Friday, November 02, 2007

They say he has grit. I wanted a man with grit.

I was trying to figure out why this debate over the democratic debate this week was leaving me so bummed-out. I've always considered that these sorts of arguments over the candidates are the very essence of democracy. That's certainly the first thing that drew me to the democratic party many years ago.

I guess the first thing that I find off-putting is the concentration on Clinton's gender as a point of contention for both sides. We should first ignore the fact that the fact that Clinton's a woman as a question of governance should really remain the province of the Republican party flat-earthers and not something progressives should be arguing about. Republicans are really the guys the miniature units that should be threatened by a female president. On this side of the aisle we shouldn't need to compensate.

With this in mind I find it more than a little offensive that any Clinton supporters would resort to gender framing to defend Clinton in her debate performance a couple of nights ago. In presidential politics the person leading in the polls is going to take the most hits in a debate with the other candidates. That's the simple political reality and has nothing to do with what position the candidate takes while peeing (I'm personally fond of the "leaning drunkenly against the wall of the police station position" myself.)

I don't want Hillary Clinton to be the democratic candidate for President. I've said it many times and remained more convinced of that position as the campaign has progressed. She's not alone, however, on the list of democrats I don't want to see nominated. All of the declared candidates are less than inspiring IMHO. Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson, etc. leave me flat.

In 1984 when I was just a pup when it came to politics I went and saw Jesse Jackson on a campaign stop in his own run for the presidency. I'll never forget that speech. I remember distinctly how he started out slowly, speaking in an almost monotone voice. I was initially disappointed and wondered if Jackson was really the firebrand he'd been portrayed as on television.

Jackson slowly became more animated and changed his cadence until, by the end of the speech, he was essentially preaching to the crowd. We went nuts. We were on our feet screaming our agreement as he ticked of problem after problem that Ronald Reagan had failed to address and how we could do better. My favorite line was when he said he'd take "Franklin Roosevelt in his wheelchair over Ronald Reagan on his horse any day of the week." I left that rally exhilarated, full of hope and convinced that politics could be used to changed the world for the better.

What Americans are screaming for is this kind of leadership. The vast majority of us want the war in Iraq to be brought to an end. We want the the problems of health care and inequity to be addressed. We want action on global warming. We want America's role in the world, as a partner not a bully, restored. We want hope.

I don't give a rat's ass about the gender, race, sexual orientation, religious orientation or whatever the hell else even progressives seem to be debating as qualifications for the presidency. We have real problems. Until a candidate can give me that kind of hope I and millions of others crave then I refuse to give them my attention or my support.


Swinebread said...

Yes, that's it. There is no sense of hope. That's why this is sad. The fact that there is a woman who has a chance to be prez is a sideshow and a very boring tired, one at that.

Overdroid said...

I'm voting for Kucinich.

Dean Wormer said...


The fact that there is a woman who has a chance to be prez is a sideshow and a very boring tired, one at that.

Yup. We really don't have time for debate about superficial bullshit like that stuff. The country has bigger fish to fry than whether we're ready for a female or black president.


I was going to vote for Kucinich until I had him over for dinner and he made Devil's Tower out of the mashed potatoes.

How's the eye?

Don Snabulus said...

I'm not sure we aren't being fed a bunch of horse feathers. We've had Clintons and Bushes for 20 years now and they've presided over the worst economic march backwards for most of us since the Great Depression. Who would want 4 to 8 more years of them?

Almost everyone I know wants either Edwards, Obama, or Kucinich. I find it inconceivable that she could be polling so far ahead.

Same with Giuliani. He is a thug with more skeletons in his closet than Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson put together. Yet he is number one with a neo-con agenda that nobody other than politicians is even willing to admit they subscribe to anymore.

It seems these debates and polls are a media invention worthy of Pravda and I have ZERO faith in the process at this point.

I hate to be so cynical about it but the reality disconnect is so pronounced I can't ignore it.

Overdroid said...

Yeah. I'd rather have a President that believes that a 2000 year old Jewish man is going to come back from the dead and save us all, rather than one that said he saw a UFO. Which by definition is an UNIDENTIFIED flying object.

Don. The polls might be twisted somewhat, but I don't think they are wrong. Most people in the US don't have the internets, and if you don't got those, would you even know who Kucinich is?

The eye is better now. Thanks. That was scary.

Don Snabulus said...

OD, That's true. I forget sometimes how effective lies repeated over and over are against the general population...especially when said population doesn't see being informed as part of their agenda of eating at McDonalds and shopping at Wal*Mart and ignoring anybody having a harder time than themselves.

Don Snabulus said...

Also glad your eye is better.

Dean Wormer said...

It seems these debates and polls are a media invention worthy of Pravda and I have ZERO faith in the process at this point.

I agree. The process sucks. None of the candidates that appears to have a chance appeals to me.

For the record- I don't have too much problem with Kucinich and I certainly don't care about the UFO stuff. In fact I find it more appealing.

Plus - his wife his hot.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Dean about Jesse Jackson. I saw him in 1988 at a packed Mac Court in Eugene. I've never seen a public speaker like him. I walked out of there feeling like anything was possible. No one in this year's race does that for me.

Dean Wormer said...

Exactly Aaron. I have a soft spot for Jackson because of that campaign and always cut him a little slack when he gets bad press.