Saturday, January 12, 2008

More after New Hampshire

Postscript: as usual, Frank Rich nails it.

It strikes me that the main utility of John Edwards at this point in this pivotal primary battle is too hold off the left and let the center of the party decide. The unions, who often act nowadays like the right wing of the party, have in greater proportion lined up with Edwards, and it is a safe spot for them because they can leap onto the appropriate bandwagon once the issue is decided. Given their impotence and recalcitrance, I prefer that they play no role, and they are saitsfying us in that zone.

The Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco's gay news rag of record, came out on Thursday with its endorsement of ... ta da ... Bill Richardson. Yawn ... how's that for turning your back on what matters. Not to mention that he dropped out some time between when the BAR went to bed and when it showed up on the streets. Notwithstanding that I still find myself a Hillary kinda guy, I think that gay organizations ought to be pressing Obama on some language for us ... something like "America needs to remember its legacy of openness and individualism, and welcome all its gay citizens into the mainstream ... the new mainstream, the mainstream of hope and blah blah blah." See, the "hope" stuff just flows like chocolate syrup on a warm summer day.

One reason why I support Hillary still is that I fantasize her appointing Uncle Bill ... or 42, of Mr. President, as you prefer ... as Secretary of State. "Here, Bill", she says, "here's an airplane, here's a staff. Get your sorry ass off this continent, solve some problems, shake some hands, and don't come back until I need you for the primaries in 2012. Luv ya', Bill. But, seriously, rack up some miles on that ole crate." If Obama would promise to make him secretary of state, I'd be there in a Bronx minute.

Let's turn to the 'publicans. Leaving McCain aside, if you ground up all the rest of them and reshaped them into some kind of body, you still would not have a whole man. Romney is just plain phony, Giuliani is so corrupt that he leaves oil stains wherever he goes, Huckabee is less prepared to be president than Ed Jew and his only appeal is his gleeful superstition, and Ron Paul is a gasbag whose "phenomenon"is explicable only as the last oxygen-free gasp of right-wing youth and former youth who cannot face just how disastrous the legacy of their party will be.

McCain, though, is a real man. A real rage-o-holic, so they say. A real right-winger. A real militarist. But a real person. Just the wrong person at a time when America stands on the precipice of doom. There is always ... at least in the last half dozen campaigns ...  a sense among the 'publicans that one of their number "deserves" the nomination. It is on that liquid ground that McCain stakes his claim. This "straight talk" notion is obviously canned; maybe it had a brief moment in 2000, but dubya put paid to the notion that 'publicans ever want to hear straight talk, or, gawd help us, speak the truth. There is nothing in the notion of straight talk that means it oughtta be true. It just means that the sentences should be short and uncomplicated by subordinate clauses. So straight talk leads to things like "We most secure our borders" and "we are winning the war." Right. 

No doubt he is the least creepy 'publican, and no doubt he will be the hardest to beat. So the Democrats have to use the current Hillary/Obama thriller to galvanize a party to seize the changes. Otherwise, we will have a presidency that is the grumpiest in history, and the least able to move America into the chilling future.

1 comment:

Greg Jordan said...

nator. We really still don't know what he did while he represented us. I was just glad to have a Democrat as a senator, but that ended up not counting for much. He has good statements but I don't think they'll pan out. Hillary on the other hand I counted as an old dream until Obama won in Iowa, then I regrouped. People say she stayed with Bill for mere politics and that may be correct but we don't know another person's heart truly. I prefer to think it was for the right reasons- i.e., til death do we part, no matter what, a right to which we are systematically denied and so many who have it toss it aside. Anyway back to Hillary- I used to support her, now I do again. I think she's had to adapt her message to earn broader support (MCain went down that road and decided to never come back) and I'm not big on watering down anything, from tea on up. But, I think she may very well be our last bast hope. If someone like Huckabee wins, we're all doomed. The bubble will pop and we'll all be using penils and the USPS. It may get there tomorrow, it may be next year, depends on who's riding the horse at that point. As for your fantasy of Bill I second that and I think he was probably one of the bst presidents (top 3) we've ever had - except for NAFTA.

Keep charging!