What a delicious episode of reality-check the recent democrat debate (okay, the political version of "American Idol," of which show I admit only a knowledge gained through media descriptions/putdowns) in Philadelphia was! It represented an effort by ABC guys Gibson and Stephanopoulos to get beyond the personas to the "real thems" of Senators Clinton and Obama, who have been away from the Senate for so long that they may need help eventually in finding their offices and readjusting to the arduous task of legislating, most notably that segment having to do with earmarks. In the process, perhaps they will then re-discover their actual selves…or something like that.
That G and S did a rather thorough bloodletting concerning his psyche was noted by Obama as he whined in North Carolina the next day about not being asked a question of substance for 45 minutes. The mainstream media folks – at least most of them, it seems – chimed in with various and assorted castigations of the two ABCers, though one wonders if the TV audience of some 10.7 million, second only to the other ABC-produced debate in January of 9.3 million viewers, was not their main motivation, competition among the media prima donnas being what it is – nasty.
The two wily presidential combatants were forced to admit that either of them could win the election in November, but each said he/she was more equal than the other. That was dirty pool by the interrogators, but the principals had nothing to complain about since they agreed to the two hours of competition with commercials.
Having to compete with the likes of cures for erectile-dysfunction or athlete's feet or the lure of big bucks through some fund or other is bound to bring out the best in candidates and let them show their advanced positions of prestige (or is that prestidigitation?) to the whole country. It would have been more fun if the candidates had had to play fair with the medicinal/ecstasy commercials by listing the possible harmful side-effects of their presidencies, but that might have taken all night.
Obama suffered the greatest harm from the deadly arrows of elitism-explanation since he had just announced to the partygoers at what he thought was a "closed-door" fundraiser in San Francisco (where else) that small-towners, translated as most everybody in Pennsylvania, were bitter people marked by their crawling into the shell of religion and clasping their firearms to their bosoms while eying suspiciously all those immigrants stalking the land. Did he mean they had righteous retribution in their souls, marked by redneck ignorance of the outside world?
The most delicious irony of the evening was furnished by Stephanopoulos when he asked Hillary about her episode with the ungrateful Serb snipers attempting a contract on her and daughter Chelsea. After all, Georgie-boy was the big-shot glamour guy in the first four years of Bill Clinton's White House; therefore, such an embarrassing question made him look terribly unappreciative/disrespectful of the former queen (some say scourge) of the White House. Or…was he just getting even?
Clinton was caught in the crossfire (no pun intended) between truth and consequence and soon into her explanation of the totally unexplainable mentioned that, after all, General Wesley Clark (NATO commander), was in Bosnia in 1996, too…and VOILA!…was even in the audience. She didn't, of course, mention his disobeyed order to a British officer that might have precipitated WWIII (the Russians on the other side) if carried out or his removal into retirement a couple months later and his presidential bid even later. Hillary repeated her apology for…well…for lying. Maybe she should consider writing a suspense novel, something like The Bosnia Protocol or a family thing like It Takes A Village To Bury a Sniper since only someone with her superb imagination could have concocted her oft-repeated memoir of 1996.
Obama was, of course, stuck with the dear Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, his steadfast friend and spiritual mentor (okay, until recently) and sainted pastor of his church and perhaps the inventor of the new black-liberation-theology slogan "God Damn America," perhaps soon to be made into a hymn. He hemmed and hawed and tried to explain away his now 21-year connection with the guy who declared that the government had smitten the African-American community with HIV/AIDS, and had been called for its sins on 9/11.
Actually, Obama got off easily. Gibson could have asked him to define the "typical white person" to which or whom he alluded in his now famous Philadelphia oration on Race. At that time, using his grandmother as an example, he seemed to explain that the typical white person is just leery of all the folks around him or her. Coupled with his latest description, i.e., the typical small-towner holding his shotgun at the ready if it becomes necessary to deal with an immigrant, he could have elaborated but was not required to do so. Pity! Ducking his well-documented relationship with former Weather Underground bomber/idiot William Ayers when questioned about it was all but impossible…and Obama proved that.
Kudos to the ABC gang-of-2 for finally delving into the psyches of Clinton and Obama! They're like the Bobbsey twins on the issues…no difference in accelerating this country into a pernicious socialism. Both promise, as well, to get the troops out of Iraq, come hell or high water, by yesterday, if not sooner. These facts have been known for a year, so the time had come to look into the personalities to discover their credibility…and it wasn't pretty. Hillary – in the Clinton tradition – requires a "suspension of belief" (her address to General Petraeus) when she announces anything, even the time of day. Barack is glib, elitist, out of touch with "real people," and ambitious to a fault. They certainly are equal-opportunity losers to McCain.