Saturday, May 24, 2008
Hillary the Horrible
[Until now, I thought I was done with my weekend rants. But once again, I find myself needing to vent. So turn away, all ye who want it not.]
In my state we have a female governor and two female senators. I voted for every one of them, happily, and will again. I married a woman, and thus into a family of nine of them; my mom was one, too. I like women. I have no problem whatsoever with the idea of a woman as President of the United States. In fact, I'd love it. I even heard Hillary speak in Seattle a couple of years ago, and was impressed as hell. She'd be a great president, I thought. That was then.
The campaign Hillary has run in the past couple of months has filled me with disgust. The demure dredge-it-up/deny-it-down racial stuff. The gas tax pander; Bosnia fantasy. That was minutiae, background noise. They all do that (although what was the Bosnia thing? Hallucination or lying? Either way...) But the Florida/Michigan maneuvering is pushing it. I agree the rules are stupid, caucuses are crazy, the DNC made itself a fine mess. But she, along with everyone else, agreed to the rules, and is now acting as if breaking the rules is the only way to follow the rules. Now, she says, on the twenty-yard line, they must be ignored. But she went further, invoking Florida 2000 and Zimbabwe 2008. Yep, Zimbabwe. She's saying, basically, that abiding by the rules, the election becomes fraudulent. And her arithmetic isn't all that good, either.
At some point, her supporters need to wise up. It's not about misogyny; it's not guys taking it away from girls. It's this one. This woman. She ran a lousy campaign for the first several months, and a dishonest one later. Time and again she has shown there is no level below which she won't stoop, and it's unbecoming. It's the feminist thing to do, to say THIS woman is wrong. She's a woman, and she's wrong, and the two have nothing to do with each other. It's not about her ovaries. It's about her outages. Has there been sexism? Sure there has. Just as there's been racism. For each of them, in both directions, for and against. Not a pollster, I, but I'd guess it approximates cancellation.
Now, finally, the last straw has been laid on the back of this camel. In responding to why she shouldn't drop out in June, she points to the Robert Kennedy assassination in June 1968. To the immediate wave of disgust, she disclaimed by saying, well, the Kennedys have been on my mind lately, as if to say it was sort of a slip of the head, like Bosnia maybe. Except that she said the same damnable thing two months ago.
Hillary Clinton is perfectly happy to de-legitimize the whole process in the name of her own personal gain. She's fine with setting up a situation wherein if she loses, her supporters will have been made to see it as a personal slap in the face to all women; by her definition, any outcome that doesn't give her the nomination was, prima facie, unfair to her, to women, and therefore to support "her opponent" (as she likes to refer to him) is betrayal of women everywhere.
Especially in Zimbabwe.
Hillary Clinton is the opposite of change in how politics is done. She's the epitome of saying anything, doing anything, excusing anything as long as it promotes one's own narrow political interest. Barack Obama, while hardly perfect and maybe not even able to succeed in his message of change, is miles higher than her in tone and tactics.
I dislike her for making me dislike her. Were she the nominee (which, thankfully, seems all but impossible) I'd have a moral dilemma. I will not vote for John McCain. In many ways, I respect him. I admire his bravery in Vietnam, and doubt I'd have been as strong. He's been known to take tough political positions. But I think his "straight talk" has been seriously compromised, and he's happily distorted his own record when it suits him. Mainly, his policies on the war and the economy are too much a continuation of the Bush disasters: he even goes further than Bush on tax cuts, increasing the curse on the next generations. His foreign policy "expertise" is anything but; his military judgment shown false. But really: I consider myself a person of principles. As such, despite how much I'd hate to see a McCain presidency with its pre-failed economic policies, crazed right-wing judges, discredited foreign policy bluster, and phony anti-lobbying posture masquerading as ethics, to vote for Hillary would be to legitimize her tactics. And that I couldn't do. I'd have to withhold a vote, and that pisses me off.
Note to Senator Obama: Please don't yield to those who think she should be on the ticket. Then I'd really have a moral dilemma.