Underwhelmed at the Caucus

So, I had my first Caucus experience yesterday, and my vote officially contributed to the sending of two delegates from our district for...

Hillary Clinton!

Obama-mania was in full swing in our district--he got 7 out of 9 delegates, but I ended up standing my ground on Clinton.

I'm under the impression that about 50% of the country hates Hillary, but I just couldn't bring myself to vote on something other than the issues. There's no way I could vote for another Republican in this election (or in any election for the foreseeable future, until their policies shift 180 degrees), and I'm cynical about the value of Obama's charisma. Is America really going to be united, and what about his leadership would represent real change? He's a party-line Democrat with policies that aren't as well fleshed out as Hillary's. He's an Icon that a lot of people seem to be projecting their hopes upon, but where does that get you in the American political system?

People don't like Hillary b/c she's old Washington, but ultimately, who cares? It's important to be inspired, but the change that really will make a difference in the US will be policy change. I don't particularly have a problem with Obama's policy positions--he's moving in the right direction--but he either doesn't go far enough or hasn't fleshed out his ideas enough on the issues that matter to me (healthcare, the environment, foreign policy, social safety nets for the poor, LGBT equality, Iraq, immigration, eroding civil rights, the recent consolidation of power in the executive branch, etc.). Hillary simply has a much more developed sense of what she's going to do to make changes. Obama may be more electable, but I just can't get over the hump of thinking that all of the hope and inspiration will be pretty useless once he gets in the White House (look at the Bill Clinton policy legacy--another pretty inspiring guy--and a whole lot of people have been pretty inspired by W at some point or another), and that his policy positions simply aren't refined enough.

We'll see how things shake out. Obama still won the state, but the race is unpredictable at this point.


Benjamin Ady said…
Hey I like your blog.

Gotta disagree with you re: clinton v. obama.

I do agree with you that they are very similar on policy.

you said "People don't like Hillary b/c she's old Washington, but ultimately, who cares? It's important to be inspired, but the change that really will make a difference in the US will be policy change."

I think the thing about Obama is that he has a great chance to win with a landslide (at least 55% of the popular vote) in November, whereas Hillary doesn't stand any chance at all of winning with such a landslide.

And winning with those kind of numbers would mean two things. 1. the political will to actually push through the policies he's advocating and 2. a bigger democratic majority in both the House and Senate, which works out to the political power to push through the policies he's advocating.

Just look at the polls over the last week Hillary v. McCain and Obama v. McCain. You're going to see lots of moderates and independents vote for Obama, just as they voted for Reagan in 1984 the last time anybody won a landslide victory. You would see very few moderates and independents choosing hillary over mccain.

So while they have very similary policy positions, Obama is the one who can create the climate to make those policies happen in 2009-2012.

I would refer you to this commentary from Scott Rasmussen.

And how do I convince you to add justiceandcompassion.com to your blogroll? =)
Unknown said…
I've got you added.

I do see your point , and liked the linked article. Honestly though, I'm not convinced that it's going to be a landslide in either case--although its hard to tell this early. McCain is too inoffensive and experienced a candidate to get killed in the polls in America, which is still a generally conservative nation politically, despite the atmosphere in the PNW and on the coasts. (This opinion could just be my caution after having been burned too many times...)

There was a survey from the AP that came out today that showed Obama with only a relatively small advantage on McCain (48/42) vs. Clinton's advantage on him (46/45). Granted, it is still an advantage, but not yet decisive. And we haven't seen how Obama will stand up to the Republican political machine, though he has done pretty well against the Clintonators. That doesn't take into account voter turnout, which is a huge deal. My primary concern with Clinton is that she won't inspire the same turnout as Obama, though again I'm waffling. I'm relatively confident that the Democrats are going to be massively mobilized whichever candidate is in...

The Reagan point does make for an interesting comparison: the '80s were the last major political shift in the US (and the breakdown of the Great Society and hence the source of a lot of our social safety net problems), and I could see Obama taking a Reaganesque position in society, in terms of unifying ability and leadership, though hopefully not policy. I haven't been entirely sold on the hope thing--I'm too much of a cynic when it comes to American politics--but it could happen.