Though I have always been the one to pick the sick puppy in the litter and the short geeky kid for kickball, I thought for once backing Clinton meant I was choosing the front-runner. But I no longer have confidence that she is going to win this primary.
Today I did a google search for “reasons to vote for hillary clinton” (but without the quotation marks) and the overwhelming majority returned links on reasons not to vote for Clinton. Two of the responses given in one blog that strove to come up with reasons to vote for her were tragically typical:
IF SHE WILL HAVE SEX WITH ME, I WILL VOTE FOR HER—hey, bill aint nailing her now?
None. No joke. Seriously. She’d be the prettiest president we’ve ever had. I only say that because I’m hetro and she’s the only woman ever. She’s not hot. At all.
I went to a brunch on Sunday with a bunch of liberals, most of whom are voting for Obama because he gives more rousing speeches. They believe that since voters vote based on feelings, the candidate that inspires more feelings will win more moderates. So even though they personally claim to be well-versed on the issues and above the whole idea of supporting a candidate based on
appearances, they will be making their vote based on appearances.
And many blog posters seem to think it is disgusting that one would support Clinton for her gender. Yet Obama’s supporters like him because he looks and talks pretty.
For all the hair-clawing and dirt-throwing, their positions are pretty much identical (should this be surprising in a democracy where the candidates’ positions are based on branding, marketing and polling?).
For example, the issue I care about most is global warming. So I looked up their positions on the environmental site, grist.org:
Clinton’s position: Supports a cap-and-trade system to cut U.S. emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Supports raising standards to 40 mpg by 2020 and 55 mpg by 2030. Supports “clean coal.” Supports coal-to-liquid fuels if they emit 20% less carbon over their lifecycle than conventional fuels. Calls for 60 billion gallons of homegrown biofuels to be available for use in vehicles in the U.S. by 2030. Calls for getting 25% of U.S. electricity from renewables by 2025. Proposes a $50 billion, 10-year fund that would invest in renewables and other energy sources.
Obama’s position: Supports a cap-and-trade system to cut U.S. emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Supports raising standards for cars to 40 mpg and light trucks to 32 mpg by 2020. Supports “clean coal.” Supports coal-to-liquid fuels, but has qualified that support, saying they must emit 20% less carbon over their lifecycle than conventional fuels. Calls for 60 billion gallons of biofuels to be produced in the U.S. each year by 2030. Calls for getting 25% of U.S. electricity from renewables by 2025. Calls for 30% of the federal government’s electricity to come from renewables by 2020. Proposes investing $150 billion over 10 years in R&D for renewables, biofuels, efficiency, and other clean tech.
Wow. They’re exactly the same. The only difference is that Obama supports nuclear power, and won’t say he doesn’t support coal-to-oil, both of which are big negatives to me (the latter he can’t back down from because his home-state Illinois is a big coal producer).
Many see the big conservative push against Clinton as a reason not to voter for her.
They believe that moderate conservatives would rather not vote than support Clinton. I think this argument is bunk. The reason there is a big anti-Hillary movement is because, as former first lady, she has been the target of right wing think tanks for years. What they are dishing at her now is the worst they can come up with. All her skeletons are long out of the closet, and the closet is looking pretty clean. Obama, on the other hand is a relative newcomer to the scene. But as soon as he is chosen, those same “swift boat” vets will be targeting the good muslim. They are already confusing his name with “Osama” on Fox News. You can count on them to villify him the way they have tried to villify her for years. And yet she is still very popular with half of the country. They said she couldn’t get elected senator and yet she swept to victory both times.
But her chances are starting to look pretty grim. If Clinton wins, I will be out there campaigning for her. I will, for the first time in years, feel like there is a candidate running that really represents me. But right now it looks like I will be getting a chance to catch up on my Sims2 skills. At least in the virtual world a woman can rule.