Aside from the Hillarions, who are going to take their dollies and dishes and go home and sulk, and let John McCain pick two Supreme Court justices who are going to make sure that their bodies, and the bodies of their daughters, belong to the Federal government, I wonder who the people pissing and moaning about the Biden selection would rather see on the ticket.
I've just about given up on the Hillarions. It's kind of sad to see the 1970's brand of white, middle-class,focused-on-trivia feminism not only still alive and well, but wrapping its tentacles around the psyches of young women -- because it isn't all middle-aged women screaming that Their Girl Got Done Wrong.
I'm not saying that sexism isn't rampant in our society, because it is. I'm not saying that the coverage of Hillary Clinton wasn't repulsive and sexist and demeaning, because it was. And it is. And it will continue to be. And the demonization of Hillary, with its all-too-revealing invention of Hillary-leg nutcrackers and other emblems of male fear, is not something that would have gone away had she been the nominee for either president OR vice-president. But this elevation of Hillary Clinton to Feminist Icon and Saint has always baffled me, as has the notion that somehow sexism would have disappeared forever if we only had Hillary in the White House.
I look at the comments sections on blogs and I see not just women, but supporters of other candidates, considering voting for Ralph Nader, or staying home, because they feel it just doesn't matter anymore. But isn't this exactly what got us into trouble in 2000? This notion that there was no difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore? Can anyone really say that we would be exactly where we were now if Al Gore had been president?
Barack Obama is hardly a progressive dream candidate. From his first day in the Senate, he's been cautious and careful -- a conciliator rather than a fighter. Joe Biden is a fighter, but he's also a guy who played softball in the Clarence Thomas hearings and has voted the interest of MBNA over the interest of regular Americans. But I'm sorry folks -- Dennis Kucinich is not going to be the president. Neither is Bernie Sanders. Neither is Barney Frank. That's reality.
Both parties are like baseball teams that's full of overpaid veterans past their prime, who used to be able to hit home runs and now can barely manage singles, because they just don't care. They get their fat salaries, and so they can get away with just showing up for work. What teams with these guys usually need is some young kids coming up from the farm system in September -- kids who really want to make it to the Show, and so they play their hearts out.
The Democratic and Republican parties are full of these overpaid veterans. In our party it's people like Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi and the Blue Dogs who gave George W. Bush everything he wanted because they lacked the courage to do what's right. Or we have guys like Heath Shuler -- wingnuts in Democrats' clothing who are there because Chuck Schumer doesn't care what you believe, as long as you have a (D) after your name.
As I've written before, Joe Biden is as big a hack as we've seen on a national ticket. I don't expect Barack Obama, with his insistence that you can reach across the aisle to Republicans, and Senator MBNA, to turn this country into a progressive utopia.
But I would tell those people who think people like me are just rubbing their noses into Roe v. Wade
as a weapon to think back, if you're old enough to the days before Roe
, when you could get an abortion, but it was illegal and you had no idea if the person doing it knew what he or she was doing. And it made an unwanted pregnancy even scarier. If you aren't old enough, think about your daughter going to the local health clinic to get birth control and having the gum-chewing receptionist refuse to give her an appointment because this little twit at the desk doesn't believe in birth control. Because if you allow John McCain to become president, whether by voting for him or sitting home and sulking, that's what's going to happen. So is a military draft. Because in John McCain's world, anyone who looks at you crosswise gets war declared on them. And he's going to need cannon fodder to fight those wars. So is the continued bankruptcy of this country. Because John McCain, with his seven homes and his $500 shoes and his heiress wife feel that they and their friends need more money shoved into their bulging wallets via tax cuts. And if that means your kids' school is run-down, or there are potholes a foot deep in the road on which you drive to work, too bad for you. Because Cindy McCain needs a new Lexus.
I voted in my first presidential election in 1976. I have voted in eight presidential elections. Only in one of them -- in 1996 -- did I make an affirmative vote for the re-election of Bill Clinton. In 1992 I voted for Clinton, but regarded him as "a grinning, glad-handing sack of shit." Every four years, I watch as the candidate I support gets knocked out early in the race and I end up voting for someone whom I either despise or in whom I have little confidence. But every four years I do it because the alternative is just too terrible to even contemplate.
So if you're unhappy about our Democratic ticket, go ahead and stay home. Let John McCain become president. But do it with your eyes open about the consequences, and please just do one more thing: Help rebuild our "farm system." Work to elect better Democrats to office. Give money to people like Darcy Burner
and Donna Edwards
and Dennis Shulman
and Andrew Rice
and Scott Kleeb
. And just maybe, before we all leave this God-forsaken level of reality, we can stop elevating war hawks and corporatists to sainthood just because we have no other choice.
But until then, this disaffected Democrat is going to show up with all the enthusiasm I can muster for Obama/Biden in November. Because the alternative is just too terrible to even contemplate.
Labels: 2008 election