that MLK remark… explained

28Jan08

I know exactly what Hillary meant when she said this. It’s just basic politics but it’s politics that people outside of politics, that would be voters, don’t understand. But OH how the Clintons DO understand it and that is WHY they are so feared by the right.

I understand it because my mother was in politics. She worked for a Pennsylvania state senator in the late 1950s and early 60s. She operated within the Democratic machine in the county we lived in that, of course, still holds power today. She worked locally for JFK’s election, as did every democrat involved in party politics in the county. I have a great story about that, by the way.

But my mother used to tell me that the first rule of politics is this: You can’t do NOTHING, unless you WIN that election. (double negative excused) That is something the Clintons understand so well. if you’re not sitting in that office, with that power, you are nothing more than Michael Dukakis, or hundreds of thousands of others who ran for any political office and didn’t win. You’re on the outside. Put up a website. Write a book. You’re not a player.

Martin Luther King’s efforts in the civil rights movement began in earnest in the early 50s. There were significant moments on the ground in that struggle during the Eisenhower years just as their were in the Kennedy and Johnson years. But Ike resisted all of that and kept civil rights out of the Oval Office. Kennedy was the first president to confront this issue with the nation in his very famous televised civil rights address of June 11, 1963. He might have been hesitant to do that, as revisionists love to point out, but he DID it, and what he said changed this country forever. No president had gone anywhere near where he went in that nationally televised address but no body OTHER than a president could have.

That’s one of the things that JFK did with the power of the presidency while he held it, before they blew his brains out. He didn’t have to do that. Had that been Richard Nixon, the entire civil rights movement would have been handled much differently. MLK’s greatness notwithstanding.

LBJ was very cognizant to the point of obsession of the dead president’s popularity. He decided to use HIS experience in the senate to take Kennedy’s civil rights perspective and turn it into hard legislation. He did that and did it TWICE. Maybe even Kennedy wouldn’t have been able to do it. It TOOK, it appears, the ‘king’ of the Senate, LBJ, and his expertise in that body, but now deployed from the Oval Office, to actually get laws written and passed that put the power of the United States federal government behind the movement that was started by MLK back in the 50s, and given a heartbeat on the governmental level by President Kennedy.

None of this happens if the men who were sitting behind that desk from 1960 to 1968 hadn’t have WON their elections. Because it took a president with the power inherent in that office to turn these things into law. You could actually multiply MLK’s power and influence in the Civil Rights movement 10 times, it STILL would have taken someone sitting in that office who was not resistant to these changes but actually in favor of them.

Clinton was, in a moment of candor, in my opinion, saying that, MLK was important, but a president had to be there to push the buttons in the government to make the changes into law. How she was applying this to Obama and her… I don’t know for sure but I would agree with the more forgiving conventional wisdom that said that SHE is a more capable policy person who understands the details better and is more apt to be effective than someone who makes great inspirational speeches.

Whoever took that and turned it into a slight by Hillary against MLK is the person or group who first played the race card to any significant degree in this election. That person or group is GUILTY. If it’s Obama’s campaign then they are guilty of playing race against Hillary Clinton.

This, to me, is the toxicity of political correctness finally coming home to roost in a presidential primary election and being used in a very vile way. Whoever took this comment and morphed it into what it has become, is scum who… duh duh! will do or say ANYTHING to try to win an election.

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