I was aghast after the NH primary to hear an NHPR story in which formerly undecided women--and even women who HAD decided on other candidates-- said that they closed the curtain and realized it was more important to vote for Clinton because she's a woman than to vote for the candidate whose stance on the issues they had supported (and that's essentially what Morgan is saying in this article that Robin DeRosa sent, right?). The same story had a quip from a (female) supporter of Obama saying that his support hadn't really materialized because NH folks were more racist than they wanted to admit. So that's the deal? If I oppose Clinton based on my take on the issues (which I do) or her record (which I do) am I REALLY a sexist? If I oppose Obama on the issues (which I do) or on his record (he has none) am I REALLY a racist? I supported Edwards--a southern white male--does that indicate my latent Klan loyalties or is there still room to focus on the issues?
No doubt--Clinton has been the target of subtle and obvious sexism. It's deplorable. But I'm really struggling with this. Should outrage over her treatment be enough to overcome my reservations about her platform and her record? She voted FOR the USAPATRIOT act. She voted FOR the Iraq War. She only voiced opposition to those things when they became unpopular. Compared to Edwards and DK, her health-care plan will be too complex, help fewer people, and continues to empower big Pharm- and big-HMOs to suck the blood from the poor and middle-class. She has raised more money from the health care and oil industries than any candidate still in the race. She won't say when we can leave Iraq. On and on...do I ignore that because she's a woman and it's her turn?
Ditto for Obama. It's shameful that he has to tout his Kansas (read "white") accent in order to court favor. That doesn't change the fact that he was voting on speed limits for county highways when Clinton, Edwards, DK, and the rest were wrestling with national/world issues. That doesn't change the fact that his pathetic health care plan is only the slightest possible improvement to the status quo and continues to empower big Pharm- and big-HMOs etc. He DOES seem to want to undo some of the harm done by NAFTA, but it sounds like too little, too late for me.
I think Clinton AND Obama are better bets on the environment than any Republican so I'll vote for any Democrat that can capture the nomination. In fact, I probably lean slightly toward Clinton's platform. But now I'm depressed. I've despaired of any hope that we can seriously address the health care crisis or quickly end the war with either of these two. There are no liberals in the race, just two centrist "New-Democrats" with their fingers to the wind. Even worse, the party that split over civil rights may well trade big ideas for identity politics. I'm not equating Robin Morgan to Strom Thurmond, but it's sad (and scary) to think that Democrats would come to believe that gender, race, and so on are better reasons to vote for a candidate than their beliefs, behaviors, abilities and policies.