Category Archives: political

From Me to You: Why Hillary Supporters Should Back Obama

So the media is blowing up over the idea that “embittered” Hillary Clinton supporters (affectionately called “Hilltards” by the Wonkette crowd) would be so angry at the DNC’s treatment of Clinton that they would vote for John McCain, who–get this– is a Republican.

I hope that these predictions do not come true, and I don’t believe they will. I have only encountered one person who, after Hillary lost, switched their allegiances. This person, “Mona,” responded to an email by the UC Berkeley campus coordinator who was trying to rally up support for Obama. Mona wrote (to everyone who received the original email):

When the leaders of the Democratic Party did not stand up to the Trinity Church of Chicago when they mocked Hillary Clinton and when they stayed silent while Randi Rhodes called her a f’ing whore and when the media disrespected her – they in turn showed me this is NOT a party I want to belong to.   Not only will I give my vote to John McCain I am seriously considering flying to a swing state – IF the race is close – which I doubt – to help GOTV on his behalf.  The DNC chose Barry before Country during the last 3 months of this race when she was kicking his ass.

When she was challenged by another person on the mailing list, she wrote back:

HILLARY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY DECISION and to blame her is frankly immature and just another “scare” tactic.   I have a brain — I am a leader not a follower.  I make my own decisions.  When Hillary stepped down today that left me a free agent.  I didn’t believe in everything Hillary stood for, however, I stood by her.  I for one hope she’s NOT the VP – she outshines Barry – he needs her – not the other way around.

You don’t get IT – what I am standing up for is WOMEN TO BE TREATED FAIRLY and with RESPECT.  That’s the stance I am taking.  The leadership of the Democratic Party needs to take heed.  When they lose in November they can blame themselves.  I won’t stay in an abusive relationship.

The whole exchange was melodramatic and frankly sad- the culmination of almost a year of hard work leading to a rapid decline and then failure, resulting in in-fighting and finger-pointing.

I quote this email because it gives us a glimpse of the logic behind a Hillary->McCain supporter. Otherwise, I really can’t grasp why any Hillary fan- Democrat or otherwise- could think that McCain is the better choice.

I mean, really:

  • Hillary- Pro-choice
  • Obama- Pro-choice
  • McCain- Mostly pro-life
  • Hillary- Against the war
  • Obama- Against the war
  • McCain- For the war (“100 more years!”)
  • Hillary- Against Prop. 8 (CA Constitutional ban on gay marriage)
  • Obama- Against Prop. 8
  • McCain- Supports Prop. 8
  • Hillary– Supports habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees
  • Obama– Supports habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees
  • McCain– Against habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees

…. the list could go on forever. The fact is, John McCain, while not maybe as truly terrible as some many most Republicans, he is still a Republican, which means, like it or not, he follows in the footsteps of George Walker Bush (remember him? the President?). Another Republican president not only means 4+ more years of Republicans claiming to represent mainstream America, it also  means Republican Supreme Court appointees (bring us even closer to the overturning of Roe v Wade), and the people who currently advise Bush on issues of foreign and domestic policy will just switch over to the McCain administration. We can’t have this happen.

Hillary Clinton supports Obama. I find it fascinating that Mona can be so enraged by the DNC’s alleged maltreatment of Clinton and then completely disregard the endorsement of the woman she so passionately admires. Furthermore, the idea that Mona is somehow punishing the DNC by voting for McCain is both delusional and self-important. She seems to miss the fact that she is hurting herself and the very rights she supported when voting for Hillary by voting for the Republican party- and therefore against abortion, gay marriage, and, most tragically, the Constitution.

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That’s my baby!: A recap of funny, interesting, or stupid things found on the internet

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Bill O’Reilly on a Roll- Strange Happenings in Conservative Blowhardism

Bill O’Reilly defends gay marriage? Welcome to the right correct side of history:

[redlasso id=”9ca7efa6-5a1d-4443-97be-00cd871b6726″]

This of course happens just a few weeks after Chris Matthews of MSNBC ripped into conservative talk show asshole Kevin James when he compared Barack Obama’s Israel-Palestine policies to Neville Chamberlain’s “appeasement” of Hitler during WWII. Only one problem, of course (other than the obvious fact that the analogy is misleading, false, and uninformed): Kevin James doesn’t know what Chamberlain actually did to appease Hitler. Once Matthews realizes this, things get ugly… by which I mean awesome.

