Monday, May 19, 2008

Clinton should fight for the Democratic nomination, as well as for anything else that's on the plate

Yes, I'm back from vacation and I'm all fired up again about the democratic primary. I pretty much avoided watching the news all week, just trying to stay current with the natural disasters in Myanmar and China, equal marriage legislation in California, and the weather forecast for Cape Cod. But yesterday I had a lot of time to read the newspapers , and I'm really starting to get annoyed (again) at the way Hillary Clinton is being treated by the Democratic Party.

Here's the thing: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are very close in this contest in both total votes and delegates. Yes, she's behind. But she's close. Very close. In fact, after winning several early large contests with his stadium style rhetoric, Obama hasn't continued his pace, but has instead basically maintained the same lead, not really gaining much more.

So why should she drop out? It's not unprecedented that a candidate should take this contest all the way to the convention. In fact, one of Obama's earliest supporters, Sen. Ted Kennedy, did just this in 1980, when he tried to get Jimmy Carter's delegates released at the convention in Madison Square Garden so that he (Kennedy) would get the nomination.

No, what's unprecedented is that this time it's a woman who is challenging the authority. So when Hillary Clinton stands up and says "I'm in this for everyone who's ever been down and kept fighting," it rings true for every woman who has ever worked hard only to be shut out. Oh, it's usually quite subtle, the shutting out. When I was a kid, we didn't have organized sports for girls, so for this tomboy it just became "sorry, you can't play." In the working world it's much more subtle, with women simply not being considered for certain opportunities, and then being offered less salary for the same positions.

And before you say, "yeah, and see what happened in 1980 -- we elected Ronald Reagan!" Please remember our state of affairs in 1980. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter had horrible approval ratings, inflation was through the roof, hostages had been taken in Iran, and along came the Hollywood Actor Playing the Part of President, Ronald Reagan.

Add to this the fact that Kennedy never really supported Carter once he became the presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton has vowed many times to support the democratic candidate for president, whomever it may be.

Hillary Clinton is an incredibly smart and dedicated woman. She has worked diligently to be where she is today. She deserves a fair shot at the presidential nomination. To suggest she simply "drop out" because she's behind is to diminish all that she has done, and to diminish how far we have come as women in American society. If you doubt that she has done more than Barack Obama and has the more substantive knowledge of politics and world affairs, please read the front page story from yesterday's New York Times, The Story of Obama, Written by Obama, which examines the story behind his two best-selling books. The books deserve a close look, because that's just about all we have to go by if we want to understand who Obama is. Unfortunately, in his effort to tell a good story Obama uses devices such as composite characters and changing the chronology of events to better suit the story.
“The book is so literary,” said Arnold Rampersad, a professor of English at Stanford University who teaches autobiography and is the author of a recent biography of Ralph Ellison. “It is so full of clever tricks — inventions for literary effect — that I was taken aback, even astonished. But make no mistake, these are simply the tricks that art trades in, and out of these tricks is supposed to come our realization of truth.”
It has worked out well for the Junior Senator from Illinois.
“Barack is worth millions now,” Mr. Osnos said. “It’s almost all based on these two books, two books not based on a job of prodigious research or risking one’s life as a reporter in Iraq. He has written about himself. Being able to take your own life story and turn it into this incredibly lucrative franchise, it’s a stunning fact.”
I'm sorry if you think she's being "divisive" and not working for "the good of the party." He's only ahead by a small margin, and he's not the better candidate. I've spent my entire life watching my mother put the needs and wants of others before her own. Just once I'd like to see her take the last brownie on the plate. But she won't. We won't. Because women are taught to compromise and to take care of others.

Take the brownie, Hillary. You deserve it.

8 comments:

Morgan said...

My Hillary decal is still on the truck and will be there until (and maybe after) the DNC. The media says they are now going to ignore Hillary and Obama has written her off to attack McCain. McCain and Bush are attacking Obama. Fine, the DNC are going to see how electible he is. If he is elected, I'll back him; but Hillary is the best candidate.

Mary Ellen said...

I can't tell you how frustrated I am when I hear the Obama supporters say that Hillary is harming the party because she is staying in the race. I think it is Obama who has done more to harm this party than any candidate I've ever seen in my lifetime. With his message of unity, much like Bush's messages of unity while running for office, there has come division. What is democratic about a Democratic party that disenfranchises two entire State voters? What's democratic about calling almost half of the Democratic party voters, uneducated, bitter, or racists? What is democratic about a Democratic candidate to declare victory before he has met the qualifications to be winner? The last I looked, a majority of delegates does not make the winner. A particular amount of delegates does and if that can't be reached it goes to the SD's and the convention. It's the Democratic party that isn't following their own rules.

