I'm sorry things are so difficult for you now. They're pretty difficult for my family, too, but not as desperate as your situation. I hope something comes to pass that alleviates the pressure. Truly.
I was a Hillary supporter, and I have --with deep reluctance-- gotten to the point that I would vote for Obama if my state was up for grabs. It is not as yet and probably won't be, so I am relieved of the dilemma.
I don't think you should blame Obama's weakness on Hillary supporters. That is not the problem. If there are Hillary supporters now supporting McCain they are likely that familiar breed of "Reagan Democrats" who respond on a gut level, and are not so policy driven in their voting patterns.
Obama has a "gut" problem with those voters and was always going to have that problem. Who is the only successful Democrat in recent history? Bill Clinton. He had the bubba factor. On the coast out here liberals loved to mock that. They don't get it. This year they thought they wouldn't need the bubba voters... they were wrong, wrong, wrong. It is our party leaders and about half of our selves that nominated an unelectable man, IMO. What were they thinking in all their crowing about Obama? Why did they think he'd transcend the bubba voters natural patterns? I don't know. I never thought he would for a second.
Hillary probably could have done it, that and combined with the fact that she is so smart, so well-versed on policy, and such a fighter. But no. Our party nominated the genteel Chicago law professor with the stylish panache and the glossy metro aura... because we didn't want to believe the bubba voters were going to decide this one. Wrong. I just hope like hell we don't have to fail at this particular lesson again in the future, but I'm thinking we will.
It doesn't matter so much the reality that all these candidates are rich and privileged and don't live lives on the same terms we do. What matters is how people respond in their guts, and that isn't always in line with their interests.
Anyway, the pundits still say it's Obama's election to lose. I'm not so confident about that, but if my vote is needed I'll vote for him and hold my nose harder than I've ever had to hold it before.
This election, though, is really only happening in a small number of states. Not mine, fortunately.
I'm sure that's true. It's a weird system. In a sense it's creating a way to make non-votes count... if you know what I mean. That's just philosphically peculiar if citizen engagement is a civic objective.
Interesting thing with this in our town, is that measures have passed that wouldn't have otherwise because of a small number of "no" votes. We've had intiatives, for example, to raise property taxes for additional school funding (they call it "youth activities" since it can't be directly tied to the school budgets), which I have supported. Naturally most of the voters who are engaged and motivated around the issue are the proponents, but you'll see them even encouraging the "no" voters to vote just to get over the 50% threshold. I am happy to see the funding measures pass, but it's kind of a dupe. The "no" voters who are hip to the math know the best bet is to not vote at all, but it's always that few who don't get it that adamently cast that "no" vote that help get the measures over the 50% threshold. Ironic.
First, I am sure I have seen the losing side of more elections than you have seen elections in total. I have voted for loser after loser. As a result of that I have some perspective on what sort of candidate can win in America. Obama is not and never was even remotely close to that kind of candidate. He was a lost cause from the outset. His early flush of popularity was based almost entirely on being a fresh face and a pretty voice in a dismal time. But what happens when the face isn't so fresh anymore? You need to consider what wears well over time to middle Americans... and it's not not a perceived progressive (who really is not so progressive) with virtually no experience at all, with an automatic appeal to yuppies. It was a doomed exercise from the beginning. You know what kind of Democrats can get elected in this country? Populist, perceived centrists (even when their actual policies are more progressive than Obama's, such as Hillary Clinton), who appeal to the middle and working class.
It's not that I prefer to see McCain win. What I prefer is irrelavant. He will win, and it's going to be a sorry, sorry day for the Democratic Party.
You're making the same mistake of thinking Obama's waning support is because Clinton voters can't "get over" losing the primary. The problem is that the candidate, Obama, was always going to be a nearly impossible candidate to sell to middle America. You need to step back and look at this choice --Obama or McCain-- from the perspective of people (voters) who are far less "progressive" than you are in politics and temperament. I continue to be amazed that the Democratic party got itself in this situation to begin with. If we, as a party, are that clueless... well, some would say we deserve to lose. But in any case, if there is a problem (and there is) look to the candidate, don't waste time on unproductive analysis of other voters' psyches and loyalties. Your candidate has to win it on his own, just like any other candidate.
As for you youthful ultimatum, I chose 'get out of the way' quite some time ago. Although that doesn't mean I won't comment on a blog from time to time.
As the primaries narrowed the Dem. race down to just 3 potential candidates (Obama, Clinton, Edwards) I only cared about which one could WIN. I don't expect much from candidates anymore, but I just wanted a Democrat in the White House. It seemed utterly clear to me that Obama would not win. And I still believe he will not win. Maybe because I live in a part of the country that is generally red, but also independent-minded. The combination of his lack of experience and his cool-ish personality, plus the love affair that some segments of the Left were inexplicably having with him... it seemed like a no-brainer this guy cannot win.
