Monday, January 21, 2008

My smart friends talking politics

In the comments down here, my friends have reminded me that McCain isn't as moderate as he makes himself out to be. Even though I feel that, with a brief exception in 2000, he does what he believes in rather than what he believes to be politically expedient, I can't vote for a guy who voted against habeas corpus.

But the guy I agreed most with was (stop the presses!) Spoon, when he said the following:

God almighty! Is is too much to ask for a candidate that we can believe in?

Here's the thing: I received a lot of reasons not to vote for McCain. I want a reason to vote for Hillary. I'm begging you.

Greg came the closest to fighting for Hillary when he offered this lukewarm testimonial:

Clinton has voted in a manner generally consistent with what I believe is right. On top of that she's tough, smart, and she knows how to win elections.

All the Democrats vote in a manner generally consistent my principles (I'm a Democrat). If we leave out the hugely important war authorization, that is. But that's hardly getting me excited about the election.

Additionally, the ability to win elections isn't important to me. It gets us into trouble. It gets us Kerry.

So we have "tough and smart" left. All of the candidates for both parties are smart. "Tough?" Hell if I know what that means or why it matters.

So I'll ask again:

What does Hillary Clinton stand for? What are her values? And what has she done that shows those values?

I want to like her--honestly, I do. And I'll probably vote for her if she's there.

But I'm tempted to do a write-in vote for somebody with deep convictions who values all people and desires to bring them together, who would do what is right rather than what makes him electable.

That's right: I'm tempted to write in MCMC's name.

I see a passion and conviction in him that I just don't see in Hillary.

All I'm asking is for my leader-of-the-free-world to have clearer convictions and motives than my friends do. I can't believe that's asking too much.


Anonymous said...

(Your check is in the mail, sir.)


I dunno if anybody can give you a reason to vote for any particular candidate,TRP. That's a job for you and you alone. A few of us are Edwards supporters, but would be content with any of the top three candidates. My big qualm with HRC is this: I dunno why she wants to be president. It seems to me that she would do a better job serving the Nation as a senator.

Maybe it comes down to a gut feeling. My guts are telling me to pull the lever next to the name with the "D" next to it.

What are your guts telling you, TRP? (This is not meant in jest.)

-- tommyspoon

MCMC said...



It's very hard for me to give strong reasons to vote for Hillary, as she's my third choice. That said, Greg is right on her voting record.

Here's another reason: I think Hillary Clinton believes that government can make a difference in peoples' lives.

I don't mean this to be hokey. And you'd think that most people running to lead our government would believe this. Sadly, they don't. Bush doesn't. Just about no one around him does. Most of Hillary's opponents on the right believe that government is the problem (not PART of the problem, THE problem.)

I'll post more if she ends up being the nominee. Until then, is this at least a little something to believe in? Hang in there, now. I know it ain't easy, but hang in there!


Alison said...

You wrote:
Additionally, the ability to win elections isn't important to me. It gets us into trouble. It gets us Kerry.

Um, if Kerry had any "ability to win elections," we wouldn't be in this mess...

TeacherRefPoet said...

Spoon--My gut tells me that Clinton is more self-serving than others-serving. I believe McCain, for instance, is a guy who disagrees with me who genuinely wants to serve others. That's where the root of this conflict is.

Alison--My point exactly. Remember: one of the reasons Dems picked Kerry over Edwards and the others was that he was perceived as "electable." How'd that turn out for us? So I try not to think about "he/she can win." If I did, however, I'd put Clinton third among the remaining Democrats. But I don't.

Alison said...

TRP, I'm not convinced that electability is such a bad thing to consider. There's very little margin in getting the nominee you want if you know that person is gonna get trounced in the general election. The trouble with picking Kerry based on electability wasn't the act itself - it was that they were wrong.

GrigorPDX said...

I freely admit my argument was a bit lukewarm. It is, at least in part, because the three leading Democratic candidates are so similar that I'm having a hard time finding any true substantive differences between them. So I'm stuck with what my gut tells me.

My gut tells me this:

Obama - Nice guy. Damn good orator. He means well but is bit naive and inexperienced. I know part of that is Clinton campaign propaganda, but that doesn't mean there isn't a kernel of truth beneath it. He's never won a national election.

Edwards - Charismatic guy who talks a good populist line but seems to be more frosting than cake. Nice hair, but I'm having a hard time getting beyond the superficial image. Unfortunately tainted with one unsuccessful bid.

Clinton - Been there, done that, already won two Presidential elections. Yeah, Bill's name was on the ticket, but she's the real brains behind the string of successful Clinton campaigns going all the way back to Arkansas. She's been successfully swimming with the political sharks in longer than the other candidates.

Call my cynical, but given the choice between two nice guys who mean well and a shark with big 'ol sharp teeth, I'd rather have the shark on my side when we're talking about the utterly ruthless world of national and international politics.

GrigorPDX said...

I seem to have this habit of thinking of one more point after posting.

Likability. You say you "want to like her". What do you mean by that?

Obama is a likable guy. Edwards is a likable guy. They both seem like the kind of person I'd like to have over for dinner and drinks. I like nice guys.

W scored a lot of votes with his "aw, shucks" down home county boy likability act. But "likable" certainly hasn't translated into "good chief executive".

Clinton does not give off that warm fuzzy "likable" glow. She's unapologetically aggressive and ambitious. She gives the impression of being a bad-ass mother who's not taking shit from anyone. Would I invite her over for dinner? Probably not.

I don't need a feel-good candidate. If I want to feel good, I'll get a nice warm blanket, a cup of tea, and plop a fuzzy kitten in my lap. I need a candidate who can wade into this cage match of an election and rip whichever sleazebag the Republicans send into bloody hamburger. I don't need another entertaining dinner guest. I need a President who can open up a can of Whoop-Ass on the unmitigated disaster Rove and Cheney and the rest of the neocons have wrought.