Monday, March 03, 2008


I used to really like Hillary in a big way. But I stopped liking her when she started wanting to be president. Not because she was ambitious (why shouldn't she be?) but because she started doing those things that some ambitious people do when they lose sight of why they're supposedly ambitious in the first place.

My take on Hillary was always that here was a person who wanted power so she could make things better for everyone, especially the people who deserve a better shake. Those people are legion in America and their ranks have swelled larger and larger since St. Reagan ascended to the Oval Throne, armed with a Fairytale narrative and a cursory-at-best understanding of the Human Condition outside the gates of Bel Air.

In Hillary, I thought I saw someone who wanted to make the U.S. conform more closely to the Way We See Ourselves as opposed to the Way We Really Are. I thought she wanted to make the country a more reasonable and just place, where everyone was assured they had a role to play, a job to do and were a valued partner in a vast enterprise of Justice, Compassion and Humanity.

I had no issue with her decision to run for Congress from New York State, figuring that what mattered was not whether she was from there, but whether she did a good job for her constituents. I'll give her one thing: She figured out fast that contrary to what many New York City residents think, "upstate New York" does not start at Spuyten Duyvel, nor does it end at Yorktown. As someone whose "people" hail from the banks of the St. Lawrence, I give her credit.

It was when she started getting more circumspect about things like Gay Marriage, that I started souring on her. And yes, I've heard all the exhortations from my monied, Player, Gay male friends and acquaintances about "acting mature," and "compromising" to get where we want to go.

But, I don't think I want to go where they want to go. I'm not impressed by invitations to the White House unless they're issued by a President I respect. I'm not interested in a place at a table occupied by a bunch of people who should be standing trial, not holding court. I'm not interested in getting married, really, since I see no point in signing up for an institution that is failing everyone. And I don't have any property to protect.

But the deal is this: You can't have a privilege for some people and not for other people and call yourself an Equal Society. Because you're not. There's no compromising here, kids. America is either an Equal Society, or it's not. Hillary would like to see it be kind of more equal, but not really so equal that it would make people who don't like Equality uncomfortable.

I don't like people like that. I don't like people who play both ends against the middle. It's one of the reasons I don't like her husband anymore. He has far too much regard for his accomplishments, intellect and experience and far too little for the mistakes he made, his errors in judgement and the humility that accompanies any truly great human being.

With a partner like that, it's a wonder Hillary's still standing, much less running for President. But maybe that's why she has people like Mark Penn
advising her. Maybe he's the person who advised her to vote for the war when everyone who bothered to do their homework knew that everyone in the Administration was lying. But when you have ambitions to be president, you can't appear weak on defense. And really, so what if half a million innocent Iraqis die along with 3,000 American young people serving as soldiers? it's not like they were important people or anything. Maybe it was Penn who advised her to co-sponsor a flag-burning amendment because it would raise her appeal with stupid rednecks for whom a printed piece of nylon fabric resonates more than our Bill of Rights. But who's telling her to keep supporting Bush' war? Who's telling her to keep funneling money into the pockets of Halliburton, Blackwater and the rest of them while American soldiers are still fighting for decent equipment and VA care?

In all fairness, it's not like she's getting any different examples from Nancy Pelosi, who seems more concerned with consolidating her own power as Speaker than with actually executing anything resembling a Democratic agenda. And certainly, Harry Reid has his own head so far up Bush's ass he can't even see daylight.

Obama isn't my first choice, but I'm willing to give him a shot. His opponent unfortunately, seems to have put her integrity on clearance. I'm done with "electable" candidates who can't get elected, and "compromisers" who can't see the value in being The Loyal Opposition when our opponents have a cowed public's attention. I'm tired of candidates who can't tell the difference between selling yourself and selling out.

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