Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hillary's Heart of Darkness

"The mind of man is capable of anything...He must meet that truth with his own true stuff--with his own inborn strength. Principles? Principles won't do."

On the eve of the Ohio-Texas primaries, Obama had a lead of around 150 pledged delegates, and after tonight's 20 point landslide(nearly 100,000 margin in popular vote) victory in Mississippi(after his 61-38% drubbing in that bastion of African-Americans--Wyoming,), Obama will actually have a larger lead than before Ohio, despite the fact that Billary raved about what a big night they had on March 4. Such is the reality of this campaign: Clinton is finished, yet she desperately spins anything that can harm Obama, knowing that her ceiling of support is basically 51%. People don't like her so she has to tear him down; it's a pathetic spectacle that gets older as each day passes and Billary inches closer to the inevitable precipice that they will ultimately--and thankfully--plunge off in a few long weeks. Americans deserve to be rewarded for enduring the Clintons for all these years, and what better way to repay us than to crawl back under their rock and exit the political stage

"The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion...is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much."

Let's look at a few facts: First, Clinton is 150 delegates(and over 700,000 votes) behind because she not only lost 12 states in a row after Super Tuesday(and 28 out of 42 overall) but lost by profoundly devastating margins, especially in overwhelmingly white states such as Maine, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Washington state, where she lost by 15% or more. That is the reason she is so far behind, not simply because he won a few small states: She has won some larger states, for sure, but look at the margins, which were all very close. Take Texas, for example, where Clinton won the popular vote with 51%. Today, the results were released from the TOTAL Texas vote and guess what--Obama won the state. But where is the media, who celebrated Clinton's "huge" win in Texas? Here is the reality: Clinton won 65 delegates from the popular vote and 30 delegates from the caucus, while Obama won 61 delegates from the popular vote and 38 delegates from the caucus, which means the total in Texas is 99 delegates for Obama and 95 for Clinton, so the math is simple, with Clinton picking up 10 delegates in Ohio, and Rhode Island and Vermont a wash, she emerged from last Tuesday with a 6 delegate pick-up. However, after losing Wyoming and Mississippi, Clinton is actually behind by more delegates than she was when Democrats were beginning to urge her to withdraw from the race because the delegate math simply does not add up, and now with only eight states left to vote, Obama's lead is huge(at least 160 delegates now), regardless of whether or not they re-vote in Florida and Michigan.

Here is what the party should do with those two idiotic states: Let the remaining primary process play itself out if Billary refuses to do the right thing and drop out, and if there is a chance Clinton can catch Obama after the other states vote then you spend the money to hold those elections in late June, giving both candidates time to campaign there(and Obama gets to have his name on the ballot this time) Remember, Clinton only won 55% in Michigan when she was the only name on the ballot! The tough candidate "Uncommitted" got 40% of the vote--and 50% of the white male vote--which is actually much better than Clinton did in at least half a dozen states, so what does that say about her campaign? I think Obama will do just fine in Michigan and will hold his own in Florida, especially once it is clear--as it will be when they actually vote--that he is the rightful Democratic nominee, the one who won the most votes, states, and delegates. Don't forget that when those states voted Obama was still relatively unknown to many voters. Now he is the putative frontrunner. Let's see what happens when those states vote knowing that after the other 48 states weighed in Obama was the overwhelming choice. Clinton will try to say that they are winner-take-all and other desperate nonsense but the states should count for what they are in terms of their delegates--no more and no less.

