Wednesday, June 4, 2008

she's not nearly as much fun as the dramatic hamster is

The long, painful, and occasionally seemingly doom-laden race for the Democratic nomination for President of These Here United States has (kind of) been won by Barak Obama. In spite of this, my spell check still insists that his name is all wrong. More importantly, though, Obama's victory (of sorts) has left a chunk of folks downright angry. And anger causes irrationality (which spell check says is a word). Take this disgruntled, sign-bearing Clinton supporter for example...

(I think she's a "Hillary Supporter," not informally getting Senator Clinton's attention with an informal "Hillary! 'Sup?")

...or perhaps this delightful new YouTube celebrity:

I took a short trip in the car this morning, and heard even more people who share this opinion call into crazy left wing and crazy right wing radio shows. Clinton supporters, at least the vocal ones, seem to be ready to vote for Grampy McCain. My question is why?

If you were supporting Clinton, pleasepleasepleaseplease tell me it was based on a more educated reasoning than "her undercarriage doesn't at all resemble the undercarriage of the last 43 folks to have the job." As a matter of fact, I'm going to take for granted that you're all far better than that and therefore assume that you think that McCain is somehow closer to Clinton on the issues than Obama is. It's an easy mistake to make, given how much love McCain and Clinton have passed back and forth during this seemingly endless primary season. Allow me to persuade you otherwise, though, using three examples.

Health Care

Here's an easy one. If you've been in Clinton's corner, I know you've sung the praises of what she would do in this area. And her plan was, in fact, the strongest of those offered by the three candidates in question. Go ahead and look at these side-by-side summaries of each candidate's health care proposal.

You'll notice that Obama's is nearly identical. Both want to expand SCHIP, get more people benefits, get those people more comprehensive coverage, and encourage employers to provide benefits or at least devote some of the payroll to helping employees' health care costs.

McCain wants to give "tax credits" to families, not require coverage for anyone, and rely on the awesome power of capitalism to provide better and more affordable health care from private companies. The problem is that the awesome power of capitalism is what drives our insurance companies right now, and that hasn't made health care affordable and it certainly hasn't made it anything that would even resemble comprehensive.

So if Senator Clinton was your candidate based on health care, you may want to reconsider that McCain vote and take a peek at what Obama has to offer this country.

The Iraq Occupation

This one's a little trickier, but if you look at what Senator Clinton is saying now (as opposed to when too many people were buying into the Bush administration's sales pitch and opposing the invasion would have been political suicide), she comes down in the same place as Obama. Also, like Obama (and very much unlike McCain), Clinton has a proposed date to start the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Here are the side-by-side comparisons on this one.

Of course, some may point out that McCain and Clinton both seem to have the same target date set (2013, for those keeping score or who didn't clicky-clicky the link) for a mostly completed finish to the occupation. Fair enough, but I'll point out that Senator Clinton's 2013 is a "goal" where Senator McCain's 2013 is a "projection." McCain was one of many who also "projected" that total victory was well nigh upon us several years ago. Obama, for the record, also has a "goal" for troop withdrawal.


The first three quarters (at least) of Sentator Clinton and Senator Obama's sections of NPR's side-by-side comparisons are, again, nearly identical. Roll back the Bush tax cuts, cover new spending with increased revenues or cutting other spending, and "strengthening the enforcement of trade agreements." See? They're even using the same catchphrases here.

McCain, on the other hand, wants to make permanent the same policies that landed the US economy in the crapper to begin with. So if the economy drove you to the polls in support of Clinton, perhaps you should start running away from McCain whilst flailing your arms above your head and screaming.

Not Convinced?

There are still things like abortion, stem cell research, the United States' policy on torture, gay rights, and the religious freedoms that I can almost 100% guarantee a President Obama would be more in line with a President Clinton than a President McCain would.

I know you're angry, disgruntled, and excited to get the call from Fox News to come on TV and complain that the Democratic Party has abandoned you so their talking heads can get a chuckle. I think you can be better than that, though. If you were only going to vote for Clinton because she was a white female and figure that white male is at least half of what you were looking for where black male doesn't fit at all, do me a favor and please do some research - away from Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and any talk radio - to really look into what you'd be voting for before you help further ruin this country.

Thanks for that.

1 comment:

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

You're asking an awful lot from the general public. What exactly has her panties in a bunch? She would come off less as a psycho and more of a "mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore" voter if she would just have elaborated on why she felt the way she did.

Sadly, rational and informed equals boring in the minds of the masses. Give the people the hellfire and brimstone, the fiery, impassioned rhetoric and that will stir them to action. They want to be told how they should feel and think because it's easier than doing it for themselves. Sometimes our society makes my skin crawl.