Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hill or Rocky?


Got an email from a friend in California who is somewhat torn about today's primary -- Who would I vote for?

Here's essentially what I said:

I saw Hillary on the Letterman Show last night; she was tired, her voice almost gone. Smiling gamely, making jokes, but exhausted.

I have to say that I like her a lot more since she started looking human instead of being Super Mom. (And I like Bill and Hill's politics, whatever Slick Willie's wandering slick willie gets itself into. The hound thing kinda goes with being a southern politician. Guy getting laid and haid tends not to want to go to war so much.)

Obama isn't as seasoned, and while he is more charismatic and his politics are so close to Clinton's as to be almost identical, and it is obvious that the job can't be that hard, given the current Occupant, my sense is that Hillary has a slight edge in the ability to get things done on the ground. Maybe more than slight -- she knows the town better. Anybody who thinks being First Lady doesn't give you some chops doesn't know anything about power politics in D.C.

Especially when you are as smart as the President. At least as smart, and I wouldn't be surprised to see her a few points ahead of her hubby.

My wife has more empathy for Hillary -- working mom, having to put up with Bill's wandering weenie, the ability to make hard choices in the Senate. She says Obama reminds her of a Baptist preacher -- long on hope, fuzzy on specifics. Says we don't need a war-mongering dimwit like George, but not a cheerleader, either.

We don't vote for a long while, and by then, won't really have a choice, save to rubber stamp one or the other. (Oregon went for Kerry last time, which was one of the only things that gave me a ray of sunshine -- at least I am surrounded with people who Didn't Vote for George.) That's fine with me. Anybody but a Republican. Whatever that party stood for in Lincoln's day, that day has long passed. (I have, over nearly forty years as a voting citizen, been registered as a Republican, Democrat, and Independent, in that order.)

When Letterman asked Clinton last night which way people should vote, their hearts or their heads, she gave the right answer: Both.

Every election is about change, so I discount all that we-'re-gonna-change-the-world stuff. They all say that except the ones running for reƫlection, and sometimes, even then.

If I had to vote today, I'd go with Hillary. A strong and tough woman might be able to do something in the role; the men have sure fucked it up a long damn time.

But I don't think Obama would be a bad choice, either. Can't really go wrong either way, in my opinion.

(And being older, I have to go with the idea that experience matters. Old and treacherous beats young and strong every time ...)

11 comments:

Jason said...

I am not super impressed by either of them.

That said, Hillary is doing a masterful job of campaigning. She has managed to hide her war hawkishness and her fondness for censorship and government involvement in the citizen's lives. It is all still there in her early comments and her record, but she seems to have downplayed it pretty well on the trail. That is probably her experience showing.

Inexperience, or one of the worst sorts of Democrat. Hmm, choices, choices.

Steve Perry said...

In politics, as in much of life, perfect choices are rare -- certainly to the point that seeing one is seldom, if ever, likely.

So, one makes the best of the situation as best one can.

Sometimes you are lucky and you can choose one you think is positive. Sometimes, you choose the least bad of an awful bunch. It becomes a matter of degree.

Like Heinlein says, you can always vote against somebody.

But if you don't vote, then you don't get bitching rights, whoever wins, so that's where I usually wind up. Like art -- I don't claim to know much about it, but I do know what I don't like ...

Mushtaq Ali said...

Personally, I like the fact that Obama is motivating younger people. Us old farts are going to have to let the kids have a part in this sometime, or perhaps find a way to encourage them to take their place in running our country.

Clinton is smart, savvy and knows how to fight dirty when she needs to, all qualities I admire but I can't help thinking that it is time to give the country a shot of young, optimistic blood.

But like you, I will vote for, and support, whichever of them wins. Anything is better than the Idiot-In-Chief. Shucks, The Clinton family dog could do a better job than that moron. And all the Republicans can talk about is making the Bush tax cuts stick for a few more years, and how groovy Ronald Ray-Guns was. (The guy who was the catalyst for the homeless crisis)None of them is worth a damn.

Steve Perry said...

I'm still inclined to go with the grown-ups. The kids will get their chance.

