mini essay

great response to yesterday's post. a few of you wanted me to stay on the same topic a bit more so i will.

i don't think the pragmatic realist in the democratic party, armed with polling, accomplishes much. i think they dumb down the public and they avoid dealing with real issues because that might take political capitol. they're always saving it. they're never using it.

that's why i have no desire to vote for hillary clinton. bill clinton, as a president, was largely npr. npr wants us to fight for it. npr wants us to do their battles. but after we've saved their ass, pulled it from the fire yet again, they turn around and veer right. bill clinton did the same thing.

save me from the mean republicans. and we would. we'd defend him and we'd be rewarded with attacks on the poor (welfare reform) and other goodies - many of which the right wing couldn't get when reagan was president but under a democratic president, they did get it. under a democratic president, they did get it. i repeated that because it bears repeating.

i'm not interested in 4 more years of dem-lite and that's all hillary has to offer. she has nothing to say on the war other than to play more-hawk-than-thou. she's retreated from abortion so quickly that she probably performed a few evacutations in the rush to create a vaccum.

if all we're going to see from a hillary presidency is that she does what it's easy, the country doesn't need it. i love how the 'tough talkers' have no spine. they fall into the law & order trap and start talking tough but they're not tough enough to seriously discuss the issue of execution. the most we can hope for from them on that is 'well i think research needs to be done'. research?

or polling?

they won't fight but they will compromise with the right wing. it's as though robbers break in and bill clinton is saying, 'you can take whatever you want, just leave me my tv!' i'm sorry but there are a number of things in my home that i would like to keep. in fact, things handed down to me are far more important than some flashy tv.

but that's what it was for 8 years. 'take abortion, take poverty, take gays,' bill clinton cried, 'but leave me my nafta.'

nafta was 1 of the worst economic programs. it shouldn't have passed and it did nothing to help people. it did help corporations. helping corporations bill clinton could do. helping the people?

he gave some wonderful speeches. i was at the 1992 inauguration. (i got to see barbra streisand rehearsing which was more amazing than anything that followed him for 8 years.) he was likeable.

he just didn't do anything.

having destroyed the chance of universal health care (and hillary did that with her secrecy - the sort of secrecy we object with dick cheney now), hillary now makes health care noises as she gets ready for her 2008 run.

are we supposed to trust her?

what we were given the impression of getting during the 1992 campaign was not what she offered. (though the insurance companies were very pleased with her proposal.)

i don't want to make a hero out of russ feingold (who i like) but i'd rather have some 1 like him who fights. who fights for something other than himself.

i think it was 1993, early 1993, when c.i. said 'bill clinton was raised in chaos and he can't do anything without chaos.' by the end of the 90s, c.i. was comparing bill clinton to jalen rose of the indiana pacers and saying that bill clinton, like rose, had to go out on the court and bury himself because the only role he was comfortable in was 'the comeback kid.'

so we got 8 years of bill clinton's personal struggels, 8 years of bill clinton's america when, in fact, it was the people's country.

there were attacks from the right and from the press. i'm not ignoring that. but unlike the online dylan, i don't feel the need to whore myself out and play like bill clinton was god, jesus christ and buddah rolled into 1.

the press (and the right wing) tried to take him out. he helped them along the way. that's part of the story even if someone still sending his yearly dues into the bill clinton fan club can't grasp that.

i'm also sick of the myth that we were so much better off ecnomically under bill clinton. every 1 wasn't. was it better than under the bully boy? yes.

but that's it choice wise? we can either have nation completely screwed over or nation treading water?

i'm not willing to accept that.

i want some 1 who will fight for the people. some 1 who wants to represent them. that may be a pipe dream. but don't tell me bill clinton is the best we could get. i'll take jimmy carter over bill clinton and i had huge problems with carter's foreign policies.

to hear the right scream their fantasies of how liberal bill clinton was could have only induced gails of laughter from actual liberals. he wasn't liberal.

and if we're going to act as though he was, if we're going to make him the baseline, then get ready for evan blah.

dukakis wasn't a liberal. we get dukakis and others thrown in our faces and are told 'see, a liberal can't win.' how long has it been since a liberal got the democractic nomination?

but these centrists/realists want to move the party to the center. they want to do that because it's easy. i don't think some 1 who's battle plan is 'do what's easy' belongs in the white house.

