Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dear John.

I freely admit, you were not my man for most of 2004. I was a Kucinich supporter until convention, and for a long time afterward I couldn't bring myself to be enthusiastic about your campaign. John, let me be blunt: you ran a granny campaign four years ago. This isn't to say I didn't hold my nose and vote for you in November that year, but I knew you were weak as a presidential candidate. It was evident from the way you let the Republican Noise Machine slime your record in the U.S. Senate, in the way you let it tarnish your Vietnam war record. Hell, Chris Matthews did the bulk of the fighting for you on that one!

It wasn't as though you had to stand for that nonsense. You could have fought back, saying loudly and clearly that if an incumbent who can't even account for his own whereabouts during his champagne unit days in the Texas Air National Guard wants to call bullshit on your record he'd damned well better be man enough to fight his own battle instead of waging it through Karl Rove's friends.

It wasn't until I saw you clean the shrub's clock in the debates that my concerns about you began to evaporate. Watching you own that boy's pathetic ass on stage filled me with hope. I'd begun to let myself think -- perhaps foolishly, I knew deep down, but didn't let myself care -- that you were simply saving it all for when it really mattered, going toe to toe with the stammering, whiny little bitch that is Shrubya. You pummeled him into the floor boards. I was surprised the boy's Depends didn't leak all over the place, flooding the stage with his fear-generated ammonia stench. Edwards had pulled his weight, too, against the gargoyle. I wasn't so sure, but the boy behind the throne came off looking like the evil, cranky old piece of filth he is. And that turned a lot of people off. It was beautiful, man. Brilliant. Sure, the punditocracy couldn't bring itself to admit you'd won every debate, settling for calling it a draw. But we all knew who the victor was. You stood up on those stages and eviscerated the incumbent like a trained surgeon with a finely sharpened scalpel.

MAN, was I hoping on election night. But it all began to go sour. I stood in the campaign office that evening listening to the coverage on CBS, watching as Black voters complained that they had witnessed their votes recorded for the shrub on those Diebold machines. It was happening again, I knew it. But part of me still wanted to believe it wasn't over. Later, as I made my way around the campaign party downtown, I watched on the television as the results began to come in. You coming out ahead, only to watch in horror as your lead began to flip. My worst nightmare, I knew, had been confirmed. The shrub had stolen another election out from under us. But you had promised to "let every vote be counted," to fight for your victory to the bitter end. I believed, or wanted to believe, that you would keep your promise.

How wrong I was, how utterly disappointed. Even as revelation upon revelation came to light about how the vote was rigged, still you refused to challenge the electoral result. No, while John Edwards fumed and begged for you to do something, you had already made up your mind to give up. Your heart had never really been in the race, and you didn't want to go through what Gore did, being slammed down by the Supreme Kangaroo Court.

You let us down four years ago, John, and you've been letting us down ever since. You refused to filibuster Gonzales, Mukasey, or any other Bush appointee. You stood by and did nothing to fight the blank checks for the shrub's ill-gotten and monumentally bungled war. You stood up on a stage last year and did nothing but drone on in your usual monotone for "calm" as a student was brutally assaulted and tortured for daring the unthinkable: asking you questions! The horror!

And now you've let us down again, in perhaps the saddest display since your meek capitulation in 2004. You endorsed Obama, stabbing your former running mate in the back and proving once and for all that you are not a fighter for us; you're simply a bystander on the stage of life helping to throw it all away for us again.

You must know, by now, Obama's record does not match his fine rhetoric. Yeah, he came out criticizing the $87,000,000,000 blank check for the Iraq war. But for one supplemental, which he and Clinton had to be shamed into voting against, he has done his part to help this atrocious war run at full steam. Never mind that the steam engine is steadily breaking down, that we'll have to pull out sooner than anyone thinks. You must know, by now, his record on health care is a travesty of pro-corporate capitulating to the health insurance industry. You must also know, by now, his remarks dissing not only labor, but you and Al Gore as well. What were you thinking? Or were you thinking at all when you made your endorsement?

John, dear boy, you've demonstrated your irrelevance and poor judgment once again. No one who's anyone in politics takes you seriously anymore. If you're dumb enough to throw your support behind a guy who just a few weeks ago was trash-talking you, you deserve to remain in political oblivion.

Please don't take this personally. I'm sure you're a nice guy, and that the good people of Massachusetts are quite happy to have you right where you are. (I could be wrong, however; just ask 'Republican Joe' LIEberman.) But there comes a time in a political party's life when it realizes that sticking around in a stagnant relationship can only do more harm than good. It's not that you're a relic of the past, it's that you're weak and don't have good judgment. And 2008 is a year in which Democrats are looking for the opposite in a presidential candidate. I'm sure you and Obama will make a fine couple. But dude, seriously, word of friendly warning: you're not getting the VP slot. Your new man's going to break your heart just as you broke ours.

No comments: