CSMS Magazine Staff Writers
Hillary’s win last Tuesday in Pennsylvania did little to raise her chance at securing the democratic nomination, even if her win were a blowout. However, that does not stop her bandwagon from hitting the drumbeat, as if Obama’s lead has been reversed and perhaps his ambition doomed, even before the convention in August. If one takes a closer look at the electoral map and specifically the delegate map, Hillary’s chance is all but nil. With few democratic contests left to be decided, the numbers simply do not add up. Whatever happens between now and June 3rd, when the last primaries take place, it is highly unlikely that the New York senator will take the lead in the delegate count, which is the quintessential thing she needs to win over Obama. But if she knows she will never be able to climb such a steep mountain, why is she doing this to the Democrats? Isn’t she supposed to be a femme de parti, closing rank in the face of Mc Cain climbing in the polls? The truth is that Clinton’s paranoia goes beyond respecting the rules and agendas set by her political party. To her, winning the nomination against a-not-too-long-ago political “novice” is far more important than winning in November. The most intriguing figure in recent political history, Hillary Clinton is so polarized “that everyone who ever considered voting Republican in November, and even many who never did, will go to the polls to vote against her, thus jeopardizing Democrats down the ticket – i.e., themselves, or, for party leaders, the sizeable majorities they hope to gain in the House and the Senate in November,” declared Elizabeth Drew, a writer for The New York Review of Books. Her assertion may be the one guiding key Democrats in Washington like Nancy Pelosi, who clearly believe that the longer they wait for a clear nominee, the stronger the Republican chance will be. And Elizabeth adds this: “To take the nomination away from Obama when he is leading in the elected delegate count would deeply alienate the base of the Democratic Party….The superdelegates are not going to switch their votes and jeopardize the future of the Democratic Party for generations.” Citing a party insider, Elizabeth continues. “ Such a move would also disillusion the new, mostly young voters who have entered into politics for the first time because of Obama, and lose the votes of independents who could make the critical difference in November.” Acting now or face a stunning defeat in NovemberIn bourgeois politic, opportunism always plays a central role. Hiding behind party unity, some key Democrats in Washington have been waiting for some time to jump on the Obama bandwagon. Since March 19th during the Texas and Ohio primaries, they were prepared to launch a mass endorsement of Obama. That, according to Politico.com, had to be postponed for the Illinois Democratic Senator did not win, and it was revealed that many in the Democratic inner circle fear a backlash from Hillary supporters like California Senator Dianne Finestein who swore to remain a fervent Hillary believer and who claimed that even though her chance is slim, one cannot halt a candidate who is winning in the campaign trail. So, where are the principles guiding the Party? If the goal is to win in November, and polls after polls have shown Obama with a lead over Mc Cain and pulling far away from Clinton nationally, it would be a move of strategic importance to master the political courage and tell Clinton that what she is hoping for simply will never happen. This would be the end of the endgame. Out of desperation, the Clinton camp will fight it to the core, but it would be a more obvious losing battle, worse than the one it is fighting now. An old wizard of traditional politic, who claim to be ready on day one based on her days spent at White House as First Lady, Clinton has been vehemently despised by many in the Democratic electorate for what they perceive as blatant disregard for the serious challenges facing the United States—a view shared by many political observers as Clinton takes the low road to dirty politic in a desperate attempt to reverse the trend thereby offering the Republicans free ammunitions against Obama while Mc Cain is poised to square with the Illinois senator in what was and still is presumed to be an easy match in November.
