Monday, March 31, 2008

Frank Rich Gores Hillary Clinton

I thought that Frank Rich made some interesting points about the YouTube political generation in his latest column, yet I'm disappointed to see that he thinks it's Hillary Clinton who will suffer most from what he sees as a new brand of politics. His critique of her Bosnia-story mistake is reminiscent of what Mr. Rich and Maureen Dowd did to Al Gore in 2000, which was to look (or to be) clever by creating this lasting media caricature of Mr. Gore as a foolish braggart while we got Bush in the White House for eight years. So much for the "inevitability" of the not-so-different politics of 2000.

They're doing it again.
Hillary is being Gored.

Politics may have become more hip, but politicians certainly haven't. Here's my biggest fear: Hillary Clinton will be harmed irreparably, as Gore was harmed, from the hip/mocking media and late night talk shows over something relatively trivial..and that will politically advance Obama and McCain...and there will be a heck of a lot more hip/modern-techno-political damage done to Obama with the Reverend Wright issue from the Right (yeah, they know how to use YouTube, too) than I think any journalist whose center of the universe is Manhattan could understand right now.

Recent polls with limited and temporal glimpses into who-knows-whose minds aren't your Uncle Larry or your cousin Susie-May or old square Bill and Betty from Fumbuck. The Reverend Wright issue is like a tornado that left as quickly as it came. People outside the storm's path will see it on the news and forget about it quickly, but for those who were directly shaken, the storm's mark will permanently remain. There a a lot of average Americans who are not racist by extremist standards who just can't shake the words "God-damn America" out of their minds. The Right's going to play with this like a Red, White, and Blue bouncing ball in their padded room of 527 delight.

The polls also fail to reflect the Hillary-supporters who I see becoming more and more disillusioned with their party by the day. They see her trashed in the media and by the decidely nasty young-bloods in the Democratic party [a bitter division of the netroots at the once-productive Daily Kos is only a symptom of a greater illness within the party].

They're seeing self-interested politicos like Pat Leahy trying to cut off small-d democracy, which is totally antithetical to the idea of the big-D philosophy of fairness and justice. It's all too reminiscent of Florida 2000, but this time it's due to the dysfunction of the party itself. We can't even blame the Republicans for this one!

I think of the daughters who are coming of age..the ones who are pulling for Hillary..hoping to see the first female President... and only seeing how the old boys still think they can play (and win) the game. To use dated commercial jargon, I've come a long way myself, baby...and I have to say that, for all my years of observing politics, there are a lot of boys out there who still like to play games to maintain the integrity of that precious glass ceiling of theirs.

I have this nagging feeling about what's likely in store for us Democrats in this YouTube generation of politics. I think it's all about to backfire on us as we prepare for the General Election. For whatever reason. I think that many Democratic strategists are snatching division and chaos from the once-easy-flowing river of victory.

Some of my readers won't like what I'm saying here..they won't like it at all... but I'll be perfectly willing to meet them back here at this blogpost in six months and we'll revisit my current opinion, which has been borne of tough love. I think we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking Hillary's character is weak any more than Al Gore's character was weak...whether or not people can play rotten and underhanded tricks on YouTube.


benny06 said...

Jude, I admire your posts.

As an Edwards supporter in a very blue state going for Obama, it is comforting at the moment that I don't have to go for either. Whoever the nominee is, will win my state.

That said, I would have not thought a year ago that I would be somewhat cheerleading Clinton on because of her overconfidence in winning the nomination. But the truth of the matter is she (via Bill) is trying to reach out to rural voters, places where you and I live. This is surprising considering Mudcat Saunders who worked for Edwards jumped ship quickly to the Obama camp to help with rural issues.

Obama isn't listening to him.

I have no dog in the hunt, sadly. I'm glad you feel something for another candidate as I don't because it's all about their nasty campaigns and not the issues. Edwards was always about the issues, not himself.

ghm56 said...

Frank and Mo are despicable to HRC.

GD!It's Hillary's Turn.If only Al Gore had fought the Bush's. We wouldn't have started a war.

Obama should be VP and get some mileage on his hope. Then he can be the Prez.


Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

It seems so long ago that we were still hopeful for Edwards for 2008.

The party luminaries, the big money generated by the rough-and-tumble Obama and Clinton celebrity campaigns, and a new breed of netroots Democrats who have lost a sense of civility have contributed to a circus that, like you, Benny, I can only sit back and watch with somewhat tortured amazement.

I've certainly learned a lot about the power-brokers and the self-interested egotists in this party, and I thank my common sense each day that I chose to support the man who thought more of the country and the real people in need of social justice in this country and never once made it about the color of a man or woman's skin.

I don't know what Mudcat Saunders was thinking. I think it was moere about dislike and less about the issues that have mattered so much...especially healthcare. There seems to be an odd, senseless, socially-required dislike for anything called Clinton in some rural and suburban circles in this nation.

I haven't officially endorsed Obama or Clinton, for Edwards is still my candidate at heart, but I'm becoming more disgusted each day by the way I believe Mrs. Clinton's been unfairly treated by both the Obama campaign and the media.

I'm with Elizabeth Edwards about Hillary's healthcare plan. I was AGHAST when I heard John Kerry (who lost us our last "sure thing" in 2004) call it "a no-starter" on ABC News This Week last Sunday. To see a leader who's supposed to be progressive attacking the most progressive and sensible plan is going too far.

Keith Olbermann went too far when he compared Mrs Clinton to David Duke. I'm sitting here without a dog in the fight..yet understanding that, if the two candidates fail to now agree to run on a Unity ticket, I think we stand a much better chance of losing yet another Presidential election

GreenSmile said...

Excellent points, Jude. And THAT is why we hate negative campaigning. There is SOOOO much else both candidates for the Dems could be saying about handling the war and the economy...and that would be constructive material for their critics to engage.

but I guess that is just politics.