Sadly, the answer from too many people is, "No." No, they don't understand the words coming out of my mouth (or in this case, laptop). No matter how many times I have said this: I will not vote for Obama. Ever. See the sidebar on my blog? "NOBAMA." "I Own My Vote." "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Hillary!" All of that? No, apparently not. I have received SO much pressure to cave, and vote for this man. No matter how many times I say no, and no matter how politely (I am a Southerner, after all), people still try to get me to commit to Obama. Or call me a Republican. I will not, and I am not.
But since no one seems to be able to understand me, let me share with you a piece by Victoria Brownworth (or part of it anyway, from Curve, Vol. 18#8, pp 30-31). Unfortunately, it is NOT online - it was in an honest-to-goodness magazine (apparently John McCain isn't the only one who is not wired - oh, they do have a website: curvemag.com, but it does not contain the contents of their recent issues. If you want to read it for yourself, I'm afraid you'll have to go down to the newsstand to do it.) Anywho, Ms. Brownworth's article, "My November Surprise: What Will It Take To Get A Real Progressive In The White House?" could have been written y a number of us, I suspect. No, I know. It could have been written by me, at least, at least 2/3 of it. So, here it is, typed out with my own hands, in an effort to get those who are trying to cajole/manipulate/shame/demand I vote for Obama:
It's a secret I and many women have been keeping, but the time has come to reveal my big surprise. I will not be voting Democrat in November.
I worked for Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign from February through her withdrawal from the race in June. I worked hard, doing action alerts, writing column after column, alerting the media to indormation about Clinton's stances on various issues and calling voters in key primary states. I felt that Clinton was the best presidential candidate the United States had seen in years, and I was excited to work for her.
When Clinton came within a hairbreadth of winning the popular vote (RRRA here - she DID win the popular vote), but the superdelegates went in a wave with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recommendations rather than their constituents, I was beyond disappointed. I was outraged, and that outrage did not dissipate, as I thought it might, after Clinton did the good-girl thing and threw her support behind Sen. Barack Obama, rather than contest the primary outcome as previous candidates, including Sen. Ted Kennedy, had done.
I assumed that I would feel the way I usually feel when I am at odds with the Democratic Party: disappointed, but nevertheless aligned with them against the Republican candidate.
That didn't happen this time.
Instead, my outrage grew exponentially as each new story revealed yet another of Obama's defections from the Democratic Platform. First, it was his embrace of the faith-based initiatives program of President George W. Bush, which has not only failed, but has been grossly prejudiced and bigoted. Then it was his vote for Bush's telecom immunity in the FISA debate (Clinton and other Democratic senators voted against Bush, so Obama's assertion that this was the only choice simply isn't true.) Then it was back-pedaling on his stance on the war in Iraq and a ramping up of the war in Afghanistan.
All those issues affect me politically, not personally, but when I read reports alleging that Obama pays his female staffers markedly less than his male staffers in comparable positions, I was appalled (RRRA here - it is not an allegation - it is a FACT. There are a number of articles on this, including this one HERE along with SusanUnPC's excellent piece at No Quarter on this topic). Then Obama, who had secured the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America over Clinton (despite his sketchy record on choice and her strong record on the issue), announced that a pregnant woman's mental illness should never justify a late-term abortion...
...(T)he Democratic Party has consistently disappointed me in the past eight years. In 2000, I felt Al Gore should have fought to be president, since he actually won the election. The United States is not a banana republic; there was no threat of the nation falling into disruption while votes were properly counted and tallied and the actual president was ensconced in the White House.
Had Gore been president in 2000, I have no doubt we would not be in Iraq, even if the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 had still happened.
In 2004, the Democrats disappointed me again, throwing their weight behind Sen. John Kerry instead of Howard Dean (RRRA here - to whom my partner, on a recent DNC request for money, responded, "F--k YOU, Howard Dean!", summing up my feelings about him perfectly). Four years into the disastrous Bush administration, the Democratic Party went with the safe candidate instead of the progressive, anti-war candidate, once again, moving to the center instead of standing firmly to the left.
Both the Gore and Kerry campaigns were poorly run (RRRA again - that means YOU, Donna Brazile - on Gore, anyway), emphasizing defense instead of offense. Gore should have run on the progressive record of the Clinton administration, of which he was an integral part. Instead, he failed to reveal Bush's inadequacy, even though Bush was an untested, unproven candidate (RRRA - hmmm - just who does THAT sound like?!?!) whose only political strength was the fact that his father had been a one-term president.
Kerry's campaign regrettably mimicked Gore's...
I thoroughly understood Clinton's frustration during the primary: While she voted and acted progressively, Obama talked hope and change, with nothing to back it up. After she withdrew from the race, he was given his first opportunity to cast a pivotal vote for progressivism and vote against telecom immunity. He didn't. While Clinton continued her progressive agenda and voted against it, Obama not only voted for it, but asserted that it was a good compromise, the same line anti-progressive Democrats have been proffering for years...
I remember wen being a Democrat meant being for change and actually acting on behalf of it. The first president I actually remember was LBJ, whose War on Poverty and programs like Head Start helped move the nation forward out of the divides of race and class.
There hasn't been a more progressive American president since Franklin D. Roosevelt; he not only got the country out of the Great Depression, but initiated the New Deal and other safety net programs that would protect Americans if we ever had similar economic disaster.
When Clinton was running, some pundits referred to her as the New Deal candidate with a sneer. But given the economic disaster that the Bush administration has created, being compared to FDR should not have been seen as a negative.
I will not be voting for the Democrats this November. I'd like to, and wish I could, but I can't. The last eight years of the Democratic Party and its refusal to take on the Bush administration have broken my faith in it...
I won't deny that part of my decision has to do with the realization that I can no longer continue to vote against my own best interests. I have done that repeatedly, being guilted into voting Democrat when I should have taken a different route. I have argued in my newspaper columns that third party candidates are not the answer, but the past two elections, plus the current presidential race, have made me rethink that position.
The two major parties have failed a majority of Americans, but they have failed queers, women and minorities most definitively...
Vote for yourself this November instead of a party that has failed you. It's the only way we will ever move toward real and lasting change in the United States. (Ms. Brownworth will be supporting Cynthia McKinney, the Green candidate, in November.)
I will not vote against my own self-interests again. If more WOMEN, in particular, did the same, Hillary Clinton would be the nominee now, if for no other reason than Nancy Pelosi would have supported HER instead of "the one God has blessed us with to us," or whatever whackiness she said about Obama, and we would have, according to the polls anyway, the best PRESIDENT we have had in years. But no. Once again, the Democratic Party went with the weaker candidate instead of the sure bet.
Here's a sure bet, though - they will not be getting my vote this year. They have done nothing to deserve it, and everything to make sure I didn't give it to them.
Now do you understand the words I have been saying?