I have insomnia, so I stayed up most of the night thinking and making this graphic that is both a pun and at the same time very apropos to describe the trivial way the Democratic race for the nomination has been portrayed: as a series of gaffes, laughs, smears, slanders and out-right, bold-faced lies.
Angry ministers. "Me So Pretty" Breck Girl allusions. Cackles. Billary. Asbestos laced pantsuits. "Menacing" middle names. Is he or isn't he a Muslim? Assassination fantasies. Sniper fire over Bosnian skies. Flag pins and patriotism. Sexism is worse than racism. Racism is worse than sexism. Ferraro. Steinem. The Weather Underground. Bitter-gate. Elitism. Geraldo dreams of black baby genius factories.
She's a monster. He's nothing but words.
Is this what things have come to?
For the most exciting election in a generation all the spats, missteps, misfires and misspeaking seem to be the obsession of a press corps and cynical populace bored by the perceived similarities of the candidates' stances.
The campaign for the Democratic nomination is a joke. And I don't mean that the voters are a joke or that the candidates are jokes, but to the system, the process and to the outsiders looking in, this is a joke. This is schadenfreude. To the jaundiced eye this is a menagerie of when ambition and ego collide.
Part of the flaw is the fact that there is no honor among politicians. Expediency is the rule of the day. Who's quarterbacking and who's piggybacking? If it's the Barack Obama train leaving the station, that will be the one they'll ride. But we can't get there without a laugh track and a fistful of statistics arguing who can't win what and where and white working class people as Hillary Clinton plots her next move in her quixotic bid for a nomination that is seemingly beyond her grasp.
God bless her cold, dark heart. She is truly The Thing That Won't Die. Cheering for her is almost like cheering for the gut sucking beast in Ridley Scott's "Alien." Making Barack Obama Sigourney Weaver in this scenario.
In politics no one can hear you scream.
I know I may be in the minority on this, but I don't think she actually wishes the most tortured of ill will on Barack Obama. I think she wishes that something, anything would surface to make him damaged goods. Invoking Robert F. Kennedy and his assassination by Sirhan Sirhan was more telling of how dire things are in Clinton Country. She's cranky. She's tired. She's fucking up.
It's everyone else's fault but my own. The rallying cry of the fatally ironic. The last refuge of the refuted.
In this Shakespearian melodrama, every player takes turns being the clown for the cameras. The pundits chew over the 24-hour surveillance courtesy of the World Wide Web. From boob tube to YouTube. This is point and click journalism. No investigation, no background check required. Whatever sounds good to the ear. Whatever tune can captivate the masses.
They can beat Hillary with the same Missy Elliott hot beat, rapping "She's a bitch!" over and over, then switch to marveling the perils of Barack's "naivety" and the drama of being the man with the permanent tan. They don't even flinch as they talk out of both sides of their neck, then let out their own cackles. Kick 'em while they're up. Kick 'em while they're down.
The only thing more annoying than this fixation on the trivial is the fact that so many people gobble up this garbage. A third of all voters believe Obama is a "secret" Muslim, as if a religion indicated one's intent. There's the non-stop coverage of Bill Clinton's word vomit. Video of John Edwards fluffing his hair as if everyone wasn't doing their same, working to look their best to impress eager voters.
"What does Hillary Clinton want?" Cries out Chris Matthews every night (while Clinton avoids him and his show). Most say a VP spot and that's why she remains swinging haymakers, racking up delegates and hammering home the point that Obama is weak among "Reagan Democrats," code for the white blue collar class that is less sophisticated, most resistant to Obama's halcyon calls for egalitarian change, most suspicious of the tan man.
Vote for the black guy? Surely you jest! He's scary. He has a funny name. His pastor and his wife hate America. And Israel. Or at least that's what FOX News keeps telling me. And CNN. And certain segments of MSNBC.
God bless American? No, no, no. Goddamn America. And two wars rage on. And the economy falters. And a crime wave sweeps American cities. And folks are siphoning the gas out of other people's tanks. Four houses on my block remain unsold and it's been more than a year for three out of the four that are on the market. I'm unemployed with no health care. Millions of others are unemployed with no health care.
But don't ask the candidates about us, the huddled broke unemployed war-weary masses. Please do continue making a farce, making fools out of us all. Make the monkeys dance for our delight. Watch them burn ever-so-bright then burn out.
They've crunched the numbers for Barack and it doesn't look good. There are too many leaks in the dike and not enough fingers. But when they say this, the following is what I hear:
The bitches and the niggers have fucked everything up! The laity cry out for a savior. A man who rose from the political dead to become a champion of the trees and the bees. Al Gore riding astride a steed like El Cid prepared to vanquish the Moors from Spain.
What we need right now is a white man! There was none of this Ferraro v. Brazille, Tina Fey v. Tracey Morgan, "Black on Bitch" violence when the white man ruled the roost. We need someone gender and race neutral! I don't see color when I see a white man. I just see a leader. The sort who doesn't raise these sort of hackles, these difficult questions about sex and race. Obviously this task is too difficult for a multitude of menopausal doyennes and Obama-aid drinkers. Look at the horrors they have caused, breaking apart a coalition white men worked so hard to forge.
And they said a child shall lead them. But would a white man do for you? Standing in a suit, so inoffensive and plain, the same as we've had before? No more fighting over who's time has come. No more calls for her to be done. No more "go back where you came from." Just the (always) chosen one. The only one who can lead and we would follow. Ambitions borrowed on promises of tomorrow. He said tomorrow your time will come.
But not today.
Spades and skirts are a joke. Their foibles make me smile. How can you take one so seriously, when they can't hide their inadequacy? Where is that golden child? I'm voting for John Edwards even though he's been out of the race for months. I'm building a bridge back to the twentieth century to play "Return of the King." I'm looking for that one ring, that one white man to rule them all.
My precious, my precious. I covet your banality. I covet your perceived normalcy. Your neutrality. Obviously this nomination was never meant for me. (Or any other harridan or black buck. We're bad luck!) Thank you Pat, Chris, Sean and Lou. For reminding me that only more of the same will do. It was naive of me to believe that we could move past this fallacy. We will shut the fuck up and accept our inferiority. We'll all just drop our trousers and bend over. We know the game. We're begging. Please fuck us all one more time.