Monday, February 04, 2008

Monday Top Nine: Auto-Win Endorses Barack Obama

I make a lot of recommendations on this blog: melted cheese, Stephen Dunn, honesty, solitude, bi/homosexuality, Tegan & Sara, dog-purses like Tinkerbell, last-fm, cities, solitude, Mary Gaitskill, Savage Inequalities (the book, not the experience), abbreviated words, making out, laughter, jokes, ethical consumerism, apple products, auto-apparel. I know whereof I speak -- I've enjoyed melted cheese in a number of contexts, including two just this very day (omelet, garden burger), I've read everything Mary Gaitskill's ever written, and I've obviously made a LOT of jokes. I won't talk about my making out expertise -- ladies, you know who you are. (JK, seriously) (Though, that being said, I hope you do?)

Due to a limited number of hours in the day and my super-important obligations to bad lesbian television, I haven't been educated enough about the election to feel confident declaring an affiliation -- I often defer to Krista 'cause I trust her education on the issue (thorough) and her personal politics (they're just like mine). She told me: "Obama is a revolution." And so, I've given myself a crash-course this past week ...

Ultimately, I'd be thrilled to see either Clinton or Obama in the White House. But I gotta say, I really dig Obama. I really hope he wins, and I've got at least nine reasons why, and about five unrelated tangents.
*
November 3rd, 2004: Our city had just lost the election (Manhattan is more homogeneously democrat than the worst red state is red) and most people still weren't over the Red Sox winning the series. I had a discman -- no ipod yet, couldn't afford it -- and a CD called "winter of my discontent" and its contents are embarrassing: I was listening to Coldplay's "The Scientist" on repeat while walking through a cold/gray/rainy/miserable day to my fourth evening of training at a swanky Upper East Side restaurant that felt, inside, like a deep maroon/sharp crystal womb. The uniform was all black, and so, as I proceeded to the back table to wrap silverware with other servers (still listening to Coldplay: Nobody said it was easy, I never thought it would be this hard), I thought, shit, it's like a funeral in here.

The manager burst forth from the kitchen and announced in his ambiguously European accent (he was American, so it's anyone's guess): "I do not want to hear about the election, enough depression, it is not the end of the world. One word on this election and you are going home. Let's begin." It was time to talk about tuna tartare. It was time to serve overpriced food to rich people and pretend like it wasn't the end of the world.

A few days later I'd quit, dramatically, with a speech. This is a bad habit of mine: if I know I'm never coming back someplace, I may as well make a point. Every restaurant I've worked in has its own special recipe of soulless cold lawless douchebaggery , so as soon as the rules aren't mine anymore, I wanna tell the man in charge why he's a bastard and hope it'll make a difference for those left behind. What did I care anyway, the world was clearly ending. My number one feeling was apocalypse.

On that day (that day that I quit) in East Harlem, Krista -- still recovering from the election (she'd been at the Air America party that night and was crying on public transportation for days afterwards) -- told me I needed to read this speech that this Illinois senator had given at the Democratic National Convention.

"Ri," [pronounced "ree"] she said, extracting pages from the printer of our discontent, "This man is hope."

Honestly, I was blown away. I couldn't believe it wasn't an Aaron Sorkin production. (9) I read it and it reminded me of "The West Wing," a television program featuring a charismatic, religious, educated left-wing president who's deeply affiliated to his own integrity. "The West Wing" is not real, but because it's a show and therefore written by writers who believe in words, their president knows how to develop a thesis. He mobilizes language as power/hope rather as a manipulative tool (e.g., "Enduring Freedom," "War on Terror"). (8) But Barack, unlike Jed Bartlett, is real.
"In the language of metaphor, Clinton is an essay, solid and reasoned; Obama is a poem, lyric and filled with possibility. Clinton would be a valuable and competent executive, but Obama matches her in substance and adds something that the nation has been missing far too long -- a sense of aspiration."
-The L.A Times Endorsement of Barack Obama
Until I read that speech, I did not believe that there was a single politician who still believed in -- of all things -- "America." I thought we'd all given up on that -- admitted this country was totally fucked, hopeless, that the best I could hope for was a politician who held my opinions despite his or her inevitable corruption. But also: I saw that Obama was an African-American man and therefore I didn't think I'd one day be able to vote him into office. I didn't think that'd happen in America in my lifetime.

But he totally IS running for president, (7) because now is the time when we need change moreso than we ever have before, because we're ready for revolution and that revolution needs a soul, because that's what we've been doing without for the past eight years.
"I think we're in a historical depression right now, because everything has failed so entirely. This could be a great moment because we have to re-think everything: Okay, we're absolutely at a dead end -- an absolutely devastating impasse.' Which means that one has to think one's way out of it."
-Avital Ronell, 1991
**


I understand the arguments for Hillary -- prior White House residency, a better chance of beating McCain, required experience, ability to get things done. But c'mon. Hello! it's me, I'm a sucker for a good speech! Obvs I'm gonna go for the poet/politician over the politician/politician. Yeah there's some things about Hillary that don't sit right with me (like her failure to appreciate staying home and baking cookies), but I know there's spin on all sides and I'd still love to see her as president. But I'd la-la-la-LOVE for Obama to be president, and that's who I wanna talk about.

Obvs I still believe in Revolution simply because I think WE CAN. I really think WE CAN. I think that financially comfortable (I make the distinction because for the working poor and those living hand-to-mouth -- ideals are a luxury, obvs) humans are selling themselves short left and right, including me, including -- to my consistent devastation -- people I love. There's a viral divide within most humans right now between what they're doing and what they're capable of doing. Our culture's working hard to ensure it remains impossible to actually pursue idealism & strive for true fulfillment and still remain employed and fed.

I think that the disparity between the working poor and the wealthy in this country is disgusting. It's embarrassing. Our education system is embarrassing. The influence of evangelical Christians on public policy is a disgrace. This country is no longer a meritocracy, it's an aristocracy, and Obama would be very very clear step away from this legacy.

I think we need something seriously NEW to get away from where we are. Something totally totally NEW.

