Monday, October 15, 2007

It's Almost 2008...

Ever since it became obvious that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were going to be the major players in the Democrats’ bid for the presidency in 2008, I have had an uneasy feeling. "No way," I thought, "is this country ready to embrace a woman or a black man as president. Especially not now, directly following the most conservative administration this nation has known for decades." I could only hope that Bush and Company would screw up SO badly that it wouldn’t matter who the Democrats put up; the clamor for change would be so strong that even Bill Clinton (were he allowed to run again) would win by a landslide.

Not that the Republican administration hasn’t been doing a pretty good job of fulfilling their part of the bargain. Finally, one can sense that the majority of the American people are thoroughly sick of Bush, his war, his oil interests, and his cronies. Isn’t it a relief that we can once again openly express our misgivings about our country’s leadership? At least we’ve come some way from the insane days directly following 9/11. Those days when we were all so intimidated by the gung-ho war-mongering nationalists that we were afraid to speak out--about anything. Lest we be labeled unpatriotic, or worse. I honestly felt like I was living some post-apocalyptic nightmare during those disturbing months.

And yet, I still feel that the Democrats are not advancing a viable candidate. They’ve blinded themselves to the reality of the average voter. The outcome of the 2008 election will have little to do with who has the best strategy for Iraq, or who can come up with a workable health care plan, or who can stop American industry from shipping our jobs overseas. There is such a huge block of the electorate that is patently ignorant. They have no grasp of the issues beyond what’s fed them by right-wing talk radio, Fox News, or the guy standing behind the pulpit at their church. The issues are immensely complex, and there are so many who are not capable or not interested in understanding them. They are sitting there waiting for someone to tell them how to vote. Quite simply, the party that can most convincingly demonize the other is going to win this thing.

So, let’s look at the Democrats’ front runners. We have Hillary Clinton, former First Lady who was routinely vilified by the press and the American people at large during her tenure. She didn’t fit the mold of the dignified, unassuming, social-directing presidential help-meet. Yes…Mrs. Clinton was, or wanted to be, a political force in her own right. And I wish I could say there was no reason why she couldn’t be. She’s intelligent, well-educated, driven, and politically savvy. Unfortunately, she wasn’t what American tradition demanded of a First Lady.

Yes, she has since gone through all the right moves. She relocated to New York, got elected to the senate-twice. Has spent unknown quantities of time and money distancing herself from her husband. Unfortunately, I sense the American public has not forgiven her for her past sins, including being married to a man who they believe utterly betrayed their trust. Though why that should be her fault is anybody’s guess. I don’t think the Democrats have any idea how much Americans relish nursing their grudges against females. Dick Nixon went from "You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore" to the Oval Office within a decade. But mention Jane Fonda to any redneck older than, say, twenty, and see what kind of reaction you get. I like and admire Hillary Clinton, but I don’t think she has a chance

And then there’s Barack Obama. He’s young, he’s charismatic, he’s intelligent. He could be the next John Kennedy or Bill Clinton. He is the personification of the future. Except… How many barely literate voters out there are trying out the sound of "President Obama" and rejecting the candidate on that basis alone? You don’t think the name is an issue? You think the American people are sophisticated enough to get past that semantic road block? Hmm…don’t forget his FULL name. Barack Hussein Obama. If that isn’t the kiss of death, I don’t know what is… And let’s not forget that Senator Obama IS black. As "un-pc" as it is to discuss the race issue, it’s definitely the elephant—no, the tyrannosaurus rex—in the corner when it comes to Obama. What’s really unfortunate is that his name is going to snuff him so fast that the race issue will hardly need to be called into play.

And so, I find myself piningfor a strong, experienced, WASP-ish male Democrat to burst upon the scene. As a woman, a feminist, and a liberal, I’m not at all happy with that feeling. But I’m desperate for an abrupt change of direction in this country, and I don’t see that happening with another Republican in power. And another Republican it will be, if the Democrats can’t dig up, create or draft a more universally appealing candidate.


  1. I honestly felt like I was living some post-apocalyptic nightmare during those disturbing months.

    Yep well I remember...Still it was nice sharing a boat with you.

    I tend to agree with the unwelcomed wish theory you are propounding.  What the Hell is the Democratic Party thinking....Are they bothering to think at all?

    I don't know how much more damage this country can take but if we have the republicans in office again I am fairly sure I am going to find out.

    I don't even know what to think anymore.

  2. If I have to, I'll choose Hillary - because I too cannot stand the thought of another Republican anything.  My oldest thinks that the country is not yet ready for a female President either, but she'd like us to get the process out of the way so when she runs for President, they will be ready.

    What ever happened to Geraldine?

  3. There is a bright, waspish male Democrat out there. He won the popular vote once. Saw it undercut by the supremes. Too bad Al Gore is probably too smart to run again.

    Actually it says a lot. The states and cities are miles ahead of the federal government on so many things. Except for the power to start a war that will take us back beyond the stone age the federal government is becoming increasingly irrelavent. Some sorry heirs to the likes of Teddy and FDR. Of Ike and Harry. Good thing I haven't had lunch yet, I'd lose it.


  4. "No this country ready to embrace a woman or a black man as president. Especially not now, directly following the most conservative administration this nation has known for decades..."

    Pshaw ~ ESPECIALLY now, following the most conservative (and corrupt) administration this country has ever seen.  The American people are good and sick of it and say so at every turn.  

    Is there stupidity and ignorance among the electorate?  Of course.  Always has been.  Is it being fueled by right-wing propagandists, and the corporate billionaires who own the airwaves and pollute the media, bending weak minds to their own cynical will?  You betcha.  But when Democrats themselves start advancing the idea that only male WASPs are viable as presidential candidates in this, the 21st century we are, in my opinion, buying directly into the Republican propaganda machine.  

    There are good, solid, viable candidates in this field; and not just Clinton and Obama.  But as women, feminists and liberals, if we cannot sustain the passion of our beliefs in the face of attack from Republican hacks, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh and their armies of ill-informed internet trolls, then that is what will doom the election.  Now is not the time to run scared.  Get the message out.  Reality is on our side.  We have nothing to fear but our own lack of conviction.    

  5. I believe the unfortunate truth is that the Democratic party either cannot, or will not, see what it is that the American people are looking for in a president.  If they can't, they are being ignorant.  If they won't, they are being stupid.  I am hoping that they will come around soon, because we are sorely in need of someone who can both lead and inspire.  Let's keep our fingers crossed .....   Tina  p.s. ... Happy Belated Anniversary, Lisa !  

  6. I too would NOT like to see Hillery be the nominee, for the things you mention and also the sources of her campaign funds and a couple of personal reasons.  A woman president YES, but not Hillary.
    I had not thought the name thing for Obama would be such a deal, but the way you put it does makes sense to me.  I feel that he is more of a (pardon the phrase) uniter than the other candidates and I sure would like to see some unity.  Would be nice to have an articulate president that also has some wisdom and compassion.
    I appreciate hearing your comments on this.  Amber