Campaign as Soap-Opera!

The theme for this year's quadrennial election-circus could well be "Campaign as Soap Opera." This is true for both parties, but especially true for the democrats, who have suffered through Gravel's assertion that homosexuals make the best soldiers to the latest highly public pronouncement by a candidate-wife, Michelle Obama, that for the first time in her adult life she is now proud of her country. Gravel is acknowledged to be flaky, but Ms Obama leads one to believe that being a graduate of Harvard Law School, not to mention Princeton University, does not guard against making profoundly dumb remarks.

Besides having been a practicing lawyer, Ms Obama is a former associate dean at the University of Chicago; a member of six boards of directors including the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and Tree House Foods; and Vice President, Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. One supposes that in fulfilling these important and extremely well-paid positions she had to suffer as well as she could through her shame of the country in which these positions represented the best she could do…merely becoming rich in the process without even adding hubby Barack's annual Senator's income of $169,300 to the kitty.

Okay…Ms Obama, an African American, grew up on Chicago's South Shore in less than perfect circumstances (had to share a bedroom of sorts with a brother), so maybe that fashioned her thinking. Maybe she's never heard of the white kids who grow up in shacks often without indoor plumbing all through Appalachia. Or…it could be that her history courses at Princeton never included the fact that some 600,000 mostly white men died in delivering her possible forbears from slavery.

Ms. Obama's remark was dumb with respect to the campaign, not with respect to how she has felt through the years. She was just telling the truth. To torpedo her husband's campaign with a remark like that suggests two things: (1) She is profoundly ignorant with respect to the intelligence most everyone else has in assessing her capability in bringing about a desired result; and (2) The nation is headed for another "two-for-one" White House circumstance if Obama should be elected. Any one brazen enough to one-up her own husband and bring down the wrath of millions upon him is brazen enough to be another Hillary, the scourge of the White House in the 90s.

The Obama show is as "soap-opera-ish" as the Clinton show…in reverse, with hubby Bill torpedoing his wife's efforts with unseemly remarks such as the "fairy-tale" thing concerning Barack Obama and support for the Iraq war…or lack of it, depending upon the perception. One dictionary-definition of fairy is "male homosexual," so that didn't help, particularly in view of Slick Willie's sexual peccadilloes. Fairy tale is defined as "a made-up story usually designed to mislead." Bill surely meant that, but he shouldn't have said it. It was dumb.

For her part in the soap opera, Senator Clinton dared to mention the unmentionable in a speech, to wit, that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been helped by the Johnson administration in the civil rights action of the 60s. Her statement was eminently true, but she should never have made it, since it was too "soapish," truth-telling being a part of the afternoon peep-shows only when self-sacrifice is the issue.

Before he departed the current soap-opera circus, John Edwards introduced the nation to the $400-haircut, while his lawyer-wife also hit the hustings. The bizarre thing about women's lib, apparently, is that spouses seem to be making a statement that the co-presidency is what the founding fathers had in mind, never mind their spelling out the duties of the "president" (singular case).

Edwards divided the nation into the "haves" (his group) and the "have-nots," most any family below the $75,000-per-year mark – great soap-opera stuff – and both began and ended his campaign in New Orleans, or what's left of it, apparently to make a statement regarding the haves and the have-nots…or maybe FEMA…or maybe the levees that the Right Honorable Reverend Doctor Imam Farrakhan claimed the U.S. government had sabotaged in order to kill black folk. One can only wonder when he became proud of the nation as an adult since he declaimed/complained constantly about his parents having to work in a North Carolina mill, as if nobody else was ever required to work in a mill. Soapy (or sappy) stuff!

The republicans have had their share of soap opera stuff, too, everything from drag-queen charges to saving the Olympic Games to multiple marriages and mistresses to (horrors and gasps!!!) the notion that an abortion is next to godliness. Maybe that's for another day. In the meantime, perhaps Barack should tell (okay…gently request) Michelle to shut up and go home and take care of the girls. Hillary can't do that, of course, because she can never be quite sure as to Bill's whereabouts…or his activities.

Campaigning as soap-opera! It's a delightful bit of entertainment, especially in a milieu in which the primary objective is to promulgate heat (as in an afternoon passion-pit), not light.