I think it's lame to give in. I think everyone's taking hypocrisy lying down 'cause we don't think it's possible to live otherwise, and it's sad that one's ability to live ethically is so closely correlated to economic advantage -- and that even when it isn't, people remain prone.
(6) "If you find yourself swept up in Obamamania ... you're perfectly aware that politics is often a dirty business. But you believe it could be a bit cleaner, a bit nobler, a bit more sustaining. You think that paradigm shifts can happen, that the system can be rebooted. Most of all, an attraction to Obama indicates you are, on some level, a romantic. You never had your JFK, your MLK, and you desperately crave one: What you want is to fall in love."
-"The Amazing Race," John Heileman, New York Magazine, Feb. 4, 2008
And the more I read, the more I realize that it's not that black and white -- Dreamer vs. Doer. You can find statistics and arguments on both sides -- their policy initiatives are virtually identical. Obama is certainly qualified and has the experience needed to get the job done, regardless of how it compares to Hillary's. But Obama's candidacy, as Andrew Sullivan so eloquently promotes in this article in The Atlantic, is (5)"potentially transformational."

**

I preface most of my beliefs with a plainfaced declaration of the impending apocalypse, the world going to hell in a handbasket, widespread human soul corruption and the degradation of humanity through a worship of consumerism. To quote Sullivan again: "If you believe the America's current crisis is not a deep one, if you think that pragmatism alone will be enough to navigate a world on the verge of even more religious warfare, if you believe that today's idealogical polarization is not dangerous, and that what appears dark today is an illusion fostered by the lingering trauma of the Bush presidency, then the argument for Obama is not that strong ... but if you sense, as I do, that greater danger lies ahead, and that our divisions and recent history have combined to make the American polity and constitutional order increasingly vulnerable, then the calculus of risk changes. Sometimes, (4) when the world is changing rapidly, the greater risk is caution."

I believe, as he does, that we are in danger. I believe in a few things: honesty, generosity, kindness, second chances, selflessness, humility, freedom of expression, no judgments, possibility, and love. I believe in fun, and art, and truth. I believe that people who (needlessly) measure success in terms of financial power are cheating their souls and the world. I believe Obama is not one of those people, which is a true political anomaly. I'm bored with practicalities and tight-faced emotionless censored bullshit. I'm sick of bullshit.

This guy makes my heart sing and he makes me cry. And because I'm a sucker and cause y'all have helped me believe in the transformative power of words, I still think that's a more important quality in a leader than who you know. I believe in the purest most idealistic thing possible, and I think that thing is this man. And I think ultimately it is the content of our hearts and souls that define our ability to make the right choices for the betterment of the human condition, not a set of policies and procedures and rules. He's real, authentic, honest, and we'd be foolish to let him pass us by.
"... the true genius of America [is] a faith -- a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock at the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted -- at least most of the time."
-Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address
**

"How did the fairy-tale prince from Camelot vanquish a field of heavyweights led by the longtime liberal warrior Hubert Humphrey? It wasn’t ideas. It certainly wasn’t experience. It wasn’t even the charisma that Kennedy would show off in that fall’s televised duels with Richard Nixon. Looking back almost 30 years later, Mr. Goodwin summed it up this way: 'He had to touch the secret fears and ambivalent longings of the American heart, divine and speak to the desires of a swiftly changing nation — his message grounded on his own intuition of some vague and spreading desire for national renewal.' In other words, Kennedy needed two things. He needed poetry, and he needed a country with some desire, however vague, for change ... For all the Barack Obama-J. F. K. comparisons, whether legitimate or over-the-top, what has often been forgotten is that Mr. Obama’s weaknesses resemble Kennedy’s at least as much as his strengths. But to compensate for those shortcomings, he gets an extra benefit that J. F. K. lacked in 1960. There’s nothing vague about the public’s desire for national renewal in 2008 ..."

(Frank Rich, The New York Times, Ask Not What J.F.K Can do for Obama )

**

When I try to explain what I want to talk about in my book, the basic idea is this: I've been through enough to relate to a lot of stuff, but nothing so weird as to be too "out there" to be related to. I've straddled, embraced, struggled and commanded a number of difficult dichotomies and tried to ensure I don't let them become hypocrisies. I've failed more often than not, and I'm still generally guided by self-doubt, insecurity and the suspicion that I'm secretly a bad person. I'm not confident that I know what's going on, but I trust that I want to be a better person. And I think I need -- WE need -- heroes.

And so, this asset is one I believe in: the power of varied experiences -- even just being close to, or working amongst, a relatively diverse sampling of our citizenry --(2) to create a powerful person with something to offer to the world in return. I'm glad he's made mistakes and done drugs and been through it. Diversity of experience is, in my opinion, the single most powerful attribute for a leader of such a diverse nation. And also: I think he could be a hero.

I've found myself thinking a lot about Pump up the Volume lately. That might sound crazy, and it probably is, but the film centers around an outcast kid played by Christan Slater who starts his own underground radio station, where as Happy Harry Hard-On he gives the kids in high school something to believe in. A voice that makes sense to them. The parents and the powers-that-be freak out because he tells kids to think for themselves and preaches "TALK HARD." It's an awesome movie. He's a hero. People who fight against the grain are always heroes to me. You guys should see it.

**

On November 3rd, 2004, near closing time, I was in the back kitchen eating discarded bread from ignored bread-baskets with some line cooks and sous chefs and so on -- the other servers were all bitches, the kitchen staff was better company (this is true in most NYC restaurants, I've found). They were talking about the election (apparently they'd missed the rule of the night), though most of them weren't citizens and therefore hadn't voted. But some were, and still hadn't. "I didn't like any of 'em," a cook declared between bites. "Kerry, Bush, they're all the same. I'll vote when they get a black guy. Clinton's the closest thing we ever had to a black president, man. If we get another guy like Clinton, yeah, I'll vote, I voted for Clinton, both times." And so I hope people like that guy are voting, and so I think that they are.

Here's Lozo: (1)"My reasoning for voting for Barack Obama is because he's black. That's it. Nothing else. Wait. He's black, right? ... assuming he's black, and he wins the election, it means the race card, for the most part, will be dead in this country. I do realize it doesn't mean racism magically disappears and we all hold hands and sing songs and skip amongst fields in an Oreo cookie embrace of love, but it prevents us from hearing the stupid race card bullshit as much."

Krista told me that though Clinton will play the game well, Obama could re-make how the game is played, and I like that idea.

