Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Politics Of Unity

"If I could prove 10 percent of what I believe happened, he'd [Clinton] be gone. This guy's a scumbag. That's why I'm after him."- Congressman Dan Burton (R: Indiana)

It's nice to see that the bitch doesn't fall far from the tree. I'll bet her mother is very, very proud of her. - Support Your Local Gunfighter (Moron: Blogosphere)

I draw your attention to the above quotations of two of the more, um, OK, less polite Republicans on this planet, and ask you to consider the politics of unity that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both espouse.


After all, much sport has been had with Obama's middle name already and he hasn't even won the nomination. And of course, Hillary herself has such groups as CLIT and CUNT on her trail.

How long would it take for the Monica Crowleys and Roger Stones of the world to create National Investigative Group: Get Erudite Race-baiters or some other rejiggering (FReeper alert!) of the word?

These kind of attacks will continue and it's still early. I suspect there will be many more and many worse slights to come. Which raises the issue: should the lamb lie with the lion (or in this case, the jackals)?

I think it depends. And this is where Hillary has an huge advantage over Barack Obama.

Obama has revealed a very thin skin. Remember Clinton's "fairy tale" comment?

Obama surrogates unloaded their guns at Clinton, drawing the race card, and in the process, making Barack Obama look foolish AND spilling blood into the water for the sharks of the right wing to smell. Dumb. DUMB move. Obama didn't do much to dissuade them, nor did he do much to mend fences until days later.

This is one of a couple of slights to Obama that he's gone "drama queen" on. The Clintons have kept the gloves on, yet they've managed to take Obama off message and into the gutter. That has dampened his message of hope and unity.

The right wing, particularly Karl Rove, is paying attention. Yes, the cocaine story was a nothing deal, but it came out in the Democratic primaries before three-fourths of the country was even paying attention. Imagine nominee Obama being asked by moderator Chris Wallace in an October debate, "Sir, how many times did you do cocaine and did you ever sell it?"

We'll all be sitting for a McCain inauguration, to be sure, if Obama's answer to that lacks candor and forthrightness. After all, he put it in his book that he used, as opposed to Dubya, who ducked, weaved, and denied.

Hillary has shown she is more than tough enough to take the right wing hate-mongers on, and beat them. It concerns me that we might select a man who's going to get thrown off course for the lack of a backbone and stiff upper lip.

Too, Hillary's "sins" for what they are, are out there for all to see. There's no real October surprise (hell, they even found a boyfriend for her assistant!) here. We can't say the same about Barack Obama, particularly when his truth can be so easily twisted (madrassah in Pakistan, Muslim father, can work that one out on your own).

This is not to suggest that "thick skin" is the only criterion on which to base the selection of a nominee, and as I've said before, despite my endorsement of Senator Clinton, I would be as fervent in my support of Senator Obama as nominee as I would her selection.

But the two are so much like in so many policy arenas despite their reported differences and the notion that Obama is running neck and neck with her (Dan Abrams on MSNBC had a great piece last night on this) seems pretty silly. People who are reading the papers, looking at issues, are seeing no difference and thinking about the 90s and seeing the early attacks, and I think they're thinking like I am: we need someone who can shrug off the attacks, and put forth a case to elect Democrats in 2008.