Wednesday, March 12, 2008

why i didn't vote for hillary

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.


The Future Was Yesterday said...

That was the best (and most accurate, imo), summation of her career since this comedy act started.

When Bill was going thru the witch hunt of his impeachment, Hillary called it "a vast right wing conspiracy", and she hung tough against the furor that resulted from such a charge. I would have carried a pail of gasoline thru the middle of hell with a lit cigarette in my mouth, for her.

And when Bill strode into the house the night before his impeachment trial to give his state of the union address, I swear to you I had tears of pride in my eyes!! Then he went on to pass NAFTA, and a bunch of other right wing shit.

I disapproved of Hillary moving to NY "just to run for the senate." It seemed so cold, so calculated. I felt you NYers were being used. It turns out you were.

I don't know what happened, how it happened or anything else, but when Hillary voted for this war, I knew the Hillary I knew was dead, and "just another robotic politician" had replaced her.

Today, I call her The Bitch, and I honestly hate her. There's not enough money in Fort Knox to get me to vote for that cow! She's mothing but Bush Lite, something I've said before.

I have to wonder, if way back when Bill was being impeached, if there wasn't some kind of a deal cut way back there to keep him from being impeached, that is only now manifesting itself?

Georg said...

Bonjour Betmo,

Your personal motives about voting are very interesting and well said. I try to understand and your text helps.

You seem to bear a grudge against HC because she became a NY senator without saying that the aimed at the Presidency. My question: is it possible to be mandated for Presidency by the Dems without being a Senator? I mean would it be possible to say " I am Bill's wife and I would like to become front runner this time." ?

Next you said she voted for the war and the PA. I remember that time very well. Here in Europe we were flabbergasted at this decision. As you know maybe several governments here were toppled just because people did not want to participate in this venture.So HC's decision to vote for the war was very much in accordance with the majority of your people who voted for 43 a second time.

Last not least you seem to imply she does not have vision - contrary to BO - being just one more politician as usual.

Seen from here it looks as if you are not really voting for a new US President but for a kind of Messiah. In the past for Bush (his "values") now for BO who is supposed to reopen Paradise in God's own country.

I have always been very much interested in history and what it tells us. There have always been people aplenty with a "grand design". Generally that spelled war and hardship at worst or inglorious shipwreck at best. That seems to be so because big changes cannot come without a big price ticket. And not every body is ready to pay.

Well, I fear you are in for a rough ride. As I like to say "interesting times ahead!"

Cheers Betmo, I like you

Carol Gee said...

betmo, your post is a great piece of writing. As Future said, you articulated what I have been unable to. I can really understand how it must feel to have gone through what you guys in upstate New York have experienced with Senator Clinton as your senator, and President Clinton making New York his headquarters.
I have been deeply saddened by her campaign that has been marked by such lack of principles.
BTW, I don't think we have to worry, because she will not get the nomination, in my opinion.
Thanks for this great post!

betmo said...

bonjour georg!! i am not personally looking for a messiah :) i cannot vouch for the rest of america. i know that the mood here is for change. i don't know how many people believe obama can deliver but he is not entrenched politics. i chose the word vision because it is one that the politicians use quite a bit- and to hillary's credit- she uses the word 'experience' more than 'change'. i have no idea why so many people re-elected george but i also know that in 2000 and 2004 there was much voting fraud and outright illegalities- so i wonder if he was really re-elected. but it's water under the bridge now anyway.

my esteem for clinton dropped because she portrayed herself one way and behaved in another. she continues to do so- in a methodical, calculated way. that is not to say i have embraced obama enthusiastically- i had faith in dennis kucinich. he is a man of integrity who would have tried to re-route america. with obama- i am hoping to at least stem the flow of war. i already voted in my primary- so i have done what i can.

i don't know what the general election will bring.

Renegade Eye said...

Bill Clinton had a hands off the economy philosophy, no different than the conservatives. He hired Jessie Helm's advisor, to be his, to destroy the welfare system. Clintonism is the continuation of Reaganism.

