The Death of Hope

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 photo by Barbara Kinney, Flickr

Today is my favorite Uncle Jim’s birthday.  He would have been 59.  The memories of him are always strongest at this time of the year because just as this time was his sunrise it was also his sunset. He died of pancreatic cancer just two days short of his 52ndbirthday. He fought valiantly until the end refusing to succumb to the reality of his terminal prognosis. A proud Vietnam veteran who fought nearly two decades for the Service-connected benefits he deserved, they were belatedly awarded a few months before his death.   

Uncle Jim spent wildly in the months before his death having been denied for so long and in a vain effort to stave off death.  Emaciated and wan, losing more than 150 pounds, Uncle Jim refused to allow me and Mama visit him.  I was an emotional wreck and cried bitterly for weeks after he told me of his pancreatic cancer.  He sent for grandma and she flew to California and stayed with family during his hospitalization.  I dreaded the day when the call came because my mother was in denial. She persisted in the delusion that there would be enough time to plan a trip to see him. Every time I think of holding her as she wailed inconsolably, I am reduced to tears.   

I suspect that Hillary Clinton is going through much the same thing emotionally because her denial has manifested itself in her every move and deed since losing all of the contests after Super Tuesday.  Her behavior is characterized by wild spending, emotional outbursts and delusional talk of going all the way to the convention. One columnist wrote tellingly of observing her going through the five stages of grief and she clearly hasn’t accepted that the end is near, her appearance on Saturday Night Live notwithstanding.   

As I write this, Bill Clinton is speaking at Texas A&M University.  Looking pale, flaccid, and spent, he resembles a ghost.  Bill, with his snow white mane has become a Dickensian apparition, a ghost of the nostalgic 20th century past.  He’s haunting the voters of Texas and admonishing them not to emulate the stingy and parsimonious Ebenezer Scrooge and to set things right and restore his House to the imperial throne of power.   Can’t you just see Hillary riding on the Big Dog’s soldiers like tiny Tim, politically crippled and pathetic?   

The woman around whom the right-wing created an empire of hate now barely mentions her. On Tuesday, she will have no choice but to accept reality.  CNN is reporting that Rhode Island, her stronghold state in the string of primaries to be held on March 4 has closed up nicely for Obama.  Her once huge lead in the polls has evaporated.   Both Texas and Ohio have seesawed and now we’re looking at a dead heat. The death rattles of her campaign are clearly being heard nationwide and this cruel political marathon of sadistic endurance draws to a close.   

This is also a moment for me to eat a heaping helping of crow and to acknowledge how wrong I was to assert that Obama’s campaign was a black middle class fantasy and a delusion of epic proportions.   The general election is still an open question but the white power structure sho’ ain’t scared of Barack Obama, the Safe Negro.  They have their claws in him just as they would any white contender in a similar position. The handwriting is on the wall and they’ve done everything accept throw Hillary under the bus.  A cautious brotha wouldn’t hazard a guess tonight with the conflicting polls out yesterday and today, but I smell death in the air, and fear in their eyes and it is not just because of the death anniversary of my Uncle Jim. 

ADDENDUM 

Originally entitled, “The End is Near,” this post had to be renamed.   The Inevitable One has been resurrected from political death to suck the life out of hope once again.  The Corporate Vampire that passed NAFTA and GATT sent forth his female proxy to smear the Hopeful One with a lie about a secret NAFTA deal with the right-wing Canadian government.  It was what Michelle Obama calls,  “a fear bomb” and it worked quite well on the gullible white working class of Ohio.  The “kitchen sink”strategy is effective.  They’ve certainly left no stone unthrown.

Playing the victim while contending for power from a position of privilege really suits her.   Paulo Freire has written, “Conditioned by the experience of oppressing others, any situation other than their former [one] seems to them like oppression….Any restriction on this way of life, in the name of the rights of the community, appears to the former oppressors as a profound violation of their individual rights.”

Now that the press has been made a party to Hillary’s false oppression and been humiliated by her victories as a result of becoming her foil to pander to a gullible public, they will follow their assigned roles as gatekeepers of power and haze Obama with even more gusto. Obama musn’t be allowed to ascend to power without the proper chastening.

In Texas, the natural affinity of the Latino community for Hillary was not effectively challenged despite the massive advertising edge by Obama.  He failed to make significant inroads into the Latino community and carried less than a third of Latino voters.  Familiarity trumps newness in this context.    While not completely deflated by this win, it is abundantly clear, as others have asserted, that this fight will go all the way to Denver.  

Race
Status
Candidate
Votes
Vote %
Del*
Precincts
Texas Primary

Updated 1 minute ago

County: Table | Map
1,335,978
51%
16
88%
reporting
1,238,260
47%
10
Race
Status
Candidate
State Del.*
%
Del*
Precincts
Texas Caucus

Updated 18 minutes ago

13,589
56%
0
22%
reporting
10,874
44%
0
Uncommitted
21
0%
0
Race
Status
Candidate
Votes
Vote %
Del*
Precincts
Ohio

Updated 4 minutes ago

County: Table | Map
1,102,050
55%
62
91%
reporting
859,845
43%
46

Some Clermont polling places temporarily ran out of Democratic ballots, Sandusky sites are staying open until 9 p.m., and Barack Obama’s campaign has sued for time extensions in Franklin and Cuyahoga counties, claiming ballot shortages.

Race
Status
Candidate
Votes
Vote %
Del*
Precincts
Vermont

Updated 1 minute ago

County: Table | Map
73,454
60%
8
82%
reporting
46,546
38%
4
Race
Status
Candidate
Votes
Vote %
Del*
Precincts
Rhode Island

Updated 5 minutes ago

County: Table | Map
91,053
58%
5
88%
reporting
62,921
40%
1
Uncommitted
821
1%
0

DENNIS KUCINICH ALSO FACES A PRIMARY CHALLENGE FROM THREE SERIOUS CANDIDATES

JOE CIMPERMAN 18341
BARBARA ANNE FERRIS 3531
DENNIS J. KUCINICH 29101
THOMAS E. O’GRADY 2911
ROSEMARY A. PALMER 2059

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