When FL and MI moved up their primary, the Democratic rules were that they would only lose 50% of their delegates, not 100% as Dean has arbitrarily ruled. The DNC is supposed to be neutral and not support any one candidate. It is blatantly obvious that they have been doing everything they can to push Hillary out of the race...which is apparent in Dean and the elite's decision to punish only two States that moved up their primary, and to punish them so harshly that they disenfranchised millions of voters.

Sorry...this rant is getting long.

Anyway, I'm glad you're back from your vacation. The trouble with being away from all this is that it hits you like you ran into a brick wall when you come back.

Sue J said...

If he is elected, I'll back him; but Hillary is the best candidate.

Morgan, that's basically it, isn't it?

Mary Ellen, I wish you felt more comfortable expressing yourself here.

*grin*

Seriously, you are spot on about coming back from vacation to this. It seems the absurdity of this situation has hit me anew.

BAC said...

I actually think this long primary season has been VERY GOOD for the Democratic party. Look at how many people have registered, and voted. The candidates have visited nearly every state. And if Obama is going to be the nominee he'll be a better general election candidate because of the education he's received from Hillary Clinton.


BAC

G said...

Welcome back. I gladly relinquish my temporary role of "first out" every morning.

I guess I'm glad you're pushing the issue of the Democratic candidate again, except my blood, having cooled somewhat, is boiling again. How, in heaven's name, can the Democratic Party ignore two states? And how can those states not count anyway in every voter's thinking? How is Hillary not the candidate? Oh, wait, that's right -she's not glib. She tries to stick to the truth. She hasn't published two books full of rubbish. She has a record of service. Huh. Go figure. And, yes, my Hillary bumper sticker remains.

RS said...

From what I understand, FL was the first to prepone the primary. Though the rules say a 50% penalty, the DNC stripped them of all their delegates to try and dissuade FL - and anybody else - from doing that. But that didn't stop FL, and so the DNC had to penalize them as they said they would.
So when MI also moved their primary up before Feb 5, the DNC had no choice but to strip their delegates completely as well.

Come May 31, there will be a compromise; nobody wants to disenfranchise Floridians again!

By the way, how does "[Senator Clinton] sticks to the truth" explain Bosnia-gate? Or her positionS on gun control - going from one of the strongest gun control advocates to a gun-slinging duck-hunter because that's what the voters wanted?

Anyway, in my opinion - which is worth what you paid to hear it! - Senator Clinton lost because she just wasn't prepared for the campaign. Evidence - her spectacular losses post-Feb 5/pre-March 4. Her campaign ran out of $100+ million by Feb 5, and just did not compete in caucuses - the fault of people hired for their loyalty rather than competence.

That's quite telling for someone who's main campaign slogan is "Ready on Day One."

http://randomsubu.blogspot.com/2008/05/
why-senator-clinton-might-lose.html

I supported Senator Clinton because I think it is high time the USA had a woman President, but as the campaign continued, I just had to switch to Senator Obama.
http://randomsubu.blogspot.com/2008/02/
my-personal-take-on-us-presidential.html

Still, despite all my misgivings about Senator Clinton, IMHO she has first right-of-refusal on the VP slot. Whether she wants it, is another question.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'm for a do-over in Michigan and Florida. That's the only fair way. God, Hillary herself said (at the time) that those results wouldn't count. Now that she needs them, though....

Mauigirl said...

I do think this Michigan and Florida thing is a fiasco - the DNC should have let the candidates campaign there if they were going to have the vote happen anyway. Now it's a mess.

I agree with BAC - I think the fight has benefited the party and has made Obama a stronger candidate - and Clinton too for that matter. Her way of presenting herself improved markedly as the campagin went on.

I am definitely concerned that Obama is not doing better in some of these states. If he doesn't ace Montana and Idaho I think it will be very concerning. But I don't know whether it would be beneficial to the party if at the last minute the superdelegates decide to give the nomination to Hillary (which is what it would take for her to win). I think there would be a lot of disillusionment on the party of many Democrats, particularly African-Americans, if that happened. And I'm not confident they would come back to the fold after that and vote for Hillary.

It's always about him having a problem with the "white working class" voters; what about her problem with African Americans?