Politcal Exhaustion: The Democratic Presidential Nominee Race

The Republican contest ended quite soon, and surprised many a pundit who wrote off Senator John McCain. The Democratic race, in contrast, is still going.

I wonder why.

If Senator Obama lost 20+ primaries / caucuses to 10+, and was trailing in popular votes and delegates, I’m sure he would have been asked to get out of the race for the sake of party unity. However, his opponent is Billary, so the fight will continue up to the Democrat convention.

I don’t consider all the gender and race conflicts breaking out amongst party loyalists to be serious. Most of it is media generated, because a long race makes the newspapers, magazines, cable and national networks lots and lots of money.

The line between celebrity and celebrity politician was crossed many decades ago. So those who complain about Senator Obama‘s recent celebrity and popularity, as if his support is negligible aren’t being honest. Billary is a celebrity too.

I’m pretty much done with following this race.

I find the ratcheting up of the “she who is greatly offended” brigade tiresome. The argument that Billary is being hammered, or not voted for because she is woman is a joke. She wouldn’t be able to run if she wasn’t a privileged white woman. Her husband is an ex-President. Billary‘s claiming that all his achievements are hers as well. If everything in the name of feminism is this twisted, what is the actual philosophy?

I also think Senator Obama‘s ardent supporters need to relax and have confidence in the man. He keeps his cool, which I admire. They should do the same.

Watching Pastor Jeremiah Wright (Trinity United Church of Christ) go off as he did was damaging and unnecessary. Was he jealous? I think the success of younger blacks bother some of their elders. It has to. Watching the young achieve heights that limited the older folks has to drive some of them batty. That’s no excuse, but that’s the only insight I could come up with.

All I’m saying is that Pastor Wright may be working off of an old, negative, angry, bitter and disappointed historical, social and personal template. He can’t or wont see that times have changed for the better. Let’s be real, it’s not great or perfect, but it can be fabulous in the future. However, refusing to acknowledge the positive changes in America is a failure on his part, not Senator Obama.

There is no easy way to become President of the United States of America.

Does anyone think achieving the most powerful job in the world would be a cakewalk? The person who occupies the White House literally has direct affect on the lives of millions, if not billions, of people. Ever notice how much it ages the occupant?

There’s no limit to what people will call a Presidential candidate or the President. I find the language used, regardless of party affiliation, Democrat or Republican regretful.

I think supporters of the Democratic nominee for President, be it a black man or a white woman will have to get used to the insults. It’s not fair, but think of all the names President G W Bush has been called. He has no political identity group that protects him on that basis alone. I understand that he is the standard / stereotypical powerful white male, but he is a human being with feelings.

As each individual (representing a political identity) group moves into a role of real power it cannot hold onto the mantel of victim. The insults on this person will be the norm. Perhaps in a twisted way, that is progress.


Politics: Republican Presidential Race

I finally watched the Republican presidential debate sponsored by PBS, moderated by Tavis Smiley. It was held at Morgan State University. Morgan is a historically black college. Debate was held September 2007. Thank goodness for the Internet, where I can watch this stuff at leisure.

More than a half-dozen Republicans are running for President.

A few media declared “front runners” refused to appear. They were as follows: Giuliani, McCain, Romney and Fred Thompson. Those that appeared were: Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, and Alan Keyes.

In case you haven’t heard of these guys, I’ll be brief: Giuliani was Mayor of NYC, McCain is a Senator from Arizona, Romney was Governor of Massachusetts and Thompson was Senator of Tennessee. He often works as an actor. Not much difference between an actor and politician. Mike Hucakee was Governor of Arkansas. Aside from Alan Keyes, the others are Representatives or Senators.

Speak for Yo’self

The debate started off with a long winded diatribe by Tom Joyner. I suppose he sees himself as something of a “black leader”. His syndicated radio program has a mostly black audience. So I can see where he feels he’s in touch with black public opinion.

However, I don’t care. I don’t need a front man, unless it’s a hired gun (lawyers, PR people, etc). I dislike people who act as if he is the voice of black America. Not for me. I want all these self-anointed “black leaders” to come with a disclaimer: I’m only speaking for myself.

His pedestrian speech and intellectual lameness was followed in same by the news media panel: Cynthia Tucker, Juan Williams and Ray Suarez. In a nutshell, they all asked: Minorities are helpless out-of-control little children. What will you do to fix the mess that they create? I’m using hyperbole, but I was surprised at how insipid the questions were.

The Republicans didn’t pander, which surprised me.

Huckabee was attractive. His jump in the polls is organic. He’s never been deemed “inevitable” by anyone. I think he genuinely appeals to people.

Ron Paul was off the hook. I understand where he’s coming from, but Americans love their entitlements, power, global status, and want more.

The other candidates didn’t front. They said what they felt; I respected them for it.

I know their positions get branded as racist in a number of quarters, but if that’s how they think – shrug. The reality is that they are our elected officials. African Americans, minorities, whomever, have to work within that context.

Politics is compromise and workarounds: even the Democrat George Wallace changed. During America’s Civil Rights era, Wallace vociferously wanted to keep blacks out of a white college, which had been desegregated.

My Last Point

In this race, and in the future, Republicans need black and other minority voters. Those who avoided the debate and deemed “front runner” will stumble.

The most appealing Republican will gain traction. This is the guy who has a history of blacks voting for him. Hopefully, he will continue to speak without resorting to condescension or pandering.