Thursday, June 05, 2008

Why Hillary Lost

When Hillary Clinton entered the Senate, had she voted her conscience, rather than her ambition, she would be the nominee of her party today and the next President of the United States. At the end of her non-concession speech on Tuesday night, after she reiterated her long-held determination to end the war, Hillary spoke with genuine passion about representing the voiceless, the disenfranchised, and the "invisible." This is who I have believed Hillary Clinton is all along, and my criticism about her campaign, as well as her Senate career, is that she ran away from her self. Like her husband, her votes and opinions were often motivated by personal political positioning planned to make herself palatable to the greater populace for a presidential power play. Only, the old politics didn't work this time.

Living in the adjoining state to where Mrs. Clinton served as First Lady, I don't recall a single negative story written or spoken about her during the entire tenure of the Clinton governancy, as opposed to the Fordice soap opera in Mississippi, which was weekly news fodder. Mrs. Clinton was regarded in Arkansas, and the South, as a champion of education and a spokesperson for children in need. As a 45 year old college senior completing a journalism degree begun some thirty years previous, I covered Hillary's visit to the U of M campus for the school paper in 1992, when she was campaigning for her husband. At the time, I said that although she lacked great public speaking skills, there could be no faulting what she was saying. She was a "New" Democrat, and her concerns for early education and health care were as passionate as her valedictory speech was at Wellesley. My disappointment over the route she chose to take while in the Senate was obviously not an isolated emotion.

Rather than risk being labeled a "liberal" in the Senate, she co-sponsored anti-flag burning amendments and took a decidedly militaristic tone. The politically expedient move after the attacks of 9/11 was to grant Bush his war powers request for pre-emptive strikes at perceived enemies at his discretion. The conscientious thing would be to realize that the guiding foreign policy imperative of the United States throughout its history is that, we don't start wars. Hillary backed Bush and defended the war until her run for the presidency, when she became solidly anti-war, although she could never bring herself to apologize for enabling Bush like John Edwards eventually did. Recalling her earlier activist years, how can you be against the Vietnam War and in favor of the one in Iraq? That's maturity in reverse.

At the beginning of the primary season, Hillary refused to even acknowledge the possibility that she would not be the nominee, and was certain the whole thing would be wrapped up on Super Tuesday. When it wasn't, she began a slash and burn, negative campaign that bordered on race baiting and nearly destroyed the years of goodwill between black America and the Clintons. Obama wasn't a Muslim, "as far as I know," and "working, hard working, white Americans are voting for me." Bill's rhetoric was worse and controversial enough that he ended this political season, and possibly his career, travelling the hustings of small town South Dakota. Labelling Bill Richardson as a traitor while having surrogates rummage through Obama's kindergarten essays wasn't such a good idea either. And the 18 million votes Hillary claims come along with the inclusion of two primaries that didn't count, and one where Obama's name wasn't on the ballot. How many more voters might have turned out in Florida and Michigan if they knew their votes were really going to matter for something?

Finally, these news footage scenes of menopausal "Women Gone Wild," are baffling to me. I had previously written that one day, I would like to see a Jewish president, but you won't catch me voting for Joe Lieberman anytime soon. The comparison works for Hillary as well. The claims that she was "disrespected" come directly from the criticisms about her message and the way she conducted her campaign, and as far as Obama is concerned, I have never seen a politician so genteel toward his rival. I have no doubt, as evidenced by Hillary's gracious gesture toward Obama at the AIPAC conference yesterday, that she will fully support his candidacy. I can't say the same for the mostly white women who claim they will be voting for McCain in the fall. Only Hillary can facilitate that, and it is past time for her to shed her Maggie Thatcher, chain-mail image and begin to follow her truest self; a lesson learned, if at all, too late.

22 comments:

ghg said...

I agree with your assessment of Hillary. Seeing her Tuesday night I thought about what she couldn't bring herself to do...to find real grace and tap into the best of herself by reaching for a higher purpose. She understandably feels the "agony of defeat", and we might still see her bringing her voting block to the polls in November, but it seems to me that she's been so torn between what she wants for her constituents and the fact that she wants to be the primary and most important one who brings it to them. Pride commeth..

As for Obama, he'll win at least 320 electoral votes, bring in another 7-9 senators, more representatives, and we'll be off on a short Golden Age here in America. Bout time.

Anonymous said...

As Sophocles said in Antigone; "All men (women) make mistakes, but the good man (woman) yields when he (she) knows his (her) course is wrong and repairs the evil he (she) has done. The only crime is pride."

