Shenanigans a-foot!


Word has been bubbling about the Democratic presidential nominee battle gearing up Nevada. That was the noise you heard in the background if you watched the Democratic debate Tuesday night, the one where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were playing nice.

Sure, nice makes me happy, but last time I checked no one’s running for me. Folks are running to WIN. (And by folks, I mostly mean, Hillary.)

Add this up in the column under “I don’t mind you trying to kick folks in the nuts, but do you have to do it when I’m looking right at you” — the delegate meeting sites for Tuesday’s caucuses are in dispute. Last year the state Democratic party agreed on having several of the caucuses in hotels on the strip so unionized culinary workers and hotel employees could participate more easily. Everyone liked it. Everyone thought it was a great idea. And the unions didn’t have any problem getting anyone to sign off on it because the Democrats are, as we all know, amazingly pro-union. Whether Labor or Civil. They’re open-minded, to say the least.

But imagine the shock! Shock, I say, of a Clinton-friendly teacher’s union and six Democrats joining together to haul everyone in court to stop the caucuses from being held in the hotels.

And it was a mere coincidence that this happened two days after the culinary union endorsed Obama. This is a classic political jack move. We set the rules. We approve the rules. You play by the rules and get the culinary union to endorse you. So I’m trying to change the rules.

No one, of course, is taking this matter lying down. Pro-Obama folks are calling the Pro-Clinton folks out on their shenanigans and are running ads about the hypocrisy of disagreeing over rules everyone once supported.

The Clinton folks say they didn’t do this, but then Bill turned around and endorsed the suit, which is basically saying, “Yeah, yeah. I did it. It was me.”

I don’t know. I guess this is sort of an improvement over trying to use Obama’s youthful indiscretions against him. Or trying to use Bob Johnson when you really should have stuck with Magic Johnson.

But this situation is forcing me to recognize why I felt the Democrat vs. Republican, “Mutually Assured Political Destruction,” fight had been woefully lopsided the last 7 years or so. Basically, the Clintons’ have always been ruthless, and often more ruthless than their adversaries. Sure, other people try to get away with stuff, but Bill Clinton was considered amazingly brash in the 1990s. There was a time when a few ex-mistresses could keep a man from becoming the nominee (see “Gary Hart“). But Bill did such devastating damage to that argument that twice- and thrice-married individuals are running on the Republican side.

But Bill Clinton was so bold that it caused the Republicans to lose their mind. Did he not know the rules? Marital infidelities meant you resign, not run for re-election. Resign. Not have sexual relations with your intern. So the Republicans went insane and went nuclear on him. Then went nuclear on every Democrat. (Although you could argue, the ICBMs started flying at individual Dems. after Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1994 and Rep. Tom Delay of Texas was going after people with sticks like an extra from “Gangs of New York.”) And they now continue to fire napalm across the Potomac a few times every day.

So I’ve gotten used to just hearing Democrats either whine (or be accused of whining) about how the other guy is not playing fair OR cover their balls and vote for the war in Iraq out of fear. (Or cowardice. Well, if we’re honest, it was a little of both.) And while I like to see people take the high road. I’m tired of seeing people take the high road only to lose and not get SCHIP passed.

I want people to have their eyes on the prize here.

So while I don’t like to see political jack moves like this out of the Democratic primary, I have to stand by my belief that there needs to be a real fight for the Democratic nomination in order to toughen the resolve of, well, everyone.

Just don’t smash each other in the face too hard and don’t do anything illegal. That’s all I ask.

4 thoughts on “Shenanigans a-foot!

