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Barry Crimmins

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political satirist Barry Crimmins

Snake Eyes Friday, November 16, 2007

Snake Eyes
The presidential election is less than a year away so I'm now catching occasional debates- which is to say every fifteenth or sixteenth of these get-togethers. I watched last night's Las Vegas Democratic dust-up. The media watched, too, and is trumpeting word that Hillary Clinton got tough and put away her opponents. All I saw was Clinton turn on a fog machine whenever things got anywhere near specific and occasionally call anyone who criticized her a de facto Republican. But since the earth didn't crack open and suck her into a flaming abyss as she woodenly delivered gag-inducing lines like "I'm not playing, as some people say, the gender card here in Las Vegas. I'm just trying to play the winning card."  the corporate media wags are again crowning her as invincible and inevitable.

I'm sorry but I won't be stampeded into believing my country should be run by anyone who would say anything that corny. This remark was planned. Her people decided it was a good idea for her to say it. There was a meeting and her handlers came in and announced-- "Have we got a line for you! It's perfect for Vegas!" And then they unfurled that turgid, completely unfunny vapidity. And then she loosed her patented fake laugh and agreed to use it!  After she delivered it with all the verve of a mannequin, we were supposed to believe that she was so quick-witted that she thought it up on the spot. We were supposed to see her as a warm, human and humorous ad-lib artist. My fellow citizens, just how obvious does an insult have to become before you take offense?

A very vocal element of the Vegas crowd began booing whenever any other candidate held Clinton's record up to the light. Just a week after Hillary displayed her green thumb by planting a question at an Iowa rally, are we supposed to believe that these outbursts were spontaneous ? Give me a break, it was Vegas and she's the establishment's candidate out there. You don't suppose things were rigged a bit in the house's favor, do ya?

On a night when her strategy was to call any critic a dirty Republican, the crowd booed  and hissed several times when such criticism arose. In post-debate analysis, the talking heads respectfully discussed  Hillary's tough rejoinders and then they noted the crowd's vocal disrespect to Clinton criticism. They treated these two things as separate and organic events. Then an ad came on for a fishing pole the size of a pen and we were supposed to buy that, too.

According to a recent poll, many New Hampshire and Iowa Democrats feel Hillary Clinton is their party's "most electable" candidate. Why not just take out ads that say "OK, shit for brains Americans, we've decided that because you are so ridiculously useless, the best we can possibly hope for is this mealy-mouthed, equivocating, bought and paid for, coward whenever political gumption is needed, stiff, legacy candidate."

Voting cynically in a primary is a plan as flawed as skipping youthful idealism so that you can get a jump on your career as a corporate drone. Why practice doing something reprehensible?  Why sit in a cubicle before you have to?

I'm sorry, Dems but the Anyone But Bush Days are over because Bush is ending. Needless to state, I will never support or vote for a Republican, but I'm telling you right now--I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. Ever. Don't embarrass yourself by trying to change my mind. There are an awful lot of people like me out here. So if you're supporting Clinton in the primaries or caucuses to be pragmatic, please remember that half the country already says it will not vote for her. And she's the most electable Democratic candidate? Stop insulting your party!  If you ignore my warning, don't blame me if the Republicans win a close election in 2008. Don't outsmart yourself by compromising on a candidate that millions of people will never, ever vote for.  Examine the candidates and select the one you feel best represents your views. Unless your views are vague and ever-shifting, that candidate will not be Hillary Clinton.

She has so much money because THE money is behind her. "Regular Americans" supporting candidates because they're great at raising millions are like deer admiring guys in orange vests for being crack shots. Clinton is a cynical, insincere, question-planting, fraud of a candidate. If we don't stop her before she takes the Oval Office, I truly fear she'll hold onto vast amounts of the power Bush and Cheney have concentrated in the executive branch and then tell us that we can trust her because she's doing it for our own good.

And speaking of gender cards, Hillary may be female but she is where she is because she'll happily do the patriarchy's bidding. She has no more claim to matriarchal sensibility than a woman CEO of a munitions corporation. It's Mother Earth or Father Land and Hillary Clinton's voting record makes it clear which team she plays on.

To summarize: if you're thinking voting for Clinton in a primary is a good pragmatic move, think again. She's the best chance the Republicans have of holding a White House they should have never been allowed in seven years ago. (MORE)

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But enough Hillary. Senator Obama carried a few billion gallons of polluted water for his corporate bosses to Las Vegas and it's a feat that shouldn't be overlooked.

Last July in Counterpunch, Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank reported, "The Obama campaign, as of late March 2007, has accepted $159,800 from executives and employees of Exelon, the nation's largest nuclear power plant operator."

With that in mind is this exchange from last night's debate any surprise?

MR. ROBERTS: Want to explore the energy issue for a moment here because it's been of particular importance to the state. Senator Obama, the price of oil is flirting with the $100-a-barrel mark right now, making all the more urgent the need for alternate fuel forces. You support nuclear energy as a part of the plan for the future, but there is an issue of what to do with the waste. You are opposed to the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository about 90 miles from here. Your state uses about -- gets about 48 percent of its power from nuclear compared to 20 percent for most other states.

Yet you are opposed to bringing nuclear waste from other states and keeping it in Illinois.

The question is, if not in your backyard, whose?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, as I've said, I don't think it's fair to send it to Nevada, because we're producing it. (Applause.)

So what we have to do is, we've got to develop the storage capacity based on sound science. Now, laboratories like Argonne in my own home state are trying to develop ways to safely store nuclear waste without having to ship it across the country and put it in somebody else's backyard. But keep in mind that I don't think nuclear power is necessarily our best option. It has to be part of our energy mix.

We have a genuine crisis that has to be addressed and as president, I intend to address it, and here's what we have to do. We have to, first of all, cap greenhouse gases, because climate change is real. And it's going to impact Nevada and it's impacting the entire planet. (Cheers, applause.)

That means that we're going to have to tell polluters, we are going to charge you money when you send pollution into the air, that's creating climate change. That money we can then reinvest in solar, in wind, in biodiesel, in clean coal technology and in superior nuclear technology.

MR. BLITZER: All right. Senator, until there's some new technological breakthrough, as you would hope and all of us would hope, where do you send the waste?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, right now it is on site in many situations, and that is not the optimal situation, Wolf. But don't keep on assuming that we can't do something. I mean, this is about the third time where you said, "assuming we can't do it, what's our option?"

MR. BLITZER: Well, until we -- until we do it.

SEN. OBAMA: Well, but I'm running for president because I think we can do it. (Cheers, applause.)


That's the spirit! Give him 159 grand and there's nothing the man can't do! There's nothing a little good old fashioned boosterism can't remedy!

And he actually used the term "clean coal".  He starts off with some loss-leader alternative energy lip service but his bottom line consists of "clean coal and superior nuclear power" And then he wrapped it all up with mythological American exceptionalism: I'm running for president because I think we can do it.

Do what, Senator? Get hoodwinked by politicians owned and operated by those who would savage and irradiate the earth for the sake of profiteering? Clean coal?? Superior nuclear technology???  Goodbye and good luck to you.

updated: 14 years ago