And while I like the idea of young voters getting involved, they tend to vote personality over issues even more so than most. The folks who study the issues and know why they like somebody policy-wise are mostly older.

Somebody who walks into the booth and still doesn't have a clue who s/he wants to vote for hasn't been doing his or her homework. And most people don't.

Yeah, I'm something of a political wonk and I run these things down, watch the news, read the paper, magazines, find out about the issues. I try to vote for the best person to do the job -- not who looks the coolest or has the best lines.

Be nice to have somebody who is my age running the show so at least they understand some of what concerns me.

Dan Gambiera said...

Clinton doesn't have that much more experience in government. And what she's done with the flight time is disappointing. She's voted in lock-step with the Republicans on every restriction on our civil liberties. She's been in the forefront pressuring the other Dems to support the Iraq war from the start and can't take responsibility for her mistakes.

Her health care proposal under her husband's Administration was DOA and did nothing but squander political capital. He health plan now is a (stupid) melding of the current failed system and a partial government one which won't take advantage of economies of scale. And her proposal for funding is to garnish the wages of the uninsured.

When she was on Wal-Mart's board she cooperated with their union-busting. As a corporate lawyer she defended the Coca Cola company against the claims of its injured workers.

She's a more moderate Republican than anyone else the GOP is putting forward. But make no mistake about it. She's completely the creature of K Street and the DLC. She represents the craven, feckless, cowering recent past of the Democratic Party. She doesn't represent any real hope for the future.

Michael said...

I've been trying to figure out how to reply to this thread because overall I dislike both Clinton and Obama (the Republicans are even worse) and I haven't decided completely which would do the least harm in regards to the issues I care about.

Luckily Dan Gambiera has summed up my objections to Clinton better than I would have. I'll think about my objections to Obama and see if they're worth a post...

--Michael

Steve Perry said...

That, Dan, is your opinion, and you are entitled to it. I don't see it quite so black-and-white, and I have been around government and politics enough to know that what you think you see isn't always what is really going on.

They all talk the talk to get elected. They all work hard to sound sincere. Some of them blow past and some of them fill our sails, it depends on your angle to the wind.

I like a lot of what Obama has to say. I think he's sincere -- up to a point. He knows he is promising things he cannot deliver.

I also know that nobody goes to D.C. and knocks the bureaucracy to its knees, no matter how much they say they will and we wish they would. Hasn't happened in my life time and I'm not holding my breath.

Look, I was a hippie, I was all for peace, love, harmony and the Age of Aquarius. I was younger then, and when you are young, you get to believe in such things.

Obama inspires the electorate. I would be passing surprised if he inspired the bureaucrats.

Clinton is a policy wonk, and not so dewy-eyed. She also gets a lot of flak for stuff that would collect raves -- if she were a man.

What the D's used to be and what the R's used to be have been slashed and burned so it's hard to tell who is what, but in the end, I will vote this time for either Obama or Clinton over any of the three R's running.

Bill was a slut, but when he left office, we weren't in a war, we had money in the bank, and we and the rest of the world were better off.

He might have been screwing somebody, but it wasn't me, nor was it the country. With Hill, you get Bill on the side.

With McCain, you get Bush. With Romney, you get Bush-lite. With Huckabee, you get Jerry Falwell.

No, thank you ...

Michael B. said...

I personally find Hilary Clinton to be just another cog in the status quot. If she becomes this countries president it will be just 4 more years of the same old shite. As Bill Mahr said (she is like Dick Cheney in a pants suit). One will wonder if she is running things or if Big Bill is? Obama brings something that this country hasn't had in a long while..HOPE and understanding, he comes with youth and vigor and an ability to unite people. I do not see any other candidate who can do this. If you check his record you will see he in fact got just as much done if not more than Clinton. I am just sick of the idea that a Bush or a Clinton will be in that office for the last 20 years and possibly 4 or 8 more..God Forbid!

Steve Perry said...

As I've said, if Obama is the nominee, he's got my vote. I just don't think he can deliver as much on his promise of hope as he says.

I like what he says. I also know that it's wishful thinking.

