Late this afternoon, I was reminded of this immortal line uttered by Billie Burke (Glinda, Good Witch of the North) to the Wicked Witch of the West (the inimitable Margaret Hamilton).
Hillary Clinton, you better take note after your poisonous intimation today that Barack Obama might be assassinated like Robert F. Kennedy in June, 1968, and you'd need to step in and assume the nomination. "Beyond the pale" doesn't begin to describe the downright toxic behavior (say, during this whole campaign) Hillary Clinton has demonstrated over the past few months, and which culminated with this reprehensible remark.
This vile piece of sociopathic projection has, fortunately, gotten a lot of media coverage tonight, but if you haven't seen the video yet, Huffington Post has it up here. This casual, off the cuff "freudian slip" (as if you can wear one of those things under a pantsuit?) made to the editorial staff of a South Dakota newspaper literally hit me like a punch in the solar plexus. And I'm still not over it. It is the ultimate last (beyond the last one) straw cementing my divorce from anything even remotely related to the Clintons. Yes, I railed on them in an earlier post last month, and since then, my feelings have only hardened into lifelong loathing for them now for what they have done to the Democratic party, all in the name of their own lust to power. It is, as Keith Olbermann said tonight in a Special Comment about Hillary Clinton, just plain unforgivable. And that arrogant, hubristic pseudo-apology issued later only "adds insult to injury," said Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. She offered some lukewarm sop to the Kennedys, while issuing the usual "if anyone was offended, I regret ... blah blah" claptrap that the Republicans have committed to memory so well. Not once did she mention Barack Obama, or as Keith Olbermann noted, "the entire American People" for re-opening this particular wound.
My childhood was seemingly filled with assassinations ... JFK when I was in kindergarten ... and that fateful year of 1968 when it seemed the world went crazy and we lost, in rapid succession, Malcolm X earlier in 1965, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. The reason I still tear up at that thought of Kennedy is that in 1968 I was politically aware enough to know that he was bringing hope and a sense of renewal to our battered country ... and I saw all the footage on TV, which has since been seared on my brain. I wept, as yet another man offering to change the course of the nation had his life snuffed out by some unhinged person. I've been seeing some eerie parallels with 1968 this year, and it makes me more than a little bit uneasy about our prospects of even having a valid election this year. But that's a whole 'nother post I'll spare you.
The point I really want to make is, that lately, I've been seeing a disturbing pattern emerge with high profile people floating the trial balloon that there might be an attempt on Obama's life. Yes, Mike Huckabee can use his aw shucks it was just a joke defense, but the fact remains that he put it out there, and in a sense gave it life. After all, he was addressing the NRA when he let loose with that sickening attempt at levity. I don't care which candidate you support, the point is: this stuff is just not within the bounds of civilized discourse during a political campaign. Period. You don't just go around making jokes about shooting political candidates. Period. You can bet that had some ordinary schmo said this on camera, on national television, about the $hrub or Darth Cheney, they'd have been staring down some bars in the big house in record time. It constitutes a veiled inference to incite violence, and that's a line that no politician should ever dare to cross. As Olbermann said tonight, that is the "third rail of American politics" that should not, under any circumstances, be violated. And he's right.
As William S. Burroughs wrote, Language is a virus, and the very action of setting a virus loose in the general population is an invitation to disaster. And that is precisely what Huckabee and Clinton have done, and in the latter case, repeatedly. She has stoked the smoldering fires of racism in West Virginia, and just this week Kentucky (states she 'won' and are unlikely to vote Democratic this fall, anyway ... the same argument she has leveled repeatedly at Obama, you know, in those states that 'don't count' like Iowa).
My second thought, after summoning up Glinda's admonition was, Will someone please drop a house on her, now? She has broached the bounds of acceptable political discourse one time too many, and she should take full responsibility for such a hateful and irresponsible comment. She knew full well what she was (in all likelihood desperation) putting out there, and anyone who continues to buy her more than six week old putrid tripe is, in my estimation, a fool. If those are the positions you support, then you should vote for McBush, because with this unhinged and increasingly detached from reality creature, you're getting pretty much the same bill of goods.
But I should at least mention the third item that really cemented this current meme in my mind, so here it is. In a suburban Atlanta paper, the Roswell Beacon, the cover story this week was entitled White Fright and pictured Barack Obama in the crosshairs of a rifle. Jason Linkins, over at Huffington Post wrote an eye opening piece that raises some very unsettling questions about the campaign to come. Thanks again, Hillary, for poking that hornets' nest of racist sentiment in the South. And, if you can stomach the utterances of some of her West Virginia voters, go take a look at NPR's report here (h/t Carpetbagger Report's Steve Benen). It will likely turn your stomach to think that people in this day and age can still utter such hateful nonsense.
We have a lot of healing that must take place in this country before we can even begin putting things back into a more sane perspective. Let alone respecting the Constitution and restoring our lost civil rights swept aside by $hrub and the $hrub Crime Family in control for much of the last 20 years. And fueling the violent fantasies of some elements in our society is not a good way to start. I'm talking to you, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of those hate mongers who espouse essentially the same mindset (Huckabee, you too, just go away and shut up!).
Yes, I've been outraged tonight, but it's the culmination of watching the past eight years go by with a continual degradation of our bedrock Constitutional principles sent to the proverbial toilet and duly flushed that has me most enraged. I just don't recognize the country I was brought up to revere and cherish. We have been overtaken by the pod people and I just fervently wish that people will wake up and do something to correct it before it's too late.
Barack Obama is offering us hope, a change in the status quo and a new political paradigm. Hillary Clinton offers us regression to the politics of fear and personal annihilation, and I'm more than willing to give him his chance at greatness. Something tells me that he might actually pull it off. And for that alone, SHE must be relegated to the 'also ran' category now. You've got at least a dozen forks in you now, you're done. Just go away and let the healing begin.