Right on time it has started coming: campaign mail from candidate Hillary Clinton. It's a nice 16-page 4-color brochure. Since I'm a Democratic California "permanent absentee" -- and female, over 60, and single as far as the government is concerned -- I must be in the Clinton's target demographic. So why am I so sure she won't get my vote in the February primary?
For a long time, I let myself slide on this question. Not liking Clinton was reflexive. The company she keeps is unsavory. Her chief strategist is the odious Mark Penn, who made his political chops encouraging President Bill to throw poor women under the onrushing train wreck called "welfare reform." Penn also specializes in union busting and lobbying for energy companies. Besides, unlike many Democrats, I don't look back fondly to Bill's term; long before he derailed any meaningful policy agenda because he couldn't keep his dick in his pants, he was willing to trash Black people to pacify a white audience (see Bill's Sister Souljah moment) and to prove his toughness by presiding over the execution of a retarded criminal. I'm no Bill fan.
A post by "eriposte" at The Left Coaster reminded me that my picture of Senator Clinton fit all too well with several narratives that hostile males, especially conservative ones, commonly throw at powerful women -- and anyone crazy enough to want to be President is certainly ambitious and potent in some ways.
All of this rings true. Of course Clinton is a tough cookie and that is not an adequate reason to critique her.
If I'm to be principled in my distaste for her candidacy, my distrust has be about what she (not her husband) stands for. And on some issues I care about, she is as good as the competition and maybe better. Her version of health care provided through insurance profiteers seems more plausible than Obama's, though not as good as Edward's. She seems solidly opposed to torture.
However, on Iraq and U.S. empire, she is just not believable. After all, though she says she'll end the war, she also plans
She voted in favor of Bush's designation of part of the Iranian armed forces as "terrorists," precisely the sort of meaningless school yard taunting passed off as foreign policy that any serious leader would avoid. If that's not triangulation -- weaseling with people's lives for political gain -- I don't know what is.
Yet there is an appeal to the idea of a woman president. Gennifer Flowers, who once had an affair with Bill Clinton, feels it.
But that wise woman, Molly Ivins, shortly before she died last year, perfectly expressed the opposite thought which dictates finally that I cannot vote for Clinton in the primary.
Oh yeah -- if she's the nominee, I'll probably vote for her in November 2008. But I'm not going to work for this one. There are better things to do in a general election than work for another bad President.