Friday, July 22, 2016

Raising Kaine: Clinton Disappoints With VP Pick, But I'm Still With Her

Hillary Clinton could have chosen a chimpanzee to be her running mate and I would still support her.  The stakes in this election are too high.  If nothing else, the last few Days of Dystopia, aka the Republican National Convention, have made it clear that Donald J. Trump is intent on harnessing the darkest and most dangerous instincts of disaffected white Americans whose fervent cries of "build the wall," "lock her up" and "all lives matter" were absolutely chilling.  It isn't hyperbole to say that this is how fascist regimes get their start -- drumming up fear and hatred, claiming to be the one and only person who can make the country safe and strong, and then promising with nothing more than slogans to make it all happen on the first day in power.

Thankfully, because Trump is so remarkably disorganized and erratic -- and women and people of color still have the vote --  the odds still greatly favor Clinton to win the presidency.  But the fact that this might be anywhere near a close vote in November is deeply troubling, indeed, frightening. 

Which brings us back to Clinton.  I don't really need to rehash the reasons why I supported Clinton in the primaries.  (See, e.g., On Loving Bernie But Not Feeling The Bern)  And I don't really need to repeat the familiar litany of reasons why Clinton is not my ideal candidate.   (See, e.g., The Pros and Cons of Voting for Hillary Clinton)  At bottom, I believed -- and continue to believe -- that she was the candidate best positioned to beat the Republicans.  I have come to accept that while she will generally support issues critical to progressives, she also will invariably disappoint.

I just didn't think she would disappoint so soon.  I really hoped that she would not heed the calls from the more moderate/corporatist wing of the Democratic Party to choose a running mate that would make her candidacy more palatable to white blue collar men and the Democratic establishment.  I really hoped that she would shed her more cautious political instincts and understand that the political zeitgeist calls for a less traditional, more progressive choice.  I really hoped that her response to Trump's pick of a right-wing religious zealot would be to go in the other direction rather than trying to fill the vacuum in the center. 

Choosing a candidate to her left -- particularly Elizabeth Warren -- would have sent a strong signal that Clinton, having dispatched with Bernie Sanders, was not going to hew to the center.  It would have shown that she was willing to tap into the passion and energy that drove the Sanders campaign and that is, frankly, lacking among Clinton supporters.  Warren, as a running mate, would be better than anyone in the country at shaming the Republicans for their coziness with Wall Street, attacks on reproductive rights, disdain for consumers, and intransigence on the Supreme Court -- as well as exposing the idiocy, the hypocrisy and the danger of Donald J. Trump. 

But, alas, this was not to be.  Clinton has chosen Tim fucking Kaine.  Kaine is a Senator and former Governor from Virginia, an important battleground state to be sure.  He is the son of a welder with Midwest roots that give him an appealing blue collar aura.  He speaks Spanish.  But he has strong ties to Wall Street and favors greater deregulation of banks.  He is an advocate of free trade deals and supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Warren, Sanders and purportedly Clinton oppose.  And he is "personally" anti-choice. He is a white man.  He is not a progressive.  He is not an electrifying speaker.  He is a conventional pick in what is not a conventional election cycle.

I'm disappointed. Very disappointed. Extremely disappointed.  Progressives should be very, very disappointed.  Dammit!  Fuck!  ...

OK?  OK.

Now, let's get back out there and support the ticket.


Post a Comment