Too Late, Hillary. Too Late.
I'm not going to predict that Obama sweeps the rest of the states as surely as he has in Iowa's Democratic primary, especially on the eve of New Hampshire's tally. But I am going to say that Hillary Clinton continues to bark up the wrong tree. And the reason is very simple: She's not a viable candidate for change. She is the Establishment. And that sucks.
As David Morris of AlterNet posted today, the distasteful reign of Bush and Cheney has made well-meaning change agents in this country, and the world, forget what it was like under the Clintons. As a Berkeley leftist, I couldn't believe what was happening myself, as Bill and Hillary set about dismantling the New Deal with the help of the losers on the Right they were so busy capitulating to. It was, after all, their mantra: Reach across the aisle, shake the hand of those who disagree with you, find common ground. Which is a nice enough sentiment, if you're living in a fantasy. But in the real world, dreaming up something as stoopid as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or repealing the Glass-Steagall Act and laying the foundation for the 2007 subprime screw-over, things don't work that way. You reach across the aisle and you end up with a world where Pat Robertson has his own TV show and Al Gore loses a presidency he won because, as the dope lamented in An Inconvenient Truth, "What can you do?"
Uh, something? Anything?
The problem with the Clintons, and the Gores, and every other so-called Democrat who thinks the best way to gain and retain power is to sell out their base to their enemies who believe in insane stratagems like intelligent design and economic deregulation, is that they make it easier for those backwards power-mongers to not only sink knives into our backs, but to argue that we had it coming all along. Let me put it this way: If you hate Bush, you should hate Clinton. It is the Clintons' spirit of capitulation that has led us to this momentous crossroads, where the dollar is in freefall and the Gulf-of-Tonkin rewind plays itself out in Iran's Strait of Hormuz. Sure, the Bush regime has been a loaded gun ever since it planted its sick roots in Texas -- my vote for the worst state in America -- but that doesn't mean it needed to be taken off the shelf. Shopped around like it was something worthwhile.
But at almost every stop in her last several years of senatorial service, Hillary Clinton has polished Bush's gun with aplomb, hoping for some kind of reverse capitalization she could use to build her own regime. A third-grader with access to the internet could have told you that voting for a war authorization against Saddam and Iraq based on pure speculation with no substantial evidence would end up becoming a political death sentence when the world woke up from its consensual hallucination and realized it had been sleeping with the enemy. That third-grader could have told you the same thing about allowing telcos to data-mine Americans within an inch of their lives and liberties, or designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Or suspending habeus corpus. Or...you get the point.
So when Hillary, according to the knobs at the Washington Post, seizes the reins of her own campaign in hopes of stopping Obama's runaway train, see that for what it is: A failure of leadership, not its opposite. Like her husband did during the 90s, she's capitulated too much to too many dumbasses, and now it's too late to look like someone you would want running the country. Can you imagine the headlines a few years from now if she won the White House? "Hillary Seizes Reins as War in Iran Goes Badly." Wonderful. Where do I not sign up?
Look, no one with any sense that I know of is arguing that Obama is not wired tightly with hedge funders and lobbyists and all the other poisonous elements of American society that help those in his position land the highest-profile job in the nation. There is zero way of escaping those influences if you want to become president. That, too, is reality. But Obama is not Clinton, just as Clinton is not Bush. He is new to us, and a reminder that the White House isn't a mere timeshare to be handed off to two political dynasties once every eight years. In other words, Obama is change, if only by virtue of the fact that he shares a different last name than the slackers who have ruined America over the last two decades. (Fucking A, has it been that long?)
So when Hillary gets on the stump and argues "That's not change!" after blasting one of Obama's missed or non-declarative votes, she might be right. Until one looks at her own voting record, that is, or what she has done, or more importantly, hasn't done during a crucial period in American history where the country really, really needed someone to do something. Anything. Whatever could be done, rather than floating a Gore-like defeatism ("Well, what can you do?") while actually emboldening those who shove razors beneath her, and our, fingernails.
So yeah, Hillary, it is much too little too late. We needed a change agent when your husband was president, or when Bush ran amok over the Bill of Rights. But you slept on the job, played it safe, and went along with the pillage. And now you're going to pay for it by losing the one job you thought someone should have just handed you, because of your last name.
That might have been your last mistake.
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