Friday, April 04, 2008

Obama or Clinton -- but not McCain

I've been shocked to hear a number of friends say that if Obama doesn't win the Democratic nomination, they won't vote in the national election, or they'll consider voting for McCain -- anyone but Clinton. And I've also heard various people say that if Hillary Clinton isn't the nominee, they'll stay home, or they'll vote for McCain, but not for Obama.

Frankly, these statements seem downright ridiculous to me. Do folks vote only on personality, and not on the issues? The reality is that Clinton and Obama are pretty darn close on the issues, and either Democrat's agenda in the White House is going to be vastly superior to any Republican's. (Does anyone actually think that Karl Rove and the Christian conservatives are just going to fade away?)

I get that people have various levels of personal discomfort with either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for various reasons. But it seems to me that those folks are missing the obvious: a vote that Obama or Clinton doesn't get in the national election is effectively a vote FOR McCain.

And why wouldn't someone who supports Obama's or Clinton's positions on the issues want McCain -- who is working awfully hard right now to persuade the far right that he is THEIR man -- to be president?

Here's the most convincing argument of all, in my view:

"The day the next president takes office, five of the nine Supreme Court justices will be over 70. John Paul Stevens will be 88; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75; Anthony Kennedy, 71; Stephen Breyer, 70; and ... Antonin Scalia is 72.
The next president will probably pick one or two of their replacements; maybe more, if he or she is reelected. McCain, who favors the repeal of Roe v. Wade, promises conservative audiences, "We're going to have justices like [John] Roberts and [Samuel] Alito."

This Dan Payne of the Boston Globe writing here. You can read the full editorial here.


  1. I may not agree with your on who should be president, but my husband and I have had the same conversation about personalities vs. policy and how odd it seems to abandon a party if a particular personality isn't the nominee. I mean, McCain and the democratic nominees aren't even close in their platforms. Strange.

  2. Sharon7:02 PM

    I was just having a conversation with my husband about an interview I had seen that said some states in the middle of the country were already being counted as going to McCain - and I thought why on earth would they want more of the same? Now I think I understand. Forget war and economics. Abortion seems to be the most polarizing issue we are facing as a country.

  3. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Yes, abortion is the most polarizing issue and it is the Supreme Court Justices that are the real issues. My heavens. Obama would not even vote that a baby born ALIVE after an abortion should be given care. Google *infanticide Obama* and read it for yourself. It was the born alive bill. What kind of man would put a live baby in a trash can? Is a baby only a baby if you *want* it? When the baby gets a choice, then I will listen to democrats. Yes, the Court appointments ARE the issue and I will be voting for McCain.

  4. I completely agree, Diane! I have been transplanted to the midwest...South Dakota to be exact...and I, frankly, am sick of the whole abortion argument that is NON-STOP up here. It's ridiculous...and we are subject to huge panel vans driving around with HUGE billboard type pictures of dead fetuses, ticks me off. I do live in a more urban area, and so tend to be more others like me (open-minded Democrats), but unfortunately the state typically tends to be republican. I stick out like a sore thumb! I was always in the "Anyone but Bush" camp, and will now be in the "Anyone but McCain" camp!! *Peace!

  5. Unfortunately this is the state of America today. I have heard the same thing and I may sound cynical but there is nothing much to stop McCain from becoming the president....

  6. Anonymous5:23 PM

    I cant express my dismay at the democratic party in words I would print! The state of the Americian economy is even worse than it was after Regan finished shredding it. The war is killing thousands of our most promising young people not to even mention what it is doing to 'help' those who want a change in Iraq. Mcain in office frightens me. I will vote for which ever democrate gets the nomination.

  7. Anonymous8:46 AM

    Did everybody forget 9-11 and that Bill Clinton had the opportunity to
    end Bin Laden's reign but didn't have the balls to do it! He also made many families have to explain to their children what "oral" sex was because he CHOSE to do it in the White House with a woman young enough to be his daughter. Hillary keeps getting caught in lies and Obama's patriotism is in question. At least McCain fought for America's freedom.

  8. I'm all for folks expressing their political views, and I don't have any problem with folks disagreeing with me in comments. When I post an entry with a political topic, I welcome responses and different views. But it's hard to give any credence to anyone who is afraid to speak up under his/her own identity. As a result, I've decided to change my settings to not accept anonymous comments.

    But I really do welcome your reactions -- I just want to know who I'm hearing comments from!

    And, by the way, for that anonymous poster who blames Hillary Clinton for her husband's foibles? Gotta be a man, because if we women were on the hook for all of our husband's flaws, we'd be in big trouble. Time to step out of the dark ages, honey. And here's a newsflash: wives aren't the property of their husbands any more, either. (Grin)

  9. Diane, its not even possible for me to agree more with your view because I've been so perplexed and baffled when I've heard these views expressed (thankfully far and few between, but still...). Frankly, it I just boil down to personality, I'd be honored to vote for either and when I keep policy and issues in focus, I've yet to hear a Republican come close to anything besides ridiculous rhetoric that is frightening.

  10. Diane, loved your response to the comments. You rock! While voting is a personal decision, I remain baffled by people who vote against their own interest. Lived through the '60's, had a son serve in Iraq (who we love and admire) and for some strange reason will still vote my heart and pocket book.

  11. The divisiveness of the Democratic campaign right now scares me. I am SO supporting Obama and hoping he gets the nomination, but if he doesn't I will support Clinton for the very reasons you wrote about. Another 4 years under a Republican leader is unthinkable.