Saturday, May 24, 2008

Don't Play With History Without The Bomb Squad


On Thursday, Sen Clinton's campaign was spreading a false-leak driven story to put Clinton in the number two spot. How Obama felt about it was unimportant. The exit was nigh, but the Senator from New York wanted to stay in somehow, someway.

Friday, Clinton keeps up the pressure and uses historical comparison to rationalize her continued campaign, citing Bill Clinton's run in 1992 and then the horrific campaign in '68. That summer when it all went to hell and back.

1968 is a big deal to Americans Of A Certain Age. For damn good reason. Playing with it's memory is like blithely cutting the green wire because that's what they do in all the movies.

It's clear that the Senator intended to mean that the convention is 3 months away, and a lot could happen in 3 months in politics. In three months something could happen to make Sen. Clinton a better or the only candidate.

Hell, the man could get shot or something.


In January, I and a few others watched Obama's victory speech in Des Moines after the Caucuses with trepidation. We knew history was being made, irregardless of Obama's victory in November. Such things attract the worst in some people. Some people want to vote with their guns. In the middle of that convention hall, with what appeared to be little security, the man looked like he was 40 feet tall and vulnerable as hell even while that crowd made him the strongest man on earth.

We all court danger with this man making these comparisons to a Kennedy or even to King or Malcolm. For one thing, reality rarely lives up to our dreamy expectations.

But our dreams also contain our nightmares. And only the most craven of us seeks to profit from a nightmare.



idiosynchronic said...

This is what we risk. Once more from Dr. Thompson:

I have never read anything that comes anywhere close to explaining the shock and and intensity I felt at that convention . . . and although I was right in the middle of it the whole time, I have never been able to write about it myself. For two weeks afterwards, back in Colorado, I couldn't even talk about it without starting to cry -- for reasons I think I finally understand now, but I still can't explain.
Beacuse of this: because I went there as a journalist, with no real emotional attachment to any of the candidates, and only the barest illusions about the outcome . . . I was not personally involved in the thing, so there is no point in presuming to understand what kind of hellish effect Chicago must have had on Gene McCarthy.

I remember seeing him cross Michigan Avenue on Thursday night -- several hours after Humphrey had made his aceptance speech out at the stockyards -- and then wandering into the crowd in Grant Park like a defeated general trying to mingle with his troops just after the Surrender. But McCarthy couldn't mingle. He could barely talk. He acted like a man in deep shock. There was not much to say. the campaign was over.
McCarthy's gig was finished. He had knocked off the President and then strung himself out on a fantastic six-month campaign that had seen the murder of Martin Luther King, the murder of Bobby Kennedy, and finally a bloody assualt on his own campaign workers by Mayor Daley's police, who burst into McCarthy's private convention headquarters at the Chicago Hilton and began breaking heads. At dawn on Friday morning, his campaign manager, a seasoned old pro named Blair Clark, was still pacing up and down Michigan Avenue in front of the Hilton in a state so close to hysteria that his friends were afraid to talk to him because every time he tried to say something his eyes would fill with tears and he would have to start pacing again.

Anjha said...

Well said Idio. Poetic and diplomatic; unlike me - I am done being patient.

I keep thinking, and have for a while now, "this is the indefensible...surely the Clinton fans will not be able to parse this one."

Not so, though, not so.

I would have so much more respect for her (and her supporters - not all of them, I cannot include all people's into a single block - I am speaking of the ones at TLC who rabidly defend the indefensible) if she stopped being victim and admitted a mistake, for real. A real heart felt, "I fucked up."

When John Edwards wrote his oped and apologized for his vote for the war - it was real. It took months and months for Hillary to come to even some semblance of an apology and it was still half assed.

I do not know who is advising her that admitting a wrong somehow equals weakness...they are incorrect and it has hurt her dearly.

Your calm prose is admirable and I would do well to take a deep breath and follow your lead.

BTW - your title is beyond brilliant.

Seven of Six said...

1968 is a big deal to Americans Of A Certain Age. For damn good reason.

You are so right Id! I was 11, trying to stay hidden among the twirling history.

My folks were just getting over JFK's assasination...
'68' brought on MLK's assasination... we then moved from CT to to San Jose, CA... then RFK's assasination... my older sister rebellion and going up to Haight Asbury... my older brother returning from 'running away' and his number coming up in the draft, so he enlisted in the Navy... my folks lost all hope after Bobby got killed... to invoke that image, again, in American politics is unforgivable... my Mom was an avid Clinton supporter... not after yesterday.

I'm so pissed off! I can't believe Hillary fans can dismiss her comments as if she said nothing!

Anjha said...

SoS - the comment changed your mom's mind?

Please elaborate.

Seven of Six said...

She had been huge supporter until Clinotn went negative after Super Tues., then she was fence sitting.

Unfortunately, she got sick was out of commission so politics was the last thing on her mind.

This last comment she thought Clinton went way overboard. Her first thought was, "Did Clinton even think of Obama's kids when she said that!"

My Mom made me aware of the imagery it reflects of kids seeing their father gunned down... Why, because a Black Man wants to bring change, hope and inspiration to an America that is sorely lacking!!

I'm done giving Hillary the benefit of the doubt!

Anjha said...

Thanks SoS.

I am so shaken and disturbed by the apologists and the justifications and the blaming of the 'media' and the urghhh...

It is unreal.

I seriously do not understand the world that these people are living in and it is getting to be more and more disturbing.

The blind loyalty and Hillary's lack of reality-based thinking remind me of our current administration and I do not want any more of this, from Dems or Republicans.

This article explains how I feel about it fairly well.

I am just shocked.

I expected to wake up and have the news reporting a real, sincere apology by Hillary - something that I could respect - something that explained that she really understood the gravity of what she was saying...I also expected her supporters to be realistic and wanting an apology as well.

Nothing though.

It is really, really sad.

idiosynchronic said...

I rebuilt this post and the previous day's quote into something for the Progressive Historians. They git all eggheaded-like over there, so unless it's something I really like and has a reasonable base in historical context, I usually save it for youse.

If I have a grasp of 1968, it's because of what Seven has told us in the past. Your voice, sir, anchors the history I learn.

Funny that calm prose bit - my writing has always lacked a certain something. It took me until age 35 and reading Thompson or a regular basis to add enough punch.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, my first thought was that the "assassinated in June" quote really was just about showing that these things do, sometimes, extend into June.

But whatever. She's in politics, and she's a lawyer. In both pursuits, one must be fiendishly attentive to detail in what one says, because EVERYTHING will be used against you later. It's not unfair to use carelessly inflammatory language against somebody who's running for the highest office in the land, no matter what her deranged apologists are telling us this morning.

~ dj moonbat