If she is still 100+ delegates behind she is not going to close that gap in those two states, so they won't even matter in the big scheme of things. As Andrew Sullivan--a Republican--wrote in The Atlantic, "if at the end of it all, one candidate has more delegates and more votes, why is there a question about who won?" Good question, for this is becoming more and more absurd. Just how can Obama win in a way that Clinton would accept? If it is not about the delegates, or states, or popular votes, just what is it about? It's like the Bush problem in Iraq: Define victory and an exit strategy. Clinton's conduct is a disturbing and completely unacceptable assault on the democratic process itself. Obama did not create the rules. All he has done is play fair; Clinton is the one who continually changes the rules, defines which states matter etc. Imagine if Obama were conducting himself in this manner, saying how much Pennsylvania matters, when actually North Carolina and Indiana will have more delegates than Pennsylvania.
For those of you who do not understand the electoral process, the one with the most delegates wins--period, just as the president is elected in the Electoral College, so Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election. Many of us do not necessarily like that process but it's the system we have, and Americans respect people who play by the rules, not continually cry to the refs as Clinton has mastered. The candidate who has the most delegates at the end of the primary process needs to receive the support and confirmation of the superdelegates and a coronation at a unified convention in Denver. That is the only way the party will avoid an utter bloodbath in Denver and the demise of the party's increasingly slim chances in November.

While the Clinton camp engaged in a new round of race card poker, cynically--and laughably--expressing how "lucky" Obama is to be a black male in America(where would he be if he were white?), Obama has finally begun contesting Clinton's absurd claims that she was anything more than a basic tea-sipping first lady. Even Nobel Peace Prize winner Lord Trimble weighed in this week, flatly stating that Hillary's role in the Northern Ireland peace process was completely exaggerated, as he claimed it was "a wee bit silly" for her to suggest that she had any meaningful role in the negotiations(she flat-out lied on Wed., saying, "I helped bring peace to Northern Ireland"), while she was also slapped down by--of all people--Sinbad, the comedian, who accompanied Hillary on her trip to Eastern Europe that was supposedly too dangerous to send president Bill. Sinbad called her bluff, explaining that the trip was really a USO entertainment gig where, as Sinbad noted, "the only red phone call was to ask where we were going to eat."
The fact remains that she never had national security clearance, as was reported by the New York Times last week, nor has she listed a single substantive foreign policy accomplishment that would enable her to lay claim to all this "experience" nonsense that she has foisted upon the uneducated little old white ladies that are her only reliable base.

Moreover, it was a tough week for her pathetic chief surrogates, as the worst of them, Wolfson, looked like the dishonest fool he is while trying to explain just how Obama will be ready to be VP but is not ready to be president. The look on his face was priceless, as he tried to squirm away from that question, saying that Obama is not ready to be president now but he will be by the convention in August, when he can be Hillary's running mate, but if he is ready to be VP then surely he will also be ready to be president, which is the first duty of a VP. That whole argument was forcefully rejected by Obama, who rightfully explained the absurdity of someone who is essentially out of contention trying to offer the VP to the frontrunner. What's next, is Huckabee going to offer McCain the VP slot? Furthermore, the ominous racial undertone of her and Bill's remarks were clear: Obama is not a serious presidential candidate(despite his commanding lead) No one would really vote for the black man at the top of the ticket(despite the results from 28 states who did just that), so he should know his place and be thankful that the woman who has won half as many states would offer him the VP. How else does one explain the audacity of someone getting her ass kicked and talking about a running mate? The arrogance is palpable. The irony, of course, is that it's all just another Billary lie, for everyone knows that Billary lacks the type of self-esteem that would allow them to even consider Obama on the ticket, for he would completely overshadow her--as he has the entire primary. No, this is another cynical attempt to lure voters away from Obama, thinking that they can vote for Hillary and Obama. As Billary learned in Wyoming and Mississippi, the voters(at least 60% of them) are not much interested in having her on the ticket in either slot. The same old question remains: When, if ever, will the Clintons wake up and realize that it's over, that unless they rig the superdelegates and steal the election they can't possibly claim this victory? Imagine Clinton, loser in states, delegates, and popular votes, standing on the stage in Denver, after ripping the nomination from the first democratically elected African-American nominee, the one who will have over 30 state delegations in the hall that night supporting him. Can anyone really picture that scene?
I can: "I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror--of an intense and hopeless despair. The horror! The horror!" (Conrad, Heart of Darkness)

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