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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Will 2008 Be The Year The Democratic Party Is Assassinated?



Within my own lifetime I've lived through the assassinations (or attempted assassinations) of JFK, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. All of them were so stupid; so pointless. Where the attempts succeeded history was altered, and not for the better. People think of Lee Harvey Oswald of killing Kennedy. But he also gave us Lyndon Johnson in the White House.

Johnson was a terrible president, yet historians seem to concentrate on what a great politician he was. The same is true of Bill Clinton; he knows how to politic but I don't think history is going to be too kind to his acts as president. Don't even think about comparing Mr. Clinton to Mr. Bush.....ANY president looks good, except maybe James Buchanan.

As sad and pointless an assassination of an individual is, the same act carried out against something greater than an individual is even worse. To be fair, it might be said that with the best of intentions the Bush administration has done a pretty good job of assassinating the Constitution.

After the March 4th voting, whereby Senator Hillary Clinton won Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island, the question is being asked by many just how far the Clinton campaign is going to go. The "math" is clear in that neither Obama nor Clinton will have the delegates to win the nomination before the party convention in Denver. Obama can rightfully claim that he has an insurmountable lead.

The advantage Obama now has is this: while he may be human and not keep his promises, he represents a form of hope. That is, hope that we can finally crawl away from the corporate forces that have been turning the nation into a giant banana republic. Senator Clinton's handicap is her being a reminder of her husband's presidency, which was not exactly an arch-enemy of greed and corruption.

The real rub for the Democrats is do they proceed with a vision or accept the blandness of sameness? The Clinton campaign will not allow Barack Obama to continue to offer hope. Said hope must be dampened down or preferably destroyed.

In so doing, Hillary Clinton will win a nomination and lose any ability to go anywhere but backwards. It is admirable for anyone to follow the advice of Dylan Thomas and not go gently into that good night. But, what works for an individual does not translate into a group. Senator Clinton may or may not be that likable a person. That is not relevant. Franklin Roosevelt was not really a very likable person; he was an enigma to just about everyone around him. But he was a great president.

There comes a point where someone in Senator Cinton's shoes must ask herself if the goal is worth the cost. This year there is a good chance for a Democrat to win the White House. But it would be foolish to assume it's there for the taking. Lots of things can happen.

One thing that should NOT be happening is heaping dirt on an opponent as if he were a Republican in a general election. Worse, using LBJ-style tactics to convolute a convention would be fatal in many aspects. The outcome of the Democratic convention could hand the election to John McCain on a silver platter.

The next president is going to need one attribute more than any other: the ability to lead the American people. FDR did it, as did JFK and Ronald Reagan. Doesn't matter whether you agree with their policies, it's the fact that one individual can inspire people to draw from within themselves that which they didn't think was there any more.
Cross-posted at

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