Saturday, March 15, 2008

Politically Linked

It has been a week...hell, a month, on so many fronts, that I am just going to talk about the one thing that vexes me the least. Which is not to say that the topic doesn't get me riled, but it's one that I can address at least somewhat objectively...

So, let's start out with something easy: Geraldine Ferraro. What in the hell was going on here? I can go along with the story that she wasn't trying to be racist, and that she was comparing him to herself about 20 years ago, but even then...The fact that she refuses to see how her remarks damn her just paints her as even more ignorant than before...I am reminded of a conversation here about how hating Israel's policies in the Middle East could be construed as anti-semitic (for the record, I was the one in Ferraro's shoes, if the two could be compared). Joe Conason does a good job of parsing out how Ferraro's comparison is also off-base.

Then there is the matter of how Clinton's feeble attempts at denouncing Ferraro's statements paints her complicit in all of this. Combined with the vaguely, borderline racists stances her campaign has adopted in recent months...well. I want to like her, but there's a lot about what she has been doing (starting with her refusal to leave the stage this late in the game. The time to fight was when things were not going her way, which would've been around the time of Iowa's primary. Could you imagine how Obama would be perceived had the shoes been reversed?), particularly the Rove-esque kitchen sink approach to the campaign (see the oft-referred to "3 a.m." ad) that is leaving a truly unpleasant taste in my mouth.

So, you can imagine how relieved I felt that Keith Olbermann, someone who comes across as passionate as I can on these matters, even if he is a kajillion times more eloquent than I am, decided to reply to all of this, in the form of an impassioned plea. Thanks, Keith.

Which leads me to the next possible tactic to be used against Obama, likely by McCain, if Obama ends up being the Democratic nominee: Reverend Jeremiah Wright. (Click on the link for an ABC News feature on the Reverend.) Why? Because the reverend has the audacity to say that the US Government is influenced by the KKK; also that terrorist attacks on US soil is the result of the abuse our government has heaped on third world countries the globe over. Whether you agree with these sentiments or not (and I've been saying that latter assertion as my own for 'lo these many years); how is this worse than blaming Katrina on pro-choicers? Blaming AIDS on homosexuals? Blaming 9/11 on both of those elements, and a general sinful society "running rampant in NYC?" In a sense I do hope they bring it up, time to expose some hypocrisy up in this bitch.

But our democracy is an odd beast, particularly during election time. Truth is, we're not that far removed from the tactics favored a century ago. We're maybe two steps removed from the graft and shady methods used at Tammany Hall. For proof, look no further than Street Fight, a hell of a documentary about the mayoral race in Newark back in '02. Not only does it expose our nation's politics for what they are, and shows how the system could be, and is, abused; it also serves as a corollary to our current presidential race, AND provides a very hopeful note at the end of it all. Highly recommended viewing.

And so, I'll finish on a light note: Spitzer's very cute folly (another scenario where I wish I was French, instead of dealing with priggish Spitzer himself), led to the happy promotion of Lt. Gov. David Paterson, making him the first African-American and legally blind governor of New York. As if that weren't enough, the man has a sense of humor. When asked by a reporter whether he ever had sex with a prostitute, Paterson replied, "only the lobbyists."

This is still cracking me up.