Less Rusty Brain

I’ve been thinking a lot about feminism thanks to posts by Shannon, Res, AG and a new blog I read, Shakespeare’s Sister. At best, I’ve been intellectually lazy about women’s rights lately. I am hesitant to think about what I’ve become at worst. Regardless, I just had this thought:

I want Obama to be the candidate because he is the best candidate. I really don’t want him to get the nomination because people don’t want to elect a woman.

I obviously have a lot of thinking left to do on the matter. It is not an easy discussion to have either; however, it is something I need to do.

What I can say is this: Regardless of who gets the democratic nomination, I am voting Democratic. Like Dean, I’m from the Democratic wing of the Democratic part, and this year I am going to follow through with it.

edit: Credit where Credit is due.

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18 thoughts on “Less Rusty Brain

  1. I can relate to the fact that I feel marginalized if Hillary does not win. However, the bigger picture is that we need a Democrat in office and it cannot always be about gender. Plus, it’s not like I am not aware that men of color will still get preference over me in the patriarchy because it boils down to gender. So, I too need to sit down and think about everything.

    I totally agree that whomever gets the nomination — we are supporting. Until then, I am a Hillary fan. I will still be afterwards as much as I was a Bradley fan back in the day. However, once the glitter and dust fade — eyes on the prize: Dems back in the White House, out of Iraq and equality for all!

  2. Speaking as Marty’s (token?) conservative hanger-on…

    *pause here for obligatory HAIL TO EMPEROR BRICU, FIRST OF HIS NAME*

    …it works the same way for us on the Republican side. Trust me, John McCain wasn’t even on my radar. I was a Fred Thompson or Duncan Hunter guy all the way. McCain’s got a lot of beliefs I don’t agree with–he buys too much into “climate change” for my liking, he took a dump all over the First Amendment with McCain-Feingold, he tried to ram illegal immigrant amnesty through the Senate twice last year.

    That having been said, my guys couldn’t get the job done in the primaries. (And how.) So there’s a pretty good chance I’ll vote for McCain in the general. Not 100%, because he could still do something so egregious that I just say “the hell with it” and go write in Mickey Mouse. But close. Because he matches up on more of my beliefs than either Obama or Clinton do, and I happen to think either of them getting into the White House would be a Bad Thing.

    Marty, you and I can found chapters of Cognitive Dissonants Anonmyous. I’m right there with you.

  3. Lewis, let me ask you something: are you happy with your current state of financial affairs, gas prices, mortgage rates, job security, etc., etc.

    If not, why would you vote for McSame? Unless you are a multi millionaire, a business owner or a true hater of diversity, I cannot fathom why you vote Republican.

    I am not trying to be a jerk. Just trying to understand why someone would do that.

  4. It’s a good question.

    Financial affairs: No, and it’s my own doing. I’m fighting out of a lot of debt that I got into in my 20s and 30s. The Bush tax cuts have been a Godsend in giving me back enough money to make progress on those credit cards. And I’m not a multi-millionaire…I make a decent salary (about $75k) but I daresay everybody else reading this has more stashed away in the bank than I do.

    Gas prices: Heck no I’m not happy about paying $3.45 a gallon. That’s one fault I have with the current administration–he didn’t push hard enough, IMO, when his party had control of Congress, to open up places like ANWR for drilling, end the ridiculous “boutique blend” gasolines that have to be used all over the country in winter, and knock down barriers to building more refineries and more clean-coal and nuclear power plants instead of ones that burn natural gas. I’ll say this–I think the fact that we’re paying what we are for gas should be sufficient proof that the whole “war for oil” shtick was baloney.

    Job security: I work in IT as a contractor, currently at a major pharma company, supervising a couple of offshore folks in India. I’d have a lot less job security if heavy corporate tax hikes or nationalized healthcare threw a stick in the spokes of Big Pharma.

    Honestly, as big a kookburger as he is sometimes, if Ron Paul had not been so vehemently against the war, I could’ve looked hard at him. I have a strong libertarian streak; not as strong as his, not by a long shot, but his willingness to reign in Federal spending and power hits home with me. But his breathtakingly naive neo-isolationist foreign policy just isn’t going to work, IMO, in a day and age where hiding behind our oceans just can’t protect us anymore. We do have to stay engaged with the rest of the world.

    When I look at either of the Democratic candidates, I see higher taxes in my future. I see less opportunity for me as higher taxes on business slow down the economy. I see further restrictions on my Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I see more Federal power in direct violation of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. I see us cutting and running and pulling the rug out from under Iraq right when we’re seeing the gains from the surge, and emboldening people like I’manutjob over in Iran.

