The trivializing of the elective process was exponentially enhanced over the weekend as Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton, senators who should have more gumption, participated in “dueling churches” in Selma, Alabama. Endeavoring to “out-black” each other, with Clinton at a physical disadvantage except for author Toni Morrison’s label of Hillary’s husband as the “first black president,” they intentionally made African Americans into a political football to be tossed, tumbled, fumbled, and generally manipulated. Neither of them had the bona fides to be preaching in black churches…or in any churches.
The gullibility of blacks is taken for granted in this episode reported by the AP: “U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, who introduced Obama at a breakfast, and said blacks can tell their grandchildren they can be anything if Obama is inaugurated as president on Jan. 20, 2009. ‘The moment that he is standing there will mean that we have a country that is free,’ said Davis, D-Ala.” Davis is black but can’t seem to understand that his own success has already proven that the “country is free,” whatever that means, and has forgotten or never known that Obama is not the first African American elected to the Senate. In modern history, for instance, Edward Brooke, an African-American republican, served in the Senate in 1967-79.
Clinton credited the Civil Rights Movement for giving her the right to run for office, but didn’t mention that there are 90 women in Congress now and that they’ve been eligible to run for Congress for a long time. One wonders how long folks like Clinton will insist that women are a minority (like blacks) in a country in which more than half the population is female. The day was given over to recognizing “Bloody Sunday” of the 60s, so that was the tie-in. Clinton hadn’t even meant to make the scene until she learned that Obama would be in ’bama, then reckoned as how she would become a lay preacher for the day.
The televised clips showed the whole thing as the circus that it was. Obama, said by rival Senator Biden to be articulate, morphed into a Jesse Jackson speech-wise, easily sliding into such figures as saying “moveMENT” instead of “MOVEment,” as he ordinarily would. Clinton took on the “thunder from the mountain” style of John Kerry. Both came off looking as artificial as two clowns at a rodeo. Obama, easing into what he perceives as Alabama vernacular, came off as condescending, while Clinton just sounded silly. When she gets into her groove, most men shudder and appreciate that her fish-wifey brashness belongs to somebody else. When she raises her voice, she sounds like the “old woman” out in the kitchen railing at the dozen children who are her constant plague.
Perhaps Obama’s strangest stretch in remarking his bona fides in the “victimization-via-slavery” category was noting that the British called his grandfather a “houseboy” in Kenya. He had to so something, since his lineage is not blessed with the cruelties of plantation owners in Alabama. Clinton is stuck with a privileged upbringing in Illinois, but, of course, is married to that “first black president.” Obama also had a privileged upbringing, even including part of his education in Islamic schools. One wonders which god he will discuss when he visits Dearborn, Michigan, if ever, home of a large Muslim community. Will he orate in a mosque, for instance?
Most “experts” seem to think the whole ballgame will be over by next January, and that the only thing worth accomplishing now is the gathering of many greenbacks in order to fuel the campaigns with the mega-millions needed to fly around the country, make speeches others are paid to write, sling mud at the appropriate times and people, etc.
John McCain announced his candidacy on the Letterman show, an indication of how trivial the whole thing is. But he had to match – perhaps, he thought – Senator Dodd, who made that same earth-shaking announcement on the “Imus in the Morning” clambake, uttering his wisdom amongst the Imus vulgarities. Perhaps Al Sharpton will announce on the Oprah Winfrey or Montel Williams sob-fest and claim genuine bona fides connected to the (gasp) recent claim that a Strom Thurmond distant relative owned one of his forbears. Good grief!
Meanwhile, John Edwards was out in Berkeley, California, over the weekend, where the AP had this to say: “Democratic presidential contender John Edwards on Sunday called a janitors' campaign for better wages at the University of California, Berkeley, a continuation of the civil rights struggle that began in the 1960s.” Egad! It was “Bloody Sunday” alright, with the truth absolutely being slaughtered by these three “front-runners.”