Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday morning (election) hangover

Some folks say this marathon of a primary season is good for democracy; I say it is bad for my nerves. I stayed up last last night, glued to CNN, watching the nail biting results in Ohio and Texas. My thoughts:

Hillary Clinton won Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, making her the night's comeback kid. I have said many times before that I think Clinton is a smart and capable politician. I think Barack Obama would make a better president, but when this election season began I could have been just as happy with Clinton as the Democratic choice. I don't feel that way anymore. I don't respect the Clinton campaign.

I don't respect the sly race-baiting. I don't respect the way the campaign has painted Obama as the unqualified, free-ride having, "affirmative action" candidate. I don't respect the leaking of that photo of Obama in Somali dress, nor do I respect Clinton's mealy-mouthed response to 60 Minutes's question about whether her opponent is indeed a Muslim. I don't respect Clinton's use of black surrogates, including the reprehensible Bob Johnson, who is no friend to women or black people, to do her dirty work in the black community. I worry that Clinton's tactics will become part of the playbook on how to defeat a candidate of color.

I don't respect the way Hillary Clinton has leveraged the absolutely despicable sexism that has occurred during this election to paint herself as an underdog. And I resent the media for furthering this narrative. Yes, Chris Matthews is a loud-talking asshole. And Tim Russert can barely contain his hatred of Hillary Clinton. But this is the candidate who was called inevitable two months ago. This was the candidate who stood center stage at every early debate, was allowed to talk the most and was praised heartily afterwards. Other candidates got their hands slapped for "piling on" and "attacking the woman." While the media justifiably pound Obama about Tony Rezkco, where is the loud call for Clinton's tax returns? And what I find curious is this glaring fact: Clinton can be the "woman candidate" and be empowered; Obama becomes "the black candidate" at his own peril. I worry that the rifts this election is creating between women and between races are ones that will be long to heal.

Lastly, I don't respect the damage Clinton's tactics over the last two weeks have inflicted on the Democratic Party. If Obama wins the nomination or if Clinton wins and needs to offer a VP position to Obama, how will she ever stand beside him as a fellow Democrat? How, after standing on stage and mimicking and mocking him...after saying to the cameras on March 3:
"I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
As Rachel Maddow said on Keith Olbermann: "This is what you say if you want to be McCain's choice for Vice President. It is not what you say if you are running for the Democratic nomination." And it is not what you say when you know damned well that you are facing a worthy opponent who has more experience as an elected official than you do. It appears to me that Clinton is willing to win at all costs. And that is not a trait I admire.

Look, I believe in progressive principles, so I could never vote for John McCain. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, I will vote for her, but I won't like it. And it will be disappointing to face four more years of a American leadership that I cannot respect.

And about those Republicans...

I find most of Mike Huckabee's beliefs frightening, but he is a most gracious (if long-winded) loser. John McCain and his wife have crazy eyes. And the Republican nominee is not just all-wrong about the war, NAFTA and the economy, he is also duller than a dust bunny. Jeezaloo! I thought he was going to fall asleep during that speech last night.


Regina said...

I too watched TV (CNN) most of the night. I did not go to work today, I was too tired.
HIllary is about to take Obama down and out. She has regained ground and is going to step all over Obama. He stays safe and clean but Hillary gets down and dirty and has a chip on her shoulder and something to prove.
She wants it so bad she can probably taste it and is ready to take it by force.

Danielle said...

Sad business. I'm interested to see how Obama regroups. He's a smart cookie and so are his staff members. I can't begin to explain my disappointment in HRC and how she has chosen to run her campaign and conduct herself.

She is a disgrace to women everywhere with her shenanigans and fulfillment of stereotypes about women. She has a chance to do something great and she has taken the low road. How sad and pathetic.


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