once upon a time, i had enormous respect for hillary rodham-clinton. she is an intelligent; thoughtful, well-spoken- and let's face it- i found her to be- a strong woman. we certainly don't have enough of them represented in politics. she took a lot of shit from the right- and when she decided to uproot and come to new york- hey- i defended her. after all, didn't robert kennedy do the same thing? no biggie. i wouldn't go back to arkansas either. anyhoo- i live in upstate new york and while the rest of the country- and probably planet- sees new york as nyc- it's actually a much bigger place. most of the population is downstate though- probably why they have their residence on the other side of the state- and bill's offices in harlem. they don't actually live in chautauqua. they just maintain a home there. but i digress. where was i? ah yes. 2000- and patrick moynihan was stepping down due to ill health. he was pretty well liked here and when he endorsed her- hell, lots of upstaters voted for her. did i mention that upstate new york is red and downstate is blue? so- hillary won and for much of the first 2 or 3 years, she made regular trips through upstate on her 'learning tour'- to see for herself how new yorkers really lived. and we were proud. we felt that she and shumer were kick ass and would make some changes in washington while we rode out bush's first term- and hoped he wouldn't get another. but he did.
i started to notice that hill didn't come back to upstate quite as much and she had voted several times for republican legislation- well let's put it this way- that i didn't agree with. but she was gaining popularity in the senate- and with that power. she was pushing for healthcare for all of new york's children- things couldn't be that bad. but i began to wonder. hill was centralizing quite a bit and in 2006 she ran for re-election. she evaded questions as to whether she was going to run for president. she said she was focusing on her re-election bid. and i wanted to believe her. i fully intended to vote for her- but she just wouldn't deny a presidential bid and i knew she was lying. lying to the people of new york. i voted for jonathan tasini in the primaries and i emailed hillary's campaign and her senate web site as a constituent. no reply. not that i expected one. she won the primary handily and i had to vote for her in the general election. i thought perhaps she would see that we needed strong people in the congress to stand up to bushco- and with her and pelosi and susan collins and olympia snowe- those strong women- maybe something would change.
hillary announced that she would seek the nomination for president- and that sealed the deal. on top of her right leaning votes- her vote for the patriot act and the iraq war- she lied to me and the rest of her constituents and now she is lying about barack obama. all's fair in war and politics i guess but i thought so much more of her. as a person. as a woman. as a democrat. i guess i thought wrong. she doesn't have the vision to move america in any direction. she doesn't have any vision other than status quo.
she has her sights set on the white house and she is using rovian tactics to get there. she isn't using racial slurs- geraldine ferraro is playing the race card. she isn't saying obama is a muslim- but she is implying that he is. she doesn't need the dirty tricks but she's using them. her gender doesn't really matter one whit to me- her character does. if anything- woman to woman- i would have expected more from her. i expected that she would behave compassionately and fairly and risen above the patriarchal politics steeped in the boy's only traditions. i would have thought that if she had vision- she would have blazed a new trail in politics and led the way out of the dirt and the slime that were the hallmark of american politics since time immemorial.
but she didn't. it isn't a case of me not wanting a female president. i want a president who has a vision for change. barack obama has the rhetoric and i believe he wants to move towards that. out of the two whole choices i had left- i had no choice but to cast my vote in the primary accordingly. i cannot vote for a sexist, racist panderer who slings mud and uses dirty tricks in order to win votes. if i did- i may as well vote mccain. i don't know who i will vote for if hillary wins the nomination- perhaps i won't vote for president at all. this time- i vote conscience across the board.