Saturday, March 08, 2008

Clinton a Monster? Egad!

"Samantha Power was head-hunted by Barack Obama to become his foreign-policy adviser in 2005 and combines this role with her job as a Time magazine columnist and professor of practice of global leadership and public policy at Harvard," according to the Scotch newspaper, The Scotsman. One wonders about a university course entitled "practice of global leadership and public policy," but nothing that happens at either Harvard or TIME is very surprising.

Currently, the best practice of global leadership seems to be the willingness and the ability to dispatch Muslim jihad-mongers, and it certainly doesn't take a genius to understand that. As for the practice of public policy, ditto, with a gaggle of tinhorn dictators thrown in for good measure.

Ms Power was on the record as referring to Senator Clinton as a "monster," defined in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th Edition, as "an animal or plant of abnormal form or structure; one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character." For her trouble, Ms Power did the expected apology and resignation (unpaid position, anyway) and went her merry way, though presumably not to Sherwood Forest.

This is just the latest episode in the neighborhood (otherwise known as the Democrat Party) spat between Obama and Clinton. The spat has involved such things as drug-use (Obama) and the refusal to release financial information (Clinton). What it actually involves is a vicious internecine bloodletting by perhaps the two most ambitious people in the country currently.

Politically and philosophically, there's virtually no difference between the two people, so their battle has to be waged in an effort to gain popularity, the better to look forward to November. Gaining popularity often comes as the result of making one's opponent very unpopular. This was seen vividly in Kentucky recently when the attorney general (democrat) said he would run for governor only if the incumbent (republican) became unpopular. The a-g then took a case(s) that should have gone to perhaps an ethics committee and made it into the threat of Armageddon, thus making the governor very unpopular, eventuating in his defeat last year, but not by the a-g, who rode the wrong factional horse.

Clinton is not a monster, though she is a political animal, and political animals are expected to deviate from "normal or acceptable behavior or character." The fact that they speak with a forked tongue, depending on the demographics of a given location, bespeaks a bent toward, if not outright dishonesty, at least a profound disingenuousness. Clinton promised everything but the annexation of Canada in a speech in Austin the other day, revving the crowd to fever pitch but knowing full well that she can't deliver a fraction of what she promises.

Obama tickles the ears with visions of afternoon teas with the likes of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and fellow butcher Hugo Chavez but is bound to know that this is a foolish position. These guys would have him for lunch and then laugh uproariously about it. He's even talked of sending troops into Pakistan if current President Musharaff doesn't toe the line, but surely knows how ridiculous such a statement is. If not, all bets are off if he should somehow get elected.

So…what's going on here? It's a matter of gaining popularity, contingent, of course, upon the notion that the citizenry, collectively, is too dumb to see through both the almost psychotic ambitions and all the underhanded shenanigans by either the candidates or their surrogates. The constant insistences of deniability are just a bit too much, though everything is designed to keep the principals above the fray. Obama wouldn't think of calling Clinton a monster, and Clinton would never accuse Obama of grandstanding vis-à-vis Pakistan or smoking a little Mary Jane in his oat-sowing days.

Both democrats constantly drone the "change" mantra, but one or the other should denounce "change" as the prime motivating factor to snow the voters. "Change" is always used in elections…and means absolutely nothing, mostly because the thinking voters don't want change in the most prosperous and strongest nation in the world, not to mention the fact that change never occurs to any great extent anyway. Incumbents return to office routinely. Except in watershed years like 1994, House incumbents can be expected to survive at an average of about 90% in each election cycle, meaning that significant change domestically, dependent upon the Congress, not the president, is never likely to take place on any large scale. With regard to military matters, neither candidate has a clue, but drastic change is not in the offing.

Since "change" is not likely and most voters know it, one wonders how it would be if a candidate would just decide to tell it like it is and poke ridicule at his/her opponent for even trying to hornswoggle the public with all the idiocy about "change." Telling the absolute truth might incur an attack of psychological trauma, but just think of the headline: CANDIDATE SPEAKS TRUTH! The subhead would probably be: Then Faints at Rally. Now that might make for some good electioneering.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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