By Patricia Wilson-Smith
Any other year, this would be about the time that I would start popping the popcorn. Yep. This is about the time during any election season when the gloves come off, and the candidates start to duke it out “Thrilla in Manilla” style. It’s always very entertaining, and most other years, I would have sat on the sidelines and chuckled a lot. Not this year of course.
Still, the fun is just beginning. Just this week, it was reported that the Clinton camp was busy manipulating questions at a “town hall” meeting, complete with hand-selecting questioners, while today, CNN is reporting that a blatant e-mail attack against Senator Obama that accuses him of being less than patriotic has put him on the defensive. You gotta love politics.
At times like these, the political rangling seems less like a battle for the hearts and minds of the American voter, and more like a game of “who’s got the best Jhedi mind trick”. Right about now, I’m thinking the Clinton’s have the sacred Star Wars mind control method down to a science. Let’s examine the evidence:
As you may recall, after a debate several weeks ago, Senator Clinton could be overheard soliciting Senator Edwards’ support in finding a way to shut the other “less important” candidates out of future debates. Hill forgot to do a mic check first. The whole world heard her plotting, and suggesting that she and Senator Edwards should “talk”. It reminded me of an episode of the Sopranos – I’m not sure why. Despite a temper tantrum from Dennis Kucin…Kusen – that little dude that saw the UFO – this little display of ‘two-facededness’ faded into the political ether, swept under the rug by a collective Jhedi mind-meld from the Billary camp, never to be heard about again. Amazing.
Then of course this week, former President Bill Clinton could be heard pronouncing to anyone who would listen that the problems his lovely wife encountered with Healthcare reform during his administration were “all his fault”. He claims that their attempt at reform failed because there wasn’t enough money to fund it back then, and that this time (of course), money will flow like honey to pay for Senator Clinton’s healthcare reform, because this time, Congress won’t be out to get him.
Yeah right. A great, big, fat, part of my resistence to yet another Clinton candidacy is the fact that I truly believe that just as it was during her husband’s administration, the guys on the other side of the aisle in Congress will be chomping at the bit to see Hillary fail, laying waste to any new attempt at medical coverage for all Americans. Let’s face it – the experience that she so gleefully points out at every turn includes years of doing battle with many of the same men and women who are currently in the Congress, battles through which she and Bill barely made it through alive. I don’t want the country put through another eight years of scandals and back-biting with the Clintons, and I believe their political history, the good and the bad, is best left in the past. It’s time for a new day, and new leadership. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Senator Obama’s ability to bridge divides to get things done makes him the clear choice for me.
My favorite Clintonian-Jhedi-Mind-Trick this week, though is the “he-didn’t-have-his-hand-over-his-heart-during-the-singing-of-the-national-anthem-so-clearly-he-hates-America email. It never ceases to amaze me how people underestimate the intellect of the American voter with crap like this. Are we really supposed to believe that with all that this man has done as a public servant, all he’s done to get with in striking distance of the Presidency, he would throw it all away by thumbing his nose at the nation’s theme song? Even typing it feels ludicrous, and yet in an attempt to make the Senator look bad, people are spreading the email like it’s got a topless picture of Brittney Spears in it. Or J-Lo. Or somebody. If my friends within the Clinton campaign would ask a poor college student to lie about the source of a question at what’s supposed to be a forum for open dialog, is it really a stretch to think someone in that camp wouldn’t hit ‘send’ on a few strategically addressed emails to get the Obama-smear-train going? Hmmmm?
And what about the scripted town hall meeting? Pretty risky gamble on the part of the Clintonistas, and unfortunately, this time they rolled snake eyes. The young girl who reported the unwanted solicitation from the Clinton campaign team to ask a question on Global warming looked like she wanted to take a shower as she recounted how the campaign operative poo-poo’d the question she wanted to ask in favor of one from his list – one that was labeled “from young college student”. Too funny!
Something tells me Ms. Front Runner is feeling the heat, and is trying to cool down the kitchen. What it also means is that it’s time for us Obama supporters to throw hot grease on her kitchen floor and toss a match on it. Though at times it’s easy to grow weary and want to just stop – stop canvassing, stop talking about it, stop thinking about it – now is not the time. Right now, it’s time to dig way deep down within and find our second wind. And let me tell you, it will be just as hard for me to do so as it will be for anyone, because I’m plum tuckered out, but I will do it, because it is just too important.
The silly political tricks, and parlor games that the Clinton campaign is playing only further solidifies my belief that we must have change. I don’t want to be governed by someone that has to take money from big business, because they might not hesitate later to put the needs of their big-biz friends before the nation’s. And I don’t want to be governed by someone who can talk about their failures as if they were non-existent, because it may make it too easy for them to fail later, during a time when failure is not an option. And I don’t want to be governed by someone, anyone, who didn’t have the wisdom to know that the War in Iraq was a horrible, horrible mistake, because it makes it much too hard to trust any decision they make in the future. And that’s real talk.
I want to be governed by someone with principles, who understands that he/she must lead this entire nation, and not just the part he agrees with. And I want to be governed by someone who has been in the trenches in the poorest neighborhoods in this nation, but who has the ability to understand from a global perspective why the United States is where it finds itself - ridiculed and looked-down upon by many of our past allies - and what we must do to repair our reputation around the world.
So no popcorn for ME this time around, no sir, this time I take action. For every goofy trick the Senator’s opponents play, we should become even more “fired up, and ready to go”. I know I am – are you?