**

Also you guys should all vote 'cause I totally forgot to register, I've never voted in a Primary before 'cause I didn't really care about the Primary elections in '00 or '04, Gore and Kerry had it in the bag. Also though I voted for them to be Presidents in the Important Election and they did not win, I was not impressed. Anyhow, so I didn't really think about how I hadn't registered to vote in the Primaries until like two weeks ago. Ho-hum. La di da.

And by "ho-hum, la di da," I mean ... fuck.

**

Yes We Can.

44 comments:

Haviland Stillwell said...

Excellent work.

Jo said...

I'm not gonna get into a political argument, because I respect everyone's political views, and this was very well written (obvs, because you wrote it), but the really ironic thing is that reading this is the first thing I did after returning from a Hillary rally during which Hillary shook my hand.

That was one hell of a run-on sentence.

Allie said...

Auto-Endorsements could be a Monday top nine sometime. You're pretty persuasive. As someone who is on the fence, sad that John Edwards has thrown in the towel, I've been reading everything I can about both Obama and Clinton. It's really too bad there is no one else in the auto-universe to write a counter-piece for Hillary. Then I could make an educated decision without having to work so damn hard.

Anonymous said...

I like HIllary, I could totes see her popping up on the L word as Phyllis' latest. If poor Phyllis ever gets out of the void that is.

That's about as far as my views on American politics go, I'm British and I'm just grateful Dubya's going.

chrissy said...

I seriously need to register to vote, it seems I'm missing a LOT when it comes to our gov't.

You and your well-written posts. I envy your skills.

riese said...

haviland - thank you.

jo - that is ironic. both beautiful and ironic.

allie - next week i'll be endorsing un-melted cheese in certain contexts.

Re: if only someone else in the auto-universe could write a counter-piece for Hillary ... I'd like to nominate commenter number #1, Havi-land.

anonymous - A Hilary - Cybill Shepard affair on TLW would redeem Ilene Chaiken and possibly the entire world just like that.

Chrissy- You gotta get yerself registered to vote, you gotta get yerself on amazon.com, you gotta get yourself an auto-win tanktop. you've got all kinds of bright in your future, kiddo.

Crystal said...

Nice one. I just finished reading Obama's The Audacity of Hope. His optimism and sincerity kills me, for real, it is totally uplifting and I admire the way that he is such a strong campaigner for unity and equality b/w class, race, etc.

I'm sitting on the fence between Hilary and Obama. But I guess the best part is that I can stay there, you know, not being able to vote, etc.

caitttt said...

really well done. politics are scary and confusing, but this was really beautiful.

Haviland Stillwell said...

oh, allie - i will give you all kinds of reasons to vote for Hillary. She's simply earned it. She has. Obviously, i'll be voting for whichever one of them gets the nom, but I just love her, and feel like she gets it.

chrissy, you have GOT to register before november - ok? seriously!

this is all very exciting, this whole thing...it's incredible what's happening right now in the world. Cosmic Collisions...

chrissy said...

Basically I have a lot of shit to do. Amazon/Half.com and the tank top will have to wait a little longer since I don't have a credit card. If I stopped seeing shows, I could have all this done already. But nooo, Haviland had to go and kick ass in Les Mis, so it's mostly her fault I'm poor, lol. I blame other shows/people too, myself included. I can't be controlled when it comes to seeing shows.

jenn said...

right,

im british and have been following this voting mallarky a little, and my opinion counts for sod all, but i think the blair/bush era was poppycocks and the usa was caused a hell of a lot of self(goverment) loathing due to the two people in the powers that be position,trying to hard to find solutions too quickly!! that may not make sense to u but i tend to write in laimens terms sorry, not as educated as yall!
u also believe in what people say too much, this world runs on relign,money=power which all adds up to empty promises!!

all that said i do think that obama would be good for ur country and i hope that he sits on top of the power pyramid and is not swayed by others preasure!!!

excellent work by the way honey!

dewey said...

As a Brit (and an A-Level Politics student I would like to add), my votes with Obama. He just seems like a true beacon of hope, he's inspring.

My view on American politics, and British politics come to that, is mainly negative, and my view of the actual politicians is even worse. The state is supposed to be there to protect individuals, to protect their rights and freedoms, and to help them flourish. I feel like Obama could make a difference, a much needed difference, not just in America but in Western poltics too.

I'd still be happy if Hilary got elected, anythings got to be better than whats in place now. I feel she'd do what needs to be done, but i just think Obama would go further than that.

So yeah, theres an English lasses opinion for you....if it counts for anything.

eric mathew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric mathew said...

ok so i messed up my spelling and could not fix it. BUT what i meant to say was i know this nothing to do with the current presidential race but did you hear about Paris taping an episode for L-Word?

interesting...

Adam said...

I should probably post this somewhere else (like, say, my own corpse of a blog), but "the Obama question" has already been broached here, and I like here better than there anyway. It's long and pretentious as fuck, and I apologize for that, but it's something I feel needs saying...especially tonight:

It's been so long (certainly outside most of our lives) since there has been a true leader in America that we describe Obama's power as "magic", a word we use as a talisman against our fear of the unfamiliar and inexplicable.

I wish every time I read an Obama endorsement it didn't read an an apology, a confession of choosing style over substance. To me that fundamentally misunderstands the political moment an Obama candidacy would represent:

To say that I support Barack Obama is just to say that his 'style' is the substance of which leaders are made.

I believe in Barack Obama because of what I believe (what he's reminded me to believe) of the Presidency itself. I believe in a President who presides rather than rules, who has the power to lead without legislating. I believe in his strength to ask 'what' and 'why', and his faith in us as citizens to pursue a 'how' after the proper course is set. I believe in a leader who is more concerned with what ought be than what can be.

The often-leveled charge that there is nothing to Obama beyond his charisma is, in every important sense, begging the question.

An army of cynics (an outfit I've served in as often as anyone) has spent our lifetimes decrying the lack of true heroes, moping over the cultural sway of sports stars and celebutantes. How dare we ask Obama what he has to offer us beyond leadership? How craven are we that we turn to bite our perfect compliment, the incarnation of our lack?

I feel like people who find Obama's message romantic or naïve have never been a tutor or a mentor; it baffles me that any parent could have this sentiment. How many times have you seen someone you cared for do something they swore they couldn't just because you told them they could?

This man has the courage to defy a nation of naysayers and say YES WE CAN.

