Why is Obama so vapid and hesitant and gutless? Why, to put it another way, does he risk going into political history as a dusky Dukakis? Well, after the self-imposed Jeremiah Wright nightmare, he can't afford any more militancy, or militant-sounding stuff, even if it might be justified. His other problems are self-inflicted or party-inflicted as well. He couldn't have picked a gifted Democratic woman as his running mate, because he couldn't have chosen a female who wasn't the ever-present Sen. Clinton, and so he handed the free gift of doing so to his Republican opponent (whose own choice has set up a screech from the liberals like nothing I have heard since the nomination of Clarence Thomas). So the unquantifiable yet important "atmospherics" of politics, with all their little X factors, belong at present to the other team.
The Dukakis comparison is, of course, a cruel one, but it raises a couple more questions that must be faced. We are told by outraged Democrats that many voters still believe, thanks to some smear job, that Sen. Obama is a Muslim. Yet who is the most famous source of this supposedly appalling libel (as if an American candidate cannot be of any religion or none)? Absent any anonymous whispering campaign, the person who did most to insinuate the idea in public—"There is nothing to base that on. As far as I know"—was Obama's fellow Democrat and the junior senator from New York. It was much the same in 1988, when Al Gore brought up the Dukakis furlough program, later to be made infamous by the name Willie Horton, against the hapless governor of Massachusetts who was then his rival for the nomination.
By the end of that grueling campaign season, a lot of us had got the idea that Dukakis actually wanted to lose—or was at the very least scared of winning. Why do I sometimes get the same idea about Obama?.......
Dukakis was famously done in by William "Billy" Bulger, the Democratic Mass State Senate Chair, brother of the still-on-the-lam Whitey, who alerted the Bush campaign about Boston Harbor's long-standing pollution problem after Duke had promised years before to fix it. And Bolger helped elucidate the Horton furlough affair again for Bush's operatives after another fellow-Dem, the then-clubfooted Al Gore [who has graduated to mental quadraplegic], pointed out the problem.
Bulger ["Billy"] was subsequently made president of UMass, whose Boston campus lies just up the beach where his brother Whitey used to bury his girlfriends once he got tired of them. Just another memorable milestone in big city Dem political machines. Sort of like Obama's alma mater in politics, the Cook County Crime Spree run from the mayor's office?
I wonder which Democrats might be trying to trip up The Magic Negro, as the Los Angeles Times called him?
Hmmm....... A real puzzle.
Anyway, as always....Hitchens gives the reader an interesting perspective on American politics---sort of an amped-up Economist writer with a memory like an elephant.
By a strange coincidence, my wife called from Cape Cod and informed me just a few minutes ago that my father-in-law has a roommate in his recovery room in a rehab center. The roommate is a former high-ranking member of the Boston Police whm my wife had a very revealing conversation with this evening. This gentleman, who has to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, told my spouse that William "Billy" Bulger knew everything that"Whitey,"Billy's serial killer brother on the Top Ten Most Wanted list by the FBI, was up to and that not only convicted FBI Boston Special Agent Connelly, but other agents even above Connelly in seniority---"all the way to the very top"---helped protect Whitey, because Billy "had the goods on" so many prominent Mass politicians and FBI Agents that if Whitey was harmed, Billy would bring down the Mass Democrats [including possibly Kerry & Kennedy] and some highly-placed Repubs as well. FWIW, but Mass politics is as seamy and dirty as Chicago machine politics, though I doubt as many murder victims have gone without justice in Chicago, due to Whitey's nasty habit of killing young women. Since they were hookers or drifters, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Someone, someday, is going to write a sequel to Black Mass, a book that outlines the incredible all-embracing corruption that thrives in the Boston political machine, including among some national political personae. According to this source, Gov. Dukakis was so clean and "straight," they couldn't trust him and he had to go. Hence, ratting out "Duke" to GHWB would benefit the Mass Dems, some compromised FBI agents, and who knows whomelse!?! Stranger than fiction, some of the stuff my wife told me---hearsay, but mind-boggling.