Saturday, June 21, 2008

Unite or Die

Unite or Die. This was the motto of American revolutionaries in some states in and around 1765. It emphasized the need for unity in the face of a common enemy, in that case, British tyranny. This should be our motto this summer as the factions of the Democratic Party recover from a fractious primary season. Old pols will say that this last dust up was nothing or was just as divisive as in previous elections, but I beg to differ.

This is the first time in history that race and gender were at issue in a primary contest.

Feelings are still running high, I am told, and there is still a lot of healing that has to be done.

And perhaps that can be accomplished now that Hillary Clinton is emerging from her self-imposed isolation as she rests and recuperates from a long primary contest. Yesterday, the Obama campaign announced that Senator Clinton will appear with Barack Obama on a campaign appearance sometime late next week.

This is about the right time and timing for reconciliation between the candidates and their supporters.

Bringing up something that I had to puzzle over for a few minutes today. At the monthly meeting of the Fort Bend Democrats this morning, Geri picked up a newspaper clipping that was lying around. She read it, laughed, and handed it to me.

It was a political cartoon by cartoonist Tom Toles. I have it below.
It is one of those “Fold-ins” that we all used to enjoy when reading Mad Magazine. I had to stop and manipulate it to see if it really had a hidden fold-in message.

I was not disappointed.

But the real curious thing is the timing of the cartoon. It was actually published in the May 21st edition of the Washington Post – at least that’s where I found it in the archives. The curious thing is that this cartoon would have been more appropriate yesterday than a month ago. A month ago, neither candidate had yet amassed the requisite number of delegates to claim the nomination.

Well, maybe someone else can tell me what event back then inspired this cartoon. I can’t recall.

But it’s entirely appropriate now. Now that spring has given way to summer and we face a long journey to November.

Our task this summer, then, is to start the hard work that is needed to defeat Republican cronyism, Republican warmongering, and Republican kleptomania. But before we begin, our task is to put aside our squabbling. The past is the past and it is all water under the bridge at this point (or over the bridge as we continue to hear of rising water in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys). It is time now to unite.

Unite or die.

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