sab: (un >> prez clinton)
[personal profile] sab
Yeah, okay, I can't keep my fat mouth shut. But there's so little in the blogosphere that I've seen in defense of Hillary and her candidacy -- I've joked that this must be what being a republican on LJ must feel like. So anyway, I can't complain about that and not do anything about it, but I will try my damndest to keep this brief and as uninflammatory as possible.

This is in response to [livejournal.com profile] txvoodoo's recent post about racism and sexism, and, before I start -- Lisa, I have nothing but the greatest respect for you, and I am all ABOUT people on LJ and everywhere expressing their opinions. What's more I'm glad that people are responding (80 comments and counting) and opening up discussion.

But anyway.



First, I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary because I want her to be president. I've wanted her to be president since 1992, have been in her corner (and to a degree, what those pundits call a Clintonista or an FOB/FOH) for the sixteen years since. I applauded her run for senate, respected the hell out of the fact that she -- as promised to the people of NY -- finished out her freshman term in the Senate before running for president, and, end of the day, I think she'd be a terrific president for this country. Which is to say, I'd've voted for Hillary no matter who she was running against (unless, of course, it was Al Gore *g*).

George Clooney said about his movie "Michael Clayton," before the Oscars, that he had no expectation of winning whatsoever, because Daniel Day-Lewis was pretty much a lock for "There Will Be Blood."

"It's like being Hillary Clinton," Clooney said. "If it weren't for Obama Daniel Day-Lewis, it would have been a great year."

Now, in response to [livejournal.com profile] txvoodoo; I really don't want to weigh in on Racism vs. Sexism: which sucks more! because that's sort of a no-win argument. I do want to weigh in on the media attention given to the two candidates, and the delicacy of language that's been thrown around in this election cycle.

[livejournal.com profile] txvoodoo, among other things, suggests that using the phrase "arrogant" to describe Obama is racist. And while I understand that there are situations in which that word is racially coded, I think part of the problem Hillary/the media/the so-called liberal blogosphere have with talking about this election is because no one really knows which words are okay to use.

Me, I think Obama IS arrogant. I think Hillary is too, and in fact I also think it's an important quality for someone who thinks they can be president of the United States. And Hillary just as frequently gets tagged with words like "manipulative" which are just as easily coded to ambitious women as "arrogant" may be to ambitious black politicians. But there are ways in which Hillary IS manipulative, and what's more, she IS a women. Whether the two things are connected or not (whether women in power are necessarily manipulative or ambitious, or whatever, or whether this is a particular trait of Hillary Clinton) is something I don't think we're qualified to judge.

What I do know is that from what I've observed, the media has been gentler to Obama than Clinton. It's entirely possible it's because he's running such a squeaky clean campaign, or because he's just a menschy guy, or because he really doesn't have too many bad traits to begin with, but I think it's also possible that the media/the blogosphere/WE don't quite have the words to discuss whether or not a black presidential candidate IS running on his race, or in spite of it, or whether we're really in a time when race is irrelevant.

I think Barack Obama is an amazing orator, a terrific inspiration, and a smart, creative man who could do a lot toward bringing the country into the 21st century, etc, but I also think he needs to dangle his toes a little more first, and should be a great victor in '16.

But for now, when Geraldine Ferraro dares to muse that Obama's success in the media/with the public has to do with the fact that he's a black man, I actually think I might agree. I mean, I don't know -- never having had a black man run for president (particularly against a woman, and a Clinton!) I don't have the appropriate perspective to judge what sort of racial issues necessarily come along with that, or what sort of kid gloves are needed/expected in a campaign like this. But Obama described his grandmother as a "typical white woman," you know, the kind who crosses the street when a black man walks toward her, and that -- while probably true about Obama's grandmother, and true about SOME white women -- is just as scarily racist as anything else.

It's easier to campaign against Hillary than to be Hillary campaigning against ANYONE. She came in with baggage, being a "Clinton" (though let's remember that when she first got the glimmer in her eye to enter politics, she was a Rodham), being a cuckoldess (as it were), being at times shrewish, secretive, friends with high dollar donors, in bed with big industries, and with eight years in the White House under scrutiny despite the fact that she was a First Lady at the time -- which is yet another type of candidate we don't really know how to address or judge. How much of Bill's presidency do we "blame" on Hillary? How much Clinton baggage can we tie her to? And in the end she gets tackled by all the messiness of the Bill Clinton presidency, which is (we remember from years of Ken Starr, the friggin blue dress, and late night talk show hosts bandying jokes around night after night) incredibly easy to recycle and throw back at her.

