Every time I think I might lean toward endorsing one or the other of the candidates things pop up that push me away again. I used to say I liked all of the candidates running for the nomination. Now I’m wondering about that.
And it isn’t just the candidates, it’s the stuff the people around them are doing. The people a candidate puts into leadership positions says a lot about how that person would run an administration.
My main concern in the primaries is winning in November. I can’t support taking self-interest over the interests of the party in November. When you run a scorched-earth primary campaign you reduce the chances of keeping people motivated. You also give tremendous ammunition to the opposition. In California we had a scorched-earth primary campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor between Westly and Angeledes. Then, during the general election all Schwarzenegger had to do was run ads with the same scripts that Westly had used and coast to victory. The result is that now we have a huge budget deficit and the school budget is going to be cut 10%. And the health budget. And everything else. Thanks guys.
The same thing is happening now between Obama and Clinton.
Hillary says John McCain is qualified to be President but Obama is not. How does that help Democrats win?
Then a top Obama aide calls Hillary a “monster.” How does that help Democrats win?
And then there are the comment trolls who are disrupting the blogs. My criticism on this one goes almost entirely to the Obama trolls, who are threatening and intimidating anyone who dares suggest Obama is not the progressive essiah. Yesterday, for example, Kos had a post about how there are too few women in high-level office. Obama supporters were actually complaining that a post like this gives Hillary an advantage, that women shouldn’t be in office, etc. I know better than to determine whether a candidate should be nominated based on comments that supporters leave at blogs, but the Obama trolls have been disrupting so many sites … You pretty much can’t read the comments at DailyKos anymore, for example. How does this help Democrats win?
I’m not even sure that some of these are not Republican operatives being sent in to stir up trouble inside the Democratic party. In fact, I suspect that this is happening.
I think that both candidates have an obligation at this point to ask their supporters to back off, chill, lighten up, whatever. Tensions are running high and a real leader would be working to unite the party, and bring people back together. Neither candidate is doing this today and neither candidate gets my endorsement until they do.
I have said this before: the candidate I want has the instinct to jump in and defend other progressives.
Now with that in mind, I want to address one particular meme that is circulating. Obama supporters accuse the Clinton campaign of “using race.” I am so sick of this divisive, false accusation. It is not true and it divides Democrats. It is destructive to all of us. The same COULD be said of the Obama campaign and misogyny, by the way, if you applied the same standards – someone loosely associated with the campaign saying something that COULD be interpreted as such-and-such. At least, if you consider the word “bitch” and associated characterizations as misogynist. I haven’t seen the “N” word used anywhere, but I HAVE seen the “B” word used.
People being stupid and saying stupid things is NOT a campaign strategy. People who support a candidate are not “the campaign.” And everyone knows that racism and misogyny are not going to win over the base in Democratic primaries.
We are all in this together. There is really no substantive difference between Obama’s and Clinton’s policies. They are both solid progressives and either would be a great President. OUR goal must be to get the conservative movement out of the White House and Congress and start restoring our traditions of democracy.