Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Barack Obama needs independents to take on the Clintons

John Kerry, who has endorsed Barack Obama, warns of the "disgusting lies about Barack Obama that are being circulated by email. These attacks smear Barack's Christian faith and deep patriotism..." He calls it "Swiftboating". Tom Daschle and others have formed a "South Carolina Truth Squad" to fend off Clinton attacks. Daschle says the kind of back-biting we saw last night in the CNN/Congressional Black Caucus debate from Myrtle Beach will "destroy the party". The Democratic Party, that is.

Well, that's only true, it seems to me, if you think that the Democratic Party belongs to the Clintons. They surely think so. You have to give it to Bill, though. He's so passionate about holding onto the Democratic Party and the White House for himself, that he's willing to run around the country making a complete ass out of himself. (Oh, that's right -- nothing new there.... In fact, maybe his White House parlor games while in office made some of us forget that he high-tailed it back to Arkansas during his 1992 campaign to oversee the execution of a mentally ill black man.)

If this is a fight over the Democratic Party, I would urge my partisan brothers and sisters to resist. I think there's a bigger fight to be had. It's a fight over the direction the country is going. It's a fight over whether the party establishment (of whichever party) or the American people are going to determine policy. That's the fight that Obama is supposedly leading. Will he get enough support for that fight from within the Democratic Party? We'll see. In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt for him to reach out more seriously to independents.

Independents welcome that fight.

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