And then here's Obama, with a two year clean record and a speech disavowing the war before he was a Senator to call him on. And so instead when we call him on issues that are relevant to this election (IS his race providing him an easier way to impact/impress to the public? Is his masterful oratory masking a lack of experience?) it turns into a dirty, racist, sexist fight.

Crap. This isn't brief at all.

Several weeks ago I was telling a friend, in response to all the post-Texas-and-Ohio calls for Hillary to drop out of the race, that I was really annoyed, because I LOVED this primary. A smart woman and a smart man, two amazing candidates, BOTH of whom I believe can beat McCain, running in an unprecedented Democratic election at the end of an unprecedentedly awful Republican term. We've been waiting for this election for EIGHT YEARS, many of us, counting down the days, and now that we've got our horses lined up, I think we should let the race run its course.

And at the end of the day I think there are really two Democrat schools of thought going into this election, and they're what really separates us, after race and gender are put aside (as far as can be realistically expected). Obama promises the Revolution that we've been talking about for a while, a whole NEW America, moving forward, not bogged down with political machinations of the past. He also promises a new KIND of president, the kind who isn't a beltway insider, the kind who won't bring the same old cabinet back, the same old political advisors, the same old strategies. And while the revolution is AMAZING, it's also something that I think should wait till '16. Whereas I trust Hillary, and her friends and advisors, and her foreign and domestic policy experience, and health care plan, and economic plan, and world trade plan, and it basically means she's the one I want on the other side of disarmament talks with Iran. I want her health care and her Iraq strategies and her plans for restoring America's relationship with Europe and the rest of the world. I trust her to be the one to undo the Bush administration's damage.

Anyway, there we are. I wish this were an easier campaign, and mostly I wish that my candidate wasn't faced with the uphill challenge of figuring out how to campaign against a brilliant, inexperienced, arrogant, liberal black man without being called on racist shenanigans. I mean. I think it's gotta be pretty hard to be a black man running for president. But I also think it's pretty hard to run AGAINST a black man in a country that's so confused about race.



Um, here's some articles:

LA Times Op-Ed on Obama's speech on race
The New Republic on race in this election
Howard Dean, briefly, on the campaigns.

Date: 2008-04-04 01:57 am (UTC)
ext_12603: Scully at the computer (Default)
From: [identity profile] ropo.livejournal.com
You know what I worry about? That if Hillary OR Obama wins, that then any mistake they make will make it so that idiots go, "Oh, no more black/female presidents for us! Back to the white guys only!"

Good post, and so's the one from txvoodoo, so thanks for linking.

Date: 2008-04-04 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Yeah, or whichever one LOSES will be subject to years of "why couldn't a woman win the presidency?" "why couldn't a black man win the presidency?"

It's really very confusing to have groundbreaking candidates going head to head when really those of us who aren't white guys should be sticking TOGETHER. I mean, say what you will, Obama and Hillary are definitely splitting the NOT ANOTHER WHITE GUY vote...

Date: 2008-04-04 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] txvoodoo.livejournal.com
"Crap. This isn't brief at all."

*grins* I know that feeling!

Well, right off the bat - I don't think he should wait till 2016, cause I think we need him NOW. I feel the fact that he's less a part of the ingrained DC culture weighs in his favor rather than otherwise. (I know, people said that about the Shrub, but...hell, it's THE SHRUB.)

I will still take exception on the "arrogant" issue. I think running for president requires an extremely healthy ego, an inordinant amount of self-confidence, and an ambition the likes of which most people will never experience :D

But arrogance conveys and connotes something entirely different - it's a highly negative word, suggestion that someone feels they are inherantly above those around them. And I just don't have that impression from Obama.

And yes, it is a coded racist term. But the thing is? It's so often that the person using it isn't aware that they use racist terms or codes - it's so UTTERLY ingrained in them. It's no longer acceptable to call a black man "presumptuous" or "uppity" - so "arrogant" has been the word swapped in, via the right-wing's information.

