Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Fluttering Liberal Heart

marjorie says...

This is enough to make a liberal heart flutter. Change is in the air! Hope!

But maybe not a radical heart.


Those of you have read this blog over the years will recognize my reaction...I'm probably pretty predictable. When it comes to presidential races I tend to check out, I'm quite the cynic about anyone who runs, and simply want whoever the Democrat is to win so that he (or she...ha!) will bring the rest of the crew with them. I know this is a lame reaction, that the president has an enormous amount of power, that its an important decision, and that I should be more engaged.

Paul Krugman is right on the money in the column Maggie referenced in the comments. The Clinton's were viciously attacked in the 90s, and I really don't think it's fair to talk about what a disappointment they were without pointing that out. Remember Kenneth Starr? It was truly sickening, and really showed the difference between R's and D's. It got to a point in which Clinton simply could do very little (of course, doing very little would have been a lot better than moving to the right).

And Krugman is right about the excitement among many liberals about Obama being a lot like Bill Clinton was in '92, for me anyway. We don't know all that much about him, and there's a lot of hope that he'll change things if he gets to the White House. I remember when Bill Clinton won, it was very exciting. I was quite energized by it, having grown up in the 80s during the Reagan heyday, in a pretty conservative environment. I always knew I was a Democrat. But Bill was a huge disappointment in many ways. I almost wrote a blog laying out the reasons, but why waste my time?

Would Hillary be just as bad? Probably. Would Obama? Maybe. Like Bill in '92, there is really no way to know.

I may get energized and write a comparison of the two in the next week, but don't hold your breath. I'm just going to go vote, and I'm probably not going to tell any of you who I'm voting for. It will most likely be based in things other than policy questions...since those are virtually the same for both of them.

In the end, the nastiest fight is going to come with the Republicans. They're either going to attack Hillary for being a strong woman, or they're going to attack Obama for being a black man. There aren't other reasons for their dislike. And we need to be ready for it.