Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Let's talk about Polarizing

It's Super Tuesday and I voted already, in Massachusetts, for Hillary. Commentators condemn her by reflex and then they say it is her fault the Republicans are horrible. (See Frank Rich in NY Times last Sunday). She's a Karl Rove and will empower Karl Rove. She fights too much. What else? Oh she's Oldpolitick, and there really is a new Obamadawn breaking.

Obama's OK, he just hasn't done that much. The pristine reformer has taken big contributions from Exxon and he has fudged on his legislative record on mandated reporting of nuclear leakage. But let's not talk about facts; just consider being reviled and so forth.

Being hated might be part of the presidential job description. Abraham Lincoln was depicted as a hairy ape by political cartoonists. His life was considered in so much danger from his enemies that he disguised himself as a woman to take the train to his inauguration. In this century Republicans grew apoplectic at "that man in the White House," FDR. He started income tax and socialistic work programs, even for writers and artists. Our two greatest presidents were greatly hated.

Then there are the Kennedy brothers. In his lifetime JFK was said to be a tool of the "Kennedy machine" funded by his father's rum-running fortune. He may have owed his presidency to Chicago mayor Richard Daley's corruption of some voting results. He was hated for appointing his "ruthless" brother Bobby as Attorney General. At the time the press didn't report it, but he brought women-not-his-wife into the White House for sex. Then JFK presided over the Bay of Pigs fiasco and followed the advice of the "best and the brightest" to start us up in Vietnam. As for the youngest Kennedy brother, any mention of Teddy in the conservative media for years consisted of a noun a verb and Chappaquidick.

Lopsided reviling? For doing good or for omitting to do good? Take your partisan pick. That's what's going on with journalists and the Clintons and you know it. It's so easy, so fun.


Anonymous Sarah said...

Dear Pru,

I read your blog daily without fail. You express yourself so well and usually with a twist! It's great writing. I just wanted you to know that you have a loyal fan.

Love, Sarah

5:28 PM  

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