And the funny thing is, the use of it depends on people saying "but it's a perfectly acceptable word!"

"But Obama described his grandmother as a "typical white woman," you know, the kind who crosses the street when a black man walks toward her, and that -- while probably true about Obama's grandmother, and true about SOME white women -- is just as scarily racist as anything else."

See, though - I totally understand him. Because, his grandmother is my mother's generation (thanks to my being a late baby). And that's how my educated, worldly mother is. She won't get on an elevator if there's only a black man in it. etc etc. It's reprehensible - but she's a product of her era. So when he said that? I get it. And for their generation, that's a perfectly acceptable reaction. To those of us who are younger, we cringe at that kind of racist reaction.

And Ferraro? Yeah - she's a product of her generation, as well - but she should have known better. To suggest that Obama's lucky to be a black man - no, to SAY it, well, it harks to Babs Bush saying "oh, these people are lucky to be in this gym!" post-Katrina.

OK, I'm gonna start rambling here. Answering all those comments on my LJ is beating my brain to a pulp!

Sab - I just wanna say one thing, which I've said in comments over on my LJ. I respect anyone who's made a decision to support a candidate based on information and facts. Yes, personal appeal factors into it with all of us, cause, well, we're human ;) We've all got that measure of shallow in us, in however it manifests. But I don't hate Hillary peeps out of hand! (Hell, we had a bunch of great ones in my precinct at our county convention last weekend!)

And I also have utmost respect for you - I know how much you've worked for the progressive cause, and how deeply you support it. In the end, we're on the same side there. Let's hope that post-convention, whichever way it goes, we can all get all squishy and active and work for a Dem candidate together!


Date: 2008-04-04 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Thanks for the response. I mean, I think we ARE on the same side, we just have a very unique primary this year in which to figure out what our liberal and progressive tendencies REALLY mean.

And Ferraro? Yeah - she's a product of her generation, as well - but she should have known better. To suggest that Obama's lucky to be a black man - no, to SAY it, well, it harks to Babs Bush saying "oh, these people are lucky to be in this gym!" post-Katrina.

She didn't say he was lucky to be black, she said he would not have come this far if he weren't a black man. And, I mean, would as much media attention have been paid to a two-year freshman senator if he were a white guy?

Obama came to our attention when he ran for Senate -- and it was an amazing victory and I remember feeling this great love for him when he joined the Senate. BUT I am also pretty confident that the MEDIA attention that he drew, above and beyond the media attention other politicians have gotten, is partially because he's a black man.

And since nobody's pretending he's NOT black, just like nobody's pretending Hillary's not a woman, I think it's appropriate to ask what that means/meant as far as his candidacy, in this world that's narrated by the media. Sure, it was tacky for Ferraro to say it out loud, and maybe it was meant for back-room musings and op-eds, but I agree with her that, since race is a big part of this election, it's worth noting.

Was it also easier for Hillary to get this far because she was a woman and therefore attracted her own kind of media attention? Probably! But I think people are more often distracted by the fact that she's an old face, and a Clinton, than to be impressed by her novelty or world-changing ability as a non white guy in the presidency. Everybody's ALREADY calling her "more of the same," you know?

Date: 2008-04-04 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] txvoodoo.livejournal.com
"She didn't say he was lucky to be black, she said he would not have come this far if he weren't a black man."

"He happens to be very lucky to be who he is."

Which is why I headdesked soooo much. I was all "GERRY, NO! I VOTED FOR YOU!"

"And since nobody's pretending he's NOT black, just like nobody's pretending Hillary's not a woman, I think it's appropriate to ask what that means/meant as far as his candidacy, in this world that's narrated by the media."

Oh, I totally agree! A candidate is informed and developed by his background! And yeah, that includes religious affiliations - if we've got a candidate whose beliefs include thinking that Armegeddon and the second coming are around the corner, and we need to help bring them about - it's material!

But there's understanding their background versus judging solely based on it. And, there's suggesting that someone is having an easier time because of one's minority status. And yes, while Obama may get a bit more gentle treatment from the media because of their apprehension at being deemed racist, that doesn't extend to much of the electorate.

