– DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S CATCH – 22
By Namakando Nalikando Sinyama, B.Sc Forestry,BAHRM
Yet again an event presents us with an opportunity to mishandle issues. My blood pressure would rather I did not remember how during the Georgian genocide in South Ossertia, Senator Obama was caught on camera vacationing in Hawaii licking on ice cream, while a potentially globally dangerous situation unfolded in the Caucases. In like manner, it would cost us way too much in popularity ratings at this crucial phase of the campaigns if amid the unprecedented economic melt down and the subsequent congressional debate on the $700Bn Bail out plan being tabled, Senator Obama is say, caught again on CCTV rehearsing his presidential debate speech in the shower!
It would benefit the Democrats greatly if they made it clear in the voter’s minds that their campaign choice ultimately is not between Senator McCain and Senator Obama as individuals but it had been scaled up to a toss up between the Republican Party policies (for which all the successes and failures of the current administration should be credited) and those of the Democrats. This then means we should, without let up, attribute the shocking ‘Domino effect’ in the financial institutions’ failure to the Republicans as a party. This is because to a great extent they are responsible for the formulation of these catastrophic economic policies, which have led to the current recession, which is what it is really as semantic gymnastics will not take us anywhere. It would be a waste of resources to even mention G.W. Bush in all this, as he has become very irrelevant in national and world politics.
The Democratic Party is truly caught between the Scylla and Charybdis, indeed a Catch – 22 of sorts! Truth be told, as far as the future goes, the whole mess should be heaped on McCain and the party policies he represents. It would therefore seem like a very obvious choice come November 2008 for Americans to choose between Democrats or Republicans that is, more of the same or something different. It is this case that has to be made to the electorate in no uncertain terms. We however, have to trade carefully and guard against blurting out some not so Kosher game-changing, not well thought through politically incorrect and socially sensitive similes like that of smearing cosmetics on facial appendages of an omnivorous Sus domesticus! The time is critical we should avoid blunders at this stage if we can help it, as resultant damage control will just sap our energy and blur our focus and momentum.
It is my sincere hope that some time in future Senator Obama will embrace the concept of bi-partisanship because whether correctly or wrongly the Republicans seem to have painted him as one opposed or not so keen on drawing from experience that may exist beyond the party divide. Senator McCain literally sings about how the surge he suggested had worked in Iraq and how that should make him president because he reads military strategy better. I always wanted Senator Obama to swallow his pride and just admit that yes it did work so as to put the whole matter to rest. It is only later that I have realized what a moral struggle it must be for Senator Obama to do this as it would mean accepting the surge which led to the death of innocent Iraqi civilians and freedom fighters defending the sovereignty of their country against occupying forces in an immoral and evil war that should not have been waged to begin with.
The McCain camp in a very calculated ploy have called off their campaign to supposedly address the economic crisis in a bi-partisan fashion and calling on democrats to do likewise. Except I may not exactly yet appreciate just in what capacity Senator McCain intends to do this. Is he for instance going to be actively giving valuable suggestions on possible ground breaking ideas on how to sort out the economic mess? For which I would recommend he be immediately nominated for the Nobel Prize for Economics (Which would make Adam Smith envious)! Or is he merely going to be a detached bystander waiting on the experts to do the brain-storming? Senator McCain by his own admission does not understand economics much. Therefore his action should be seen for what it is, a desperate political gimmick, which only the severely gullible would buy into. We should exercise caution here for whatever we do, or however we respond, it would be met with more critical scrutiny than McCain’s possible motives of spreading the blame and responsibility nationally across party lines in the name of misplaced Patriotism, ‘ A virtue for the vicious’. Thus effectively making every American collectively responsible and hence compelled to engage in its resolution. The truth however is that people were elected into public offices as political leaders and appointed CEOs of corporations. They were entrusted with the task of making sound decisions and formulating policies to safeguard the interests of the citizenry. In the event that they fail the nation like they have, something would have to give, heads need to roll .A hasty bailout plan as an elixir may not be an economically prudent thing to do as time will tell. We should make NO mistake though, this situation is a very serious national security issue NOT naively just economic. FACT: Senator McCain should be seem as representing a party on whose watch the disastrous economic policies, foreign policy blunders, American reputation abroad have taken the deepest ebb in living memory.
This economic recession is surely with us now, even when McCain and Republicans in general kept on insisting, like they did during the pre-Iraq War intelligence Gathering Phase, that the economic fundamentals are strong and sound, then boom this happens! The Republicans sure do seem to have a very dangerous knack for misunderstanding and misrepresenting issues by spin-doctoring facts to suit and further their ends even if it meant forcing a square peg into a round hole that is another Republican Party administration.
However, by Senator Obama insisting on engaging Senator McCain in a nationally televised presidential debate at this moment of crisis, the senator runs a real risk of being seen as one unwilling to reach out across the party divide in times of crisis. He will be caricatured as a desperate, heartless pugilist who goes for the jugular when the opponent is sprawling on the canvas, gasping for air and aims to strike him behind the head! Senator Obama should realize and I hope he does that his mistakes during the campaigns and throughout his possible presidency, will in the eyes of the American people be magnified by a factor of X 10 compared to Senator McCain’s misjudgments. The reason?
“ The children of Africa are citizens of various nations in all the continents. We would remind them where ever they be that, arduous toil, strenuous devotion and untiring zeal in their glorious Cause is expected of them.” – His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I
We live in a world where some people need to work doubly as hard as others in order to be appreciated equally. Their wrongs and shortcomings are more serious than those of others. Oops! Is this a race card? Not that it would bother me! By also agreeing to momentarily disengaging on the campaign trail, he would be seen as lacking insight, very weak, easily bowing to pressure, already being dictated to by a McCain acting presidential and issuing orders. Senator Obama would be seen as desperately needing to win at all costs even if national survival was at stake. He would be seen as hell bent on an academic exercise of the debate when more serious issues needed attention first thus branded less patriotic.
The other school of thought holds that it is exactly at this point that the voters should see who is stronger on the management of the economy in a one on one debate. I seem to remember people saying Senator Obama is not combative enough and does not seem to have a killer instinct. What ever the Democratic Party decides on doing they should realize that theirs is not an enviable position as they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Namakando Nalikando Sinyama
Barotseland, Central Africa
“I tell you a truth, liberty is the best of all things, my son, never live under a slavish bond.” – Sir William Wallace’s Uncle