Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, John Kerry, Barack Obama . . . remember those guys?
Those poor guys never had a chance. (Well, Carter had half a chance.) Good guys, all, intelligent, affable, cooperative. Somehow, though, they thought that it was ok to go unarmed into a back ally knife fight. Let the other guys fight dirty, they say, let the other guy smuggle a pistol to a fist fight, I have principles, they say, I won’t let myself be dragged down to their level.
Reasonable guys, all, but reason is of no assistance when caught alone on a dark street and confronted by a gang of drunken hooligans who want to roughly explain to you that you are dressed like a fag.
Generally speaking, Democrats are from Venus and Republicans are from Mars, and Martians win that fight every time. Where can you find a Lyndon Johnson when you need one? He was a Martian, that one. Hang your children on hooks if he had to. The Clintons are Martians in Venusian clothing. But those guys named in the head paragraph? Babes in the dark, ghostly woods. They didn’t have a chance.
Mr. Obama would be a good president, if he were given the chance. Unfortunately, all of the planets and every force in the universe are aligned against him. The American media, American churches, American cultural biases, all of the agencies of the Federal Government, the American President, the Republicans (the only effective American political party), half of the Democratic Party, all of these power centers are against him. Now even the Russians weigh in against him, bringing Cold War memories to the forefront at a most inopportune moment. And who then is on Mr. Obama’s side in this? The French and Germans, some other foreigners, one half of the disastrously weak Democratic Party, and the handful of politically progressive American citizens. Kind of one sided, isn’t it?
Maybe Mr. Obama will take the gloves off after the convention. Seize the initiative and keep it, keep the pressure on, full court press, explain in no uncertain or polite terms just what a horror a McCain presidency would be. The Supreme Court issue alone is a deal-breaker for the Republicans. September and October: the curse of interesting times, as the Chinese say. I wish us all luck.