Thursday, August 28, 2008

History Made: Part I

I finally caught up with a video of Bubba's speech to the Democratic Convention last night, and he brought a tear or two to my eyes, not least because he rose above all the shit from the battle for the nomination and gave a presidential endorsement of the man who should be the next president. Hills did the same on Tuesday night, and again last night when she called for the nomination of the Obama acclamation. The Clintons understand better than anyone, that they can't lose by putting all of their considerable influence behind getting the Obama elected. But by sulking and not helping, they can destroy their party and Bubba's legacy, not to mention the Hills's opportunity to lead the Senate, which I think is where she is headed, much less gain a future nomination herself.

But the tears didn't fall over political tactics. They fell because a considerable bit of history was made last night--a national political party that has counted among its members in years past some of the most noxious racists this country has produced put forward as its nominee for president an African-American, a black man. It is true that the Obama is, according to these racial definitions, half black and half white, but in America's racist tradition any bit of "black" blood has by tradition and, in some places law, been enough to define a person. That has always been absurd, of course, but it's not stopped people from being discriminated against, raped, castrated, lynched, and falsely imprisoned--and that was after emancipation. That 40 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, we could come to this pass, is nothing short of astonishing. That the Obama delivers his acceptance speech, 45 years to the day after King delivered his majestic "dream" to the several hundred thousand marchers from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, is even more fitting. Here's a link to text, audio, and video of "I Have a Dream," introduced as the "moral leader of our nation." ['Meet physical force with soul force."]

If the Obama is elected president, there should be dancing in the streets, because in a fundamental sense the world will have turned. Bubba and the Hills have I believe helped launch the final phase of the Obama's improbable journey. Now, they have to help bring it home, for different reasons--he to restore a reputation as the 'first black president' that he so recklessly imperiled with his blatantly racist appeals in the primaries; she to advance her power and influence. "Time has come today."

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