The much-talked-about divisiveness in the Democratic Party is a hot topic to all Democrats and most Republicans, as the never-ending campaign of Hillary vs. Obama continues to take its toll. Wednesday night's debate was yet another example of Democratic bloodletting and again pointed out the part the press has played in perpetuating meaningless spin -- of which the point is to take down Barack Obama.
But the way to look at this is through the prism of Hillary's strategy, which is something most people don't keep their eye on because they've been distracted by yet another of her mines in the political field. The goal of this attack-and-destroy mission is to remove her competition one way or another. More about that later. And let's look at this in a wider perspective.
If Americans are revolted by Wednesday night's debate, think about how the rest of world sees it -- and us. Haggling over whether Barack Obama wears an American flag pen in his lapel -- and if not, what that means, as if sticking on some painted piece of metal demonstrates anyone's patriotism: Isn't this below our collective national intelligence and level of consciousness? Doesn't this continue the lowering of our national stature internationally?
I have never gotten this absurd flag pin nonsense despite the media's unrelenting quest to keep the non-issue on life support. You'd think Charlie Gibson and former Clintonian George Stephanopoulos had bigger ideas on which to spend their time. You'd think they had better questions than that. Isn't that why these media stars get paid the big bucks? An eight-year-old's curiosities would have been more interesting.
Over the last seven years, since George W. Bush has been in office and initiated the heinous Iraq War as well as begun spying on his own citizens; since he has approved and carried out torture as U.S. policy -- let's just say basically flushing the rule of law and the Constitution he was supposed to protect and uphold down the toilet -- the United States has gone from being a beacon of democracy to one flimsy flicker of a candle running out of wax in the gaze of the global community.
We have blown it on a scale that I'm not sure Americans actually realize unless they travel beyond their own country. Living in Paris, I know firsthand how the euro is eating the dollar alive, but take a walk into the world beyond the border of the United States to a continent of which you're not a home boy or girl. Open your ears and your mind and listen to what others are saying about us -- what people (black, white, or tan, blonde, brown or red-headed) think of us now.
In Croatia, I was told we have no democracy anymore. I stumbled in my response to the Croatian lawyer who laid this on the table between us, but I basically replied that our system was actually intact. That once George Bush was out of office our democracy would work again. But the sad truth is I'm not so sure how long it will take to repair the damage -- for our leaders to actually lead again, for our Congress to show courage and vote as they should, or for our traditional media to actually report the news instead of repeating the spin of a corrupt president or a candidate who has learned how to press the press's buttons. I see Obama as our great hope to lead us in the right direction.
All the pundits talking about the continuing Obama/Clinton struggle who point out that there's not that much difference in their plans and policies are leaving out one crucial element: Character matters. We've just spent seven years with an administration lacking in integrity. To restore our national unity as well as our global reputation, we must have leaders who will stand up for the right things -- no matter how politically unpopular they are. Besides our heroic men and women who risked their lives or died in Iraq to serve their nation in President Bush's war, it's the 23 Senators who had the courage to vote against it that are the kind of public servants we should be electing and applauding. Hillary Clinton had the "courage" to vote like a Republican in this and many other major contests that have determined the direction our country has gone.
Back to restoring our democracy: What will it take for journalists to do their jobs again? Should they be reeducated? Should they be reminded that what they do and say actually makes a difference? That what they report determines a national conversation that ought to be worthy of us citizens. Shouldn't they be sent to other countries and continents and to small dying American towns to gain a better perspective?
Barack Obama's usage of the word "bitter" has been the subject of another useless debate. Some solid pieces have been written about this, and you can find them here and here. For my purposes, let's start with the definition in Dictionary.app:
2 (of people or their feelings or behavior) angry, hurt, or resentful because of one's bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment : I don't feel jealous or bitter.
Which of us are bitter? Take me, for example. As I've watched George W. pied-piper our nation into an international sewer, I've felt angry and, yes, bitter that he is our idiot of a president. That he has caused such tremendous global damage and has wrecked our country. And there are millions of people like me. In fact, we're now a majority.
Who else is bitter? Well, hmm, let's see. Hillary has crafted every single movement and breath she's taken for the last seven years into positioning herself for her run for the presidency -- she thinks she's entitled -- and she and Bill are angry and flabbergasted that they're getting beat. "Desperate" might be another good word to use about them now.
Which brings us back to my beginning. Everyone knows that Hillary is playing to win. The Clintons have been touting McCain while trashing their fellow Democrat, Obama. What would they like the outcome of this race to be? If Hillary is not the nominee, they'd prefer McCain to win, of course. This gives the Hill another shot at becoming President four years from now, which she wouldn't have if Obama were elected.
You may say I'm cynical, and I'd be the first to agree. But if you've forgotten the brutality of politics on this level, give Primary Colors, which was more or less based on the Clintons, another look. If Hillary is going down, dividing the Democrats would be the point. What would a wallow in the muck and another four years of Republican rule be if Hillary had another shot at the presidency after that?