Friday, May 30, 2008

The Impending "Brooks Sisters Riot"

How ironic that less than a week after the premier of “Recount” on HBO, with its graphic reenactment of “the Brooks Brothers riot” that interrupted the hand counting of votes in Palm Beach County, Florida, another Brooks Brothers (or is it “Sisters”) demonstration-riot is brewing – organized, this time, by persons whom we can presume to have been Al Gore supporters. It will take place tomorrow, Saturday, in Washington as the Democratic Party’s Rules and By-Laws Committee meets to decide what to do about the Florida and Michigan delegations. We owe this reenactment to the Clintons. Evidently, they have forgotten Karl Marx’s amply corroborated observation that when history repeats itself, the first time is tragedy, the second farce. The Republican operatives mobilized eight years ago by James Baker and other Bush family fixers ultimately got their way. Not only were the Gore forces inept; Baker & Co. had already lined up Tony “Two Vote” Scalia and his co-“thinkers” on the Supreme Court in order to preempt all rules and by-laws. The ladies pouring into DC are up against a more competent political operation than Al Gore mustered, and there are no Supremes this time eager to supersede what little democratic governance our “founders” bequeathed us. Thus Scalia’s sneering advice to the American people, “get over it,” applies in this instance. The Hillary fans will just be acting out, much like their grand daughters might. It is fitting, I suppose; after all, it is for their sake, they say, that they’ll do whatever it takes to hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton, the “role model” who got where she is by hard work and indomitable pluck and, oh yes, by being a wife and not only that, a wife who stands by her philandering husband.

The Clintons and their boosters want all the votes from Florida and Michigan to count (no matter that they thought otherwise when they still thought they would end the primary season ahead in delegates), so that they can change the goal posts (again) to a point where they can make a barely plausible argument to the “super delegates” to cast good sense aside in order to give the nomination to Hillary. It’s the Clintons’ only chance – so long as no disaster (hint!, hint!) befalls Obama. This is not only farcical; it is disgraceful – not for the Clintons (that would be impossible because there is nothing they have not disgraced already), but for politically active Democratic women of a certain age. From the Raging Grannies and the Grey Panthers to lets call them “War Democrats are Us.” Who would have thought!

I confess, though, that I like the theatrics, and hope it continues – all the way to Denver. The more obstinate the Clintons become and the more obstreperous their supporters are the better. The harder they’ll fall. Let them compare their quest to the struggle for Civil Rights in the South or for “democracy” in Zimbabwe. Yes, Obama, the lesser evil, may need Hillary’s ardent supporters on his side when the Swift Boaters get back into business full time. But probably not. Even our benighted electorate has no taste, at this point, for a John McBush III. In any case, if our politics can’t be bold and visionary or even serious, at least let it be entertaining!

In a slightly better possible world, the Bush crime family would long ago have been impeached and the worst among them would be doing hard time in orange jump suits. In that same world, Bill Clinton would be brought to justice for his actionable offenses – his murderous sanctions in Iraq, his illegal wars in Yugoslavia, his wanton bombing of defenseless Third World countries for the sake of political expediency. That won’t happen, however; not with our Democrats. Ignominious defeat for his official wife is the most justice that Bill Clinton will ever see. It isn’t much, but it’s not to be despised. In any case, it’s a necessary stage in the most urgent, feasible political task of the present conjuncture: the liberation of the Democratic Party and the larger political culture from the dreadful legacy of Clintonism.

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