Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This Ohioan is Leaning toward Hillary

I've been ambivalent about Hillary here, and I have had some compliments for Obama. However, as the campaign has drawn down to the final two, I find myself leaning toward Hillary Rodham (Clinton) as opposed to her opponent.

Bear in mind that I am about as Left as you can get, so I am looking at two people who do not represent my views very closely. Both are overtly religious, but I know that in my lifetime there will never be an avowed freethinker running for president. Both have voted consistently to fund the Iraq War. However, no one on the Republican side could ever get close to offering up a platform that I could accept in any way.

Realistically, if you look at Rodham (Clinton) and Obama, they are more alike than different, except Hillary's health care plan is better and Obama seems weak on details, although strong on metaphors. I'm in a detail kind of mood these days and not so keen on oratory without substance.

But the truth of the matter is, the more I read Democrats viciously attack Hillary, the more I'm inclined to vote for her. That's what it is coming down to. I cannot stand to see the term "Billary" for example. Like the users of said term have some kind of deep insight into the Clinton marriage. I know I don't and I don't trust the media to inform me about it either. Look at the Urban Dictionary's definitions of the term "Billary" and you see definitions that reek of unkindness if not downright cruelty.

Likewise, the critique that we don't want another Clinton is spurious. She has no Clinton DNA in her, which is why I will call her Rodham (Clinton) from now on as a response to the "Billary" derogatory.

The term "triangulation" -- why is it used to denigrate Hillary, but not Barack? I just saw a speech in which Barack boasts of his "Obamicans" -- Republicans that are voting for him. He is putting his ideology "above and between the left and the right" -- just as his fans accuse Hillary of doing.

In short, I am seeing way too much Hillary hatred and far too little in the way of concrete reasons to vote for Barack other than "we need change." Well duh, yes we do! Change from Republican theocratic war-mongering. Here's an example of a list of reasons why a Democrat blogger (Dave at Radio Free Newport) doesn't want Rodham (Clinton). Where's his list of reasons why he wants Obama? What is he doing to the outcome of this race? Rodham (Clinton) represents a large group of constituents. Why alienate the white women? Because Dems assume we'll just come around and forget the way Obama fans talked about Hillary?

I have said repeatedly here that I'd like to see them both on the same ticket. The Hillary attackers will have none of that, and are are attempting to make sure that the label "unelectable" sticks. What a shame it is to see Democrats smearing their own.

For a more thorough critique of Hillary-hating, please go here. Stanley Fish deals quite nicely with the media play-up of the supposed Clinton race-bashing for example.

I don't have time to answer all of Newport Dave's list tonight, but I will try to deal with them throughout the week. I will say that I am a huge fan of his blog, but his post today really got my goat! Not because I think he is sexist, but really -- the comment about Baby Boomers. Talk about your blatant ageist remarks! Look buddy, I didn't choose to be born into a generation that was tagged with such a hideous name, and I can tell you that throughout my life and in my art, I have been actively anti-war! And I am not alone in my generation to wave the banner of peace. Shame on you for such stereotyping!


Dave P. said...

My comment about Boomers isn't ageist, it's about wanting to move past Boomer-era politicians fighting the same battles over and over again. It's not my original argument -- others have made it much better than me. See Andrew Sullivan on this very point (and he's a guy I rarely agree with, fwiw).

I haven't posted my full list of reasons why I love Obama because I haven't had time. I specifically listed my anti-Hillary reasons because I'm bloody sick & tired of having men who dislike Hillary be targeted as anti-feminist or misogynist (in fact, that list stemmed from a similar argument at my friend Ann's blog). I do sociological research on gender inequality, yet women want to assume that because I don't love Hillary, I'm some kind of he-man woman-hater. As if Hillary doesn't have plenty of legit reasons to dislike her?

Fish's columns are ridiculous because he puts whackjobs and serious Clinton critics in the same boat. It's remarkably bad critical thinking.

And last, if you don't like the Billary term, perhaps you should wish that your candidate stop featuring her husband so prominently in her campaigns.

