Friday, February 08, 2008

Since it came up in the comments...

There are a couple of responses to this weeks AW Newsletter editorial. Since not everyone who reads the blog reads the newsletter, I'm going to repost the editorial, here, sans only the salutation:

The daffodils are poking up through the mulch, very bright young green against the perpetual gray of the Northwest spring weather.

I've been looking at the plum trees in the yard, thinking I need to prune them. It always feels so wrong to me to prune a tree as aggressively as the fruit trees seem to prefer. The horses got their first worming of the new year, and all their feet trimmed. They're still fuzzy with Winter coats, though, and seem like they will be for a while.

I'll be going to the caucus for my voting district, Saturday, since the Dems aren't planning to count the primaries in Washington state. Since I'm hardly a shrinking violet about my opinions, I've been talking politics wherever I go; so it is I've met a number of folks (elderly or else young mothers, most of them) in my district who need a ride to the caucus - so I'll be spending a good part of the morning with Google maps, so I can pick people up on the way.

Whoever your candidate might be, I can't encourage you strongly enough to do something to support him or her. Our system may indeed be gravely flawed, but it's the system we have to work with.

While Absolute Write has never done anything like an official endorsement (just the idea makes me laugh at myself) I'll be voting for Hillary Clinton, Saturday, and trying to talk everyone I encounter into doing likewise. There are a number of reasons I prefer her to Obama: she has actual experience in contrast to Obama's hopeful-but-empty rhetoric (attractive as his oratory skills may be) and I think we've had quite enough of the conflation of wishful thinking with reality, the last eight years.

We don't have to passively accept anything we're told, just because some pundit on TV said so. We don't have to believe and trust our favorite bloggers, even, without investigation. We can think. We can read. We can research and examine and struggle with ideas. It's tempting to give in and feel as powerless as the media would like all of us to believe we really are -- but we don't have to do that.

Me? I can and will write. I do have a voice, and so do all of you.

I'm going to leave you with some links to folks who have articulate and insightful things to say about it all:

most especially

Sharp words about the Dems' "circular firing squad":

And still more:

From Erica Jong - a terrific writer:
"As a senator she has learned compromise and negotiation. She has gotten to know red America as well as blue. If she could win over the rednecks in upstate New York, she can win over any American. She knows this country is full of "security" moms as well as soccer moms. Since she is a woman, she has to show she's ready to be commander in chief. Hence her "triangulation" on Iraq and her signing the absurd Lieberman-Kyl resolution, which calls on our government to use "military instruments" to "combat, contain and [stop]" Iran's meddling in Iraq.

[ . . . ]

"I understand my hopeful friends who think an Obama button will change America. But I'm sticking with Hillary. I trust her because all her life, her pro bono work has been for mothers and children. And mothers and children -- of all colors -- are the most oppressed group in our country. I trust her to speak for our children and grandchildren -- and for us. She always has."

And finally, from an essay by Robin Morgan that I can only wish I'd written:

"Me? I support Hillary Rodham because she’s the best qualified of all candidates running in both parties. I support her because her progressive politics are as strong as her proven ability to withstand what will be a massive right-wing assault in the general election. I support her because she knows how to get us out of Iraq. I support her because she’s refreshingly thoughtful, and I’m bloodied from eight years of a jolly 'uniter' with ejaculatory politics. I needn’t agree with her on every point. I agree with the 97 percent of her positions that are identical with Obama’s -- and the few where hers are both more practical and to the left of his (like health care). I support her because she’s already smashed the first-lady stereotype and made history as a fine senator, because I believe she will continue to make history not only as the first US woman president, but as a great US president.

"As for the 'woman thing'?

"Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am."

Get involved with your world, folks. Write hard -- because it's what we do. Write true -- because otherwise, why bother? And always, always, write on.


And if you're interested in more reading, HRC, from 1995:

And finally, this is from an HRC speech in 1969:

"There's that mutuality of respect between people where you don't see people as percentage points. Where you don't manipulate people. Where you're not interested in social engineering for people. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. And the word 'consequences' of course catapults us into the future. One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to woman who said that she wouldn't want to be me for anything in the world. She wouldn't want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she's afraid.Fear is always with us but we just don't have time for it. Not now." [Emphasis added]

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