Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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Words and Rules

Today's Lessons: Redefining "News." The intrinsic value of words.


The round-the-clock news has created a large sucking vacuum of talking heads, and a “need for news” which has reclassified what qualifies as news.

For example, MSNBC just reported that the person delivering Orchids from a Hillary supporter spilled the beans (shame on you, and thanks) on the content of the card: “Words are cheap but memories last forever.” Typical Clinton-esque thinking.

What has damaged Hillary’s campaign—and her believability—the most is her refusal to acknowledge that words have both meaning and power. Her initial incredulity that people believe the message Obama presents underscores how she discredits the power of words as moral tender. Her constant waffling belies her inability to believe in the power of even her own message. Bill also doesn’t seem to grasp that words have sticking power once more; now that so many have access to streaming video and the juicy tidbits can be recorded on a phone, plausible deniability is easily discredited by the slowest bloggers.

Running a campaign should be a good measure of how the candidate could handle the big job. Harold Ickes, Sr. Advisor Clinton Campaign (who just last August—nine months ago— voted to strip the Florida and Michigan delegates of their voting rights), now argues against the decision made by the DNC to split the delegate count of Michigan.

“I can’t believe,” he said after the decision was delivered, “that we have the gall or the chutzpah to substitute our judgment for (that of) 600,000 voters.”

I can’t believe he had the moxy or the huevos, the guts or the cojones, the “testicular fortitude,” if you will, to flip flop so often and still expect us to take him seriously.

It’s typical double-speak over at Clinton & Clinton HQ. Her flips and flops resemble those of a big-mouthed bass, her muppet-smile a gasping mouth. She was against letting casino workers vote outside their home districts until she won a majority of their votes. She agreed not to campaign in Florida or Michigan, in effect agreeing with the DNC that those votes would not be counted. However, she actively pursued votes in both Florida and Michigan for the last several months. Her campaign agreed that Obama could receive the uncommitted voters in Michigan, but when it began to look as if she’d need more votes to make up an ever-widening deficit, she backed off. Now, she has “reserved her rights” to take it to the rules committee in August. Today I heard that she plans a concession and has met with Obama, which in a few hours turned into a negation and meeting with NY lawmakers.

Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. Gasp. Flip.

The Hillary needs to understand that statements are not just hollow words strung together prettily to convince the voters in the audience to vote for you; words are the weapons of diplomacy. Without a history of carrying through on one’s words, without that believability, who would believe her in practice worldwide?

I’ve said before that Obama is a diplomat, by which I mean he applies his trained intellect, his ability to listen, and a willingness to consider a non-U.S. point-of-view grown while living somewhere other than the lower 48. But diplomacy is a fundamental belief that one’s word—one’s promise—is sacrosanct. That at worst, one cannot violate one’s verbal contract.

While Obama has attempted over and over to abide by the rules, agreed to follow the DNC’s decisions, and has continued to succeed whether his campaign benefited or not, she has always angled for the best position, including counting the votes in such a way that she can claim to have the most votes ever received in a presidential primary (that’s if you only count the primaries, and not the caucuses). To justify and re-justify her position, she has consistently gone back on her word, changed her verbiage, or set a surrogate loose. This conspicuous dishonesty says to me that she cannot be as effective a diplomat as Obama, because she lacks understanding of how spoken words work.

Obama has not made retractions that I recall, except where he acknowledges errors of fact. He stands on his beliefs, making us see again that the Constitution and our revolutionary ideals are in fact a fine foundation on which to stand. A good beginning. Even with all my cynicism, I’m unable to find flops, flips, or flaws, in Obama's various speeches. He’s steady. It seems he believes what he says, and therefore I feel confident believing in him.




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