Last year when I was supporting Hillary Clinton’s run for the Democratic nomination, many of my friends and family were ardent supporters of Barack Obama. I had many impassioned discussions with them. I posted many times, and heard from many of you who supported Obama. I said then what I still believe: He is too inexperienced in the world of politics, and (1) I am afraid he will depend on his advisors too much, and (2) he has not been on the national scene long enough for us to know if he truly believes the things he says.
At the time, many of us Clinton supporters were accused of being jaded, of not being able to recognize a “new” politician. (Some even called Obama “progressive”! And to them I say, where were you when Dennis Kucinich was in the race?) How is the “new” and “progressive” president Obama treating gay Americans? By refusing to honor his campaign pledge to overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and now, by supporting the Defense of Marriage Act as some sort of fiscally responsilbe thing to do. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has instituted equal benefits for gay State Department employees, extending benefits to their same sex partners. Clinton has done more the LGBT community that so loyally supported Barack Obama than Obama has done as President.
In February 2008 things were getting hot between the Clinton and the Obama supporters. In June 2009, I find myself saying the same things about Barack Obama, and I’m tired of writing the same things over and over again. So indulge me while I repeat this post which I wrote on February 20, 2008:
I don’t know when it happened, but apparently I’ve turned into one of “them.” You know, the party poopers. The grownups. The ones who tell you not to sit too close to the t.v. The ones who correct your grammar. The ones who tell your child to stop running in the store. The ones who say “Someone’s going to put an eye out.”
Now don’t get me wrong, when I was younger, I was a complete idealist — as I’m sure Hillary Clinton was, too. I grew up “inside the beltway” and have been fascinated with politics my entire life. I campaigned at my elementary school for George McGovern when I was eleven. My first presidential election I voted for John Anderson (yeah, remember him?!). I’ve been to peace rallies, no nukes rallies; I’ve ridden on a bus for 15 hours to march on Washington.
When I was seven years old I was in the car with my mom when we heard on the radio that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot. I will never ever forget how upset she was at that news.
I tell you all of this because I want you to understand: I want to have a better world. I want peace. These are core values of mine. The thing is, I have learned in my years of involvement in all of these causes and issues that there are some realities in how things get done.
Yes, there’s the adult speaking again. The party pooper raining on the Obama parade. But here’s the reality, folks: this country is screwed up! We are closing in on 4,000 American dead [ed. note: it is now 4,312] in a war that no one here even pays much attention to any more — a war that was begun under false pretenses. Our economy’s down the toilet, gas prices are out of sight and oil companies fight off every effort to develop true renewable alternatives. We have troops in Afghanistan fighting and dying, and we’re consumed with the latest “scandal” on the campaign trail. America has become a nation of toddlers: “Ooh look! Something shiny and bright! I want it!”
What’s behind that shine, folks? I am afraid that it’s as thin as some pretty foil — all shine and no substance. So call me an old fart if you want. I call it growing up.
I continue to support Hillary Clinton as the most qualified candidate to take over the White House. She wants all the same change that Obama speechifies on. The difference is that she has the experience and the understanding to take on the challenge of bringing about that change. He does not. She will be able to lead, he will not. He will rely on advisers and confidantes, and where have we seen this before? For the past 7 years George W. Bush has overcome his “inexperience” by bringing in Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc., and what has happened?
So don’t waggle shiny things in front of me, Sen. Obama. I outgrew that a long time ago.
And today, I read this from CBS News, and I have never been so sorry to have been “right” about a hunch:
In hindsight, perhaps, it should be no surprise that Mr. Obama is shying away from this front in the cultural wars. He broke faith with liberal supporters over warrantless wiretaps, the repetition of the Bush administration’s arguments on “state secrets,” and the continuation of the Bush administration’s indefinite military detentions of terrorism suspects.
The surprise should be that some supporters seem to have confused a politician’s campaign promises with his actual policies.