Barack Obama is the best sort of contrarian. We cynics called for a revolution; he demands a renaissance. Instead of razing a fallen system, he insists we raise it up. He asks more of us than we think we can give because he is made of different stuff than we are, and we give it gladly because we admire his greatness.

What often gets characterized as idealism is simply the sincere belief that being President is nothing like being a Senator. The understanding that while pragmatism is the hallmark of a great politician and a great legislator, the President's purpose is to provide an ideological rudder to the Congress, not to row the boat.

Honestly, what it comes down to for me is this:

By all rights, Hillary has earned a nomination. She did all the right things, jumped through all the right hoops. I have pretty strong ideological differences with her, but that doesn't in any way diminish her accomplishments or the dues she's paid to her party.

but...

What we need (and have needed for longer than we can remember) she doesn't have to give.

Some things are more important than fairness.

We can't afford not to follow Barack Obama.

Anonymous said...

as a Michigander, i was ok with Hillary until our whole early primary debacle. yes, it is redic overall that the DNC is stripping MI (and FL) of their delegates for moving up the primary. Obama and Edwards pulled out of the primaries in both states bc of the whole breaking party rules thing, and Hillary chose to stay in even though there are no delegates to win (assuming that a win would keep her momentum and public image going, even though it's just a symbolic win).

then, after winning MI and Fl (by default, because many democrats were unsure of the whole "uncommitted" thing), then losing SC by a large margin, she decides to petition to re-instate the delegates - which would essentially shaft those who stayed out of the primary. but hillary wants the court ruling reversed so the delegates will be hers. the fact that she even wants those delegates that she didn't win in a fair primary says a lot to me.

just my two pennies in a rambling blather.

Chloe said...

I too am completely into Obama. I actually blogged about it a little bit ago. I'm totes pumped that this is the first election I can vote in too, because I actually like the democratic candidates a lot. Like, a lot a lot. And also, "douchebaggery" is a fantastic word. I might have to start using it.

Also, the West Wing is a kick ass show...I'm kinda pissed it got cancelled. And by kinda, i mean really. P.S.

asher said...

sorry i'd read this but i'm busy updating LemonLyman.com (<-- maybe naming that was the worst Sorkin's ever done.)

riese said...

Crystal: I love sincerity.

caittt: thank you

chrissy: You don't need a credit card to buy an autowin tank top actually, but it's okay, I understand. Theater is a fantastic place for anyone's money to go, I support art, etc.

jenn: I like the idea of obama on top of a power pyramid. I feel like he could do things from up there.

dewey: Firstly, props on being an A-level politics student! I agree, I think what I like about Obama is that he's not your typical politician and could make a difference in Western politics.

eric matthew: Actually, here's something i know a lot about ! The L word hasn't been renewed for a sixth season yet, so there's no way Paris could be filming an episode. If she is, filming won't start for another couple of months. Howevs, I think it would be hot if she was on the show, 'cause the show is ridiculous, and so is she, and hot & ridiculous is totally amazing.

adam: Well, i'm glad you posted that here, because I think you said it far better than I. Thank you, especially for "Instead of razing a fallen system, he insists we raise it up. He asks more of us than we think we can give because he is made of different stuff than we are, and we give it gladly because we admire his greatness."

Anonymous: As a Michigander (at least that's how I plan on voting come November, 'cause it's a swing state and I have a drivers license there), I'm ashamed to not know what you just informed me of. But omg wtf? Okay, that sucks. And that's EXACTLY what I'm talking about. When it all comes down to it, she'll do shit like that to win, and that's retarded.

Chloe: Yay! Don't you feel like Obama is like, the blogger's choice? That's how I feel right now. And awesome about your first year voting. I feel like such a shmuck for not voting now, in like the worst way.

asher: But wasn't that storyline absolutely brilliant/hilarious? You just made me want to watch West Wing again right now so I can re-witness Josh and Donna's hilarious banter over that issue. Oh, west wing.

Chloe said...

Obama is totally it/the blogger's choice! There should be awards. Like the Teen Choice Awards...only cooler. We could give out naked statues or whatever. And you're most def the biggest shmuck in all of shmuckerdom. JAY KAY! You're totes not at all...I probably wouldn't have voted in the last election either, it's just fun to say shmuck. It reminds me of smuckers, which makes me want peanut butter and jelly, but the 20 foot walk to the kitchen seems way to far for me to go right now.

it's the jeans said...

riese i am so mad at you right now. you actually just made my head explode like for reals i have an actual headache. i was so dead set on hilary. like i've done all my research and basically was 110% behind both of them but after a few weeks of cracking down and trying to make a decision i did it. it was her. she's a chick and i'm a spice girl fan, girl power... right? and then you went off and wrote this fucking beautiful piece of art/ political endorsement and where am i? i'll tell you where i am... sitting straight up in my bed at 1:30 in the morning with my head in my hands. ahhh!!!

i'm probs still going ot vote for hilary because i made a well educated decision. either way it would be an auto win for sure... way to go democrats for bringing that term to life. but anyway, well don't my dear. writing hasn't irked me like this in a while

it's the jeans said...

*well done [re "well don't]

The Brooklyn Boy said...

I think you and Adam both touched on what gets me about Barack as well, and Caroline Kennedy summed up best in her NYT endorsement: Barack makes people believe. People who wouldn't participate in the political process otherwise. People who haven't been. People who don't see politics or public service as "their game." He makes young people want to volunteer and vote and actually feel like they can make a difference in the future of this country. Hil really has done hers to get here, and if she gets the nod, that's how the game goes, and I'm okay with that.

But there's something Obama's got that she doesn't, and it's the ability to generate true hope for change. Clinton would extend a two-family domination of the Presidency for a fourth executive and 24 total years. Yes, she's a woman, which is momentous. Yes, she's qualified. But were she to win, I think it's ultimately going to feel like more of the same, though at least in positive ways.

So yeah, that's my two (or 75 or something) cents, mostly realized after I ended up in deep conversations about this dude three times last weekend. Happy Tuesday, kids.

kazzie said...

That 'Yes We Can' video is amazing, it gave me chills. I find that when Clinton speaks she touches me, but when Obama speaks he really moves me, if that makes sense. But yeah, either of them would certainly be a step or even a stair case up from what you've got right now.

a;ex said...

Hey, did you know that if you're a registered Independent, you can't vote in the primary?
Awesome. I didn't.

