Politics, Schmolitiks!

1 02 2008

Okay, I admit it: I’m a closet political junkie, particularly during National election cycles. I try to catch the debates, read the candidate’s websites, and follow the coverage and commentary from the old and new media—frankly, I think that’s when some of the best writing and commentary is seen.

I consider it a waste of time to constantly spout about my own political views. If asked, I’ll tell you what I stand for; but I find those who wear it as a badge of honor or a chip on their shoulder to be not only wearisome, but distancing and divisive. While it’s a part of who I am, I don’t build relationships or communicate (or not communicate) on the basis of it. If that were the case, I never would have dated or married Lynn—he differs from me on a number of issues, and we’ll probably vote for two different people in this contest; so for me, it’s not a life or death factor—it’s just a part of life. And it works just fine for James Carville and Mary Matalin.

It’s very interesting that since we’ve entered (and are about to leave) the Bush II era how finely the political lines have been drawn, and how broad the brushstrokes have become. But, look at who we have running in this contest: several members of the Old White Men Group, An old White woman, a hotshot, erudite Black man, and a pious preacher-type. That’s a recipe for polarization, particularly in our country where certain factions believe Dubya has reverted us back to the dark ages.

So in honor of my political Jones, and Super Tuesday, I have decided to encapsulate my take on the contenders. At this point I still haven’t decided who I’ll pull for, but these are my weights and measures, some have little to do with logic or conventional wisdom, but hey, I never claimed to be an analyst, just a blogger and a citizen.

Hillary Clinton

A woman for President—I’m all over that! But not this woman. I consider Hillary to be extremely smart and determined, albeit, a terrible writer. I tried to get through Living History and It Takes a Village, and almost died of boredom.

I was in the minority of people who thought the years 1992-2000 were disastrous. I (and many of my friends) were struggling financially, and despite our stellar qualifications, not many of us could find a decent wage-paying job to save our lives. Terrorist test runs were happening in the U.S. and around the globe (WTC 1, USS Cole, Yemen Embassy, Bosnia, Somalia), and President Clinton was getting blow jobs from Monica and God knows who else, and talking out the sides of his mouth. Flush economy indeed! I never got a piece of that pie.

So what does this have to do with Hillary? Well, I cannot understand how anyone can hold her up as a bastion of feminist progress and the Great Female Hope for the presidency. Since before the “glory” years of the Clinton era, she has enabled a husband who has deeply disrespected, degraded and demoralized both her and her daughter for all the world to see, and now she’s using him in her campaign to play “Hit Man”—so he can say what she doesn’t want to say, in order for her to appear likable and be in a position to deny any culpability. I thought feminism was about not being accountable or dependent on men for our protection, position and progress? She strikes me as a modern twist on the casting couch starlet. While she didn’t sleep her way to the top per se, she latched herself to a charismatic, yet weak and addled individual to get and keep her there. I see this as less of a feminist, and more of a political whore. Eight years of that was enough.

Mike Huckabee

Spare me another religious zealot seeking office… please. I have no problem with a person of faith, and do not see it as a hindrance to political voice or leadership, the Religious Right notwithstanding. But when your religious views are more of a focus than your political record, then I have a hard time taking you seriously. From the little I have heard about the record, he’s soft on illegal immigration, and was pardon and spend happy. Hell, I can vote for Hillary if I want that.

John McCain

Every time I look at this man, my initial thoughts are that he better pick a good vice-presidential candidate, because if he is elected to the highest office, I don’t think he’s going to last very long! He looks like death warmed over, and his heavily botoxed and chlorinated wife doesn’t help. I also don’t consider someone dubbed “Maverick” a good choice for a commander-in-chief. What I look for in a President is consistency on key concerns and issues, and from what I have read and seen of his political life, he is consistently inconsistent. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping him, as he is now the front runner—but that’s the fun about politics, it can change in a New York minute. Anyone remember Rudy Giuliani?

Barack Obama

If I hear one more time about how he “speaks so well,” I’m going to puke. As a Black person, when this is said about a fellow Black, particularly by nonBlacks, I figure you might as well tack on the rest of the phrase and give it up: “He speaks so well…for an African-American.” We’ve been so immersed in the age of rap, hip-hop and Snoop Dogg, that when a Black person speaks standard English everyone is in paroxysms, as if this is a new thing! Unfortunately, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson haven’t helped, either.

I appreciate having a fresh (and very pretty) face on the political scene, who is not part of the Old White Men Group. But unlike some of my fellow Americans, a fresh face and an eloquent speaking style are no substitute for concrete plans on substantive issues. You can rant all day about Change, and New Day, hold hands and sing Kum-Bah-Ya—but if you don’t lay out exactly what you plan to do in order to bring about Change, then I turn a deaf ear really quick.

And the little we know about his record doesn’t help me either. His senatorial voting record (Illinois and U.S. State) reflects that he postures himself to the left on most of the hackneyed issues, particularly abortion and gay rights. But except for a “No” vote on the Iraq War, and silly comments about having a roundtable discussion with all the Middle Eastern leaders (I’d like to see him pull off that one!), his take on national security and foreign policy is jejune and suspect. I admit, I’m not an open borders gal, so this is one point where he has been concrete, but where I sit on the opposite side of the aisle.

A quote by Wesley, from The Princess Bride says it best: “We are men of action; lies do not become us.” In Barack’s case, I haven’t seen a whole lot of action, but I have seen lies—oops, did I say that? He is building most of his platform by switching his talking points for audience convenience, saying I’m better because I’m not steeped in Washington politics-as-usual, and on the fact the he voted against an unpopular war—well, whooptie freakin’ doo! When the chips are down and we have another attack on our soil on par with, or worse-than, 9/11, I want someone who will actually take action and lead, not just talk about it.

Mitt Romney

Now I would dub Mitt a very pretty old white man! In comparison to McCain, the man looks good, fit, and in the peak of health. No worries about him keeling over when he finds out he’s won the election. His family is also wholesome, in a Father Knows Best kind of way. And since they’re all adults, it minimizes much of the ridiculous scrutiny of children/teens/young adults of Presidents. I could not have cared less about where Chelsea went to school or whether the Bush twins were using fake IDs and getting drunk. Is their father in the Oval Office and doing his job? If so, discussion over.

I do like the fact that he has worked his way to the top, and has a resume of experience and accomplishments in both the private sector and the political realm. That says a great deal to those of us who believe that part of government leadership involves an understanding and respect for economics, free enterprise, and how the everyday person earns their wage.

However, this does breed a distance, especially with the person who feels it’s their lot to milk from the government tit, the non-religious, alternative families, or just the plain ole wage earner. Mitt does have an air of unreality about him, despite the fact that he seems sincere, has actually led corporations, governed a state, and instituted Change rather than just talked about doing it. Albeit, it may not be the kind of change that pleases everyone, but it is a clear indicator of someone who has gotten and continues to achieve results; something else I hold as a standard for a commander-in-chief.

Despite what I consider to be a good record, he has two other things going against him: 1. He’s Mormon. 2. He has been all but written off by the media and the pundits, who are hitching their wagon to McCain as the sure bet for the nomination. But, yet again, what I love about politics is that nothing is set in stone. All the talking heads and liberals were so sure that we wouldn’t see another four years of Dubya, and here we are, in the twilight time of the Bush II era. Man plans, God laughs!

Ron Paul

Crazy. An old white racist loon who has nothing better to do with his time. Quit siphoning off votes from the real candidates and go home!

Enough said—go out and Vote, people.

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