Wednesday, May 14, 2008



That Ken endorses Obama every time I'm not looking. And today Nancy Keenan, John Arovosis and John Edwards all conspired against her. So I figured, to be fair, I'd see if there was someone whose political judgment I could trust who would probably be a Hillary supporter and get that opinion up at DWT. Mags hasn't posted here for awhile and we've been poorer for it. I figured she'd be perfect for the other side of the coin. Here's Mags' report:

I am part of Hillary’s base, or so the logic goes. I am a woman over 50 and a feminist. My husband is a hard working blue collar white man. Our income is way less than $100,000 a year. We are hardly a member of an elite circle. That should pretty much seal my fate as a Clinton supporter. But, as we all know polls and pundit predictions are tools used to make trends we do not understand, more understandable. At least that is the main idea. So it flies in the face of Hillary’s spinners and those touting the common “wisdom” regarding her base.

Obama is my candidate of choice.

He is my husband’s, a skilled tradesman in manufacturing, candidate of choice. A couple of years ago, we dined with some folks who were hard working white people, just like us (other statistical members of Hillary’s base). Truck drivers, writers, tellers, etc….they hated Hillary. Once her name came up the conversation turned very unpleasant. The men without exception hated Hillary for various reasons not all that well articulated, but hatred well recognized for what it was.

Arguments which claim Hillary to be a veteran politician are certainly not without merit. But, if Hillary is a veteran politician just now making it to her place in line for dynastic rule, then Barack is a rocket of popularity and inspiration who didn’t need a dynasty behind him.

Terry MacAuliffe our sleazy DLC tour guide reels off for us the fantastic and incredible (literally) plan for Hillary’s win. It is not so much a plan as a wish. Even then, such a win would tap into what is wrong with the political system rather than what is right. A “win” wrenched from the candidate of the people would set us back 8 years to the theft of the 2000 presidential election with the mere substitution of super delegates in place of Supreme Court Justices.

As I was saying, I am purportedly part of Hillary’s base, but here is the clincher, I am NOT. She has pandered and flipped on issues from the war to immigration. She is not quite sure where she is from or what region in the country she calls home. She identifies with the women from Wellesley as well as the women in West Virginia who are just the teeniest bit scared of a black man as president. She is one of us even though she cannot run a coffee machine or a pump gas. She exemplifies the American Spirit as long as it does not include a parable about fair and square. But, she is a great gal when you wanna do some whiskey chasers with beer.

I voted for Bill Clinton. I was once part of his base. Yes, until the effects of NAFTA, his sell out of single women to Welfare Reform and his great work for the Black community as he rolled back Affirmative Action provisions. (Did I mention I was a feminist?) Bill Clinton lined his campaign pockets with cash from big corporations. And, why shouldn’t he? He allowed the fairness doctrine to fall victim to GOP mischief and he bowed continually to the Newt Gingrich brigade in order to get them off his back. A ploy which never worked [for him-- or America].

What did America pay for Bill Clinton’s sense of false security? Who pulled him out of the fire when his good buddies of the GOP impeached him? The PEOPLE did. MoveOn did. But, we the people lost jobs through NAFTA; we lost balanced viewpoints in the media. We lost ground in the battle to lift poor women and children out of killing poverty. The meanness and the label “entitlements” still sticks. We lost the moral high ground as we watched our guy stumble time and again into tawdry behaviors. We stuck with him even though it dirtied our faces too. We had no voice. Hunted or not hunted, Bill Clinton did not care about this country more than his own gain until his gamble to save his ass from the GOP impeachment landed at his door.

