Tonight’s debate is sure to mimic with its intensity and fervor the series of civil wars called the Wars of the Roses fought in the fifteenth century over the British Throne between the Houses of York and Lancaster. The throne of Imperialist power, the Presidency of the United States, is tonight’s ultimate prize.
The War of the Roses, named for a scene in Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 1, where the Houses chose sides by picking a rose, was a bitter, protracted, and scorching war. Tonight’s debate promises to be the same. The battle lines have been rigidly drawn between the Houses of Obama and Clinton. The Congressional Black Caucus, according to The Hill, a Washington Newspaper, is evenly divided between the House of Clinton and the House of Obama with 17 members each. Tempers are flaring and lines have been drawn in the sand.
The last such nomination battle between President Carter and Teddy Kennedy was equally divisive and created the same fissures in the unanimity of the Congressional Black Caucus. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and Congressman Mel Watt, both former Chairs of the Congressional Black Caucus, have lost their champion, former Senator John Edwards. The competition to land their endorsements is fierce and all eyes are on them to observe which side they ultimately choose, if they choose at all.
Tonight’s debate is sure to be a Shakespearean kabuki dance with each side loaded and ready for bear. Shakespeare’s classic dialog says it best and I can easily envision tonight’s combatant’s reciting the lines:“Then Come, O’ God’s name; I fear no woman.” “And while I live, I’ll ne’er fly from a man.”