Hillary Clinton Is My Choice–part 2–Why I Cannot Support Sen. Obama

Yesterday, I wrote about why I support Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the next president of the United States. Today, I am here to talk about why I cannot support Barack Obama as president.

First, I should say that Sen. Obama’s liberal credentials are sound, and his voting record is impressive. In that respect, he is a good candidate. But there are some things that disturb me about him and his campaign:

Sen. Obama is not who he pretends to be. While Obama’s claim that he is not in the pockets of special interests sounds admirable, it is disingenuous. He has a history of accepting money from both lobbyists and corporations, and one of his top advisors is a lobbyist for such entities as Monsanto and The Carlyle Group. More significant is the fact the groups such as PowerPac.org and Vote Hope have poured millions of dollars into Obama’s campaign. Obama’s response is to say that he wishes they would not do so, but his campaign has willingly spent every cent of the money, and has indeed spent some of it by appealing to a bigoted audience (see the section below on South Carolina).

The Obama campaign, through both silence and gesture, promotes sexism. The news media has relentlessly attacked Sen. Clinton in ways that reflect both subtle sexism (talking about her clothes rather than her policy, constantly discussing her voice, proclaiming her tears to be either fake or “unfeminist,” etc.) and overt misogyny (declaring she profited from her husband’s sex life, proclaiming men would never vote for her, accusing her of “pimping” her adult daughter, etc.). Though this is not Sen. Obama’s fault, consider what would happen if the tables were turned: If the news media made both subtle and overt racist remarks about Obama and Sen. Clinton did not tell them to stop, she would be excoriated by both Democrats and Republicans, and she would be accused of taking advantage of racism. But no one has come forward to ask Obama why he has not intervened to stop the institutionalized campaign of bigotry against Clinton.

That is not Obama’s fault, either. American culture dictates that demeaning women is acceptable behavior. But by remaining silent, Obama is either knowingly profiting from the bigotry, or he is part and parcel of a cultural belief that it is acceptable to heap all manner of abuse upon women. Those are the only two alternatives, and they are both disturbing.

By suggesting Sen. Clinton had taken “her claws out,” Obama exposed his own latent sexism, and then leaked even more of it when he referred to Clinton’s eight years as First Lady as a “glorified tea party.” It did not help that Obama’s wife declared that Clinton was not fit to clean up the White House when “she could not clean up her own house.”

A visit to Obama’s campaign website will disappoint you if you want to learn the Senator’s positions on women’s issues, by the way. Women’s concerns do not appear under “Issues,” at all, and under “Civil Rights,” the only women’s issue to appear is equal pay for equal work.

The Obama campaign sold the LGBT community in exchange for votes. Of all the things that disturb me about Obama, this one disturbs me the most. PowerPac.org contributed millions of dollars so that the gay-hating Donnie McClurkin and a bevy of gay-hating entertainers could appear on Obama’s behalf in South Carolina. At one rally, McClurkin even “preached” some of his bigotry. For his part, Obama—stressing that he does not share McClurkin’s view about LGBT citizens–nevertheless did not apologize, but rather, made it clear that he would not exclude such bigots from future campaign events. If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, have LGBT friends and loved ones, or just give a damn about gay-hating and homophobia in the U.S., then it is important that you know that Obama’s South Carolina “Embrace the Courage” campaign actually abandoned the courage and embraced the bigotry.

The Obama “movement” is long on inspiration and short on substance. All the people shouting “Yes we can!” and “We want change!” are somewhat caught up in the moment. Yes, a good liberal candidate can effect change, but she has to do so by working with what she has. Someone like myself, who wants radical change, supports the Green Party or Democratic candidates such as Dennis Kucinich, who are committed to radical change. I am a member of the Green Party, and I do support Kucinich’s ideas. But a Green or a Kucinich is not going to be elected or even given much support, so we are left with good liberal candidates who can be elected.

In order to effect change, it is necessary to deal with Congress, an incompetent and unprofessional news media, and the overwhelming influence of very powerful corporate and cultural interests. Hope easily translates into frustration unless the person in charge is at once a gifted analyst, strategist, communicator, persuader, negotiator, coalition-builder, and toughened survivor.

Sen. Obama, whose experience in dealing with very difficult issues on a world stage is very limited, has circumvented the issue of competence by making sure that even his supporters do not talk about policy. They are instructed to stay away from policy questions, and instead, to talk about how they “came to Obama.” Of course, at this stage of the campaign, we are going to hear more policy talk from Obama, but the fundamental problem remains for me: I do not want someone who represents fervor over abstractions, but rather, someone who has a proven record of helping Americans.

