Friday, July 22, 2016

I Like Sen.Tim Kaine and I'm Glad He's With Her

The (somewhat dated and ableist) 1990 Dudley Moore movie Crazy People featured a burnt-out ad man who had hit on a weird but attractive gimmick for his promotions--honesty, resulting in slogans for products like "Volvos, they are boxy, but they're safe."

Well, maybe Hillary Clinton's VP pick is sort of a Volvo--he's a bit boxy or "boring", but he's safe. And that's not a knock at all. I think picking a sensible, smart, decent person who can step in and be president if he has to is exactly what Clinton was supposed to do--and that's exactly what she did. I'm seeing some progressive folks rolling their eyes wishing she picked someone who was more their idea of an ideal VP pick--someone exciting, or someone who sent a message to her progressive base, or who turns them on in some way.

I get it. I was kind of turned on by the possibility of a Clinton/Warren ticket as being a kind of feminist rebuke to the idea a man had to be on the ticket at all, with two exceptional progressives who would just flay the shit out of Trump/Pence in debates on the basis of stone cold knowing their business. I also was warm to the idea of Labor Sec. Tom Perez as a great lefty choice.  But I'm already trusting Secretary Clinton to be my presidential candidate, so I'm just going to go ahead and think about what her calculations are and what she needs to get the job done.

And that's how I know Sen. Kaine is a solid choice. Because she already is comfortable that she will have a positive working relationship with Kaine. She and he share important values, like the application of faith to their work, the importance of standing with people identified as "the Other" and a vision of success coming in well-fought, strategic increments. I like his record, which is very progressive for the state of Virginia.

In some ways, their differences are complementary--he has a 100% NARAL rating, but has expressed qualms of some aspects of reproductive health care--and yet Clinton represents as strong a belief in the primacy of bodily autonomy as could be hoped for. Clinton retains support for the death penalty, Kaine has long been opposed (although he respected it as the law of the land which Governor of Virginia). He has worked with Republican Senator Jeff Flake on the issue of restricting executive power with respect to war. He is well-rounded and hasn't got much in the way of baggage.

I do not expect, nor have I ever experienced, the sensation that I had found a candidate for any office that I agreed with or was going to agree with 100%. So while I respect the personal opnions of other lefties who have solid criticisms, I still understand why Clinton made the choice she did, and am pretty glad--I like Sen. Kaine. I think they could be a great team.

Also--he's not that boring. He only looks that way in the age of Trump.

2 comments:

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, I like the pic too. Because it demonstrates that Hillary is trying to move back toward the center where she is more comfortable and because even more Bernie Sanders voters will vote for Trump. I heard a statistic that 20% of Bernie voters feel betrayed and consider themselves now to be Trump supporters.

This is one of the craziest elections in my memory. You used to excoriate George Will, and now George is in agreement with you and is encouraging people to vote for Hillary. Needless to say, Ted Cruz represents a minority opinion in the Republican party along with a number of fellow travelers – including Jonah Goldberg, Michael Mmeed, and a significant portion of writers for National Review.

And on the Democratic side the far left of the left (who in my opinion are just straight-up moonbats), are so disillusioned with Hillary that they will vote for Trump or stay home. Really, we have 4 different political parties. As Monty Python would say, the Silly Party, the Very Silly Party, the Very-Very Silly Party... The 2 main political parties have failed to keep the toothpaste in the tube, it's on the floor and God help you if you slip in it.

As you know I wish both political parties would be disbanded. George Washington was right: people often have more loyalty to the political party than to the country. However, I have re-thought this a little, and the people I think are really stupid are ideologues. The people who support their party before they consider what is really and truly best for the United States. I think ideologues is sort of a name for a psychological disorder.

I saw one thing that happened in the Republican convention that characterizes this whole mess to me.

Apparently there were not many protesters descending on the Republican convention. Today when the going gets tough, the tough run to their computers. When I was in my leftist phase, it was tear gas in the streets, coke bottles flying, and real confrontation. Today when protesters were contacted, some of them mentioned it was an open carry state and that it seemed very dangerous, so they didn't go. The days of people willing to put their bodies on the line has shrunk. My generation felt that a college education was their right. Today it's so expensive that people have to seriously consider whether they want to compromise themselves over politics. We felt that we were entitled and were a kind of aristocracy and therefore we could flaunt society and challenge them with impunity because of our intrinsic rightness (IE., stupidity).

Today we live in a very insecure world, and kids who otherwise would get engaged are understanding that they're nobody special and that if they screw up there could be serious consequences. Also, there is no draft (as soon as the draft was eliminated, the anti-Vietnam War movement dried up like a puddle in the desert; a lot of the motivation was simply fear of going to Vietnam). So we'll see if the protests turn out for the Democratic convention, where people feel that they won't be rebuked as they might have been at the Republican convention.

Something highlighted the whole thing for me. Outside the convention hall, the KKK, BLM, and Westboro Baptists all threw urine on each other. Way to go, guys! Please, next time bring firearms. Do us all a favor and neutralize each other and get out of our hair. You're all cut from the same cloth, and the sooner you disappear, the better off we'll all be.

Vixen Strangely said...

I think Hillary Clinton has made a good strategic choice as well in picking someone who does have crossover appeal to people who might not traditionally vote with Democrats--Trump's pick was more establishment but is still reinforcing the base. This is definitely a weird year--I wouldn't say that George Will *agrees* with the Clinton agenda, per se, but I think that as a more intellectual conservative, the idea that amateur hour might prevail over known competence galls him, basically it's the same argument PJ O'Rourke made--she wrong about everything, but within normal parameters. You know what you're getting, and while the country isn't on a conservative course, it's also not lost at sea.

I'm not sure how many people who were Sanders supporters are really serious about possibly backing Trump--especially not since Pence is his running mate. It seems like the sort of thing someone dares to do in a fit of pique, and doesn't make any more sense to me than voting for Jill Stein, who isn't even on the ballot in all 50 states. I don't know how to talk with people on that side of the argument because things like facts don't prevail over a sense of aggravated righteousness. I've noticed the Libertarian ticket of Johnson/Weld has good poll numbers, and understand Jeb Bush might be endorsing them--both gentlemen were originally Republicans anyway. And since they aren't social conservatives or neocons, they don't entirely freak me out.

The basic problem with physical demonstration these days is that delegitimization of tactics both from within and from without are the norm. A movement needs discipline, clear messaging, education, defined spokespeople, platform, and while we sometimes deride "respectability"--there has to be some kind of reputation for people to lend credence to what is said. Raising awareness and giving space to diverse voices are valid concerns, but if the aim is accomplishment of goals, there are a lot of paths towards a goal that should be looked at because some tactics are just more effective. Voting, registration, circulating samizdat--these are all also okay, and also one of the reasons I do blogging--writing feels effective to me. Violence is delegitimizing. I would definitely have to say pee fights are delegitimizing.

So, welcome to 2016, where I had to make the bold stand that pee fights are delegitimizing. Yay, people really suck sometimes.