Why Hillary still gets my vote
Hillary's health plan is better. Health care policy has life-altering consequences for people I know. U.S. citizens should have universal health care as a matter of right, like every other industrialized nation does. Not only does universal coverage cost less, it leads to better care, earlier. Hillary's plan is a lot closer to the ideal than Obama's; that's why Elizabeth Edwards says Hillary's plan is better. What Obama has done, instead of fixing his broken plan, is run Harry & Louise ads and demagogue the issue by claiming his plan is universal, when everybody but him says it's not. Worse, after Obama, with his "cling to" gaffe, dissed the very same working people who are at risk of losing their jobs and their homes by getting sick, he had a perfect opportunity to ask for their votes by fixing his plan. Leaders lead. Obama didn't. Instead, he ran more Harry & Louise ads. That should also tell you he's not going to shift left, either, since his youthful constituency doesn't care about the issue (they don't really need it yet), and the netroots contingent foolishly gave their allegiance to him without getting any commitments from Obama at all. So, if you want to move toward universal health care, vote for Hillary.
Obama's just not ready. Really, is a Democrat, a Democrat, who says that nobody could have predicted 9/11, ready for high office? The blogs -- back in the day when we had a media critique, and cared about evidence -- spent a good deal of time setting the record straight on this one; plenty of people predicted it. And, back in the day, the blogs would have been all over any candidate who made an absurd statement like that. Now? Not so much. Which points to the larger problem that Obama's supporters in the "creative class" and elsewhere have: They seem incapable of being critical of their candidate. That does him a disservice, because if they think Hillary's throwing the kitchen sink at him, they ain't seen nothin yet. For example, what other candidate could get away with claiming, in a debate, that he made a speech against Iraq "in the midst of a U.S. Senate campaign" when he gave the speech in October 2002 and didn't declare for the Senate until January 2003? Obama's supporters gave him a free pass** on this one, as did the press, but McCain won't. And re-recording the speech with added applause won't help matters. McCain's going to mention that, too. And that Obama could make a claim so contrary to fact, and even leave it up on his web site, argues for a disturbing degree of over-confidence that travelling inside a bubble can only reinforce. Hubris doesn't make you ready. Quite the reverse.
What the Bataan death march shows.
The nature of the campaigns. I've never felt comfortable with the Unity schtick that was the basis of Obama's appeal; it's clear, when you think about it, that, when implementing policies like universal health care, things like, oh, money and power are at stake, and so conflict would have to happen. (Heck, in our Constitutional system of checks and balances, conflict is a feature, not a bug.)
But as the primary wore on, a bitter irony appeared: the Obama campaign turned out, itself, to be extremely divisive: It's the Obama campaign that smeared the Clintons as racist, not the other way round. And it's the Obama campaign that's struck a constant theme of misogyny, not the other way round. It's the Obama campaign, with the "cling to" remark, that dissed Democrat working class voters, by denying them the same "complex" and "nuanced" choices that Obama, and his "creative class" supporters, are all too aware of having themselves. And it's Obama's online supporters who don't consider Hillary a real Democrat. What happened to the Unity? Apparently, "unity" only applies to Obama supporters. Aren't we all too familiar, already, with what happens when whoever's in the White House has an attitude of "You're with us or against us?" And if the Obama campaign and the creative class think they can win in November by dissing half the base, they're delusional.
When I think of Hillary, I think of a President who wants to make government work again.
When I think of Obama, I think of a brilliant campaigner.
Which'd you rather?
NOTE * I am all too aware of Hillary's imperfections; it's that, on balance, I think she's better.
NOTE ** How free is Obama's free pass? Compare the coverage about Obama lying on that speech -- and that single fucking speech is a huge part of Obama's appeal -- with the whole Bosnia flap. What does that tell you about the level of scrutiny Obama's getting? Or his over-confidence?
UPDATE Dammit, some joker's dyed the water in the fountain at Philly's Love Park the exact same color as lime Kool-Aid. Why is that?