So, what does this all mean? Are conservatives re-finding the hearts (and minds) they lost during the Reagan era? Dare to dream…

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Beyond the Blogroll

I just updated my blogroll with all kinds of blogs dealing with the 2008 presidential election and politics in general. I will also be adding more as I think of them/find them. But, just to bring them to your attention, here is a list of my favorite blogs that I think you should check out:

Wonkette– Not for the easily offended. Formerly of the tagline “Politics for People with Dirty Minds,” the DC-based Wonkette explores the dirtier side of politics, with snarky and sarcastic comments about everything from major political scandals to everyday life on the campaign trail. Fun read, all around.

Calitics– A blog focusing on the OTHER November races: those in the state legislature and on other, more local levels. If you’re not already interested in California politics, you will be after reading this blog.

Daily Kos– One of the most visited blogs on the internet, and the most popular of all progressive blogs. I don’t always agree with everything on the site, but they have a huge audience and indeed a ton of power in politics. Never dull.

MyDD– Similar to DailyKos, an always-active blog about progressive politics around the country. A little more open to unpopular opinions than Kos.

Justin Webb’s America– A really cool blog by the North American Editor of the BBC. Talks almost entirely about the American presidential race, which is interesting to hear about from a foreigner.

There are lots others. Check ’em out.

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Accepting the Inevitable… Finally… I Guess

Ed. note: Sorry for not updating in a while. My life of the past few weeks has been plagued by “finals,” a terribly debilitating disease caused by frequently attending college. But I have since been relieved of this disease, and I will try to update this blog at least once a week, if not more frequently.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Hillary Clinton is not doing so well these days. Political-wise, I mean. With a large defeat in North Carolina, and a big-but-not-big-enough victory in Indiana, her fate was basically, mathematically, realistically sealed as the “runner-up.” This is tough for me to admit. I’ve got a lot invested in this race (most notably, shamefully, my pride and stubbornness), and I don’t like to admit defeat. Neither does Hillary, clearly. Because even though, barring something extraordinary, she will not win the Democratic nomination, she keeps plodding on, vowing to stay in the race until Convention.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have no problem with Hillary staying in the race. I tend to think the spread-out system of primaries and caucuses, while making sense from the perspective of a candidate, doesn’t make sense from the perspective of democracy. John Kerry’s nomination–the fabulous success that that was–was practically wrapped up within the first few primaries in the 2004 election. This method leaves a huge chunk of the electorate: Super Tuesday states like New York and California and Massachusetts and Ohio, as well as later states including Florida and Pennsylvania, with votes that are basically worthless.  John Edwards withdrew after failing to win a single state on Super Tuesday, leaving John Kerry as the presumptive nominee.

Hillary Clinton staying in the race, therefore, allows voters in all states, including those with primaries in May or June such as Oregon, North Carolina, and Kentucky, have a voice in the nominating process. Even if “bringing democracy” to every state is not her main intention, it certainly works. And while admitting that she remains in the race just in case Obama gets assassinated (a la Bobby Kennedy, as she suggested a few days ago) seriously toes the line of tactfulness, it isn’t entirely unreasonable to stay in “just in case” something unexpected happens.

That said, however, I have come to terms with the fact that she will probably not win. Indeed, with the Bobby Kennedy comment, as well as her almost-race-baiting suggestions about white people not liking Obama, and her assertions about her lack of faith in “experts,”  have seriously frustrated and disenchanted me with her over the past few weeks. I’ve subtly removed myself from her “fans” on Facebook, and noted the end of my internship with her campaign as February, when California voted.

So I’ve moved on. I’m not going to go around waving a white flag to Obama supporters (a.k.a. most of my friends and almost all of my fellow College Democrats), but I’ve stopped supporting her campaign. I won’t jump on the Obama train until it’s made official in June, when it becomes more about the party and less about the candidate, but I do expect to work very hard to make sure he gets elected.

This is in addition, of course, to fighting the gay marriage amendment. Since the California Supreme Court cited the Equal Protection Clause in the CA Constitution as reason for allowing gay and lesbian couples around the state to get married, it has become a major issue in state politics. Protect Marriage, a coalition of religious groups, has gathered over a million signatures in order to get a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the ballot in November. I have always been a strong advocate of gay marriage and will be doing everything I can to fight that amendment, starting hopefully with getting an internship at Equality California in San Francisco. Add that to the Obama campaign and, oh yeah, my 32-hour-a-week job, and I have a packed summer ahead of me.

I guess this blog post is therefore more about me than Hillary Clinton. It worked out well that Hillary’s campaign is flailing just as my support is weakening, because it means I don’t have to entirely denounce her and can instead move on to the next thing. My only hope is that the next campaigns I’m on– those of a presidential candidate and an amendment that threatens civil rights– are more successful, because now it matters more than ever.

