The noise. The infernal, incessant noise -- nothing 5/4 cool like John Bonham doing "Four Sticks," but a pounding that stutters like the kit in a Britney Spears track. "Toxic," maybe. Or maybe it's from Madonna's "Ray of Light." Either or. There's nothing in it that tears away the pretense and tears down the gut. Nothing but hollow pounding and it's coming from the Democrats, the only party capable of slipping and falling face-first in its own waste, drowning in its own shit.
Give them a cinch and they insist on making it close. They will blame a nailbiter in November on the nefarious tactics of their political opponent. Don't believe it. The Democrats of 2008 are perfectly poised to bitch and moan their way out of an electoral landslide.
The pentapolis of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich is now down to a trio, but really a duo, because Edwards may be coming to Springfield, Mo., but his heart and soul will be somewhere else that day, hiding from the realities of a decomposing campaign. No one thinks he can win. The goal now is deciding the owner of the backside that will feel the sliding intrusion of Edwards' shiv. Hillary? Barack? Too early to decide, and both targets are too tempting. Like the blade when it pierces, revenge should be sharp and cold and unexpected.
Neither Obama nor Clinton will notice the knife's plunge -- they might see Edwards flash a shark-like grin, or maybe hear a honey-tongued epithet; everything sounds so much sweeter when it's doused in a Carolinian twang -- but they won't see it because they'll be too busy with the bloody knuckles and concussions sustained in their own disgusting fist fight.
Edwards might get away with a manslaughter rap, you know. Justified homicide isn't an unreasonable outcome, except Clinton knows too many dangerous people and Obama is a made man in Chicago politics. Edwards will have to do some time -- but it will be in moderate accommodations, nothing too punishing or demoralizing. In due time he will be rehabilitated.
The fates are muddier for Clinton and Obama. The Pentapolis of the Old Testament is remembered only for the two classy signposts of Sodom and Gomorrah, where hospitality was definitely not served in heaping helpings, and look what happened. Salt and bitter. Harsh and mean.
A mean streak runs through both the Clinton and Obama camps. Obamaniacs can't stand the nuclear weapon that the Clintonistas possess -- the BOAB known as Bill, with the power to dissuade enemies both foreign and domestic. He's an ex-president, dammit, and it's a pretty small club these days, what with Reagan and Ford kicking the bucket and a confused Carter wandering off the property with increasing rapidity. No wonder Bill and George the First have such curious common ground.
Eleanor Roosevelt once observed that campaign spouses should "always be on time and do as little talking as humanly possible." But she never knew Bill. It is not humanly possible for him to stop scheming, and it's not always a bad trait -- Eleanor's husband dug bold, persistent experimentation, and in his best moments, Bill Clinton is capable of brilliance.
But the worst moments bring out brutality, and the verbal pummeling for which Bill is famous. He's in full rasp these days against the forces of evil who won't let go and bend to his reality that Hillary will win the nomination of her party. Bill's party. Even if it takes calling out the Tiananmen tanks and lobbing the Bill bomb.
Ridiculous waste of firepower -- but we've learned to expect no less from Clintonistas. Once the first bullet is fired -- sometimes by others, often by them -- they shellac the land with everything in the arsenal. It's quite the bang to watch, if you're properly dosed, but exhaustion inevitably sets in until you feel slimy behind heavy lids. Doesn't take away from the gutter arousal of witnessing an ass kicking, but there's always blood to wash off, and unless you're careful the stain sets.
"Machine politics!" cry the Obamaniacs, correct but clueless. Their leader, no innocent, knows all about machines. He has a fine and powerful one, and uses it to gull his supporters into believing that Bill Clinton has no business talking up his wife and talking down her opponent. He deludes them with the idea that a Hillary win means an actual Clinton dynasty. He tries to convince them, through his Barack bots, that Hillary would have Republicans in an uproar -- but that Barack could bring them around and unite the country.
Obama's machine spreads these rotten memes like nasty oil spurts from a broken engine block. The worst one warns that his followers won't support the Democratic candidate for president if it isn't Him.
Their ilk pulled this in 2000 when they said they wanted change, and Al Gore was no different than George Bush, only back then the machines were run by Bill Bradley and Ralph Nader. Gore was the establishment, the conventional. The starry-eyed who turned their noses up at him got their change from Bush.
There's still time for Dems to stop their idiocy. Still time for the Cult of Barack to snap out of its infatuation -- and for Clinton to mend fences, kiss ass, muzzle her husband. She does that, she wins.
Once she's in the White House as jefe, Hillary won't leave Bill much, if any, time for policy wonking -- her Oval Office, Bubba, not yours. He'll have even less room to roam. The Secret Service and all its potential for fatal mischief will belong to her, and no one thinks she won't use it, especially if she suspects Bill is sniffing around on some sultry summer night. Poor sumbitch. He'll never know what hit him.