And hey - I agree about one thing - I think Hillary's got a burden of being a minority of one - wives of Bill Clinton. While that's a plus in some quarters, it's undeniably a minus in many others.

"Everybody's ALREADY calling her "more of the same," you know?"

Funny thing is, for me, that's what I felt when she was lauding McCain. *sigh*

But you really can't deny that she does represent a specific paradigm of the Dem party. She's got the same advisors as Bill, and so many of the same positions. But the world has changed.

p.s. "BUT I am also pretty confident that the MEDIA attention that he drew, above and beyond the media attention other politicians have gotten, is partially because he's a black man."

I think a LOT of the attention that came his way is because of his speechmaking (and writing) ability. It's been a REALLY long time since we had a national-level politician be so accomplished in that facet, and especially after having Gore, and Kerry, etc etc, someone who has us actually listening is innovative.

Date: 2008-04-04 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Yeah, I just responded to [livejournal.com profile] witchqueen about the "typical white woman" quote as well; I have definitely got to check my sources before I post these things! But I think I get a little bit of a pass as what I was mostly referring to is the media COVERAGE of all of this business. Still, it means I'm part of the problem.

And I think so much of what's attractive about Obama is his oratory ability -- almost every single person I've talked to or read about who switched from supporting Clinton to Obama did so after they saw him speak. I think he's a real mensch, as I said, you know, a real guy who can look you in the eye and who says what he truly believes -- that we can be better than we are. I get genuinely moved listening to him speak, and no matter how this election goes I am profoundly thrilled to have him and people like him in the government, making his speeches and inspiring people and representing us on the Senate floor.

Date: 2008-04-04 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] furies.livejournal.com
in response to his senate run - you know, though, that he was a fill-in candidate and that he was basically guaranteed the seat? that his opponent was also black, so he didn't have to deal with the "race" issue there?

i'll agree though, he blew me OUT OF THE WATER at the convention. i love his oratory skills. i love the fact he can inspire people - it's just that hillary inspires me right now more. which is totally weird, i think, but also a product of who i am and the media and experiences that i have been around - in new york city, let's face it, it's sometimes worse to be a clinton than it is to be an "ism".

i also say that i DON'T think this is the time for new people to learn the ropes. i just, i think bush has fucked up too much. people forget, also, how horrible WJC's first two years were - stephanopolous messing up the press room, hill messing up health care, paula jones, losing the house, newt gingrich for heaven's sake.

we don't have the time to deal with that. when bush took office i thought, you know, at least he's got colin powell. and condi seems like she's pretty cool - i mean, stanford's liberal as hell - and then, well, at least cheney and rumsfeld know what goes on, you know?

and look at how that blew up in my (and everyone's) face.

so, you know, i think the revolution needs to wait. the country needs to be on stable ground before we start shaking things up even more - or no one is going to have language for anything, anymore, and i think, honestly, that america is so fractured that there's a serious problem if we have to all learn a new language before we even remember what we stand for.

Date: 2008-04-04 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] txvoodoo.livejournal.com
Oh, crap. I wasn't brief, either. *facepalm*

;)

Date: 2008-04-04 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] furies.livejournal.com
for the record: i, too, have been a fan of hillary-land since 1992 - i purposefully registered to vote in new york when i moved so that i could honestly say i had voted for hillary in every election possible. i am damn proud of the work she has done for my state. i am damn proud of knowing that i lost my sanity in the office of a now-presidential candidate whom i still completely support, despite the breakdown.

with the benefit of hindsight, i can say that i think hillary handled 9/11 in the way that a junior senator from new york should have. my job was to keep track of the funerals, the calls, the info flowing in and get info out. a lot of people didn't understand why she didn't go the funerals - in the way that guiliani did, and even schumer to some degree - and i finally got it, years later. by her showing up, she hijacked the funeral. i'll tell you, there were letters sent to everyone that were hand-signed. and playing second fiddle to chuck schumer is not an easy task for ANYONE, much less someone who came in with such press and so much ... drama.