Wm. said...

well, I tried to reply to your blog but I am so busy in the mornings that I guess I just have to figure out why it didn't work. In essence, I think you have left out one exceedingly important factor. Barack Obama is perhaps the most inspirational and charismatic political figure to come down the pike since Bobby K and perhaps beyond and while there may be plenty of closet bigots who will join with the conservatives and refuse to vote for him, he has still brought supporters out of the woodwork. His amazing number of contributors are not sending money because of Hillary, they are sending it because of Obama. He is unique and should be recognized as such. With all the racism in this country, he will still beat McCain like a drum. Hillary no doubt was in position to win the nomination and made many critical mistakes both before and during her campaign but give credit where credit is do. For all of Hillary's mistakes, she is not the reason he overcame being a black candidate in the while world of politics and she is not the reason he overcame Reverend Wright or his association with Tony Resco or any of the other things that would have destroyed any other black candidate in our lifetime. He is.

randy said...

I agree with you that Obama is an extraordinary candidate and deserving of his victory. I feel, however, that had there not been some basic disillusionment about Clinton to begin with, she would now be picking him for her running mate.

Anonymous said...

I fear if you have your "Short Golden Age" America will go backwards exponentially. You'll punish big oil and won't solve the gas problem. You won't drill ANWAR and we'll be at the mercy of the arabs. You'll wreck social security by giving it to all the illegal aliens you will make legal and you will break the financial back of America with your free health care.
God protect me form your Golden Age.

Father Farken said...

Some one a lot wiser than me said, "Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change. And when we are right, make us easy to live with." Well... Muddy I sure hope Sputnik is easy to live with because he sure is right on target!
The weird thing is ...after all is said and done I am going to miss the old girl...NOT!!!
The peace of the Lord to All!
The Farken Priest

Anonymous said...

What a biblical horse race! Word has it Father Farken won a boat load of money on Big Brown at the Belmont. He bet on Big Brown to come in last. He had a hunch from Jesus...The First shall be last! Peace Out! PS: Thought Hillary gave a whooping concession.
SHECKY KIERKEGAARD MCGIRK

Anonymous said...

Let's face it! Hillary had the White House on a silver platter until GUESS WHOOOOZE COMING TO DINNER kicked it up a notch. She was acting like she was some kind of Primadina or something! But once she got knocked down to size & got through the sniper fire she started showing me the goods that she could really be a respectable president. Whether she will be the bleeping Veep or not we haven't heard the last from her! Now NPR runs a progam that by nominating Obama the USA has proved that it is a racious country....being that he's not Double O Soul or someting! That's just wrong!
Yours Trult! SIREEN

Father Farken said...

I caught the tail end of that program on NPR as well Sireen. It said America was a racist nation because it couldn't stomach an authentic African American (using Al Sharpton as prime example). To me that whole program was the epitome of racism! Slavery has been our original sin! The mere fact that a major party has nominated an African American for president should make us all feel better about ourselves as a nation. However this should be by no means the reason to vote for or against any one in the national election! That being said...may the youngest candidate win! Everlasting peace to all!

Shecky Kierkegaard McGirk said...

Yeah! Ol' Father Farken is going around asking,"What can Brown do for you?"...having a big ol' time! Fed Ex Fred, you better sign up Da'Tara 'cause the last has become first! I agree with your assessment of why Hillary lost but WHY DID BIG BROWN LOSE SO BADLY MY BROTHER SPUTNIK? We are not talking NASCAR! Give us insight! We beg you!

davethedog said...

Will you dicks get your heads out of your asses! Instead of a strutting and preening party about how you guys (Obama supporters) BEAT Hillary, they weren't running against each other for president. Screw this crap. We will be blaming Hillary for Obama losing, just like the Republicans try to blame everything on Bill.

If you think that Obama will cakewalk over McCain then keep gushing about what a bitch Hillary is and enjoy this win, in lieu of, the actual presidential race.

In case you forgot, while you were frugging to the Moby Grape and dropping orance barrel acid, McCain was getting bamboo shoots shoved under his fingernails. He is a tough bastard and would love to have Obama's big fucking ears dangling from his "ear necklace."

Get in gear people and get the job done. I don't want Obama to come out of the washroom with just his "dick" in his hand.

Hey Randy, get these nimrods back in line. Can we please have a blog about the actual election AND the actual issues.

I think we need to make everyone buy a "hybrid" vehicle or carpool, except for rich people like me. I still have my gas guzzling SUV at 12 mph. Who will be Obama's Danny Ray?

Anonymous said...

What's up (DAVE THE) DAWG? I like your style. You go right for the jugular! What's so great 'bout beating up on a girl any way! I find it quite distasteful. Andy Kaufman did it a bunch of times and I had to put a stop to it just as bulldog McCain will put a stop to all this Obama fist punching. I had to pick up Andy Kaufman over my head and drop-kick his noggen like a busted water melon. May he rest in peace! Just wait till The pitbull gets loose on the Democratic candidate! I don't know anything about NPR(Iorn-Curtain Radio) but if The Dems wanted a strong ticket they could of shown some GABUNGAS and nominated KING BOOKER & QUEEN SHARMELL! Now John McCain! Go out there and take charge like you have a pair!
JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER

Father Farken said...

