Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Cardboard Cutout People
Author: Dave Winer Posted: 12/19/1998; 2:39:43 PM Topic: Cardboard Cutout People Msg #: 1465 Prev/Next: 1464 / 1467
I want to share a few of my thoughts after listening to the House debate this morning and watching the President's speech this afternoon.
I saw two sides locked into their ways and neither of them giving. The Democrats hurl the nastiest ideas, Gephardt talking about violence, still talking in soundbites, leaving everyone to decide which side they're on now that things changed so much.
Anyone talking about what the American people want now is full of it. How could anyone know what they want? It's all so confusing.
Even so, I thought this would be the chance for Clinton to say "OK, look, I've got a big problem now. Realistically, this is the heaviest day of my life. You've all got my attention now."
I don't think we really do have his full attention. What did I see? The same cardboard cutout of a human being. An actor mouthing the lines, with fake emotion, trying to look as he imagines we would want him to look, instead of looking like he really is.
To borrow a fictional character, I thought we might get Carroll O'Connor, instead of Archie Bunker. Nope. He's still spinning. How the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the hit parade. Guys like us we had it made! Those were the days..
Look, if I were a Republican, who, by the way are just as much in disarray as the Democrats with the resignation of Livingston, here's what I would want Clinton to say.
"OK. We both have a problem. We're so enmeshed in this process, I understand that I screwed up, and it's not just screwing up in my personal life, I also screwed the justice system, and even worse, I got caught! (Wouldn't some humor be nice here?) OK, I get it. I hear you. You don't like it. OK OK OK.
"Now, what could we do to solve this problem? What do you want? What can I do to help your cause?"
Clinton talks about wanting to bring everyone together, but when he looks into the camera all I see is defiance. He hasn't offered me, an American voter with a mind, any reason to support him. He hasn't asked for my support. I think that's a key point.
Clinton had too much camera time today. His invisibility was working for him, at least with me. My imagination was inventing a new Clinton, one who was truly getting the message that the Republicans were sending. One who is searching for a way to get beyond this, not by snowing us under with his bullshit, but one who was struggling to find a way to make our country *better* for going thru this process.
This, unfortunately, once again, was not the man who showed up.
Gore, Gephardt and Hillary
Gore is very confused. I saw him on Larry King and then again earlier this afternoon. There's no way anyone would want him to be the new leader in a Clinton-less Washington.
Gephardt is a fool. He should keep his distance from Clinton until he starts talking sense. Hillary, well who knows. Sometimes I think she's an alien, like the ones Joe Firmage talks about.
I'm going to go for a walk now and think about this some.
There are responses to this message:
- Re: Cardboard cutout people, Jason Levine, 12/19/1998; 2:46:11 PM
- Re: Cardboard Cutout People, Rick Eames, 12/19/1998; 5:37:09 PM
- Remember: Clinton brought this on himself, Rick Eames, 12/20/1998; 10:44:46 AM
- A great read, Rick Eames, 12/20/1998; 10:08:46 PM
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