Thursday, May 15, 2008

I don't particularly like blogging about politics. I realize that no one really cares what I think, and I sincerely hope that I do not have a chance of convincing any of my readers to change their minds about a given candidate. But I am sick and tired of the Obama supporters calling for Senator Clinton to step down from the Democratic nomination process. Basically, this is another mini-Festivus Airing of Grievances. I have a lot of problems with you people, and you're going to hear them.

This entire process has been a bad joke on the American people. Could it be possible that I am the only person in America who appreciates the irony of the Democratic Party becoming less democratic by the minute in this election? Why is Howard Dean not drawing more criticism for this mockery of a campaign? Andrew Jackson must be rolling over in his grave seeing this farce (he's probably rolling seeing an African-American and a woman running for the highest office in the land, as he was somewhat of a reactionary, even by 1820s standards, but he was a man of his time).

I do admire Dean's slavish adherence to the principles under which this nation was established. The Founding Fathers clearly intended political party appartus which formed after the Constitution separated powers between the branches of the Federal Government and between the Federal Government itself and the several states to trump the authority of a state government to conduct its business in its own way, like say holding elections. Where does the Democratic National Committee get of telling a state like Michigan or Florida that they won't accept the votes of the citizens of those states because the states want to move their primaries? That doesn't strike me as a very democratic thing to do.

As for this election, it's not as though Senator Obama's march to the nomination is a fait accompli at the moment. According to CNN, Obama is leading by 180 delegates with 400 some odd still unpledged. This could shape up to be the first real, honest to goodness, no foolin' interesting political convention of my life (I was born in 1979). More than that, it might actually be relevant for a change.

Not that long ago, I saw a film titled The Best Man. It starred Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson, and it was about the behind the scenes machinations at a political convention where candidates are still vying for the party's nomination. Even though Gore Vidal wrote it, it was quite good. And it got me thinking that there's no real reason (except the fact that both parties are gutless and need to stage manage the fragile buffoons they nominate) conventions can't matter even now.

I imagine that if you were to make a film about the political convention process now, the most dramatic moments would likely come from the candidates' handlers fretting about how to sprinkle their speeches with enough big words and small, complicated words to prevent the American people from realizing that the candidates are all too scared to offend to even think of addressing a real issue. Either that or the drama would come from the hair stylists struggling to find the right blend of feathering and hair product usage to make their candidate appear more presidential, whatever that means.

Back to the real world...

I remember when I was a kid in school, quite a few people told me that I was lucky to live in a free country. I realize now that I am older and, quite frankly, more than a little bit bitter, that most of what I was taught in school boils down to little more than a pack of convenient lies, but the illusion that Americans are free is still out there, or at least it was.

If we want to keep pretending that we live in a free country, then maybe people ought to shut up now and then. What right does any observer have to tell Hillary Clinton that it's time to close up shop? This isn't a match-play golf tournament, and even if it were, she isn't trailing by more delegates than remain unpledged. If being President of the USA is her dream, then she ought to be able to pursue it.

I am reliably informed that Senator Obama's appeal stems from his fresh approach, that his ideas, policies and style aren't that of a typical Beltway insider. That he and his minions bring a renewed spirit of populism and optimism that we haven't seen in many a year. Reading the impassioned appeals asking Senator Clinton to step aside on the part of his supporters remind me a hell of a lot more of business, much more something old and something borrowed than something new. And that makes me something blue.

After all, if the Obama people are so concerned that this nomination process is paving Senator McCain's way to Pennsylvania Avenue, then he could just as easily step down as Senator Clinton. Provided, of course, that the imperative is to put a Democrat back into the Oval Office and not to put one's self there. This strange effort at bullying by whining and imploring smacks too much of the European left for my taste. For the love of God, if you want to push someone around, have the good manners to push them, don't whine at them.

In case you care, I am not endorsing Senator McCain, but I am all set to vote for him. I'm sure that fine distinction will escape the average Red Sox fan. As I understand it, endorsement means I'd be telling you to vote for him, and that's not how I roll. But whatever else you do, and whatever you take from this post, make up your own damn mind.

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