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.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for returning to your weekend rants, at least this one time. I also face the same dilemma if she secures the nomination. IF the DNC somehow chooses to go against the popular vote in the primaries and the caucuses and selects Hillary, I will have to campaign for her but find the same distaste for her that you now do.

My favorite is no longer in the race, so I am adapting by supporting Obama as the next best choice. And a great part of it has to do with how she has run this campaign.

But the fear of McCain choosing the next justices of the Supreme Court once Stevens and the older members retire or pass on, well, it scares the crap out of me.

I fear the takeover of the Supreme Court by a conservatively activist Supreme Court, adding justices who would gladly rollback civil rights, employees' right to grievance, chemical companies being allowed to pollute, election reform being set back as a violation of free speech, etc.

It finally comes down to the Democrat vs. the Republican and that will be how I choose. Whether I like the person on the ticket or not.

Let's hope, however, that the DNC does the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how obama will react to temptations by big industry's influences. With Hillary and McCain, we sort of know where it will go. With Obama? Will he be strong enough to oppose/ resist? As a person who was prosecuted by Moslems in my home country, I am also very afraid of any person who has been exposed to any Madrasah teachings (any, even one that eventually convert to Christianity. I'm afraid of that too, especially the branch that Obama "supposedly" not follow anymore).
Tough choice! You guys vote well! I can't vote because I'm not a citizen. But I live in the US, and the citizens of America has a big responsibility to vote well, because whoever is leading this nation will need to make tough decisions in the coming years.

Sid Schwab said...

wonderer: you are certainly right that the next president will face nearly impossible challenges. And you are quite wrong that Obama attended a madrassah: that was a rumor spread by Fox news, etc. He went to a school that was run by Muslims but it was NOT a madrassah. In fact, when reporter actually went there, instead of spreading untruths, they found it to have boys and girls as students, wearing regular clothes, and that it had little or no religious instruction, and included kids of other religions. If you are interested, you could read about it here.

Sid Schwab said...

mike: for me, it really would be a dilemma, and, were she the nominee it's possible that time would change me. On the other hand, I really do find her campaign so repugnant that it'd feel like hypocrisy to vote for her. On the other hand, I agree the stakes are very high, and I'd hate to be party in any way to a McCain presidency.

Bongi said...

i'm far removed and don't usually worry about american politics, but this election i have been following. and sid, i agree fully with you. i can't understand that it usually is about mud slinging (as perceived by me on the other side of the world). hilary has really brought this to the fore and obama has not. i can't help admiring obama for being so steadfast in the face of such a lowly onslaught. the fact that she has now brought it down to sexism is pathetic. if that is not clear to her supporters, well then they deserve her.

obama all the way. (and not just because of the african connection)

Anonymous said...

Elsewhere someone wrote: "Hillary is just Bill in drag"--how beautifully & succinctly put!

Hill-Bill is/are causing EXTREME VOTER FATIGUE, not to mention stoking the flames of hatred in every faction in USA. Somebody please find the HOOK and yank her off stage!

Her BS about "assassination" was the FINAL straw! How DUMB does she think the voters are, anyway?? This was CLEARLY an effort to implant a very dark & destructive "subliminal message": "If O. gets nominated, he could/should be assassinated! AND to avoid that scenario, vote for ME!"

Absolutely sick. Just demonic. That's the Clintons for you!

Sid Schwab said...

I'd stop way short of saying she thinks he should be assassinated. But the idea that it's a concern: she doesn't do very much that's inadvertent.

Sarah said...

I found the Clintons disgusting the first time around and no better the second time around. No way on this wild green earth would I vote for her, if someone paid me a million bucks.

Integrity means a lot to me and the other two candidates have more in there little fingers, than she does in her entire body.

Devorrah said...

Excellent post, and I agree on every point.

I'm just glad weekends make me happy!

Devorrah said...

BTW, loved your book. My Mom is reading it now, and I only give her the good ones.

Sid Schwab said...

devorrah: Thanks!

Devorrah said...

Bongi: I actually know more about South African politics than I do American, as my best friend of 20 yrs. is S. African, and her husband's grandad was Daniel Malan. And they're very interested in politics

SeaSpray said...

Sometimes it comes down to voting for the lesser evil...if you know you don't want a particular person to win.

About McCain...I though he's not conservative enough and is why many republicans DON'T like him?

JP said...

If Hillary Clinton were half as good at gaging the voting public's mood (i.e., tired of slippery fish in the While House) as you are in capturing the spirit of disenchanted voters through your posts, well, she would have at least kept me as a supporter. I, too, wanted to vote for her. Now...that's almost an embarrassment to admit. It does make ya wonder: were Obama not the outstanding and timely he's proven to be, would HC still have shown her true colors during this campaign (or would her malfeasance have manifested only after inauguration)? Scary thought!

Kevin Laverty said...

Well, Sid, I'm glad you told us how you really feel about it. Hillary's lousy campaign has done her in. . . how much of her, her spouse and campaign team are Machiavellian or Rove-ian, I can't say. But, of this I'm certain, there's no way the powers that be in the D party can NOT select Barack Obama. And, after next Tuesday, the Super Ds will come rolling in for him. . .

I agree with Mike's point that one thing people need to consider is the judiciary appointments - that's the only way for the Ds to suck it up and win. A story in the NYT says McCain's camp is in disarray, much to the chagrin of the Rs. We'll see. . .

I'm still calling it for McCain by less than 20 electoral votes which is a sad statement in itself. However, whomever wins will have 5-7 years of heavy lifting to undo the incompetency of the past 8.


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