Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Ms. Clinton,

Let me preface this by saying that, if you gain the Democratic nomination, I will vote for you. However, if Mr. Obama is the one to make it to the final round, I will vote for him. But to tell the truth, based on your actions in these last few months, I will be happier to pull the lever for Barack Obama than for you.

I believe that you have the potential to be an excellent president. Whichever of you gets elected, I believe that our country will be placed on the road to recovery. Which is why I have to ask you to please stop the negative campaigning against Barack Obama.

When you attack Mr. Obama, you give ammunition to the McCain campaign, if the eventual result is Obama vs. McCain. Are you willing to risk our country's future with your "win at any cost" philosophy?

We have a failed experiment in nation-building, and a civil war that our presence is only inflaming, and we need to back out of that country as soon as possible. We have a collapsing economy that needs a firm hand on the tiller in order to recover. We need to rebuild our status with the rest of the world.

More importantly than that, there will most likely be at least one, and possibly two, openings in the Supreme Court within the next few years. And we need to ensure that another Harriet Miers doesn't end up deciding the future of our country.

Of late, Ms. Clinton, your campaign tactics resemble those used by Karl Rove. Is that a comparison that you enjoy? Is that something you feel you can be proud of?

Do you remember Richard Mellon Scaife? The millionaire who, according to insiders, was the leader of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" you mentioned during your husband's presidency?

Why are you granting interviews with Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where you show no forgiveness for Rev. Wright, despite (as Donna Brazile, one of the superdelegates who you are pinning your hopes on, points out) the fact that Wright, along with dozens of other religious leaders, was willing to attend the White House Prayer Breakfast on the eve of the Starr Report? Wright may have disapproved of your husband's actions, but he didn't turn his back on you.

The mirror image doesn't hold true, though. You disapprove of some of Wright's words, and in that interview, you turned your back on him. That doesn't sound like the action of a leader; it sounds like the action of a political opportunist.

As I said, either of you has the ability to make an excellent president. But of the two of you, only one is showing the restraint, the dignity, and the party loyalty that you expect out of a nascent president.

And more than that, Mrs Clinton, you also have to look at reality. Barack Obama has done something that you have not been able to do. Something that your husband was almost able to do, but in the end, he failed. Barack Obama is capable of doing something that John Kerry, as smart and principled as he may have been, stood absolutely no chance of doing.

Barack Obama has brought the youth into the electorate. And not just a few. He brought them in droves. He has pulled the disinterested, callow, superficial youths, a group driven only by the latest trends in electronics, in music, in body modification; and he has brought them into the body politic. And he has done this with something that is the polar opposite of every tactic that you have used.

He has done it with a message of hope.

Barack Obama, and his message of "yes, we can" has appealed to a generation and a culture that prides itself on cynicism. Young people who watched every episode of Jackass as if it were the Gospel of Saint Johnny on direct-to-cable release. The callow youths who have made Girls Gone Wild into a multi-billion dollar business. The thugs who buy ridiculously oversized jewelry and brag about drugs and fights and sex.

One out of every nine black men between 19 and 35 is in jail. And Barack Obama has just given black America a better role model than Tupac Shakur and 50 Cent.

And now, you are facing a choice. You can continue to follow the Karl Rove School of Politics, and perhaps beat Barack Obama by using every dirty trick that was ever pulled on you, by brokering back-room deals and compromising every principle that you once thought you had, and guess what you'll do?

You will prove to that newly-integrated voting populace that it is, like they thought, a rigged game. A C-O-N-Spiracy. Brother can't catch a break. The game is rigged, and you might as well not play, because you're going to lose.

You will show those same young people that they were right all along. Would that make you proud, Ms. Clinton?

And you are many things, Ms. Clinton, but very few would say you are "inspiring." By all accounts, you failed even to inspire your staff. (Why is Ms. Solis-Doyle no longer working for you again?)

You keep saying how important your experience is, Ms. Clinton. You say that you know what to do when that Red Phone rings at 3:00 a.m. That you'll be ready from Day One. But let's be honest.

Yes, Barack Obama is a one-term Senator from Illinois, your home state. But you are a two-term Senator from New York. And he, at least, spent three terms in the Illinois State Senate.

And I'm sorry to be the one to point this out, Ms. Clinton, but when you claim that your experience as First Lady prepares you to be President, you are, in essence, saying that the head cheerleader could run a perfect game, because she was there when the plays were being decided.

You claim that you have a better grasp of global politics because you were there when the hard decisions were being made. And you claim that you were under fire in Bosnia... oops. Sorry. I guess Sinbad was right about your memories of that particular trip.

(Oh, yeah, and on top of that, you claim to care about the troops, but you inflicted Sinbad on them? How could you?)

But apparently, Ms. Clinton, you weren't there for every decision that Bill made, were you? It seems like Bill made at least a few of his decisions without your input, didn't he?

Do you own a blue dress, Ms. Clinton?

So, Barack Obama has a similar pool of political experience to draw from, he's more inspiring than you seem capable of being, and he is running a more "honorable" campaign (if that word can be said to mean anything any more) than you.

I am not saying that you need to pull out of the race. Certainly, you have as much right as Mr. Obama to try and be elected President of the United States.

However, for the sake of the American people, for the sake of the Democratic Party, and perhaps for your own peace of mind (assuming that you still have any of those noble ideals that I suspect you held in your youth), I would ask that you stop the divisiveness.

Stop the arguing, the sniping, the insults that are causing such hard feelings among your fellow Democrats. Act for the good of our Party. Act for the good of our country.

There's more at stake here than just your chance at the presidency.

Thank you for your time.

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