Saturday, May 24, 2008

Clinton and the Democratic Race - Hopes for the Future

The self-destructive statement Hillary Clinton made yesterday seems to me only the latest part of a disturbing pattern on her part. Clearly she has faced sexism in her race for the Democratic nomination. It is hard to doubt that! It seems though that things are deeper in a way that is disturbing to me.

Clearly there are areas where one might prefer Clinton over Obama. Her health care plan seems better. Some of her other policy positions may be slightly better thought out and/or better.

At the same time it is hard for me to see the race in such terms. There seem to be three areas related to the competition now which bother me greatly. Clearly Obama has worked the system better in the race for delegates and the nomination. He has grown from a charismatic underdog to the favorite. Clinton has correspondingly dropped from the clear favorite to an underdog struggling on against great odds.

To say that this process has been Because of Sexism seems grossly simplistic. It is dismissive of the issue of racism which has made Obama's successes difficult to have foreseen.

Secondly the issue of racism itself has been in a sense denied by Clinton. Her pose as the wife of "the first Black President" has been called into question by repeated statements which nibble around the edges of racism. She has used "electability" and "White Working Class Voters" as tools to play upon persistent racism in this country. Unlike Obama she has evaded the issues of race and how it is affecting the nomination competition in her desperate effort to get nominated.

The latest statement about the assassination of Robert Kennedy has rightfully created an outpouring of anger and frustration. Thinking of the very recent news that Edward Kennedy has malignant brain cancer alone would make the statement insensitive. Adding to this the substantial fear that many (particularly Black People) have that Obama will be assassinated if elected (and the death threats he has already received) adds greatly to this. This statement neatly fits as a "bipartisan" companion statement to Huckabee's NRA blunder which I would summarize as - "I am Not a racist" (but my words call that into question in terms of my sensitivity to the feelings of Black people).

So Why does Clinton do what she does? The third and I believe most important part of this is a feeling of entitlement. Hillary and Bill Clinton clearly feel that she is "entitled" to be President! Recent political history shows plenty of favorites or "good contenders" who faded in the primary sweepstakes through poorly stated things, rubbing some the wrong way, the loss of key primaries and various other reasons.

Clinton seems to struggle on because "she should be President"! Such words are bizarre to me. It is bad enough that we've had two Bushes as President!

I do not see how there is some magical entitlement path to the Presidency!

It seems very sad that she seems willing to lead the Democrats to defeat in November because of her feelings that she "should be President". It is bizarre to believe that the feminist supporters of Clinton could be willing to sit the election out or even vote for McCain in preference to Obama.

McCain's open stance on the appointment of judges alone should terrify any real feminist who believes in the importance of safe, legal abortions in the U.S. Other "conservative stances" of McCain are equally "wrong" from a faintly progressive feminist outlook.

Obama is far from perfect. He is dramatically preferable to McCain for many, many reasons. I can only hope that McCain's words including his doubletalk (lies), his "jokes" (which often aren't funny), his demeanor (a horrible temper which he has trouble controlling) and most importantly his positions on the issues will wake up Americans including Clinton supporters to the necessity of supporting Obama asap!


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