Hope for Party Unity?

I have to admit, I was impressed by Hillary Clinton’s speech for unity at the Democratic National Convention tonight. She hit all the right notes (“No Way, no How, no McCain!), even if she was a little vague on specifics on Obama. She really seemed like a class act tonight, reminding her supporters what’s really at stake, the nightmare of the last eight years, and what another four years of Republican rule (specifically McCain) will be like.

With delegates waving banners that read “Hillary” or “Obama” on one side and “Unity” on the other, Mrs. Clinton encouraged supporters to rally behind Mr. Obama for the sake of struggling Americans she met during the campaign.

“I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me?” Mrs. Clinton said. “Or were you in it for that young marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?”

Yet, I can’t help still feeling a little uneasy, reading some of the back story from the New York Times mentioning Hillary and Bill still being bitter and how many of her top fundraisers are still unwilling to support Barack. It’s especially disturbing to hear of some of her supporters talking about how if Obama fails in November, Hillary is sure to get in when 2012 rolls around (and can’t help worrying Hillary and Bill may feel the same way).  What will this country be like after another four years of a Republican President bowing to the wishes of the neo-cons and religious right?  Do they really think Hillary will get elected in that climate (or that any of the rest of us would forgive her or them and give her the nomination)? 

This election really will make a difference, one way or another.  There is a big difference between Barack Obama and John McCain.  Especially on the issues that matter, including women’s rights.  Are Hillary’s supporters willing to have four years of McCain just because their candidate lost the primary?  Just because they don’t have a woman this time, let the man most likely to continue turning back women’s rights get elected?

Even coming from the left, like me.  There’s just too big of a difference to hold out for . . . Nader?  Cynthia McKinney for the Greens?  I wish I could be more enthused about either of them and actually feel I was sacrificing voting for Barack, but they’ve both been too far out there this time.

True, there are issues like FISA, where Barack has given in.  He seems a little too willing to go to escalate the war in Afghanistan and in supporting Israel.  Then again, at least Barack is for diplomacy, which does offer some hope; in addition to wanting us out of Iraq (granted, I’m not sure how soon he’ll get us out).  Then there is his choice of Biden, who those of us on the left have even more issues with (to me, especially, Biden’s support of the credit card companies’ legislation making bankruptcy harder, while taking money from a major credit card company).

Yet, to say as some have, “He’s chosen Biden?  That’s the last straw!”?

What’s the choice, letting McCain get in there?

Barack is strong on domestic issues like health care and job issues.  He believes in diplomacy.  He doesn’t believe in torture, or the suspension of habeas corpus.  I think he’s the best mainstream candidate (meaning someone who can get elected) in years.

I do have hope, and for the first time in a long time.

I also think Michelle Obama is really a class act.  In addition to her excellent speech last night (reminding us of Barack’s work on poverty issues since he was a community organizer in Chicago), she had nothing but kind words to say about Hillary when she was interviewed by PBS tonight before Hillary’s speech.

Yes, there has been both sexism and racism in this campaign, and Michelle has kept her cool even when dealing with the double whammy of both of them (“terrorist fist jab”?  “baby mama”?)  The latter tells you just how racist Faux, err Fox News is.  Their catch phrase for unwed mothers (who I don’t think should be put down in the first place), and they’re using it to refer to a married, to a U.S. Senator, Harvard Law School educated woman.   Incredible.  In the 21st century. . . and people actually watch that channel . . . for news.  Fair?  Balanced?  Unfair and unbalanced. 

Do we want them setting the agenda another 4 or 8 years?


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