I hope Susan is right (see her post below). I, too, hope we can win in November. But now that John Edwards is being airily and summarily dismissed (sorry, Edwards—poof!), I have a whole new problem.
All of us who believe Edwards represents the best hope for this country have a serious problem. We can remain loyal to the man in whom we believe, period. Or we can play variations of the “wait and see” game. Or we can launch a pre-emptive strike, abandon our candidate, suck it up and pretend to embrace one of the current front-runners.
Where have I seen this before?
Oh. I know. It happened when people far wiser than I said, “Howard Dean is toast. John Kerry is the real deal.” Now I will not dispute Kerry’s military valor, post-military valor, nor even his potential fitness for the presidency. Turns out Kerry was a total washout as a candidate. I worked my butt off trying to warm to him, to be supportive of him. Shook his limp hand, took measure of the man (to the extent one can take measure of someone who does not make eye contact) and realized it was going to be an ugly uphill battle. Even so, he almost won the thing. Operative word: Almost. He didn’t. Read on.
Where else have I seen this before?
Oh. I know. It happened when people far wiser than I said (relative to the Minnesota gubernatorial election), “Steve Kelley is toast. Mike Hatch is the real deal.” That was a tougher sell. I never believed Hatch could win it, but people far wiser than I said, “Oh, yes he can. Trust us. Believe us.” And so I did. And he lost.
If I follow precedent, my dutiful choice is to abandon my principles once again in order to embrace Hillary or Barack.
There was a time when my personal approval rating for Bill Clinton ran high. I admit that hit a bumpy patch when his random unzipping became front-page news. And even though I knew someone rather like him, I believed Bill was better than that. I did. Talk about denial. You’d think Bill’s behavior would have made my early warning system go tilt. But I rationalized that Bill was different. That he had one seriously flawed compartment and that if he'd just, you know, defrag, all would be well.
I learn slowly, but I learn well. Finally, finally, I figured out that a little toxin can pollute the whole river. And for the past month or so, the Bill Clinton river is running out of its banks. What happened to that once-savvy, brilliant politician? Yeeks.
Overall, it seems that the Billary machine may be the current most destructive force in the Democratic party and therefore in the country. My observation is that these are desperate and ruthless people. I have the uneasy feeling that Hillary et al will do absolutely anything to satisfy her presidential ambition. That and Bill’s ambition for her, or for himself. Hard to say what his mania is about.
There are people who say that Hillary is the real deal and that she can win it. My gut says, “No way!” And my gut is getting mighty tired of being shouted down. Repeat after me: We cannot afford to lose the White House to the Republicans again. Can. Not.
Which means that if John Edwards can't pull a donkey out of the hat at the eleventh hour, the only possible alternative is Barack Obama.
I like Obama’s rhetoric and energy well enough. I think it’s fun to see so many young people drawn to him. I think it’s interesting to watch old farts like me take up the banner for him. I think it’s impressive that Ted and Carolyn Kennedy have endorsed him. Oprah, not so much. I’m watching from a cautious distance. Why? I’m not yet convinced. And I have no small measure of PTSD when people start in with variations of, “He’s the real deal! He can win it!” Can he really? And if he does, what then?
Apparently the onus is on me to figure it out. Because in the revelry and hoopla, the Edwards (and Kucinich and Dodd and Biden, and, and, and) people have been/are being flickied to the periphery. Catch the wave or drown, baby.
The same people whose rhetoric includes a call for making nice so that Democrats don’t look so fractious have dismissed (and in some cases been downright nasty) about those who’ve been left for dead in the wake of the Clinton/Obama tsunami. It is expected that we will wash up on shore and fall in line because isn’t that the duty of loyal Dems? No matter what?
Where have I seen this before? Just askin’.