Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama

Edwards endorsed Barack Obama today. This should bring most of his 19 delegates to Obama's aid (31 with Florida delegates). It is the first real sign of party unity, beginning to coalesce around the presumptive nominee. Obama will achieve a majority of pledged delegates on Tuesday (under current rules). Expect the Edwards endorsement to bring additional superdelegates on board. This should also help Obama in Kentucky as well.


Dr. Strangelove said...

I am curious about Edwards' timing on all this--honestly curious--but I am glad he spoke. I hope the healing can begin.

Dr. Strangelove said...

By the way, the CA Supreme Court will rule on gay marriage tomorrow morning (Thurs., May 15.) This is should be the end, one way or another, of the particular legal odyssey that started when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples in 2004. I am sure I will write more about the decision later, whatever it may be.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Supreme Court cases are rarely the end of litigation. Just a climax.

I expect the CA Supreme Court to rule that gay marriage is not required by the constitution but also - crucially - not barred by the constitution and capable of legislative enactment.

USWest said...

I am fine with Obama being the nominee. But I am a little sad that women are disappointed again and told to wait again- sort of like Blacks were when Jessie Jackson didn't make it. I do not advocate voting based on race and gender, nor do I vote this way. But honestly, there is still a little anger over the fact that women are still having to wait. The good news is that race is no longer a barrier to candidates- at least not black candidates. But the bad news is that I think gender still is. HRC is not the perfect candidate and she hasn't met my expectations. But she is as close as we have gotten and I don't see anyone else on the horizon with her name recognition or her qualifications.

I think I speak for many women when I say that.

Raised By Republicans said...

I can understand your frustration. But perhaps that kind of feeling among the Clinton campaign and their supporters is part of why Obama beat Clinton.

This election isn't about having the first woman vs. having the first Black President vs having another old, white, male Episcopalian. It's about widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo and Hillary ran her entire campaign based on her connection to a past administration. Even given the popularity of that administration among Democrats, that's a hard sell when voters are in the mood for a break with the past.

My point is that it wasn't her gender that turned voters off. It was her Clintonness. Another woman - like Governor Sebelius - might have beaten Obama. Who can say for sure.

But US West, if it makes you feel better, there are other oppressed social groups who are also still waiting their turn in line: Hispanics, Homosexuals, Atheists, Asians, Native Americans,...

Who is to say who should get legitimate claim to the next shot at the White House?

USWest said...

True that. I just keep thinking about the history of the feminist movement in this country- a movement that started with advocating the right to vote for women. Women figured out then that it would be easer, and have a greater chance of success if they promoted the vote for black men than to keep hammering at the vote for women, regardless of color.

This provides me with an opportunity to talk a little bit about my experience of feminism that spans 3 generations.

The baby boom women hade a very confrontational approach to feminism. You had to challenge men on their turf by using their rules. This is HRC's generation. And this is her feminism.

These women told their daughters, my generation, that we could be it all. In fact, we were obliged to have it all. They had destroyed all barrier to entry. Now we could have the career and the children and if men didn't like it, too bad. Thus the "battle of sexes" that you see in a whole culture of books like "Mars vs. Venus". So we faced a great deal of pressure. If you went to college, everyone said that this was wonderful. Then their next question was, "Is she seeing anybody." My mother still gets asked this about me. And the relief my mother felt when she met my boyfriend and liked him was evident. In the meantime, my grandmother, who was happily married for 57 years until my grandfather's death, looks at my life with a touch of jealousy. She says, "Man, if I could have had the choices and the life you do, I wouldn't have bothered getting married. I would have loved to work outside the home. I wanted to. Your grandfather wouldn't let me." At the same time, boomer women are pressing us for grandchildren.

Then comes my niece, the echo group. She has none of the desire to confront men or be competitive with them. She is doing her own thing. She doesn’t measure her success against the boys or other girls for that matter. I live next door to a housing unit for graduate students from Stanford U. I see how these younger people interact with each other and I admire how they harmonize. They and my niece seem oblivious to racial or gender differences. They are kind to each other. And I see how nearly tribal they are with their colleagues. They are the Barney generation, the “I love you, you love me.” The tee-ball and soccer group where no one looses. Everyone wins all the time.

My generation is the Sesame generation. We were taught that we all live in a community and that everyone should play nicely together and be tolerate of racial differences. I know I was unhappy when I entered the work force and I saw how boomers would cut off their noses to spite their faces. Rather than creating win-win situations, they would always set up win-lose situations.

My generation of women, as we move into our mid 30s and 40s have already figured out that you don't get to have it all. You can be a great mom with a moderate career. But you can't be a high flyer on both counts. It will just make you crazy and unhappy. And our men have also adjusted to this reality for themselves. And we are tired of the Venus vs. Mars thing.

That is where I find hope. And while Clinton, as RBR pointed out, lost in part because people are tired of Clintonness, but I think she lost in part because my generation and the Echos didn't come out in hordes for her. We don't want combative male vs. female feminist politics anymore. Even if we deeply identify with her struggle, we just found a lack of integrity at a certain point. I found myself put off by HRC throwing back whiskey to "prove" she was one of the boys, and her weird personality shifts from Obama-loving to Obama-attacking. At the same time, I admired her drive, her experience, her energy, and her mastery of policy details. So my support for her has always been conflicted. And I still feel a need to speak up for her when people critique her. "Hey, lay off. She has done a hell of a job, she hasn’t had it easy, and you have to admire that!"