Man: No, you're not on the list. Only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote today.
Me: So what CAN I vote for?!
Man: (Incomprehensible mumbling about the Presidential election.)

This is the part where I almost cried.

riese said...

1. this is the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Chloe: I think the statue should be in the shape of the blogger icon. That like, chode-ish "b"? I've always felt there is no path too long to prevent me from pursuing peanut butter.

it's the jeans: Obama! Obama! Obama! Yay! Even though you hate me it's totally worth it, 'cause I just saw this thing on CNN about how when people get into the voting booth they sometimes change their mind. I know Hillary's a chick, but she needs to like, not have Bill talk for her all the time, it's starting to get on my nerves.

Brookyln Boy: I loved that Kennedy endorsement too, I think I had it on the auto-fun. I also read in the Nation that the face that late registration isn't available in almost every state will work against him -- because of people like me who didn't really pay attention 'til like, last week.

kazzie: Me too, and I know it's kinda cheesy, but it sorta made me cry. When Clinton speaks I feel like she's just so rehearsed, I dunno.

a;ex: OMG that makes me really upset! And you went to vote and everything! god, I'm such a douche for not registering to vote. You can vote on the Gawker poll?

The Brooklyn Boy said...

Yeah ... that's two of us that got burned. I dropped the ball and didn't switch up my registration when I moved back to the city, then missed the absentee cut to mail it upstate. Ugh.

Here's to hoping I didn't miss my only chance to vote for the big O ...

Victoria said...

this was awesome

Annie said...

1. Whoa -- I took a class with Avital Ronell at NYU! Totes academic superstar and that's a great quote of hers.

2. Look at you powering through a magazine before its printed publication date. (Why do I find this the most impressive thing about today? Must dev. new standards.)

3. LOVE the idea of Hillsters as something new for Phyllis!

Do you comment on Gawker ever/anymore? I stopped.

Annie said...

Also, yes. Obama. For his cameo on SNL...and the somewhat more importnat reasons you mentioned.

The Brooklyn Boy said...

I lied! I was totally able to vote. Yessssssssssss.

eric mathew said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=4n2VvGs4iE8

i made this little ditty for ALL the candidates.

e. said...

Oh, that was brill. I often find politics so disheartening--they do at times seem like some sort of absurd, colossal-scale game, in which truly steadfast ideals more often than not preclude success. (Gotta play the game to (auto-) win it, y'know?) Campaign promises ring so hollowly in my jaded ears...*le sigh*

But even my cynical, grinchy little soul can't go completely unstirred by Obama's "Yes We Can" speech (and most of its ilk), and honestly, this post just about pushed me over the edge and onto the Obamamania bandwagon. (I want a hat! And a...giant foam finger!) Except I'm Canadian, so I'm pretty well useless.

But as a useless Canadian, I'm still very invested in this whole thing, despite myself, and am thrilled at the prospect of either Clinton or Obama in the White House.

Though I do find it unfortunate that whichever of them wins (a Democrat's gotta win...right? Right? Guys?) will have to carry the double burden of being the "first [fill in the blank] president" AND being charged with the task of cleaning up the mess that the Bush administration'll be leaving behind.

e. said...

P.S. "The printer of our discontent" = best pun ever.

Chloe said...

I like the B idea...we could make it out of playdough...or peanut butter, whatevs. And also I'm watching CNN and Obama just won Illinois. And Kansas. And Minnisota. And North Dakota. And Utah. So basically he wins at life and because of the whole us giving him a blogger award thing we win at life by association.

And also, Wolf Blitzer is a sweet ass name.

The Spaz said...

I can only speculate, I'm not American so the issue's not as personal for me. Barack Obama is far more charismatic than Hilary, he's got a more natural smile, a poetic turn of phrase and an idealism that's rare.

However, I don't trust slick salesmen simply because they've got a good pitch. Telling me exactly what I want to hear is one thing, being able to convince me that he is capable of following through with what needs to be done is another.

I'm Just Saying said...

Is it okay to say that I like the way this is written but not the sentiment behind it? Because - to me - a lot of the reasons you listed are exactly why I do NOT like Barack Obama.

I have a tremendous amount of hope for the future. I hope to WGA strike ends soon so I don't ever have to watch American Gladiators again, I hope that Diet Coke cans are on sale at Stop and Shop this week, and I hope Hillary Clinton wins the nomination - and the presidency - because she appears to have a plan. Style over substance is okay with me in some instances - I shop at H&M - but everytime I see Barack Obama, I see Professor Henry Hill and his 76 trombones convincing the townspeople to follow him. And apparently it's working.

Obama appears to be a big thinker and with his booming voice and passionate rhetoric, he seems to have convinced people that believing in things makes it so. And, granted, I am a terrible cynic but he's wrong. We can't hope and believe and unite our way out of the mess we are in. Now is the time for a chief EXECUTIVE, someone with the leadership skills and game plan and ability to strategize our way to a solution. Of course Hillary has hopes and dreams for our nation, the way we all do. She just pairs them with a plan that might just save us.

I believe that if Obama was the man he claims he is, he would not be running, plain and simple. His record is impressive, I suppose, but it's not extensive. Not diverse. Not enough for the most complicated time we have faced as a nation. Not enough for me or my family or my future. Not YET. Obama would make a fine vice president, is already a fine senator, and might someday lead this nation in the way he so eloquently describes in his (very persuasive) speeches. Now is not the time (IMHO) and I feel we will all be very sorry if we do not realize that.

I saw his speech at the convention in 2004, bought his book, and drank the Kool Aid early on. I still feel Obama has fantastic potential and would love to watch him develop as a person and a leader. I just don't want to watch him do it in the White House.

The Spaz and I obviously need to hang out because that comment is right up my alley. People have been telling me what I want to hear for years. Hillary is telling me what I need to hear. And I'm listening.

Adam said...

at the risk of repeating myself (well...not a risk, it's a sure thing, since I'm repeating myself):

It's not about style versus substance or about romantic versus pragmatic; it's about the nature of substance and the praxis of Presidency.

If the choice were dichotomous in that way, of course you'd prefer substance and action...it wouldn't even be worth discussing. The question isn't "which of these qualities do I want"; it's "what do I think this one quality is like." Our argument is that what you call 'style' is actually a different kind of substance, and that his methods aren't an absence of pragmatics but a different way of getting things done.

