ntang: (Default)
[personal profile] ntang
...finally.

Well, technically, not finally - Hillary has refused to concede, which is her right. I wish she would, but she's got to do what she believes is best (for her, if not for the party).

I've been reading a lot of articles and blogs over the past few days, and what struck me was not that people were disappointed that she had lost, but the outright rancor of some of her supporters towards Obama.

Personally, I'd have been really disappointed if Obama lost, and I get that - it's hard to put your hopes on someone you believe in, someone you think could really make a difference for you, for the country, etc. I completely understand that. I understand being bitter, I understand being disappointed, I even understand being a little angry.

What I don't understand - and I realize this is a minority of her supporters (hopefully!) that I'm referring to, but it's large enough to make itself known across the "blogosphere" - is why so many of her supporters are saying they'd rather vote for McCain than Obama now that Obama has "stolen" the nomination. (The fact that he won it, fair and square, is a separate issue but a moot point now so I won't get into it.)

It's shocking to me, honestly. As much as I prefer Obama to Clinton, I'd vote for her in a heartbeat over McCain. Obama and Clinton are maybe 5-10% apart in views and policies; the differences are mostly in tenor and in gender, in a lot of issues. Obama/Hillary and McCain, on other other hand, are dramatically different. Does anyone believe that McCain is going to advance the feminist platform, or do right in Iraq, or push equal rights for everyone, or control the government and get the budget under control, or really do anything other than continue Bush's losing and disastrous policies? (I mean among the Democrats; obviously, people believe that about him, or he wouldn't have won the nomination, except among the patently insane who believe GW was an effective, positive influence on the US and the world.)

Even for the disenchanted who see them both as not good enough, surely, it's still worth voting for the candidate that's the lesser of two evils rather than let the greater evil win, right? If the choice is between having a finger cut off or your whole hand, I'd pick the finger even if it sucked.

I dunno. I'd love to cheer my heart out for Obama - I do genuinely think he's our best shot at turning the tide, here - but I'm a little demoralized by the rampant hatred I see out there. I get it coming from the Republican side - it's what I expect from a lot of them. But even from the Dems and people from progressive groups? It's really disappointing. (Sigh.)

(P.S. Note to friends: this doesn't directly reference anyone I know. I'm referring, quite literally, just to the people I've seen post comments on news articles and on blog posts, and all of them, to date, have been complete strangers. If any of you share in the hatred, well, don't tell me and pretend you never saw this and we'll try to move on. ;) )

Date: 2008-06-04 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xiuzan.livejournal.com
I was just thinking about posting essentially the same thing. I don't get it. I just finished chatting with a friend from college who is a big Hillary supporter and she's saying all the same sorts of things. She couldn't ever say why she doesn't like Obama, other than, "his wife is crazy. She said that he can't run 4 years from now, because he'll be too rich to understand the average citizen."

Wha? First of all, I haven't seen any sign that his wife is crazy. Second, if she did say that, I'd have a hard time understanding how that makes her crazy. I could see how that could be interpreted in some lame ways, but it doesn't sound crazy and it really doesn't speak for Obama. I think he's seen enough in his life that he won't forget what the average American deals with, even if he has a lot of money.

Anyway, she's not the kind of person I can debate with. She takes sound bites from friends and usually misunderstands them. Her roommate (another friend of mine from college) seems to be a big Hillary supporter and I have a feeling she's spouting the same things, without an understanding of what she's saying.

Apparently both of them are going to vote for McCain and they say, "I can't believe I'm going to have to vote Republican for the first time ever!"

They have to? Eh? What are these horrible things about Obama that I'm missing? How could McCain be a better choice for someone with Democratic views?

Like you, I don't understand.

Date: 2008-06-04 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] msde.livejournal.com
I don't know if it will work, but you could try educating them on McCain rather than trying to change their views of Obama. If it's turned into another 2004 like it has for me, where you're going to vote for the candidate you dislike the least, explain to them why they really should hate McCain.

Date: 2008-06-04 12:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ntang.livejournal.com
Fortunately, there are a LOT of reasons to hate McCain. :)

Date: 2008-06-04 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] irnbruise.livejournal.com
As one of the few remaining Hillary supporters, it's easy to look at it from the perspective of the beginning of this year, when she seemed to have a lock on the nomination. Of course Obama turned the tide and won it, but when you feel in your heart that something is right and inevitable and are all for it, to have someone else rise up and take it away from your candidate does feel like theft. It's irrational, maybe, but hardly unnatural. To make a stupid analogy, if your team was up 30 points at the half of the Super Bowl but lost the game in the fourth quarter, wouldn't you feel slighted even if you did have to acknowledge that 1. something went wrong and 2. the other team did better?

As for the other thing, I'm a lifelong Democrat and I supported Obama as he ran for Senate, but I hate him as a presidential candidate. Never bought the hype, still don't, don't believe in him. I couldn't in good conscience vote for McCain because of all sorts of things like Iraq, abortion, gay marriage, and the Supreme Court, but lord knows it's tempting to want to use my vote to make SOME kind of protest, especially since New York is going to go Obama in a landslide. I won't vote for that dickwad Nader, but at the same time I don't believe that Obama is the best candidate for the job or that he's even qualified to have it. I guess I just have to hope he proves me wrong.