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13 Responses to Hillary Clinton Is My Choice–part 2–Why I Cannot Support Sen. Obama

  1. Dalmo says:

    Who is realy Hillary Clinton?

    It’s a absurd to listen Hillary Clinton to speak: I am more prepared. I am ready. I am solution! She is so arrogant and predominant when speak thus. Who know of us what can happen tomorrow? Is she God? People can to have projects in the paper, but do not mean that will be realized later. Many projects stay in the paper, because them can’t to be realized or was just to attend some interest of moment (votes).
    She speak have more experience because have more time in the power: 8 years Bill Clinton president + almost 8 years Hillary as senator. Why voted by war in the Iraq? I believe who she changed opinion about war after that saw many americans citizens against the war. Why did she change of opinion about war so faster? I believe who she changed of opinion because thought about her interests: candidacy to president.
    We saw that she ignored and disregarded small states during all campaign to president and she changed now. What happened she to change so faster? I believe who she is thinking about her interests now again. She found that votes of small states was not important for her, because she had big states supporting her. How can a candidate to president to think thus? Thinking that USA is just formed for big states as NY, NJ, CA. I think that a candidate to president of any country must consider all cities, and states as the country.

    Then americans reflect well:

    will be that a candidate acting for own interest can to unite all USA?

    I need just one answer for this question.

    Hugs from Brazil for all USA.

  2. HELENA says:

    You go, Diana Dees. This is the best reporting I have seen during this whole campaign. You make CNN, MSNBC and FOX look very stupid and inadequate. They should hire you with your wonderful insight. I thought I was the only person that saw Obama this way, but I know there must be lots of us out there. You keep up the great work. Vote Hillary 08. She is the one with the solution.

  3. Diane Elayne Dees says:

    She found that votes of small states was not important for her, because she had big states supporting her. How can a candidate to president to think thus?

    Dalmo, that would be true of many successful candidates, including Bill Clinton and JImmy Carter–the American system of electoral votes is set up that way–it is not the candidates’ fault. It is the system with which they have to work.

  4. Diane

    More well thought out thinking and positions from you on why Hillary and not Obama. Thank you.

    Time for everyone to get involved: ONE MILLION CALLS FOR HILLARY!

  5. Anne Nichting says:

    I am a 50 year old white professional female and a supporter of Senator Clinton. I found your posting today and have added your website to my favorites. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the news media, pundits, blogs, etc. and have been dismayed and angered at the sexism and misogyny that is rampant. And what makes it worse is that our leaders have not spoken out about it – including our female and male poliltical leadears. There was much discussion earlier in the primary about racism following President Clinton’s and Senator Clinton’s remarks. Why are we not having a national discusion about sexism and misogyny following the outrageous comments made by members of the news media? I agree that Senator Obama should have spoken out about it. And women’s issues are not being discussed. Women are still paid only 70 cents on the dollar compared to men, women are raped and killed in the miliatry by their superiors, women are raped at our military academies, and serious, capable women are still forced to have their bodies discussed and made jokes about. I agree with your assessmet regarding Senator Obama’s campaign. The hysteria and mania surrounding it are distrubing. I don’t see any substance to “the movement” and think many people will be very disappointed. Senator Clinton can deliver and has proven it.

  6. Wendy Horgan says:

    I am a 57 year old white, retired lawyer and a supporter of Obama. Unlike the author, I will support the democratic party’s nominee regardless of whether it is Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. My preferance for Obama is based on my sense that he has extraordinary skills as a communicator and educator who will be able to bring together a working majority of Americans to effect the progressive legislation that is favored by both Obama and Clinton. As an active supporter of HRC, I am persuaded that Obama’s big tent politics is more likely to be successful in changing attitudes like those of anti-gay Donnie McClurkin. But most of all, as a woman, I am tired of victim politics. I think Senator Obama’s success is based in large measure on his rejection of race-based and victim politics. Surely Senator Clinton should be fully capable of defending herself against sexism as Senator Obama and indeed all the presidential candidates have dealt with other attacks against themselves.

  7. Wendy

    Surely in this day and age we shouldn’t be dealing with sexism and surely as her opponent and a Democrat, Barack Obama shouldn’t be using sexist memes against her.

  8. Diane Elayne Dees says:

    “Unlike the author, I will support the democratic party’s nominee regardless of whether it is Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. ”

    Wendy has also been reading some invisible ink. Nowhere in the editorial do I talk about whom I will support once the Democratic candidate has been selected.

  9. Desider says:

    Please consider dealing with the question of the war vote.

