Sunday, April 20, 2008

Some Thoughts on the State of the Race

Yesterday I e-mailed my friend who is a superdelegate and, echoing the words of Dr. Howard Dean, I suggested that it is time for her to make her endorsement and I also presumptuously went on to suggest who she might endorse. Barack Obama, of course, is my choice, citing as my evidence my disgust with the Clinton's campaign tactics, and the fresh perspective that Obama brings to the political arena. I have not heard back from my friend, and don't really expect to, knowing how busy she is - she is not only a superdelegate, but she also runs a 527 organization and is in the middle of trying a class action lawsuit against Union Carbide over carbon black exhaust that has polluted the entire Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma.

Superdelegates are busy people. We are all fairly busy people - trying to make ends meet, trying to keep up with the twists and turns in this political year, trying to budget our paychecks so that we don't end up charging too much on our credit cards at the end of each month. In the midst of all of this economic turmoil, we are faced with making one of the most significant decisions that we may ever decide. Who will be our next president? I hope against hope that all of the infighting between Obama and Clinton hasn't permanently damaged the party to the extent that it would be impossible for us to come together and show up at the polls and defeat John McCain. But I am beginning to wonder. What will all those Hillary supporters do when she is not the nominee? Will they take their marbles and go home? I hope not, because every vote that we don't cast for the Democratic candidate is essentially a vote for the GOP, for at least four more years of the tragic war in Iraq and the downtrodden economy.

Just reviewing a few blogs and web sites I am aware how rabid and dug-in the Hillary supporters have become. They all seem as implacable as their heroine, as determined to deny reality as she is. This, I worry, may prove to be a problem not only for Obama but also for the nation come November. What we cannot risk is another stolen or even a close-enough election for the GOP to win via more election shenanigans. What we must do is get every newly-registered voter to the polls on November 4th and make sure that they are not handed easily-dismissed provisional ballots. We need to make sure that all the enthusiastic young voters who have turned out in record numbers for Obama are not sitting at home on that fateful Tuesday in November. What we must do is WIN in November - that is what matters the most, a victory over greed, incredible hubris, dishonesty and a violent outlook on the world and our neighbors. We all know that it will likely take years and more than one Democratic administrations to undo the horrible damage done by the Bush/Cheney administration. We cannot wait or risk a continuation of these despicable policies.

I am reminded of a line from one of my all-time favorite movies, Thelma & Louise. (It is a decisive moment in the film, when Louise is contemplating her future - in Mexico - and she needs to know if Thelma is with her on her trip or not, and it goes like this):
"Are you up to this? I mean, I have to know. This isn't a game. I'm in deep shit. I gotta know what you're gonna do." This is the question I pose to each and every Hillary Clinton backer in the country right now - I gotta know what you're gonna do. If not today, then definitely by the middle of next week - I hope that Pennsylvania doesn't leave us hanging, but if it does, I hope that the superdelegates see the writing on the wall and come on board the Obama bandwagon, and end the madness of indecision of the Democratic primary and name our nominee (Senator Barack Obama).

Facing Obama Fund-Raising Juggernaut, Clinton Seeks New Sources of Cash (NYTimes, April 20, 2008)

Clintons Sort Friends: Past and Present (NYTimes, April 20, 2008)

Michael Moore Endorses Obama

Viva Obama!

No comments: