Clinton and Gays, Florida Results …

by on January 31, 2008

To the Editor:

When Bill Clinton was President, all NEA grants awarded to LGBT artists were censored by his administration. More grants to LGBT artists were awarded by both George Bushes than by Clinton. Even on censorship, the Clintons had no principles whatsoever; they are purely pragmatic–or opportunistic. They no have core values: race baiting, queer baiting, immigrant bashing are all fair game if it suits their immediate needs.

Jeff Jones

To the Editor:

Far be it for me to defend Hillary “whatever it takes to win” Clinton, but writing her off against John McCain is premature and unjustified. Let’s begin with this unarguable negative: McCain isn’t trusted (or liked) by much of his own GOP establishment — across evangelicals, reactionary, anti-government corporate heads, belligerent, Cheney neo-cons, the remaining 56 George Bush fans plus anti-minority, immigration know-nothings.

McCain would be the first nominee in decades, in an historically unified GOP, not the favorite son of core conservative constituencies. That means fewer campaign workers, fewer votes, less cash, and and less enthusiasm.

Policy, even personality aside, Clinton is and appears younger (vs. the already tired looking McCain, the oldest president ever if installed ), remains popular with woman and blue collar voters, various moderates, is arguably less warlike (at least pro withdrawal) vs. McCain, and more in synch on abortion, centrist judges, and health care with the American majority.

She (or Barack Obama) could well win on the war issue alone — considering McCain’s bizarre comments about staying forever. McCain has his appeal, certainly to independents, and he’s more “authentic” than Hillary (but also much angrier and less disciplined verbally; what about possible medical problems if he keeps up today’s dreadful pace).

One more small item, which can’t be overestimated: the country is not losing its rage against George Bush and fellow GOP dinosaurs — one of whom has been McCain, much less the maverick than arch-conservative Republican — more so when he goes right as the nominee. Even a less controversial establishment Republican like Romney faces an uphill battle, especially against a tested, well-financed, campaign-savvy Hillary.

Certainly Clinton goes the the center, detaches herself from loose-lipped Bill and his presidency, and reclaims the “change” mantle. She will pick up women and the young who haven’t ever voted and remember, Obama (and the Kennedys and every liberal on the face of the earth), will campaign hard for her. They have no choice.

Otherwise, the “progressive side” of the Democratic party is kaput for who knows how long. Plus, if she loses to McCain, Obama’s a shoe-in for 2012 when the old man will seem really old; if she stumbles badly as president, she’s a one-termer and Barack won’t even be 50.

Though I support the idea of Obama (ignoring his muddy or non-progressive positions), I think the shift from the dinosaur Bush to the shining star Obama is a bit much to predict in one election for a Rove-dumbed down, compromised electorate. I am happy to be wrong. Obama will be president some day, if America can elected a non-white. I certainly think he’d run well against McCain, racist country that we are, but right now I can’t rationally say he’d win more easily than Hillary.

Robert Becker
Mendocino CA

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