    The sad thing is, I see SOME of that even with McCain. Right now, he’s the least of three weevils. McCain’s good points to me are his support of most of what’s going on in Iraq, and his hardcore stand against earmarks and pork.

  5. Just an addon…why would voting Republican make me a “hater of diversity?” I think it should be illegal for race to be on job applications. I think race shouldn’t be a factor in college admissions or mortgage applications or anything like that. Most all the conservatives I run with don’t give a flying fish what color or ethnic background or sex somebody is. We want to judge people not by the “color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” We aren’t the ones standing up in the pulpit bringing race into the conversation again and again and again–see Jeremiah Wright and his ilk.

    I know you’re genuinely curious, and I appreciate that. But few things get me bent out of shape faster than somebody simply assuming that because I am (a) a white Southerner and (b) a conservative, that I’m automatically a racist.

  6. Thanks Lewis. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. We actually should talk off line because we work in the same industry, though I am the person who makes your life hell and expects things yesterday.

    Please allow me to understand more:

    What exactly is going on in Iraq that is of benefit to you? I am confused by your support of McCain on that issue.

    I did not assume you were any of the things you mentioned above. I do however feel that most people who support the GOP do not appreciate diversity. The p-value is pretty strong to support said feelings. I know their are small town GOPs across America. That hardly makes them Southern cross flying!

    I wonder why you would support ripping up the great state of Alaska for cheap gas for yourself. Don’t you think we could get off oil and gas dependence and have better diplomacy abroad? That would avoid Alaska getting the crap kicked out of her.

    As for your taxes, I can assure you as someone who will suffer from being in the $200K plus group that the Dems have said they will terrorize if elected, and a homeowner in the highest tax bracket in the burbs of New York City, my tax burden was far less under the Clinton adminstration than the current one. I have said time and time again that unless you make the kind of cash that I do, taxes are not going to affect you. In fact, I would be happy to give you tax strategy ideas as the child of an Accountant and niece of one of America’s top tax Accountants and VP of a major investment firms.

    Job security under the GOP is unlikely in this field. Despite what Bush and the GOP sell you, pharma does much better under Dems than Repubs because we can charge more and the economic elasticity is larger because more people have healthcare benefits under Dem leaders than GOPs.

    I really appreciate your comments. I can see why Marty and you are friends. You are good people (despite our politicial divide).

    Are you Jewish or married?

    You know AG had to ask that… You’d think she’d learn after the jejune asshole in OKie.

  7. Fair questions. On down the line…

    My view on Iraq is more a case of “now that we’re there, we need to finish it right.” You can argue whether it was a good idea or not to invade initially in 2003. But the worst possible thing to do would be to invade, topple Saddam, botch the occupation for three years, finally figure out how to start doing it right, and then leave just when the Iraqis are taking baby steps toward running a pluralistic country. The last thing we need is another Afghanistan circa 2000-2001, where organizations like al Qaeda basically take over a country and have country-sized resources at their command. Like it or not, we’re in it. If we leave now, the past five years and 4,000 American lives will be wasted. If we can turn Iraq into at least a semi-functional republic, they won’t be.

    Alaska. It’s not so much “cheap gas for myself.” It’s so that countries like our “friends” the Saudis or Hugo Castro down there in Venezuela won’t have us over an oil barrel. I’ll deal with $114 a barrel oil and $3.45 a gallon gas if it means we can finally start telling OPEC to go pound sand. We can dream all we want about weaning ourselves from petroleum, but it’s not happening anytime soon. In the short and medium term, we need to develop our own sources of oil. What’s more, modern drilling techniques mean that the caribou would hardly notice the wells and pipelines. Alaska will not have the “crap kicked out of her” or be “ripped up.”

    Oh yeah…and I’m Presbyterian, 41, married, with one two-year-old daughter, who I’ve been sitting the entire weekend and then some while my wife’s off in Georgia at a craft show selling jewelry she makes. So if there’s some rambling incoherency here, it’s because too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has destroyed my brain.

