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Clinton vs. Obama: no contest

I have a confession to make.  I’m moving away from the Democratic dogma that says we have two fine candidates, and either one will be a great President.  I no longer think so.  There’s a disconnect between Obama’s words and deeds that got too big for me.  So I took another look at Clinton.

At first, I didn’t consider her because of her stance on rating video games.  Yes, really.  That goes way back, to before the Iraq war even.  You see, I’m hyperallergic to anything that smacks of pandering to fundies.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for people being able to control what they see [1]. (In fact, I’m such a wild-eyed radical, I think ad blocking is an inalienable right.) But the way she did it felt like a pander to the fundies, and she fell beyond the pale.  (I wasn’t always so intolerant.  Once upon a time, I was a live and let live kind of dreamer, but then Reagan happened, and, well, it’s a long story.)

Okay. Let’s fast forward closer to the present. I’ll recap my thoughts, going back to when I first heard of Obama.

2004, Democratic Convention, and Obama gave a brilliant speech. I thought, “Wow! Next President! Somebody I could really get excited about!”

2006.  When the presidential campaign started (pretty much as soon as the polls closed in 2006, wasn’t it?), and Edwards, Clinton, and Obama were all unofficially running, I was chortling wildly. Three excellent candidates. Three! And I’d be glad to vote for any one of them. As far as I was concerned, the gods, displaying the distorted sense of humor for which they’re so famous, made the best candidate a white male in the first field with some real diversity. But all three were good.

Then the trouble started.

This is not the portrait of a progressive or a liberal or anyone I care about. This is a good speaker. What else he is, time will tell, but the evidence so far is not hopeful.

So, will I vote for him if he gets the nomination?


At least he can be expected not to veto all the legislation passed by a Democratic Congress, assuming we get one.

But if he gets the nomination, he’ll fit a sad pattern going back to forever. Voters seem to pick words over deeds every chance they get. Edwards is another recent example. He stayed mostly with the issues, and media and voters ignored the hell out of him for being “boring.” It’s this sort of thing that’s convinced me democracy doesn’t work [24].

Quite frankly, I think if Hillary Clinton were a white male, she’d be considered boring too. I mean, she has a health care plan that’s boringly politically feasible. She talks about exiting Iraq [25] in a boring, methodical way. (As does Obama [26]. Although he’s also said we should bomb Pakistan [27]. Very odd.) She’s actually shown in the Senate that she’s capable of promoting boring legislation like S-CHIP which only helps a few million people.

But she’s female, so she’s not boring. She’s had to fight for every sliver of ground, she’s done it, and she’s won. She’s smart enough to run rings around McCain, and she’s enough of a scrapper to wipe the floor with him.

She’s already twice as good. She can go twice as far. Unless people keep binding her feet just to make sure a guy wins.

Crossposted to Shakesville [28]

Technorati tags: politics, Hillary, Clinton, Obama, election, 2008,

1 Comment (Open | Close)

1 Comment To "Clinton vs. Obama: no contest"

#1 Comment By Brynn On 14 Feb, 2008 @ 13:00

Excellent post! I wish the mainstream media were analyzing the candidates this well. I dislike both Democratic frontrunners, but had been leaning reluctantly toward Clinton until a pro-Obama blitz on blogs I read right before the California primary made me doubt my choice. In retrospect, my decision hinged on two points: the fact that Obama was galvanizing young voters and the so-called progressive grassroots, and the allegation that he was more likely to get us out of Iraq faster than Clinton.

As the latter is one of my most pressing issues, I fell for the spiel. Now I’m regretting my decision. (Clinton still won California.)

As a radical progressive, I feel neither Democrat represents my positions. But looking at the election as the “lesser of three evils,” I’m hoping Clinton prevails.