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Web Letter

He's black, you know. You know, he's really black. This is the 1990s rubbish that Bill Clinton tried and was, thank God, unsuccessful at using in the South Carolina primary.

According to Clinton, Barack Obama is a young, eloquent black man. I understand the subtlety of Bill Clinton's words, since for my entire career I have been perceived as a white Puerto Rican who is pretty smart. Yes, these characterizations have been said to my face. Not only should Bill Clinton be ashamed of employing these words and tactics, I hope thinking people will consider his remark as what it is: unadulterated racism.

The words and the strategy employed by Mr. Clinton and the Clinton campaign evince a mindset of contemporary racism. According to MSNBC exit polls, Clinton's argument was bought by voters over 60. This is the Clinton age group who supported equality if only we remembered our place and if you didn't act as a black man, a Puerto Rican man, a Mexican-American man. If you weren't somehow a representative of the white stereotype who rose up above ethnicity, above their stereotype, you were a typical minority.

So according to President Clinton, Barack Obama is a young, eloquent black man and I'm a pretty smart white Puerto Rican. I don't really consider myself Puerto Rican but American, forty-five years after Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech. But a policy of racial preferences is still in place because America has two educational systems, one for the rich and one for the poor.

Apparently, in a seventy-five-minute address to a rally for his wife in Independence, Missouri, President Clinton provided an overview of his record as Arkansas Governor. I am sure he did not mention that during all the years of his governorship Arkansas did not have a Civil Rights Law and that he did nothing to have such an important amendment added to the state's constitution. So in Arkansas black Americans were still perceived in law and in fact as second-class Americans.

When then-Governor Clinton settled the Little Rock school desegregation law suit, President Clinton signed a consent decree that promised to provide increased funding to black schools but not the integration of those schools.

Right now, as Bill Clinton travels around the country campaigning for his wife he has been suspended from the practice of law by the Arkansas and the United States Supreme Courts because he lied. He lied to a grand jury. A suspension from legal practice may not be permanent disbarment, but it is pretty damn close.

Scores of Democratic political consultants, myself among them, and thousands of Democratic operatives donated their time during the impeachment process to organize other Democrats to fight Clinton's removal from office. His impeachment was a political hit job, but he could have dodged the hit but for his mental illness, which the mental health profession describes as a personality disorder: sexual addiction.

Listed as one of ten kinds of personality disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, a handbook that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental ilness), sex addictions are described by the DSM-IV as "enduring pattern[s] of inner experience and behavior" that are sufficiently rigid and deep-seated to bring a person into repeated conflicts with his or her social and occupational environment. DSM-IV-TR specifies that to be considered pathological these dysfunctional patterns must be regarded as nonconforming or deviant by the person's culture, and cause significant emotional pain and/or difficulties in relationships and occupational performance.

Hillary Clinton may "stand by her man," but his employment as surrogate-in-chief of her campaign reflects poorly on her judgment. Or perhaps, as alcoholics learn, "denial" is just not a river in Egypt.

Is he acting out on the campaign trail? Will he relapse while Hillary's in the White House, turning attention from policy to the defense of deviant conduct yet again?

If Hillary wants to run for President in her own right, that's fair, but to use her husband as her attack dog diminishes their legacy and will destroy the Democratic Party. The 1990s are over. The Clintonistas represent its old politics of polarization and demonization. The American people are sick of this kind of politics, which is why Mrs. Clinton should not be the nominee of the Democratic Party. If she wants to stay in public life, her role as a conscientious United States Senator serves her well.

President Clinton can remain the humanitarian philanthropist who provides aid to the poor downtrodden minorities whom he sees as blacks, Puerto Rican, Mexicans and affected by some other calamity, Katrina for example, where he can rest peaceful in his ugly stereotypes and play the Great White Hunter.

Joe Garcia

Surfside, FL

Jan 28 2008 - 1:26pm

Web Letter

We Democrats should care more with our heads and think less with our hearts. Because we invest so much emotion in our goals, we become exhausted from the long battle with Republicans, who do not share them.

We recoil from the character attacks they make on our leaders: Kerry’s flip-flopping and the Swift-Boating in 2004; Gore’s reinventing himself in 2000; the persistent investigations into the Clintons’ financial, political, and personal lives in 1996 and 1992; and Dukakis’s pardoning of Willie Horton in 1988.

We tire of fighting back. In 2008, we are trying to retreat from the battle. We embrace Barack Obama, a good, new leader. He promises to end the war--not just in Iraq but with Republicans, too. He appeals to our hearts. He inspires. He will unite Democrats, Republicans and independents. We will now disagree without being disagreeable.

If only Republicans would go along with his message. If only they, too, would be inspired. However, emotion does not sway them.

Nevertheless, we Democrats still try to sway them. We join them in attacking the character of one of our own, a good, experienced woman. We call Hillary the calculating woman. She fakes it. We do not like dynasties; and, so, as a woman she is disqualified from office because her husband held it first. We will not take her on her merits. All the things we accomplished in the 1990s are now to be despised.

We want to prove to Republicans that we want a new era of cooperation with them by setting up our own straw woman and knocking her down.

I will vote for whomever wins Democratic nomination. I hope both Clinton and Obama are on the ticket. However, unless we Democrats learn quickly how to start thinking and stop emoting, we may be in for another big fall in November.

Thomas Amato

Chicago, IL

Jan 12 2008 - 2:49pm

Web Letter

If it was up to Senator Hillary Clinton, our Founding Fathers would have never gotten a job, for in her mind they lacked the previous experience to perform properly as the leaders of our country.

You need no experience to stay on the current course. Inertia will keep pushing you forward. But it takes great analytical and leadership skills to realize when it is the right moment to change course because the situation in the world has changed dramatically.

Senator Clinton is intellectually incapable of grasping these simple facts and keeps misleading the nation that the wrong experience she gained through constant partisan bickering matters more than the right instincts. She has no instinct and she will never have any. Our Founding Fathers didn’t make the right choice based on historically justified precedent but based on their analytic abilities, common sense and cravings for justice.

But Senator Clinton is not our problem, she is an indicator of our problems. Our problem is our journalists and editors who failed during the last twelve months to explain some fundamental things to Hillary and New Hampshire voters who supported her.

For God’s sake, Senator Hillary fully supported Bush’s policy until it was obvious to the American public that we are in deep trouble, and only then she severed her relationship with a failing President and jumped from a sinking ship.

But our media have rewarded her for being the last one among the Democratic contenders to grasp the reality.

Even worse, she explained her New Hampshire victory by claiming that during the previous week she listened to the voters and in the process she found her own voice. Hillary, if you did that as a first grader, it would be praise-worthy and you might have got a candy for such an action. But at your age, isn’t it a little bit too late for such behavior? Whom did you listen to in weeks, months and years before that? Your favorite lobbyists, campaign donors and paid consultants?

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Jan 11 2008 - 10:32am

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