A white man, a white woman, and a half-white/half-black man, the US presidential candidates, have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars to rent the White House for four years in order “to serve the people.” (For another term, the lease money would be raised depending on the corporate owned media rates.) From each party, only one candidate could make it and so the woman is out.
A black woman (Cynthia McKinney) and other candidates are outside the tunnel vision of the corporate media and so most of the people are unaware of them.
Out of the many issues raised, the two that prompted me to write are “two-for-one” and “experience.”
Many people I came across, when asked if they’ll vote for Clinton, were reluctant to go for Hillary because of their fear of getting Bill as part of the deal. During his presidential campaign in 1992, Bill Clinton quipped: If you elect me, you also get Hillary. That is, “two for the price of one.”
Nothing’s Wrong in Getting Two-for-One
There are only three things that can happen:
In the first case, let’s say the president is a warmonger and is endowed with a spouse who is of similar nature, too. With this explosive combo, the war/s—one of the most important rituals every US president has to perform—either overt or covert, would be waged with twice the speed. Also, the forces and weapons would be doubled and thus the war would probably end—if that is the goal—in half the time.
Won’t it be better for the United States, and especially the world?
In the second scenario, the president is not that aggressive—which is a rarity—but the spouse is ferocious. In that situation, the country would be at a disadvantage, if the spouse is able to push the president into war.
Our last scenario has a violent president but whose spouse prefers peace. This is the circumstance where, the spouse can have, if that spouse has any influence on the other partner, some calming effect.
Spouses such as Abigail Adams (1744-1818) (wife of second president John Adams, whom the critics called “Mrs. President”) and Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) (wife of president Frank Delano Roosevelt or FDR), who were liberal, intelligent, and independent women, can be great assets to their husbands.
And who needs an advising spouse when you have a vice president, like Dick Cheney, behind your back.
If Laura Bush had any influence over her husband, she would have told him long ago: “Hey Georgie, listen! It’s the fifth year of your presidency, stop this wars and think of getting a Nobel Peace Prize; create another peace façade in the Middle East by raising false hope of “homeland” for the Palestinians.”
Instead of Laura Bush, imagine if Hillary Rodham Clinton, the warrior queen, was the other half of George Bush. As a First Lady, Clinton would have supported—whole heartedly, as she did in 2003—the war but would have advised a quick obliteration of Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of 2005, she would have asked him to sober up from the power-intoxication and start cleaning up the mess. Once out of office, Bush would have become the youngest “elder statesman.”
So there’s nothing to worry about getting “Two-for-One;” it doesn’t make much difference. Besides, which president is not going to consult the other partner, or that partner is not going to offer free advice to the spouse-president, unless their relations are strained.
How much experience one needs to be a president of the United States? None whatsoever. It is hard to imagine Bush as president if one would have watched his 1999 interview with WHDH-TV’s Andy Hiller in which he was unable to name Pakistan’s president. However, since September 2001, Pakistani leader has become one of his best buddies—of course; the friendship was initiated at a gunpoint. (The other leaders he couldn’t name were Chechnya’s President Aslan Maskhadov and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of India (the second most populous and a very important country). He could remember the first name of Taiwan’s President Lee Teng-Hui. Not just the names; his understanding of international affairs then wasn’t any better.
Today the whole world shudders at the name of Bush. And isn’t it what the US ruling class strives for that the world should fear its leader and comply with US demands of any sort?
The experience issue was raised, especially by Clinton, in relation to Barak Obama, that he is a novice in field of foreign affairs. The way it was portrayed was as if he alone was going to run the country. There are always plenty of Karl Roves around every leader. (Rove was known as “Bush’s Brain.”) You don’t even need Rove when Israel’s agents, in the garb of the Jewish Lobby, are there to teach, more correctly, thrust up your throat the only foreign policy that matters—the interests of Israel, many a times at the expense of the United States.
