26 September 2007

Bush for Hillary '08?

Reports have come out that in Bill Sammon's upcoming book, The Evangelical President, Bush predicts that Hillary is a shoe-in for the nomination. I don't want to put too much stock in what our xx leader has to say--he's been wrong before, after all. But the issue of Hillary's viability as a candidate is interesting for me.

You see, I'm not sold. I wish that I were, but I'm not.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is absolutely convinced--but not because of Hillary's politics. For my second-wave, march-on-Washington, hold-an-undying-grudge-against-Phyllis- Schafly MIL, Hillary's campaign is the dream of Geraldine Ferraro revived and made real once again. For her, the opportunity for a woman to hold the highest office in the land trumps any voting record or political past. It's the feminist dream of the 1970s come to fruition.

I want to sympathize with that sentiment. I want to see a woman in the White House doing something more than hosting a polite gathering of tea cups. I want to believe that a woman could do an even better job than a man. I want to believe that Sally Fields is right-- "if women ran the world there would be no God damn wars in the first place." But I know that it's too reductive. And as much as I have the impulse to second those sentiments, I know that they actually continue and preserve the stereotypes that keep women making, on average,only 81% of what men make for the same jobs.

I want to like Hillary. I want the vote I cast for her--if it comes to that--to be one I'm excited about making. The problem is, she keeps giving me reasons to doubt. I watched her interview with Tim Russert last Sunday on Meet the Press hoping that she could give me a reason to change my mind. It didn't happen. I keep waiting, but it doesn't happen.

Here's my problem-- I get irritated by one issue voters. I hate that the last election was most likely decided because people were voting pro-choice and anti-gay. I hate that people can actually buy into Bush's rhetoric about a culture of life when he's pro- death penalty and instigated what seems to be a hellish and un-winnable war. It simplifies the issue too much. I think the reason politics have become so dichotomized in recent years is because Americans tend to cling to one-issue campaigns and fail to examine the complexities of each issue. We don't like complexity. We live in the echo-chamber, listening only to the opinions that please us. And that's dangerous, I think, for democracy in general. But still, I can't get over Hillary's vote for going to war, her continued (until recently) support for that war, and her reluctance to admit the mistake of those votes. I don't want to be a one issue voter, but I feel like I am with her.

I want a woman in the White House, but I also want the right person in the White House. We've had the wrong person for seven years now.

I do think it's interesting, though, that Bush himself thinks that she's the one that has a shot. He doesn't predict victory for the Democrats, but, like I said, he's been wrong about stuff before.

1 comment:

The Yellow Dart said...

If there is going to be a Clinton as president lets give it back to bill. He cleaned up the first Bush's mess. I don't think Hillary would be a good president and it is not because she is a woman. She does not have convication. She doesn't seem genuine on any of the big issues. Like you said she voted for the war and will not admit the mistake. She does not have any viable plan that I have heard for fixing my problems like taking $100 to fill my gas tank or to see a Doctor if I get the flu, and I have damn good insurence.
Besides what would we call her President Hillary?!?!
I don't think there would be less violence if women ruled the world. Matriarcle societys have constantly been far more violent. Women are just as kiniving and dishonest as men.