Monday, January 07, 2008

Probably not an original post about the Iowa primary.

First off, as Donna Brazile so beautifully said, Hillary is the "establishment candidate." That's my issue with her - a vote for her is, more or less, a vote for the status quo. She is the face of liberal feminism, not revolutionary - and certainly not radical (by which I mean *real* radical, not what-passes-on-the-interweb-for-radical) - feminim. She's not revolutionary in any sense of the word, except that she happens to be a woman. And because of this, she is also, methinks, the DNC's candidate. So what happened in Iowa means a lot, because it just may mean that the DNC will wise up this time around and not appoint a boring, same old same old, non-risk-taking, non-revolution-making candidate. (And the other candidates should totally jump on this "establishment candidate" label - that is something that all of us recognize about her, I think, even the people who are pulling for her, that she is establishment all the way.)

And second, the fact that Barack won was such a refutation of all the people I would otherwise respect who say annoying things like, "oh, America isn't ready for a Black president, so we should vote for a sure thing like Hillary/Edwards/Biden," or "electibility is the thing." Um, yeah - Obama's looking electable now, isn't he? So now can we move past these pathetic attempts at strategic voting and focus instead on rejeuvenating the electoral process and getting behind the best candidate, whomever that may be? Because I don't want an "electible" president. George W. Bush was an "electible" president. I have seen a lot of awful people get elected to various positions - you don't have to be good to be electible. I want a GOOD president, dammit.

And third, if folks like Barack and John McCain have good showings in the primaries, it will perhaps help to change the political machine that seems so bent on cranking out the most unimaginative and uninspiring "leaders" that can be found. I can't tell you what a refreshing change it is this year to actually see some impressive folks in both parties. I'll even go out on a limb here - and I'm probably out on this limb by myself - and say that it isn't so much Barack's blackness that makes him so historically important and so important for our country, but rather it is his politics, both some of his political positions and his manner of politicking, that make him stand out as the watershed candidate. (When Charlie Rose talked about this historical moment we find ourselves in and called Barack the historical change candidate, I was pissed at first that he didn't also see Hillary as a historical change candidate, because of course, she is one, as well, as is Richardson, for that matter. But the more I think about it, the more I see her establishment politics as taking away from her monumental role as possible First Woman President, just as Clarence Thomas and Condoleeza Rice have estranged themselves, by their politics, from their historical roles (at least, this is so in my own little head. I do not presume to speak for Black community).)

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go take a shower and wipe off the feeling of "ick" that's come from having seen Mike Huckabee on Craig Ferguson and having found him eminently likeable. ZOMG. Scary.


Dianne said...

Holy Crackers! You just said everything that's in my head. A friend e-mailed me a link to this post because she too found it so true.

And please check out my last post - I think we're gonna get along!

Anna said...

While I think it's great that a lot of Obama supporters see themselves as part of a movement for change that is bigger than themselves, I am still really hesitant about putting my support behind A Movement - particularly one that is focused on one person (Obama). These things virtually always implode.

I have been shocked to hear some of the older women in my family talk about Hillary Clinton - they're rabidly supportive of her, to the point that a couple of them say they won't vote for president this year unless she is the nominee. They say she has earned the nomination through all of her experience and time in the system, and if she doesn't get the nomination, it will be because people are sexist. I don't agree with this position at all, but like I said, was surprised to hear it as often as I did.

I saw Edwards speak in Missoula earlier last fall, and I still support him. He is by far the most progressive of the three major candidates.

Plain(s)feminist said...

Anna, I agree with you re. Edwards. If he won the nomimation, that'd be just fine with me, too.

Regarding the Movement - well, what I hope is that it's not so much A movement as it is movement toward a more democratic electoral process.

Lana Wood said...

In an effort to continue my status as an anti-social misfit I watched the debates Saturday night. I was pleasantly surprised to hear some actual intelligent answers from both parties. We seriously need a huge change in this country. I have not decided who I want to vote for yet but I am thinking Obama/Clinton.

I do not think of Obama as a black candidate, but as a human rights candidate. Not sure either will fly in the good old US of A. I think that despite his inability to keep his dick to himself, Bill Clinton is the smartest president we have ever had, and the one most cognizant of the realities of foreign relations with nations that do not share our cultural outlook. I think Hillary is immensely smarter, but she can never win. She is too easy to bait, and I agree, she is too old school, but I think she would be an asset on the ticket and could revolutionize the office of VP.

On an entirely differnt note, Mitt Romney and his posse of hottie spawn are yummy.