Thursday, August 28, 2008

Proud to be Dem

Another night, another Clinton speaks, and W O W!!! What an endorsement! The Man from Hope throws his support behind the man with hope and reminded Democrats that Republicans back in 1992 said that he was too young and inexperienced to be commander in chief. It didn't work in 1992 and he promises that it won't work in 2008. Now, like then, it's still the economy. Change versus more of the same. It's deja vu all over again (as Yogi Berra famously put it).

Clinton was at his best in this speech. Gracious, charismatic, masterful speaker with a great command of facts. Everything Bush is not. He brought his megawatt superstar power to the Convention, reminding Democrats what a winner looks and sounds like. I'm sure it was not easy for him to give this speech, as we all know how much he wanted his wife to be the nominee, but he did a great job and reminded me of all of his best qualities that made him such a brilliant politician.

The Convention on Wednesday evening was truly historic, as Senator Barack Obama became the first African American nominee of a major political party. And not just any political party, but the OLDEST political party in the history of our planet. What made this even more remarkable is that Senator Hillary Clinton moved to dispense with the traditional roll call of the state delegates (which is one of my favourite aspects of conventions) in favour of a simple acclamation. She made this request to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the chairwoman of the Convention. Can you see how awesome this is?!? That is truly why I'm a proud Democrat. Our party may often lose too many elections that they ought to win, but it is the Democratic Party that continually sets the historical precedence. Founded by Thomas Jefferson, it outlasted the Federalists and the Whigs. We have the only president elected to four terms. We had the first Catholic president. We had the first female Vice President candidate (twenty-four years later and the Republicans still haven't put a woman in the second slot). We had the first Baby Boomer president. We had the first Jewish Vice Presidential nominee. We had the first First Lady to run for political office (and win!). We had the first female Attorney General and Secretary of State. We had the first African-American female Senator and the first female Speaker of the House. If that weren't enough, in this election cycle we had the first female and first Hispanic with a serious shot at winning the nomination and the presidency. And now we have the first African American candidate for president.

Some cynics out there might say, "so?" Well, I got news for the history books, it's the progressives who win the verdict of history. Regressives fight all the way and they end up looking behind the times. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be on the leading edge of history, always pushing to become a better country, to break down barriers, and to change history rather than have history change me. That's why I am and always will be a proud Democrat, even if I often end up in tears on election night when my candidate goes down in defeat. We may lose many battles along the way, but in the long sweep of history, Democrats get redeemed and we're winning the war of ideals. After all, many say that it was FDR who saved capitalism from itself. His policies created the middle class, which Republicans keep trying to destroy by turning American into a nation of few haves and many have nots.

Our party isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than the sanctimonious party that pretends to be religious to con the sincere Christian voters while enacting policies that go against everything Jesus was about. Democrats might not talk about religion much, but I believe that the policies they enact reflect the values of Christ more accurately. And we should all remember that Jesus warned his followers that many charlatans and false prophets will speak of religion with some authority and fool many good people, so you have to be vigilant and look at the fruit of a person's actions to know who they really are. So given the choice between the Religious Talk Republicans and the actions of the Democrats, I'd choose the Democrats every time. They don't need to preach values as long as they keep on going as the party that best represents the people.

I wish more religious people would understand the difference. It's sad how easily duped they are by the lies of the Republicans who love to talk about God and values, while once in power, doing everything that goes against what Jesus was all about. But we shouldn't be surprised. Jesus told us that many sincere believers would be fooled because rhetoric matters more to them than actions. That's why they will keep voting for a Republican like Senator Larry Craig of Idaho who speaks about family values, even as he solicits bawdy bathroom sex with male undercover cops in public restrooms. They prefer to be blind than deaf.

I was also impressed with Biden's speech and the introductory video about his life and philosophy. He also published a campaign book last year (you know you're a political junkie when you get excited reading campaign books by politicians) that I hope is out in paperback so I can get it and read it before election day. I know little about him, but based on what he said in his speech and his background, I can understand why Obama chose him and while he might not be a truly bold choice, Biden might be a smart choice that helps Obama win in November.

I also watched Senator Evan Bayh's speech and thought he did a good job. He wasn't boring (like Senator Harry Reid, can that guy put an audience to sleep or what?) and seemed more energized than I expected. I still think that had Gore picked him as a running mate in 2000, he probably would've won a clear victory (especially when he only needed 3 electoral votes and winning Indiana would've made Florida's debacle irrelevant). Will Bayh have a future in national politics? I don't know, but he probably would've been Hillary's VP choice.

Obama will speak later on tonight, but I won't get around to writing about it until Saturday. Friday is way too eventful: Michael Jackson turns 50, John McCain turns 72 (!!!), McCain will select his running mate (Pawlenty or Romney or Crist? Please, oh please let him pick Crist!!! It'll make the fall election so much more exciting with the potential of all those gay rumours to totally blow up in their faces. That would be karmic justice for a party of homophobic and closeted, self-loathing homosexuals). If I'm not mistaken, Friday is also the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina ravaging New Orleans. I hope the news media will remind Americans of Republican incompetence in the aftermath of that disaster. What a great lead-in for the Republican National Convention! As we've learned in the past few years, GOP stands for "Gay Old Party"!!!


Margie's Musings said...

A great post, Nicholas! It was a great convention, wasn't it? And regardless of his former morals problems, I think history will have to admit that Clinton was our greatest president.

Sansego said...

I wouldn't go that far. In terms of presidencies, Clinton wouldn't make my top ten list. He was good, but not great. Part of that was due to his inability to control his own over indulgences, his inexperience in foreign affairs early on in his administration, and that the Reagan/Bush debt forced him to pay down the debt first, leaving him no option to pass universal health care.

In terms of Greatness, it'll be hard for any president to ever beat Lincoln, FDR, Washington and Jefferson.