Saturday, June 28, 2008

Divided in Unity

Over the years, I have known of a number of congregations named "Unity Baptist Church." In every instance, that name did not reveal a reality; rather, it tried to mask one. Those churches tended to result from nasty divisions.

Nonetheless, the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton must have worked long and hard searching maps for a place called Unity to join hands and sing Kumbaya. That they felt the need to work so hard for that bit of symbolism might be instructive. But they found it, and yesterday they met there, saying all the right things while looking somewhat uncomfortable as supporters of the Senator from New York continued to express doubts about their support for a candidate representing the wrong grievance group.

The problem is that Ms. Clinton knows that she has lost, but cannot quite bring herself to leave the limelight. If she unequivocally denied interest in the vice-presidency and promised unconditional support of whoever is on the ticket, she could give her supporters clear direction as to their proper allegiance and return to being the Senator from New York. However, she will not do that, and one senses that she is still attempting a calculation as to what outcome in this campaign will best serve her personal interests.

The Clinton's rarely won gracefully, and now we know that they don't know how to lose either. Surely, Peggy Noonan is right when she contrasts this race with the normal:

The way it used to be is you ran and lost and either disappeared or pitched in. Mrs. Clinton continues making Mr. Obama look the dauphin to her embittered and domineering queen.

What a hothouse of egos and drama the Democratic Party has become.


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