Hillary, to me, represents post-Nixon presidential bloat, an office whose role now alternates between far overreaching it's purpose and forgetting that purpose altogether. Frankly, almost all of the candidates represent that view of the Presidency, which is understandable because it's the dominant view of the last three to four decades (probably longer).

I won't deny that a great number of Obama supporters are enthralled and aren't thinking clearly, but it's a further claim to say that this makes him a worse candidate (a claim I've yet to see any argument for).

Of course he's enthralling...but our position just is that being enthralling is a good thing for a President. To count being enthralling against him is, as I said earlier, simply begging the question.

riese said...

victoria: Thanks!

annie:
Re: 1. jealous
Re: 2. I can safely say that magazines are the only thing (aside from the l word) that i'm on top of, let alone ahead of.
Re: 3. I know, right??
Re: (4): Nope. I tried once a few months ago and it wouldn't let me log in, and emailing gawker about my password seemed like one step too many for something I claim to loathe on principle. The comment boards there are reminding me of the cooler-than-thou kids at my u-mich newspaper arts section meetings -- like a battle of wits where the prize is um ... lols?

brooklyn boy: YAY!

eric matthew: That's the most amazing video I've ever seen in my life.

e. Yes, but you live in that fabled land we Americans always claim we're about to move to when things don't go our way -- and probs part of the appeal is that so many Canadians do seem to feel the way we wish we did. My soul (which I too often compare to a grinch) is probs more easily swayed than I like to admit ... but alas, I found that video swaying too.

A democrat has to win. If a democrat doesn't win ... well ... I've been considering a tropical island, or perhaps, you know ...

p.s. a big gigantic campaign-hug-but-with-heart thank you for noticing "printer of our discontent."

chloe: Oh your time -stamp makes me wistful for the part of waching CNN where Obama was still sweeping the nation.

the spaz: Agreed. And that's what's gotten this man so far -- is that he's not just a slick salesman. I think the intensity of his pitch is caused by the sincerity of it. I think he can follow through. YES HE CAN.

i'm just saying:
1. thank you for your voice of dissent.
2. see adam, below.
3. nowhere in my post do I say that Obama lacks substance. Why would I say that? It's not true. Their policies are, as I said, very similar. I'm not worried about his experience. He's at least worked in Washington and knows the ropes, which is more than I can say for the governors we keep electing to office.
4. I tend to believe that sincerity and gravitas -- mislabeled as "style" (and the word "style" itself, misapplied as a put-down) -- so to speak, cannot possibly carry anyone as far as Obama has gotten. If style was enough, we'd all be wearing H+M instead of Marc Jacobs -- but people who can afford to obviously shop at Marc Jacobs, because H+M stuff falls apart after you wash it twice. But I think what Obama offers us is the opportunity to have style & substance. He's like, Free City. I don't know what Hillary is. Ann Taylor? Versace? I'm having fun now thinking about fashion. This no longer is related even slightly to politics, or even to that metaphor you started. Hm.
5. see adam, below.

adam: Thank you, amen, I have just referred "i'm just saying" to you, because I cannot put together a sentence today.

dewey said...

Just one question.....

Obviously over here the whole system is totally different and when it comes to leaders of partys, the actual man/woman thats going to be PM, you have very little to say on who its going to be, unless your a member of the party. And even then the battle for leadership is never like this.

So do you think this inter competition type thing is good? Like a real battle between candidates of the same party, is it healthy? Or are there people that wont actual end up voting in the presidental elections, if their candidate doesnt win, will they lose interest?

Ok, i know thats three questions when i said one, but they basically all mean the same thing.

AK said...

I was truly moved by this piece and yes, got a giggle at "printer of our discontent". Oh if only this sun of York could make summer sun for us. Okay so he's not from York, she is; to the Brits, yes we will vote for a Democrat no matter whether we think we need an inspriring poet or a pragmatic woman of experience. We know that we are called upon to do whatever it takes to oust the Evil ones.

Only a few weeks ago I was going to vote for Hilary, but then I thought to heck with experience. Her brand of experience is not about change. Sure we have a mess alright, but solutions are not necessarily what we need. This country is fighting for its soul and that is a job for a poet.

Adam said...

There are definitely times when this sort of infighting hurts the party though...the Democrats will probably come out fine, but the Republican party seems to be coming to the breaking point between the actual conservatives and the people who use 'conservative' as a code word for 'heinously backward'.

At the same time, that might not be such a bad thing. It lets irrelevant parties fall apart right out instead of slowly deflating over the course of decades (Lib-Dems anyone?).

It's years like this when I get really envious of the French (or even British) system. How happy would I be if I could elect Obama President and have either Clinton or McCain as my PM (or I guess in the British system Obama would have to become King somehow). It's really sort of absurd that we expect the same person to be both our head of state and the head of our government.

Caitlin said...

you are welcome and on a totally superficial level i love that you compared obama to free city. i mean, if that doesn't swing my vote i don't know what will. holla.

letsdance said...

Subject: robin morgan weighs in on hillary

by Robin Morgan

“Goodbye To All That” was my 1970 essay breaking free from a politics of
accommodation especially affecting women."

"During my decades in civil-rights, anti-war, and contemporary women’s
movements, I’ve avoided writing another specific “Goodbye . . .”. But not
since the suffrage struggle have two communities--the joint
conscience-keepers of this country--been so set in competition, as the
contest between Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) and Barack Obama (BO) unfurls.
So.

Goodbye to the double standard . . .

--Hillary is too ballsy but too womanly, a Snow Maiden who’s emotional,
and so much a politician as to be unfit for politics.

--She’s “ambitious” but he shows “fire in the belly.” (Ever had labor
pains? )

--When a sexist idiot screamed “Iron my shirt!” at HRC, it was
considered amusing; if a racist idiot shouted “Shine my shoes!” at BO, it
would’ve inspired hours of airtime and pages of newsprint analyzing our
national dishonor.

--Young political Kennedys--Kathleen, Kerry, and Bobby Jr.--all endorsed
Hillary. Sen. Ted, age 76, endorsed Obama. If the situation were reversed,
pundits would snort “See? Ted and establishment types back her, but the
forward-looking generation backs him.” (Personally, I’m unimpressed with
Caroline’s longing for the Return of the Fathers. Unlike the rest of the
world, Americans have short memories. Me, I still recall Marilyn Monroe’s
suicide, and a dead girl named Mary Jo Kopechne in Chappaquiddick.)

