Saturday, February 16, 2008

OK, I Give Up. I'm Switching My Endorsement to Neutral

I was mildly for Obama. Now, I'll just say that I'll support whomever everybody else ultimately decides on for the Democratic nomination. I think jettisoning John Edwards was a mistake. And our strongest conceivable candidate, Al Gore, chose not to make the race. This will, I think, turn out to be a tragedy.
I am pessimistic now. Seeing how deeply divided the Democrats are, how ugly the primary season has gotten, and how ludicrously many of the supporters of the two major candidates are behaving, I am discouraged. The Republican machine will be able to throw heavy ammunition at either Clinton and Obama, and I don't think the Democrats have learned how to fight back effectively. In Clinton, we have someone bitterly hated by almost half the population. In Obama we have someone who perhaps is trying to seize the brass ring prematurely, someone who needs more time at the national level.
I therefore believe that John McCain is the favorite to win the presidency, and that this will push America into irreversible foreign policy and economic disaster. At a time in our country's history when it is desperately necessary for us to remove the right-wingers from power, the Democrats, I believe, will again shoot themselves in the foot and come up short.
In other words, we're screwed. Have a nice day.


Anonymous said...

What was it that pushed you over to neutral?

I agree that supporters in both camps can act like immature children at times. That's what happens in a closely competitive race, I'm afraid, especially when both camps have excellent reasons to be passionate about their candidates. I find it very saddening when Obama groupies attack Hillary with smears and insults that were originally manufactured by the right wing. They are misogynistic and completely beneath our dignity. By the same token, I'm insulted to be characterized as empty-headed, as a party traitor, as someone who favors style and rhetoric over substance - all because I favor Obama.

But I don't think the picture is as bleak as you paint it here. For one thing, the vast majority of people who support Hillary consider themselves "true Democrats". They are appalled by the moderate Dems who say they'd vote for McCain (or not at all) over Hillary, asking, "How can you turn our country back to them?"

I agree (and I'd vote for Hillary), but I also see a grain of hope in those comments, because it is seeming more and more likely that Obama will get the nomination. And then those people (providing they are not hypocrites, and I doubt they are), who consider themselves true-blue Dems, will still go out and dutifully vote Obama, just as they've dutifully stood behind a woman who's served the Dem Party and probably does deserve her turn. (In my ideal world, as Secretary of State, not President.)

If Hillary gets the nom, things would be much harder, which is... well... one reason I'm behind Obama. But don't lose hope. Even then I don't think it would be a lost cause. McCain has never been popular among conservatives and has successfully alienated the moderates who used to admire him (including me). They're the ones who are really desperate now - just look at their blogs.

On a final note, it's important not to link the behavior of supporters to the candidates they represent. Obama has been very careful about avoiding negative rhetoric, sticking to policy differences, etc... and the Clinton group have said a few questionable things, but on the whole, this is not bad behavior for politics.

Anonymous said...

I agree that John Edwards was our best hope. Although, I think Obama has a reasonable chance of being elected, I generally agree with the pessimism you expressed. There is a distinct possibility that the Democrats will write yet another chapter on how to lose a national election. Amazing!

About the best thing I can say about John McCain is that no one can be as bad as George Bush.


Jesse Davis said...

All hands, abandon earth.

pablo said...

This situation makes one wonder if the whole overall current process of selecting a party's candidate is really the best method. I mean, if a group was going to select an individual to fight to the death against another group's chosen individual, would it make sense to let your candidates battle each other to the point of permanent injury to the last individual left standing? And, would it make sense to have potentially divided the supporting group to the point of destroying the initially united? Just wondering about the whole big picture here...

Anonymous said...

Joe, It doesn't matter who you vote for today in your great state of Hawaii, but that you vote. Choose wisely and being from Chicago, vote early and often. I am sure that you can find a graveyard and get at least another five votes for your candidate.

tez said...

My dear friend and mentor,

Don't give up hope yet. There are many, many of us Democrats more excited and more energized than ever. I have heard a hundred anecdotes from people who have rarely voted in the past but now feel they have a reason. And Independents and Republicans are also joining us to create record turnouts at the polls. The country is not yet doomed. And at the least, we are done with the Emperor Bush.


Anonymous said...

nothing wrong with the third-party candidates...