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Why I (Still) Support Hillary

So I support Hillary Clinton. Oh, and I’m 19, and a college student at a liberal university. Shocking, right?

I think people just assume that young voters automatically flock to Barack Obama, because he promises hope and change and freedom and happiness and whatnot, and that may be true. I certainly fell for that idea in the beginning: I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do just that; I wanted to ensure that my choice for president was based on facts, not hype. I went and saw Barack speak and– unlike the rest of the world– just wasn’t that impressed with him. He didn’t seem to talk issues so much as abstract concepts. He seemed to be running on a platform of “trust me” rather than “here’s why.”

This is not to say that Barack Obama is not a good candidate. He certainly has potential to be a great president, and I would vote and indeed campaign for him in a heartbeat over John McCain. Hillary Clinton just knows her stuff. Anyone who has seen her debate knows this is true. Get her talking about policy, and she’s off like a rocket, explaining intimate details, forgotten histories, and future plans. After 8 years of cowboy-presidency, goodness knows that we could use a little smartening-up.

But that’s not all. I believe that Hillary Clinton can make the Change (TM) happen. Barack Obama loves to preach it, but he has yet to prove to me that he can actually DO it. The fact is, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have almost identical policy ideas, so it all comes down to who will make it happen- who will be able to clean up after the Bush Administration, and restore the United States back to working order. Hillary Clinton has worked hard for health care for children, for help for 9/11 rescue workers, for good foreign relations, and so much more. She IS more experienced, not only in the Senate, but in the White House as well.

She has frustrated me a million times, saying things I wish she wouldn’t and voting for things I wish she didn’t. But it all comes back to who the best president will be, and she remains at the top of my list.

Do I want this primary season to be over? Yes, yes, million times yes. I cannot wait to return to disagreeing with Republicans, rather than with Democrats. But Hillary Clinton is a fighter, and I know that in order for the best candidate to win, the fight must continue.

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Like a chocoholic, but with politics.

Do you hear that? No? That’s because it’s silence, which, despite what Fox News would let you believe, doesn’t make a sound.

I have a serious problem with silence. This whole Democratic nominating process thing has gone on for quite a while now, and, I’m not ashamed to say, I kind of enjoy it. It’s comforting to hear the dull roar of racism charges, sexism charges, self-aggrandizing talk show hosts shouting manufactured arguments at a live TV audience, testimonials from the ghosts of candidates’ respective pasts, and accusations of lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, and– perhaps most uniquely to this election– plagiarism.

But it stopped. The temper tantrums, the attention whoring, the hero worshiping- all of it stopped, and left me with a ringing in my ears and a sudden awareness of white noise. I miss it. What happened?

Hillary Clinton was inevitable, then threatened, then overtaken, then dead, then revived, then back in the proverbial driver’s seat. Florida and Michigan, two classically democracy-hating states, then knocked her back down with their simultaneously self-hating and self-important decision to move their primary elections to before Super Tuesday (against the wishes of the DNC), making their votes null, and void. Naturally, according to polls taken at that time, Hillary Clinton would have won both (yes, even if Obama’s name had been on the ballot). Florida, Michigan.

This brings us back to the silence, that terrible foe that brings with it low TV ratings for 24-hour news channels and little material for bloggers (such as myself- see, I’ve written 1 1/2 posts and I’m a blogger now!) to complain about. With nothing to really talk about until the Pennsylvania primary in a month, we’re left to picking up the stray confetti and preparing for the next party. Nothing going on means no one in the news talking about it, which means no one in the blog-o’Sphere whining about how awful the mainstream media is treating this election. It’s a vicious circle of peace and tranquility, and it needs to end soon.

But perhaps I over-exaggerate. Perhaps I speak only for myself when I say that I miss the anger, allegations, and incestuous competitiveness that I’ve grown so fond of in the last several years of campaigning by Obama and Hillary. But since Texas and Ohio voted on March 4, the most significant story regarding the elections has been that some peon looked at the candidates’ passports once when they weren’t supposed to, and that a crazy old white woman and a crazy old black man said some racist things. It just hasn’t been the same.

So I ask myself, am I addicted? Do I thrive on the ups and downs of politics and political candidates? Do I live and die by primary and caucus results? Well, not really. As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I won’t be totally devastated if Obama wins, and indeed I will probably sign up almost immediately to join his campaign. I guess its just nice, after so many years of Bush-era, frustration-induced apathy, to see people care. Roof-top shouting, horn-honking, obnoxious-sign-waving, megaphone-wielding, blimp-buying, parade-having… I love all of it, as loud and intolerable as it is. It’s good to know, I suppose, that people have woken up from their 8-year-slumbers and started to have faith in this country, and the democratic process, again.

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