I did not like Obama all that much from the beginning, but did not dislike him either. I have grown to dislike him quite a bit, but that is neither here nor there really. This guy was going to lose from the get-go. I still am amazed that this much wasn't obvious to so many.
I'm not sure at this point she'd accept a VP slot. If her own political ambitions hold sway, she'd be smart not to. If she really wants to take one for the team (a team that didn't do her any favors) she could gamble with her future options and say yes.
I think the opportune time for Obama and Clinton to join forces has come and gone. Besides, Obama has to win in his own right... same as Clinton would have had to do if the situation was reversed.
I watch as it all rolls out. Sad. Democrats have such a gift for betting on the wrong horse.
I am sure there are racists in this country who would never vote for black candidate. On the other hand, I think the charge of racism is too easily assigned as Obama's biggest obstacle. I have a feeling if Colin Powell was running we wouldn't see so much over-focus on that one aspect of the candidate.
I am not a racist, and I just don't like Obama. Yeah, I guess I'm a little Puma-ish (and hence "irrational"), but you have to look at why independent voters are resistant about supporting Obama. (Hint: it isn't because they're all racists.) Or not... but as you say there are warning signs that Nov. will be a very close election.
Why? Because basically this is a very conservative country (unfortunately) and Obama has some significant drawbacks, mostly his lack of experience, I think, but also an over-the-top showiness that is putting people off. I see it in the independents around me. That's what they don't like. They always had some reservations, but felt so betrayed by Bush and the Republican party they were willing to try something else. As time goes on, however, they are getting more comfortable with McCain. Not enthusiastic, but at least comfortable. And the reservations about Obama actually become more solid, not less.
I would sort of informally classify myself as PUMA-ish, although I don't have any affinity with any particular group, person, blog, or organized effort.
I did support Clinton in primaries. I have never and will never vote for a Republican, but I was ticked off enough at the DNC that I changed my registration from Dem to unaffiliated. I can't bring myself to vote for Obama. Just can't. Won't.
Could Hillary Clinton change my mind? No, because it's not that I worshipped at the alter of HRC, it's that I thought she was far and away the best candidate. Her cajoling doesn't make Obama look any better to me. Why would it?
I do not see myself as a "victim" nor do I have a "cause" ... I am amused by the vivid imagings of the your post though as to my PROBLEMS. Ha.
Mostly now, I am resigned to really not caring much how the election plays out. I'm just watching from the outfield.
Have there been any polls regarding Smith vs. Merkley? I'd love to see Smith lose, but I truly don't see it happening. I hope I'm wrong, but there really isn't any groundswell against Smith except from people who just oppose all Republicans on principle. Plus he's got buckets of money.
I'd love to see it happen, but I wouldn't bank on it. I mean... just to be realistic.
A lot of people on this board and others thought Merkley's opponent in the primary, Steve Novick, was going to win on Obama's coattails, and that didn't work out either. I'm virtually certain OR will go to Obama, but highly unlikely that will be what unseats Smith... who in spite of his actual record truly is seen as a very centrist, moderate, independent agent. I know he's actually NOT, but that is the perception of him in the general, not hyper-political population.
I know it's summer and things are chilling a bit after the incredibly dramatic Dem. primary contest, but doesn't it all feel a whole lot less interesting now? Dull even?
I mean, I'm sure it doesn't to hardcore Obama devotees, but just out and about in the real world it feels dead dead dead.
Obama's fresh face doesn't feel all that fresh anymore. McCain seems very low key. It's like the excitement is over, and as with many exciting things it's hard to get back to that level of engagement.
This is certainly my feeling, but I don't support Obama. I wouldn't vote for McCain ever, ever. But it's not just me. Almost all the lawn signs are gone around town (this place is hugely for Obama), no one talks about the race anymore unless they're still processing the Clinton-Obama contest, but that's happening less and less.
It's downright boring. Which is fine. I don't feel any investment in it now that Clinton is out. I'm just watching... whatever happens, happens.
If a person lives in a reliably blue or reliably red state, then there is no nose-cutting-off. Since it's winner-takes-all-electoral-votes, whether disaffected Clinton voters stay home or vote for the GOP doesn't matter. It only has meaning to the individual to not cast a compromised vote. That's why I won't vote for Obama. I didn't vote for Bill Clinton the second time either, because I lived in CA at the time and it was going to Clinton regardless. I only felt personally somewhat relieved to not have to vote for him. I would have if I had to, but every now and then we're relieved of that burden.
I agree that the patronizing posts attempting to persuade Clinton voters to support Obama have outlived their usefulness.
I am just watching the GE from the outside in now, emotionally speaking. Whatever happens will happen. I'm not voting for Obama, but won't vote for McCain either. I'm just apathetic mostly.
I'm interested in a senate contest we have going here, but am not following what is, to me, a very boring match-up between McCain who has no solutions to anything and Obama who is the ill-defined flavor-of-the-month.
I don't live in a swing state, so it's just not a race in which I have a part to play. It'll be what it is.