Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Why Vote For Obama?

There's a meme going around about some who supported Clinton now threatening to vote for McCain rather than for Obama. I'm almost 100% convinced that the number of people who would do that is vanishingly small and that the megaphone this story is getting on the net has to do with something else altogether. Perhaps Republicans are spreading the meme? Or most likely it's those among the Democrats who just don't want to put this wonderfully bloody and bruising primary fight to bed. Either way, pursuing that avenue is not unifying, useful or healing, to either anyone who might contemplate voting for McCain for such reasons or for anyone who likes to contemplate someone doing that.

Did you notice that I wrote that whole paragraph without specifying the gender of those Clinton supporters? Have you noticed that this is not usually the case in the stories based on this meme?

The common way of approaching this topic is to imply that it is female voters who are considering this dastardly deed of no party faithfulness, not male voters. I'm not sure if research backs up that generalization? Perhaps it does.

Well, Scott Lemieux tells why women and feminists should vote for Obama:

But even when it comes to women's rights, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The enforcement of civil rights protections for women is likely to be much less in a Republican administration, for example. The global gag order will remain firmly in place. And in general, four more years of a tax-cut-supporting, massive-defense-spending GOP president will not only make any kind of serious progressive reform (much of which disproportionately benefits women even if not specifically targeted to do so) virtually impossible for four more years but will also make it more difficult in the future. A McCain presidency would be very, very bad for women even if not a single Supreme Court vacancy opens up during his tenure.

I agree with Scott. You don't want to jump out of the frying pan of these last eight years into the fire of yet another Republican Reich, so to speak. But I think his post could have been delayed a little longer.

Why? Because the Democratic Primary was truly a historic one, a sign of how far the nation has come. Dreams were being pursued in that race! And either outcome would have been spine-tinglingly exciting for many -- if not most -- Americans.

But once the winner has been declared some dreams will remain dreams and those who held the dream of seeing the first woman president of the United States must now get used to the idea that it will take a while longer, perhaps even a whole lot longer. Yes, it's possible to feel exhilarated about the nomination of Barack Obama and what it means for this country, while at the same time feeling sad about what it does not mean. Acknowledging that loss seems important, too, while also celebrating the history-changing event that Obama's nomination is.

But Scott is certainly right in his recommendations. McCain does not have women's best interest in his policy platform. Rather, women's rights are what he serves to his fundie base as exchange for votes.