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Obama, Clinton and Anger to Burn
Friday, 06 June 2008 02:26
by Norman Solomon

In politics, as in so many other aspects of life, anger is a combustible fuel. Affirmed and titrated, it helps us move forward. Suppressed or self-indulged, it’s likely to blow up in our faces.

With the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination coming to a close, there’s plenty of anger in the air. And the elements are distinctly flammable. As Bob Herbert wrote in the New York Times on June 3, "the Clinton and Obama partisans spent months fighting bitterly on the toxic terrain of misogyny, racism and religion."

Herbert doesn’t spread the blame evenly. And, as an elected Obama delegate to the national convention, I don’t either. But at this stage in the nomination process, the returns of blame aren’t merely diminishing — they’re about to go over a cliff.

The anger that’s churning among many Hillary Clinton supporters is deserving of respect. For a long time, she’s been hit by an inexhaustible arsenal of virulent sexism, whether from Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh or Chris Matthews.

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If Barack Obama were facing defeat now, his supporters might be more inclined to dwell on the thinly veiled, and sometimes unveiled, racial bigotry that caused some Americans to tell reporters that they could never vote for a black man for president.

There’s no lack of injustices, defamations and outright outrages to cite. They’re important to remember, assess, denounce. And: Now what?

In times of emergency, people have been known to put aside differences, at least for a while. Sometimes, feuding neighbors unravel hoses and pass buckets so the entire block doesn’t go up in flames. Or alienated relatives take care of a fading loved one. People who fear strangers learn to trust in a shared humanity.

The Bill of Rights is burning. Children are dying in Baghdad and Chicago and Los Angeles and countless other cities and towns because of Republican "leadership." Negative trends of governance are scorching a social contract that had been slowly weaving the threads of human decency.

This year offers an electoral opportunity to get out the fire hoses and douse the pyromaniacs of the GOP. But the long Obama-Clinton battle has depleted precious time with little good to show for it.

A lot of negativity has aired, and some of it has combusted. Despite the real progress of the past several decades, remaining prejudices and injustices of gender and race — and, though less talked about in news media, of sexual orientation and economic class — are still haunting us and shadowing the future.

Furious supporters of Hillary Clinton are now talking about Michigan and Florida. Understandably, they’re apt to see recent developments in the context of despicable male chauvinism and unfair caricatures in the press.

There’s more than enough anger to burn.

And John McCain is eager to benefit from every bit of such anger, the more displaced the better. Right-wing corporatists quietly cheer his calls to give them even more extreme tax cuts. Outright militarists are hoping for four more years, and the odds seem to be shifting in their favor. Men on the Supreme Court named Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito are waiting to welcome kindred spirits in black robes.

Unfortunately, the angry often end up burning themselves.

Norman Solomon’s book "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" has been adapted into a documentary film, now available from Netflix and other home-video outlets. For information, go to: www.normansolomon.com

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Comments (2)add comment

Joe said:

You don’t even begin to glean the hideousness of some of the rhetoric that has been used by the Obamanuts. Let me copy a post I sent to another blog:

“I agree Ann. I have a friend who lives in a caucus State. She was accosted by an Obama youth with the sweet expression, “oh, here’s another dry cunt”. That’s in part how Obama won the Caucus States. If the obama maniacs think the vile and scurrilous behavior of the past months will be forgotten so easily as this and other bloggers wish, then they really will be disappointed. Let’s remember: McCain is no Bush - he was John Kerry’s first choice as running mate. I will for the first time vote Republican with no hesitation. PUMA!”

Compare that expression to anything that has been used by the Hillary tribe and you simply reinforce the impression that the Obama apologists suffer from a serious disconnect.

Also, what do you think Obama will douse if he should become our 44th President? He's never had the guts too do anything in the past, except, strangely and incredulously to hang out with the likes of Rezko & Company, not to mention his three crazy "spiritual" mentors.

A nice phrase "Negative trends of governance are scorching a social contract that had been slowly weaving the threads of human decency”. What social contract? Have you been reading too much Rousseau? This is gutter capitalism here mate, without even a single payer health system, and Obama isn't going to change it. And our Constitution has always been compromised by the rich and powerful, and Obama isn’t going to change that either. He has every single finger and toe of his in every possible pie. While the poor blacks were freezing their butts off in one of the coldest winters in Chicago, Obama is partying with the slum landlord that has the heating cut off because of lack of utility payments, even while raising money for Obama. That's before he got him his mansion.


Most of all, even though the majority may not articulate it, those of us uneducated Hillary supporters are sick and disgusted by the meaningless platitudes and concepts that have no connection to praxis or anything that is real in the real world. And the ugliness of those meaningless conceptualizations consists in why they never ever bear fruit, though theoretically they could. Because it's all words and nothing but words. Words do mean something but when the words indicate compassion the necessary corollary IS compassion, and it's a component I intuit as completely devoid in Obama and in the vast majority of the Obama supporters that I have read or heard from.

The widow who I mention above who was called a dry cunt gives an incredible amount of time and money to help others. Her best friend told me that she probably gives as much as 30% of her meager income to charity. Compare that to Obama's 1% and suddenly the story of the widow's mite is made real. REAL REAL. PUMA! VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN!
June 06, 2008
Votes: +0

Cyanide Hole said:

Bullshit, Mr. Solomon. Bullshit.
Solomon sez -- "This year offers an electoral opportunity to get out the fire hoses and douse the pyromaniacs of the GOP. But the long Obama-Clinton battle has depleted precious time with little good to show for it."

This year WOULD HAVE OFFERED an opportunity to douse the GOP's fire. But Democrats squandered the opportunity long before the primary season began. Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, Steney Hoyer, Harry Reid and the rest of the party leadership, by refusing to end the war, refusing to repeal the USA Patriot Act (and other pieces of bad legislation), and refusing to prosecute Bush-administration crimes, alienated the millions of Americans who turned on the GOP in 2006 and handed congressional power to the Democrats. The so-called "fight" between Hillary and Obama was staged so that neither candidate would have to talk about the real issues that plague the country -- the same real issues that Democrat leadership has refused to confront since November 2006 -- the same real issues that candidate Obama refuses to confront today.

Thinking Americans are left to question what will happen to them when our political leaders refuse to confront murderous, treasonous, irresponsible clowns like Bush and Cheney, when our leaders refuse to protect us from criminal manipulations of financial and commodities markets, when our leaders refuse to talk about what it means when American presidential candidates such as McCain and Obama find it necessary to get themselves vetted by Olmert and the gang of Zionist thugs that control the state of Israel.

Democrats and their cheerleaders (that's YOU, Mr. Solomon) can huddle in your focus groups and perhaps persuade yourselves that you can fool us yet again. See what happens in November. I don't yet know who the next president of the United States is going to be, but I think it will NOT be a Democrat.
June 07, 2008
Votes: +0

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