she did what she said she was going to do. she is still fighting for the money promised to lower manhattan, she has promoted many of causes that i want to be portrayed. she did not run for president before her term was up. she DOES have experience - she knows what the inside of the white house looks like from the executive side, she also has seen the inside of the governor's office, and guess what? she's had two national campaigns, two senate campaigns, and not to mention all the time in between to have her name dragged through the dirt. and i have to admit, i really don't like the fact that obama swore he wouldn't run in '08, and here he is. it's not like the party was lacking candidates. take hillary AND obama out of the race, and you still have a competitive democratic ticket.

if you compare, honestly, the press that hillary got from the NY media during her first senate run to the press that obama is getting now, even WITH the racial comments, i'd be hard pressed to say that anything is unfair - it's just that hill's already GONE THROUGH it already. anything you can say about her has basically already been said. she's a cold, frigid bitch who doesn't trust anyone, ambitious and manipulative since day one, knows how to spin like the best of them, uses that, has a husband who sleeps around and who she's covered for before, yadda yadda.

the thing is, we HAVEN'T had that time with obama. i think he'll be an excellent president - honestly - in '12, or '16. i think if he had time to answer the experience question, to prove that he can handle the type of negative press the republicans would and will throw at him - he's a shoo-in. and he should be.

but in this moment? in this moment in american history, when our foreign policy is so screwed up, when citizens are so divided, when we are at war with how many countries now?, when we need an economic plan, and when we need health care that actually covers ALL AMERICANS, i firmly believe we need hillary clinton. and i think the only reason this primary race has turned so . . . weird is because we basically, as [livejournal.com profile] iamsab said, don't have the language for this. we have a smart, eloquent, affluent black man with two years of federal experience in office running against a smart, blunt, affluent white woman with six years of official federal experience but for who all intents and purposes has been non-stop campaigning since before 1992.

there's a smart article in this week's new york mag. and what i believe, most of all, is this quote: "in the long run, Clinton’s scuffing up of Obama has so far done him more good than harm; it has toughened him, steeled him, and given him a taste, if only a taste, of what he can expect this fall."

it's important to remember that. no matter, i love hill, i always will, personal and political reasons and experiences make me feel that way. i don't think it's a question of which "ism" wins, or trumps, because i don't think hillary is the right candidate to ask those questions - we have already asked and answered them.

Date: 2008-04-04 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deborah-judge.livejournal.com
Clinton and Obama totally thought up this election while drunk together in a hot tub after sex. They reasoned - logically enough - that Americans were too stupid to think clearly about either sexism or racism, but if they ran against each other they could use that confusion to their advantage and get at least one of them elected. After a while Bill joined them in the hot tub and explained that for this to work they'd have to play it just right so that they draw out the primaries right until the last minute. That way they a) don't have to spend much time getting smeared by a white Republican guy and b) take all the media attention off said Republican white guy until people forget he's running in the election at all. They proceeded to down most of a bottle of scotch playing the drinking game where you randomly turn on the news and take a shot whenever Bush says something dumb. The next morning all three of them agreed that this campaign was an excellent idea.

On a more serious note, I could write pages about my love for Hillary Clinton. I find her personally inspiring, and I also find her policy proposals to be really well thought out. I'd also vote for her against just about anyone at all - I think even over Al Gore. She doesn't need any Barack-bashing to make her look awesome, because awesome is just what she is. I hope she becomes president, but if not I'm sure she'll just go on fighting for health insurance for everyone and being a first-class pain in President Obama's ass until we get it.

Date: 2008-04-04 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
I am so, so glad you've got Hillary claimed for [livejournal.com profile] majoritython. More wacky hot tub antics! I'm confident the aliens are watching us from afar and going, "heh, Americans...well, they asked for it!"

Date: 2008-04-04 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twentyfivepast.livejournal.com
I was, however uselessly, pretty much on Obama's side before I read this, and I still think I might be, but I'd never really heard a lot of this stuff, so thank you! I'm pretty glad I don't have to choose between them.

Date: 2008-04-04 04:37 am (UTC)
ext_21:   (Default)
From: [identity profile] zvi-likes-tv.livejournal.com
But Obama described his grandmother as a "typical white woman," you know, the kind who crosses the street when a black man walks toward her, and that -- while probably true about Obama's grandmother, and true about SOME white women -- is just as scarily racist as anything else.

