WHAT WOULD IT TAKE? A DIFFERENT CANDIDATE
Turkana at The Left Coaster asks what it will take for Clinton supporters to vote for Obama should he become the Democratic nominee. I posted the following comment:
Well, it would certainly help if he'd say one dadgum word publicly to shame his supporters for saying things like this (yes, I'm looking at you, Donna Brazile): "...the Hillary forces are uncivil, repugnant and vile."
Beyond the wounds his campaign has inflicted on faithful, long-time Democrats who simply prefer a different candidate, Obama has never demonstrated any particular loyalty to the Democratic Party. Despite Hillary's repeated promises to do everything she can to support him if he wins the nomination, Mr. and Mrs. Obama have not returned the favor. That's a little hard to swallow, considering all the unity ponies they keep offering.
Obama would have to change his pro-Republican "unity" rhetoric and back up all that "hope" and "change" with some solid progressive positions on universal healthcare, Social Security, and SCOTUS appointments, among other issues, before I'd even consider voting for someone who has so diligently worked to destroy the legacy and reputation of the Clintons.
But there's something I'd like to add, something the Obamamaniacs and the swooning media just don't get.
We don't know this man well enough to turn the most important seat of power in the world over to him. We have but the sketchiest legislative record to assess. He has shown almost no real leadership on any particular issue that helps us to understand his priorities and passions. He and his wife talk unity out of one side of the mouth and trash-talk their party and its most successful representatives, the Clintons, out of the other side. He has demonstrated no command of or particularly insightful understanding of the domestic economy, of foreign relations, or other issues that matter to liberals (notice I don't say progressives) and ordinary Americans. He has offered no new solutions to any of our more pressing problems, indeed has cribbed most of his policy positions from others, but watered them down in the process and making them less workable and less appealing. At the very least, he and Michelle have abetted (or endorsed by failure to refute) the accusations of racism against the Clintons. He has consistently and egregiously conflated the Clinton-Bush years. There's plenty more, but the point is, what we do know about him, we don't like or trust.
So when I hear pleas for "party unity" and for Hillary supporters to rally 'round the Obama campaign lest that evil old John McCain win the presidency, I gag. Of COURSE "any Democrat" would be an improvement over McSame in the normal course of events. But what others don't get is that we're not sure Obama qualifies since we know so little about him and have so little insight into how he will govern. I'm sure there are loonies who call themselves Democrats that I would NOT trust with the functions of government over John McCain. And many of us worry that Obama's inexperience, coupled with our other concerns and reservations, put him in the same category. And with him making noises about "fixing" Social Security, admiring SCOTUS justices such as John Roberts, voting for the Cheney energy policy, and running away from universal healthcare, he sounds more like McCain than like the other Democratic candidates.
It's not a spite thing. It's a considered response to an absurd campaign in which hope triumphs reason.