Chris Matthews is in love.
As he spoke of Sen. Barack Obama’s powerful speech at last Saturday’s Iowa Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, the liberal host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” seemed lost Monday in romantic memories of the 1960s.
In Obama’s inspiring speech, said Matthews, he heard echoes of John F. Kennedy and other Democratic leaders whose passion seduced him into a life of politics. Matthews was an operative for Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, back when Democrats ruled Congress monopolistically for decades.
Matthews is a wee bit too old to be a genuine baby boomer. Born in 1945, he will celebrate his 62nd birthday on Dec. 17.
But the now-menopausal Matthews reflects the sensibility of aging boomers who came of age in the era of JFK, Bobby Kennedy, honorable poet Eugene McCarthy, the Rev. Martin Luther King, anti-Vietnam War protests, the Summer of Love, hippies, and chemically-altered consciousness.
The leading edge of the baby boom still uses drugs, although nowadays our drugs of choice are Metamucil and Cialis. (Why do boomers trust a drug whose first three letters are CIA?)
What swept over Chris Matthews on his show Monday was a wave of heart-tugging nostalgia. Obama’s speech triggered idealistic political neurons that have been dormant for decades.
With those reawakening brain cells came memories of baby boomer youth when a new age of humankind seemed to be dawning. Call it Aquarius, Camelot, or utopia. From communes to Woodstock, for a golden moment it felt as if a new world was possible and being born.
Glimmers of such ’60s reveries lit Matthews’ eyes — flashes of youthful political passion that ultimately was never consumated, that never bore its promised fruit except in the civil rights movement’s fruition now manifest in Obama’s candidacy.
Matthews shares the frustration of millions of liberal baby boomers. For decades they voted for Democrats, only to see their ideals compromised and betrayed by sleazy pols who sold out principles to gain their own wealth and power.
That, of course, is what’s wrong with Sen. Hillary Clinton. She and her husband Bill were the first baby boomer co-presidency, whose election in 1992 was supposed to make all their generation’s dreams, fantasies, and hallucinations come true.
Instead, the Clintons became the sleaziest, most corrupt pols of all, a prince and radical princess who, when kissed by power, turned into toads.
Aging Democratic baby boomers now look at Hillary Clinton’s manipulative, cynical presidential campaign the way a dog looks at yesterday’s contaminated leftovers. It’s food but isn’t very appetizing and may be toxic for the soul.
Must liberals once again hold their noses while voting for a Democrat?
Hillary Clinton’s unspoken message: “Don’t vote for the black man. Vote for me.”
How can aging liberals, whose hearts and souls were first inspired more than four decades ago by the civil rights struggle, go along with Hillary Clinton’s demand that they vote against the first African-American candidate with a serious chance to be elected president?
Worse, the Clintons and Democratic Party are using subtle racism to beat Barack Obama.
Saturday’s speeches were given at a Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Until recently these Democratic Party occasions, named in honor of the party’s founding fathers, were being re-named by the politically correct.
President Thomas Jefferson, despite his achievements, was a slave owner. President Andrew Jackson not only owned slaves but also slaughtered Native Americans and sent the Cherokee Nation on its Trail of Tears.
Truth be told, the Democratic Party has always been America’s racist political party, the party of Southern slave owners, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow, and Bull Connor.
And today it is the party that imposes racial preferences and set-asides, collectivistically seeing people as members of racial groups, not individuals.
The Democratic Party, from its birth down to today, has always used divide-and-conquer politics, racial polarization, hatred, and fear to gain power.
One of history’s greatest con jobs is the Democratic Party’s bamboozling of African-Americans into voting for this political party that enslaved their ancestors instead of for the Republican Party of Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln who freed them.
Former President Bill Clinton now describes Hillary’s political rivals as “boys.”
To Northern ears, Mr. Clinton seems merely to be belittling Hillary’s opponents, suggesting that they are behaving like children by “piling on” her.
But to Southern ears — and Bill Clinton was born in the segregated, Democrat-ruled state of Arkansas, whose first ray of civil rights enlightenment came when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower sent troops to integrate Little Rock schools — Clinton’s use of this code word carries a different meaning.
In the racist Arkansas of Bill Clinton’s youth, African-American men were called “boy” to denigrate them and assert white supremacy.
Because Barack Obama is Hillary Clinton’s main rival, the only candidate with high enough popularity and money to overtake her, Bill Clinton’s use of this racist epithet “boy” falls most heavily on him.
The Clintons poll, test, and focus-group everything. So when Bill Clinton aims a racially-loaded word like “boy” at Barack Obama, this is no accident. It is a calculated attempt to evoke white racist feelings at an almost subliminal, subconscious level as a way to help elect Hillary.
If the Clintons genuinely cared about civil rights and ending black-white racism in America, Hillary would sacrifice her own selfish ambitions, resign from this presidential race, and urge her supporters to vote for Obama.
No wonder liberal baby boomers like Chris Matthews feel disappointment and disgust at Hillary’s selfish candidacy and her crass and deceptive political machinations.
Chris Matthews wants again to feel the magic of his youth. He, like many other aging Democrats, wants a candidate like John F. Kennedy who embodies and evokes the idealism, vision, inspiration, and joy they felt when young.
During Obama’s speech Saturday night, Matthews felt that old magic stirring, rejuvenating his longing liberal heart.
Like most of us, Matthews knows that Hillary betrayed and lost any baby boomer magic she might once have had when she sold her soul to the dark side of power.
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