When ABC News comes to the rescue
If anyone had doubts about this notion that media monopoly does not necessarily mean the monopoly of the truth and professionalism, the debate that took place in Pennsylvania two weeks ago “moderated” by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson should certainly have played a leading role in helping to remove these doubts. Considered to be the most reactionary and contemptible of media trivial-vulgarism, it was a move designed to disown Obama or at the very least to push the Democratic agenda to the extreme right of the political spectrum. The debate began with some brief opening remarks where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were asked to declare that each would accept the other as a running mate. What followed shortly thereafter and lasted the entire first-half of the debate was a furry of insulting questions directed solely at Obama in total disregard to the American voters angry to know the specifics about the political platform of both candidates. Right at the opening salvo, Obama was served by the “bitter” dish of the day: The remark he privately made to a group of contributors in San Francisco, where he explained why small towns Pennsylvanians feel alienated after seeing “industries shut down, their jobs destroyed and successive administrations—Democratic and Republican alike—do nothing about it. In response, they cling to guns or religion.” This statement has been the flashpoint of right-wing attack from both the Republican Party and the Clinton campaign, even in Indiana, which has become the new battleground in the nasty fight for the Democratic nomination. Then Charlie Gibson moved in, sounding like a prosecution lawyer cross-examining an accused. “Do you understand that some people in this state find that patronizing and think that you said actually what you meant?” he said coldly. Obama struggled feebly to retain his composure. Then, he offered a sober contrition. “ I can see how people were offended….They feel like Washington is not listening to them.” He attempted to redirect the debate on more constructive issues than the wedge ones being exploited to divert public attention from more fundamental questions facing the country. Having no respect for a national audience and the American people in general who deserve way better than trivial journalism, the ABC “moderators” were not about to be swayed by Obama’s plea for “mercy.” A barrage of vexing questions surrounding the Reverend Jeremiah Wright scandal, which had been the subject of great controversy during the Ohio-Texas primaries, was launched—something that everyone thought was old news. “If you knew he got rough in sermons, why did it take you more than a year to publicly disassociate yourself from his remarks?” Gibson demanded. After Obama disassociated himself, yet again, from Wright’s remarks, it was Hillary Clinton’s turn to cross-examine Obama, saying that what Wright “said and when he said it, and for whatever reason he might have said these things” was an issue that “deserves further exploration.” She did not stop there. Then she moved against Louis Farrakhan, including a statement in the church’s bulletin—reprinted from the Los Angeles Times—by a leader of the Palestinian movement Hamas—trying to implicitly associate Obama with Islam. Then Stephanopoulos weighed in with the most insulting questions of all. “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?” This was an implicit form of questioning the Illinois senator’s patriotism. Stephanopoulos then move toward Obama’s supposedly association with William Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground, a radical protest group implicated in bombings during the Vietnam War. Ayers, now a professor of education at the University of Illinois in Chicago and a neighbor of Obama, had hosted a meeting for him when he was running for state senator in 1995. But it was soon revealed that this specific question was dictated to Stephanopoulos by the right-wing Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, when he appeared on Hannity’s radio show on Tuesday. Hannity said Obama should be “asked about his association with Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist from the Weather Underground.” And then Hannity asked Stephanopoulos, “Is that a question you might ask?” “Well, I’m taking notes right now,” he replied shamelessly. Many interpreted George Stephanopoulos’s harsh questioning of Obama as a way to earn exoneration from the Clinton family after he left the Clinton White House in 1996, where he was the communications director. It was said that his move had infuriated the Clintons so much that they ordered his name to be forbidden around the corridors of the White House. So the audience was infuriated and interpreted George Stephanopoulos’s questions as bias that raise serious conflict of interest. So insulting and one-sided the debate was, the public was outraged. So too was the media establishment, as Washington Post television critic Tom Shales condemned Gibson and Stephanopolous for “shoddy, despicable performances,” in which they “dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed.” An open letter from Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News citing that ABC’s performance has “disgraced my profession of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us the best deal on our capital gains taxes.” The letter continues, “asking Obama whether he thought Rev. Wright ‘loved America’ and then suggesting that Obama himself is somehow a hater of the American flag, or worse, were flat-out repulsive.” An opportunist né, George Stephanopoulos, who seems to suffer from a major personality disorder, tried clumsily to defend his debate of shame the next day when he spoke with Michael Calderone of Politico.com. “The vote for the president is one of the most personal decisions that someone makes. When people make that choice, they take into account how candidates stand on the issues, but also are concerned with experience, character [and] credibility.” Then he went on to say that since the candidates are so close policy-wise, the “core of the nomination fight” has been about these issues. What issues? But Calderone pointed out this, “Experience, character, and credibility are not issues. Healthcare reform, how to stimulate the economy, getting out of Iraq…issues. In fact, if the candidates are not far apart policy-wise, ALL the more reason to hone in on what separates them. I’d like to know the details. A debate would have been a nice forum for that, no?” Notwithstanding their incapacity to bring constructive questions to the table, the role of the mainstream media has never been to educate the public on some serious issues threatening the very foundation of the American society. And if Washington Post and others felt humiliated, it was because ABC’s trivializing was so blatant that remaining silent would have amounted to a guilty verdict from the public—verdict that would have been directed not only to ABC, but also to the mainstream media en general. The mouthpiece of the upper class, one can only find (for most of the time) the emptiest platitudes instead of the fundamental questions regarding the US foreign and domestic policies. So, for the moment, the Democratic Party faces a dilemma. The coming days will be crucial. The clock is ticking, and each passing day with Hillary still in the campaign trial puts the Party in a more precarious position. As for Obama himself, he will make history when he becomes the African American president. But as far as making history as the man who changes politic in Washington, we will almost certain that will not happen. The future will tell. Also see Hillary Clinton wants to clinch the nomination at all costIs Barack Obama unstoppable after his stunning victory in Iowa last week? The Obama campaign plunges deeper into the defensive after the Nevada lost last Saturday