Friday, March 21, 2008

Within Arm's Reach

It is painful how this political race is ending up. The Democrats are imploding and the sole Republican is sitting pretty, looking calm, almost regal.

It’s been hard to watch. I am a Clinton supporter. I believe she is a better candidate. It’s not about Obama. I think he is capable and if nominated, will surround himself with smart people.

I simply believe Clinton already is smart enough.

What I’m struck by, mostly, is not the fight between the “Dunkin Donuts Clintonites” and the “Starbucks Obamatrons.” Nestled in our enclave of liberal supporters we are arguing over minutia.

Especially in the LGBT community where either candidate leaves much to be desired. It’s choosing between being treated like dirt and being treated like dirt.

But we sit today, with a historic opportunity, to elect the first African-American man or to elect the first woman President of the United States and we're blowing it.

Unwelcome folks in the world of white, male power. Very unwelcome. I have often questioned where the mud slinging has come from- the other Democrat or the entrenched powers that be?

I came across an essay this morning, “Whiskey in the Kitchen” in the book, "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine," by Elizabeth David.

David recalls a gentleman who writes to complain about the audacity of a food writer to suggest using whiskey, instead of cognac, to flambé a lobster. The complainant was from England, in 1952.

"I wonder if deep down that peppery gentleman's irritation might perhaps have been due to fear that once the gaff about whiskey not being suitable for the kitchen was blown the master's bottle would no longer be quite sacrosanct. The little woman, instead of having to explain the spending of twenty-five shillings of the housekeeping money on a half bottle of ‘cooking’ brandy, would be at liberty to raid the Scotch for a few tablespoonsful at any time, and nobody the wiser."

Not unlike today’s political situation, now is it? As Clinton or Obama come close to the ultimate prize, I can’t help but feel that those entrenched in political power would rather we stick to our Senate seats, our State legislatures, rather than sip at the carefully guarded Scotch.

The way things have always been done- cognac for flambé, is being challenged. The master’s bottle is no longer sacrosanct.

And instead of locking arms to combat the very real John McCain, we are killing each other.

With history within arm’s reach.

23 Comments:

Blogger Sue J said...

I like that analogy. I wonder if it's more than just those "entrenched in power." Maybe it's society in general that's not ready for change, yet, either.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

You have got a point there Sue. IMO though I believe we have been taking baby steps for awhile. If it happens this election, we will surge forward in cultural changes for probably over a decade before we swing back a little (not much). We are truly at a threshold here. People want to have that leap of faith, but are also a little fearful of unknown territory. If we miss this election, as a nation we will continue to be stagnate and countries around the world will doubt our ability to lead in any endeavor. Those who cannot change are lost. I also see two minorities represented; both of whom have been fighting sooo long for recognition in this white man's world and both of whom would like to say their representative's face was front and center if this great possiblity should come to pass. And that is why I would like to see a Democratic ticket with both those faces present, they both deserve it.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

the way this is playing out has been my fear for some time. the democrats imploding and mccain sitting pretty. i am still hopeful that once a democratic candidate has won, all sides will come together and make sure they win. it can happen, as long as both sides still keep the debate positive and don't resort to dirty politics. keeping my fingers crossed!

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would help enormously if the trailing candidate quit.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Seda said...

Amen. Amen. Amen. From a non-believer, too. I'm an Obama supporter, but Clinton would do fine, and make history. Either one. Isn't there some way we can lock arms in this, and move forward together? Either candidate leaves a lot to be desired for us queers. Both would dump far more money into the military incinerator than I would waste. But what an opportunity.

I'm an Obama supporter, but I refuse to say a single bad word about Ms. Clinton. The worst I'll say of her is, I'd rather see her in the Supreme Court, than in the Oval Office.

When I see the Fox "news anchors" campaigning actively for McCain, I just want to puke.

I think we are ready for change, as a nation; I think we're ready for either of them. But the mega-rich folds who own the MSM don't want change.

Please, Barack, Hillary - won't one of you just quit, so we can get on with this and tackle the real bastard?

And what a sad commentary on our system that I can say that, and mean it, before I've even had a chance to vote for them.

3:25 AM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

Anon and Seda: Instead of one quitting, why can the two just team up now? Like in the play yard game of Red Rover, Sara's term of "locking arms together"; the Democrats, with this team, could keep the Republicans from breaking through and taking the election.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Ashes To Life said...

People are frightened by what they do not understand.

I'm even scared in my own life sometimes, but it's when we let that fear control us that we falter on these catastrophic levels. We must not let fear dictate our decisions, but courage.

I see your words as courageous and I thank you for challenging others to walk in that courage.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

bravery, ashes, I have always told my kids isn't about not being afraid of big things.

like going into a new school.

it's about being afraid and doing it anyway.

thank you for your comment.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Chad Williams said...