It is scarily racist how quickly white commentators made that quote up and other people pretended they had heard it.

Per the campaign website (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/03/18/remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_53.php), the quote is as follows
I can no more disown [Rev. White] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
The other reference to his grandmother: I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas.

I am too annoyed to deal with the rest of your post right now, and it's not so much you as, well, Geraldine Ferraro, who started running her mouth about how sexism is harder than racism before she started saying blackness is an asset in running for national political office.

I would also point out that, while the media may have been easier on Obama than Sen. Clinton, they've also been as easy or easier on McCain, Edwards, Fred Thompson, and a lot of other people who weren't HRC. I will give you that Sen. Clinton's been put through a ringer, but at least she wasn't a joke like Dennis Kucinich, and the media hovered around the question of "Are Republicans big old religious bigots?" wrt Romney enough that an argument might be made that they killed his candidacy. While some of this hostility is due to fear of icky girl parts, some of it is due to hostility towards anyone named Clinton. If Nancy Pelosi or Olivia Snowe were running for President, they would not be getting the full measure of shit that HRC is, because people haven't made a sport of hating them for the past fifteen years.

Date: 2008-04-04 05:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
I apologize, especially for using the word "scary," which even upon rereading I realized was inflammatory. And what's more I didn't check the original quote -- having, indeed, heard it after the fact by pundits -- but I'm not sure the fact that I didn't get the original quote right has anything to do with the fact that I'm white -- I think it has to do with the fact that I support Hillary. I mean, election spin is full of these things, right? And half the bandying and "swift-boating," as it were, come from pundits and staunch political supporters choosing what they want to hear. It's just that in this particular election we have all the general pundit doublespeak and blowing things out of proportion and making huge media issues out of misheard quotes or suspected insider memos or whatever, AND we have the added level of potential for complication and misunderstanding in language when dealing with issues of race.

And while I do, again, appreciate that I was wrong to use a sticking point I hadn't even bothered to research as a reference in my post, it sort of underscores the original point that I made, which is that the media is having an incredibly hard time separating language from issues, in this election more than ever, because it's impossible to pretend that every word used on either side can't be construed as somehow racially charged or gendered. I mean, isn't it the same as that business when Bill Clinton mentioned something about Obama's Iraq exit strategy being a "fairy tale" and everybody jumped on that and said it was referring to an Obama presidency? I got that one secondary-source too, and it was similarly "scary."

As a long-time supporter of Hillary Clinton I find it...frustrating that she is such an easy target for the media (and I agree, as I think I said above, that it's totally because she's not just a woman but also a Clinton) and happens to be running against someone who is...incredibly not.

Date: 2008-04-04 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Oh, and I read about the "white woman" thingy secondhand on this blog at the National Review.
610 WIP host Angelo Cataldi asked Obama about his Tuesday morning speech on race at the National Constitution Center in which he referenced his own white grandmother and her prejudice. Obama told Cataldi that "The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know (pause) there's a reaction in her that doesn't go away and it comes out in the wrong way."

But it doesn't matter, what matters is what the public picked up on and remembered.

Date: 2008-04-04 04:44 am (UTC)
ext_2034: (Default)
From: [identity profile] ainsley.livejournal.com
I'm from NC, and this is the first time my primary vote has mattered. And I don't know who to vote for, because I believe the media, not the people, decided it would be a Clinton/Obama race. As a result, my candidate (perhaps unsurprisingly, John Edwards) has been out for weeks.

I don't even know where to begin making the decision, and I have degrees in both journalism and political science. I like that Hillary fought for single-payer federal health care, but that was in 1993, and from what I've gathered, she's since changed her position on the matter. That she hasn't been strongly advocating against the Iraq War from day one also makes me question her. Is she liberal enough for my comfort? Or is she a centrist who listens too much to the will of the people rather than using all the extra information to which she has access to lead the people into more informed, balanced opinions?

But is it fair to prefer Obama if the reasons I don't like Hillary are based on a track record of length and breadth far beyond his, making it an unfair comparison? He can inspire people, but do we need inspiration now? I worry we're too far gone for that, and need to be pulled up some, so we can see the light enough to follow it.

