tragedy of a Boy Named Charlie Brown’.)
Apollo 4 on column of fire


Thom Hartmann had some evidence today that crossover Dittoheads threw the Texas primaries to Clinton, and/or padded Clinton’s numbers in Ohio.

Whether that is happened or not, the very possibility is demonstration of the speciousness of Big Tent Democrat’s repeated suggestion that Hillary Clinton ‘winning’ most of the populous states is a sign of Obama weakness versus McCain—it may actually happen because Obama is stronger versus McCain than Hillary Clinton would be, or for other reasons entirely.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Party disloyalty

Zell Miller. Joseph Lieberman. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

How the hell did she ever get herself appended to that list? Does she even realize she has done it?

Jeff Farias had Dr. Justin ‘Bush on the Couch’ Frank on at the beginning of the Friday program. Frank said the behaviors of Clinton and Obama supporters were very childish, and he’s right in regards to the infantile threats to vote for John McCain or Ralph Nader or stay home if the preferred candidate doesn’t get the nomination. But he also said that Hillary Clinton was having this sort of problem, though to a lesser degree. Frank also had some speculations about the psychodynamics, presenting two or three theories, but that doesn’t matter here; what does matter is that the psychiatrist confirms my own evaluations.

What I think also is this: That between Obama and Clinton the responsibility all lies with Clinton; indeed, the frequent opinion out there (that includes you, Dr. Rachel Maddow) that this fight is a two-person responsibility is part of the desired effect of negative campaigning, but it is an illusion that Obama has any responsibility. He’s simply suffering the desired effects of this gutter campaigning.

* * *

Gary Hart: ‘She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.... For her now to claim that Senator Obama is not qualified to answer the crisis phone is the height of irony if not chutzpah, and calls into question whether her primary loyalty is to the Democratic party and the nation or to her own ambition.’

* * * ‘But in branding Republican nominee John McCain as the gold standard for 21st century wartime presidents, Hillary Clinton crossed the Rubicon. Her descent from lampooning Obama into party disloyalty came swiftly.’
Apollo 4 on column of fire

The source of the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ e-mail

Randi Rhodes claims that the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ e-mail began with a local Hillary Clinton campaign office. Randi Rhodes has a way of getting facts slightly mixed up, however, though usually only slightly mixed up.

I don’t feel like Googling the claim myself; someone do it for me? :)