kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Electile Dysfunction

One of the reasons—there are a few more substantive ones—that I'm supporting Obama for the Democratic nomination for President is that I simply can't bear to imagine what her Administration will look like.

All Administrations have pretty large screw-ups.

  • Kennedy: Bay of Pigs; Viet Nam.
  • Johnson: Viet Nam.
  • Nixon: well, he was the screw-up.
  • Carter: Iran.
  • Reagan: Iran. Nicaragua. Opening his 2nd campaign in Philadelphia MS. Many.
  • Bush: Economy.
  • Clinton: Monica.

One can argue about these screw-ups, whether they were fairly treated by opponents, by the media, etc.. That's fodder for extensive and useful debates. But that's not the point here.

Rather, imagine the Republicans without the Executive branch, as minorities in both the Senate and the House, as minorities in Governorships, and with two or three Supreme Court seats coming up before the next Presidential election in 2011. At the same time, many of these Republicans are truly annoyed with George W. Bush, who began a war that was not only disastrous economically, but politically (perhaps globally, certainly domestically). They are further miffed that a weak group of candidates left them with a choice of Romney—rejected by a substantial portion of evangelical Christians as not "really" a Christian—or McCain. The profound hatred of McCain on the far right (which overlaps with the Republican base) is palpable. Led by entertainers such as Limbaugh and Coulter, those who consider themselves "genuine conservatives" either stay home, or vote for a candidate simply because he is not Hillary Clinton. This is not a winning strategy. Ask Bob Dole. The right didn't hate Dole with anything like the passion they do McCain (plus Dole was funnier).

This leads to a situation of a lot of well-organized and well-funded conservatives sitting around with little to do but complain about the government, and attack it as best they can. They have an excellent example to follow, their own: the Arkansas Project, with such folks as Richard Mellon Scaife ponying up the dough, the American Spectator and its "journalists" pushing various tales poisoning the atmosphere and making governance that much more difficult to do. This is a result, of course, that they don't mind: imagine Clinton not distracted by the Starr investigation, imagine us not having to pay for the Starr investigation, as well as what followed. It's rather hard to imagine that other things would not have received some more attention.

The hatred this group has for Hillary Clinton has been developed and polished to a remarkable white-hot ferocity. It is easy to find pictures of her dressed as Hitler, and she is frequently referred to by the right (at least among themselves) as "Shrillery Hitlerbeast" and "Hildabeast." This is well before she even has the nomination. Imagine these angry, well-funded, and otherwise unoccupied folks who so hate her when they hear a modest proposal about health care or revision of the tax structure.

All administrations have their screw ups. If (when) Clinton has one, I fear all hell will break loose, and we will have a repeat of her husband's impeachment, with her opponents having the advantage of experience. Thus one can already find bumperstickers as the one at the top of this entry, provided by by those patriots at AIM (Accuracy in Media).

I don't want to spend four years going through that, or imagining what things won't get their due attention because of it.

That is enough to look elsewhere, so I'm supporting Obama. I think there are plenty of other reasons to embrace his candidacy, and plenty of other reasons to reject Clinton's.

But simply to avoid moving the political debate from noxious to toxic is enough of a reason for me.


Anonymous Frog Princess said...

I, unfortunately, agree with your point. Hillary hatred runs deep, and has everything to do with sexism and Bill. Sexism because she put down cookie baking, had the nerve to have a child AND a high-power career, and because the right likes to portray her as unqualified (she's running just because she was the president's wife, not because she has the proper degrees and experience). The Bill factor is even more insidious: Hillary married him for power (what a joke when you think where he was in his career when they met), and they like to say that she stuck with him after Monica for the same reason. It's a power duo, certainly not a real marriage. Ugh! Like you, I can't go through the next four years listening to this all too predictible constant spewing of nonsensical hatred. The problem is that Hillary makes sense when she speaks. She patiently explains to her audience how our uninsured millions actually cost Americans more than if they were insured under a national plan. She refers to the hidden tax we're charged every time an uninsured person needs emergency health care. She's experienced and moderate (as the ever wise Ann Coulter mentioned recently in her attacks on McCain), so would be able to bring both sides together, just as Bill did. She wants national health care for ALL Americans, while Obama just wants to cover all children. The problem is, we already saw what happened the last time Hillary tried to reform health care. Would she be able to overcome her oppostion this time? Have things really changed? Once the Hate-Hillary machine revs up, will she become a lame duck? So, as a defeated feminist who desperately wants a democratic president, I say, "Go Obama!". Show us what you've got. Don't be too naive. Give us a fresh start. Help us rebuild our destroyed global reputation and economy. God bless America!