after bully boy leaves (impeach, impeach, impeach), our country's going to be in a huge mess and some 1 who's just going to do a little light dusting and maybe move the couch around isn't going to fix the problems.

hillary can't even address the problems so the idea that she's the candidate we should all drool over is hard to stomach.

we're seeing the problems with this choose evil or just bad right now as our elected officials talk immigration. undocumented workers aren't being helped by what's going on. corporations are being helped. i'd like to see an issue approached from the perspective of how it will help people - not from how it will help corporations while doing the least damage to people.

we're given these false choices and encouraged to believe that it's this or it's that. life is generally quite a bit more complex as are the issues.

joan baez has a great version of steve earle's 'christmas in washington' on her live album (kat reviewed it here) where she sings about how democrats means '4 more years of things not getting worse.' that's a perfect description by steve earle. i don't think we have to settle for hideous or not worse. i think there are other options.

and the press desire to sell us on candidates is insane. we're not getting any news. we're getting handicapping of the horse race. mark warner 'dark horse' screams the new york times. if 2 years before the primaries the times is going to jerk off over handicapping, exactly when will we get to know what issues people stand for? i am so sick of the corporate press treating it all as a horse race. i want to see more substance in the reporting and in the candidates.

and it would be really great if the new york times, ted koppel and others could avoid trying to shame people over endorsements or encouraging them to drop out of a race and instead start tackling some real issues. i don't expect that to happen.

kat wrote a really wonderful post last night, so please check that out. sherry noted the columns c.i. wrote for the gina & krista round-robin and for polly's brew last weekend and wondered why c.i. wasn't writing about the issue at the common ills?

because c.i.'s sick of crap. and the big question this morning when c.i. called was, 'rebecca, i didn't have a swear word in there, did i?' no. but there are some issues that c.i. knows won't be calm discussions or funny 1s. that's why there's been nothing other than news on jose padilla's case at the common ills. c.i. hasn't made a comment on that due to the level of anger at the supreme court's decision to turn down the case.

c.i. did tackle the new york times continual ignoring of realities in ireland. i know dominick wrote c.i. to ask for that because i got an e-mail from dominick praising the post. i'm not sure people get that (i know sherry does). i've discussed here before but i'll repeat, if c.i.'s writing about something, it's because the members want it covered.
so c.i. does a post that speaks for the community. this morning's was wonderful.

c.i. tackled the times on that and on the realities of uganda. if you missed it, go read it.
it's why jim always knows that if every 1 else is falling asleep, he and c.i. can go on. you just sit there and say 'give a speech on this' and, no matter how tired, c.i. will. that's really what the common ills is, c.i. speaking for members. i was really glad that c.i. announced that next year on water rights day, the common ills was going to be covering that topic. that's a huge topic to c.i. and if it was about 'i'll write what i want to,' that topic would have been covered over and over. instead, the community is like jim saying 'come on talk about this.'

and when it's a time like right now, where c.i.'s pouring hours into activism, i really do worry because there's little to no sleep, there's no down time and the only down time there might be is spent getting things written for the site.

i wouldn't want that responsibility. i'm perfectly fine with writing about what i want.

but in terms of something like the immigration issue or abortion or jose padilla, c.i.'s not going to put it up at the common ills. there's no time. it's a huge headache to write about something like that. and with calls of 'write about this' or 'write about that' or 'please address this' there's no time for it. that's why it goes into columns.

the columns are c.i. speaking about what c.i. wants to. and on issues that are too close to the bone, too important, it's too difficult to try to dash off a paragraph or 2 in the midst of covering what the community wants covered.

by the way, ava and jess are being active on the immigration issue as well.

elaine just called. she's upset because she can't log in to fix her post. those who tried to post early tonight found out they couldn't or had to do so quickly because blogger was going down. it's back up, obviously, but elaine can't log in. she keeps getting an error message of 'down for maintenance' even though that's over. i told her betty wasn't able to log in before going to church. i told her the same thing i told betty, when this happens, it's not your fault and it's not your problem. don't worry about it. and i mean that. betty and elaine need to not guilt over the fact that blogger had problems. i told elaine i would go in tomorrow night and add in the links for her. it's the least i can do after she filled in for weeks and weeks for me. (she doesn't blog thursday nights because she's got group.)