With all the fear-mongering and 3 am ads to come between now and November, I don’t know if the country is smart enough to keep from having its buttons pushed. If we have brains enough to trust someone with intelligence and integrity to bring the best and brightest into government or will, like some abused wife, run back to the abuser out of fear of the unknown.
After 8 years of an abusive relationship with the dumbfuck-in-chief, the country is starved for actual leadership. But we’ve also been conditioned to live in fear. Having been bludgeoned with the notion that Islamo-fascists are hellbent on taking away our Ipods, the only one we trust to protect us is someone equally psychotic. And, like the reincarnation of Curtis LeMay, McCain has picked up the ball. Like grandpa with a hit of Cialis, he grits what, for argument’s sake I’ll say are his teeth, and starts that crazy blinking like he’s telegraphing the launch codes. You just know he’s itching to get in there are fuck up someone. And with all Hillary’s 3 am talk, at best, she’s been power-adjacent. The one arena in which she has been battle tested is in fighting the Republican hate machine which will shift into hyper drive the moment a democratic nominee is chosen, unleashing the dogs of war to discredit, dismiss, and dismantle their opponent.
As the campaign continues its descent down the low road the problem for Obama is that he’s caught in a double bind. If he jumps into the trough and gets dirty with the other two, then all his talk about sticking to the issues was just bullshit campaign rhetoric. If he actually tries to stay above it all, he’ll get too bloodied and ultimately look ineffectual and, sadly ironic as it is, not tough enough for the presidency. Clinton and McCain are so hungry for power by the time they’re done they’ll have Obama accused of snorting lines off the butt cheeks of madrassa boy scouts while making shady real estate deals with Bin Laden. Unless, of course, he changes the rules.
By that I mean making a pre-emptive move neither camp would ever consider. Pick a running mate. Now. And a Republican. Someone like Chuck Hagel. A respected senator with the pre-requisite military credentials, both as a veteran and as someone who’s worked for veteran’s rights. It would send a message that an Obama administration would be, from day one, bi-partisan. It would kneecap both the Hillary and McCain campaigns and blow away that idiotic 3 am spot logic, along with any further opposition claims of relative inexperience, assuaging the irrational fears of those who would be manipulated by Rep. King and others into thinking they wouldn’t be adequately protected. It would demonstrate true leadership and show that an Obama administration would be acting in the interests of the entire country. And there might actually be a real benefit when it comes to garnering support for legislation in the future. Actual bi-partisan support instead of the all-for-show claims of across-the-aisle reach-arounds.
This process will get nastier and more negative as time goes on. It will be all-fear, all the time. And it’s been proven that we are, as a people, unreflective enough, scared enough and, occasionally, stupid enough to fall for it. Obama can’t get trapped in their double bind. He has to make his campaign truly historic before “yes we can” becomes “well, we could’ve.”