Date: 2008-06-04 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ntang.livejournal.com
I completely understand the feelings. I don't disagree with them. We're on the same page there. And you're also saying you wouldn't vote for McCain, which puts us on the same page there. ;)

I'm not saying anyone who was rooting for Hillary should be happy she lost - just that voting for McCain as an alternate choice seems insane to me.

On a side note - you don't have to get into it if you don't want, but I'm curious, why do you think he's not qualified (but Hillary is)?

Date: 2008-06-04 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] irnbruise.livejournal.com
I only made the comment because I seriously spent about three days earlier this spring contemplating voting for McCain. After my initial anger and disappointment subsided I talked myself down off that ledge, but considering I don't think I'm stupid or impulsive about politics, I see how easy it is to fall prey to irrational feelings.

For me, it's about experience. I don't feel comfortable voting for president someone who hasn't even finished a full term as a senator. I get the point that fresh blood can be a good thing, but I don't think all the beautiful speeches he makes about change are effected with a snap of the fingers. Government doesn't work that way, and as flawed as Hillary can be, she has the experience and the connections to get shit done.

I loved Obama's speech at the 2004 convention and think he's got an incredible story, but once he started running for president, I was like okay, so stop talking pretty and start talking substance. And it's like he refuses to do that on purpose. I still feel like I have no idea who he is as a candidate. I get that his positions are classically liberal, which is heartening, but I think he's all smoke and mirrors. I still don't have faith that his candidacy is going to survive the coming Republican onslaught (whereas with Hillary, she's been through it all before). I am angry at the media for its blatant pro-Obama bias, not that that's his fault, but it irritates me. I also think McCain is moderate enough to swing independents who might prefer to vote for an old white guy, sad as that may be.

I just think Obama is a big cipher. And it's sad that all of these dumb things like "Is he a Muslim?" or his "crazy" wife are becoming Issues, but that's just indicative of how stupid Americans can be.

Out of exasperation, I voted for the Marijuana Party in 2001 because I didn't want to vote for Mark Greene or Bloomberg, so it would be funny if they had an option on the presidential ballot. Or I could just continue tilting at windmills and write in Al Gore..

Date: 2008-06-04 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xiuzan.livejournal.com
At least you have some substance and logic to your debate. The friend I was talking to earlier couldn't give me a reason. She just said she HATED Obama and would *have* to vote for McCain now.

I can understand where you're coming from and it's obvious that you've put thought into your opinions. She's unfortunately the type who will just spout whatever she's heard from someone else if they're persuasive enough to convince her of something.

Date: 2008-06-04 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] irnbruise.livejournal.com
She's unfortunately the type who will just spout whatever she's heard from someone else if they're persuasive enough to convince her of something.

Hey, just like Obama supporters.. ! *ba-dum, ching* JUST KIDDING! I tease. :)

Date: 2008-06-04 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xiuzan.livejournal.com
We do not!!

HOPE.... HOPE... HOPE... Must HOPE...

;)

Date: 2008-06-04 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ntang.livejournal.com
Al Gore, now that's a candidate I would've backed whole-heartedly.

I guess what I don't understand is where all of the concern comes from, in the end, re: the experience issue. Hillary, while she has some experience, doesn't have much either. Obama, likewise has little, but it's not as if he hadn't been in politics before becoming a Senator. He doesn't have a lot of experience on the national level, but I'd argue that he's got plenty of experience at a lower level.

On the national level, frankly, part of what alleviated any concerns I had was watching him run his campaign. He made some mistakes - some of which I think comes from having a relatively inexperienced team (himself included), but despite all of that, he ran rings around Hillary when it came to organizing and managing and winning hearts and minds. (I say that not because he had a landslide victory, because he didn't, but because he wasn't given a snowball's chance in hell when he first started running, and managed to take that and turn that into the nomination over the presumptive favorite.)

I look at someone like Bloomberg, and even though I don't agree with him on many issues, and even though his lack of experience has cost him some victories that a more politically savvy mayor might have won, I also think he's accomplished a lot. (Not all good, but the point is his list of accomplishments is not, as far as I can tell, any shorter than more experienced predecessors.)

Being the President is an executive job, something that technically neither he, nor Hillary, nor McCain have any experience in. Unless I'm confused, none of those three have ever been part of the executive branch on any level - national, state, county, city, etc. When it comes to managing things as part of that branch, they're all complete neophytes.

(Conversely, GW was a Governor before, and we all know how much good that did him. Interestingly - maybe - the last President I could find that did NOT serve as a governor or veep prior to taking office was John F. Kennedy, back in '60.)

