by Terry Michael
January 28, 2008 (revised, 6:55 pm EST)

Play the dynasty card now, Barack.
The presidency is not a family business (as Teddy learned in 1980)

Any smart sixty-year-old woman with “35 years of experience” living with a man as self-obsessed as Bill Clinton is certainly entitled to some kind of compensation for bearing that burden.

But inheriting leadership of the free world?

That seems a bit much to many of us with old fashioned ideas about power belonging to the people, rather than being mere chattel handed down by divine right of old world kings or their modern pretenders to power on this side of the Atlantic, who wear Kennebunkport and Little Rock coats of arms.

I’m no Constitutional expert, but I feel safe asserting the presidency was never intended to be a family business. And it’s certainly not a stage on which the American people should have to suffer a sequel to that 1990's psycho drama acted out by a dysfunctional Arkansan family--especially after enduring the troubles Bush 43 got us into with his “higher father”-directed attempt to emerge from the shadow of 41.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, who endorsed Barack Obama today, learned the hard way in 1980 that he couldn't pass a family torch to himself. The voters wanted something very new that year, a major new direction, which they got with the Reagan revolution.

So, Barack, it’s time to play the dynasty card.

Nobody’s going to fault you for saying it outright. Obviously, you were not to the manner born. You are leading a movement--white, black, brown and more, male and female, gay and straight--which sees the worth of each liberty loving individual as the inspiration for, and strength of our pluralistic democracy.

Courtesans attending the regents Bill and Hillary are seeking a restoration of power for themselves. They demand it. They believe they deserve it. You represent the rest of us, Senator Obama, and you need not be shy about making your charge clear–-no matter how down ‘n dirty our First Black President wants to get in order to restore himself to that real estate on Pennsylvania Avenue.

This election isn’t a black thing or an ethnic thing or a woman thing for the millions of us who share the political party legacy of Jefferson and his focus on individuals rather than groups. As you know so well, as the Tiger Woods of American politics, this is about seeing ourselves in each other and giving us common hope in which to believe again, not with a restoration of an old order, or elevation of a new tribe, but with a very American, we’re-all-in-this-together sense of renewal.

Kick our old baby boomer asses off the stage Barack, and consign those dynasty pretenders and identity politics offenders to the dust bins of history.

Thanks to Bill Clinton's desperation to return to 1600 Pennsylvania, the psycho-geography of the Democratic primary campaign landscape is now prepared to receive the message that America doesn't need another four or eight years of dynastic politics.
Director of the non-partisan Washington Center for Politics & Journalism, Terry Michael writes personal opinion at his "thoughts from a libertarian Democrat" blog,


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