Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Clinton Wasn't Exactly Running as a Dove or as a Marxist"

Cross-posted at my own blog, Feminism in 2008 Election and Beyond.

I need to keep reminding myself that I was not a passionate, enthusiastic Clinton supporter like many of my co-bloggers. The tidal waves of misogyny gradually convinced me that electing a woman president was supremely important. But I wavered, because I thought Clinton and Obama were similar, that neither was the progressive crusader I longed for. At my age, I knew better than to be deceived by the illusion that Obama wasn't a pol.

Lance Mannion made excellent sense today. His remarks helped me get a grip:

Vote for him or don't vote for him. That's your choice. Criticize him as much as you want. He needs it.But don't expect people to pay a lot of attention when you act shocked that Obama has turned out to be running a campaign that is very much like...the one Hillary was already running.

In case you didn't notice, Clinton was not exactly running as a dove or as a Marxist.

Several times throughout the primaries I said that I didn't really care who won, Clinton or Obama, because there wasn't much difference between them. My reasons for preferring Hillary were matters of emphasis. But, I pointed out, neither one was the second coming of FDR. They were both just politicians on the make. The job of cleaning up after thirty years of Republican vandalism is too big for one President to handle in one or even two terms. We're in this for the long haul. President Hillary Clinton would have started the clean up over here. Obama's going to start it over there. She would have gotten and he will get to only as many rooms as the Congress and other political realities let them. One of the things that annoyed me about many of the Obama bloggers is the ways they found to ignore or deny the obvious fact that Obama was just another politician on the make. I'm supposed to be shocked and outraged now that I was right?

Obama is a smart, skilled, savvy, talented, compromised and compromising man. He's a politician. A good one. He's a Democrat. He's not a Progressive, a word that I've decided at last means in blogland "As morally and politically pure as I am." Hillary has skills and talents and passions and interests that he doesn't have, but she's a Democrat too. He has skills and talents and passions and interests that she doesn't. One of those talents is public speaking. One of those skills is inspiring a crowd. If Al Gore or John Kerry had had either of those, Barack Obama would not be running for President right now.


JSN said...

You know, it never occurred to me to look at it like that... because the press coverage was so misogynistic, then we should support the female candidate. Nice stuff.

Of course, that study of hiring in Boston and Chicago used male and female names, and white and black names, and the statistically significant result was that blacks didn't get responses if they had "black" names, male or female. The researchers did not report they found any issue with hiring women.

I also think that some of the anti-Clinton bias in the news was the long-standing practice of press people choosing their candidate (for whatever reason) and then skewing their coverage to support their preconceived notion.

By the way, Obama's voting record was, according to VoteView.com, about 10 Senate slots to the left of Hillary. Obama has a more progressive Senate record.

That said, it could all have been calculation. McCain is an egregious example of this type of political animal. He was a middle of the Republicans Republican until 2000, then he swerved to the middle, but after he got trounced in the primary, he swerved to the far right of the party.

Pure calculation.

Citizen said...

I can't believe Hillary was a "politician on the make". She has devoted her whole life to public service. I don't think she was on the make, that sounds so ruthless. I still think she has more genuine principles than Obama, even if I do end up supporting him.

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