Dog & Lawler! What a tag team! That would sell some tickets. Since you seem so preoccupied about body parts let's take a look at the human heart!(and thanks Dave for locating my head.) a full body x-ray would show right shoulder, left shoulder--both belonging to the same body but ze heart is a little to ze left." Why? because G*d wants us to care. Caring is what civility is all about. The Apostle Paul said, "Make love (caring for others) your aim. If we recover an understanding of libertas maior, if we reunite freedom & virtue by caring ceasely for one another, affirming both differentiation & communion then our democracy,presently stalled, will once again feel the advance of hope. If we fine Americans aspire to become amore caring people, democracy with all its many cultures will more than survive...they will thrive. Amerca for & by all the people! I love you guys! PEACE!

4 bucks a pop said...

FF
I'm so glad you want to care. Does that mean you care about the common man enough to support drilling in ANWAR so I can afford to drive to your next rally?

Father Farken said...

Hey, I'm just an old fashion 'preach the gospel like you have a pair'/'serve the Lord as if a eunuch' kind of priest but I'm from Frayser Tn & I like to drink a few beers and piss in the sink like most of the guys (Sorry Ladies!)...But"make love your aim" was not my idea. "Though I speak with the tongues...of angels"...(musicians, poets, politicions, preachers take note!)"& though I understand all mysteries & have all knowledge"(professors,bloggers & such take note!)"& though I give all my goods to feed the poor" (radicals take note!)"& though I give my body to be burned" (fireman, police and jocks take note!) "but I have not love , it profiteth me nothing." According to a Jew named Paul if we fail in love (caring for others whether they deserve it or not!), we fail in all things else. I doubt if in any other scriptures of the world there is a more radical statement of ethics! So to answer your question...Gas cost more than beer! Drink! Don't drive! No! Some one just sent me that.....by the way I am down to 6 adopted dogs & 16 adopted cats If we do have to drill will you adopt a polar bear &/or a penguin or two. The church bells are ringing I have got to go! The Peace of the Lord!FATHER FARKEN

Anonymous said...

FF
I am unfamiliar with adoption, but will be glad to consume the little orphans.

Shecky Kierkegaard McGirk said...

I do not believe Father Farken has ever consumed a bear but back in his football days in the late 60s he did wrestle a big gigantic brown bear at the Auburn/Opelika County Fair! He belly bumped that bear and knocked it flat on its back ...then he climbed on top of the ropes and dove in mid air aiming right at the bear... spread eagle & all but I guess the bear was hip to the sport because he rolled right out of the way just in time & Father Farken landed splat in the ring & was out for the count. The bear Then sat on Father Farkens head for about 10 minutes. That may be what lead him to the priesthood...all that intense praying & all. Spread the love!

Father Farken said...

Our hearts go out to the great Tim Russert. The PEACE of the Lord be always with him. He was a fellow pumpkin headed Irishman but he was more like a holy jack-a-lattern with all the gook carved out and all this light shining out into darkness. He had a good BS detector and could pull the rug right from under you if needed be but he didn't come off as mean spirited as Oberman can be at times. Tim would always help you back up from the fall. He had that charm about him that when he told you to go to Hell...you looked forward to the trip. And he will spend his favorite day (Father's Day) at Eternal Peace. SHALOM TO ALL!

Josie said...

Hillary lost because she is a SHE. And no matter what you say, women are still not seen as smart, capable leaders (even in U.S.A.) When women speak; it's nagging and bitching. A man speaks; it's inspirational and charismatic. Also, everyone brings up Bill's past actions as if it's Hillary's fault. "She couldn't keep her man happy" blah blah blah. It's always the woman's fault. I don't care how good of a "speaker" you are. A good BS'r can convince everyone the sky is falling if he/she is passionate or convincing enough. People are so easily influenced by spoken words (that are spoken with conviction) no matter if they're true or false. Who would you believe more? A quiet, mumbling person or a loud, confident person? What if the mumbler was truthful and the loud one was a liar? You would more likely believe the animated, loud liar because he/she seemed so confident. That is why there's the saying; actions speak louder than words. We shall see. It would be nice if for once, a politician lived up to his/her promises.

Anonymous said...

You go girl, you show some attitude! I was so easily influenced by what you said and you only used words. Maybe you should go into politics. You could be like Old Charlie Patton and be mayor of Frayser. Yours truly, SIREEN

Anonymous said...

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME! I PROMISE YOU FOUR YEARS OF WISDOM, EXPERIENCE AND DROOLING! JOHN McTHUSALUH

four bucks a pop said...

Josie

I see some truth in your comment, but it's not important in Hillary's case. She simply can't be trusted. If she said the sky was blue, most of America would be skeptical. The "sniper story" revealed her true character or lack of character.