Saturday, February 09, 2008

Indecision 2008 by Anthony McCarthy

It’s been a really interesting experience, having so many good Democrats running for the presidential nomination. Tomorrow I’m going to have to choose who to stand up for in caucus. It's the first time in my life that I'm undecided this late in the season.

Kucinich was closest to my positions, though he certainly didn’t have a chance at the nomination and disappointed me with his lack of political acumen. His New Hampshire recount, in the absence of real evidence that there were problems with the vote and with no chance that it would change anything about the outcome, was ridiculous. I hope he survives the challenges for his Congressional seat and learns something from the experience, though that is a matter for his constituents to decide. Dennis. Love you, but symbolic candidacies are counterproductive.

Chris Dodd. What a shame that this serious and intelligent candidate didn’t have any chance of gaining traction. His failure is just more evidence of how the corporate media system actively destroys some of our best candidates through ignoring them. He would have made a very good president.

Joe Biden. I would have supported him in a general election if I had to, but it was clear from the beginning that wasn’t going to happen. He lost my support for the nomination in the 80s.

Bill Richardson made a very credible case for him being taken seriously as a member of the short list for VP. He also would probably have been a good president.

John Edwards was my early favorite among those who had any chance. His position in the best tradition of egalitarian populism and his passion mixed with sheer intelligence would have made him an excellent president. He would have been what Carter and Bill Clinton might have been. He had better policy positions than either of them ended up with and was cagey enough to be able to get more of it into law. He was the most prepared to avoid the dangers of Insider Washington and able to read history and the present. His credibility is why he was the target of the lying media from the beginning.

And now we have two very good candidates but can only choose one.

Hillary Clinton would be a very good president. I’ve said that Bill Clinton was the most intelligent president in our history but often not the wisest. Hillary Clinton has proven that she is more than his match in intelligence and much wiser. Her case that she had learned from her experiences as the lightening rod of the corporate media and the Republican lie machine as well as her own mistakes in national healthcare is rock solid. She is one of the indispensable people in the Democratic Party. My reservations about some of her past votes, especially the authorization given for Bush in Iraq, are valid but in politics you don’t get to vote for perfect candidates. There has never been one, not even Kucinich, with a perfect record.

Hillary Clinton’s election would also mean that it had been done, a woman had been elected President of the United States. That is not in any way insignificant, it would change things for women as few things have in recent years.

Barack Obama is not the same kind of candidate as Hillary Clinton, he brings other qualities to consider. He matches Hillary Clinton in many things, though in some doesn’t come up to her experience, at least not yet. I don’t know if that lack of DC experience is all that much of a setback considering what having it can mean. One thing that he alone brings is the level of interest in his prominence in areas of the world such as Africa and the Middle East. It is possible that his election could do a lot to mitigate the damage done to the United States by the Bush-Cheney juntas and the Reagan years. His election would also mean that the election of an African-American had been achieved, overcoming the covertly racist policy of the Republican era.

We have to have a Democrat as President next year. The choice comes down to who seems to have the best chance to beat John McCain and I don’t know who that will be in November, it will have to be based on whoever seems most likely to defeat him tomorrow. Both of the choices are excellent incomparison to any Republican, both of them are indispensable to the Democratic Party.

Many people are wishing for some combination of Clinton and Obama on the same ticket and it would be very hard for Republicans to beat that combination. But don’t expect it to happen. Clinton - Obama is more likely than the reverse, I can’t imagine Hillary Clinton settling for VP after making such a credible run against all odds. Remember those who confidently expected little Ricky to beat her for the Senate? I might be wrong and hope I am. Wherever she ends up in government, she will be very important for the future.

I can imagine Obama accepting the VP position knowing that he would likely play a strong role as Al Gore did. His abilities and talents make him one of the most credible Democratic politicians we have today.

Whichever one is the Democratic nominee will have my support and can count me as a volunteer to get the Democratic vote out in November.