A Few Suggestions
You should work out some deal with Obama and accept the vice presidency. With that office, obliterating Iran would be a piece of cake. <1> Without doubt, you’ll be exerting more influence than Cheney. And even then, if the craving doesn’t end, you could ask Mr. Clinton to send one of his white female friends to the White House and blame it on the black man’s sexual prowess. (This myth has a long history going back to the slave era.) It would be much better and morally more appropriate than sending your opponent on the way to Robert Kennedy. <2>
In less than a year, your dream would come true. In addition to the three years, you’ll get two terms as elected president. Eleven years! After FDR, you’ll be the first person to get more than eight years.
(By the way, my nephew, who has few more years before he’s eligible to vote, accompanied me for voting and suggested that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama should become the president and vice president or vice versa.)
Hopes have the power to be audacious when the circumstances have changed drastically or the person aiming for it is a revolutionary. You are not a revolutionary and the things haven’t changed in the United States. In just one sentence, Alexander Cockburn perceptively sums up your politics: “As a presidential candidate the only politically unorthodox item on Obama’s record is that he has a black skin.” <3>
As an author of “The Audacity of Hope,” you’re so blinded by the ultra whiteness of hope—that is, the White House—that you can’t see the racism that is peeking through the prison population, economic inequality, the broken inner cities, the financially starved schools, the uninsured people, misery of Palestinians, and several other things.
You know damn well that when 67% of the population in the US is white, you can’t be the first black person to be in the White House if you open your mouth about discrimination and disparity. The only hope of the wretched that would be fulfilled, if you’re elected, would be a change of color in White House. It would be a symbolic satisfaction, because sooner or later, they’ll come to know where your loyalty lies. It won’t make much difference if you go for the Michael Jackson skin tone.
Your talk, temperament, and an appetite for occupation makes you a Bush Whopper. President Bush doesn’t mind staying in Iraq for “50 years;” you’re quite ahead of him; you want to stay for “100 years.” And there’s nothing wrong in it. The United States has been occupying some or other land since—and also prior to—its birth.
Your reasoning: “We’ve been in Japan for 60 years, we’ve been in South Korea for fifty years or so. That’d be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” <4>
And your response to a question about Iran, “that old Beach Boy song, ‘Bomb Iran, bomb, bomb, bomb,’” says a lot about the next four or eight years. <5>
The best thing for you would be to choose the former New York mayor and presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani as your running mate. You can stay (and fight) for 100 years and an occasional repercussion would allow Giuliani to show his emergency handling talents and be in the limelight, once in a while.
Now that the final contest is black versus white, the racists will have a field day till the beginning of November, and onward, if Obama becomes the next president. Obama’s own party people have not spared him, as Jeffery St. Clair points out:
“For the dull-witted, Clinton’s surrogates are sent out … Obama used cocaine (Bob Johnson). Obama’s middle name is ‘Hussein’ (Bob Kerrey). Obama is a master of ‘shuck and jive’ (Andrew Cuomo). Obama is another Jesse Jackson (Bill Clinton). Obama’s story is a fairy tale (ditto). And, most recently, Geraldine Ferraro told the Los Angeles Times that Obama is a ‘sexist’ (most black men are, right?) and she won’t vote for him if he is the nominee.”
St. Clair then summarizes it into un-politicized English: “Obama is a drug abuser, a huckster, a secret Muslim, a con artist and a misogynist. And that’s without dragging [Obama’s former pastor] Jeremiah Wright into the scenario.” <6>
By the time the election is over, Obama himself will start feeling that he is a Muslim ….
B. R. Gowani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
<1> Israel has about 100 nuclear weapons, whereas Iran has none.
A couple of weeks back, former president Jimmy Carter put the figure at 150.
Hillary was asked by ABC’s Chris Cuomo: “What would you do if Iran launched a nuclear attack on Israel?” Her response: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran.” “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”
Hillary’s response was reprehensible but so was Cuomo’s question. When it comes to Middle East, most of the US politicians and the media people are sick and so are in ICU, that is, Israeli Care Unit. They know, if they speak out the truth, their respiratory tube will be pulled out by the Jewish Lobby.
<2> Sensing that she was fighting a lost battle, many people urged Hillary to quit the race. She came up with a murderous reasoning for not quitting: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?” “We all remember Bobby Kennedy [the presidential candidate] was assassinated in June  in California.”