Thursday, March 06, 2008

Democratic party

I had a weird week last week: I totally swayed over to the Hillary side of things. The SNL/Tina Fey endorsement was a factor. L convinced me that her health care plan is better (Hillary's, not L's) (although I'm sure L's would be spectacular) and pointed out some of the insidious ways that sexism and misogyny have permeated coverage of her campaign. L has done this, I might add, with the righteous fury that only third-wave feminism can bestow.

Hillary seemed to be extremely tough, and her plans had a little more meat on the bone than Obama's, and she was just so darn competent. Obama seemed to be getting a little cocky, a little too reliant on these evanescent ideals and aspirations.

Then Hillary won Ohio and Texas, guaranteeing that this process will continue. That's when I immediately snapped back to the Obama side. It's time to pull the plug.

I read about her victory speech, when she said something like (and I'm quoting loosely here): "If you've ever been knocked down and gotten back up, if you have ever taken a hit and stayed in the ring, if you've ever gotten punched in the kidneys, if you had scoliosis as a kid and you still can't brings your hands together above your head, if you never went to the prom, THEN THIS ONE'S FOR YOU!" It was a brilliant line. But when I actually heard her deliver it on tv, it was horrible. Her flat midwestern vowels stomped the life and rhythm out of the phrasing, she stepped on her own words and awkwardly bumped into her applause. That seemed to sum it all up: looks good on paper, but for me it's just not clicking.

Hillary is tenacious. She is hurling everything she can at her opponent and the electorate to see what sticks. She is Hillary the Fighter, Hillary the Misty-Eyed Dreamer, Hillary that Cynical Realist Who Eats Hope for Breakfast, or Hillary the Pant-suited Ballbuster. But I'm looking at the clock and wondering: why is Hillary still trying to figure out an effective narrative against Obama? How does she actually expect to win, without subverting the will of the people? And why can't Obama just win this thing? Can he focus less on these tiny shitkicker states and start pulling in the big ones? What's the holdup?

McCain is a decent guy, and I will be all right if he wins the presidency. But as things stand now, Obama offers a starker contrast and a more compelling alternative than Hillary. I would still love to see a joint ticket. I just hope that the main players consider the good of the country and the good of the party, in addition to their own ambitions and agendas. Either one will be fine by me, but looking forward, I still think Obama has the better shot.

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