I still have a few friends who just don't like going splitsies on a dinner check, preferring to pay for exactly what they eat and drink. These are the people that Jean-Paul Sartre was talking about. I try only to see them on a full stomach.
I hate dining with someone who cares about the fact that they had the $15 pasta while I had the $17 fish or vice versa. These folks can turn dining out (a pleasure that folks without children take entirely for granted), into an embarrassing meeting with your accountant rather than a pleasant meal amongst friends. I'd rather order in. I'm of the school that in the long run, it all evens out. Making sure you get the lighter side of the check is just not how I like my friends to act...nor my politicians.
Enter the great delegate / Florida / Michigan battle of 2008. What the hell is going on here? Yes, that's a rhetorical question. I know what happened in Michigan and Florida. I understand the delegate math, etc. What I don't know, what it looks like no one knows, is how this whole mess does anything productive for the Democrats.
Tell me you've seen CNN's John King with his new toy -- the touchy, high-tech delegate counting map that he relishes like a teenager with a new X-Box on Christmas morning. I keep waiting for Donkey Kong to come out and throw barrels at Lou Dobbs. (The world -- and CNN -- would be better for it.) All this delegate counting, projecting, slicing and dicing gives me uncomfortable flashbacks to Tim Russert and his dire attempt to make sense of things using a white board during the 2000 election. The situation is the same (nobody really knows what the hell is happening), they've just got a fancy new contraption to show us Democrats just how screwed we really are.
My issue lies with both campaigns--all their players and pawns. At a micro level, it's easy to get lost in the details, the numbers, the posturing from each side. But, when you look at the situation from afar, the scene is not only messy--it's downright sad. And, when did Democratic pundits decide that we are all morons? Do they really think we're incapable of sniffing out their flag waiving for either Obama or Clinton which is supposed to come off as pure political analysis? It's getting so bad, Anderson Cooper had to outright apologize to viewers last night after two of his guests made complete asses of themselves desperately trying to get in the last word regarding their candidate.
The problem is, these folks are all Democrats. We're ostensibly on the same side. This wasn't Mike Murphy versus Bob Shrum. The Sharks weren't fighting the Jets. This was Capulet versus Capulet. Mercutio's not even part of the play yet. He's just sitting in the wings laughing his Republican ass off. We're cannibalizing ourselves. The cherry blossoms aren't even in bloom, and the Democrats are already inflicting real wounds on themselves. A plague upon our house.
Along with Obama and Clinton themselves, their loyal staffers and supporters have the party by the throat. All I see are folks who care more about winning than about being right or doing right by and for their party. The tug-of-war over delegates, the incessant quibbling, the negativity, the selfishness within the same house--it all makes me feel like I need two showers.
I'm not proud of anyone in the Democratic party these days. Shame on all of us. Shame on the system. Shame on the campaigns, the candidates, their advisors, strategists, and anyone else playing along at home. This is, after all, about finding the one candidate who can rise above and lead us--actually lead us--for the next four to eight years.
The Democratic party is tearing itself apart from within. In 2000 we could all sit around and point our fingers at the Republicans, Ralph Nader, Florida, Carl Rove, and the Supreme Court. This time it's all on us. We are our own worst enemy. And, guess what? We deserve everything that's about to happen to us.
Is this what we've become? Are the two campaigns really going to go the distance on this ugly race just because they have the legal right to drag us all through hell by way of Denver? Hillary said the other day that she was "just getting warmed up." What the f**k? Just getting warmed up? What about the rest of us? Are we all just standing on the sidelines rooting these candidates on, hoping that they do us the favor of accepting a cup of Gatorade as they jog by doing that fake wave, pretending that they're running for us and not for themselves? Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean you should.
I thought I was the most selfish Democrat in the World. Little did I know.