22 May 2008


I am an unabashed listener of XM Radio's POTUS 08 channel (130). A joint project of CSPAN and XM, it really does provide balanced coverage of the on-going campaign.

Since West Virginia and Kentucky, Senator Clinton's campaign has dug in for the final battle, adopting "count every vote" as its strategy. While I know that she must be in a state of disbelief that the wheels have fallen off her campaign, I think her latest ploy is a symptom of why so many folks have a visceral dislike for her. She is the epitome of the '60's generation, the "Baby Boomers."

Let me explain. I am one of the first Boomers. (I strongly suspect that I am the result of a VJ Day celebration!! In late November 1944, my Dad came back from 36 months at sea, including 5 opposed landings at Tarawa, Kwajelein, Saipan, Tinian, and Pelelieu. Mom wanted to start a family right away, but Dad said "No. When we invade Japan, they will send me back and I won't come home from that one. I've used up all my luck." I was born 9 months after the Japanese surrendered. The math works.)

Mom and Dad survived the Great Depression and the War. As did most Americans, especially those from the mid-west, they were folks who played by the rules. When Dad's business failed in 1949, they did not declare bankruptcy--they paid off every cent, making the last payment 4 months before he died in 1963.

We learned that breaking the rules was one thing that my Dad would not allow. It just wasn't done. These were folks who expected that if you played fairly, you would succeed. The cheaters (which in their world included those who shaded the truth) lost their respect and their trust.

But along about 1965, as my generation began to come of age, things changed. We had had it pretty easy. America post-war economy was booming. Things that would have seemed impossible in the 1930's were readily accepted in the 50's and 60's. There were guys in my dorm who had TV's in their room! Most Boomers gradually came to believe that we had a right to success and prosperity. Having the "right" meant that they could do anything to get what they wanted. Hillary was part of that generation.

So, fast forward to 2008. Hillary is losing the primary battle because the party rules that were in place when she started her campaign have worked against her. Michigan and Florida were warned that running their elections early would have dire consequences. They wanted the patronage advantage of being able to claim that they were key to the presumptive winner's effort. They adopted the "We have a right to do what serves our interests and the rules be damned" philosophy. They ignored the rules and scheduled early elections.

Most candidates abided by the rules--Hillary did not. Now she wants the rules changed so she can get what she wants, fair or not.

We'll see if the DNC has the courage to set a new example. I hope they do. It is a matter of trust.

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