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7 August 2008

What’s wrong with the Media? They have an insatiable appetite for the sensational. Honestly, they just can’t help themselves.

Just when it seemed that the media had turned the corner in their campaign coverage and began actually concentrating on an issue the American voter cares about, energy, they took another downward spiral into the politics of personality. Now, I know it would be almost impossible to resist the offering served up so deliciously by an old favorite trio of the campaign – Paris Hilton and those irresistible Clintons.

Decades before I became an old, white retired man in the piney woods north of Houston, I was born into a family that lived on the rolling prairies north of Oklahoma City. The Clinton saga brings to mind a remark by one of my home state’s greatest sages, Will Rogers. “I do not belong to any organized political party,” he quipped. “I’m a Democrat.” Cue the laughter. This is precisely why we have been so unsuccessful at presidential politics for most of my lifetime. No matter how favorable the atmosphere for a Democratic landslide, we manage to squabble among ourselves and watch dumbfounded as yet another Republican takes the ride from the Capitol Building down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House on inauguration day. It’s time we stop being dumbfounded by stop being dumb.

The first offering by the Clintons came from Bill’s what-the-hell-was-that answer about Obama’s readiness to be president. The fire shot from his eyes and across his crossed arms in a well-recognized gesture of unhappy defiance. Then the angry women who still are holding out for Hillary released a cell phone clip of Hillary urging them on in their plans to not only place her name in nomination at the convention in Denver, but also to “march, boo, and jeer” their disapproval of her defeat thereby “getting it out of their systems so we can all unite in November.” What’s that about? I know. It’s about cheering up Pat Buchanan and the Republicans, because this is what they have been hoping for all along.

Now, I am no stranger to the Hillary-supporter phenomenon. My uber-intelligent wife – who is the technician of this operation; I type and write only. She does the rest – live in Montgomery County, Texas. It is the reddest county in the reddest state in America these days. We moved here from Houston about four years ago and had been quaking in fear in our home lest we be discovered as Democrats here. Things began to look up during the primary season when we ventured out on election night to our local precinct caucus and discovered there were other Democrats in our midst. It must be pointed out that by the time of the Texas Primary, there was really no chance that Hillary Clinton could mathematically win the Democratic nomination. Yet many women in our community – with the help of about eight Ditto-Heads sent by Rush Limbaugh – mounted a majority, thereby winning eight delegates to the Montgomery County Democratic Convention as opposed to six of us – my wife and I included – representing Obama. While I silently questioned the unwillingness of the Clinton supporters to get behind the obvious nominee, I was far more focused on the exciting turnout of Democrats in East Montgomery County.

A month later the largest-ever Montgomery County Democratic Convention met in the Woodlands to select delegates to the state convention later that summer. When we Obama delegates first arrived, it appeared that the Clinton delegates from our precinct had not shown up. That proved not to be the case, however. They were there, but they had deliberately sat as far away from us as possible. Several times, after we located them, those of us representing Obama tried to talk to the Clinton delegates and were given the cold shoulder. They wouldn’t even talk to us! There came a point where we had to elect a state delegate from our precinct and were required to come together. The sheer hostility directed at us from the Hillary supporters was palpable. I was stunned, as was my wife. Even though it was absolutely impossible by that time for Hillary to win the nomination, her supporters refused to even be nice to us. My greatest hope from that convention was to somehow form a local Democratic support group for East Montgomery County. I collected e-mail addresses from all the delegates living in our area, but when my wife and I sent out an e-mail to bring that into being, we got three responses out of 35. So we decided the time wasn’t right for such an undertaking.

Now, all of that brings us back to the continuing drama of Bill and Hill. I was a big supporter of the Clintons back in their day, but for me the blush is definitely off that rose. In this cycle their refusal to make a graceful exit from center stage is adding to a media focus on disunity among us Democrats. I am what in Texas is called a “yellow-dog Democrat.” That means if a yellow dog ran for election on the Democratic ticket, I would vote for it. That said, I would like to reassure Hillary supporters everywhere that, had she been the nominee of the Democratic Party this year, I would most-assuredly vote for her. But I do issue this warning to the angry Hillary supporters out there: If Barack Obama loses this election, I will not vote for Hillary in four years, and I won’t stay home. Paybacks are hell! I will hold my nose tightly and march into that election booth and vote Republican to show my fury at Hillary supporters who weren’t true Democrats.

Now, let’s stop playing into the hands of the Republicans and come together and elect a Democrat for President!

Enough said!

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