February 12, 2008 by 8junebugs
I love the re-branding of the primary and election events. Tsunami Tuesday, indeed…it retains the mouth-feel of Super Tuesday and has the look of alliteration. Marketing genius, people!
My primary is tomorrow and I am troubled. I wasn’t terribly troubled, being busier than usual, but Rich Lashua posted a rant on his myspace blog about voting and civic duty and whatnot, and I (in the tradition of overthinking every bloody thing I see/read) felt compelled to note that I agreed in areas where I had not yet voiced an opinion.
To paraphrase, then expound upon, my response to his well-phrased post, my choices tomorrow are Exciting and Thrilling and Historic. They are not, however, perfect answers.
I have a mild case of Obama Fever, it’s true. The man inspires me and makes me want to believe in the honor of public service. He’s just full of that honor, isn’t he? At the risk of sounding like a compartmentalizing racist in a racially charged election cycle, Barack Obama speaks with the force and glory of Dr. King. You look at his honest, earnest face and you think, “This man right here is a leader. No question. He can heal the wounds we carry from eight years of cronyism, international embarassment, and shocking abuse of the English language.”
And you’re right.
But if you listen to Obama’s words instead of the tone and inflection, you might hear that his policy promises are not as strong as the political ones, that his plans are a little nebulous and he’s speaking at the biggest pep rally since Reagan’s “morning in America” spiel. (Don’t look at me like that. If “they” can conjure the man on either side of the ballot, so can I.)
Maybe that’s okay. God knows our republic could use a shot in the arm that isn’t sparked by a terrorist attack. But I need a little more. It would not have been better recieved any other possible way, but Clinton was correct to note that Dr. King needed Johnson’s help to effect change. “It took a president to get it done.”
Senator Clinton is also — strategically, brilliantly — riding the wave of anti-Bush emotion. One thing she ain’t is stupid. Underneath all the rhetoric, though, is a solid foundation of policy plans. She knows her stuff and she’s had more than my lifetime to think about how she could make things better. On top of all that, she knows the ins and outs of working inside the Beltway. Like it or not, the learning curve here is unpleasant and full of nasty surprises…ones she could anticipate.
But in this entire country, there is no more polarizing figure than Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Knowing what to do and how to do it will only get her so far; a President Hillary Clinton will face galactically huge obstacles. There will be those who genuinely disagree with her, but there will be plenty who will never support anything she does. Ever.
I have my own reasons for not wanting Clinton in the Oval, most of which have to do with honor and fair play. (I actually think she’s better than the way she has campaigned, though it could have been a lot worse.) Looking forward, though, the feminist in me has a hard time picturing the first female POTUS and knowing that I did not support her campaign.
And so I find myself with more questions than answers this Primary Eve. I’m thinking back to our celebration of the midterm election results and one friend’s dire, yet, I think, still-accurate observation: “Oh-four is not a lock. We can still fuck it up.”