Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Time to Vote

It's early voting time in Texas, y'all. Time for Mags to put up or shut up.

I've truly been undecided, up until this point. You see, I have many misgivings about both Democratic candidates, and I'm having a very hard time reconciling myself to one or the other.

A bit of background, first: I am the daughter of one of the original Women's Libbers. My mother is of the N.O.W, consciousness-raising group-forming, marching-on-the-capital generation. I marched alongside my mother and sister in Chicago in 1981, demanding that the E.R.A. be ratified; I wore "59¢" buttons to school. (For you young'uns, that referred to the comparative amount of money on the dollar that women earned at the time, compared to men. It's better now; it's up to 77¢. If you're white. If you're black, it's 71¢, and if you're Latina, it's 58¢. So...um, yay.)

So, as a child, I was fascinated by the prospect of a woman becoming president. And, due to my mother, I was even present at the 1984 Democratic convention in San Francisco, at which the snooziest candidate of all time, Walter Mondale, was nominated...BUT, who did have the balls to nominate Geraldine Ferraro as his VP. She was about the only thing in my mind that made Mondale cool...but after that, I was SOLD on him. (Plus the fact that he wasn't, erm, Ronald Reagan.) And, of course, you all know what happened there. Imagine my little, pre-voting-age heartbreak when he took only one flipping state, his own.

The rest of my teen-to-young-adulthood wasn't really populated by strong, women, political figures that served me, a Missourian, personally. Our governors were men (and have been up until recently, until the estimable Jean Carnahan stepped in after Mel was tragically killed right before the election, and fucking WON ANYWAY. You ever want to know why I sometimes like Missouri? RIGHT THERE.)

When I moved to Austin, there was Ann Richards, whom I very much liked...since I had seen her speech at the '88 convention, where my mother again was (but, sadly, I was not attending that one). But, thanks to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, we all know how that went, too.

So...so, so, so. I've seen Hillary Clinton, live, in what must have been '93. I stood about 10 feet away from her, in a smallish room in Kansas City that was packed to the ribcages with people wanting to hear her. She spoke forcefully and compellingly, and her demeanor was relaxed and pleasant. She shook hands and spoke with many people in the crowd afterwards, and appeared to be enjoying herself immensely.

Perhaps from that experience, and in listening to her later speeches and interviews, I have never truly bought into the case that Hillary is somehow "shrill" or "unlikeable." She seemed, and truly, still seems, to me, to be forthright and accessible; or, at least, as forthright and accessible as any politician ever is. (And, oh, yes, my Barack-o-phile friends, he is, just that, though perhaps a very gifted one.)

Thus, with this history, I hope you will understand why it hurts so badly to think I'm not going to vote for the first, real, woman candidate in my lifetime, and perhaps - in my opinion - the best-qualified, smartest woman we're going to see for a long time. (Rice? Please. Great judgment all 'round, Condi. Way to back that winning horse.)

However...there's that goddamn war vote of hers. Fuck. And major capitulations on "homeland security" that were bogus then, and they're bogus now. And, she never apologized. Urgh! If I ever had a deal-breaker, then I can't imagine a worse one, short of pedophilia or axe-murdering. And, though I'm not really thrilled with the specificity of Obama's speeches, I won't deny that his charms are not lost on me; he's talkin' in my TV screen right now, and when he does, I don't turn him off.

I don't believe, however, that she'd most certainly lose to John McCain. I'm so blown away by the Democratic turnout for these primaries that I think this base is energized to a wild extent. A lot can change in a few months, but I know for damn sure that she'd handle McCain's ass in a debate. Are we sure about Obama? McCain's a nasty little prick...) And, I think, if she DID lose to McCain, it would be largely due to this - in my mind, unfair - media portrayal of her as this big bitch.

But, I still fear her negatives, and the right-wing frenzy that will erupt around her if she is the nominee. I think Obama will pull more independents. And I'm REALLY against this fucking war.

So, sadly, I'm leaning towards Obama. (I may cry just a tiny bit in the voting booth, I really, really may.) I could wait until after the debate - which I clearly did not win the "lottery" to get in to see - on Thursday, which is to be held right here in Austin. (Oh, and do you KNOW how many people entered this lottery - for 100 tickets, mind you? MORE THAN 43,000 people entered. Now THAT'S excitement.) However, I think it's just probably postponing the inevitable.

I'm sorry, Hillary, and Geraldine (who is working for Hillary's campaign, of course. Way to rub it in.)

Hey, speaking of lotteries, there's one for SXSW wristbands, starting Thursday and lasting until Sunday, I think. To enter the drawing (for 4000 wristbands total) you have to have an Austin address. You can only buy two tickets, and you have to name that person upon submitting your entry, and the wristband will only be given to that person when they show ID. They're non-transferrable, and they have to put them on your wrist.

We may get to go to some this year. It's a lot of fucking money, but I'm considering entering. Anyone else going?

15 pounds, bitches. Woop!

1 comment:

Karla said...

I know how you feel. But there is something about Obama, maybe it's just the freshness of a blank slate, that appeals.

Congrats on the 15 lbs! that's awesome. Want me to send you this flu? I lost 8 with it. Kinda painful, but effective.....