Goodbye to the toxic viciousness . . .

Carl Bernstein's disgust at Hillary’s “thick ankles.” Nixon-trickster
Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating 527 group, “Citizens United Not Timid”
(check the capital letters). John McCain answering “How do we beat the
bitch?" with “Excellent question!” Would he have dared reply similarly to
“How do we beat the black bastard?” For shame.

Goodbye to the HRC nutcracker with metal spikes between splayed thighs.
If it was a tap-dancing blackface doll, we would be righteously outraged—and
they would not be selling it in airports. Shame.

Goodbye to the most intimately violent T-shirts in election history,
including one with the murderous slogan “If Only Hillary had married O.J.
Instead!” Shame.

Goodbye to Comedy Central’s “Southpark” featuring a storyline in which
terrorists secrete a bomb in HRC’s vagina. I refuse to wrench my brain down
into the gutter far enough to find a race-based comparison. For shame.

Goodbye to the sick, malicious idea that this is funny. This is not
“Clinton hating,” not “Hillary hating.” This is sociopathic woman-hating.
If it were about Jews, we would recognize it instantly as anti-Semitic
propaganda; if about race, as KKK poison. Hell, PETA would go ballistic if
such vomitous spew were directed at animals. Where is our sense of
outrage—as citizens, voters, Americans?

Goodbye to the news-coverage target-practice . . .

The women’s movement and Media Matters wrung an apology from MSNBC’s
Chris Matthews for relentless misogynistic comments
(www.womensmediacenter.com). But what about NBC’s Tim Russert’s continual
sexist asides and his all-white-male panels pontificating on race and
gender? Or CNN’s Tony Harris chuckling at “the chromosome thing” while
interviewing a woman from The White House Project? And that’s not even
mentioning Fox News.

Goodbye to pretending the black community is entirely male and all
women are white . . .

Surprise! Women exist in all opinions, pigmentations, ethnicities,
abilities, sexual preferences, and ages--not only African American and
European American but Latina and Native American, Asian American and Pacific
Islanders, Arab American and—hey, every group, because a group wouldn’t be
alive if we hadn’t given birth to it. A few non-racist countries may
exist--but sexism is everywhere. No matter how many ways a woman breaks free
from other oppressions, she remains a female human being in a world still so
patriarchal that it’s the “norm.”

So why should all women not be as justly proud of our womanhood and the
centuries, even millennia, of struggle that got us this far, as black
Americans, women and men, are justly proud of their struggles?

Goodbye to a campaign where he has to pass as white (which
whites—especially wealthy ones--adore), while she has to pass as male (which
both men and women demanded of her, and then found unforgivable). If she
were black or he were female we wouldn’t be having such problems, and I for
one would be in heaven. But at present such a candidate wouldn’t stand a
chance—even if she shared Condi Rice’s Bush-defending politics.

I was celebrating the pivotal power at last focused on African American
women deciding on which of two candidates to bestow their vote--until a
number of Hillary-supporting black feminists told me they’re being called
“race traitors.”

So goodbye to conversations about this nation’s deepest
scar—slavery—which fail to acknowledge that labor- and sexual-slavery exist
today in the US and elsewhere on this planet, and the majority of those
enslaved are women.

Women have endured sex/race/ethnic/religious hatred, rape and battery,
invasion of spirit and flesh, forced pregnancy; being the majority of the
poor, the illiterate, the disabled, of refugees, caregivers, the HIV/AIDS
afflicted, the powerless. We have survived invisibility, ridicule, religious
fundamentalisms, polygamy, teargas, forced feedings, jails, asylums, sati,
purdah, female genital mutilation, witch burnings, stonings, and attempted
gynocides. We have tried reason, persuasion, reassurances, and being
extra-qualified, only to learn it never was about qualifications after all.
We know that at this historical moment women experience the world
differently from men--though not all the same as one another--and can govern
differently, from Elizabeth Tudor to Michele Bachelet and Ellen Johnson
Sirleaf.

We remember when Shirley Chisholm and Patricia Schroeder ran for this
high office and barely got past the gate—they showed too much passion,
raised too little cash, were joke fodder. Goodbye to all that. (And goodbye
to some feminists so famished for a female president they were even willing
to abandon women’s rights in backing Elizabeth Dole.)

Goodbye, goodbye to . . .

--blaming anything Bill Clinton does on Hillary (even including his
womanizing like the Kennedy guys--though unlike them, he got reported on).
Let’s get real. If he hadn’t campaigned strongly for her everyone would
cluck over what that meant. Enough of Bill and Teddy Kennedy locking their
alpha male horns while Hillary pays for it.

--an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that
a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as
attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that
it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast
global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.

--the notion that it’s fun to elect a handsome, cocky president who
feels he can learn on the job, goodbye to George W. Bush and the destruction
brought by his inexperience, ignorance, and arrogance.

Goodbye to the accusation that HRC acts “entitled” when she’s worked
intensely at everything she’s done—including being a nose-to-the-grindstone,
first-rate senator from my state.

Goodbye to her being exploited as a Rorschach test by women who reduce
her to a blank screen on which they project their own fears, failures,
fantasies.

Goodbye to the phrase “polarizing figure” to describe someone who
embodies the transitions women have made in the last century and are poised
to make in this one. It was the women’s movement that quipped, “We are
becoming the men we wanted to marry.” She heard us, and she has.

Goodbye to some women letting history pass by while wringing their
hands, because Hillary isn’t as “likeable” as they’ve been warned they must
be, or because she didn’t leave him, couldn’t “control” him, kept her family
together and raised a smart, sane daughter. (Think of the blame if Chelsea
had ever acted in the alcoholic, neurotic manner of the Bush twins!) Goodbye
to some women pouting because she didn’t bake cookies or she did, sniping
because she learned the rules and then bent or broke them. Grow the hell
up. She is not running for Ms.-perfect-pure-queen-icon of the feminist
movement. She is running to be President of the United States.

Goodbye to the shocking American ignorance of our own and other
countries’ history. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir rose through party
ranks and war, positioning themselves as proto-male leaders. Almost all
other female heads of government so far have been related to men of
power—granddaughters, daughters, sisters, wives, widows: Gandhi,
Bandaranike, Bhutto, Aquino, Chamorro, Wazed, Macapagal-Arroyo, Johnson
Sirleaf, Bachelet, Kirchner, and more. Even in our “land of opportunity,” it’s
mostly the first pathway “in” permitted to women: Reps. Doris Matsui and
Mary Bono and Sala Burton; Sen. Jean Carnahan . . . far too many to list
here.

