Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hillary and the Sympathy Vote

I'll admit it: I go through moodswings. And for no good reason, I'm now feeling depressed that Hillary really might get the Dem nomination. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike her. But I'm convinced that Obama is a much better candidate. And the reason why I believe that is the same reason why I'm getting depressed about it: Hillary is now firmly under attack and people are therefore feeling sympathy for her and want to defend her; just as they did with Bill.

While she was once running as the invincible fighting candidate, now she's the besieged candidate being wrongly smeared. And everyone's falling for it. And this is my exact problem with the Clintons: They don't play offense. It's all defense. It's all about waiting for their enemies to overplay their hand (which Republicans always do) and then counter-punching. But they seem to lack any follow through. Instead of taking the initiative, they sit back and wait for their enemy to attack again.

And that's why they're having trouble with Obama, because Obama isn't going to overplay his hand. But it looks like the anti-Hillary loons are coming out of the woodwork all the same, and people are rushing to her defense. And I'm sorry, but that's just retarded. That's one of the lamest reasons to support someone for president, ranking right up there with your desire to drink a beer with the person. This isn't a popularity contest or some high school anti-bully league we're talking about. This is the most powerful elected official in the world, yet people are going to base their decision on wanting to spite her enemies? This simply isn't rational.

Hell, I think the beer-drinking test is a better reason to elect a candidate, as opposed to the sympathy vote. At least we'd be basing it on how nice the person is; rather than on how badly they're being smeared. And I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a beer with Barack than Hillary or McCain. Heck, while I'll vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination, I really can't imagine ever wanting to drink a beer with her, even if she was buying and it was the fancy German beer I like so much. Perhaps a good cup of coffee and a doughnut, but I really don't want to get drunk with her and I certainly don't want to see her drunk. Again, I'm sure she wouldn't be such a bad president, but she kind of weirds me out.

All Defense, All the Time

And this is exactly how things played out in the 90's; and Clinton Myths aside, the 90's sucked politically. I've been insulted repeatedly at Carpetbagger's for saying that, but it's true. While the economic boom was great, the Republicans kicked our asses in the 90's.

Sure, Bill saw many short-term victories pushing conservative policies and he remained popular, but in the meantime, we saw a tidal wave of conservativism wash over our country in ways that younger people can't even comprehend. While we remained a liberal nation, that term itself was considered a dirty word even by liberals themselves. I myself used to deny the liberal label, because it was so tainted. And I lay part of the blame for that on the Clintons, for their short-sighted tunnel-vision which made them act like "New" Democrats, which meant that nobody was defending traditional liberal values anymore. The fights were partisan, but not ideological.

But whatever we think of Bill Clinton and the 90's, he wasn't the Great Liberal Warrior. He won battles by adopting conservative positions and waiting for Gingrich and the other Republicans to overplay their hands. The whole impeachment debacle is the best example of that. Sure, Bill won; but he still got impeached. And it made his popularity stronger than ever, but that popularity was never used to help us. It only helped him play better defense against the goons attacking him; but there was never much offense at all.

Why Hillary?

And that's exactly where I see the tide turning now. Mean old Obama, who used to be too lightweight and nice to fight Republicans, is suddenly a big jerk picking on poor Hillary. And some of his supporters say rude things. And I'm afraid that might be enough. She decided to stop playing offense against Barack and is now mainly trying to rely on the sympathy vote; just like Bill did. And as long as her supporters act like the tunnel-vision fighters they appear to be, it just might work.

I've yet to see any satisfactory explanations to why they support her over Barack. Hell, yesterday one firm Hillary supporter insisted that her plan to get her legislation passed was to reach across the aisle and has proven as a Senator that she can be bi-partisan; despite the fact that she has been attacking Barack for weeks for saying the same stuff. Apparently, being nice and working with the other side only works if you're a fighter and everyone on the other side hates your guts. No, I don't understand this either.

I'm convinced that the primary reason many of these people support her is simply out of spite for the people who attack her. They've held this resentment since the Clintons left the Whitehouse and see this election as the the final blow to prove to the world that the Clintons won the 90's. I strongly suspect that's part of Hillary's motivation too. But her victory won't be the final blow. It's just the first step ensuring the rematch; allowing the Clinton haters another opprotunity to finally take out the Big Dog and his wife. They could have retired to peace, relaxation, and speaking tours; but instead have opted to get the last laugh. And now we're supposed to feel sorry for them. Great.

And I can't think of a worse reason to vote for her; yet I'm now growing worried it will work. Or maybe it's just a seasonal depression thing on my part. I've got a few big things going on in my life (positive things) and I think my karma's been thrown out of whack and is making me worry about this other stuff as a way of balancing out the good things. But if all goes according to plan, Barack will be winning several of the upcoming primaries and putting my worries to rest. Let's hope for that.


Dennis said...

The prospect of Clinton, another Clinton, getting the nomination annoys the hell out of me. Even more annoying is her supporters' tendency to equate factual criticism of either of them with Hillary Hatred or Clinton Derangement Syndrome. I've been accused of echoing Republican talking points for mentioning some of President Clinton's actions in office or questioning some of his wife's votes. Denying their candidate's flaws and discounting the real antipathy and mistrust that many Americans have for the Clintons is the rule of the day. Their arguments seem to boil down to "Vote for Hillary because she'd be the first woman president," or "Vote for Hillary because her election would piss off the Republicans." Neither reason seems compelling enough to grant a waiver to the Clinton's for their past actions.

Hopefully, Obama will cinch the nomination in the remaining contests. Very hopefully, Obama will not come in to the convention with a plurality and then see the nomination given to Clinton through shenanigans by the Credentials Committee and/or the Super Delegates. If the outcome is another Clinton candidacy she will either lose narrowly to St. John McCain or win with less than half of a percent. In either case, there will be another Republican-majority Congress. Neither Clinton nor McCain will be a two-term president. Obama, on the other hand...

Dale said...

Someone is using your name over at the Carpetbagger Report and saying asinine things like (and I quote)

Doctor Biobrain said:

Ha! Suck it. Suck it hard. Suck it long. But of course, I mean that in the nicest possible way.

And yes, this was my mature response. You don’t want to see the other one.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Sorry Dale, but that was me. You'll just have to get used to it. I'm the smartest person in the world, and when I get bored, I write serious stuff. That's just how it goes.

But I was just kidding around anyway. Perhaps some day I'll get over my big aversion to emoticons and help people know when I'm making a joke. I just feel like that's cheating and avoid using them at all costs. <&-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc. If it's any consolation, I decided to vote for Barack on Super Tuesday for exactly the same reasons you stated in your post.

Guess that makes me almost the smartest person in the world...


Doctor Biobrain said...

Indeed it does, bcf. Indeed it does.