Friday, May 23, 2008

I luuuv Rachel Maddow *click*, Part 1

Arrrrgh! I cannot believe that you hung up on me ! (again)

Dear Dr. Maddow:
I wasn't finished. I had more to say.

I try to be concise, to be polite and let others get a chance to talk. I try to be interesting and insightful. I do this mostly so that you keep taking my calls. I like pretending that we hang out at recess and sit at the same table during lunch period. In my imagination I always give you cuts, even when it's Pizza Day.

So you can understand how much it hurt when you hung up on me. [insert your own "hung up on you" joke here. I'm going with old-school Herbie Hancock.]

I wanted to give you my prediction for the super-secret, party-unifying, M. Night Shyamalan, surprise way that Barack Obama is going to wrap up this Long March to the Democratic Nomination. I swear it wouldn't have taken up too much airtime. Cross my heart. Pinky promise.

But it is too late for that. You have struck me down and I have become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Now I can flesh out the details. I can lay out my reasoning. I can explain why Hillary Clinton has chosen Russell Crowe over the field of Mathematical Determinacy. More on that later.

You say that the Democrats are on a ten-day suicide watch counting down to May 31st. You say that they are in danger of losing the election if it hasn't already been lost. As I've said before: I think you are mostly exactly correct. This means that I also think you are slightly inexactly incorrect. I was the first caller on your May 21st Air America Rachel Maddow Show broadcast and I tried to convince you that there was a way to short circuit this electoral electric chair. I'd like to think that I played a small part in the faint ray of hope you see in getting 90 of the Superdelegatemans and Superdelegatewomans to declare for Obama before May 31st.

It might already be too late, too self-immolated, too fercockt for (any of) the Democrats to win in November. But, unlike you, I think that Barack Obama has a strategy for what is happening. More importantly I think that he is executing that strategy even as we speak.

This strategy is so crazy that it just might work. Hillary has certainly left him no other choice.

I must say that Hillary Clinton is staying in the race for reasons that make sense to her and those around her. She is looking to take it all the way to the convention. Heck, if she doesn't win there I wouldn't be surprised if she showed up on December 15th when the electors meet for the Electoral College still insisting that she is more electable than President-elect McCain. 

All of this makes complete sense to her and is totally, totally worth it. As you've so rightly said, if what you really want is to be President of the United States -- a slim chance of becoming President (a fight at the convention) is better than no chance of becoming President." Even the phrase 'President-elect McCain' is not enough to deter you.

I have been saying something for a long time. No, not to you. At the time I started you weren't even my pretend pal on WRNX, let alone WRSI. I have been saying this: Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton met at Yale Law School. During passionate late-night wonking sessions, fueled by uninhaled marijuana and unbaked cookies, the two of them decided that they both should be President. This was in a world before state legislatures could vote down the Equal Rights Amendment. The path to their presidency obviously went through her husband. This is why a Wellesley commencement speaker moves all the way to mid-1970s Arkansas.

At this point I would like to point out that if Hillary Rodham hadn't sacrificed her career for her husband's political ambitions Bill Clinton would be a gas station attendant today. Women of a certain age understand this to their core. They make up her base of Tammy Wynette-loyal voters.

In the thirty-three years since she moved to Fayetteville the world changed and Hillary Rodham Clinton played a significant part in that change. We now live in a world where both Clintons have a chance to be president, just like they dreamed. This is why Hillary will throw good money after bad, burn every bridge, climb every mountain, ford every stream...

I can't say that I blame her. I may resent her, despise her, and accuse her of ruining the Democratic Party's best chance in 75 years to permanently realign the American political landscape thereby handing over the Supreme Court to the wingnuts for another two generations as well as making me write very long sentences. But I won't say that I blame her.

It all makes sense in Hillaryville. It takes a village to destroy a party. In Hillary Clinton's experience there are always more time bombs ticking out there to destroy a man's candidacy. Skeletons in closets. Bimbo eruptions. Whatever. The Democratic nomination goes to the candidate with the will and the gumption to continue when everyone around them is telling them that they should quit. That is the lesson of the '92 campaign.

The lesson of the '96 campaign is that it is easy to redefine and defeat an underfunded grumpy old war hero GOP opponent. This means that if she can get the nomination she absolutely will win in November. Hillary and her larger half, Bill, know exactly how much being president is worth and they are willing to spend their own money to get it back. This ain't beanbag. This ain't Texas Hold 'Em. This ain't Florida and Michigan hold 'em. This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around.

This is Life During Wartime. You do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.

Oh, and the Russell Crowe v. Mathematical Determinacy contest? Let me lay some hunky math on you. Determinacy is part of something called fancy-pants, ivory tower, very confusing mathematical set theory. Simply put: Determinacy is the study of games, whether a strategy to win a particular game exists and the significance of that strategy's existence.

Russell Crowe, on the other hand, is a rich handsome temperamental actor who won an Oscar for his portrayal of John Forbes Nash. "Of the eponymously named 'Nash Equilibrium'?" I hear you cry. Yes, that John Forbes Nash. They also made a movie of his life called A Beautiful Mind. A Nash Equilibrium is arrived at in a game when, "each player must answer negative to the question: 'Knowing the strategies of the other players , and treating the strategies of the other players as set in stone, can I benefit by changing my strategy."

Hillary Clinton is not changing her strategy. This proves the axiom: When in doubt always go with the hunky Oscar-winner.

So the question is now: What do you do if you are Barack Obama? And what is your plan for a June Surprise? I think I know.

please stay on the line for Part 2