I'm taking a break from my usual (although two posts doesn't exactly make it "usual") ruminations on my love life to comment on a political controversy that is sweeping the 10 people who are still following the Presidential election.
Basically, Hillary Clinton, whom I support, said that President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) deserved either a great deal or most (I'm not sure) of the credit for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Obama campaign fired back by suggesting that she meant to insult Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the work on the ground that eventually produced the Civils Right Act. Clinton qualified her remarks somewhat, saying that she meant that, regardless of how much great work a given individual such as Dr. King does, one still must work within the political system in order to affect real change (this may provide a parallel, although she did not say so, with the Democratic goal of establishing some sort of national health care system). On the same day, her supporter, the head of BET, made another snide comment about Obama's drug use, which the Clinton campaign had said it would stop doing. Obama said that Clinton was trying to drive him off message, while pundits speculated that it's no coincidence that this is happening in the same week as the South Carolina primary, where about half of Dem voters (or maybe likely voters?) are African-American.
My take on this is that it's inane and distracting. Of course, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both right. In order for major, society-changing legislation to pass, much work must be done at the grass roots--and a charismatic leader certainly doesn't hurt--and then the State and National Legislature and President have to step in (and the Supreme Court has to not torpedo it). Scholars have also argued--no coverage of this in the mainstream media yet--that, had it not been for the assasination of JFK in November, 1963, and the resevoir of good will that it built up for the Democratic Party, LBJ would not have had the political capital to sign the Civil Rights Act. Anyone for an argument over whether Lee Harvey Oswald (or, if you are conspiracy minded, the CIA, Mob, RFK, and/or Castro) did more than MLK to get the Civil Rights Act passed? I'm getting tired of this . . .
Okay, that's off my chest now. In the next post, I plan to discuss: The Shaigetz (of course, there's a Shaigetz. There always is one).