SINGIN' THE PARTY BLUES
Well, it's done! Our oldest daughter is married and left for her honeymoon yesterday, and all is well. This felt like one of those month-long tribal weddings, with activities from Thursday through Tuesday (the wedding was on the Saturday before Memorial Day) and oodles of out-of-town guests (all of whom, fortunately, stayed in the hotel and not with us). We're exhausted but satisfied, and the newlyweds are deliriously happy.
So on to politics. I'd decided to resist at all costs any discussion of politics during the week to avoid conflict and keep the peace among our numerous and diverse family, but it proved impossible and, frankly, unnecessary. Other than a couple of our twenty-something sons who are lukewarm Obama supporters, both the Democrats and the Republicans are uniformly appalled and bewildered at the notion that Barack Obama will be the next president. The Repubs among us had several themes to their conversation: (1) How could you Democrats be so stupid to nominate such a completely unqualified, unvetted candidate over the very qualified and well-known Hillary Clinton? (2) There's so little we actually know about Obama that the thought of him as POTUS is downright scary, and what we do know about his associations only exacerbates that fear. (3) The military wing of the family would feel vastly better about Hillary beating John McCain since so many of our flag officers have endorsed her; that means a great deal to them, as they're all relatively comfortably economically and national security is their top issue.
My older sister and her ex-fighter-jock husband had come to us directly from their annual reunion of Vietnam-era fighter pilots, where they'd discussed the race and the mystery that the Dems would shoot ourselves in the foot and risk losing an election that should have been a slam-dunk for us this year. My brother-in-law quoted one of them as saying that if you want an old war hero who most everyone respects but few really like, vote McCain; if you want someone who will give speeches talking about bringing us all together while dividing us, vote Obama; if you want someone who will actually find solutions to the problems we face, vote Hillary.
So now the festivities have ended and I'm catching up on the news and developments. More than ever it appears that we're on a runaway train, and the media and Democratic Party leaders are shoveling the coal as fast as they can. They want this thing wound up, and they're going to get their way. Clearly, they want the Clintons destroyed and discredited more than they want electoral victory. They're giddy at the idea of booting the working class non-AA's and older women out of the Party and replacing us with ... what? Some amorphous young voters who have no historical memory, no party loyalty (theirs is reserved for the person of Obama, not ideology) and no real agenda other than the thrill of their own influence? The young Obama supporters in our family first backed Ron Paul. How's that for ideological consistency?
I continue to have hope because Hillary inspires it with her dogged determination to do what is best for the country despite the personal cost. But I realize the odds are greatly against her chances of winning the nomination. I will not, ever, vote for John McCain, and I will not vote for Obama. I have not the slightest modicum of confidence that Obama would be an improvement over McCain in either foreign or domestic policy. And don't hand me that sad "it's the Supremes!" argument. BO had to be talked out of supporting John Roberts, of all people, for SCOTUS and for what? Political expediency. There is no CORE to Obama that can be identified, no principles for which he would fight, and his much-vaunted "judgment" is a myth supported by a single speech made at no cost to himself. Other examples of his good judgment are almost impossible to find and are overwhelmed by the myriad of instances in which he has been exposed as a Chicago machine-style politico who has associated himself with the most hateful, divisive elements in our culture.
What will I do downticket? Cast my vote on a person-by-person basis. The Democratic Party leadership has betrayed its base and its principles, and I'm prepared to check out of politics until my confidence is restored. It's taken a lot to turn me against the Party. I could have easily supported any one of the early nominees. I could even have backed Obama in the early days, before we knew much about him and I was simply thrilled at the prospect of an African-American being a viable candidate. But again, that was before he began to diss universal healthcare and talk about "fixing" Social Security, before he demonstrated that all he has to offer are teleprompter-assisted speeches and Republican talking points, before he gave evidence of an arrogant and entitled attitude that has exacerbated the racial and gender divide in the country rather than unifying anybody. But it is not just Obama, David Axelrod and his campaign that I resent. It is Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and practically the entire media, all the elites who determined that they should select the nominee, not the voters, and who have given evidence of an animus against the Clintons, both Hillary and Bill, that is unseemly and threatens to split the party right down the middle.
As soon as Obama is confirmed as the party nominee, I will immediately switch my registration to Independent. How many more formerly loyal Democrats, I wonder, will do likewise?