June 3, 2023

Barack Sabbath

And it was shaping up to be such a slow news day.

It looks like there might have been something of an uproar that happened after her apparent near-conciliation on Thursday night, and the voices who didn’t dare entertain giving up the ghost, who’ve given up other jobs and donated heart and soul to this campaign, threw down. I think it’s all over but the shouting at the Clinton War Room, and the strategy is in: We’re going black on Barack.

I should have known better. I really do still believe that the Clintons aren’t going to knock Barack about three spaces back on the evolutionary chart and help hand the election to McCain, unless, of course, they want their reign as Democratic Party power players brought to a screeching halt, and spending their winters, summers, springs, and falls abroad like Roman Polanski.

I almost drove off the road yesterday when the candidate was in full Shrillary Mode, and yelled through the radio of my rental car, “SHAME. ON. YOU. Barack Obama! It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public–that’s what I expect from you!” Then came the double-dog-dare poke-in-the-chest. “Meet me in Ohio, and let’s have a debate about your tactics.” Who in the what now? That’s the campaign equivalent of “Meet me at the flagpole after 6th period.” The Xerox comment was Bush league–low, cheap, and unfunny–and the “slumlord” line from the January South Carolina debate was a heat-of-the-moment lashing out, but this was almost startling in its vehemence. I’m not used to hearing well-mannered adults talk that way. That’s usually the last thing you hear before the sound of beer glasses and bar stools breaking and bystanders running for the door.

Oh, but that was nothing, though, compared to Ms. Clinton’s cringe-inducing and calumnious mockery of Obama’s evangelic rhetorical exuberance. At a rally in Providence, Rhode Island, late this morning, Hillary went bionically-sophomoric in a fashion you rarely see this side of Glenn Beck: “Okay then. Let’s just get everyone together. Let’s get unified. The sky will open”, as she started gesturing toward the heavens. “The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know, we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!…Maybe I’ve lived a little too long, but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be: You aren’t just going to wave a magic wand and make the special interests disappear!”

Yikes. There weren’t children watching, were there? That was a “Tell him to stop lying about my record!” moment* I was never sure she’d go down that alley, but she really is pulling a Rove: Tear them down at their point of greatest strength. Don’t expect any hugs or conciliation at Tuesday’s debate. I mean, it’s still possible, but it’s going to look incredibly disingenuous after spending three or four days making fun of his ears and shoving him back into the lockers. Whenever I had encounters with bullies in school, I don’t recall any of them ever saying, “I do want to say that it’s truly been an honor throwing Bill into the evergreen hedges and having him charge after me and jump on my back and stick his fingers in my eyes. Whatever happens for the rest of the school year, whether I beat him up in the bowling alley parking lot, or he slashes my tires with a serrated knife, I know we’re going to be just fine.”

If she really is preparing for mathematical defeat and an exit from the race, it looks, if this weekend is any indication, like her parting theme is going to be “Shanks For The Memories”.

So apparently, the show goes on. The question is: Does a rising snide lift all votes?

*After losing the New Hampshire Primary to George H.W. Bush in 1988, Bob Dole appeared on NBC. When asked by Tom Brokaw, “Senator Dole, anything you’d like to say to the Vice President”, Dole appeared, with one eye fluttering and a huge bulging vein very nearly visible in his neck, you knew there was going to be trouble. “Yeah, stop lying about my record.”

RESPEC’: Big props, by the way to Huffingtonpost.com for breaking this one on the blogs. They’ve got the kind of dedication I’d have if I were getting paid for this blog. On Sundays, watching through the hangover, I’m good for Meet The PressThis WeekTim Russert, Fox News Sunday, and Face The Nation if I remember (And I’ve got big love for Bob Schieffer, too. I don’t know why I always forget to TiVo him). Then I’m spent. I’m on to a Law And Order: Criminal Intent marathon. After all that there’s absolutely no way I can tune into CNN’s third-tier, watered-down “electo-tainment”. FNS at least is always good for a laugh or two, but CNN is only coming on on Sunday if I need an inducement for my afternoon nap. Any protracted block of CNN Sunday afternoon programming is like waiting for your car at JiffyLube: It’s not awful, but you’d rather be somewhere else, and when it’s over you won’t remember a single-thing that happened while you were there. So, thanks to the trained professionals at Huffingtonpost for finding these things, so I don’t have to. At least on Sunday. It’s the only thing I have that even remotely resembles a day off.