But RBR is right! This election really wasn't about race or gender. It was about politics and who could best lead us out of this mess we are in. But it has given me a chance to really think about where I fit in this society today, and what my values are as a woman, as a person, and as a voter.

Raised By Republicans said...

Excellent comment US West. I think it warrants being it's own thread!

The Law Talking Guy said...

I must admit I have been baffled by responses such as USWEst's to Hillary Clinton's run for office. To me, it is so obvious that Hillary Clinton is only on this stage because she's the former president's wife. She would still be a corporate lawyer for Walmart back in Arkansas but for him, or a lawyer in Chicago. All good things, and all things to be proud of. But she would never have been a senator from NY (a state she was never from!) and certainly not a presidential candidate. So Hillary Clinton's story is very retrograde, and a curious locus of feminist pride. Somebody needs to explain to me why she represents success for women rather than the old-fashioned path of needing a man to succeed.

Fortunately, the senate and governors' mansions are slowly filling with women who achieve political success in their own right.

USWest said...


I was greatly impressed with her when she started the health care hearings. I still remember her sitting at that big conference table and answering question after question with no notes.

I was impressed with her for holding her own and not giving into all the criticism for not being "womanly enough" when she was first lady.

And I imagine that I have been influenced by Carl Bernstein's book on her. After reading about Arkansas and the run for the White House, it is evident to me that had HRC not been there, Bill would have never been elected president. He didn't have the discipline necessary. Everyone Bernstein interviewed in the book said that in their view, it was a toss up between Bill and HRC as to who would be in political office first. She made sacrifices to promote her husband.

So I don't think it is fair to say she "rode" her husband's coat tails to power. She was in a partnership. And she was always a very critical part of that partnership.

We don't know what she would of done on her own or what she could have done on her own because that isn't how it worked out. Also, I don't think any of us do anything on our own. Men often rise to power because they were on the coattails of their fathers or their social connections. There have many small hands up that I have received in my life for reasons that sometimes escape my understanding. Maybe they just liked my smile and were feeling generous. Maybe they say I had talent. Who knows. Why should we fault HRC for using the opportunities that came her way to do what she wanted to do?

I have a hard time understanding why people think that she is only there because she is a Clinton. That is a failure to give her credit where credit is due. And I think it is unfair. And I think it is demeaning.

See, told you I still want to defend her.

USWest said...

OH, and let's not forget the reality: many women in her generation needed a man to make it. Society was set up that way. it was set up against a woman being successful in her own right. And many women were married to men who either wouldn't help or couldn't help. And I think many of women in that generation felt cheated and used and under appreciated. They saw their husband's success and craved it. In the 1950's women couldn't work unless they had permission from their husbands. It was marginally better in the 1970s.

Men look at HRC and see another woman "trying to get something from me". She offends their sensibilities because she didn't leave her husband. They see her as using him, just like they were used. Well many women say,"Hey turn about is fair play." Women look at her and say, "finally, one of us got something useful from that ling,cheating SOB of husband of hers. Good for her! You go girl." It is confrontational, revenge feminism.

now, I don't like that per sea, but I sort of feel it. I feel it because I am a child of divorce and my father was a total asshole to my mother and he did nothing to help her with us after the divorce. Dead beat. I still feel the residue of that anger and a wariness about giving up too much to a man no matter how much I love him. I so I cheer HRC. And at the same time, I have had to work hard to get away from the militant feminism that seems revenge. And notice that Boomers divorced a lot! Could the militant feminism been part of the reason? A rejection of the 1950's notion of marital bliss?

Who knows. Just a thought.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Dianne Feinstein, also of Clinton's generation, did not become a senator because her husband was President first. Nor did Barbara Boxer (both are in their 60s). Neither did the other dozen women senators. Or governors around the country. I don't think Hillary "had" to be in a partnership with a man to succeed. But she undeniably would not be where she is but for her husband's presidency. In light of that, I think she's a relatively weak example of a successful female politician. I think some of the support among older women is sympathy for succeeding despite being married to such a clod, which I get, but don't necessarily admire.

USWest said...

I would point out that Feinstein had something from the get go that HRC didn't: Money from her wealthy husband.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Though it is surely better for women now than it was before 1992 (the "Year of the Woman" in U.S. politics), quite a number of the pioneering women Senators and Governors also had special family connections or special circumstances to help them. This is not meant to take anything away--that's just the way it is.

And here is the key: although these women may indeed gain prominence in later years, none of them yet have the national standing to run for President that Hillary has--that took a partnership with Bill.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein also had tried and failed twice to become SF mayor--she only got her start (and national fame) when SF mayor George Moscone was assassinated and she was next in line.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole is of course Bob Dole's husband.

Sen. Jean Carnahan (not current) was a widow appointed to fill her late husband's seat.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was appointed by her father to fill out the rest of his term.

Sen. Mary Landrieu got her start when she ran for the House seat her father had held.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is the daughter of another Governor and her father-in-law was also a House Representative.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson got her seat with a mere 29% in a special election (1993).

Sen. Maria Cantwell self-financed her campaign to the tune of $10 million... Wait, come to think of it, this is actually a great sign of equality! She not only earned it: she had the money and bought it.

Raised By Republicans said...

Of course the number of male politicians who parlay family connections into over achieving political careers is too high to list them on this blog in detail.

I'll mention just a few: Jay Rockafeller, Ted Kennedy, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush etc.

Of course each of these politicians had to fight against their critics saying they owe their position to family contacts rather than their own merrit. With the exception of Ted Kennedy (who has since proved himself an accomplished legislator), I'd say the critics are largely correct.