Saturday, June 28, 2008

So, What has Happened?

1) Summer has arrived, which means less time for everything.

2) Primary's over, which means less grist for the mill.

But life goes on! Seen a few shows lately, including a fine night with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Today the whole family went to see some of Stevie Wonder at the taste of Chicago. Predictably, he was Wonder-ful. Get it? That's his name! As usual, too many people at the Taste of Chicago for my tastes, and towing two kids made it all the more difficult to navigate. I doubt I'll ever go to the Taste again until someone of Stevie's stature is playing, and even then they better be on my shortlist of acts I've never seen. Which is a very short list!

In the most exciting turn of the summer so far, two days ago I (probably) broke a toe, and an hour ago I (definitely) sliced open my ankle. Yesterday a kids plate came flying out of the cabinet and shattered my Chemex coffee carafe into a bunch of big pieces. I tossed them in the trash and promptly forgot about them, until I picked up the plastic bag to take outside tonight and was surprised by the big shard that gashed me. So not only am I jonesing for caffeine, now I likely need to go to an urgent care clinic first thing tomorrow to (possibly) get stitches. And then I need to limp downtown into Chicago to get a new Chemex carafe.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

When the History Books Are Written

They should all be tossed out in favor of this:

I Can't Wait

1) I can't for all of McCain's baggage to be laid bare, now that Clinton is out of the picture and the lazy press moves on to the main event. It's hard to believe, but some people actually think he's not a right wing nutjob! Maybe said lazy press will stop taking it easy on this easy, easy target.

2) I can't wait to see Clinton, her husband, and all she stands for stamped and stowed away for good as products of the past rather than hope for the future.

3) I can't wait to see Barack Obama at least take a stab at fulfilling all the promises he's made. But the biggest promise he's made so far has been less specific than symbolic: he's promised to point America back in the right direction. Sure, lots of politicians make that promise, but few follow so many years of things in this country being so wrong.

4) I can't wait for President Job to fade (even further!) in estimation and esteem like a lesser Nixon. I predict he'll live out many of his last years in isolation, surrounded by the few friends and loyalists not totally humiliated or appalled by further revelations of his legacy, even as other friends and loyalists continue to leave his leper colony of a destructive dumb-dumb cabal.

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His speech brought tears to my eyes. But masochists will be better rewarded by seeking out clips of McCain's DOA speech.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Right? Or Wright?

First things first: if Clinton were the nominee, I'd likely be supporting her for president. That she's not makes it easier to acknowledge that she ran a poor campaign, of dubious gain and with still up in the air damages left in her wake. Will all the mud she stirred up affect Obama's chances in November? I don't think so, but if it does it all falls on Clinton's shoulders. She'd be like the anti-Gore, forever known not just for not winning but also for taking Obama down with her.

But that's not going to happen. Clinton may be power-mad, but she's not dumb. Ergo, if she finally drops out of the race, I bet we'll see her campaign for Obama like that was her purpose on earth. Not only would it be the right thing to do, it would at least partially redeem her after so many months of nonsense.

Of course, maybe Clinton won't go that way. Maybe she is selfish and venal through and through. In which case maybe she'll try to run as albatross in chief, hanging around to cause trouble, like the Rev. Wright. Or asterisk in chief, hanging around just to make Obama's election seem sketchy or suspect, the Pete Rose of presidents (though we sort of just had one of those).

But again, I don't think this will happen. She's sneaky, manipulative and disingenuous enough to pull off just the kind of public 180 degree shift that at the very least good sportsmanship demands. Expect nothing but smiles and grand gestures. But keep an eye on her (and her husband?) all the same.

What Goes Around

When Hillary Clinton brought up Tony Rezco's loose association with Barack Obama, photos circulated of the alleged real estate scofflaw posing with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Controversy neutralized. When Hillary Clinton put the spotlight squarely on Obama's ex-preacher, photos circulated of that same ex-preachers holding court at a private function hosted by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Add to that Obama's historic speech on race in America, and the controversy was contained. Again and again, Hillary attacked Obama, again and again Obama thwarted or withstood those attacks.

Hillary's recent regular allusions to the 2000 Florida vote is another matter entirely. Considering 2000 remains an open wound, a sore point among all democrats, bringing it up is a lot like opening Pandora's Box: shoving those bad feelings back inside is pretty much impossible once they're unleashed. When they're out, they're out, like a roving storm cloud hanging over the party, constantly threatening rain.

I used to think this would hurt the democrats, but not anymore. I used to think this would hurt Barack Obama, but not any more. I'm still pretty confident he'll win in November. No, I think the person who will be hurt most by this nonsense is Hillary Clinton herself. In light of her semi-scorched earth campaign, cynicism and selfishness, I predict we'll see the grassroots left turn on Clinton, as they turned on proud spanner in the works Ralph Nader and turncoat Joe Lieberman (among others of the old guard). I predict, come the next NY senate race, that if she insists on not playing nice, an alternative candidate to Clinton will be put forth.

After all, why would one elect a senator all but certain to jump ship to some higher office at the earliest convenience? One who puts personal gain over party unity? One whose very name will come to stand for the same kind of stubbornness and divisiveness that's marked the Bush administration?

Maybe this is all an exaggeration, but I'm not so sure. The Clinton supporters threatening to stay home in November or even to vote for McCain seem like fair-weather friends. How could any democrat, let alone feminist, vote republican in good conscience? They can go. This group will fade in fervor and force. But the grassroots left holds grudges. That may appear to go against party unity, but I think putting smug, self-satisfied, egomaniacal pols like the Clintons out to pasture will go further toward achieving that than most people realize.

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