Friday, May 09, 2008

Through The Looking Glass.......

Yesterday, it was Mike Barnicle.

Today, it's Peggy Noonan.

Sometimes, this campaign has been through the looking glass.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Damsel of Distress
May 9, 2008

This is an amazing story. The Democratic Party has a winner. It has a nominee. You know this because he has the most votes and the most elected delegates, and there's no way, mathematically, his opponent can get past him. Even after the worst two weeks of his campaign, he blew past her by 14 in North Carolina and came within two in Indiana.

He's got this thing. And the Democratic Party, after this long and brutal slog, should be dancing in the streets. Party elders should be coming out on the balcony in full array, in full regalia, and telling the crowd, "Habemus nominatum": "We have a nominee." And the crowd below should be cheering, "Viva Obamus! Viva nominatum!"

Instead, you know where they are, the party elders. They are in a Democratic club on Capitol Hill, slump-shouldered at the bar, having a drink and then two, in a state of what might be called depressed horror. "What are they doing to the party?" they wail. "Why are they doing this?"

You know who they are talking about.

The Democratic Party can't celebrate the triumph of Barack Obama because the Democratic Party is busy having a breakdown. You could call it a breakdown over the issues of race and gender, but its real source is simply Hillary Clinton. Whose entire campaign at this point is about exploiting race and gender.

Here's the first place an outsider could see the tensions that have taken hold: on CNN Tuesday night, in the famous Brazile-Begala smackdown. Paul Begala wore the smile of the 1990s, the one in which there is no connection between the shape of the mouth and what the mouth says. All is mask. Donna Brazile was having none of it.

Mr. Begala more or less accused the Obama people of not caring about white voters: "[If] there's a new Democratic Party that somehow doesn't need or want white working-class people and Latinos, well, count me out." And: "We cannot win with eggheads and African Americans." That, he said, was the old, losing, Dukakis coalition.

"Paul, baby," Ms. Brazile, who is undeclared, began her response, "we need to not divide and polarize the Democratic Party. . . . So stop the divisions. Stop trying to split us into these groups, Paul, because you and I know . . . how Democrats win, and to simply suggest that Hillary's coalition is better than Obama's, Obama's is better than Hillary's -- no. We have a big party, Paul." And: "Just don't divide me and tell me I cannot stand in Hillary's camp because I'm black, and I can't stand in Obama's camp because I'm female. Because I'm both. . . . Don't start with me, baby." Finally: "It's our party, Paul. Don't say my party. It's our party. Because it's time that we bring the party back together, Paul."

In case you didn't get what was behind that exchange, Mrs. Clinton spent this week making it clear. In a jaw-dropping interview in USA Today on Thursday, she said, "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on." As evidence she cited an Associated Press report that, she said, "found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

White Americans? Hard-working white Americans? "Even Richard Nixon didn't say white," an Obama supporter said, "even with the Southern strategy."

If John McCain said, "I got the white vote, baby!" his candidacy would be over. And rising in highest indignation against him would be the old Democratic Party.

To play the race card as Mrs. Clinton has, to highlight and encourage a sense that we are crudely divided as a nation, to make your argument a brute and cynical "the black guy can't win but the white girl can" is -- well, so vulgar, so cynical, so cold, that once again a Clinton is making us turn off the television in case the children walk by.

"She has unleashed the gates of hell," a longtime party leader told me. "She's saying, 'He's not one of us.'"

She is trying to take Obama down in a new way, but also within a new context. In the past he was just the competitor. She could say, "All's fair." But now he's the competitor who is going to be the nominee of his party. And she is still trying to do him in. And the party is watching.

Again: amazing.

Who can save the situation? The superdelegates.

You know them. They're the ones hiding under the rock, behind the boulder, and at the bar.

They are terrified, most of them. They want the problem to go away. They want it handled, but they don't want to do it. They don't want to tell Hillary to stop, because they would likely pay a price for it, and not just with her.

They are afraid of looking as if they're jumping on a train that's speeding down the tracks and is about to roll over the damsel in distress.

Which is how Hillary -- and her supporters -- will paint it. Even though she's no damsel, and she causes distress.

Some insight from a superdelegate I spoke to Thursday:

It's not math anymore, it's psychodrama. If she can't have it, no one can have it. If she has to tear the party apart, she will.

Rest of article at link above.

Like I said....Noonan gets it, Barnicle gets it....we're through the looking glass, people.


Ann Brock said...

Great article and I wonder why the DNC has not stop that crazy woman. She can't win, no matter how hard she try.

Anonymous said...

Iam absolutely appalled by both Clintons' behaviour! Hillary represents the worst of the attributes attributed to females. Although Iam HRC's demographic, white female, in my mid-50's, Iam in Obama's camp -- an unwavering supporter.

I've never trusted Hillary, but was never sure exactly why until after Iowa.

While I would love to see a woman in office as President, Hillary is not that woman. In attempts to undermine Obama, even to the point he is unelectable, Hillary proved personal gain and power come before all else and at any price. That makes her untrustworthy. HRC is not the woman to lead us forward. Nor does she represent me. Iam not alone, other women feel likewise -- many have stated they now regret voting for Hillary. It is one thing to hit Obama on policy differences, but demeaning his character and race-baiting are quite another; It is unacceptable and beyond reprehensible.

Furthermore Hillary somehow thinks she is still in a race that is mathematically impossible for her to win! That is unless she can convince the Supers to go against the will of the people, which seems highly unlikely considering 14 Super Delegates endorsed Obama this week. Today Obama trails Hillary by only .5 (a half) in the Super Delegate tally. In contrast Hillary's numbers have not moved all week although she gained 1 it was canceled out after another Super defected to Obama's camp.



How can we trust a person who is willing to risk the nation's (and the world's) future for personal gain and power? Selfish attempts to damage Obama thus his chances of winning the general election HRC proved she is more concerned about herself rather than America. Obama is the person best suited to lead this country. He wants to lead she wants to rule. Should (god forbid) McCain, the equivalent to a third-term Bush only on steroids, get elected America will never be the same again!

Tonight cable TV "news" pundits were hyping the idea of a "dream-ticket" which would be, IMHO, more to the tune of a nightmare ticket! Imagine what lengths Hillary would go as vice president to undermine Obama! Trusting her is not an option.

Brian said...

I agree serena.

Hillary is not very trustworthy at all. It's one of her liabilities.
The lies about her role as First Lady, the lies regarding her efforts to fight for healthcare for the poor (when she ended up being bought by the drug and insurance lobby), her lies about her work for Black Americans, her lies about her work for poor people....all were enough to seal the deal on that question.

But on top of that, you could include her racist gutter tactics against Obama. The use of Bob Johnson as a prop, the comments about Obama after the SC Primary, her likely involvement in the various race-baiting scandals, and her recent comments regarding Obama's lack of White support (after she spent weeks attacking and destroying the mans character in an unprecedented propaganda campaign...via Rev. Wright, etc...with the help of her corporate media friends.... of course his image and standing among Whites has been damaged.). It's a miracle that he is even still standing at this point.

But there is no way that she should be Obama's VP choice.

Even if you take all of the racial nonsense out of the picture, she still shouldn't be the VP choice. Consider how she has been playing the role of the Republican over the past several weeks. She has sided with McCain on too many occasions, joining McCain in attacking Obama....even calling Obama unqualified.

That alone should have eliminated her from any VP consideration.

There was one point early on where I could have tolerated the idea...(although I have never been a fan of the Clintons). But any VP consideration should have ended when she decided to take her campaign negative.