  8. I can’t say that if Hillary Clinton loses the nomination at this point than I will feel marginalized. I already feel marginalized, and it’s not because I’m female, it’s because I have been marginalized as a liberal for the past 7 years. This election decision shouldn’t be about, “Well, we’re both women. We’ve got the same gonads. That’s important to me.” Underneath that sort of arguement is usually some sort of idea of universal womanhood, which I’ve always found to be the most aggravating strain of feminism. IE, Hillary Clinton is a woman so she gets women’s problems, as if there is one sole set of problems facing every single woman out there. My experience as a woman is not the same as Hillary Clinton’s. Hillary Clinton’s experience is certainly not the same as a woman living in Africa. There is no universal feminine experience–not even giving birth, in this day and age. People who are voting for Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman should ask themselves a really simple question: “Would I vote for Condeleeza Rice because she’s a woman?” It can’t be solely about gender–and to most people’s defense, I don’t think it is. I think the media creates these sorts of debates because it’s easier for them than actually discussing policy. (Just so everyone knows where I stand as I write about Clinton, I’m a disgruntled Obama supporter. All my favorites have dropped out, and I’m disgusted with Hillary Clinton’s behavior over the past couple weeks. She had my support initially, and has since lost it. If she wins, she’ll get my support back–but only because I really dislike John McCain, not for her own merits or gonads.)

  9. I’m going to be the jackass here: The perspective of what constitutes “money” is completely warped. $75k is not a decent wage. It is a good wage. This year it looks like I will make shy of $20k. My wife—highly educated, highly trained, skilled and experienced—makes less than half of what you do, Lewis. I assure you that we, readers here still, have less in the bank than you do. I don’t think this should change your mind on any of your political positions, as I hear where you’re coming from, but I hope it’ll temper your perspective as to what constitutes common, median, average, or “a decent salary.”

    (I’ve just deleted some material here about socialized medicine, because I don’t want to make it project anything on to Lewis, whose success has not been at my expense, after all. I mention this only because I think lots of cross-party discussions could learn the lesson I just did. Anyway.)

    Marty, here’s my two cents on the subject of the current Presidential candidates and gender: Voting for someone because of his or her gender is not so different from voting *against* that person because of his or her gender. I remain unconvinced that Hillary Clinton’s sex organs will cause her to better represent or exemplify the issues associated with her gender. A candidate is not a distillation of issues or an avatar of his or her gender.

    Put another way: I agree with Alison.

    The President we elect will not make our lives better because he or she looks likes us or plays our games or likes our music. A President will make our lives better when he or she wants our lives to be better regardless of what we look like.

  10. Will, you wrote: “The President we elect will not make our lives better because he or she looks like us or plays our games or likes our music. A President will make our lives better when he or she wants our lives to be better regardless of what we look like.”

    On this point, we 100% completely agree. We just disagree on how they should go about doing it.

    I think identity politics, on any part of the spectrum, is a crock. There’s a feeling sometimes that “you have to be black to represent a black district,” or “you have to be a woman to understand women’s issues.” Well, no. It might help, but it’s not a requirement. If I find somebody that fits my belief system, I don’t care if they’re male or female or white or black or Inuit or Jewish or Muslim. I’m going to vote for them over the white guy that has beliefs that I don’t share. For examples from my side of the aisle, if somebody like J.C. Watts, Michael Steele, or Bobby Jindal was running for President? I’m SO there.

    If you’re female, and you look at the candidates and decide that Obama is a better fit for you than Hillary, then vote Obama and don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. If you’re black, and don’t buy what Obama’s selling and think Hillary’s your gal, vote Hillary. To be pressured into voting for “the black candidate” because you’re black, or “the woman candidate” because you’ve got two X chromosomes, is wrong.

  11. No worries, AG. Have fun at the rally!

    BTW, on oil? Two other things pushing oil prices upward, as I understand it, are market speculation and the sinking dollar. I should have an opinion on those, but honestly, despite my best attempts, my brain locks whenever I start trying to figure out macroeconomics and currency values and all that fun stuff. I just get the distinct feeling that first Greenspan, and now Bernanke, did or are doing something wrong, but I can’t grok what. But speculation and the value of the dollar are probably doing as much or more to ram oil prices through the roof than any issues with supply. I think we should drill ANWR and shale formations and the like simply to be more self-sufficient as a national security issue than really as a price issue.

    Hey Marty, sorry for derailing your thread. I can shut up about politics and keep posting about your ’80s clothing selection, if you prefer.

  12. I think you can leave Iraq in well thought out stages and maintain strong diplomacy and a smaller force, much like we did with South Korea (and still do today). This war was about Republican profits. War is profitable and the reason Reps like it. I will not be fooled into Al Q crap. The real enemy behind Door 3 is King George and his Swiss bank account.

    I would like to know more about these modern drilling techniques because I don’t see that happening. I am willing to learn more if you can point me to some reliable literature. I agree that oil is being priced out by a force we cannot control but that’s because somebody went playing Cowboys and Iraqis and fucked the hell out of the elasticity of oil prices. They charge it because they know they can get it!

    A WASP, huh? Love it. AG’s was raised JAP and WASP. Presbyterian, no less! Your wife and daughter are clearly both very lucky. I hope you had fun with her this weekend!

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