“None of our hands are clean.” Barack Obama, January 20, 2008
It’s been 40 years since the terrible spring of 1968. We cried through most of that summer. My parents had come a long way from the idolization of President John F. Kennedy. They were FDR Democrats who lived through the Depression. A Jersey boy and a South Carolina beauty queen who met at a USO dance at Ft. Jackson. They made a life together after he served and she stayed behind and then went in search of the American Dream.
They supported JFK because he was a pro-business, tax cutting president who saw the need for social change but since his death, they didn’t like the turn the Democrat party was taking. After that summer, there was the feeling that America would never be the same again. So on this day that we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is important to remember where our priorities should be.
On the Democrat side; there are two “first ever” possibilities. Hillary Clinton is the first ever viable female candidate who could be the Democrat nominee and Barack Obama is the first serious black candidate that has a real chance of winning. I asked a friend of mine (black, conservative and typically, Republican) if he was taking a Democrat or Republican ballot in the Georgia Primary on February 5. He said, Democrat. In addition he said, “I didn’t believe in my lifetime that there would be a chance for me to vote for a black man that really had a chance to win, so I’m voting Democrat.” This thought process is not unlike the man I met in Iowa who had never voted in a caucus, but did this time for the same reason. For that kind of commitment, these men deserve better candidates and they are not getting them from Clinton Inc. or Barack Obama.
Sen. Obama gave a great “from the mountaintop” speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in the shadow of Dr. King, but his words and his actions didn’t mix. He talked of how politics fuels division across races and regions, gender and party. As if to exonerate himself, he added, “none of our hands are clean.”
This week was a watershed in Democrat politics, Clinton and Obama took the gloves off directly and through their surrogates. The chief surrogate is former President Bill Clinton. I guess to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the whopper, “I did not have sex with that woman….,” he had to tell another one. He claimed in a speech to at the Vegas YMCA he had personally witnessed voter suppression at the hands of the Culinary Workers Union to make them vote for Obama.
The possible future First Husband is making a practice of melting down the week before every major vote. He did it in New Hampshire and then in Nevada. With the Democrat primary in South Carolina scheduled for this Saturday, I expect they will have EMS standing by at his speeches on Friday. It should be a goodie because in this one, there will be a huge amount of black voters participating in the Democratic primary.
Barack Obama got directly into the fray by attacking Mrs. Clinton by name in the days before the Nevada Caucus. He wanted to be clear that unlike what Mrs. Clinton was putting out in her robo-calls, he was not and never has been for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site. "When Senator Clinton implied that I’m for Yucca when I’ve never been for it, that’s a problem. That erodes people’s confidence in our politics," Obama said. News flash: people have no confidence in politics. Even when Obama tries to go negative he just seems too nice.
A couple of weeks ago, a Democrat operative told me his biggest fear was the Hillary would win the nomination by destroying Obama and that would split the Democrat base and black voters. Political parties put themselves together, usually, to support a candidate — and no party does it better than the Democrats do — however, can Hillary stand any higher negatives as a result of her antics? The answer is she will do anything she thinks is necessary to win, regardless of the cost to the Party. The Clintons are for their own acquisition of power, not for “democratic principles.”
The week of back and forth did show a few things about the Obama and Clinton campaigns. Obama thinks he’s a vision person and Clinton thinks she’s a detail person, but the fact is either one would do the same thing in The White House. They would take your money, regulate your businesses and cow tow to our enemies. They would be the last gasp of the “can’t we all get along — good time rock and roll” style of management.
The last time Obama and Clinton went to the edge of the mountaintop and were mean to each other, they made up at a debate. Oh, goody! We have that encounter group to look forward to as they turn to South Carolina this weekend.
As we think of the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we should remember he was not a party guy. He wanted America to be better and he was willing to give everything to make that happen.