Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Clinton and Obama: Sleaze at any speed.

Bill Shaheen, a co-chair of Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, took heat because he said much of rival Barack Obama's background is unknown and could be a problem if he is the Democratic nominee.

Shaheen said Republicans would work hard to discover new aspects of Obama's admittedly spotty youth."It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" said Shaheen. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome," Shaheen said.

After Obama's flaks called Shaheen's remarks a cheap shot, the Clinton's campaign said it had nothing to do with his comments, and Shaheen wimped out by saying that he regretted them.

Slut a bunch of wheezeballs!

Shaheen was right on the money the first time. Like it or not, Obama's drug use is an issue. Voters are free to give it whatever weight we individually think but it's still a valid issue.

Obama wrote about his teenage drug use in his memoir, "Dreams from My Father." His rivals have largely remained silent on the subject.

"Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final fatal role of the young would-be black man," Obama wrote. Mostly he smoked marijuana and drank alcohol, he wrote, but occasionally he would snort cocaine when he could afford it.

Speaking to Manchester high school students earlier this month, Obama said he was hardly a model student and had experimented with drugs and alcohol.

"You know, I made some bad decisions that I've actually written about. You know, got into drinking. I experimented with drugs," he said. "There was a whole stretch of time that I didn't really apply myself a lot. It wasn't until I got out of high school and went to college that I started realizing, 'Man, I wasted a lot of time.'"

By making those comments, folks, Obama himself put his prior drug use into play as an issue -- and legitimately so. Some people may hold it against him while others may find it appealing that he ostensibly was able to pull himself out of his errant ways and, like President Bush's acknowledgement of being a reformed alcoholic, that candor could be viewed as a sign of hope.

But Obama earns the cheap scumbag politician stripes by trying to have it both ways -- as does Hillary. Criminal behavior is a relevant issue. And there's nothing wrong with Hillary's campaign raising it.

What is wrong with the Hillary campaign is when they raise the trial balloon and Obama cried "Ouch!" that they tried to stuff the genie in the bottle and offer a faint apology.

Yeah, right. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the Clinton campaign discussing Obama's drug use. If there was any doubt as to its legitimacy, Obama himself resolved that by putting it on the table.

As a voter, I will decide -- as any voter -- what issues I think are relevant. That's the absolute right of any and every voter and we don't need any candidate -- whether it's Barack Obama about his criminal and drug past or Mitt Romney's self-serving diatribe on religion -- defining for us what the issues are.

While the sniping between the Clinton and Obama camps is reminiscent of a cat fight between hookers arguing over who is the bigger whore, this all too frequent misconduct by candidates of disrespecting the absolute province of every voter is utterly insulting and repugnant to our electoral process.

Some voters may hold Obama's drug use against him. Some may find his ability to put it behind him and exhort youth not to repeat his sins as a positive. Others may not be fazed at all. But how to assess this is our exclusive right as voters and something no candidate or campaign has any right whatsoever to violate.

If Obama and Clinton can't respect the sacred province of the electorate, neither is worthy of any public office. Period.

1 comment:

Wisdom said...

Bet you won't see candor like this in snoozepapers like we have around here.