YES, I drank the Obama Kool-Ade!
Apr 21 12:18
So if you've been following my blog you may be amused to learn that the National NOW political action committee tapped me to have a House Party for Hillary this past Saturday. I’m a Barack supporter. I’ve made calls for the man, I’ve sent him money, I’ve written on his behalf. But in my family of three women, I’m the only one not for Hillary. And, frankly, I love NOW. I’m co-chair of National NOW’s disability committee and contact person for my county – and I’ve been involved with NOW since 1996. So I agreed.
Here’s the fine line I walked: The party was at our house and I was there as the Lancaster NOW rep, but as an individual I let them know I support Barack. They said they’d do all the inviting, although I broke down and sent an invite to over 70 people on e-mail (some of whom had angry words for my “betrayal”), and when the day came three vans of the nation’s most incredible feminists pulled up to my house. They streamed in, drank my wine, ate my bruschetta and made a hard sell for Hillary to our brave neighbors who came over to support our party.
No one gave me a hard sell – Kim Gandy, Olga Vives, Stephanie Ortoleva, Pat Reuss and all the other NOW luminaries were respectful of my choice, very polite and thankful we hosted them. But Olga couldn’t resist teasing me, to the howls of laughter from my partner: “So you drank the Kool-Ade, huh? Huh?”
Oh all right. YES I drank the damn Kool-Ade. And I’ll tell you why I drank the Kool-Ade. ...
And we went on to have a good discussion of the issues, and the length of years Hillary’s worked on them, including a bunch of activities I wasn’t aware of, like how she organized Legal Aid offices in Arkansas, and how waaaay pre-ADA she worked to get kids with disabilities real education. And, of course, her long and strong support of such disability legislation as the Community Choice Act, even when it was MiCASSA, and Social Security. And employment. And health care. And so on. And how I shouldn’t judge the woman just because she chose to stay with her cheating husband for the sake of her family.
But why is her outreach to the disability community so poor? Why is her campaign so hap-hazard where we’re concerned?
There aren't any really good answers, Gandy acknowledged. But I suspect it’s because some of our heavy-hitters signed on to the Obama camp early and did much of the writing and issue development for him – I’ve suspected that all along, and generally I consider it a selling point in his favor.
Also I’m pro-choice, and that’s got to play into who I vote for. No, I’m not a single-issue voter. But yes, of course, I take a candidate’s stand on abortion rights as a good indicator of where the candidate falls on all issues affecting women’s rights and other rights that are important to me. No problem, they’re both pro-choice. But, I point out, I was angry that Hillary held that “present” vote against him – remember the first debate? She said he skipped out on important votes, including on abortion rights, and his campaign later fired back that he was following a Planned Parenthood strategy? Well, it turns out the strategy was designed to allow state legislators from districts that weren’t completely pro-choice some political cover. But Obama’s district was safe. He didn’t need the cover.
Some of the NOW activists wonder how strongly committed Obama is to women’s rights – or if it’s one of those “divisive” issues he’ll shy away from in the name of unity. Oh, they've got me there. I like Obama’s message of unity. Can it really be I am so taken in that I’ve not asked the hard question of what that actually means about issues I feel strongly about? Hmm … maybe.
So damn, damn, damn … I’m back to an original question that’s plagued me now for months. What’s better: a president who’s always been with us, but whose campaign has a piss-poor outreach to us? Or a president who has a strong outreach to our community, but as of yet nothing substantive to offer?
Let’s face it, those of us who are drawn to Obama are drawn to the promise of who he says he will be, not to the proven record of who he is.
I, once again, have no idea who I’m going to vote for tomorrow.
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Apr 21 12:28
Good for you for hosting the party--it is a GOOD thing to bring democrats together--"hang together, or hang separately". As far as the cheating husband remark, "Family Values" only matter when things get tough. But lets face it, Hillary's public persona is cold. Barak, on the other hand has tons of charisma, which will get him elected. Look at any right wing "Fox Style" talk or "infonews" and you will see the republicans pulling for Hillary because they know she is beatable. It has nothing to do with being a woman. I thought her early attempts at a national health care policy were admirable. But look at her campaign and her debating--does she talk about how her plans to make the country better? NO, she spends most of her time slinging mud at Barak. She is trying to win by making the other candidate look bad, not by making herself look like a better candidate--and it is backfiring. The bottom line is we need somebody that can beat Bush III (McCain) and that somebody is Barak.
Apr 21 12:43
"And how I shouldn't judge the woman just because she chose to stay with her cheating husband for the sake of her family."
I honestly can't imagine anyone allowing this notion to dictate how they vote!
Vote your conscious. That's the best one can do.
Apr 21 07:02
Glad you're reconsidering your vote. Hillary's got the better record on disability issues and I think she knows more about health care.
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