Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Revving up

It frustrates me how early the pundits start to make predictions, and I think it happens earlier and earlier every election cycle, kind of like Christmas, but it IS interesting nonetheless to speculate about '08.

I like Obama, but I'm ready for a female President, personally.

Not that this has anything to do with anything, but I told my father-in-law once that I didn't care WHO was running, I had never and would never vote for a Republican, and he said that was idiotic! IS that idiotic? Surely I'm not the only one out there who would ALWAYS vote for the Democrat over the Republican, right?


At 9:00 PM, Blogger Farrah said...

Surely I'm not the only one out there who would ALWAYS vote for the Democrat over the Republican, right?

Depends on the Democrat (and the Republican). Generally I'd say yes, but every so often you get a Democrat like Bob Casey and a Republican like Arlen Specter and you wonder what would've happened if Casey ran against Specter instead of Santorum.

(These are all current or former PA senators. Santorum is the textbook definition of right-wing-nutter. Specter's pro-choice and generally moderate, Casey's pro-life and, well, he won because he wasn't Santorum)

At 9:45 PM, Blogger the nut said...

Yep, I agree with you farrah. Although I used to be much more independent before Bush became our prez, now I'm much more left of center and scrutinize the hell out of everyone.

As for a woman president - Hillary will not get elected because she doesn't have the likeable personality Obama has. And she panders too much. I think the US will elect a black man before a woman and, honestly, I'm not too sure I'd vote for Hillary myself. Just because there is a woman running doesn't mean she's right - just look at Ann Coulter and others of her ilk. Scary.

At 5:33 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

I like Obama. I love the idea of having a woman as Chief but I think it could be someone better than Hillary (I do like Hillary) that said for both...sadly I wonder if this country would vote in either, for issues of race and gender. I do think America would love to pull her big girl panties up and just get on with it but there's too many "good old boys" out there still insisting she wear size 4 toddler panties.
and why not.... Obama/Clinton ?

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Mollie said...

Nancy Pelosi?

Definitely rather have her than Clinton. Barack Obama is a-okay with me!

As for the original post, I think "idiotic" is a bit harsh, but -- like farrah -- I can think of situations where I might choose a Republican over a Democrat.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Mollie said...

Or are we just talking about 2008 here?

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Krista said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Krista said...

Okay, let me start this over (I deletd my first one for bad editing). I don't think I could ever vote Republican. I vote Democratic all the time. Although, there are Dems I would not vote for. And to be honest, Hillary is one of them. I think she needs to wait for the next generation of voters. The young voters who don't remember 8 years ago.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Nancy G said...

I also agree with Farrah; it depends on the Democrat & the Republican. However, all other things being equal (which never happens), or if I know nothing about either candidate (like people running for the RTD board or CU board of regents), then I'll pick the Democrat over the Republican.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Kate A. said...

What a fascinating discussion. And I can't wait to jump in partly because I haven't been able to post here while I'm waiting to switch to the new Blogger, argh!

First, about Hillary - although my personal support for her (I'm one of her constituents) has waned since she started pandering to conservatives in preparation for the presidential bid - the biggest and most common mistake of the Dems in my opinion, and a reason most swing voters don't respect them - the real reason I'm passionately hoping for an Obama ticket and for Hillary to settle (permanently) for making a difference in the Senate is that while I think America is finally ready for either a black or a woman candidate, I don't think just any one will do. And I don't think America will EVER elect a woman from the 70s women's-libber generation. Having had to fight very hard at every step of the way, that generation represents in most people's minds a shrillness and a single-mindedness that they can never accept. It's not fair, of course, to a generation of women who have been so incredibly smart, and strong and productive in the face of insane obstacles, but I do think it will take another generation - my own generation, the one that has benefitted so enormously from our feminist mothers - to present women candidates who can be seen as brilliant and competent *before* they are seen as female or feminist.

Similarly, I think the remarkable fact that Obama's blackness is so far not nearly as big an issue as his experience or lack thereof (when are the party guys gonna realize Americans LIKE inexperience??) is not because America is any less racist than it used to be - I'm sorry to say I don't believe that for a second. I think it's because though he's black, he's also got an unusual background and a face that whites feel comfortable with. He doesn't push any of the buttons that set of racists types. If he were the same man, with the same education, same values, same speeches, but he had an Alabama accent, a wide nose and full lips, and a large, powerful frame - do you think the discussion would still be about everything but his race? Honestly?

In short, I think our country has a long way to go...but I also think Obama can win, and I think I trust him to actually be the RIGHT GUY, and I think his election could be the best possible step toward an America where it *is* conceivable that people would take *any* woman or *any* minority candidate on their own terms rather than as a 2-D representative of a feared minority group.

As for voting Republican - well, I've never done it and I don't think it's likely, though of course you all have raised examples of what I consider non-Republican Republicans who could of course change my mind in an individual race. When I'm voting for the small local races where I don't always know who the heck the candidates are, I admit I start with Democrats, and given a choice among them, I pick a woman or a minority. Though there are certainly women like Ann Coulter, I would like to point out that she's a privileged white woman. I think the experiences that a woman, minority, or underprivileged person naturally encounters are *more likely* to make them think, and more likely to make them be compassionate, and those are the main qualities I want in any elected official.

