Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome to the Oval Office, President McCain

Ok, guys, I promise I won't turn this blog into "kane's political grievances" but I DON'T SEE ANYONE ELSE POSTING and this has been weighing on my mind a lot so let me rant for a minute. There's probably a lot of contradictions here and I guess it's more of a "feel" piece than a "think" piece but I'm open to discussion. Anyhoo...

In this week's New Yorker, Ryan Lizza pens an article called "The Iron Lady". The article starts by comparing Hillary Clinton to "Jason or Freddy Krueger...those Hollywood cyborgs and zombies who, despite bullets and stakes and explosions, will not under any circumstances be vanquished." This sets the tone for a sniping dispatch full of backhanded compliments and poorly masked contempt. Obviously, none of this is uncommon in the world of political critique. But Lizza, an apparent Obama man, gives no real solid argument in opposition to Clinton (her policies in particular). Nor does he give any real grounds for backing Obama. It seems, as it does with so many Dems, that he really just likes one more than the other.

I have yet to see enough information comparing the differences between these two candidates to believe that the competition between them really necessitates this much heat. From what I can tell, they're pretty similar. Said Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J. in an interview for MSNBC: "The differences between Republicans and Democrats is much greater than any difference between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama." It's come down to a regular old popularity contest and while one will win against the other, as with saw in Bush v. Gore, it doesn't mean they will achieve the ultimate goal in the long run.

Obama's lead lies mostly in presidential Red states. What good is a delegate in a state that will go to the GOP anyway? Clinton's strongholds are in those all important swing states but those alone will not be enough. It's a 50/50 split. Neither candidate seems to be at the point to bring out enough voters in November for a Democratic win. The infighting in the party has caused a rift with both campaigns and their supporters getting more and more rabid for THEIR candidate and making claims that if "the other guy" gets the nomination, they just won't vote at all. Meanwhile, John "city of Satan" McCain seems to be settling in for an easy slide right into the Oval Office.

I'm getting tired of both of them and I think I'm probably not alone in that feeling. I'm a non-confrontational person and I tend to simply shut down when there's too much pointless argument rather than engage. To be honest, they're both too moderate on the issues I care about anyway. But at the start, I was starry eyed at the historic qualifiers of this race. The problem I see however, and perhaps I'm being too cynical, is that this race is quickly deteriorating from "The year when a black man and a woman were both viable candidates for the Presidency!" to "The year when a black man and a woman almost won the presidency but ultimately lost to yet another old, rich, conservative white man because everyone that should have been voting for them was too busy bickering to pay attention to what was actually happening."

Anyone who steps into the office next with the intention to actually DO anything for this country may as well put on their tire track suit and wait to be thrown under the bus. Taking over this CF of a nation we have now will pretty much put all of the hope and change on the back burner in favor of cleaning up these more immediate messes, I don't care how much experience you have. We really shouldn't expect so much from these Democratic candidates that we hold them to impossible standards and fight about how great one is over the other when it's just not reality. But to just let it all go because your candidate didn't win in the primary? Can we really stomach another four, possibly eight years with a xenophobic, tropophobic jingoist with a short fuse as our fearless leader? Because, frankly, that's the direction we're headed in.

Back to the Lizza article, the underlying message seems to be that Clinton should just throw in the towel. Like Ralph Nader "stealing" all those votes from Al Gore in 2000, Clinton should stop stirring the pot and concede to Obama, especially since she's going to lose anyway and everyone but her and her stupid perseverance have realized it. Excuse me, but it appears that she's running in the same election and has gotten to the same point. It's still anyone's game, although with press like Lizza's article it's no wonder people seem to think the jig is up for Clinton already.

Really though, at this point, I don't think it will matter who gives in first. The Dem candidate will be the Dem candidate and the Republican candidate will be the Republican candidate. Clinton and Obama will be the same figurehead in a different package. If things keep going as is, they'll be the same "almost" in a different package. If we allow this media circus to continue, allow the talking heads to keep pitting the Dems against themselves, using phrases like "blood on the debate room floor", "final showdown", and "do or die", allow ourselves to ignore the possibility that MAYBE we should be a little more willing to support each other and perhaps be ready to give a little for the greater good then our proverbial goose is cooked already. I'm not saying vote for Clinton. I'm not saying vote for Obama. I'm not saying vote for either, or at all. I am saying that if you're going to vote for one, why not be ready to vote for either?

Then again, perhaps, like me, you feel so despondent about the whole debacle that you don't want to vote at all. It's probably hypocritical of me, but I honestly feel that none of it will do any good anyway. Can someone reignite the fiery interest I had for this election at the start? Can I get some of that audacious hope I keep hearing so much about? Can someone even just lie to me and say that the Dem party will collapse in on itself but if I can cringe through just four more years of a GOP pres. then a new, even more leftist party will emerge that will take power and the U.S. will become a bastion of charitableness, intelligence, and real freedom and equality for all people regardless of race, gender, religion or lack thereof, sexual orientation, ability or disability, or any other factor against which we currently and most likely ferociously discriminate against? That, my friends, would be change. I just don't see it coming from the next U.S. President, whomever that may be.

To read it from someone better at this whole commentary thing than I am, check out this article from Newsweek and this article from Associated Content.

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