Politics as Usual!

The cat-dog fight between Senators Clinton and Obama, with a side-scrap by hubby Bill thrown in, has furnished the best entertainment of the weekend. Funny…but also quite sad, especially as the combatants throw whatever they consider the best “spin” on the contretemps, thus covering up the facts that actually accrue to the dustup.

Senator Clinton made a remark that actually emphasized the importance of what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did in behalf of African Americans, i.e., that he absolutely demanded that the nation take notice of the need for civil rights legislation and enforcement. She elaborated by also correctly stating that Lyndon Johnson provided the presidential leadership in the mid-1960s that made the civil rights corrections possible. She could even have added that those rights were generated/guaranteed almost exclusively by the white men who ran the Congress.

This was a simple history lesson, though the senator could have reached back into the middle 1950s for an even more startling example by noting that President Eisenhower sent armed troops (some 2,000 of them) into Little Rock to see that Governor Faubus understood where the power lay with respect to civil rights. What she didn’t say, understandably, was that the African Americans’ worst civil enemy at that time was the Democrat Party in the South.

Naturally, her words were twisted into a racial issue, as is always the case when civil-rights is the subject. This is from MSNBC on13 January: "Well this is fascinating to me," Obama began [in a conference call] of Clinton's remarks on Meet the Press, in which she accused the Obama campaign of stirring the pot among African-American leaders about her remarks that it "took a president" to pass civil rights legislation. "She made an unfortunate remark about Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson,” he said. “I haven't remarked on it. And she offended some folks who thought she diminished the role about King and the civil rights movement. The notion that this is our doing is ludicrous.”

It doesn’t matter whose “doing” it was, though Obama must still be on his knees giving thanks for this marvelous opportunity to play the ever-ready race-card, especially just prior to the South Carolina primary, in which blacks (especially black women) vote in huge numbers. People with even a cursory sense of history and/or ninth-grade civics-mentality know that Clinton was right and was simply pointing out the tremendous leverage a president has regarding any matter.

Bill Clinton’s help in this campaign should give Senator Clinton second thoughts about his role. When he used the term “fairy tale” to describe anything about Obama, whether his stance on the war or his entire campaign, he was treading in deep whoop-de-do. Fairy tale is defined as “a made-up story usually designed to mislead.” He couldn’t have used a worse description for Obama’s efforts, especially as belonging to a proven winner in both state and national elections.

It doesn’t help that the dictionary also defines the term “fairy” as a male homosexual. Clinton, while not being homosexual, is a well-documented purveyor of perverseness when it comes to sexual shenanigans. The decade of the 1990s was replete with allusions in the media to his peccadilloes, which were both “unusual” and numerous. When one thinks of his tenure in office, the term “Monica” comes to mind immediately, not to mention the impeachment matter.

This election cycle is dominated in the democrat camp by both the racial and gender considerations. In the seemingly never-ending cataloging of “firsts,” the democrats have the chance to trumpet both the first female and/or the first African American as their claim to arriving at some sort of landmark accomplishment, as if either consideration actually serves as a qualifier or disqualifier for the highest office.

The supreme irony lies in the fact that there’s virtually no difference between what Clinton and Obama think is the role of government, to wit, that government exists to structure the cradle-to-grave framework for every citizen (those outside the womb, that is), and that laws should be engaged to establish that guaranteed Camelot. This is what Clinton means when she insists that it takes a village to raise a child. Clearly, it doesn’t, but both candidates think it does.

As evidenced in their recent debates, where issues were actually discussed, the republicans have widely varying ideas about governance, but the government as nanny they all agree is intolerable. Likewise, except for libertarian Ron Paul, they agree on Bush’s foreign policy regarding Iraq. They also take shots at each other, but not in the “catty” vein exhibited by Senators Clinton and Obama, and John Edwards, who also has offered his anti-Hillary two-cents-worth to his adversaries’ little side-entertainment, perhaps angling for another shot at the veep spot if Obama should be the nominee.