My problem with Republicans per se (and this comes mainly from growing up in the most Republican county in the nation and my own fundamentalist extended family) is that a majority of today's Republicans, no matter what they spew about family values and christianity - concepts they apparently understand in a very different way than I do - their ACTIONS are fundamentally based on greed. Financial greed, of course, but also the kind of greed that says 'I'll do anything to make sure my family and I have everything we could possibly want, and all I want for people who aren't like me is that they be kept as far away as possible.' I see these fundamental 'values' - for lack of a better term - at bottom of every die-hard conservative I've ever met, and I oppose them passionately on MORAL grounds. They claim to vote for moral reasons, but it seems to me that this is self-protective hypocrisy. I vote against Republicans -- especially the so-called Christian ones -- because I find their morals appalling, and I measure their morals according to their actions, not their words. I believe in consequences, and personal responsibility, and while the conservatives I know use those words a lot, I've never met one who lives by them.

I have a lot of gripes with the Dems, but I do believe the party's *one* unifying quality is some notion - based in the European Enlightenment and the very definition of what "liberalism," and "democracy" actually mean - that as citizens we have a duty not just to grab what we want for ourselves but to do our best to build a strong community that's basically good for everybody in it. I think that's in ALL of our best interests - rich and poor, privileged and not - because I don't personally think it's fun to live behind walls amidst total armageddon, which I think is where the Republican strategy is leading their own privileged base.

Enough gripes, though - back to work!

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Marianne said...

Well said, Kate.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger lobstah said...

I've never voted Republican. I suppose there are situations that could come where I would consider it, but it hasn't happened yet. One of my senators is Olympia Snowe who is fairly decent as far as Repugs go (although I have my gripes about her), but I still vote for the Dem challenger, mostly because they only get a measly 25% of the vote.

Great comments, Kate, I agree 100% with what you said.

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm registered Democrat, but I vote for the candidate that best represents my values on the issues I deem most important.

No ONE candidate every totally fits the bill. The problem with voting the party line is that the party line may not best represent what YOU want on certain key issues.

As for Obama ... I hope the media does not ruin his career the way they did Howard Dean's. One HOOYAH blotted out all the good he may have done in the future. Considering that Obama's middle name is Hussein, the media should have a field day making THAT the issue instead of what he stands for.

Our general media is a sorry state of affairs for sure.

At 8:37 PM, Blogger the nut said...

The Dem's certainly didn't hesitate to ruin Howard Dean's strong lead either which really pissed a lot of people off, too. He was slaughtered by all the above and the "scream" was taken way out of proportion.

I, too, really hope they are kinder to Obama and that he gets a lot further 'cause if he doesn't make it, Hillary is definitely my 2nd choice.

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Life&Times said...

In theory, I would be open to the possibility of voting for a republican were she the better candidate. That has not happened in my voting lifetime, though. So in practical terms, no. I'm careful not to say "NEVER" though, because there are a lot of republicans out there who vote republican because they refuse to recognize that their republican party (i.e. fiscally responsible but socially tolerant if not liberal) does not exist-- and may never have. Those people SHOULD be voting D, but don't because their limited to seeing themselves as Rs.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Kate A. said...

I agree wholeheartedly with what you said, life×, though I have to point out that that whole "fiscal responsibility" thing is just another insane bizarro-world myth that the Republicans have been peddling. Just because they say it doesn't make it true. Trickle-down/supply-side economics has never proven to be anything but irresponsible. Its only effect has been to create and then widen the enormous gulf in this country between the rich and the rest of us (squeezing out the middle class altogether, as we speak). Star wars -- not to mention the current war in Iraq -- are about as far from fiscal responsibility as it is in my power to imagine. The Republican platform is no more fiscally responsible than it favors "family values" by having separate rules for privileged white men than for everyone else. The Republican politicians themselves are no more morally upstanding than anyone else, and usually quite astonishingly less so. And above all - my personal pet peeve as a PhD student in Russian History - they did NOT end the cold war! They perpetuated it for years (and pretty much doomed any future Russian "democracy") by forcing the late Soviet leaders to put every last dwindling resource into defense instead of into saving their utterly decrepit infrastructure.

I know there are many Republicans - mostly voters, but a few of the politicians, too - who really do believe in real fiscal responsiblity, and like life× said, they should probably be voting democratic. But they're deluding themselves. The most astonishing thing to me right now is what the entire American Christian community isn't up in arms - they've been lied to on an unprecedented scale and all their values have been cynically manipulated by the tiny cabal in power, who are intent on sucking as much money out of this economy as they possibly can. I would think the people who should be angriest right now are the Christians who voted for Bush thinking he really was a responsible, compassionate Christian. Remember how he campaigned on that basis the first time? Hard to recall, now...

And the Dems have, for decades, been supporting that great delusion by allowing the Republicans to control the language of our collective political rhetoric. They make up their own meanings for words that have no basis in reality, and then we go and accept them!

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Marty: said...

Great comments! Kate voiced a lot of my feelings about Republicans. I am a Democrat in a very Republican place, and it appalls me that the Repubs feel they are the poster children of "Family Values." Rich family's values I'd say. Families who have trusts and college funds and family businesses with fabulous insurance coverage. And often a condescending attitude of "if you don't have all this, maybe you don't deserve it, anyway." I think the Democrat feeling is "If we have it, let's share the wealth!" I have voted for Republicans locally, if I knew them personally (and felt they were closet Demos.) Nationally, I would have to be very impressed with a candidate to think of voting Republican. I like the fact that Obama doesn't have ties going back years and years. Cheney and Rumsfeld certainly had experience. Has that helped?


Post a Comment

<< Home