Thursday, May 15, 2008

Obama and Hillary – The Whirling Dervishes

Obama and Hillary, that unlikely duet of dueling dervishes. Each in their own right a formidable opponent for McCain. Yet in tandem these not so democratic “co-religionists“ are highlighting each others weaknesses and blemishes, are exposing each others faults and half-truths to a previously adoring media; a media that is turning on the Clinton Machine with surprising vengeance. A media that is parting the reeds of fantasy and wish fulfillment and viewing the winding river of Obama’s life and his relationships in a more critical and dispassionate light.

Obama and Hillary have educated us anew about positional squirming, reversing tracks and political expediency. First Obama would not possibly disown his Reverend Wright under any circumstances – then, a few weeks later the esteemed pastor was tossed aside like an aging egg salad sandwich. Hillary initially presented her ‘Kumbaya’ visage, sweetness personified – now she is the pre-eminent Rottweiler, dogged, tough and accusative. The entertaining list of reversals is growing.

Had any opponent, Republican or Democrat, competed with Obama in those first heady months of hope and fervor, of everything new and fresh, of all Americans together and cleanly joined, they would have failed to breach either his message or his form. For Obama, on his orator’s pedestal, invoking the perfection of ideas, the fulfillment of our every desire, was well nigh invincible.

In the harsh light of continuing time and repetition, Obama’s gloss tarnishes and our passion moderates. Boredom creeps in and an interest in detail grows. No longer are we satisfied with enticing but bland generalities – we need information, context and solutions. And Obama is found wanting, fixed in his naive hopefulness, his optimistic new world, his unrivalled promises.

Hillary has more details, McCain has the most. Hillary is shining a harsh light on Obama’s confusing relationships (Ayres, Rezzo and Wright, et al.) and his myopic visions, on his bitter wife and his own ambiguous blackness. Yet in doing so Hillary is exposing her own overflowing ambitions, her extraordinary abilities to pander, manipulate and reinvent herself. And McCain watches in the wings as a newly peeving and irritated Obama is knocked off his white collar pedestal whilst a seemingly bloodthirsty Hillary takes no prisoners and gambles all.

It is said Hillary would, if she loses the nomination, prefer a Republican presidency, thus reserving for herself the likely 2012 slot. The Democratic Party seems unable to rally the troops, to find a common core. An astounding proportion of Hillary’s voters say they will support McCain if Obama gets in. Likewise with Obama’s supporters if Hillary is nominated, an event that would also fundamentally sour the intimate relationship of the black community with their preeminent party, the Democratic Party.

It is fascinating to contemplate, in these most unusual and exciting times, that but for these dueling dervishes McCain would likely have no chance. The long and tedious democratic nomination will wear these two democratic candidates to the bone, only to have another long bout of presidential campaigning with which to contend. And the dirty work will be largely done, the warts in full resplendent view, before McCain has to take up the cudgels.

Ordinarily nothing would have persuaded this country, tired of Bush, impatient with the war, desirous of a change, any change, to contemplate another four years of Republican leadership. Yet in the end the Republicans may indeed have Obama and Hillary to thank, that unlikely couple in perpetual mortal combat, for granting them a fair shot at the 2008 elections. An opportunity the Republicans in their disarray seem incapable of building for themselves.

Published on

Link to article on this subject matter:,_an_absurdity,_and_a_policy

No comments: