Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Gearing For The Primaries

Do you have a hard time deciding how to assign your vote in the Democratic Primaries? Don't worry, you can ask Maureen Dowd about the details that might matter. Here she explains whether you should vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama:

Has Hillary truly changed, and grown from her mistakes? Has she learned to be less stubborn and imperious and secretive and vindictive and entitled? Or has she merely learned to mask her off-putting and self-sabotaging qualities better? If elected, would the old Hillary pop up, dragging us back to the dysfunctional Clinton kingdom? She is speaking in a soft, measured voice in these final days, so that, as with Daisy Buchanan, you have to lean in to listen. But is she really different than she was in the years when she was so careless about the people around her getting hurt by the Clinton legal whirlwind that she was dubbed the Daisy Buchanan of the boomer set?

The underlying rationale for her campaign is that she is owed. Owed for moving to Arkansas and giving up the name Rodham, owed for pretending to care about place settings and menus when she held the unappetizing title of first lady, owed for enduring one humiliation after another at the hands of her husband.

Oddly, Barack and Michelle Obama also radiate a sense that they are owed. Not for a lifetime of sublimation and humiliation, but for this onerous campaign, for offering themselves up to save and uplift the nation, even though it disrupted their comfortable lives.

It may be interesting, especially if you live inside the Beltway and live your life in those little social circles, but it offers nothing about how Clinton and Obama would govern, what their policies are and which of them (or of the other candidates) would be best for a particular voter. I know that some think we live in a post-modern era, but maybe we could at least deconstruct the candidates' policies instead of their private lives or the gossips about their characters?