So I don't know what to do, what I'm going to do. I'm heartbroken that I almost don't care, that I've almost given up on America ever being a dream for anyone but a handful of people who want to exploit it for their own profit. I started out my adulthood planning to go into politics (despite being very, very liberal, the handle's no accident), and my apathy now, well, leaves me incoherent and speechless.

I think, in typing this, I figured out what I want, which means I can ask people, since I have flisters on both sides who can lead me toward enlightenment, so thanks for that. I'd like to see discussion that's 100% about the issues, the policy, without any mention of personality or -isms or things that are made into -isms. Unless everyone really is voting on personality, which is possible and no help to me.

If you'd like to share the issues that matter to you and why you feel Hillary would better (more successfully and effectively) address those issues, I'd love to read it; I know your name well enough to put a degree of trust in it (blame [livejournal.com profile] furies and [livejournal.com profile] thassalia). If not, well, thank you for posting, for giving me a place to vent, and helping me decide what I need to make a decision next month.

Date: 2008-04-04 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] furies.livejournal.com
here's the big secret: i love hillary clinton, but my ideal candidate for president this year? edwards.

i am deeply saddened that edwards dropped out so early, because i really thought that obama and clinton would take the extremes, and then edwards could win the whole thing by being the guy he is. the article i linked to in my above comment talks about why both gore and edwards haven't come out and endorsed anyone, and how both candidates dealt with him dropping out of the race. it should be said that the mag is totally pro-obama, so the fact that it's HILL that comes out looking better in the deal is shocking.

in terms of policy (had to cut b/c of comment length, but will post in my journal this weekend: the war - she has a plan to pull out our people, but she isn't saying "60 days and we're gone!" largely, i feel this is a moral issue - the thing is, we made this mess in iraq. there were no WMD. the country has fallen into a horrible civil war, we have ruined any progress we were making in the middle east and there's a congressionally-supported war in afghanistan. the decision to go to war was wrong, but we thought it was right, and we made a mistake. let's own up to the mistake and take responsibility for our actions instead of just saying, "oh, shit, didn't work out for us! see you if you ever decide to stop killing each other!" in a way, i find mccain's position honorable, especially because i believe that at heart, he is a man who despises war.

2) the economy - hillary's done good work upstate, which has really suffered - upstate new york is basically the same economically as many swing states - which is why she has won them. putting hillary in office assures that one of the smartest economic minds in the world (her husband)is going to be around.

3) health care - clinton's plan is extremely close to edwards' - they are almost identical. obama says that he doesn't want mandatory buy-in and coverage, but i would argue right back that we require people to have AUTO insurance in order to MAKE OUR STREETS SAFER. why should we care any less about the ACTUAL PEOPLE?

second in health care, if you look at the bills the two senators have put forth in the past two years, hillary has two main things: kids, and vets. she's the one who is pushing for military medical coverage to cover PTSD. i mean, it's a fucking JOKE that it's not and no one is talking about it. she's the one that is talking about including mental health into her plan. plus, she has done the health care fight. she's gone up against the republicans and the media and the insurance companies and she's lost - but she's learned. and it's a really smart plan.

4) education - she wants to repeal most of the things i hate most about NCLB. she wants to hold states accountable without reducing everything to testing and numbers. the teacher's union endorsed her really quickly and they hate NCLB

this is the thing that i think separates them most for me: both clinton and obama seem more than willing to listen to the experts on the subjects. clinton, however, has proven that she will go to the mat for things she believes in as long as they are backed up by numbers, and cold, hard research, which isn't sexy, but frankly, i don't want my policy to be sexy. i want it to be good. and when i listen to obama talk, i am sometimes worried that i am listening to a repeat of w's speeches - people BELIEVE him. he looks you in the eye and he tells you, from the bottom of his soul, what he hopes to do. and the thing is, they BOTH meant it. and given that we have no idea the type of people obama would put into the power positions, we don't know if he's the sort of person who could be checked, or could concede points. we just don't know enough about him.

but you know - politics is a dirty business, and it always has been. i'm not saying let's not try to elevate the bar, but at the same time, let's not be naive. let's not forget that the only way WJC got the balanced budget passed was by literally shutting down the federal government for ~ 2 weeks. you have to have those nerves of steel, and the right people around you to say when to back off and when to go forward. it's a fickle thing, politics, and that's largely why i left it as well.

