12 February, 2008

Why I Can't Get Exited about Obama (or Clinton Either)

For those in the netroots, we are all too familiar with the disappointment we feel about Jim Web’s vote for to allow telecoms immunity for facilitating warrantless spying on all American citizens. See Aaron’s darkly humorous snark below about Senator Diane Feinstein and how annoyed we are in California. But she doesn’t even pretend to be progressive, so it’s not a big disappointment, just a source of ongoing frustration.

Many of us from all over the country worked our asses off and donated money in 2006 to get progressive candidates into the House and Senate. One such “win” was Jerry McNerney, who has kicked us in the teeth by continuing to support the occupation in Iraq.

So how does this affect my ability to support Obama and Clinton? I’ve wanted – very badly – to be as excited about a candidate as some of my friends and family. Why can’t I? Because they will both let me down – plain and simple.

Neither one has a good health care plan. Both have plenty of corporate ties. Neither is talking seriously about the economy or ending poverty. Neither is willing to take on this weird new conventional wisdom that we shouldn’t have to pay taxes. Gee, I guess schools, roads, bridges, fire fighters, police, the courts, the FDA, the CDC, Medicare, Social Security, the FDIC, USDA, public parks should all just crumble to dust because I should be able to keep *my* money. Shit, I’m going to have to pave my own sidewalk with toothpaste if this keeps up. If I fall through a bridge, or if my apartment washes away because a California levee breaks, my mom and my mother-in-law should divide up the three cats. Take good care of ‘em.

Where’s the audacity of my hope? It doesn’t rest with a good orator who makes people swoon without telling them much. It rests with me. To steal a phrase that he stole from someone else, I need to be the change I want to see. I’m skipping Presidential politics this year (except for my vote). My energy and money will be going to progressive candidates who are challenging centrist (spineless?) Democrats in primaries**. I’m building a pipeline of people who inspire me by what they do, rather than what they say, so that in 10 years, I can be the one swooning.

** (Donna) Edwards unseats incumbent Wynn in Maryland Congress race From the San Francisco Examiner: BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Rep. Albert Wynn of Maryland became the first incumbent to lose his seat in this year's round of primary elections, as lawyer and activist Donna Edwards upset the eight-term Democrat in the suburban Washington district.

Edwards seized on voter dissatisfaction with some of Wynn's votes in Congress tied to
Iraq and the housing crisis, giving her a win in her second bid to unseat Wynn in Maryland's 4th District. In 2006, Edwards lost by just three percentage points in the majority black district that borders Washington.


Anonymous said...

Hi Wayloopy and Aaron. Its your brother in law/brother in Brooklyn. I like the blog, but i must say that clinton and obama cannot be discussed in the same sentence. and while obama doesn't openly display the facade of progressivism that certain suspended candidates did (e.g., bankruptcy bill, authorization act--that cannot be forgiven: it was aiding and abetting the crime of aggression), he certainly is the better of the two--despite his association with the homophobe. and kudos to aaron on his feinstein posting--WTF is wrong with her?

Anonymous said...

agreed they are not the same, but that doesn't mean I am excited about either of them. e