5:00 AM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

I wouldn't want her as president. Besides Reagan, I've only seen two family names in the title of Presidency: Bush & Clinton. How about we introduce some NEW ideas? I guess that'd be too much to ask, huh? I'd like to see some party other than the Crips or the Bloods in power for once. The Democrats nauseate me and the Republicans frighten me. I'd like to vote, but I'm still hedging bets so I won't be applying for citizenship anytime soon; the allure of keeping my EU passport is too tempting at present.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to disagree with you on this one. What are those angry, well-funded, and otherwise unoccupied folks going to do if Obama gets elected? Twiddle their thumbs? Rejoice, and hold back their attacks because this liberal is not as insideous as that other liberal? Not likely.

As you say, there are plenty of substantive reasons why Obama might be a better president. Trying to appease the likes of Richard Mellon Scaife and the rest of the lunatic fringe is not one of them, and should not be a factor. We should try to get the best president we can, regardless of what the lunatic fringe does. (And by the way, I'm not yet fully convinced that Hillary is not that person.)


8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the Frog Princess (above) who claims Hillary married Bill for power, and that it's not a real marriage, perhaps she should stop listening to the aforementioned lunatic fringe (or at least recognize when her opinions are, perhaps unconsciously, shaped by it). There are only two people in this universe who know whether that marriage is "real" (whatever that even means), and Frog Princess ain't one of them.

Hot Dog Boy

8:21 AM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

I'm no mind reader, but I am literate, and from what I read, "Frog Princess" did not claim that Hillary married Bill for status. At least that's not how I read it.
And I'm sure there's more than two people who know whether or not that marriage is for real, whatever that means: other family members, their child, their friends, etc.
But ultimately, who gives a flying fuck? I'd vote for an admitted cannibal if they were strong enough on the issues. Who cares what these people do in their private lives? Let them drink goat blood, listen to New Kids on the Block records backwards (they actually sound better that way), and floss their toes with the fallen hair of chemo patients, just balance the budget and drastically alter our foreign policies and I'll be a happy guy.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed. Upon rereading, it appears Frog Princess was in fact mimicking the arguments of the right wing, not making those arguments herself. My apologies to Frog Princess.

My original point stands: If the lunatic fringe pulls such a hatchet job on someone that in the future we are afraid to nominate someone for fear of another such hatchet job; then the (right-wing) terrorists have won. Not saying Hilarys' the best candidate, but if she is, then by God let's nominate her and tell the loonies to go screw themselves, rather than cower away because they might get nasty again.


1:52 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

One of the reasons—there are a few more substantive ones—that I'm supporting Obama for the Democratic nomination for President is that I simply can't bear to imagine what her Administration will look like.

Neither a necessary reason, nor a sufficient reason, but one reason. They probably will do some things vis-à-vis President Hussein, but there's clear evidence already of will be done with Shriillery.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous frog princess said...

Anonymous, you need to read my post, not skim it. We agree, silly!

6:34 AM  
Anonymous bmackintosh said...

I am already hearing all sorts of venomous nonsense said about Obama by the right and have no reason to believe that his nomination will lead to any uniting of America or a lessening of partisanship.
I simply like Obama's take on the issues, they're measured, and cautious, but not unoriginal. I approve of his "talking with the enemy" foreign policy and more multi-lateral approaches. He is liberal on social issues without being preachy or condescending. I think his lack of experience is a positive, an infusion of freshness into a stale White House. Also he exudes warmth, and is inspiring. Hillary only exudes warmth when she weeps after Iowa, or confesses she's strapped for cash, otherwise she's an icicle. I admire her arguments for universal health care, but doubt her ability to unify the country to take on the challenge of real change.
Kurt, it would be interesting to hear your view on the "super delegates."

3:34 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...


Impeach Obama, too.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Capt.Herp said...

You may like Obama, but I still await any semblance of something other than an empty suit with his name on it.

Other than recently claiming he would "reverse the policy" of a border fence, what's Obama done other than appeal to black racists who would elect anyone other than a white guy?

BTW, thanks for posting on my blog!


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