Thursday, February 08, 2007
In Which Sister Novena Reluctantly Wades Back Into Politics

I'm coming down off a rough week -- one of those weeks where nothing in particular went wrong, really, but I had a lot of low-level vexations with which to contend. Most of it was just garden-variety frustration over stuff that I can't do anything about; then that was compounded by some middling-to-borderline-agonizing pain that I also can't do much about. None of it approached anything like crisis, but five or six days in that state can make getting through the week a trying process. The pain part is starting to get better now, at least, and the rest I've decided I'm just not going to worry about anymore until I get back to a point where I can have some effect on various situations. Sometimes the only thing you can do is let time pass and wait to see how that changes things. The willingness to do that, I think, might be one of the most subtle but far-reaching differences between me Now and me Then.

Anyway, I'm feeling a little worn-down and washed-out today, but it looks like this weekend I'll get to take my camera out and go play -- and will feel like it, as well -- so that'll be good.

I've noticed lately that there's been a big upswing in political talk among my associates, which is natural considering our recent hopeful progress. And everybody else I know has laid out an initial position on whom they favor for a presidential run in 2008. And being the woolly little sheep that I am (yes, it's true, baa), that means I have to, too.

Basically, I'm now motivated politically by one strong desire: to get past our recent history. That encompasses a great many things -- Iraq definitely, 9/11, our shitty economy, the religious right, voting irregularities, and the endless divisive bullshit. That takes in all of the Bush II administration at least, and extends back to Clinton, Bush I, and Reagan. I think King George deserves to be roundly impeached -- hell, I think he deserves prison time -- but fuck, I'd let it go just to be done with it. I think the pro-war right owes us on the cowardly, terrorist-hugging, Osama-sympathizing left some big, grovelly apologies, but I'd forgive and forget if we could just get someone in office who can see past oil revenues and "resolute" legacies to the bigger picture: money alone can't fix some of the dangers now bearing down on us.

So there's no fucking way I'd support Hillary Clinton at this point. It's nothing against her personally, but I'm very much on board the "no more hereditary kings" wagon, and the last thing I want to see is a continuation of the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton? cycle. And frankly, Hillary just doesn't seem up to the job. Not because she's a woman -- rather, it's because she's a pro-war conservative who's neck-deep in the same established interests that are already fucking over the country. Now, if it came to it, I'd vote for anyone with a (D) after their name over, say, that craven fucksock John McCain, and that includes Hillary. But I don't buy the "inevitable" line. I don't know a single enthusiastic Hillary supporter on a first-hand basis, and I think that says a lot, given how well we know this woman. If she can't convince a greater number of supporters after 16 years in the public eye, I don't think any amount of money will buy them for her within the next 16 months.

And I'm ambivalent about John Edwards. I'd take him over Hillary, but he still has a little too much of the stink of cowardice on him. Working with conservatives, and buckling to the pressure they exert are two different things, and Edwards seems much too inclined toward the latter to ever get around to doing the former. Like Clinton, he's a decent Senator... and I think he should remain one.

So I suppose that means I'm down with Obama for the time being. There 's a lot about him I'm still waiting to find out, and any of that could change my opinion. And yes, he's young politically, although he's got easily as much experience -- in both politics and life -- as George W. had when he first showed up (and he's got that whole stringing-coherent-sentences-together thing licked to boot.) But what I've seen so far I've liked, or at least have found reasonable. And damn but he's a charismatic fucker. Even my mother -- my two-time Bush voting, torture-rationalizing, war-supporting mother -- admitted that she like Obama. Whether that means she would ever consider voting for him is another question, of course -- but just the fact that she seems to respect him leads me to think that other conservatives just might. And his newness means that he's mostly clean of all the shit that's been thrown in recent decades, which means more to me than I'd ever have imagined it would. Most of all, it seems to me that electing Obama to the White House would be a clear affirmation to ourselves and the rest of the world that we've regained our sanity at long last.

Whoever turns out to be president next is all but fucked from the moment they enter office, of course. Whatever potential for greatness lies in the next administration will come not from what they might accomplish, but from their ability to avoid outright catastrophe. Even if we can force George W. to clean up his own mess in Iraq before he leaves office, we're going to be left with some odious economic, environmental, and geopolitical chores to finish. And I'm not optimistic enough to hope for an FDR-scale hero -- my assumption is that every politician will let you down in the end. But I think it's reasonable to ask for a clean break, and to demand someone to undertake the job who won't be trailing the muck in behind them. Even if we can't undo the damage, we can at least try to put a substantive end to it. So however I vote next time, I'll be doing my best to vote for a departure from all this. That's really my only goal now.

PS: The first person to tell a sick Anna Nicole Smith joke in the comments wins a prize.
3:42 PM ::
Amy :: permalink