Smooches right back. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you wrote this. Yes! The two candidates are remarkably alike. How can anyone think Obama is the more Progressive choice? They are both solidly moderate. I do go back and forth between which one would be a better candidate. In as much as I enjoy Obamas' vision, it is his supporters ugliness that turns me off. Of course, this is politics and your opponents will use whatever they have to smear you. Sadly, in this case, our fellow Democrats are going for the easy slur and exploiting misogynistic fears to garner support. So much for hope.

In contrast, Hillary could be bringing a lot more of Obamas' obvious faults to the forefront and she isn't (and maybe she should). Although imperfect, She is taking the higher road. I think come the fall, Obama won't be looking so squeaky clean, even if you overlook the racially bigoted whisper campaign that will surely be launched by the opposition, he has other glaring chinks in his armor. Hopefully, whomever the candidate is the party will be able to protect them and run a stellar campaign.

Village Green said...

Hey Dave, I have noticed that Bill is not so out front and blurting these days. Hmm. I wonder who made that happen? And I'm glad he has been reigned in. I'm no fan of Bill Clinton.

Are all Boomer politicians alike, I wonder? Or is it that all politicians battle all the time and you just don't see that. They are, after all politicians, Obama included.

Not asking you to love Hillary, but to consider what happens if either side in this race is left feeling disaffected. Is this a good thing for the Democratic party?

Dave P. said...

You're right that Bill has been reigned in, and that is definitely a good thing. But Hillary continues to refer to Bill's administration while making her case. The message is clear: I was part of that administration and if I'm elected, good times will return. She can't have it both ways.

What I object to the most is the idea that criticism of Hillary equals Hillary-bashing, meanness, and leaving her supporters feeling disaffected. There was nothing in my post that was mean or unfair, and there's nothing there that I wouldn't say to Hillary's face.

I recognize that there are people who say mean things about her, and I'm sure some of that has to do with her gender. But they don't represent the mainstream of Hillary criticism, just as racists don't necessarily represent the views of those who don't like Obama because of his perceived lack of experience.

I also understand that I cannot, as a 41-year-old white guy, put myself in the shoes of a women who have faced adversity and marginalization because of their gender. But I firmly believe that there are valid reasons to dislike Hillary, and given the way her campaign has handled the issue of race, I don't blame people for being mean towards her.

If Hillary wins the nomination, I will vote for her, but I won't volunteer for her campaign because I am not that crazy about her. (I only volunteered for Kerry toward the very end, I didn't like him much either.) If Obama wins, I will spend as much time as I can find supporting his campaign, as I believe in him very much.

microdot said...

There are things about both candidates I like and of course things I don't like. I see an uphill battle for either a woman or a black person to win the presidency in a nation that is so overtly and covertly sexixt and racist.
I have to admit that I ma excited about the actual inspriational aspect to Obama's candidacy. Something is happening there that is bigger than personal politics.
I am ready to support who ever wins whole heartedly.
Here in France last year, we saw a race that transcended sex barriers.
Segolene Royal was able to inspire a huge wave of support, but in the end, it was her party that lost the race for her.
She represented a changing of the guard, a break with the past and the stale Socialist politics that seemed unable to cope with the Bling bling economics of the UMP.
The French press is a little confused because they don't understand the American prmary and caucus system, the delegates and the super delegates. It's been an education for me to learn how to explain it to them.

Village Green said...

Must say I am very happy to participate in dialogues about the candidates that are more thoughtful than rancorous. Looking forward to reading positive lists of why people are voting for Obama or Rodham (Clinton).

I'm still not sold either way, and I could end up going into the polling booth and writing in "Emma Goldman" or some such name!

DAve P. I still haven't read Mr Sullivan's commentary about Boomer era politicians. It's on the To Do list after multiple pending school obligations. I'm a cross generational kind of person, having directed a senior citizens theatre company when I was much younger and for the past 15 years teaching in a middle school. Perhaps as a sociologist you find specific markers or trends as the generations develop, while I am more focused on individual progress. But I find it difficult to see that war-mongering is a boomer phenomenon. Every generation has those and sadly, I think it will continue on.

Anonymous said...

Obama leaves me cold. I'll give him this: he's an excellent actor.

Never trust the media that gave us Bush.