January 25, 2008

Why I'm sick of the mud–slinging

Fuck Hillary. Seriously, fuck her right in the ear. She is a snake of a woman, a two-faced bitch with conflicting, incoherent policies and far too much baggage to inherit the title of first woman president. Do Americans seriously want their first woman president (potentially, at least) to be this susceptible to the oh so easy but oh so justified 'riding on the coat-tails' argument? Can anyone with half a brain honestly say they'd have given a shit about her or Cherie Blair, for that matter, if their husbands hadn't made them such public figures by association? I might despise the likes of Harriet Harman and Jacqui Smith, but at least they got there on their own steam. I'm not saying that Hillary and Cherie don't do things themselves, but how much of their platform for achievement is a consequence of their spouses? We'll never know if they'd have managed the same alone, or at least without the male precedent.

Barack doesn't have that - if he's elected, America will be able to hold its head high (not that it will necessarily want to) and say "we elected the first black president (even if it wasn't a majority), and he paved his own way", though of course, such a claim is relative - Barack would be nowhere without the Martin Luther Kings and Rosa Parks of this world. But as relates to him personally, he's had no advantages, no special friends in the way that Hillary has. I'd like the first woman president to have none of that obvious and weighty baggage, if at all possible. I'd like her to be able to stand up and say she made it on her own steam. Because then it will mean more (as far as any of these milestones mean anything).

Quite apart from his great skills as an orator (he reminds me a lot of the Rock, in his style and delivery), I support Barack because he's singing the song of change, of new politics. All Hillary knows is the old route, which is why she's sniping from the hills with misquotations and barely-concealed smear campaigns, and the unending, oleaginous, clinical bullshit that makes me want to punch her repeatedly in the face. So she teared up and showed a little vulnerability a few weeks ago? Is it such a fucking wonder? Even if they weren't crocodile tears, which I suspect they were, all it shows is that she's humanity. But if you don't have a fucking dim enough view of humanity and what people are capable of by now, maybe you never will. That she's human doesn't improve her. It just makes it a little easier for us to understand why she's such a bitch! I haven't been following the Republican race very closely at all, but I'm pretty sure there are a few of them I'd rather have in power than the mud-slinging, two-faced bitch who clearly thinks that the ends of the campagin justify the means...

I'm just glad that Barack got a chance, on the debate above, to set things straight. I love how restrained he was, biting his tongue until his chance to reply. She showed no courtesy or appreciation for the rules (how unexpected from a Clinton) in her interruptions, or her Jerry Springer style attitude. That is not a person I want in charge of one of the most powerful nations of the world. And anyone that does is, frankly, on crack - Edwards is a clearly preferable second choice. We should not be voting for Clinton because she's a woman, just as we should not be voting for Barack because he's black - we should be voting for them on the strength of their character and their policies. The only importance in either milestone that each of them represents is in possibly showing America's progress towards the day when we don't notice (beyond the obvious and necessary) and don't make judgements based on someone's race or gender (though I'm not sure that's an entirely and unmitigatedly optimal endpoint), or rather that some people are willing to prioritise other issues such as policy over racism.

But we should not be seeking these milestones for their own sakes, because what else then are we doing but belittling such achievements and the conflicts required to reach them, and patronising those who have struggled to shed themselves of labels. It would be the same thinly-veiled bullshit  as Affirmative Action - the idea that, despite bountiful evidence to the contrary, certain historically disadvantaged groups and peoples are incapable of succeeding without the benificent hand of the apparent advantaged group (who are also, not entirely coincidentally, the oppressors who caused the disadvantage in the first place), be it men, or whites, or the rich, or the upper classes or whatever. It is patronisation, pure and simple - on which point, I wholeheartedly refute the maxim of Eleanor Roosevelt, who said "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission", which is often applied as a counter to claims of patronisation: it is one thing to have confidence in one's ability, or status or whatever; it is another to recognise an attempt, conscious or subconscious, to undermine that confidence, whether that attempt is successful or not. I am not saying that just because someone feels they are being patronised, they are - people are frequently wrong and will misjudge the intention of the apparent patronising offender - but equally, people often patronise without being aware of it.

