Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Cognitive Dissonance Is Fritzed, And I'm Not Happy

Pennsylvania Democrats have voted to extend the primary debacle at least another two weeks. If they have their way evidently this bloody intra-party warfare will continue through the convention.

There are many ways to spin this outcome. Obama was behind by over twenty points a month ago. This result only cements Obama's position by giving Clinton a mere handful of delegates more than her opponent, in effect moving the race as it was prior to Pennsylvania into territory more favorable for Obama. Clinton had the entire Democratic party establishment in Pennsylvania pulling for her with the one exception of Senator Bob Casey, and she spent part of her childhood in the Scranton area. So Pennsylvania was a tough nut to crack for Obama, and he did as well as could reasonably be expected. Obama goes into the home stretch of this primary in decidedly better financial shape, having driven Clinton into debt during the last couple of weeks.

To be honest though, as hard as I've tried to see the bright side of last nights vote, I can't help but feel a bit peeved about the entire situation. The most irritating thing for me right now is that I'm sick of hearing Republicans from Joe Scarborough to Pat Buchanan to Richard Scaiffe to Rush Limbaugh openly root for Clinton and delight in her successes against Obama. She is providing them with aid and comfort, plain and simple. Anyone with half a brain knows full well that these right wing characters and the people who support their ideals have precisely ZERO probability of voting for Clinton in November.

For example, Crooks and Liars has the video of Pat Buchanan trying to befuddle Rachel Maddow on what the super delegates should really be basing their considerations upon. Buchanan trots out the Clinton camp talking point that Obama isn't beating Clinton in big states, which somehow reflects on Obama's electability against McCain. Now Buchanan has forgotten more than I'll ever know about politics, so he just HAS to know that this is specious logic. Yet there Buchanan is, the long time ultra conservative bomb thrower, authoritatively stating that Democratic superdelegates should not move for Obama, based upon a positively inane Clinton campaign talking point. Rachel Maddow actually has good liberal credentials and more credibility on matters which concern Democrats than Buchanan will ever have, but Buchanan tries to convince the audience that Maddow is misreading the Democratic primary. Just for good measure, Buchanan goes back to his glory days as a cold warrior speech writer, and calls Maddow's dialect Marxist... which really has no meaning but sure sounds all patriotic!

Then there is the wrong headed and oft repeated anti-Obama point by Joe Scarborough which has Joe asserting that what Obama has faced to this point is child's play. In fact Joe has taken to calling Obama a whiner of late because Joe considers a tough campaign to be Kerry swiftboating or McCain in the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary. Those certainly are examples of dirty campaigning, BUT... can there possibly be a more insidious and underhanded campaign smear tactic in today's political environment than to start a whisper campaign that Obama is a secret Muslim? I mean being an openly practicing Muslim would disqualify him from serious consideration for the Presidency, but accusing him of harboring a secret devotion to Islam, a veritable Manchurian candidate with the secret desire to surrender us to our implacable enemy... that is not real dirty beanball? Honestly? Just as a bit of an aside on what is or isn't tough campaigning, let me note that the whole Jeremiah Wright flare up wasn't exactly softball either.

Republicans hyping Clinton when they have no real desire to see her elected is not the only reason I'm feeling a bit on edge today. I'm angry at Pennsylvania for voting for a candidate who told the world six days prior to the vote that she was an admitted liar. The mud which has been flung at Obama mainly has to do with stuff which really has no bearing on his ability to lead the nation. No one I'm aware of has accused Obama of being a flat out liar. I mean what could possibly be more important than the integrity of the candidate. Yet somehow Reverend Wright and a mangled quote about small town America are worse than a bald faced admission from Clinton that she is a liar, plain and simple. Oh yeah... don't forget he's a freaking horrible bowler, which means it is somehow ok to vote for someone who doesn't mind telling the world that she is a straight up liar.

Here's another thing that has me on the verge of throwing a tantrum and demanding that Pennsylvania Democrats turn in their voter registrations. They have validated the filthy rotten stinking campaign being run by Clinton and now we can expect the fetid monstrosity she has wrought on our party to live on for at least two more weeks. Thanks to Pennsylvania Democrats, Republicans around the nation rejoice as they prepare to harvest an abundant crop of anti-Obama talking points for mass consumption in the general election from the fields being planted and tended by the Clinton campaign.

So try as I might, I can't flip the switch for my own cognitive dissonance. The results of the Pennsylvania primary have strengthened the Clinton campaign, damaged the Democratic party and I don't see anyway of putting lipstick on that pig.

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