“My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say O.K. I’ve had enough
What else can you show me?” Bob Dylan—“It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”
Another subaltern of the Clinton campaign has stepped forward and hurled more contents from the political cesspool in an effort to besmirch and thereby diminish the Obama candidacy. This time it came in the form of Geraldine Ferraro who, it was reported today “attributed his stunning march through U.S. politics to his race”. In a column entitled Obama fury over Clinton backer Ferraro’s race remark” posted on Yahoo News (see http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080311/ts_alt_afp/usvotedemocratsracism ) Ferraro was quoted as saying “if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.” Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1984 and currently is a member of Clinton’s finance committee, was also quoted in the article as saying “and if he was a woman—of any color—he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept”, Ferraro added. The Obama camp responded swiftly. Campaign aide Susan Rice immediately called for the Clinton campaign to fire Ferraro characterizing her remarks as “outrageous” and “offensive” adding “It is the sort of comment we have heard repeatedly, I’m afraid, from the Clinton surrogates…I think if Senator Clinton is serious about putting an end to statements that have racial implications, that diminish Barack Obama because he is an African-American man, then she ought to really repudiate this comment and make it clear that there’s no place in her campaign for people who will say this kind of thing”.
Late last year the Clinton campaign fired two aides for spreading the rumor that Obama was secretly a Muslim. Then there was the fracas in South Carolina when the Clinton camp tried to marginalize Obama by making him the “Black” candidate for President. Lately Hillary has suggested that voters may get to choose both of them on some kind of ticket, offering him the Vice Presidency. Husband Bill has been seen going around Texas and Ohio talking about the “Dream Team” of Hillary heading the ticket with Barack as her running mate. All meant to diminish the stature of the young Jedi, make him somehow look less than Presidential as the Clintons work to savage the credentials of the challenger by claiming that he has not reached the stature of either Hillary or John McCain to become “Commander-in-Chief”.
It has been an ugly business, the kind of politics with which we are by now all too familiar. It is the politics of slash and burn, smear and destroy, diminish and ridicule. The politics of trivialization and avoidance, while the nation groans.
The Jedi was quick to strike back, ridiculing the “unstoppable force” of Bill Clinton’s ‘Dream Team”. Calling it the ‘Ol Oakey-Doke”, the Jedi shot back saying “I don’t know how someone who is in second place can offer the Vice Presidency to the person who is first place”, and adding “If I’m not ready, how is it that you (Hillary) think I could be a great Vice President?” Touche.
Drawn by the Clinton’s into a wretched knife-fight in the sandbox, the Obama campaign threatens to slide into a hopeless political quagmire from which it may not emerge. Barack has been trying mightily not to stoop to such levels but Bill Clinton, the 800 pound gorilla in the room, will do what gorillas always do when confronted—throw shit. The tragedy of campaigning against a Boomer, whose only real commitment is to have and to hold power, is that the contest will quickly be reduced to these levels. The first casualty is always the truth, quickly followed in turn by the sacrifice of all the important issues. So we have had endless campaigns fought over flag waving, gay marriage, Willie Horton, “Flip-Flopping”, and god knows what else, while the pockets of the middle class have been systematically rifled for their contents. Instead of canvassing the country and debating the great issues—the survival of the middle class, global warming, resource depletion, energy, inflation, loss of jobs, flight of capital, globalization---we instead have television ads about who is best able to pick up the phone at three in the morning. The fact is that all of the three remaining contenders are United States Senators. None of them have ever done anything politically except campaign and vote. None of them have answered the phone at three in the morning unless it was a family emergency. If ever there were reasons to rid the country of the Clintons—and by extension the fingers of the “Boomers” about the throat of the republic—it is the tone and tenor of this campaign. While they struggle in the sandbox the nation screams—“what else can you show me?”
“Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fools gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proved to warn
That he not busy being born
Is busy dying” ----Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright Ma (I’m only bleeding)