Anyway, in summary, fuck Hillary Clinton. The sooner she fucks off and lets people across the world unite under the banner of Obama (a man can dream), the sooner America can wipe its debts, social, moral and financial, to the rest of the world, and regain the respect and sense of responsibility that ought to come with the power of a nation of that magnitude.

And I don't even live there! 


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  1. This has been the first US election where I’ve really noticed just how bizarre this system is.

    For most of a year each major party gets to show just how disunited and nasty it is and then expect everyone to vote for them. It’s really weird. The extreme level of infighting, nastiness and sniping from people WHO ARE ON THE SAME TEAM is just staggering.

    If Clinton and Obama actually worked together (i know, crazy huh!) they’d be unstoppable. It just seems that this process is specifically designed to undermine confidence in the political institutions of the nation.

    25 Jan 2008, 09:26

  2. We have no control over it, so why get so annoyed.
    The Americans will sort it out – You know they’re going to elect the wrong person because sh*t happens.

    25 Jan 2008, 10:47

  3. There are several reasons to get annoyed:
    1- The president has a direct influence over the WHOLE WORLD. If that’s not enough reason to worry, just look at what Bush has ‘accomplished’ in his terms. Now think how much good the right president could do. They don’t called Barack the new Kennedy or the black Kennedy for nothing…
    2- I’ll be moving stateside in a few years, and while I won’t be able to vote immediately, I’ll still be part of the american political process, so eventually, I will have a little control.
    3- There is both a positive and negative desire here. I really want Barack to win, independently of anyone else, because he himself is amazing. I really don’t want Hillary to win, independently of anyone else, because she herself is appalling. These two positions are only amplified by the fact that they happen to be running the same race at the same time.
    4- The idea of not getting annoyed because we don’t have any control over something would render supporting a team in sports futile – after all, it’s just the players and the coaches who can influence things.
    5- To continue the sports analogy, one can be angry if a sport is played in the wrong spirit, (like cheating and diving in football), because it’s symptomatic of decay in people’s attitudes, and a win-at-all-costs mentality. I’m a Chelsea fan, but I hate it when we, or anyone else for that matter, take it to the corner flag, for example, just as I hate football fans who boo the other team for no reason other than they’re the opposition. The analogy suffices – Clinton is exhibiting a disgusting win-at-all-costs attitude, and, as Tom rightly points out, her and her team and supporters are getting so worked up by the element of competition that they’ve forgotten they’re on the same side, broadly speaking (Hillary’s track record on the war was always going to be a divide between them). Bill Clinton is like Terry Venables as McLaren’s assistant – a blast from the past who, to quote Dr. Cox, re-he-he-he-heeeaaallly ought to keep their mouth shut. Barack has never tried to fight that kind of a campaign, indeed he’s called them out on it, but he’s being forced into that corner. He’s singing change and new politics, but Hillary is still slinging the stagnant mud of old politics, because she’s an ageing bitch, and she knows it.

    25 Jan 2008, 13:00

  4. Fair enough.

    25 Jan 2008, 14:31

  5. Scott Redding

    I’m not sure if the primary system per se is bizarre. It’s a good thing if the candidates have a drawn-out, bloodied, Adrian-I-did-it-for-you-Adrian-I-did-it-for-you, primary campaign. Otherwise, you end up with a John Kerry that the Republicans rip apart. I think the only good argument in favour of Clinton is that people know what her baggage is. She’s been vilified and ripped apart and criticised for 16 years. We might be very disappointed in the US if Obama is the Democratic nominee—we’d find out how pro-war they are, or perhaps how pro-war he is (he’s in favour of intervention in Pakistan), as well as how unwilling white voters are to vote for a Black candidate (he’s down to 10% of the white vote in South Carolina in recent polls).

    26 Jan 2008, 16:12

  6. Sam Foxman

    http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/953

    Obama’s not got the most sensible policies either. Roll on John McCain.

    02 Mar 2008, 01:35


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