Thursday, March 13, 2008

Election Madness: Why I Hate Hillary Now

Hey there. Wow, it's been a long time since I posted anything; but what better way to get back into blogging than with a contentious political post?

Ok so here's some full disclosure before we get started: in case you don't know me at all, I'm a Democrat, and from the very beginning I've pretty much favored Obama (despite that annoying Oprah endorsement). Yet even as late as the eve of the Potomac primaries (February 12) I was not 100% committed, and I could be heard saying things like "well, no matter who wins we'll have a great candidate/president." Now that's all changed.

Before the primaries in Texas and Ohio, everyone had Obama pegged as the frontrunner. Hillary came off well at the debates in Austin and Cleveland, and she basically seemed to say "we'll see what happens, may the best candidate win, let's keep our party united no matter what" which I respected a lot. Meanwhile, Bill had publicly stated that if his wife lost in those states she would have no choice but to call it quits.

As it turned out, Hillary won in Ohio by a significant margin (10%: 54% to 44%), and she won the Texas primary by a smaller margin (4%, 51% to 47%) -- but wait, then Obama went on to win in the TX caucus which decides who 1/3 of the state's pledged delegates will cast their vote for and thus he actually came out ahead (just when you thought the primary system couldn't get any more complicated...).

Anyway, Hillary still won in Ohio and Texas (sort of) so, according to the criteria that the Clintons themselves set, I guess we can't blame her for staying in the race (I'm not even going to get into the possibility of a "Limbaugh effect," i.e. the suggestion that some Republicans went out and voted for Hillary on March 4 just to fuck shit up). Also, it's clear at this point that neither she nor Barack are going to get the 2,025 delegates needed to secure the party's nomination outright before the convention, and I guess Barack doesn't quite have a big enough lead to invoke the murder rule. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that Obama is still ahead in votes cast, delegates pledged, and states won.

Indeed, Obama's people have suggested that it's unlikely that Clinton can catch up. To help illustrate this point: CNN reports that Obama has won 1,404 pledged delegates so far (we'll save those enigmatic superdelegates for later) while Clinton earned 1,243 -- that gives him a lead of 161. Meanwhile the state of Pennsylvania only has a 158 delegates up for grabs total, while a poll from earlier this month gives Hillary a 10% lead there (45% to 35% with 24% undecided).

In response to these facts, people in Clinton's camp seem to be arguing "Well it doesn't matter if Obama has won more votes and delegates and states because Clinton won in the big important states that really matter." My answer to this: FUCK YOU! I don't know about you, but I really resent the suggestion that my primary vote doesn't count as much as the vote of someone in Ohio (I mean, this isn't the general election!). Moreover, it rather seems to me that the Clinton people are defining "important state" as "state where Hillary has won or is ahead."

This seems to go hand in hand with the argument that the Clinton campaign has been making since Super Tuesday that alleges that Clinton has the support of working-class people (that should read non-black working-class people) who are the "cornerstone of the Democratic party" whereas all the people voting for Obama are either blacks, or college students, or rich people. I was unaware that having darker skin or being more highly educated or making more money meant that our votes should be discounted. And if we're stereotyping voters, it seems like Clinton's strongest support might not come from the working class but from white women, old people, and gays (ok, and Latinos).

I would have no problem if Hillary was saying "well let's see what happens in Pennsylvania... (and those other states that still have primaries that the Clinton people never talk about because they expect to lose there)... and let's have a do-over in Michigan and Florida..." but that is not the argument her camp is making. They're basically saying "the numbers don't matter because the important people favor Hillary."

The only thing Hillary Clinton cares about is winning the Democratic nomination, and she will do whatever she has to to achieve this goal. If that means disenfranchising Democrats and convincing her friends in the party's hierarchy that they should override the will of the people and nominate her because she's the "stronger candidate" then so be it! I mean, shit, Hillary, maybe we should just let your husband decide who gets the nomination; how about that?

As you can tell I find this "nuclear war" strategy of Clinton's to be infuriating. But I do think that in the end it's destined to fail for several reasons: (a) Obama also has supporters among the superdelegates and the party elite such as Ted Kennedy, and (b) the Democratic party would have a spiritual crisis if the party ripped the nomination from out of the hands of a black candidate with a majority of the popular vote (For chrissakes, the popular vote! I'm already having Bush v. Gore flashbacks!). Nancy Pelosi, who is herself a tough cookie, seemed to acknowledge this on Friday when she said that superdelegates would do damage to the party if they overturned the results of the caucuses and primaries.

I could go on and on about the election so I think it's best that I stop here for now and make this an ongoing topic for future blog posts.

Oh, and lets have a quick word about the above photo where the candidates are looking all mad (it almost looks like Barack is asking Hills to "read between the lines"). Is it just me or does the collar on Hillary's jacket kind of make her look like the Wicked Queen from Snow White? Seriously, who let her go on TV wearing that thing? Where were all those Hillary gays?

photo from February 22 Austin debate taken from the gothamist.


Josie said...

i read that pic as a testament to their pent up sexual tension. ;)

nola32 said...

i must confess that contrary to the post that went up on my blog months ago, i am soooo over hillary. i still love bill, and wish that i could just bloody well vote for him again (or al! why can't we bring back al?!?), but hillary has started to get on my nerves. i will admit though that i understand why she won't concede defeat. would you? i don't think so. it's not like he has SUCH a clear majority that it's a total no-go. she wants to win. so does he. that's why they're doing all of this bullshit in the first place. i think that she really does think that it's her time, and i think that she feels like she's been getting a bad rap from way back in the day (what i find to be particularly funny is when people who called her 'president hillary' when bill was in office now say that she wasn't the president and has no experience in such affairs. way to backtrack, hills haters!).
again, i admit that she's irritating me. i don't think that she should give up (i think that would be WEAK), but i think that she should be watching what she's saying (may i site my post in which i TOLD THEM to stop talking shit?). you know barak is going to take it, but i still think that he should have to win it, she shouldn't just hand it to him.
for the record, i think that it's clear that her desperation is showing through. from the start, she thought she was a lock and now it's clear that she's not. i think she's acting like a tube (that's scottish slang for idiot), but i can kind of understand why. she wants it so much and she sees it falling apart in front of her. how would you react in that situation?

all of this being said (and as i've discussed with meeg), i'm SO over the primaries. just fucking get them done with already!! i'm tired of the in-fighting, it's time to fight the other side. or sides as the case may be, but don't even get me started on that wanker ralph...

Meeg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meeg said...

I agree, I don't blame her for not giving up. My problem is just with the way she's been waging her campaign. Things have gotten really dirty, and it seems like she's resigned herself to the fact that she's probably going to lose race for pledged delegates but that she's looking for a way to steal the nomination anyway. Don't worry, I am so not done with this topic...

nola32 said...

will the madness never end?!!?!