I’ve had a bad year with automobiles. I’ve driven nearly ten cars by my own estimation as I’ve dealt with the aftermath of two significant car accidents. I had a crazy Jean Tortelli-looking blonde with a migraine run a redlight last June and hit me head-on, destroying three cars, including my own, and doing another $5,000 of damage to a Lexus SUV. Then this past January, after scrambling to finish the day’s blog only to have WordPress crap out on me and erase the last two hours of a post I was already having trouble writing after a long week followed by a long night of drinking, I frantically rewrote the lost blog while it was still reasonably fresh in my brain, but that put me behind to get to my Saturday job 67 miles away. Stopping briefly for gas, I barreled down Interstate 84 trying to make up for lost time. No real reason, though. I’ve been late before, and this is my mother. I’m good for a couple writeups there before she actually fires me.
I was coming up on a slowing State Patrol deputy with his lights flashing. I stayed back as he reduced his speed (Yes, I was late, but I figured it would be bad form to rocket my ’92 Honda Accord past him at 80 MPH and obscenely gesticulate at him for having the temerity to slow me down. They tend to frown on such behavior). I let my car slow down and courteously moved to the left lane as he pulled to the right to tend to an accident that was being sorted out on the shoulder. I continued to slow down to around 30 MPH as the other traffic also moved left. It was a little curious why traffic was very nearly crawling to a standstill for what appeared to be a minor fender-bender. Or so I thought until I attempted the brakes for the first time and kept going into the back of a 1993 GMC 350 pickup. It was freezing rain, for which the National Weather Service saw fit to declare a warning two minutes after my accident. Next came nearly falling ass over teakettle on the ice getting out of my car, getting yelled at by the driver whose truck I’d just hit (before he got out and nearly fell ass over teakettle on the ice), and all hell breaking loose around us as tires skidded, metal crunched, and cars piled up behind me.
So never let it be said that I wouldn’t almost give my life for this blog.
It would have been natural to write that accident off to my being late and to the unexpected vagaries of the weather in the Columbia River Gorge in January, but I recently found myself in a similar situation, even though my automotive travails of late should have sufficiently chastened me into driving 15 miles below the speed limit with a bicyle helmet on and putting on my signal a half-mile before I intend to make my lane change or left-hand turn.
At that point I had to think back and wonder what it was that would provoke me to put my pristine car and unblemished driving record at risk by driving far too fast and recklessly yelling profanities from behind the wheel to anyone and no one in particular (with my window safely rolled up, of course, lest anyone should actually hear me; I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid), and compared what led up to the accident I was actually in and the repeat performance that I was tempting. Then I made the connection: It was Howard Wolfson on the radio.
It all made perfect sense. There are only two people whose voices I could inadvertently hear behind the wheel who could make me put my car and my life into harm’s way out of blinding anger and irate, helpless rage (bear in mind that I would never be so foolhardy as to do my opposition research by listening to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, or Michael Savage behind the wheel; that kind of behavior makes you a higher risk, and they will actually raise your premiums if you are in an accident and they discover a right-wing AM station in your presets. Seriously.): One is George W. Bush, and the other is Hillary Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson.
On the day I had my accident, Wolfson had just sent out a press release lowering campaign expectations for that day’s Democratic primary in South Carolina, but lambasting the “efforts by the Obama campaign to ignore Floridians”, and that “their voices will be heard loud and clear across the country, as the last state to vote before Super Tuesday on February 5th.”
“You disingenuous weasel douchebag”, I thought, moments before I’d crash my precious and otherwise durable and dependable Honda car. The campaign signed the damned stupid pledge last year to honor the DNC’s potentially suicidal decision not to seat Florida and Michigan’s delegates if they dared to move their primaries up ahead of Super Tuesday’s contests, yet you’re campaigning for a victory that you’re going to claim anyway, just like you did in Michigan when everyone else except Dennis Kucinich pulled their names off the ballot.
As the Clinton campaign has gotten dirtier, Howard Wolfson has been seen increasingly front and center, lobbing Hillary-sanctioned mudpies and, when necessary, just as quickly denying that he’s done so.
It was Wolfson who launched the plagiarism charge against Barack Obama, after he used in a speech a line that Massachusetts Governor (and close friend and National Campaign Co-Chair) Deval Patrick had used during his gubernatorial campaign in 2006.
It was Wolfson who, after Obama promised to more aggressively fight Hillary in the wake of her March 4 wins in Ohio and Rhode Island, and a split decision in the Texas prima-caucus, compared the Illinois Senator to Whitewater Special Prosecutor Ken Starr (and why in God’s name would the Clinton campaign even want to go there? It was a colossal waste of money, but enough dirt came out on the President to make that an experience you wouldn’t be wont to pull out the scrapbook and fondly recall. “Hey, you guys remember my attempted murder acquittal back in the day? Boy, that was a time, wasn’t it? Good thing we pled that down to aggravated battery!”).
It was Wolfson who almost made me get in another accident when he declared this past Saturday in a Bill Press Show rerun that Hillary beat Obama fair and square in Michigan and Florida, and that it wasn’t unreasonable that all of Michigan’s delegates and most of Florida’s delegates should go to Hillary (“No one told the candidates not to campaign in those states…Senator Obama pulled his name off the Michigan ballot because he knew he couldn’t win.”).
It was Wolfson who suggested that Obama could be an acceptable Vice Presidential choice for Hillary, if he passed an undetermined “national security threshold” before the convention, but after the superdelegates stepped up and selected Hillary as Presidential nominee. Of course, this was one of the main talking points when they did their cynical fly-by in the Obama country of Mississippi.
It goes on day after day. I understand that spokespersons are generally rotten people anyway, just by the nature of their jobs. They are the well-paid, assigned flak-catchers of the campaign, and while the positions they parrot from the podium may not necessarily reflect their own, they are handsomely compensated to allocute them passionately. Howard Wolfson does his job very well, to the point that I’m not sure where Hillary ends and he begins, and as the campaign gets filthier, we can only hope that the only other car wreck he instigates it that of the Hillary Clinton campaign, and not that of the Democratic party. And God knows I don’t need another one.