January 10, 2008

Thursday musings on Hillary and the election

SOF is on the road, so it is just me and the menagerie. Oh, that and computer problems. And calling AT&T only to find myself arguing with a computer voice:

CV: Tell me if you want to pay your bill, or discuss your bill.

Me: Neither

CV: I am sorry, I didn't understand you. Do you want to pay your bill or discuss your bill.

Me: Sigh.


I have had numerous conversations with people about the election. Everything from conservative friends very lukewarm on their field, to liberals deeply worried that Hillary might win the nomination. And I understand the concerns. Few people ignite the right more than Hillary. A friend told me today that she was "scary"--whatever the hell that means.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a big fan. But given the fact that those same people making excuses for George "Torture" Bush, it makes me less than thrilled with our process.

And here is a flash. It doesn't matter who the Democrats put up, the right will go after them. Karl Rove is already making racist comments about Obama ("jive talking," lazy, etc.) and those will only continue. Those moderates or conservatives who tell us now that they "don't have a problem with Obama" will be repeating the "I heard he is a Muslim" mantra in a few months. I remember conservative friends and family telling me in 1992 that they "didn't have a problem with Gore--it was that Clinton they didn't like." Yeah. In 2000, Al Gore had become the anti-Christ. And the same people who thought John Kerry was well-spoken and reasonable (if maybe a bit liberal) in the 90s all of a sudden discovered that he was a horse-faced doofus who actually didn't serve his country.

The right will go after who ever. And I hate to say this, but it won't matter if Hillary is the nominee. We will have to fight back stupidity at every turn.


Tonight I turned on Austin City Limits to find an hour-long Crowded House concert. I really never listened to them that much beyond their hits, but I could not turn the TV off. That Neil Finn can sing. And write.

Not bad. Not bad at all.


steves said...

I know I will have to put a great deal more thought into this before I vote, but I kind of like Hillary. I think she has some good ideas and is somewhat of a moderate.

None of my liberal friends like her, though. One of them posted a link from Obsidian Wings that pretty much outlines why. Among the other choices, I really like Edwards. He has articulated a very detailed foreign policy that seems wise and has discussed health care reform and comprehensive ways to pay for it.

As for the Republicans, I am not happy about any of the front runners. I wish I could like McCain, but I disagree with a bunch of stuff he has supported.

steves said...

BTW, who needs the right, when people from your own party will go after you. This was uncalled for and doesn't do Obama any favors, IMO.isaaz

Streak said...

Yeah, I saw what Cuomo said. Not helpful.

And I think there are many reasons to not like Hillary. For my money, she is far too conservative, for one. As Mary has noted, her ties to the Pharmaceutical industry does not make one hopeful for meaningful healthcare reform.

But my point here is not whether or not she would make a good President, it is whether she is electable or not. Anglican and others (including Andrew Sullivan) argue that the hatred for Hillary is so virulent that it will cost the Dems the election by brining the right back into play. I am suggesting that the Swift Boating will occur regardless. The Dems could nominate Jesus Christ and Karl Rove would start using anti-semetic code.

steves said...

The comments were from Jesse Jackson Jr.

I am sure if we dug into anyone's campaing contributions, we would find some disturbing tie to some industry.

Streak said...

I was referencing Cuomo's "shuck and jive" comment.

I never said that the others don't have some questionable contributors. Ron Paul certainly does, as we have suggested here. But the amount of money going to Hillary from the pharm companies is unnerving--as unnerving as the huge amount of money that big oil gave Bush. And we see what that bought them--a free ride.

We need some kind of medical reform in this country. If the "reformer" is Hillary, then I think we will have a Haliburton style reform. Or at least, I fear it.

steves said...

"We need some kind of medical reform in this country."

True, but we can't even get people to agree on what the problem is, much less what the solution should be. Health care (including the AMA, Hospitals and the Pahrm industry) related lobbying is second only to the financial industry in terms of expenditures.

In terms of this election, I can't find any major contributions from the pharm industry to Hillary and I checked this and this.

mary said...

Steve, I believe what our friend Streak is referencing above is something I saw some time ago, stating that no one but Rick Santorum had taken more money from Big Pharma than Hillary. I just looked it up, here, and it seems it's the health-care industry in general, not just pharmaceuticals. In any case, it's worrisome, since as Molly Ivins used to say, you gotta dance with them what brung you.

On a different, yet Hillary-related note: I was a volunteer phone-answerer in an office the other day and overheard several of the women employees discussing the New Hampshire results: Hillary won because she cried like a little baby! The animosity toward her was breath-taking, and as far as I can tell, totally irrational. These were women who were discussing changing their voter registration so they could vote AGAINST Hillary in the (closed) primary (it was interesting that none offered up who they would vote FOR, but they were all quite comfortable with Hillary-bashing in public).

It seems to me that for some anyway, the line was drawn a long time ago, and another Clinton presidency would just split us further apart. I think the Democrats have a pretty strong field -- I like Edwards too, and Obama -- and while I agree that they'll rev up the Destruct-o-Matic for whoever, I see no reason to give them Hillary and make it easy.

Mary said...

Oh, and if you have a little time to kill and feel like falling down a rabbit-hole, check out this bi-partisan graph from OpenSecrets.org -- playing with the pull down menu for different industries is pretty amazing -- guess who gets the most money from Gambling, Tobacco and Oil? (It's not Hillary!)

Bitebark said...

Wow, that's a great resource, Mary. Thanks for pointing it out. Good to know that Brother Rudy's getting some love from all the traditional contributors.

My wife is leaning towards Hillary, and says that it's her CEO-ness that seals the deal. It's the air of competence and the detachment. Even, to some degree, the connectedness to old-boy networks, which implies that she can get things done. She (my wife) feels that there're many many miles to make up after the Bush Interregnum, a huge sense of lost ground, and that Hill can make that ground up faster and better than the boys.

I'm an Obama guy, personally, but do see Hill as a much more talented operator than we give her credit for. Her problem is that she's but a mortal compared to Obama's charisma and Edwards righteous fury. Unfortunately, she's a bit of a bore on TV, and just isn't much of a success in the Feeling Your Pain Olympics.

Still and all, I'm ecstatic that we can produce three completely viable candidates for this cycle, and it gives me hope for the future that Democratic politicos can start really and truly competing, instead of just getting bulldozed again.

Streak said...

Yeah, wow. Look at those Rudy numbers!

BTW, I am clearly an Obama guy too, but I take pride in the fact that the Dems will most likely nominate either a black man or a woman. That is pretty damn cool. And the bulk of the criticism aimed at either has very little to do with race or gender (at least from most circles--perhaps Mike Huckabee's SBC doesn't want a non-submissive woman) and is about policies and competence.

ubub said...

I leave for Africa and you guys let Richardson pull out of the race?! You're not holding up your end. It's been awesome, btw.