Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Face of Grace

She did it! Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention completely wowed me and I wondered why we didn't see more of that Hillary in the campaign. She was the embodiment of grace. Particularly when she asked her supporters if they were only in it for her, or were they serious about making our country better for those who have been marginalized in the Bush era. It probably wasn't an easy speech for her to make, for she would much prefer to be the one making the final speech of the convention as a nominee. However, she expressed her true commitments to the Democratic cause. Hopefully her loyal legion of supporters will not defect to McCain out of spite, in hopes that she'll be the nominee four years from now (don't bet on it: I don't see how our country can survive four more years of Bush's policies in the faulty memory of McCain). Hillary could become the next Ted Kennedy in the Senate, making her impact on Capitol Hill rather than from the White House. Imagine our country with President Obama, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Clinton! Can you say "Universal Health Care"?!?

I got a laugh out of Hillary mentioning the appropriateness of Bush and McCain meeting next week in the Twin Cities because we can't tell them apart anymore. I'm not sure I'll be watching the Republican Convention because the last one was just too over the top with people sporting purple heart bandaids to mock Senator Kerry's purple heart medals (it's odd to me how easily conservatives can be duped...they claim to be pro-military but they easily ignore their leaders' draft deferments and evasions while marginalizing the Democrats who served in Vietnam) and they got Georgia Democratic Senator Zell Miller to deliver the most hateful, vitriolic, and negative speech I had ever heard at any convention. This was a man who endorsed Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and then Gore in 2000. He was a popular two term governor who was appointed to the Senate when the Republican Senator Paul Coverdell unexpectedly died in 2000. After 9/11, Senator Miller went loco and turned on his party, making false accusations that the party no longer represented his values. Um, wrong. Senator Miller was known as "Zig Zag Zell" while he was governor and because Georgia became more conservative since his tenure as governor in the 1990s, he pandered to the Republicans to justify his appointment to the Senate (it was controversial because our Democratic governor had replaced a deceased Republican Senator with a Democrat). Fortunately, he only served one term.

When I think about the Hillary campaign, the thing that always comes to mind is the fanaticism of the feminists on a church-affiliated webboard that I had a falling out with a few months ago. The falling out was sparked by the claims of these blind Hillary fanatics that her campaign fell victim to sexism, when all the data I've looked at exposes that belief for the deception that it is. How can it be sexism when Obama won by overwhelming margins female voters under age 30? And Hillary won the middle class and working class white male voters in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Texas. Hasn't there been an argument that working class / blue collar men tend to be sexist in their attitudes? Yet by huge margins, they voted for Hillary over Obama. Maybe it's an indication of their views on race and they had no intention of voting for either Democrat in November.

Several articles have even pointed out that Hillary's defeat revealed a divide between the first generation feminists and the second generation. The older generation put their hopes and dreams into Hillary becoming the first female president because they think she's the only one who has that chance in their lifetime. The younger generation of women see themselves in the majority on college campuses, in graduate school enrollment, and many aren't willing to support Hillary just because she's a woman. In fact, if Obama does not win the White House in November, you can bet that Governor Kathleen Sebelius will run in 2012. We might see the first woman versus woman candidates in a Democratic primary.

What the radical feminists on that church board refuse to look at are the facts, so blind they are to the cult of personality they surround Hillary with. Here are the things that did Hillary's campaign in:

(1) Clinton fatigue. So many people are tired of the Bush/Clinton/Bush dynamic that the thought of prolonging it for another four to eight years just rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Why should two families have a lock on the White House?

(2) She ran as the inevitable front runner, which might have caused some people to say "wait a minute!"

(3) She banked on securing the nomination on Tsunami Tuesday, when 23 states voted in the Democratic Primary. Her campaign had run low on cash leading up to that day and the end result was that she won the big states but Obama won many of the small states. In an even dumber move, she basically ignored caucus states and that's where Obama racked up enough delegates to make it mathematically impossible for Clinton to catch up with him.

(4) Did people really believe she was authentic when she downed shots like a sorority chick, ate barbecue, and talked about being under sniper fire in Bosnia? It only reminded voters of previous claims like she had secretly always been a Yankees fan (which she conveniently revealed when she began her run for the Senate in New York in 1999).

Simply put, she played it safe and followed the same high-priced consultant path as Kerry and Gore before her while Obama ran a bold campaign that borrowed the themes from Howard Dean four years earlier. He captured the yearning that Democrats have had since Dean went down in defeat in 2004.

If we had seen more of the Hillary Clinton that was visible in her speech to the Democratic delegates in Denver, she might have secured the nomination. In the end, if she's still smarting over her near defeat, I hope she realizes the fallacy of following the advice of the K-Street consultants (which wouldn't surprise me if they were secretly Republicans working to defeat Democrats from the inside). Following the same strategy as Gore and Kerry is a sure recipe for defeat.

The fanatical feminists who are still obsessed with Hillary and thinking of voting for McCain, my message to them would be: "get over yourselves!" I admit, I went through my own disappointment and depression over Gore's defeat. Though it was more difficult because he was the clear winner and the election was stolen from him. However, as difficult as it was from a guy who wanted to see a Gore presidency since 1992 and had dreams of working in his adminstration, I finally got over my disappointment. When Dean lost, I held my nose and voted for Kerry. If Hillary voters sabotage Obama's campaign and vote for McCain, all I can say is that payback is a bitch. If the radical feminists think that helping McCain become president so that their beloved Hillary can run again in 2012, I have three words for them: "Governor Kathleen Sebelius." She has executive experience and knows how to win votes in a conservative, solidly red state. So if Obama loses in November, I will be backing Sebelius in 2012 (and maybe even seeking to work on her campaign). My question is, are they just fanatical about Hillary or are they wanting a woman president? Or does Obama's presence raise the specter of affirmative action that they don't like (that a black man with less experience passed over a "more qualified" white woman for a top job)?

Anyhow, what the whole controversy taught me was that feminists and I don't get along because I've never gotten along with anyone who was an -ist. I'm no fan of blind ideology or blind loyalty. That's the kind of thing you expect in the Republican party, not among Democrats.

In conclusion, I am impressed with Hillary's speech. She was graceful and gracious. Had she shown more of that side to her instead of the calculatingly cold fembot, she would probably be the nominee today. Don't hate me, feminists, for pointing out the obvious. Trust me...we will have a woman president in the next 20 years. It's just not going to be your beloved Hillary. So get over it!

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

I think you're "right on" Nicholas. I too was impressed by the Hillary I saw last night.