Friday, January 20, 2006

Okay, I'll Admit It

I don't like Hillary Clinton and I think that, if she runs for President, that will be the end of the Democratic party as we know it. All they'll be left with is this so-called center Clinton is constantly pandering to, which doesn't even exist. The far left and the anti-war crowd and the gays and the pro-choicers and, in all fairness, the he-man woman-haters, when slammed with a Clinton presidential bid, will all blow off like the bits of proto-earth that settled into a rocky ring around our planet. And then we'll all have the pleasure of waiting around to see if they coalesce into a new moon, er political party. Whew. Actually, I'm not quite smart enough to sustain a prolonged metaphor about politics and pre-lunar planets, but I hope you can appreciate that I tried. But here's my problem with Clinton. She's smart enough to be President. She's got the gritty determination. But I feel like her every move is calculated to grab power, and thus she panders. Now, all politicians want to grab power. I'm not faulting her for that. I'm faulting her for coming across like a person whose every movement is opinion-polled and focus-grouped to death. You want power? Act like you have opinions of your own, even some that Republicans might find unpopular. I mean, isn't that what's funny? Republicans, in general, don't like her. She could come out tomorrow with fourteen assault rifles strapped to her body, quoting Jesus, and blocking the door to abortion clinics while kicking any gays who want to get married who happen to stroll by and right wingers would still be like "Bitch is crazy." So why the fuck is she trying to make herself palatable to them? Molly Ivins kicks some ass about this in her latest column.
You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.
And then she makes her best point in such a beautiful way, I bow down before her:
In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means.
Preach on, Sister Ivins. The fact that the Democratic leadership appears to be willfully oblivious to the dissention in the ranks is alarming. Every liberal blogger, every liberal columnist, every liberal I know is fixing for a fight. But we're all supposed to either accept Kos's "moderate voice of reason"* or... or what? Some conservatives, like Ole Sully, will use shitty polls to draw strange conclusions** about us and call us "unhinged and ineffective"? Well, Jesus H. Christ, they already do. Ivins is right. Where are the brave Democrats? The thoughtful and plain-spoken who can lead the party? Who are the folks who are going to stand up and say "This isn't right?" I'm not seeing them, especially not in the likes of Clinton. *No one has said that specifically about him. I'm just using the quotes to indicate that that seems to be the stereotype. ** I don't hang out at Kos's site because I don't like to be daily reminded how the Democratic party sees my personal autonomy as some kind of fringe issue that can be discarded whenever convenient. But there was a poll, apparently, in which 41% of the respondents said they hated Bush more than Bin Laden. From that, Sully concludes that this is some "indicator of how unhinged and ineffective the far left has become." For those of you who don't understand the problem, let me explain. Say that Kos has 10,000 readers a day. There's a poll with this kind of stupid question on it. Say then that 9,900 of his readers, of all types of liberal persuasions, look at the question and are like "My god, that's asinine" and don't participate. So, 100 do and 41 of them hate Bush more than Bin Laden. That doesn't tell us anything about the attitudes of the other 9,900 readers, some of whom may be much farther left than the 41. Polls that require people to feel passionately enough about the question to respond are going to attract only the people who feel passionately enough to respond. It doesn't tell you anything about the attitudes of the majority of leftists. And, what kind of poll is that anyway? Can't a person hate Bush passionately and still wish Bin Laden's head had been mounted on a pole in the crater of the World Trade Center within weeks of September 11, where it would be left to rot and be torn at by stray dogs?

9 Comments:

Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Oh, my God. I so totally agree. I wish to God somebody would step up in the Democratic party.

1/20/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

You'll get my vote.

wink wink, nudge nudge.

1/20/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Thank you, Aunt B. This post is EXACTLY why I read you, not Kos. Can't Clinton at least pretend for something besides getting herself elected???

1/20/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Glen Dean said...

You know you are absolutely right about Hillary. No matter how much her voting record or her statements say that she has moved to the middle, Republicans still won't like her. She is an opinion poll watcher and that doesn't sit well with people like yourself who are principled.

I guess I just thought that her base (former base?) accepted her pandering to conservatives because they just figured that she had to do what she had to do to get elected. And when she was elected, we would get to see the real Hillary. Seems like you guys are much wiser than that.

1/20/2006 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl Fuller said...

I want to like Hillary, I really do, but I keep seeing her calculate every word and action and i just can't do it. Right now, I'm kind of hoping Gore runs again, because at least for the moment he seems to have a fire in his belly.

My otherwise wonderful husband and i go round and round about Kos because I refuse to read him because Kos thinks us wimmins should sit down and shut up for the good of the party. Maybe Kos would feel differently if some of his basic rights were bargaining chips?

1/21/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Nashville Knucklehead said...

There aren't any brave politicians on the national level. I remember when Dole lost and went on Letterman. I loved him. I thought, where the hell has this guy been this whole time? The only guys who speak their minds are the "3rd party" guys like Perot and Forbes and Jackson and Sharpton and they are always dismissed as nuts, which in some cases they are.

Don't worry. Bill O'Reilly will tell you who to vote for.

I would run, but I did inhale. Lots.

1/21/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

I think Dole and Gore have that in common, where you're like "God damn, where was this engaging, smart person when it mattered?"

Cheryl, I completely agree. I think the mistake almost all anti-abortion folks and many vaguely pro-choice folks make is that they really think the abortion debate is just about trying to settle when life begins and, if that could be settled, we could make some firm and fast rules about when and under what circumstances a woman can end her pregnancy.

Kos and his ilk really think this is some kind of reasonable discussion where one side gives and the other side gives and finally we reach a medium we can all live with, even unhappily.

I've come to believe that they really, really don't get how many of us who are pro-choice view the right to an abortion as the canary in the coal mine of women's rights in general.

Are we autonomous beings who have the last say over what happens to our bodies or are we, as a class, constantly forced to get approval from the rest of society for our actions?

As long as we, Democrats, don't acknowledge that many of us, pro-choicers, perceive the fight that way--as about who has final say over me--the Democrats in power are going to be continually blindsided by our anger about the issue.

But look at them putting Tim Kaine up to respond to the State of the Union address. The man is an anti-gay bigot. Again, it's like "well, who are the pro-choicers and the non-self-loathing gays going to vote for? Not Republicans, so let's again pander to this non-existant middle."

Go ahead, Democrats. Sell us all out. You're right, there's not much we can do, except stay home.

Knucklehead, okay, maybe not president, but I'd bet you'd make an awesome first... lord. Is that what we'd call you? The first lord? Hmm.

1/21/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I have apathy for most politicians. Dem, Repub, Libertarian, Green--whatever. As cynical as it may sound, I think that 90% of the driving force behind any politico is a desire to gain & maintain office. But I've seen, in most of them, a bit of humanity leaking through that drive. Even those I've opposed (Kerry, Dukakis, Gore).

But Hillary? I had no opinion of her one way or the other until the hourlong interview with someone. Either Babawawa or Diane Sawyer. Somebody like that. Through the ENTIRE hour, Hilary had the dead eyes you see in someone who has entirely blocked their humanity. Her smile never reached the top half of her face.

I realise that sounds lame, and I'm sorry I've not got a more eloquent way to phrase my objection. It's simply that every time I see her, I see someone who is 100% about gaining and keeping power. No matter the cost.

If I were a member of her party that would concern me. Because the "no matter the cost" factor would likely include many planks of my party platform.

1/21/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Nashville Knucklehead said...

I could be a lord. Give me six others and we'll spend the holidays a leaping.

I prefer Viceroy, or Chancellor of the Exchequer.

1/21/2006 05:07:00 PM  

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