Monday, May 26, 2008

More Fun with Assassinations

Paul Krugman addresses some of what we were talking about in Zrbo's last post in today's column. I will respond.

Krugman laments the string of non-scandals that have embroiled Clinton during this primary. Then he writes, "Why does all this matter? Not for the nomination: Mr. Obama will be the Democratic nominee. But he has a problem: many grass-roots Clinton supporters feel that she has received unfair, even grotesque treatment. And the lingering bitterness from the primary campaign could cost Mr. Obama the White House." Grotesque? Do you remember the treatment the Clintons received during Bill's second term? Now that was grotesque! These gossipy reinterpretations do not rise to that level. Additionally, I don't remember Obama making a big deal of any of this. Newspapers and CNN/Fox need something to write and talk about. Most of the analysts they employ aren't particularly insightful and their producers aren't adventurous in the least. Thus we get this interminable merry-go-round of mediocrity. Like the old canard about the "liberal media" this has much more to do with the practical reality of newsrooms as places of business and the natural human desire to fit into a crowd and have something to talk about than the political beliefs of individual reporters.

I'd like to highlight one of Senator Clinton's remarks that I find more questionable than anything Krugman mentions. When Clinton remarked that Obama has a problem attracting white working class voters, she seemed to be simultaneously hinting to some voters that they should vote for her, while avoiding the scandal that would ensue if she just came out and said, "A black man cannot win the presidency." Hey, you know, maybe a black man can't win the presidency in the U.S.A. of 2008. If so, that sounds like something we as a nation should be talking about! The only one who came close was...Barack Obama in his speech following the Reverend Wright nonsense. Is there another way to interpret Clinton's remarks? Does it involve that Arugula beer-and-a-shot nonsense?

I don't find an argument over which ivy-league lawyer has more street cred more uplifting than some campaign flunky flashing the edge of a "race card" at me. I'm not interested in Clinton's analysis of Obama's experience or lack thereof without an explanation of how Clinton's experience is preferable. Maybe it has something to do with that Bosnian sniper fire? I have no time for Clinton supporters implying that all Obama supporters are wide-eyed idealists without the ability to form grown-up, mature political opinions. Regardless, I don't think, as Krugman does, that Clinton should be the vice-presidential nominee. Clinton's history, and the corrupt Democratic insiders that are running her campaign, would unnecessarily sidetrack Obama's impressively run campaign. I wish Obama would pick someone on the liberal side of the party to run with, but the rumored candidates don't really fit that bill. Oh well, the vice-presidency doesn't matter much under a functional president anyway. That's okay. Ms. Clinton doesn't have to be president. She, and we, will all be okay.


jason said...

Well, I agree with Paul Krugman about the non-scandals. Both candidates give hours of speeches everyday, and I don't think people should be combing through them for the one quote they can blow out of proportion. I don't think anyone could stand up to that kind of scrutiny.

That said, I also think having Hillary on either side of the ticket would be a disaster. We've just had 8 years of a president that at least half the country hates. The last thing we need is someone the other half hates just as bad. And Obama does seem like someone who can bring people together, as naive as it sounds.

I really hope Obama chooses Kathleen Sebelius as his running mate, and announces it a.s.a.p. It would totally take the wind out of Hillary's sails. Not to mention that it IS high time we had a woman President (just not Hillary).

Little Earl said...

I think I have finally, officially, stick-it-in-an-envelope-and- put-a-government-seal-on-it, decided to stop caring too much about the presidential election. Krugman really nails why right here: "the nightmare Mr. Obama and his supporters should fear is that in an election year in which everything favors the Democrats, he will nonetheless manage to lose. He needs to do everything he can to make sure that doesn’t happen." So McCain wins, whatever. You know what? We're just one planet in a vast and inhospitable universe. Life goes on.

But just because I've stopped caring doesn't mean that I'll stop reading these articles of course.

Also, does half the country really hate Hillary the same way one half really hates Bush? Certain detractors feel strongly, yes, but half?