Wednesday, February 27, 2008


SAM SMITH - Last night's debate reinforced the growing sense that if either Obama or Clinton wins the White House, we're in for a four year version of the Jim Lehrer News Hour. With Clinton's clumsy deceits and Obama awkward without a speech writer, the pair proved themselves once again the most boring Democratic leading contenders in modern times, ignoring huge issues, chipping away at the edges of others, denying their past positions on still others and not coming up with one significant idea to offer hope for all the hope about which they blather.

They have, for example, spent over 45 minutes in two recent debates supposedly talking about healthcare but actually arguing about how they would continue to subsidize the medical insurance industry. And neither they, nor any of the hard hitting interviewers, once raised the solution supported by a majority of Americans, some form of single payer coverage.

At least they mentioned healthcare. Other issues, such as urban concerns, the environmental crisis, the destructive war on drugs, the collapse of constitutional government and the No School Testing Corporation Left Behind Act were ignored with the help of the uncurious panel.

It's not entirely their fault. Obama and Clinton are merely prime examples of a managerial elite that has increasingly come to represent leadership in this country. One that has placed inordinate emphasis on style and vague "abilities" over knowing what to do and how to achieve it. The number of people in power in the U.S. who believe that life is still real rather than a virtual representation to be simply manipulated with symbols is diminishing by the day.

Is it too late to find a governor who actually knows how to do something?