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Posted by on Aug 24, 2008 in Politics | 3 comments

Shedding Tears for Hillary

Memo to disaffected Clinton Democrats arriving in Denver: Forty years ago at the convention in Chicago, as a delegate supporting anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy, I was tear-gassed by the police of Mayor Richard Daley, a supporter of Hubert Humphrey. The Democrats lost that election and Richard Nixon moved into the White House.

The internal strife will be less riotous this week, but the danger of self-inflicted damage is just as great. The passions in 1968 were political, about ending a war, but the powerful feelings of 2008 are personal, about perceived sexism and disrespect for the first woman within reach of a presidential nomination.

From the sidelines, hopeful Republicans are shedding crocodile tears for Hillary Clinton with TV commercials about being “passed over,” and ardent feminists like William Kristol are bemoaning “The Democrats’ Glass Ceiling.”

Such sympathy is touching, coming from those whose political sensitivities have brought on a devastating war and economic chaos, but Democrats of all persuasions are faced with the challenge of not letting their own passion for fairness and justice lead to another victory for politicians whose priorities are power and privilege.

That would be cause for sadness beyond tears.

Cross-posted from my blog.