Sunday, January 6, 2008

Saturday Night

Could anyone sit through two hours of the self-parodies the Republicans unleashed on viewers of ABC? I couldn’t. Too much vileness in too little space in too brief a time. But for the wacky libertarian, Ron Paul, even a few minutes was too much.

Then ABC (Disney Corp.) did its best to make sure that, after the two hours they devoted to that horror show, the Democratic debate, awash in sunlight by comparison, would take place within parameters the corporate world deems safe. Thus it denied viewers the chance to see and hear what genuine (small-d) democrats, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich had to say. Not surprisingly, ABC follows in the shameful line of other guardians of the status quo this primary season – most recently, the Des Moines Register.

Fortunately, they couldn’t treat John Edwards the same way. So a few whiffs of truth did filter through. Hillary Clinton, the consummate centrist, and the resolutely vacuous Barack Obama have been led left by Edwards’ campaign – and, of course, by the overwhelming sentiments of the constituencies they tap for votes. Thus on “the issues” there are only shades of difference between the debate participants. [If Kucinich had been allowed to participate, it would have been different. But the Mouse wouldn’t hear of it.] Yes, Clinton is (slightly) worse on all those issues – except health care where Obama is worse. But issues aren’t the issue. The reason to dispatch Hillary, utterly and completely, is the Clintonite entourage she brings with her, with their baggage in hand. These are the miscreants who completed “the Reagan revolution.” They’re the folks who decided, early on, not to pursue on-going investigations of Reagan’s (and Poppy Doc Bush’s) crimes against the peace and against the constitution, encouraging the deification of that dreadful, reactionary acting President. That exercise of Democratic pusillanimity resonates to this day in the campaigns of those awful Republican candidates, especially the most loathsome of all, Mitt Romney, the family guy, and the Rudy G, the dirty cop. How many times last night did those two utter the Gipper’s name! And, of course, it was Hillary’s band of Clintonites who, with their own illegal wars and murderous sanctions, prepared the way for Cheney and Bush. In comparison, Hillary’s actual aiding and abetting of Baby Doc’s far greater crimes, back in her War Democrat days, is “small potatoes.” Now the Albrights and Holbrookes and the rest are poised to come back. They could come back through the other two as well – but not in such numbers or to the same extent – though, in Obama’s case, the jury is out.

As for Obama, remember that Slick Willy was once the Man from Hope as well. He too promised to unify the country and to bring “change.” This electoral season, Preacher Huckabee is the new Man from Hope. Do we really need a third?

I’m more against the other two, Hillary especially, than for Edwards. But I do think there’s a chance that he means what he says about taking the fight against malefactors of great wealth personally. If that would happen, it could unleash a dynamic in American politics that, in current circumstances, has a good chance, of radically changing what is on the agenda – what “the issues” are – for the first time in decades. It’s a chance worth taking. But even if I’m just succumbing to wishful thinking, even if Edwards offers less than he promises -- consider the alternatives!

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