Obama is too close to Milton friedman clones.

Time said...


What are you looking for?

You are always jumping on the latest cause, pushing it, asking people to "sign up", posting on your side bar, demanding that people act.

Later, disenchanted for some reason, you change your mind, or find something wrong with that movement, or person.

Do you really expect people, or causes to be without defects?

I have checked out some of the people and causes you have asked me to (I have respect for your choices because of your writings) only to find out they weren't exactly what you thought they were. Then later, you back off the same people, or causes.

I'm not saying "I told you so", I'm wondering what your looking for, and what do you expect from any person, or cause that acts within the political arena?

Is it a surprise to find out that some "peace" blog would use hate tactics to describe the Bush administration? Is it OK to do that, or should we be sticking to the facts, which are enough to shine light on their abuses?

Is it a surprise to find out that a politician (Hillary) would do anything to win? Would Obama do the same thing if the positions were switched? YES!

I don't blame Hillary trying to get the votes of Mich. and Fla. included if she can. That is a decision of the party, not something she can declare.

If the party does it, is it because of her power in the party, or that the party wants to seem fair, to the public? The party will do what's in their best interests, according to what the public thinks is fair.

In politics, it all comes down to what's in the best interests of the politician, or the party, or the cause. So often, we get strange decisions. "Politics makes strange bedfellows."

Don't be so quick to jump in, don't be so quick to judge, just because a politician, or a cause makes a statement you agree with.

There is no such thing as a political messiah, and those who believe Obama is one, are mistaken.

I'd like to vote for Obama, but he has said nothing to me yet. He has great personal appeal, but where are his detailed answers to some of our problems? I won't get caught up in personalities, I want to know what they will do.

The only candidate I feel I know what he will do, is McCain, and I won't vote for his ideology.

So, in the end, it's a gamble. There is no way to know for sure. I'm willing to take a gamble, but I won't be a cheerleader for something I'm not sure of.

I would advise the same for you. Don't be such a cheerleader for a person, or a cause, and you won't be so discouraged when you are let down. You WILL be let down.

betmo said...

you are right time. i can't disagree. i guess i am not sure what i am looking for. i don't harbor any illusions about politics anymore. i agree with the folks- intrepid flame and renegade eye come to mind- who advocate 'a third party' infusion into the political arena. it won't happen with the political system set up we have now- it isn't designed to be more than that. you are right again that i become disenchanted and disillusioned when i find out all isn't what it appeared to be. i should be more forthcoming when that happens.

as to all of the whys and whats and wherefores- i don't know what i am looking for anymore. i started this journey wanting to make a difference and change things- and now- i realize that probably isn't going to happen. not because there aren't people trying but because we are past the tipping point. i don't harbor illusions about obama being anything but a politician. what this post is about- the zealotry and the smearing by the clinton campaign and the hypocrisy of her followers to recognize that they are using the same tactics as the right wing. or maybe that's the post above- whatever. the sentiment is the same.

no- obama isn't a saviour but he isn't exactly status quo either. so- no- i don't think i am looking to him for anything other than what he appears to be- a symbol of hope in a world that doesn't have any. i am not an enthusiastic supporter of obama- i am still a fan of dennis kucinich but he isn't running. he had a platform and ideas that i did get behind. i felt it my duty as a citizen to vote in the primaries here in new york- and i did. i haven't seen the amount of zealotry behind obama that i have clinton- that isn't to say it isn't there- just not in the circles i read- so i guess i just wanted to post something here rather than attempt to comment on the many blogs i have been to employing the same tired rovian rhetoric.

in the grander scheme of things- i haven't a clue as to why i bother. i think i only really blog anymore because i enjoy the exchange with a small group of really nice, decent people. politics just happens to be the tie binding us at the moment. i can't disagree with what you wrote- and this is just a lame ass way of attempting to explain where i am at. it has been a strange journey from naivete to cynicism but here i am.