In view of unfolding events this prophetic article is repeated.
Originally published on February 19th 2008
There is no pleasant or easy way of commenting on the behaviour and paucity of ethics being displayed by one of the two remaining party’s seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to contest the November general election for the office of the President of the United States of America.
Of course, I am referring to the unprincipled political philosophy and practice of the Clintons and their operation as a rampaging tag team. An approach I term as “Clintonism” for want of a better name. Who knows, it might even catch on one day to mean nasty things! It certainly does at present! Then I’ll have my 15 seconds of fame, all thanks to Bill and Hillary! I’m sure they won’t mind, they are already famous. But then so was Richard Nixon!
“Clintonism”. ”Winning at any and all costs and the devil take the hindmost”. I simply cannot see how that style of politics is going to solve America’s problems, win a general election for the Democrats, or restore the faith of the American people in their government. ”What a subject, I’ve only scribbled three paragraphs, and I’m already depressed”. However seeing we are trying to get a decent man ensconced in the White House – I will hurry on! The things we do for love!
As the pressure in the contest between Clinton and Obama mounts, Clintonism and its murky forces have been unleashed to bare their ugly intent. They never intended to play fair in the first place! By their rules, there are no rules. They will do whatever it takes to ensure there is no chance of an Obama victory. An outcome never really considered a possibility 12 months ago. So much for the media? They had decided the Clinton was getting the nomination and left it at that. Some “experts” were still in denial about Obama’s chances as late as Super Tuesday. Not enough homework and too many long lunches!
Shocked and now desperate beyond belief at the rise and relentless rise of Obama, the pressures on the Clinton campaign are now immense. This is truly do or die stuff as they struggle to reassure their financial backers, the lobbyists and money men from big business. It’s a matter of public record that key Clinton campaign staff have recently jumped ship and cash is at a premium.
Earlier this month, Hillary Rodham Clinton as she prefers to be known, announced that she was “loaning” $5 million to her campaign. When a young and very much on the ball reporter asked how she had accquired so much money, she delivered the classic “Clintonism” response. “From my Bank account” she replied, and then promptly refused to answer any more questions. There’s transparency for you!
In recent days, newspapers have published stories of Clinton campaign bills not being paid since November 2007, and of calls from frustrated creditors in pursuit of payment not being returned. Let’s hope those creditors aren’t Democrats! Even Obama will be flat out winning them back after their up close and personal taste of Clintonism.
Yet the Clintons themselves appear unconcerned about the damage they are doing to their Party and the reputation of the United States, so long regarded as the bastion of free democracy around the world. For heavens sake, that’s why France gave America the Statue of Liberty, in grateful recognition.
I suspect that one day history will record this campaign as the Clinton’s political Waterloo. A campaign and a strategy clearly driven by their lust for power; and not in any way as a result of a genuine desire to serve and care for people. The voting public are beginning to understand this. Especially when they see with their own eyes, that the Clintons’ are prepared to do and say anything to win the nomination. As we speak, the Clinton policy of take no prisoners and win at any cost has reached its virtual point of no return. Hampered by a dull, policy weak and unimaginative campaign desperation has now gripped Camp Clinton, where previously, omnipotence reigned supreme.
The strategy now is to sack every principle, call in past markers from the media and burn every bridge of credibility behind them in a last ditch attempt to hopefully stay viable until the convention in Denver. It’s a mantra of whatever it takes! Forget ethics and a fair contest. All excess baggage to be ditched, especially when the campaign ship feels like it might be going down.
If they make Denver, their machiavellian last resort will revolve around being saved by a combination of the unbelievable and undemocratic concept of Super Delegates and Party rules, which according to one Pro Clinton Senior DNC official quoted this week, provides for the possibility of admitting the results from both Florida and Michigan contrary to the original DNC decision. Simply outrageous. After what happened in Florida in the 2000 election, America would become the laughing stock of the world.
Don’t think us Australians are beyond a bit of skullduggery in politics either. In fact I think some of our elected ones could teach the Clintons a thing or two. The strategies of Clintonism remind me of the no holds barred and anything goes approach employed by the former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his cronies when fighting Australia’s 2007 Federal election in November.
It resulted in a devastating loss for John Winston Howard and his Liberal & National Party Coalition government after 10 years in office. In the end Mr Howard and his government were not just beaten, they were hammered and given a real demonstration of people power in action. When the smoke cleared, John Howard discovered he had managed a special place in history for himself. Such was the degree of angst, Howard had become only the second Australian Prime Minister since federation in 1901, to lose his seat in parliament. As fate would have it, it was the seat of Bennelong once again.
For those not familiar with Australian politics, John Howard and George W Bush shared a common war in Iraq and a genuine friendship. Bush called Howard a “Man of Steel” due to Howard’s enthusiastic support for Bush’s war. Australians know rubbish when they hear it! In the lead up to the election I referred to Mr Howard as the “Liberal Party Albatross”. That really got coverage. This is a copy of a letter published in the Australian Financial Review 8/11/07. A fortnight before the election.
PM to find role in history – and theatre
“In this historic election we are witness to the embarassing sight of a Prime Minister writhing in the death throes of office. During the past 18 months, John Howard has devolved into something resembling a Liberal Party Albatross. He has ignored his colleagues advice, lost our trust, misjudged the mood of the electorate, underestimated his opponent and now sounds like a broken record. Even William Shakespeare could not have penned a more pathetic political tragedy. Perhaps a budding David Williamson * will recognise the potential for Australian theatre audiences. John Howard always wanted a place in history. On his return to Sydney suburbia, he will find it!”
* David Williamson -the famous Australian playwright.
Kevin Rudd, the new leader of the Australian Labor Party at 50 years of age was 17 years younger than Howard. Labor ran on a platform of New Leadership. Their debates focused on the Past vs The Future and the brilliant younger man and former Australian diplomat fluent in Mandarin, had it all wrapped up after the first debate. The scenario in the US between Obama and Clinton is a mirror image of what we witnessed in Australia. We were clamouring for change but the government was not hearing the message.
When Obama finally meets McCain, it too, will be a debate about the Past Vs The future. Hillary Clinton needs to complete her term in the Senate and then quietly exit politics. It is time for change in America!