Clinton wants to appoint a poverty czar to the Cabinet, is rolling out plans to cure breast cancer and is talking tough on most-favored human rights abuser, China. I'm liking this primary season. If we can get her in the lead again, maybe Obama will move left too.
I like anything to do with raising the profile of poverty and I like the breast cancer plan too but the China talk
is just nonsense. No American president can disrespect China as she is
suggesting BushCo should do. Obama, all front-runnery and ever cautious and vague, hemmed and hawed on
the point. (China is bad and Darfur is sad but the Olympics are about the love so, um
...) I'm not sure why he didn't call her on the silly talk and lay it
out: China is bad but they own us and so we will dance at their
party. The trick is to get independent of China economically and go
about restoring our veneer of moral authority internationally so that we
have a leg to stand on when it comes to situations like this. On the
other hand, not answering is a step up from the way he plunged
into the "I'll renegotiate NAFTA!" fest and then told Canada that he
was just foolin'. Baby steps. If only the primary lasted a year or two, I know we'd be getting somewhere.
On the homefront, I wish I could say that this NYT Magazine article didn't paint an accurate picture of the racism and self-destructive political reasoning in Levittown, PA, but I've worked there for two years and have seen a lot and so I can't. I also wish the story had looked at a few other towns around PA instead of using Levittown to represent all that isn't Philadelphia/Pittsburgh. The diversity of lifestyles and political thought in this state is fascinating. It would have been interesting to spend some time in a few rural areas or in Reading, which is largely Latino and is struggling economically and is in the middle of a district that votes for "moderate" Republican Jim Gerlach over and over again. Or in Erie, which has lost its economic base and is traditionally Republican but is also where four Democrats are fighting for the chance to unseat rubberstamp Republican, Rep. Phil English. On top of that, when you factor in the strong probability that PA will be this year's Florida/Ohio, thanks to all our unverifable voting machines, the major news outlets should set up election bureaus in Pennsylvania.
Button Wars: So when I saw Hillary speak last week, I picked up the AFT button endorsing her. I wore it this weekend to NYC mostly because I forgot to take it off. Turns out that NYC is starved for the Hillary swag. I got at least half a dozen favorable comments on the button, which only surprised me because I kept forgetting I was wearing it. What really surprise me was hearing from a nun, who stopped me to chat about Hillary, that all her sisters were praying hard for Clinton to win. I asked why and she told me that it's because she's a woman. Okay, I said, that's fair - but why else? The sister got sort of cagey and told me that she is a Dominican nun. That didn't help me. Was she talking about choice? That didn't sound right. How radical could those Dominican nuns be? She said that with the "equality issues" going on in the church right now, a woman president would be helpful. She supports women in the priesthood. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't think a Hillary presidency would advance her cause but I did give her my button, which made her happy and got me points with God. Now here comes the war part.
Since I really have no clear preference between Obama and Hillary, but I do want to support the DemCans, or at least the excitement around the election, I figured I'd replace my Hillary button and get an Obama one to wear too. Twice the opportunity to engage people in the process, right? So I stopped by the Clinton headquarters tonight and got a button for me and my daughter - no problem. All I had to do was bite my tongue when the young woman working there told me that Hillary was always against NAFTA. Please. Next stop: Obamaland, where I was sure I'd be able to get a button. Well, I could, but it would cost me $3 for one button, $5 for 2. Call me stingy but I had just spent $54 to put gas in my car and over a hundred dollars to buy one night's worth of groceries and some staples for the house; I wasn't about to fork over $3 to a campaign that's pulling in a million dollars a day and got $15 of my money last quarter to boot - all so I could advertise their guy in a tight race.
Obama will be speaking at a town hall in Levittown on Wednesday. I hear it's free to get in. Maybe I'll pick up a button there, but in the meantime,