Heartbreaker

According to many, today’s the day. The Rules Committee meets today somewhere in my neck of the woods. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and DNC Chair Howard Dean all say that as a result of today’s meeting and of next week’s final primaries, the Democrats will at long last have a presumptive nominee in early June. I don’t buy it. I think the Clinton campaign will walk in there today and won’t give until the Rules Committee bouncers have to remove them by force. It’s already been said that the RC can’t give the Clinton campaign what it wants: Full, unquestioned representation of Florida and Michigan despite that neither primary was contested fairly and honestly. I think the Clinton campaign at the end of today will stridently announce that it intends to keep tossing around this medicine ball through to August.

Because there’s no other way she can hope to clinch the nomination. If she can steer this thing to the floor, then all bets are off. There will be back-room wrangling and more deals made than at a tobacco auction. That’s how she gets the nod, and it’s the only way she gets the nod: She takes it to Denver and haggles for it.

This places Democratic politics into limbo over the summer, and in political limbo, John McWeirdsmile is Godzilla. No, he’s friggin’ Lennox Lewis—nobody will ever be able to touch his pretty face. For 2.5 months, both Clinton and Obama will be sloshing around in the wet cement while McWeirdsmile runs laps around them on stilts and steroids.

It’s heartbreaking, and I want supporters of Hillary Clinton to understand that.

In various arenas of discussion, I have been told that, as a supporter of Barack Obama, I am a misogynist, or that I have somehow pitched in on The Arkansas Project, or that I am contributing to a diabolical plot by fat white old men to purposely deny the Presidency to a woman, or that I am simply one of many men incapable of casting a vote for a woman. What I wish folks could understand is that in any other circumstance, I and I think many of my colleagues would be genuinely excited to place a female at the helm, and that watching Hillary Clinton run for President has done little else but for me but to break my heart.

I adored Bill Clinton. I loved the ’90s and now understand that the Clinton Era might have been the last hardy gasp of greatness for the Untied States of America. Many times, this man’s Presidency had me feeling victorious as an American voter. He was a believer and a doer and a magnet for empty, jealous freaks with no better mission in life than to push the man off the top of his mountain. They got him in the end for little else than for getting his elbow shined, and on the day of his impeachment, his approval ratings were through the roof. What’s that tell you?

But sitting through the sequel has just left me queasy and heartbroken. It has tanked Hillary Clinton, but it hasn’t done much for Mr. Clinton, either. Bill Clinton, once the mission-driven former President, flying far and above now the shackles of U.S. politics in the realm of the NGO, raising billions and billions of dollars for the humble goal of making the world better, so enlightened that he struck up a friendship, not an acquaintance or a business partnership but a genuine friendship, with H.W. Bush. As an ex-President, Bill Clinton had achieved Carterdom. And he has squandered it. He is now the bumbling husband wandering off in the grocery store photo-op, saying stupid, sometimes racially divisive things, doing more harm than good, and, ultimately, defending oddly undefendable territory using the twisted calculus of the Clinton campaign. Hillary has already won this thing, he said. She’s victim of a cover-up, he said. Bill. Dude. What happened to you?

But there is no comparison to the ugly machinations this campaign has revealed in Hillary Clinton. From the first debate, when she brandished her jiu jitsu for an answer given by Obama on the subject of diplomacy, making him say something he didn’t say, painting him as an inexperienced pansy for laying out a perfectly smart objection to the twisted perspective of diplomacy as envisioned by The Current President.

From that point on, it was clear that post-2000 brand of “eat me, pilgrim” American politics would not be going away anytime soon, and that it had infected the Democratic Party, and not just in the isolated case of Joe Lieberman. No sir, said symptoms presented themselves in the lady candidate for the highest office in the land. She praised the Republigoat nominee at the profound expense of her Democratic opponent. She openly mocked him and his supporters. She feigned outrage at campaign literature that had been circulating for months. She drummed up false charges of plagiarism. She allied with a surrogate who suggested Obama was only successful due to an affirmative action culture—an argument with which I’m sure presidents Sharpton and Jackson agree. Her campaign took steps—including circulating a photograph of Obama dressed in the apparel of a nonwestern culture—to try to associate him with the maligned religion of Islam. And through it all, she has insisted that the results of flawed, uneven primary contests be counted unquestioned, going so far as to parallel that issue with the civil rights struggles of Americans who were actually trodden upon. I have said it a thousand times and I will say it again: You can’t count Michigan, period, because his name was not even on the ballot.

The whole entire point of the 2008 Presidential Election ought to be the obliteration of the dark political arts that have been in use since The Current President folded his arms, pouted, and held his breath waiting for The Supreme Court to annoint him. You don’t accomplish that by running someone who achieved the nomination by employing those very methods. You accomplish it by running a guy who’s run with integrity, who’s run largely on $20 and $50 donations, and who persistently exhibits a powerful ability to rise above the cheap shots. You don’t wash out Karl Rove’s sweat and DNA from the gears by spraying it down with Karl Rove’s sweat and DNA. You have to run clean.

And so there it is, as I brace myself to turn on the C-SPAN. I expect by the end of this day for the heartbreak to continue, for Candidate Clinton to continue her weird outward spiral, to insist on taking this sucker to Credentials. I used to wish her a long, happy career as a United States Senator. Now, it appear she has squandered much of the steam of gravitas she had previously, as the perception is that Reid’s balls have dropped and that guys like Shumer and Emanuel, not Clinton, are his understudies. I hope she has been working on her baking skills, because once this is over, staying home and baking cookies may just be what’s left for her. One can only hope.

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