My four year old son is having his adenoids and tonsils out early tomorrow, leaving me no time to vote in my neighborhood. So I headed to San Francisco City Hall today and underwent my own surgery. On myself. With a dull scalpel, a dirty sponge, and no anesthesia whatsoever. With eyes squinched I extracted my vote. It wasn’t joyless, but it still hurts.
I’ve posted long and often about my indecision. I believe we have two excellent candidates, two great Democrats. They differ on some details, but they both want healthcare for all, a clean and living planet, better schools, and repeal of the tax cut for the richest Americans. And the war? Yeah, I know Clinton voted for it, but they both want us out now and, as much as I disagreed with her vote, I’m glad she understands the need to end this fiasco.
Obama captures an excitement that will be his to lose if he gets the nomination and, if he does, he better be prepared, lose that stutter, and get smooth in the face of attack. He has the potential to be one of the most influential leaders of our century or the biggest disappointment in our lifetimes.
(more beneath the scar)
Hillary Clinton has history, I’ve stood and supported her through her husband’s hijinx and her own races for Senate. Barack Obama isn’t without history, he comes free of it. Free of the nastiness that was the 90s, free of rabid partisans at his throat.
Not that the 90s were necessarily the Clintons’ fault. What should have blown over was made worse by Bill Clinton but far worse by the partisanship of the right. It was a hateful time for all who lived it. I was outraged at what Republicans did then and failed to do recently as George Bush fractured our constitution in a way that didn’t involve his pants.
The Hillary bashing around here is, in my opinion, entirely unfair. Her voting record is strongly progressive. She’s extremely competent and has done as much for the Democratic Party as any. She has strong labor support and we all know the woman is dedicated to health care for all those who need it.
Yeah, that’s right, I think we’re unnecessarily dissing Clinton. She deserves respect and our votes (if you’re so inclined). I know, she comes with baggage. In fact, it’s that baggage that finally helped me make up my tortured little mind, along with two women in front of me and eight people behind me in line at City Hall.
The women were there together and asked me if they had cut in front of me. I said I didn’t know and it’s okay, because I needed more time to make up my mind.
“Seriously?” one said.
“Yeah, they’re both good.”
“Maybe,” then she turned to me and the line and goofily mouthed “OOO BAM AA!”
I turned as everyone in line laughed and heard whispers of “yeah!” “you got it.”
You see, for me, it all comes down to turnout and support. I find the candidates very similar. I like them both. Hillary Clinton deserves to be president. She’s scary smart and capable. If she gets the nomination, I won’t have to hold my nose to vote for her.
But I want to see a party united behind their candidate. I want to see a country standing together to face the disaster of the war, the danger of our warming climate, the perils of mass foreclosures, and the need to help each other without denigration.
As a middle aged white woman, I feel like I owe Hillary Clinton a lot. I’m proud of her and proud she’s a democrat. I’ve been sad when she loses, sad at Iowa and South Carolina, and sad when I took out that scalpel and voted for Barack Obama today.
The scalpel did not cut clean. I wish I at least remembered aspirin. But I stood there and blacked the line for Obama.
I think I’m voting for a future. We’ll see. The stitches come out in November.