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oh, spare me

Posted by pocochina on April 4, 2008

I didn’t do it, and if I did, the bitch made me. (Via)
Alright.  So it’s nice to see someone call Obama out on his caimpaign tactics, which are probably roughly equally negative to HRC’s, and at the beginning of the campaign were far more so.  Credit to the Inky, and hee! it’s gotta be the most-read newspaper in PA.  But I absolutely cannot shake this comment.  You know all those sanctimonious reactionary douchebags who walk around every time a Democrat gets caught with his fly down going “oh, it’s not the sex, it’s the lying!”*  I’m about to sound like them a little, so hold on to your hats.

It’s not the negativity.  It’s the bullshit.

I really don’t pretend I am the mistress of the high ground of public discourse.  I don’t mind a spot of negative campaigning here and there.  If a candidate is a misogynist asshole, then fuck, I do want to know about it, and dammit, I want everyone else to know about it, too.  I don’t think that’s off limits.

However, I do think it’s off-limits to knowingly lie about your opponent.  To consciously appeal to deep-seated and largely unacknowledged prejudices you are aware that people hold against your opponent, even when you have every reason to know that such an approach is morally reprehensible (and in the long-run, politically fuckin’ stupid).  To project your inconsistencies onto your opponent.

HRC didn’t make Barack Obama do anything.  He is a successful politician and is responsible for his own campaign.  And even if she did, that doesn’t say good things about him either, because he’s purported to make positive campaigning and respectful politics a cornerstone of his candidacy.  So when he says “oh, I went negative because she started it,” not only is he making an argument that he wouldn’t accept from his kids, he comes across – whether this is true or not – like winning is more important to him than any of his principles.  As someone calculating.  As just another Washington insider politician who would do anything to win.  Like the person he’s gone out of his way to say Senator Clinton is.  And if she, a member of his own party, a person who those who support him claim cannot beat him, does have the political power to make him give up that which he’s supposed to hold in such high regard, then fuck, how’s he going to face down the GOP, not just in November, but for years after that?

And again, I can live with all that.  I am a realist about these things.  If American political debate ever moves more about relevant issues and less about personal attacks (and I do believe that will happen eventually, if only because of the power of mass media), it’s going to happen at a pace that makes glaciers look like 747s.  What rankles about this – and I really, really try to write from a vote-for-Clinton perspective, rather than don’t-vote-for-Obama analysis, I saw this three times before I made up my mind to write – is the age-old effort to make a person of a marginalized group (in this case, women) carry the weight of our societal disapproval of something.  Don’t like premarital sex?  Ban abortion, those hussies need to face the consequences.  Economy sucks?  Fuckin’ “illegal,” code word for Hispanic, immigrants. Kerry lost in 2004 because of those gays wanting their civil rights and shit, getting all the homophobic loonies to the polls.  Rank fucking victim-blaming.

Frustrated with the way elections center around nasty, irrelevant personal attacks rather than substantive policy discussion?  Don’t hold your dumb-assed press accountable, no need to turn off MSNBC.  No need to run for office, no need to write to a campaign or send a letter to the editor, or start a blog, or speak up to your friends, or give a little money to an organization that gets out the word on issues you care about.  Blame Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Hillary Clinton.  Of all people.  Hillary Clinton is the fucking patron saint of people whose lives, careers, whose very selves have been sacrificed on the alter of scapegoating in lieu of true political progress.  How anyone dares to even think put the very machine that’s tried to destroy her for years now on her shoulders is beyond me.

Blaming Senator Clinton for social problems is not a way to fix them.  It is a way to ignore them, or make them more deeply entrenched.  I am deeply disappointed in Senator Obama tonight.

*Yeah, I realize that for them it really was all about the sex, and I happen to believe general standard of decency that nobody should be publicly asked about legal, consensual sexual activity.  Even if you’re super afraid that his cock is bigger than yours.

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