Boo, hiss. So Obama needs to "surround himself with smart people" whereas Hillary is self-sufficient. Y'know, "From Day One," which I've had drummed into my ear. Hillary wakes up and is ready for breakfast from day one. Is ready to dress and use paint-roller to apply make-up from day one. Go to bathroom from day one and wipe her you-know-what from day one. Where as po' Obama ain't ready for nuthhin'. Listen, it's Hillary who needs to surround herself with smart people. Not those who told her, "Vote yes to authorize the war, Hill, it'll look good for you in 2008." Boo, hiss, Bill and Hillary... who are doing everything possible to hand the election to McCain so Hillary can try again in 2012. Yes, I am for Obama, who is quite smart enough and has a sense of decency that eludes the Clintons.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

hey, Chad, that's your opinion but I never went to the length that you just did about Obama.

I don't need to pretend he's more than he is so I don't appear racist, which your comment implies.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Chad Williams said...

Oh please, Sara. You said this:

"I think he (Obama)is capable and if nominated, will surround himself with smart people.
I simply believe Clinton already is smart enough."

Can we leave the race-baiting and card-playing to the Clintons, please? I implied no such thing about you. It's this simple: you think Hillary is- UGH!- ready from day one, smart enough already, and Obama, with some help, will do just fine. Phooey.

Hillary is a bald-faced liar about her experiences in Ireland, Kosovo/Bosnia, and her stance on NAFTA. She voted yes to let Bush invade Iraq and implied later, gosh darn, I didn't know exactly what the bill was about... When I
voted yes, I thought I was changing my long distance carrier to Sprint. Sheesh, she didn't even read the NIE material. Tsk-tsk, a little under 100 pages. Listen, Sara, Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the war because she thought Rummy would win it. Y'know, flowers thrown at liberators, 99c gasoline for you and me. Nosiree, Hillary is NOT smart enough. This has nothing to do with Obama's race and everything to do with Hillary's intelligence and qualifications to be president. I'll even go a step further. I don't even see how she was qualified to run for senate in New York, a state she never lived in. At least Silda Spitzer could run for that... if having a prick for a husband qualifies you for elected office.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

"Where as po' Obama ain't ready for nuthhin'."

I was referring to that comment, Chad. I feel it has racist overtones.

maybe it's just me.

And I completely disagree with you about the votes, how she got to those votes...

and the race baiting, thank you very much, has been coming from the Obama camp.

Feeling that someone is smarter and more capable, in my opinion and in my piece, has nothing to do with race.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Chad, you have so much hate and misinformation in your comment, it's hard to know how to even respond.

I'll just ignore your personal attacks on Hillary Clinton -- that's just juvenile.

Despite all the rhetoric, Obama's only stand against the war in Iraq was his speech in 2002, before he was in the Senate. Since being in the Senate, what has HE done to end the war? Why hasn't he used his powers of persuasion and gift of bringing people together to convince his fellow Senators to end the war? Why hasn't he led the fight to impeach President Bush? He sits on the Foreign Relations committee, but has apparently been so busy campaigning "From Day One" that he has repeatedly missed committee hearings.

The difference between Obama and Clinton is that she has made the hard votes and she stands by them. He has made speeches to the voters. I admire her for not "apologizing" for her vote, even though I personally have been strongly against the war from the beginning. Standing by that vote, she has shown more cojones than any of the men who are running.

It is interesting that so many supporters of Obama find it necessary to attack Clinton on such a base and personal level, rather than highlight the outstanding qualities of their candidate. Is that because there's just not that much there to highlight?

10:02 AM  
Blogger Chad Williams said...

Sara, here's where you give away your naivete. 1) The retreat to emotions. If one disagrees or finds fault with Hillary, what could it be but hatred? 2) Your acceptance, unquestioned, of mantras. Obama, all talk, Obama, all talk, Obama, all talk, Hillary ready from day one, Hillary ready from day one, Obama all talk. My two cents of advice: whenever you hear a soundbyte repeated ad finitum, QUESTION IT,
research it. Here's a good place to start:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/2/21/164117/783?new=true

Well, of course, I would have preferred the only candidate who voted no on the war and made a stab at impeachment: Dennis Kucinich. And, of course, everything he said sailed over the electorate's collective head. But not having been around to vote no on the invasion of Iraq, and not having committed political hara-kari by pushing for impeachment, doesn't put Obama and Clinton in the same political boat. No way.

Actually, on a personal level, I like Clinton more than Obama. By all accounts by those who know her, she's a salty dame who swears like a Teamster, affectionately calls her husband a cocksucker, and- though she suppresses it for her rube constituents- possesses a sly wit. Obama's as intriguing
as dry toast. However, electing a president shouldn't be about love/hate and who you'd like to have a beer with. But unfortunately, it often winds up that way.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Sue J said...

yeah, Sara, quite being so naive.

Instead, why don't you go to sites like DailyKos to find all your impartial and totally balanced news?

yeah, right!

Chad, you have a real talent for making backhanded compliments!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Chad Williams said...

