Thursday, February 21, 2008

Alamo Days

Unless Barack Obama is somehow derailed, the Clintons may be history in less than two weeks time! That’s not to say that humiliating defeats in Texas and Ohio will necessarily force Hillary out of the race. Don’t expect her to go gracefully. But if her losing streak doesn’t end with this week’s Wisconsin primary and Hawaii caucuses, the House of Clinton will suffer a blow that not even Clintonian guile and willfulness, backed by all the campaign contributions they can muster, will be able to repair, even if the delegate count remains close.

How ironic that Texas and Ohio or, failing that, Pennsylvania will deliver the fatal blow! After Super Tuesday, the conventional wisdom was that “traditional Democrats” (i.e. white working class men), along with Latinos and women of a certain age would be Clinton’s salvation. Now white men and Latinos seem to have fallen under Obama’s spell. That means trouble for Clinton in Texas, with all its Latino voters, and in the rustbelt areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania. These defections make sense. The folks bailing out are, along with African Americans, the people most harmed by Bill Clinton’s “free” trade policies and by his Reaganite assault on what remains of our feeble regulatory and welfare state institutions. Not long ago, African Americans were supposed to be in the Clinton camp as well. That danger ended with the South Carolina primary. If the trend that started in Maryland, DC and Virginia and that continued through Wisconsin and Hawaii holds up, and if women of all ages, not just young ones, come on board the Obama juggernaut, the Clinton “demographic” will be shot and, along with it, the threat of a full-fledged Clinton Restoration! It’s not over ‘till it’s over, of course; but now is a time for (moderately) incautious optimism.

The Clintons know this: that’s why they’re running scared, pulling out all the stops, even to the point of concocting plagiarism charges against Obama and mimicking John McCain’s proclamations about how Obama is just about “words.” [True enough, but it’s still a low blow when you consider what the Clintons are about.] The Clinton façade, with its erstwhile reputation for invulnerability, is crumbling. This is not the time to feel sorry for them, however. Let them act out their fate in Texas, like the proto-neo-cons who met their end defending the Alamo did. Would that someone more progressive than Obama would play the Santa Anna role but, by marginalizing everyone slightly left of center, the corporate media have seen to it that that cannot be. If Obama must be the one to block the Second Coming of Richard Holbrooke and Madelyn Albright and Robert Rubin and others like them, so be it. We can deal with him later.

1 comment:

Bob Feldman 68 said...

It could be, though, that the basis for the Patriarchal Democratic Party not nominating a woman for president again is that white male voter misogyny (along with the Big Patriarchal Corporate Media's backing for Obama) is stronger than their historic white chauvinism these days. See the Black Agenda Report's lead article at

Also, one of the architects of the Carter Administration's pre-1979 covert intervention in Afghanistan, former Columbia University Professor Brzezinski, is apparently a key Obama campaign foreign policy adviser.

So although I think it makes sense for voters not to give the Clintons a third term, if voters are doing it on the basis of anti-feminism and not on the basis of anti-militarism, then it might not be a totally positive political rejection of Clintonism.