This post is a response to two very different comments on my post “Misogyny lives (and why I support Hilary Clinton)“.
I support Hilary because I feel she is the single best mainstream candidate (there I go, capitulating to CNN’s valuation of a viable candidate) not because she is a woman. That would be absurd. To Eric, I wish there was a viable cyber-libertarian candidate who was neither isolationist nor so rampantly anti-government that s/he could see no use for it at all, but until that time comes I sort of have to make do.
My problem with Barack is that, though I get shivers listening to him speak, I can also get that reaction listening to a tenor sing a high C. I’ve looked at his voting record:
Planned Parenthood Senate Scorecard
and compared it to Hilary’s:
Planned Parenthood Senate Scorecard
My biggest problem is with Senator Obama is that he did not vote on some of the greatest human rights issues of our decade (see the Planned Parenthood Senate Scorecard for the “Abortion Ban” (’03), “Fetal Rights” (’04) and “The Right to Choose” (’03)).
I’m not saying Senator Obama is anti-choice or pro-life, but because he wasn’t there he has had no voice on these major issues.
Obama 12? Maybe! Obama 16? Even better. I like his style and if he could backup his message of “si se puede” with some “lo he hecho” I would be comfortable voting for him. But until he shows the kind of comfort on Capital Hill that Senator Clinton does, I do not consider him a good choice for president.
Because we have seen what idealism without insider support does in a divided country (see President Carter, best ex-president we have but as a President he was incredibly in effective). To use a bumber-sticker phrase: the President of the United States of America is not an entry level job. Senator Obama has so much potential but I am unswayed by his outsider posture: I think you have to know a system to be effective within it, and I think he needs to learn to live inside the belt-way a little before he makes much of how broken it is.
Here is my best evidence:
Barack on Petraeus:
Hillary on Petraeus:
Here Clinton impressed the hell out of me; Obama did not. Rambling about the date of the inquiry and posturing about his voting record is not his job: his job is to get answers from a very important and influential General on a disastrous war and try to help the USA and Iraq and Afghanistan come to a successful outcome for as many people as possible. Clinton was on topic, clear and got the General to clarify a worrying discrepancy in his testimony (she got him to say he would be adverse to staying the course if the situation in Iraq was exactly the same as it is now).
Obama’s worrying tendency to complain about the ills of government may be popular, but there is much that is right and good in our government. Most of our highways work; most of our schools teach; most of citizens can get passports to travel. Though CNN and other buzz-word news sources make it sound different, most of the time our country works. It is never good enough–yes. But too often outsiders see only what is going wrong and don’t notice that budgets get passed; cybercrime is fought effectively; college students get grants. And I am tired of hearing complaints from someone who prides himself on his ignorance of the system.
One of the sourest complaints against Senator Clinton is that she is too comfortable with how Washington works. But do you know what? I’m ok with that. I’d rather have a President who is comfortable enough to get something done than one who will make pretty speeches and give us four years of recession and unfulfilled promises. Because let’s be clear: to get something done in the US political capital, the President will have to know politics.
I am of course open to discussion and comments and linked posts are welcome. Thank you,
“The first duty of love – is to listen.” Paul Tillich