(I'd love to see Jed Bartlett in the White House with a majority in the House and Senate. I don't think it's gonna happen any time soon.)

Most people in this country, if you examine their beliefs, are going to be somewhere on the spectrum between liberal Republican and conservative Democrat. That's the silent majority.
They can be fooled or frightened. Witness the Current Occupant of the White House.

Vote for me or you'll get nuked in your bed! It worked. Twice.

A sixty-nine year old man worried about whether or not he has enough money to buy his meds or eat this month is going to want to see somebody who has the wherewithal to protect his social security check and Medicare -- uniting the country and doing Bob the Builder's Yes, we can! isn't going to do a lot for his worries.

Young people are idealistic and they want justice. Older people who have paid attention know that reality isn't always pretty and they like justice but are sometimes willing to settle for mercy.

The President is like a bee buzzing around the head of the dinosaur of state. He -- or she -- can only do so much good. Much easier for the President to do evil, as witness the Current Occupant.

If you go down the list of what the two Democratic candidates say they want for the country, what programs they favor, there's not much difference between them. Go to their sites, read their platforms. Rocky is a hair left of Hill, but not so far that you can't see them together on a lot of things.

Hill has twice as much time as a senator as Rocky, and a shitload of behind-the-scenes experience that, unelected or not, surely counts.

You think that if a woman is a housewife, she doesn't get credit for working?

When it comes to getting her programs done, I think Hill has the edge. She does know who to work the bureaucracy, and whoever gets the job has to deal with that.

I love the idea of us all getting along. I was a hippie, remember? But at my age, I know it's not so easy.

I wouldn't bet much, at any odds, if Obama wins, he can pull it off. Hope is good, but if I want to make sure the package gets there, I skip the post office and call FedEx.

When Watergate blew up in Nixon's face, it didn't bother me that he was a crook -- it bothered me that he was an inept crook. At that level, a lot of compromise has been made to get the job. The question isn't who did you have to get in bed with to get elected, but how well you do the work once you whore your way in.

Rocky gets my support if he gets the nomination. But nobody has shown me anything that indicates he can do the job any better than Hill. Don't you remember George Bush was going to be the great uniter that would bring us all together?

Talk is cheap. Being able to do is harder.

Michael B. said...

Steve, I hear what your saying but I disagree that she will be able to get things done as most hope. Sure she may know the back alleys of Washington better but who says that is the way to go about it (those back alleys have been dead ends since Christ was a corporal). That is the very thing Obama is trying to curtail, that backroom you rub my back I rub yours and we will see whose hand is dirtier type of crap. From what I see Clinton has more enemies and naysayers in DC than Bush has brain cells. She will inherit wild Bills debt as well, and by debt I mean the folks that he ran out on and screwed in tandem. Is it right, perhaps not but it is what it is and I personally feel that she will be a puppet minus the necessary strings due to past affiliations, namely Bill. Obama on the other hand may be the one who can reach across those lines and bring some semblance to the plan. He, like you said hasn't been there long enough to garner a shit load of enemies but he has enough time in too make the necessary work happen. Who knows he may be the one...I think he is worth the shot..IN SPADES!

I also don't think she can beat McCain in a head to head battle for the Oval office...she in essence agreed with everything he Bush folks were laying down as did McCain so she truly has no platform to battle him on, where as Obama was opposed from day one on the war. I think Senator Obama said it best "you have to be RIGHT on day one".

We shall see, but at least it is a much healtheir climent we see in the future than what we have been forced to inhale the last 8 years.

Steve Perry said...

So, support the candidate of your choice -- or at least vote against the one you don't like. That's what I'll do.

I'd love it if Obama could come in and restructure the government to bring on the Age of Aquarius. I'm just not holding my breath -- I been here a while -- I've heard it before, and nobody else has pulled it off.

Even though I used to be the Resident Cynic on an underground newspaper in the sixties, I'm not really. I'm a romantic -- but I've got enough realist mixed in so the rose-colored glasses don't do it for me any more ...

If Obama wins and if he does half what he says he will, I'll happily apologize for my lack of faith, high, wide, and repeatedly.

Come back and see me in three or four years and let's see how we stand.