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  • Saturday, March 08, 2008


    Ennui vs Obama vs Clinton

    This election season is boring me to tears. In terms of mainstream electoral preferences (ie, the two major parties), I'm firmly in the Dem camp. It should be said, however, that I think national elections in the USA are generally at the bottom of the electorate's ability to change society, the absolute minimum responsibility a voter/citizen can take.

    Despite the hoopla about how wonderful it is that Dems have a choice between a Black man and a white woman, how amazing and wonderful it is that the US has reached a point where these groups can aspire to and probably achieve the White House, it remains a sorry indictment of our society that this happens in 2008.

    And what of those Dem two candidates? I'd estimate that the actual difference between their stated positions is minimal, probably under 5%. They are much more alike than different, representative of the right-centrist positions of the Dems. Once you delve beyond the surface excitement of their unique identities, there is little for me to be excited about.

    Obama is wonderfully charismatic. My housemate, Fierce Celt, had the premonition that Obama would run when she saw him speak at the 2004 Dem convention. His charisma and ability to speak to people's aspirations was apparent and obvious.

    And Clinton? It's been obvious at least since the Clintons left the White House in 2001 that she was positioning herself for the Prez run. (Even earlier to some people but I'm speaking about myself.)

    But I'm left with a violent antipathy towards both of them. Beyond the words and promises, the substance of their positions remains rather less than radical. Oh, much better than Bush II across the board or McCain but these Dems still generally support the status quo of corporate Amerika.

    Health care? Force people to buy insurance, whether they can afford it or not. (Government will tell you if you can afford it.) And if you don't buy it, face penalties, probably including jail in extreme circumstances. At the least, financial penalties. How compassionate, how generous, how uplifting for people struggling to survive.

    Iraq? Yeah, we'll get the troops out, sometime, as long as it suits our foreign policy. The US can't just abandon Iraq, right? We've got responsibilities and commitments to the people of Iraq.

    Don't get me wrong: I will probably vote Dem in November '08. That doesn't mean I'm happy with them.

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