  1. But BS!I like a good fight as much as the next person, but repeated blows below the belt go too far. The idea that the Clinton camp actually had a meeting where they discussed the best ways to introduce the idea of race into this campaign for the purpose of appealing to the worst in people is completely unacceptable. They know Barack Obama’s image is too clean, and they’ve apparently abandoned coming up with a positive theme all their own to combat his. So, the next step is treachery? Yuck.The problem with American politics isn’t that the game is played roughly. The problem is that it’s seen only as a game — something valuable only insofar as one is winning, not losing. Contrast this with the idea of politics being a mechanism by which those who value public service above all else prove to us their passion and competence as a way to victory on election day. The Clintons no doubt, and as you rightly allude to, see this nomination as a birthright, something that cannot possibly be derailed by this upstart, this amateur, this black man.And they should be disabused of this notion straightaway. But how?Sadly, there is no greater evidence than now that the notion of a black “community” is a myth. I’m not sure we have anything left in the tank. If we did, we wouldn’t still be holding on to this silly (and quite offensive) idea that Bill Clinton’s sexual infidelity makes him seem more black than any other president. (See Andy Young’s swift, tragic descent into the abyss of complete buffoonery). His mediocre saxophoning and politically expedient office location in the heart of Harlem was nothing more than a clever ploy to position himself and his wife to reap more from the bountiful tree of minority votes, both for statewide and national contests. Yuck.In any case, and with full knowledge that we will likely lose, let me affirm that I for one am officially turning on the Clintons. Thanks for the 90s Willy, but we’ll take it from here.

  2. I agree that the Clintons are essentially egomaniacs. Politics are full of such people. But political shenanigans are part and parcel with politics. Someone is going to, at some point, pull some shenanigans on you. You have to learn how to adapt and fight back.I want Obama to survive the Democratic primary process. I don’t like shenanigans, but if Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee he’s going to find out very quickly that multiple factions will be whipping out all sort of tomfoolery in an effort to cut him down.So I want the Clintons to take the high road, but I know they won’t. I accept that and move on, hoping that this experience will make Obama and his team extra vigilant. If he gets the nomination he’ll then have to deal with a whole other, more horrible level of shenanigans, as I still think the stuff the Clintons are pulling is lame by comparison of what’s going on the Republican side.I mean, in South Carolina right now someone is distributing fliers that Sen. John McCain, Vietnam War veteran and POW, betrayed his country by turning on his fellow POWs in the Hanoi Hilton. The Clintons tried to exploit and distort things from Obama’s book. Someone just straight up made up some shizz on John McCain. Like in 2000, when someone put out a rumor that his adopted Indian daughter was really his bastard, half black baby.So I think we need to keep our shenanigans in some perspective here. Obama needs to be prepared for the moment when people start just making stuff up to cut him down. Like using the various myths about black men that have been used since black men were forced of the slave boat into slavery. The common themes of: lazy, menacing, sexual and stupid.So when they dig up shady, obscure white women who claim they went to school with Obama, and say that he sexually harassed them while high on dope at a party at Harvard, he needs to know how to knock that crap out early and not be in the situation John McCain was in during the 2000 race and what John Kerry faced in 2004.I just think we need to maintain some historical perspective here. I still don’t think the pathetic strategy the Clintons have come up with can compare of what a wealthy bigot with time to kill will do to Obama in a general election.So right now it’s easy to beat up on the Clintons because if someone says that Hillary Clinton eats babies, 49 percent of America is inclined to believe it. Once his competition is the Republican nominee, once Obama is perceived as a threat by the United Bigots of America, the Clintons’ boondoggle will pale by comparisonYou know, unless they start making up stuff like how people made up stuff on them.* I take the political process pretty seriously, but so do a lot of people, and a lot of those people want to win, by any means necessary. *Just Google Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster’s suicide.

  3. It’s OK to be mad. There are lots of good reasons to hate the Clintons, specifically Bill.I was mostly disappointed in him embracing Republican causes like that crappy and punitive welfare reform. And NAFTA. Folks got straight hosed on NAFTA.I also didn’t appreciate the demonization a few rappers got during the 1992 and 1996 races. Like Sista Sodlija and Ice T.I mean, seriously, what threat did they pose? Other than to reassure the white folks who were disturbed the by the level of comfort and ease Clinton had with the Negroes?So there are tons. You can add the Obama stabotaging …

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