Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The worst on display

Was anyone else embarrassed by the conduct of the two front-runners for the Democratic nomination in last night's debate?

On Martin Luther King Day, of all days, for the mud to be slung with such vigor by our candidates. Disgusting. The only thing missing was them calling each other "b*tch" and "n*gg*r".

If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about. If you didn't, then consider yourself fortunate.

In a contest which has already featured a former president doing the dirty political work for his wife (who seems more than capable of doing it herself), we also got to see a visibly incensed Barack Obama call both of them liars. Lovely. And to observe the facial expressions and body language of Mrs. Clinton and Obama -- too close for comfort, CNN, in a warning to other networks about pore-revealing closeup shots in future debates -- it is plainly and painfully obvious that these two do not like each other. A lot.

This is a revoltin' development. And a best-case scenario for a plenty *ucked-up bunch of Republicans to capitalize on.

That vivid demonstration of extraordinarily unprofessional conduct in last night's debate simply does not inspire independent voters to turn out at the polls and vote for Democratic candidates for any office. It doesn't even inspire Democratic voters to do so, for Pete's sake.

In case you hadn't noticed, we Democrats tend to fight amongst ourselves. And we tend to call each other names when we do. Sometimes the bitterness from a tough campaign lingers afterward, and dampens our enthusiasm for the general election fray and the real enemy. This results in a presidential nominee failing to get enough grassroots motivation -- blockwalking, phone calling, even things as nebulous as water cooler conversation and putting a bumper sticker on one's car -- to actually win an election they shouldn't lose. This phenomenon already occurred in 2000 and 2004 to some degree (yes, there were indeed other, more significant factors like hanging chads and the SCOTUS in 2000 and malfunctioning voting machines in Ohio in 2004. I don't intend to minimize those facts in any way. But we Democratics aren't like the Republics; we don't fall in lockstep behind our nominee no matter who it is. We think. But I digress).

I was already plenty disillusioned about the prospect of supporting one of these two people, and now ... well, you tell me.

What did either Clinton or Obama say or do to earn your support last night?

I'll let Martin Luther King III, in his letter to John Edwards, have the last word for me:

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.

Update: Rhymes agrees.

No comments: