Back in February when I started blogging, I had promised myself this would be a politics-free zone. The MSM never took my candidate seriously, and once that candidate was out of the running I figured I'd just leave commentary and advocacy efforts to others. There are a zillion people out there writing passionately about the issues they care about and the candidates they support; I'd just keep my mouth shut.
Well, this was the weekend Senator Clinton crossed the line. Senator Obama spoke a plain and simple truth -- lots and lots of potential voters are feeling extremely bitter about the way this country is going. They've seen good jobs vanish, they know perfectly well that odds are their kids are never going to have as comfortable a life as they once did, and they're angry. I see angry, unhappy people all the time. They're working multiple miserable, low-paying jobs, putting in 50, 60, 70 hours a week, keeping their fingers crossed no one in the family gets sick, their hours don't get cut, and they can manage to keep gas in the car so they can get to work. These are not happy people. They're not reaching out to religion because it's their tradition; they're turning to their church and their families because society as a whole is failing them.
This would have been a perfect opportunity for Senator Clinton to acknowledge those truths about the economy and the devastating effects ordinary citizens have experienced at the hands of a Republican administration. She could have pointed to efforts she's supported, such as raising the minimum wage, she could have emphasized things a previous Clinton presidency accomplished such as the Family Medical Leave Act . . . but instead of taking the high road, elevating the debate, and saying, yes, look at what Republican economic policies have done to you, she chose to spin Obama's words and interpret this simple, basic truth (people are pissed for a reason) as having been an elitist attack on god and guns. I want to puke.
Then she piled it even higher and deeper by talking about her grandparents' "cottage at the lake." You want to talk elitist? Most ordinary working people don't have summer cottages. I'm close to the senator's age, I grow up in a mining community, and, major news flash for you, Hil, none of us summered at the lake. Judging by the calls in to C-SPAN this weekend, it's clear I'm not the only person who doesn't think it's Obama who's out of touch; quite a few people think it's the candidate now trying to cling to God and guns and saying, please drink the patriotic Kool Aid because, really your lives are fine, Obama doesn't know what he's talking about. Tactically, this may help her in Pennsylvania, but it's a truly stupid thing to do long term. She's blurred the distinctions between herself and McCain on a major issue, the economy. The only thing left for her to do before she drives the Democratic Party totally into the ditch and hands the general election to the Republicans is jettison gays -- and I expect that to happen anytime.
I really, really wanted to be able to vote for a woman for president in my lifetime, but now I find myself hoping that this is not the year.
And, yes, to those of you who have been telling me all along that Clinton is an opportunistic liar who would say and do anything, no matter what the long term cost, as long as her name ends up on the ballot in November, please save the I-told-you-so.
On the bright side, as long as she's got Bill out there campaigning for her and putting his foot in his mouth at every opportunity, odds are she won't be the nominee. There's nothing quite like reminding people the candidate is no longer young and/or having senior moments to make her seem like a viable alternative to the Republican candidate, is there?