Goodbye to a misrepresented generational divide . . .

Goodbye to the so-called spontaneous “Obama Girl” flaunting her
bikini-clad ass online—then confessing Oh yeah it wasn’t her idea after all,
some guys got her to do it and dictated the clothes, which she said “made me
feel like a dork.”

Goodbye to some young women eager to win male approval by showing they’re
not feminists (at least not the kind who actually threaten the status quo),
who can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of
eeueweeeu yucky power, who fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if
they say something good about her. Goodbye to women of any age again
feeling unworthy, sulking “what if she’s not electable?” or “maybe it’s
post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free.” Let a statement by the
magnificent Harriet Tubman stand as reply. When asked how she managed to
save hundreds of enslaved African Americans via the Underground Railroad
during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, “I could have saved thousands—if
only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.”

I’d rather say a joyful Hello to all the glorious young women who do
identify with Hillary, and all the brave, smart men—of all ethnicities and
any age--who get that it’s in their self-interest, too. She’s better
qualified. (D’uh.) She’s a high-profile candidate with an enormous grasp of
foreign- and domestic-policy nuance, dedication to detail, ability to absorb
staggering insult and personal pain while retaining dignity, resolve, even
humor, and keep on keeping on. (Also, yes, dammit, let’s hear it for her
connections and funding and party-building background, too. Obama was
awfully glad about those when she raised dough and campaigned for him to get
to the Senate in the first place.)

I’d rather look forward to what a good president he might make in eight
years, when his vision and spirit are seasoned by practical know-how--and he’ll
be all of 54. Meanwhile, goodbye to turning him into a shining knight when
actually he’s an astute, smooth pol with speechwriters who’ve worked with
the Kennedys’ own speechwriter-courtier Ted Sorenson. If it’s only about
ringing rhetoric, let speechwriters run. But isn’t it about getting the
policies we want enacted?

And goodbye to the ageism . . .

How dare anyone unilaterally decide when to turn the page on history,
papering over real inequities and suffering constituencies in the promise of
a feel-good campaign? How dare anyone claim to unify while dividing, or
think that to rouse US youth from torpor it’s useful to triage the single
largest demographic in this country’s history: the boomer generation--the
majority of which is female?

Older woman are the one group that doesn’t grow more conservative with
age—and we are the generation of radicals who said “Well-behaved women
seldom make history.” Goodbye to going gently into any goodnight any man
prescribes for us. We are the women who changed the reality of the United
States. And though we never went away, brace yourselves: we’re back!

We are the women who brought this country equal credit, better pay,
affirmative action, the concept of a family-focused workplace; the women who
established rape-crisis centers and battery shelters, marital-rape and
date-rape laws; the women who defended lesbian custody rights, who fought
for prison reform, founded the peace and environmental movements; who
insisted that medical research include female anatomy, who inspired men to
become more nurturing parents, who created women’s studies and Title IX so
we all could cheer the WNBA stars and Mia Hamm. We are the women who
reclaimed sexuality from violent pornography, who put child care on the
national agenda, who transformed demographics, artistic expression, language
itself. We are the women who forged a worldwide movement. We are the proud
successors of women who, though it took more than 50 years, won us the vote.

We are the women who now comprise the majority of US voters.

Hillary said she found her own voice in New Hampshire. There’s not a
woman alive who, if she’s honest, doesn’t recognize what she means. Then HRC
got drowned out by campaign experts, Bill, and media’s obsession with All
Things Bill.

So listen to her voice:

“For too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even
today, there are those who are trying to silence our words.

“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or
drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born
girls. It is a violation of human rights when woman and girls are sold into
the slavery of prostitution. It is a violation of human rights when women
are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their
marriage dowries are deemed too small. It is a violation of human rights
when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands
of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war. It is a
violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide along
women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own
homes. It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to
plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or
being sterilized against their will.

“Women’s rights are human rights. Among those rights are the right to
speak freely--and the right to be heard.”

That was Hillary Rodham Clinton defying the US State Department and the
Chinese Government at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (the
full, stunning speech:
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/hillaryclintonbeijingspeech.htm).

And this voice, age 22, in “Commencement Remarks of Hillary D. Rodham,
President of Wellesley College Government Association, Class of 1969” (full
speech:
http://www.wellesley.edu/PublicAffairs/Commencement/1969/053169hillary.html)

“We are, all of us, exploring a world none of us understands. . . .
searching for a more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating mode of living. .
. . [for the] integrity, the courage to be whole, living in relation to one
another in the full poetry of existence. The struggle for an integrated life
existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with
desperately important political and social consequences. . . . Fear is
always with us, but we just don't have time for it.”

She ended with the commitment “to practice, with all the skill of our
being: the art of making possible.”

And for decades, she’s been learning how.

So goodbye to Hillary’s second-guessing herself. The real question is
deeper than her re-finding her voice. Can we women find ours? Can we do this
for ourselves? “Our President, Ourselves!”

Time is short and the contest tightening. We need to rise in furious
energy--as we did when courageous Anita Hill was so vilely treated in the US
Senate, as we did when desperate Rosie Jiminez was butchered by an illegal
abortion, as we did and do for women globally who are condemned for trying
to break through. We need to win, this time. Goodbye to supporting HRC
tepidly, with ambivalent caveats and apologetic smiles. Time to volunteer,
make phone calls, send emails, donate money, argue, rally, march, shout,
vote.

Me? I support Hillary Rodham because she’s the best qualified of all
candidates running in both parties. I support her because her progressive
politics are as strong as her proven ability to withstand what will be a
massive right-wing assault in the general election. I support her because
she’s refreshingly thoughtful, and I’m bloodied from eight years of a jolly
“uniter” with ejaculatory politics. I needn’t agree with her on every point.
I agree with the 97 percent of her positions that are identical with Obama’s—and
the few where hers are both more practical and to the left of his (like
health care). I support her because she’s already smashed the first-lady
stereotype and made history as a fine senator, and because I believe she
will continue to make history not only as the first US woman president, but
as a great US president.

As for the “woman thing”?

Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman--but because I am.