Anyway, I leave the spiritual world to come back to the political one, and what do I find but this:
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., debuted a campaign ad on Friday with ominous undertones.
“It’s 3:00am and your children are asleep,” a voice over says in the ad entitled “Children”. “There’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing. Something is happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.”
“Whether someone knows the world’s leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead. It’s 3am and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?” the ad concludes.
I’d vote for the Dalai Lama, but he’s not running for president.
Maybe Iâ€™ve become desensitized a bit, but this one didnâ€™t really faze me that much. It feels like a regular olâ€™ Republican ad, except a) this is from a Dem; and b) the ad doesnâ€™t show any brown people weâ€™re supposed to be afraid of.
Paddy at Cliff Schecter’s place has Obama’s response ad, if you’re interested.
Reactions on the Left Blogosphere are divided between “How pathetic is this?” (Obama supporters) and “Obama is mean, too” (Clinton supporters). Oh, and also Gavin’s take.
So if we end up with a Clinton-McCain general election, is the contest going to come down to which one can scare us the most? And won’t that be jolly?
Elsewhere are stories that the Clinton campaign may sue somebody because the Texas primary/caucus rules are so convoluted. Other stories say the Clinton campaign is putting out advanced spin on the next round of primaries — if Obama doesn’t win states in which Clinton is currently favored, then it’s because people are having second thoughts about him. Ezra Klein explains that this is dumb.
Well, all’s fair in politics. Either these tricks will work, or they won’t. We’ll see.
Which brings me to E.J. Dionne’s column. Dionne compares what is happening in the Democratic Party now with what happened in the Republican Party in 1980 —
The Reagan metaphor explains why Hillary Clinton was in trouble from the moment she failed to knock Obama out of the race in Iowa. During the past two months, Democrats in large numbers have reached the same conclusion that so many Republicans did in 1980: Now is the time to go for broke, to challenge not only the ruling party but also the governing ideas of the previous political era and the political coalition that allowed them to dominate public life.
“This is our time,” Obama says in a short sentence full of meaning. The conservative age is as dead now as the liberal age was in 1980. Jimmy Carter, in many ways not a liberal at all, became the whipping boy for the end of liberalism. George W. Bush, no pure conservative, has come to symbolize the collapse of conservatism. “It is time to turn the page and write a new chapter in American history,” Obama says — exactly the sentiment of the Ronald Reagan who invoked Tom Paine.
The frustration of the Clinton campaign is understandable. Like George H.W. Bush, whom Reagan defeated for the presidential nomination in 1980, Hillary Clinton has worked very hard, knows government from the inside out and would clearly provide the country with a safe set of hands. The Clintonites argue, fairly, that there is no way to know if Obama can live up to The Promise of Obama.
That’s right; we do not know. But will the scare tactics chase voters to Clinton, or will they reinforce the sense that’s it’s way time for something completely different?