Tuesday, August 26, 2008

All About Hillary's Eve

There were rumors on the internets and from the mediates that there was the potential for 1968-style demonstrations at this years' Democratic Convention, but so far it's been the feel-good event of the summer, right after the Olympics, murder aside. Sometimes it seems there's a Leon Klinghoffer on every cruise. And instead of angry crowds chanting "The whole world is watching," the masses are gathering around the brightest new media star, Rachel Maddow, and chanting "MSNBC." A younger generation assumes everybody is either watching already or can catch highlights on YouTube. And on Maddow's new cable show, they should make Pat Buchanan play her Ed McMahon. He's the perfect foil, but can he say "Hi-yo?"

Melody and I like to watch the direct feed from C-Span, without the commentary about what we are currently seeing for ourselves, or distracting graphics on a crawl like, "Senator McCain sends Cindy to Georgia to access civilian casualties." Barbie is going to wake up in Tbilisi and wonder what happened to the uprising in Marietta and Buckhead. I wept through most of the Kennedy portion and felt it was Teddy's finest hour. I imagine that you have to be of a certain age to feel the full impact of seeing the last of the Kennedy brothers in his final campaign. It tugs at your own mortality to comprehend that the legislative accomplishments of the younger Kennedy, who was kicked out of Harvard and who's own presidential ambitions drowned with a young girl in Chappaquiddick, dwarfs the combined lasting achievements of his martyred brothers. It's nearly enough to erase a lifetime of personal sins. When Michelle Obama spoke, Melody noted that the only people crying were African Americans, women, and me. But I cry at old Gene Autry songs, too. I have the emotions of a woman trapped in a man's body, and she's pissed and wants them back. But, how could you not love those two children who were, literally, adorable?

We watched tonight's featured attraction, the Hillary Moment, after hearing James Carville say the Democrats "wasted a day," by not attacking BushCain enough. What's the point? This country's on the precipice and everyone knows it. In any case, first blood was drawn by Montana's Governor Schweitzer, who used a rapier rather than a bludgeon, and then we settled in for the main event. After watching Hillary's speech without punditry, I thought her endorsement of Obama was lukewarm and Melody said, "It was all about her." When we switched back to MSNBC to see what the gang was saying, Keith Olbermann called it "a 5-run home run," and Eugene Robinson declared it a "turning point." At first I wondered if I had watched a different speech. I felt portions of the speech were very moving, especially the Harriet Tubman bit, but even that seemed directed at her own supporters. But after hearing all the superlatives heaped in her direction, I started questioning my own experience.

Perhaps I've grown so cynical that I can't see sincerity in a politician anymore, or maybe it annoys me that after 35 years, Hillary still stomps all over her own applause lines, but I do not understand the emotional investment a lot of woman had placed in her candidacy. I'm not a woman, but I thought I was a feminist. I have some knowledge of the Suffrage Movement, but I believed that Hillary, in her Senate record and in her candidacy, ill-served the feminist ideal by being a war hawk with our children and presiding over a sleazy attempt to villainize Barack Obama, which his opponents are now using against him. If John McCain had a lick of sense, he would now nominate a woman to be Vice President, but he doesn't, so we don't have to worry. Still, the most significant line of Hillary's speech was, "Were you only in it for me?" She did what she needed to do and then some, and she became, like Teddy Kennedy, a potentially formidable force in the Senate, while still keeping her options open for 2012, or even 2016.

If Obama is elected, and that is no sure thing for sure, perhaps Hillary, like Kennedy, can be liberated in the Senate to allow her true self to shine through without the political calculations. Then she can begin to sponsor progressive legislation, rather than flag burning amendments and sabre-rattling in the Middle East, and with such a record, she could again ascend the heights and still become the first woman president. She made a good speech tonight and began the process of reconciliation among the Democratic factions. I wrote in a previous post (6/5/08) that had Hillary voted against the war in Iraq, she would be the nominee today. But she didn't, and she's not. Barack Obama is the nominee, and if half the voting population wish to protect their hard-won gains, voting for John McCain is antithetical to the cause. For the future of feminism, "Now is the time for all good women to come to the aid of their party."

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're right. You are not a woman. Stop pretending that you understand. You don't.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I also thought Hillary's speech was "enough". Sure it was about her, hello...she's who she is. But she made the important points. No more Bush politics and that Obama is her candidate. She was gracious towards Michelle. She paid tribute to her supporters. She drove it home that she came close but she is supporting Obama.
I was always an Obama supporter but I am proud that I lived long enough to witness a viable female candidate. I wish it had been years earlier and Pat Schroeder but I was fine with Hillary.
I am a woman voting for Obama who is ready to see Hillary step into Ted's shoes. And Randy, you keep on crying, we would be better off if more men did.

Anonymous said...

One of our current problems is that too many men have been emasculated. We live in an age of ball-less girly men. The barbarians know this and are slavering at the gates. Russia nor the Chinese nor anyone else should fear America. All they have to do is wait a few more years till the inner rot has done its work and then they can take over without firing a shot. They will just have to figure out an efficient way to kill everyone with more than a third grade education and then enslave the rest. The terrorists certainly want a Democratic president. Who in the entire world would fear a liberal? Can you imagine anyone shaking in their boots if Allen Colmes got tough with them? Democrats will hasten the end. Might as well get it over with. At least the new regime will have some balls. And you can bet that they won't be overly concerned with civil rights. It will be hard on those Americans who are allowed to live.

Father Farken said...

Randy! Just a few observations! (1) Did you notice that Hillary used one of your original lines...The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pantsuits(!?!). AND
(2) Of course Gene Autry makes you cry! Hell...he was no community organizer. He had a resume...he was influenced by the early Delta & Southwestern blues singers before he ever was a singing cowboy...singing Blueberry Hill way before Fats! And before he was ever mounting Champion Gene Autry was a down & out Big Hat No Horse Tear in Me Beer Caucasian Blues Singer! AAAND!
(3) Randy is no girly-man because he teared up! Jesus Wept! and He had Gabungahs the size of the mountain He preached on! AAAAAND!!!
(4) Hillary should never step into Ted Kennedy's shoes! You don't know where those feet have been! Good work Randy! The Peace of the Lord! FrFarken

Alan said...

You are getting vicious in your old age. The Cindy McCain Barbie comment shows you know nothing about her life and what she has done with her money and time. Spend a little time and do the research.

Anonymous said...

Little PMS there ole' Anon.7:35 am.Or maybe the old mentalpause? I don't think he's pretending to understand,I think lots of men can understand, if they just would.He just happens to be in touch with his feminine side, are you? Or are you just pissed cause your a woman?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations socialists!!! Due to McCain's bone-headed pick for V.P., Obama is now a shoo-in for the presidency. McCain showed an utter lack of judgment and horse's ass stupidity, so he proved that he shouldn't be given a chance to lead the country with his soccer-mom choice. I just hate to see us pushed to full-blown socialism which is where Obama and a Democrat filled congress will put us. America was a great country while she lasted. The youth of America is about to be taxed into oblivion.