Date: 2008-06-04 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] irnbruise.livejournal.com
I think Obama's candidacy has been nothing short of miraculous given his disadvantages, but his winning doesn't do anything to convince me of his fitness for office other than he's really good at sweet-talking both the population and the media. I don't think the experience thing is as black and white as it was made out to be, but she was a governor's wife, the First Lady for eight years, and a senator since 2000. I still prefer that over years in a state legislature. And she's way more battle-tested in terms of surviving the Republican machine. Whatever, it's moot now.

I DO think Bloomberg has accomplished a lot, given how little faith in him I had at the beginning.

Date: 2008-06-04 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vital-dust.livejournal.com
"Conversely, GW was a Governor before, and we all know how much good that did him."

Just to put a slightly different spin on that point, I think a dearth of experience can be compensated in large part by the advisers surrounding the candidate/president. Look at GW's relative inexperience, especially considering he didn't have to work much to get where he got, and contrast it with what his administration was able to "accomplish."

Similarlyl I think that this summer and fall just as much attention (and money) should be paid to electing a larger congressional Democratic majority to work with Obama's policies as is paid to getting him elected. He will need that (as Hillary would have).

Date: 2008-06-04 07:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] msde.livejournal.com
I still like Hillary as a candidate. I should probably mention that I considered the primaries over about 2 months ago, so I don't really count any of her recent actions against her.

I still dislike Obama as a candidate.

What's changed for me is my view of McCain. If you asked me a few months ago, I would have picked McCain over Obama if Hillary lost the primaries, easily. He's singing the party line pretty closely now.

My complaints about Obama:

Experience isn't necessarily an indicator of whether someone will be a good president. However, I feel that a longer track record helps reassure me that what I've seen is what I will get.

Don't ask me why I have a double standard when it comes to women, but I prefer my men to have military experience.

In his early campaign, he felt blunt, unpolished, and tended to speak before he thought things through. Thankfully, the extended primaries appear to have mostly cured him of these attributes. He proved to be a quick learner, but also (in my mind) to have a pretty abysmal starting point.

Date: 2008-06-04 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ntang.livejournal.com
I considered the primaries over around 2 months ago as well... which is precisely *why* I hold her recent actions against her.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't vote for her if she was the nominee, just that I respect her much less now than I did a month ago or a month before that. In my opinion, her behaviors recently have been self-aggrandizing and not particularly useful to anyone except potentially herself and her family - not that there's anything wrong with that generally, but it doesn't necessarily make me want the person to be our next president.

I think McCain would be a disaster, though, and it's everyone's job to make sure the American public sees through his bullshit screen and understands just exactly what he's like. This whole concept of him being the honest guy who sticks to his values regardless of the party line is a complete lie, and people need to know it. I used to like McCain until I started learning something real about him. Now I think he'd be terrible.

Date: 2008-06-04 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sidruid.livejournal.com
I don't know much "real" about McCain. I did some research on him a while ago and thought "hey, this guy was a pretty centrist republican, till he just became a party errand boy."

I remember the McCain that ran way back in '00, he was strong and had his own views. That McCain wasn't afraid to stand up for what he thought was right. Now he sounds like Karl Rove is whispering sweet nothings in his ear all night long. His version of right has flip-flopped to the party platform and that's everything I want to vote against -- and I'll vote for whichever candidate can carry the day and block that platform.

Date: 2008-06-05 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rabow.livejournal.com
I considered the primaries over around 2 months ago as well... which is precisely *why* I hold her recent actions against her.

Couldn't agree more. Her actions and speeches over the last month in particular have been particularly bewildering and disappointing.

Date: 2008-06-04 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sidruid.livejournal.com
The reason we democrats seem to lose national elections is our inability to unify. We represent wildly different points of view which -- though not contrary -- are different enough that we feel only our rare & special butterfly of candidate will support. We fail to speak with one voice, and so often refuse to yield any moral ground that we lose sight of the big picture.

One might think the republicans have the same problem, after all they have extreme wingers too, but year after year those folks fall in line and vote the party line. They "get" that there is too much at stake to go voting for the monarchists, or worse, not voting at all.

In part it could simply be that in america we tend too much toward individualism, that the libertarian side is stronger than the communal, and that the libertarians tend to lean left instead of right. But who knows. Anyway, thats why I think we see this bizarre anger.

In the future, though, I'd like to see a six week primary season. Everyone votes then, and that's it. No more divided party, less money spent, less tramping back and forth to each state.

Date: 2008-06-04 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zvuv.livejournal.com
i voted for Obama in the primary, so i'm not bitter at all. i have to say, though, i feel kind of bad for Hilary. she put up a good fight. now she needs to concede gracefully. but her attitude has always been that everyone's out to get her, so nothing new here. if she'd won, i'd have voted for her in general elections of course. McCaine is a douche.

oh, and congratulations!!! :)

Date: 2008-06-04 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tritia.livejournal.com
Yeah.

I agree with you about the 5-10% difference in views. I would support whoever got the nomination. I've been pretty quiet about the Primaries because the hate throw out within the party is really disheartening. I can't stand "Obama Girl" and the scary misogynistic name calling (by women too!), and I can't stand some of the strong arm tactics of the Clinton campaign.

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