Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Heeellooo, Anybody Home?????

Aristotle said that there are two kinds of reasoning: the appeal to intellect and the appeal to emotions. Clearly the following two comments, both from friends of mine, both women who I respect, speak to the effects of the second appeal. Their responses to Hillary are visceral: "cannot abide" "makes my hair stand on end" I can feel the intensity of their antipathy. What I have no sense of is any rational, supported reasoning behind them.
I cannot abide Hillary. She trumpets her experience - doing WHAT? Being a wife does not mean she has political experience. One term as a senator. Big deal. Her husband wasn't so great, either - he gave us NAFTA and the WTO. I honestly believe she would do or say ANYTHING to get elected."
I think John Edwards rocks, and I love Obama because he makes me feel like John F. Kennedy is speaking.

Hillary makes my hair stand on end. I don't think she's
authentic. But then who is in Washington. I feel handled by her. I know what
you're saying about Obama but I just like feeling the country behind
someone the way they were sort of with Kennedy.
For the first woman, Hillary engenders antipathy because she is outspoken in saying she has experience in government. Which she does. But then this writer reduces that experience in to the ultimate putdown--she was just a wife. Didn't we hear this the first time Bill ran, when the baking cookies isssue came up?
And it is, at heart, purely an appeal to emotion: all she did was marry well. That's bad enough when some Rovian conservative says it, but when a woman who espouses feminist principles says it? Ugly.

The second woman doesn't like Clinton because she has been successful at playing the political game. As has been every other politician who gets in office. I suggest anyone who thinks there is an unsullied candidate waiting in the wings go rent the film The Candidate. And read Machiavelli.

Both these women like Obama because he resonates with echoes of JFK. And George Bush is president because so many people thought he'd be a great guy to have a beer with. Neither of these sentiments are the responses of an informed electorate applying reason to the candidates' records. They're functions of nostalgia, which is, after all, an emotion, one that in both cases has been deliberately engendered by Bush's and Obama's handlers.


  1. Anonymous7:40 PM

    While I might be preaching to the choir - her (Hillary's) unscripted, passionate response of yesterday drew me to her like a moth to a flame. What both of these women missed was the enthusiasm and fervor that she has for what is a calling for Hillary. I believe that she is compelled in the course she is on. Her passion is for those she is serving.

    While I appreciate the passion that Obama can elicit in his oratory expertise, how is that passion internalized??

    Talk is cheap - but who has put their money where their mouth is???

    The answer is clear to me....

  2. QUOTE: Both these women like Obama because he resonates with echoes of JFK.

    Obama does not echo JFK as much as he embodies the generation shift JFK represented.

    Recently I was discussing the primary with a woman who supports Hillary. After the results of the Iowa Caucuses she was incensed. "I don't want the country run by a bunch of 21-year-olds," she declared.

    Personally, that's exactly what I want. One of the biggest thrills of the Iowa Caucuses was the flood of enthusiastic younger voters. The Baby Boom generation represented by Hillary has become an overwhelmingly cynical bunch.

    With Hillary's victory in New Hampshire the Democrats have a real contest. Whichever way it turns out, it will be historic.

  3. askatknits: I'm not sure if I'm the choir yet. I gave some money to Hillary right before New Hampshire as a way of registering my CA vote that she shouldn't lose hope. And then she won. And I have a month to figure out who I'm going to vote for on Super Tuesday.

    john: must admit your response really surprised me. It seems a somewhat blind idealism. BUT, it's really got me thinking and realizing that I need to be much more specific about who I like and why.

  4. Here are a couple of blog posts on the topic to consider:

    Brady Bunch View

    Religous Republican


So--whaddaya think?