Actually, Sue, I got that link from HuffPost. Did I say dailykos doesn't have a bias? Or for that matter, Huffpost? I know of not one single solitary blog- and I read a lot of 'em- that doesn't have a slant. That goes for TV also. Every news show- not just the talking heads shows- sneaks in its opinion. So it's up to the adults among us to ferret out the truth. The link I provided- which I doubt you read- is what Obama did during his tenure in the Senate, and that is a matter of record. Of course, it's easier to say, Obama's all talk, no action, not ready on day one, can't handle the 3 a.m. phone call. And read absolutely nothing, since everything's biased. But I've always been the curious type. The more you tell me Obama's a lazy-ass with no record, the more I want to know what he's been up to. And it's really easy to find out, if you're so inclined.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

The more you tell me Obama's a lazy-ass with no record

No one here said that.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Chad Williams said...

Hillary's constant carping about Obama's having no record, no plan, no experience to run on, and offering only eloquent speeches and absolutely nothing of practical substance... quotes McCain's team will certainly recycle in September, even though it's not true... can only mean that Obama is, shall we say, motivation-challenged? Okay, lazy. Lazy, empty, and unqualified. This is what both Clintons have been cranking out about the probable nominee of the Democratic party.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Chad! we agree! Kucinich would have been a great choice!

well... actually... I'm not sure I would want him with the big red button.

but I really don't want McCain with the big red button.

none of your arguments are new, and I personally have hashed them out over and over to the point of almost getting in a big fight with good friends on friday night.

I don't want to fight about it.

I don't agree. I don't agree. I know you want me to... but I don't.

it's not emotional. It's a decision I made after reviewing the candidates, listening to them debate, and going over their records.

or lack there of.

sorry, couldn't resist and it is my blog so...

we're on the same side, Chad. over all? we really are.

(now for Zachary on the sax playing kumbaya...)

5:06 PM  
Blogger Chad Williams said...

Wrong, peace-pipe breath! I don't care if I'm agreed with, and over the course of my life, I've learned more from the people who disagreed with me... but only if the disagreement is backed up by good empirical evidence and/or fact. This is not the case here.

Hill's "Ready from Day One (And Guess Who's Not)" slogan, and the "Obama's Been Jacking Off While I've Been Working" theme harken back to the old days of Nixon's attacks on Helen Douglas. They're easy to remember and repeat (She's PINK! Right down to her underwear!), truth-challenged, and manage to con smart people who should know better... yourself, for example.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Chad, how's this, Obama is an egotistical MAN only after the power. If he really wanted to make change in the world he could do more in the position he is in.... Ted Kennedy has made more positive change in this country than any US President in our lifetime.

I'm so sick of all the rhetoric. Only time will tell but I'm predicting we all find out how sexist and egostisitical Obama is. He will be bad for human rights (unless you are a god-fearing christian), equality, the economy... all because it is all about HIM and not about the people at all. The more I see him the more I can't stand him. He will lose in November if he gets the nomination, and then we can all sit around and question why.

Why? Because all you men don't really believe in equality at all. Why is it I have to prove I'm not a racist and you don't have to prove you're not sexist?

All you men just can't bear the thought of having a WOMAN in the most powerful position in the world and in fact will do ANYTHING to avoid that.

And Anonymous, you are right, Obama should quit as clearly he is trailing in ALL of the states that will determine the November election. Why is he putting the Democrats through this?

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Chad, I think you are right. I am just a silly woman who really can't possibly comprehend all of those big thoughts you men have. You are right. What was I thinking? (and I'll try to just forget about the fact that you ALWAYS refer to Barack as the respectful and proper OBAMA but not our little lady friend, she can be called by the familar Hillary or by her last name... oh but that IS the subtle gender stuff you don't want to talk about now isn't it...)

12:16 AM  
Blogger Chad Williams said...

People call Hillary Hillary for 2 reasons. 1) It avoids confusion with Bill. If you said Clinton arrived in Chicago, many would think you meant Bill. 2) Hillary encourages people to call her Hillary, including her own website.

Yes, Obama has a big ego. Same as Hillary. Same as Bill. High office is not for the humble and shy. I'm not sure I'd want a president with an itty-bitty ego.

I only stumbled onto this blog because it was linked through pageoneq.com; the link was just titled "Within Arm's Reach," and I wondered WHAT was within arm's reach. I was hoping it meant kicking the Republicans out of office. But the article of the link was just about Hillary, as usual being Ready On Day One, whereas Obama could- if surrounded by smart people- might be okay.
And now, the comments say that, God forbid, if you disagree with that, you disapprove of women in general holding power, and/or women in general are too silly to understand politics.

Here are the cards I'm holding: I can tell you why Hillary is NOT ready from day one, how she has padded her resume as First Lady with accomplishments she has no part of, how she voted for the worst debacle in America's history and then claimed not to know what her vote was really about, does not have a more distinguished legislative record than Barack Obama, and has been spewing out insults about Obama that could accomplish the unthinkable: President McCain.

Here's the card some of YOU are holding: Yeah... well, uh... you hate or fear women! That's the ticket! You have a problem with powerful women!

Ugh. Time for me to jump off this train.

12:56 AM  

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