Sunday, December 20, 2015

Morning after: Democratic edition



     Remember when you were a kid, and you'd get a present you didn't really like—the wrong toy—but you knew you had to accept it with as much grace and gratitude as you could muster? That's Hillary Clinton, for me. I looked at her face Saturday night, before she had spoken a word, on stage in New Hampshire for the third Democratic presidential debate, and sighed. I'm not sure what I wanted, but this wasn't it. 
     I could see why people are excited about Bernie Sanders. He's like the best college professor you ever had, flailing his arms and sputtering about how skewed the whole economic system is. I admired the speed with which he apologized to Clinton for his staffer looking over her campaign's data: a message most politicians, heck, most people, never get. Admit the wrong, move on.
    But after watching the parade of right wing fear mongering on Tuesday, I couldn't get behind Sanders, because he'll lose to whatever nutjob the GOP offers up. The time might be right for a septuagenarian socialist president, in Norway, but not in the United States, where a single shooting can cause a third of the country to want to use the Bill of Rights as kindling for their security bonfires.  Sanders is like a computer salesman going from hut to hut in Borneo. His customers just aren't ready for that. Maybe they never will be.
     And Martin O'Malley. Governor of Maryland.  He would have been my ideal candidate.  He came down hard on anti-Muslim hate, condemning "the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths." When it comes to guns, he said, "What we need is not more polls, but more principles." Leading a conversation on a topic that the Republicans couldn't even touch. A guy born in Chicago murders 14 people, with his wife, in San Bernardino, and their solution is to bar Muslims from the country. As if they murdered them with their bare hands.
     And O'Malley is young and handsome. Never underestimate the importance of optics in politics. Though he got booed when he brought the age of his opponents up. People are petty; I sure am. Every time the camera zoomed in from the back, I thought: Do I have to look at Hillary Clinton's ass for the next four years?
     That said, O'Malley is like a person who steps out of a crowd, grabs your elbow and starts talking to you. Whatever sense he says is lost compared to the reaction of, "Who is this guy. I never saw him before in my life." And I watched earlier debates. It's just that O'Malley ha a way of not sticking in mind. He's the Democratic Lindsay Graham. 
    And Sanders, while right in a general way about the economy being skewed for the 1 percent, offered up a range of pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams, from free college tuition for all (failing to mention, for some reason, the ponies for the children while he was at it) and the wish that Saudi Arabia and Qatar will take over battling ISIS for us.  He was good at framing the problem—"police officers should not be shooting unarmed people"—without saying what to do about it, which is the crux of the matter here.
     Clinton was on the usual eight second delay. When the ABC moderators, who had a tough time keeping the three from talking over each other in a senseless babble, pointed out that Americans are rushing to buy guns to protect themselves from Muslims (not pointing out that the people most endangered when you buy a gun are yourself and your family) and challenged Clinton to react, she at first digressed, and for a moment my stomach sank, and I thought she was going to dodge. "Clinton boots gun control answer," I tweeted. 
    Then she nailed it. 
     "Guns in and of themselves in my opinion will not make Americans safer," she said. "We lose 33,000 people already to gun violence. Arming more people ... is not the appropriate response to terrorism." And I exhaled. 
     She was good at explaining why Republican scapegoating Muslims, at home and abroad, is not only morally wrong, but bad strategy. "We need to work with them, not demonize them," she said, calling Trump "ISIS' best recruiter."
    And of course she ended the debate with, "May the force be with you," which made me smile, and think, "Okay, maybe that line was written by a $20,000 a month consultant. But she still said it." 
    What's that Rolling Stones lyric? "You can't always get what you want," Mick Jagger sang, "but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." I can't say I'm excited about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. There is something, if not quite dead, then lifeless in her eyes. She's the Generic Stuffed Bear when I had my heart set on a Winnie-the-Pooh Bear. So Hillary Clinton is not what we want. But she sure is what we have. And she beats the alternatives, big time, which makes her what we need. So she will have to do. 

23 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, O'Malley and Sanders don't have a chance. Ah, love those Stones, good reference. Some will have to vote for Hillary while holding their noses. Or......

    http://socialistparty-usa.net/

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  2. It's as if the election gods took pity on Hillary after all these years of patiently waiting for the chance to be president, while putting up with non-stop insults and criticism from the other side.

    "We'll make it easy for you, this time. There's no way you can lose unless you do something really stupid."

    Looks like stupid is with the Republicans all the way 'til November.

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  3. "Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you." That's the lyric that pops to my mind. SNL last night was back in form, and the cold open and first sketch nailed it. I especially liked how they joked about how much Hillary has changed since 2008. The dead eyes could be a result of being morphed into what her people think is ideal, like Stepford Wives: Political Edition.

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    1. Love this NikkiD, great lyric quote!

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  4. Pretty good analysis but, all things considered, in the pettiness department, I can live with being forced to endure Hillary's aging face and nondescript, normal-sized ass for the next four years or so. (Though myself, I'd rather look at Rubio...)

    SandyK

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  5. O'Malley's #1 advisor is John Coale, a $cientologist, who is married to Greta Van Susteren, another $cientologist who is as wing-nutty as they come.
    That's why O'Malley would make a terrible president, as he has horrible taste in advisors!

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    1. Beware the Scientology brainwashed bunch.

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  6. Somehow I don't think Hillary's ass should enter into it. I doubt that similar observations have been made about Angela Merkel.

    The lady does come with some baggage, but she is obviously smart and has been in a better position to learn what works and what doesn't in the world of politics and governance than anybody in either party. Two aspects of her career lead me to believe she can be an effective President. First she overcame a lot of "outsider" hostility to become a productive and fairly popular senator from New York, known for an ability to work across the aisle. And second, when Secretary of State she got on well with her opposite number at Defense, Gates. Something that almost never happens in any administration.

    If she is the nominee, I'm inclined to believe that choice of Vice President will be more important than ever.

    Tom Evans

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    1. I really hope that she picks Bernie as VP, because I'm afraid that many of his supporters will simply vanish and not vote if he's not the nominee. Granted there's no guarantee that they'll support the ticket just because he's on it as VP-nominee.

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  7. Who would be a good Vice Presidential choice for Hillary?

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    1. Julian Castro (former mayor of San Antonio).

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    2. Julian Castro, the HUD secretary, would be an excellent choice. That will grab the Hispanic vote for a fact and the Replicants will be left licking there wounds again.

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    3. I'd say Bill Richardson: former Congressman, Energy Secretary, Ambassador to the U.N. and Governor of New Mexico. He'd be great for the Hispanic vote. However, he pissed off the Clintons when he chose Obama over her in the 2008 campaign.

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    5. Beware pissing off the Clintons.

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  8. Kudos to Bernie for calling Trump a "pathological liar" on the "This Week" news program.

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  9. Is it Bernie Saunders north of Lake Cook Rd.?

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  10. Trump probably feels that Muslims overseas do not give other religions much tolerance so why should others do that for them? But good to see that Roper gave him the goofy award in the Sunday column. Tit for tat is not the answer.

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