Saturday, May 24, 2008

following up - potpourri

Old Business:

Barnes and Noble don't want my business. I got a response back saying that I should go back to the store and speak to the manager, who is in the best position to address my question... except they told me in that store to contact corporate. Sounds like the run-around to me.

So far as fear is concerned, I still worry about the comings and goings of my honey and probably always will. But the police chief fired four of the officers, and disciplined the rest. I expect at least four to eight of the officers will be arraigned on assault charges. We'll see what happens with that... and I'm sure the families of the victims of that beating will have their day in civil court as well after the criminal proceedings... It'll be a while before we see how this all turns out.

New Business:

I am one of those people who doesn't want to be labeled as a member of a political party. I don't like either major party. Whether or not I'm liberal or conservative depends on what issue you ask me about. That said, anticipating that I will not be voting for McCain, I re-registered to change from independent to Democrat just so that I could vote in the primary, and I voted for Obama. I have also contributed to Obama's campaign. At the outset, I was adamantly opposed to his campaign. I figured that he was a mere flash in the pan and that he would waste time and money and not even come close to getting the nomination. I figured that he was too inexperienced and would be a distraction. He changed my mind. I fought him off, speech after speech, soundbite after soundbite. But I couldn't help myself. I read the candidate's positions. I looked at their backgrounds. I saw more similarities than the minor differences I found. But what really made the difference for me was that, all other things being pretty much equal in my eyes, the differences between the campaigns themselves and the effect that they were having on my neighbors and myself says a lot.

It has been my position, ever since deciding to vote for Obama that if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination I will vote for her as a vote against McCain, because I agree more with her positions than I do with McCain's. But it won't be any thanks to how her campaign was run. For someone who has all but had the nomination wrapped up for the past three years, her campaign has turned out to be a miserable failure. Obama should have been steamrolled a long time ago. Her campaign should be poised to afford a general election contest by now. I shouldn't have had to constantly question myself about the motives behind some of her statements, especially in recent weeks. I am so very disappointed with her. I expected her (and her husband) to do better.

On the other hand, for as much as I expected Obama to perform dismally, I was pleasantly surprised by how his campaign has gone. There is an energy and a drive in his campaign's operation that surprised me. I was one of the estimated 35,000 who joined him for a campaign rally in Philadelphia - that was an amazing experience. I have seen him bounce back from some fair and unfair criticism, articulate his views in a way that seems mindful of the limitations he faces as well as optimistic about the potential in our citizens... There is something about him that has nothing to do with his melanin. I like his judgment. I like his vision. And I like how when you ask him a question, he answers it without bobbing and weaving.

I think that if he made it to the Oval Office, he could do it, not only as well as Hillary can, but even better. This isn't just based in hope or change rhetoric. It's also based on my opinion that Hillary can't pull off universal health care - not with that price tag, she can't. It's also based on my feeling that Obama will be more open to varying viewpoints instead of loyal yes-man consensus, which I believe Hillary would demand in the Oval Office, based on her campaign (which is scary to me because that's how Bush is running his administration now).

That said, I think Hillary should stay in at least until the primaries are over. I think that if she dropped out now it would divide the party even more than if she stayed in, because all of the Hillary supporters who already think she's a victim of misogyny will draw the line at her being "pushed out" of the race. It will be harder to get them to vote against McCain or vote at all if they feel as if their candidate had a shot but it was stolen from her. That bitterness is as real as how Democrats feel after Gore didn't take the 2000 election, and that sentiment has STILL not gone away. Look, Obama has the numbers. Let Hillary play this thing out. I suspect that the longer her limping campaign drags on, the more she talks herself out of the nomination, anyway.

I am not in favor of a joint ticket between Obama and Clinton. But if I'm only given that option, I'll still vote for it.

See, I don't believe in protest voting. I think that sitting at home because you don't like either guy is asinine. That is the equivalent of voting for the other guy. I also think that voting for someone whose positions don't reflect your preferences (McCain) just to spite the fact that your original candidate lost the nomination is worse than asinine. It is poisonous. Like littering, or not paying taxes, or destroying public property, all of which are and should be punishable offenses.

I respect Hillary supporters. I think that they have made a good choice - she is smart and capable. I tend to disagree with the notion that she has more meaningful experience than Obama, but I understand why they think so and respect that. What I am hoping is that between now and November, if she doesn't get the nomination, that they come around. I've been hearing a lot of protest vote talk, and it is spiteful, petty, and of no help to this country.

Upcoming Events:

Last year, because I was getting my grind on, I missed spring and most of summer. But this year, I am going to enjoy the weather, play on beaches, slap at mosquitoes, eat burnt hot dogs, and log a lot of walking time. This is the time of year that makes the rest of the year just a prelude. Happy Memorial Day weekend, folks, and enjoy.