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John's Blog

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mud & Murk

I haven't delved into the political realm for quite some time, largely due to the barrage of really painful news. Daily reports of the continued abuse of the governmental process at the hands of the Bushies almost makes you want to swear off politics. But the advent of the Presidential primary season sweeps in like a spring breeze and gives us a fresh breath of optimism, or so I had hoped.

Unfortunately, the "Billary" machine and the "Roveian" style campaign that we see emerging elicits a strange sense of "déjà vu" that plays nicely into the hands of the Republicans. Not only does this mud slinging "bloody up" both candidates, but it gives us a chilling view of the "two-fer" we'd be getting if Hillary emerges victorious. Not content to be the typical candidate's supportive spouse, his heavy handed involvement foreshadows an involvement in Clinton, Act II that few might have imagined. That's bound to motivate more than a few in the GOP who fear that this will just become Bill's third term. Although, sometimes, it's tough to tell where the line is at between parody and reality ("Screw It, I'm Running For President").

But the really scary/sad thing is witnessing Bill's embrace of the same negativity that caused him so many problems. In a recent Op-Ed piece Maureen Dowd hit the nail on the head:
If Bill Clinton has to trash his legacy to protect his legacy, so be it. If he has to put a dagger through the heart of hope to give Hillary hope, so be it....

The Clintons — or “the 2-headed monster,” as the The New York Post dubbed the tag team that clawed out wins in New Hampshire and Nevada — always go where they need to go, no matter the collateral damage. Even if the damage is to themselves and their party.

Bill’s transition from elder statesman, leader of his party and bipartisan ambassador to ward heeler and hatchet man has been seamless — and seamy....

Bill has merged with his wife totally now, talking about “we” and “us.” “I never did anything major without discussing it with her,” he told a crowd here. “We’ve been having this conversation since we first met in 1971, and I don’t think we’ll stop now.” He suggested as First Lad that “I can help to sell the domestic program.”

It’s odd that the first woman with a shot at becoming president is so openly dependent on her husband to drag her over the finish line. She handed over South Carolina to him, knowing that her support here is largely derivative.

This really makes it tough to hold on to any positive thoughts I may have had about Clinton's legacy, and casts more doubts (beyond those I already have) upon Hilary's suitability for a leadership role. But as much as everyone claims to hate negative campaigning, the sad fact of the matter is that it works. I can only hope that Obama can bounce back from this double teaming distortion before it's too late. My optimism that the American people can see through this kind of crap has been proven wrong before.
|| JM, 7:10 PM


Your post (AND the cartoon) are "dead on". . .

I, too, hope that Barack can continue to hold his own against the machine.
Blogger John Good, at 11:20 PM  
I'd like to see a woman as president. It's gonna either be her or Barack, and I just can't get over his name, and the fact that his father and step father were muslims.
Anonymous shea, at 1:14 AM  
Ah yes, let's get hung up on labels. It matters not if we elect a person who represents a certain constituency, but we need to elect the best person. Whether they are female, black, or whatever doesn't mean a thing. What's troublesome is the implication that Barack's exposure to Islam is a problem.
Blogger JM, at 8:20 AM  
Too bad I missed the "Top Ten Barack Obama Campaign Promises" presented by Senator Barack Obama on last nights Letterman show:

10) "To keep the budget balanced, I'll rent the Situation Room for sweet sixteens"
9) "I will double your tax money at the craps table"
8) "Appoint Mitt Romney Secretary of Lookin' Good"
7) "If you bring a gator to the White House, I'll wrassle it"
6) "I'll put Regis on the nickel"
5) "I'll rename the tenth month of the year 'Barack-tober'"
4) "I won't let Apple release the new and improved iPod the day after you bought the previous model"
3) "I'll find money in the budget to buy Letterman a decent hairpiece"
2) "Pronounce the word nuclear, nuclear"
1) "Three words: Vice President Oprah"
Blogger JM, at 9:14 AM  
I don't care if your black, white, man, woman. Just please give me someone I can trust.
Blogger Mary, at 9:36 AM  
Yes, that would be a refreshing change of pace.
Blogger JM, at 9:41 AM  
Shea's comment has made me ill. I don't care if Obama's name is Barack Hitler Osama Stalin Obama. And for that matter, who cares if relatives of his are Muslim. In fact, what would be wrong with him being a Muslim!? Muslims are not the problem. Extremists are, and they come in all forms - even Christians or blog readers who don't like someone because of their name or family affiliations.

As for Clinton, I still am torn. I think she has what it takes to be a strong leader, but I, too, don't like what I am seeing. Reminds me too much of the Bush years. I want a cleaner government and Obama gives me, dare I say, hope. If he has the proper cabinet, he can do the job. I vote in a week or so here in NJ, and I remain split, but each day I lean more towards Obama.
Blogger STP, at 12:25 PM  
Scott, as always a thoughtful and well stated comment. I agonized whether I should have just deleted Shea's comment, but since it was leaning more towards ignorance than hate, I let it ride. Sometimes, we need to be reminded of the less enlightened masses out there.
Blogger JM, at 12:13 AM  
I think you made the proper choice in keeping the post up. It serves a purpose in that sometimes ugliness needs to have a mirror.
Blogger STP, at 11:33 AM  

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