Hillary takes big corporate money. She is a darling of the lobbyists. Check it out. Her foray into populism by trying to introduce national health care ended in failure of massive proportions for us, but not so much for her. And, well she should get the big bucks; business prospered under the Clinton administration. However, I do not remember people getting good raises and having job satisfaction at that time. My memory of that time is the rise of temporary workers, decreases in benefits, and the increase in responsibilities for those employed in any position I know of. It was the decade of engineers losing jobs to become temps. It was the decade of downsizing and job loss. It was the decade of entry level jobs being grabbed by the experienced and educated. Are these things related? This is hard to say. But, this has accelerated as NAFTA comes of age and begins to produce the massive profits harvests it was set up to do.

The great celebration of Bill’s election by the left turned out to be rather embarrassing as his administration turned out to be more and more conservative, an administration whose leader has been referred to as the best Republican President in history.

But, you will say, Bill is not Hill. No, he isn’t. His speeches of late remind me of a husband who really would rather his little lady stay home. His mood and his manner are off putting. As we relive certain aspects of history, we are reminded as Democrats that our icons, the Clintons, are not as appealing as we once imagined they were. Compared to Bush, yeah… stunning. Compared perhaps to a McCain… again a likely winner, but compared to Barack Obama, not in this universe.

Barack Obama was not my first choice for a nominee. I am a cynic, a skeptic of sorts with a Pollyanna undercurrent. I did not know Obama. I never listened to him. The criticism is that Obama is a speechifier, a charismatic with little experience. However, Obama has proven his ability to manage himself, his campaign, and his progress. He is building a coalition of supporters that include the new voters and the disenfranchised voters and the weary, sick to death of the “same old same old” voters. Is Barack inspirational? You damn betcha! What a wonderful quality for a leader who is proving himself at a young age. Do we really want the shrill Hill pseudo-Democrat instead of a Charismatic choice? I don’t.

Many argue that charisma is not enough. Well, it was for Bill Clinton who was then a young governor with little experience as well. Why do I like Obama’s speeches? I like them because they remind the people that they need to be involved to make change. I like them because we all know that Obama cannot do anything without the Congress and without the people of this country. We need change. We must have change, and that change involves us, all of us. Obama can get us on board. He got me on board.

When and if change comes to America that change will be debated in the halls Congress and in the media (I hope). With our time and attention, we may be able to direct and demand change. Americans appear ready to join the dialogue from young to old. If we are to do so, we need a leader who can inspire such a response from US. Obama is that leader!

I am for Obama. Obama is right on the war. He is working in the right direction toward Health Care reform. He is talking about education and infrastructure. Obama is inspiring. Obama is strong, strong enough not to be baited by nonsense that passes for journalism today on many networks.

Obama will tackle the issues with a calm rationale and with logic. He will be a calming influence on the electorate.

As for the skeptics, the naysayers and the doomsdayers, I apologize. You have every reason to be doubtful about anything, but my Pollyanna side says to me, if we have a chance, this is it. If we are going to stand up and be counted, then this is the man who will listen. If, like you say, I am wasting my time voting, then by God, I will vote for someone who can inspire me, because it is not something that happens often.

Who is Obama’s base? Those with hope. Those who crave change. Those who want a reason to put their shoulder to the wheel and press on toward saving our Democracy. Democracy is us, it is the people. Obama is not the answer, WE ARE, that is why we need him.

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At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful, smart and well-supported essay, Mags. Not to mention kind of inspiring, and my heart is the blackest coal. Write more.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger EnK said...


You keep Sammy Sosa catching up to you in being able to knock it out of the park.

Thanks! Wow! But thanks!!!



At 11:18 PM, Blogger Eureka Springs, AR said...

I cannot help but wonder if I have met mags in another part of the (AR) blogos.

Either way.. well said.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Jill said...

This is the best argument for Obama that I've seen. Great post. I just unsubscribed to Carolyn Kay's newsletter from Make them Accountable because of the relentless Obama-bashing and Hillary Moonieism. I don't know when "I'm going to take my dollies and dishes and go home and sulk if I don't get my way" became the feminist credo, but the Hillary cultists sure make it seem that way.

A wonderful essay that I wish I'd written.


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