    For one, I think Hillary’s position was nuanced, correct, and tried to push the responsible action while dealing with 2 vain and erratic figures, Hussein and Bush, in a time of great concern over terrorism. But she’s gotten only grief for this, as if she actually said “let’s invade” instead of “let’s get the inspectors back in and pull the UN together”. Imagine if she had said “Hussein is absolutely no danger”. Would Republicans be crossing over to vote for her?

    Second, this is overshadowing everything from Donnie McGurkin to Obama’s more limited health care to his global warming (“we’re going to get great thinkers together and study it” – heard that before?) to his attacks on Hillary from the right and his appeal to crossover McCain supporters for the primaries.

    Thirdly, Hillary’s qualifications have been marginalized from day 1. All of her travel as First Lady, her child and women’s initiatives, became an outing with Sheryl Crowe and Sinbad. Her lawyer credentials and work on poverty and family issues are buried under “Rose Law Firm”. Her early experience with the Watergate Committee, Mondale Labor Board and Carter’s anti-poverty trust are simply ignored. She published papers (including with Harvard), worked Yale’s Review of Law and Social Action, did scholarly research, and taught law at a university -but this doesn’t seem to count as experience. She was involved in numerous campaigns and vote drives from the mid-60’s on, but it doesn’t count if it’s not South Side Chicago. Just as in 1992, she’s shoved into a dumb housewife role, nothing to do with Bill’s success, let all those menfolk talk about how smart they are and get back in the kitchen & fix Chelsea some cookies (as if not cooking is ever an option for a woman). And now at 60 they call Romney “young” and Hillary “old”. Guess she needs a better tanning salon to add to her day’s duties. Guess she should have run in 2004 as an inexperienced newbie Senator.

    But it all comes down to that one vote, the one that so many Wise Men of Washington did the same way, the one the people of the US supported, the one that some wiseacre from the South Side didn’t have to make – he was simply backseat driving while she and others were at the wheel. But in politics, having the loudest most simplistic voice usually carries the day. “Change, Hope”, “Axis of Evil, Terruh, Uniter Not a Divider”. Too bad “Experience” doesn’t count.

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  13. PK says:

    I support Hillary Clinton. Why, well to be honest in watching Mr Obama, I see much of the very things he is critical of in others.
    He accuses Ms Clinton of having monied supporters and owing favors, yet he has sought out those same supporters and many of the same contributors, His surrogates cried racism whenever Ms Clinton might be gaining support. While Ms. Clinton is constantly heralded by sexism in the media Obama stands silent. Silence at Ms. Clinton’s handling with regard to sexism (not issues) is not the only occasion for silence by Mr. Obama. He, while in Washington D.C., the day of the vote to shame Move On for language, Mr Obama chose NOT to vote at all. Like Move On or hate Move On is irrelevant. What was relevant was that an organization of private inviduals were being shamed and censured by government for their exercise of free speech. Was this appropriate for a man who taught Constitutional Law? In my mind no. What instead prevailed was a politician wary of the media and calculating what taking a position might cost! In my mind that is not a leader at all. Those are the actions of one more consumed with obtaining something for himself than doing what is right.

    Im still waiting for Mr or Ms. Smith to come to Washington truly with change on their minds. Not change as a slogan used to rally a crowd, but change in his / her soul the kind of change which means damm the media or anyone who attempts to silence anyone for the fair expression of their thoughts, change which means doing what is right no matter what even if it would cost some power, some monied contributions, change which means we are forthright not purposely vague, not silent by a non vote, not sitting by observing or profiting from discrimination whether of race, gender, age or religion and insuring that the best ways are followed.

    I dont see this in Mr Obama whose early writings indicated he was for real health care reform, not what he is now tauting as good policy, something less than genuine, something which insures a good segment of the populartion remains uninsured, something still completely governed by private corporations and subsidies which may end up less than what you think. I see a man who has often caved in and says he has not. I see a man who speaks of ethics yet has his own indiscretions which he claims was just a mistake. Well, a Constitutional lawyer with a well educated Princeton graduate for a wife doesnt see that having a local businessman buy property you want for your own home and offer it to you at 1/2 price as you are rising in local politics is wrong, is kidding himself and I would be a fool to buy into that. Even I yes educated myself though admittedly not in an IVY league insitution knows something about such an offer smells foul.

    Ive heard about the Clinton ambitions and more. However, I have also seen Ms Clinton in New York. I have seen her change the minds of conservatives, I have seen her able to work with one who once sought her downfall (Mr Gingrich) and I have seen under Bill Clinton people move from poverty into the middle class. If that can happen in this day, a day when so much is wrong I would welcome it and her.

    So I say sorry Mr Obama, but Im sticking with the woman. Chris Matthews and MSNBC be dammed for the woman seems the right gal for the job ahead.