Date: 2008-04-04 07:16 am (UTC)
ext_2060: (Default)
From: [identity profile] geekturnedvamp.livejournal.com
here's the big secret: i love hillary clinton, but my ideal candidate for president this year? edwards.

Yeah, I was with you there (about Edwards).

Date: 2008-04-04 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Gore, dude. Gore. *swoons*

In defense of Hilary

Date: 2008-04-05 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kengwen.livejournal.com
Let it be known that I am not necessarily in Hilary's camp. I am still undecided, actually, and not all that fired up (about deciding) anyway since my state's primary is so late it still looks like things will probably be decided before I get to cast my vote. I think they both would be fine; at least I would far prefer either of them to the other option! But, in defense of Hilary, since I also see so many more people attacking her/defending Obama than vice versa.
1) Say what you will about Obama's experience (or lack thereof); if it were Hilary (or, reasonably, any other female) with that little experience, she would be laughed off the ticket. She would not have a chance.
2) That people are urging her to quit, and calling her names for not bowing out to Obama, when really, what male would be bowing out now? So it's looking more likely that he will get the nomination than she will, but it's close enough that it could go either way.
3) We're critiquing her dress suits?! Seriously, people. Seriously. It's come to this and you can't see the ridiculousness of the situation? *sigh*
4) She's too "entrenched" in the current political world. Okay, on the one hand I can see your point. But on the other hand, two things. First, as a female, she had to entrench herself that way in order to get elected in the first place - she had to play the game. Sexism makes it so she has to walk this thin line, stray too far to one side and you get dismissed with the slew of feminine-critical words like naive and unrealistic/impractical; stray too far to the other side and you've bought into the system so much you're part of the problem. Second, though, the president is going to, of necessity, be part of the larger political picture, which includes these ugly messy political systems. I'm not sure Obama's so far removed from them as he projects to be, as much as I would like to believe that he is. As much as I want to believe that someone -anyone- is this beacon of light and reason and can turn the system on its ear, right wrongs and remedy insanities currently going on, I don't think that's actually realistic. The president is going to have to be able to work within the system.

That said, Obama's race speech was really encouraging to me. I hope for the day someone can make a similar speech about sexism in this country. fwiw, I don't think it's worthwhile to argue over racism/sexism: which is worse? But I do think this race is turning into racism/sexism: which is stronger?

Thanks for bringing this up sab.

Date: 2008-04-05 07:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thefayth.livejournal.com
yah sab, good going on bringing up the discussion. as a black female i found myself a bit torn, but with all things even among them obama's distance from the lgbt community, especially the black gay community, made the decision for me. it seems to me that obama has the hopes of the nation, and that's great but as a triple threat minority once in awhile i choose sides and woman + 100%queer friendly=Clinton without a shadow of a doubt. I would vote for a good black candidate because he was black, but not just because of it. I truly believe that Obama's inexperience has allowed him to get swept up in this youthful idealist quest for a change, it's never really worked in this country (Nader, Dukakis, McGovern). People say they're ready for change but it's not about ideology, it's about finances if you ask me. That doesnt bode well for Obama in 3 months time.

Date: 2008-04-05 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamsab.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for responding! It's totally the short version I give my friends when I want to encourage them about Hillary: "She loves the gays! And we love her!"

And yes, it's about finances and foreign trade/industrial trade agreements, mostly. I mean, it's also a really big country to have to be the president of, when you think about it. I don't envy anyone the job.

Anyway, you nailed it. And it is so hard, particularly when so many good, smart people I respect really love Obama and Obamamania becomes a hard thing not to get swept up in. But Hill is my girl.

Date: 2008-04-06 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rfkfortheusa.livejournal.com
word. on about 90%. but 90% is more than enough to warrant a "word."

Date: 2008-04-07 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] projectjulie.livejournal.com
someone was telling me about a spoof they saw that said, taking evidence from TV and movies, "Be warned, America: every time we have a Black president ALIENS ATTACK!"

Profile

sab: (Default)
sab

April 2009

S M T W T F S
   12 34
567891011
12131415161718
192021222324 25
2627 282930  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 18th, 2017 03:16 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios