It was a sad night at my apartment today. Not just because I discovered that I needed a new car battery the hard way. Hillary seems to have won both Ohio and Texas primaries (looks like Obama might win the caucus in Texas, but I’m not sure if that’ll actually happen).
Why is this a sad day? Because it means Hillary keeps going. Why can’t I root for Hillary as much as Obama? Simple: she is the best chance the republicans have of winning the Presidency again. There are a lot of other reasons (I like Obama’s political priorities a lot more, for one), but that’s the one that worries me the most. Hell, Rush Limbaugh actually told his listeners to go out and vote for her. Even if she doesn’t win the nomination, her staying in the race helps the Republican Party: “We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically, and it’s obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don’t have the stomach for it.” (Rush Limbaugh)
Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t think of John McCain as a bad guy. If there was one republican candidate, other than Ron Paul, that I felt comfortable with winning the Republican nomination, it was McCain. The problem is that I don’t agree with his political positions on far too many issues. I don’t want him to win the presidency. And frankly, after what we’ve been through the past 7 years, I want a clear and resounding message sent to the Republican Party as a whole. I want the Republican Party to be in no doubt that, when they evolved into neo-conservatives, they went the wrong way. They need to know that a conservative foreign policy is not a warlike one. They need to know that a conservative fiscal policy is not one in which debt-spending is the norm. They need to know that, when trying to legislate social conservatism, they run up against civil libertarianism, and that’s a failing strategy (especially from a governmentally conservative perspective).
The Republican Party has been expecting Hillary to run for president, and has been preparing for it, for well over a decade. Obama, however, baffles them. They don’t know how to attack him without causing negative backlash. They’re restricted to talking about the real issues, and in that kind of debate, the republicans are left in the democratic dust this time. But most importantly, that’s the sort of presidential campaign that I want to see; one that actually focuses on the issues, rather than playing on fear and ignorance.
But right now, Hillary is just doing the attacking for them. She just ran a TV add for John McCain, and somehow thought that she’d benefit from it. Who has the most experience, knows the world leaders, and knows the military more than any other candidate in this campaign? John McCain.
Sorry, but I don’t think being the wife of a president gives you presidential experience any more than being the wife of an astronaut makes you a rocket scientist. Even if she wins the nomination because of these ads, all McCain needs to do is stick his own name at the end of them, then just run them again. She’s playing to win the nomination, but these tactics won’t help her in the general election. And given how much hatred there is for her already, she’d need every bit of help she could get in the general election.
Fortunately, all is not lost. Obama is still likely to have a respectable majority in delegates after this, and a lot of the following primaries seem more likely to go his way than Hillary’s. I had just really hoped the democrats could have taken just a little of the wind out of the sails of people like Rush Limbaugh.