cross-posted at DKos
It should be clear by now, to any dispassionate observer, that the Democratic Party is floundering. Whether through incompetence, or conniving, The Florida Dems have allowed an unpleasant situation to turn into a public debacle. Michigan seems to be in the same boat. In a year when The Republican Party seems set to lose it's political shirt for a generation, The Party of Bush is maintaining it's dead-heat with the Dems, even while continuing to run on a platform of endless war, corporate welfare, and open disdain for the Constitution. John McCain, "Hero" of a pointless and illegal war that ended before I was born, has abandoned every principle he once claimed to hold dear in his naked pandering to his Party's corporate and military-industrial masters, yet still maintains his MSM-crafted image as a straight-talking Everyman. He continues to state publicly his intention to not only maintain our current "strategy" in Iraq, but to expand it to encompass Iran, Syria, and any other Middle Eastern nation who might oppose our designs in the region. His economic and domestic policies (If I may use that term) are sound-bite pablum, the sole purpose of which is to keep in place the robber-baron political/financial structure that's been eating our country alive for the last 20 years. In any sane world, this man and his lobbyist handlers would have been booed off the stage long ago. In the current insanity, however, he has found an ally.
Hillary Clinton has presided over one of the worst-run political campaigns in modern American history. With it's air of presumed inevitability, epic infighting, gross financial mis-management, and repugnant attempts to smear any who dare to question it's underlying justification, her operation, in both form and substance, resembles nothing so much as the Iraq war itself. It features the same strategic blindness and message-reshuffling we've been treated to these last seven years. According to the "Plan" (once again, I'm abusing a term), it should have been over long ago, with Victory a foregone conclusion. That didn't happen, largely due to her own political history (HillaryCare, the Iraq war vote, the Kyl-Lieberman ammendment), but also from the desire of many Democrats to avoid another four years of partisan warfare, and White House psychodrama. Her reliance on triangulation and name-recognition, unsupported by any contingency planning whatsoever, and her inability to construct any overarching message more substantive than "Don't stop thinking about the 90's", has reduced the former presumptive nominee to a near-Huckabee level of electoral support. Instead of finding a "Solution" we can believe in, she has now made what I can only describe as the most cynical political calculation I've seen since Reagan cut the Iran hostage deal in 1979-80. She has decided to try to destroy her Democratic opponent, to render him unelectable in 2008, in the mad hope that after four years of McCain, the country will welcome her as Savior in 2012. This opinion may seem harsh, even outlandish. In support of it I have only to point to the candidate's recent behavior: The adoption of Republican talking-points (indeed the creation of future Republican talking points!) in a textbook example of rovian Fear & Smear tactics. The sheer chutzpah of a liberal conneticut multi-millionare, a lifelong lawyer-politician, married to one of the most powerful men in the world, and board-member of some of the largest corporations on earth, re-inventing herself as a down-home, shot-drinking, gun-toting small town girl while painting her opponent, a former community organizer on Chicago's south side and child of a middle-class single parent as an "Elitist", is an example of cognitive dissonance so egregious I lack the adjectives to describe it. I can't remember the last time a politician insulted my intelligence so blatantly (and I lived through the Reagan presidency).
Despite this, a portion of the Dem party itself (namely the DLC), and a significant number of voters still support Clinton. These folks are as entitled to their opinions as I am, and I respect their point of veiw, though I fail to understand their loyalty in this matter. When asked, most of these good people respond with reasons ranging from nostalgia for the former president, support of Hillary herself, a desire to see the last glass ceiling broken (a desire I happen to share), or a purely pugnacious desire to see the Clintons get another round against the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I don't discount the authenticity of any of these motives. As a matter of fact, I would have enjoyed seeing Hillary knock a few of Scaife's teeth out, rather than sitting down and playing nice with that maggot. I do doubt the authenticity of Clinton herself. I can only point to her voting record in the Senate, and her behavior during this campaign, as justification for this belief. Her politically motivated support of Bush's agenda in the Senate, where she was one of the few Senators with the public stature to have had a chance to head off this Iraq nightmare, I cannot forgive. Tens of thousands of our troops have been killed, or maimed for life, and she has not had the guts to even apologize for her blunder. Her "if I knew then, what I know now" dodge is political ass-covering at it's most pathetic. Her campaigns' non-stop ocean of plausibly-deniable slime, back-stabbing, and teary-eyed victimology is the most disgusting bit of political theater I've ever been witness to, next to the Bush administration itself. Her recent attempts to smear Obama, ably co-ordinated with, and abetted by, the Republican media machine, are frankly sickening. If the good people of New York see fit to return her to the Senate again, more power to her. I cannot, and will not, support this person for President of the Untied States.